The best no-pull dog harnesses

  • A good no-pull harness can make walks more enjoyable
    without causing your dog discomfort or pain.
  • The easily adjustable Blue-9 Pet Products Balance
    Harness
    , which curbs pulling while allowing dogs full
    freedom of movement, is our top pick for best no-pull harness
    overall.

While there are plenty of science-based techniques to teach a
dog to walk on a loose leash, sometimes the best solution to a dog
that pulls is a no-pull harness that will do the bulk of the work
for you.

Most dog
harnesses
connect to the leash at the spine. But because
“back-clip” harnesses put your control at the strongest part of
your dog’s body and tap into an opposition reflex that makes your
dog pull, it’s not what you want for a dog that is still learning
to walk on a leash. Walking a dog that pulls on a collar isn’t
helpful either.

“As a general rule, I don’t like anything that puts too much
pressure on the neck, says veterinary behaviorist Dr. Carlo
Siracusa, director of animal behavior services at the University of
Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. “Definitely no prong
or shock collars. Even a martingale-type collar, which I do like,
will not prevent the dog from pulling [and] will apply pressure on
the neck.” 

Dogs that pull need a harness that clips at the chest instead,
which puts a walker’s control ahead of them, not behind them. When
the dog pulls, the tension on the leash causes them to turn. If
they don’t slow down, they can’t move forward. Of course, not all
front-clip harnesses are made equal. Those that have a strap that
crosses the chest near the shoulder joint, in particular, have been
linked to injuries to the biceps and tendons in the front legs,
according to
Whole Dog Journal.
Head collars are also an option for some
dogs, particularly those who are not reactive or easily
over-aroused on walks.

Over the last decade as a certified professional dog trainer,
I’ve had as much practice teaching dogs not to pull on leash as I
have using no-pull harnesses. With the assistance of other dog
professionals, including Alisha Ardiana, a certified professional
dog trainer and former registered veterinary technician with 25
years’ experience; Emily Fleisher, a certified training and
behavior counselor and owner of The Mindful Paw in San Francisco;
and Eden Halbert, a certified professional dog trainer for nearly
two decades, we’ve selected the best of around a dozen highly rated
no-pull harnesses for this guide. 

Here are the best no-pull dog harnesses you can buy:

Updated 1/15/2020 by Shoshi Parks: Updated categories, products,
and text.

The best no-pull harness overall The
Blue-9 Pet Products Balance Harness
fits a wide range of body
types to curb pulling without restricting a dog’s natural gait.

A good no-pull harness needs to fit snugly, put no restrictions
or pressure on the movement of the front legs, and feature a sturdy
clip at the chest for attaching a leash. Bonus points go to
harnesses that are easy to put on, especially those that don’t
require lifting a paw or slipping straps over a dog’s head. 

“I want dogs to have a good range of movement without
unnecessary hardware,” confirms Certified Professional Dog Trainer
and former Registered Veterinary Technician with more than two
decades of combined experience, Alisha Ardiana.

The well-designed
Blue-9 Pet Products Balance Harness
meets all these criteria
effortlessly. It earns our overall best no-pull harness award not
just because of the experience myself and my colleagues have had
with the harness on a wide variety of dog shapes and sizes, but
because there’s a consensus among experts, including those at
The
Whole Dog Journal
, that it is at the top of the no-pull harness
pack.

Because it has six points of adjustability and is sold in five
sizes, the
Balance Harness
fits better than most no-pull harnesses.
Buckles fitted to a strap around the neck and to both sides of the
chest make putting the harness on stress-free for even
handling-sensitive dogs. In addition to the sturdy D-ring at the
chest for clipping the leash, the Balance Harness has a D-ring at
the back to accommodate a double-ended leash or for use with a long
line.

“The Balance is my favorite,” says Ardiana, but she admits that
putting it on is not quite as intuitive as some of the vest-style
harnesses on our list. Blue-9 has added a contrasting color to the
strap along the spine, which helps me to remember which end is up,
but some novice walkers may struggle to remember how to put it on
when they first begin using the Balance.

Because no padding has been built into the straps, the
Balance Harness
also isn’t the most comfortable no-pull out
there; after your walk is over, the harness should always be
removed. But for a quality, no-pull harness that fits well on dogs
of just about any size and comes in eight fun colors, the Balance
is a winner.

Pros: Curbs pulling in most dogs, available in
five sizes and eight colors, accommodates double-ended leash,
sturdy hardware, easily fits a variety of body shapes, allows
freedom of movement

Cons: Not padded, may ride up on very small
dogs, can be confusing to put on

The best affordable no-pull harness The cushioned
Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness
is comfortable for all-day,
no-pull wear, and it’s super affordable.

A quality harness that fits well and curbs a dog’s pulling isn’t
easy to find. A quality harness that fits well, curbs a dog’s
pulling, and is inexpensive, nearly impossible. We’ve found one
that does not just that, but is also padded, reflective, and
attractive.

The
Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness
combines the comfort of a padded
vest harness with the front-clip action of an anti-pull harness.
“The Rabbitgoo is pretty great,” says Scarlett Cermak, a Dog*Tec
Certified Dog Walker with 10 years of experience and the owner of
Embark Today in San Francisco, California. “It’s sturdy,
affordable, and has a good front clip that allows a free range of
motion while the dog is moving.” 

As Cermak points out,
Rabbitgoo
has designed their vest well, with cushioned panels
at the chest and back connected by straps with four points of
adjustability for a snug fit. The harness comes with instructions
for properly adjusting its four sizes to pups of any shape or size.
Reflective strips sewn into both panels and stitching in the straps
help keep your pup safe when the sun goes down. 

The
Rabbitgoo No-Pull
vest also has a leash attachment on the back
panel that can be used in combination with the chest ring with a
double-ended leash, or solo once your dog’s loose-leash walking
skills have improved. A strong nylon hand loop at the back also
gives you additional control in emergency situations or when your
dog needs extra help. 

The attractive
Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness
is made with weather-resistant
material and comes in six bold colors, but when it needs a wash,
you’ll have to do it by hand. Overall, for the price, you can’t do
any better than this comfortable, well-made harness that will curb
on-leash pulling for most dogs.

Pros: Padded vest style, affordable, reflective
features, D-rings at the chest and back, accommodates a
double-ended leash, comes in six colors, doesn’t restrict
movement

Cons: Only comes in four sizes, not machine
washable

The best no-pull harness for extended wear The durable, padded
Ruffwear Front Range Harness
keeps dogs that pull comfortable
all day long without restricting movement.

For all-day adventures, harnesses without padding can chafe or
become uncomfortable, even when they fit well. In human terms, it’s
like wearing flip-flops; they’re fine for everyday activities but
not the best choice for a 10-mile hike. For extended wear, a
no-pull harness should be high-quality, have plenty of padding, and
fit snugly.

The
Ruffwear Front Range Harness
got an honorable mention for its
comfort and durability in our general harness
guide
, but here in the expanded no-pull category, it deserves a
place at the top of the pack. “I love the Ruffwear Front Range
Harness,” says Eden Halbert, a certified professional dog trainer
with almost two decades of experience and the owner of Sierra Dogs
in Placerville, California. “It fits a wide variety of dogs, and it
is comfortable, safe, and well made.”

This soft, vest-style harness comes in five sizes —
XXS to Large/XL
— and has a reinforced webbing leash
attachment at the chest to discourage pulling without hindering the
movement of your dog’s front legs. Four points of adjustment, two
at the neck and two at the chest, make it easy to get the fit right
on most body types, though I have occasionally had trouble getting
the harness snug enough so that the vest doesn’t gape a little on
very thin small dogs.

This durable vest can stand up to any activity you throw at it,
and foam padding at the chest and belly helps to keep the Front
Range balanced and comfortable all day. Reflective trim sewn into
the panels of the harness keeps your pup visible in the dark, and
there’s a little pocket at the back for holding an ID or an extra
poop bag. There’s also an aluminum leash ring along the spine for
use with a long line or on high-speed pursuits. 

The one thing the
Front Range Harness
can’t handle is the washer and dryer, not
ideal for a vest that is likely to pick up a lot of dirt, mud, and
water in the course of your adventures. Ruffwear recommends hand
washing and air drying only. 

Pros: Padded, comes in five sizes with four
points of adjustment, reflective, has leash attachment at chest and
back, has a small pocket for holding ID, durable material, comes in
six colors

Cons: Hand wash only, very thin small dogs may
have trouble with fit

The best no-pull harness for versatility The
PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness
works as a no-pull harness, traditional
harness, and safety harness for the car, all for one low price.

Several of the no-pull harnesses recommended in this guide have
more than one point to attach the leash, making them more versatile
for a variety of activities. But the PetSafe 3-in-1 offers an
additional feature the others don’t have — a seat belt loop
designed for safer car rides. By combining all three options at an
affordable price, the
PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness
is our choice for most versatile no-pull
harness.

Although this harness is only sold in four sizes, it has five
points of adjustment at the neck and chest to get the fit right.
The leash attachment at the chest is also a martingale, meaning
that when your dog pulls, the straps will tighten up slightly to
keep it in place. Because the chest strap forms a “V’ instead of
lying horizontally against your dog’s front shoulder joint, the

PetSafe 3-in-1
won’t restrict movement at any speed.

Though this isn’t my favorite for extended wear, the
PetSafe 3-in-1
is lined with neoprene padding, making it more
comfortable than some webbed harnesses. Three buckles, two at the
chest and one at the neck, make getting the harness on and off more
comfortable as well, especially if you have a shy or
handling-sensitive dog. All those buckles, though, do make the
harness a struggle to put on correctly every time. When they’re all
unbuckled, it can be easy to get it halfway on before realizing the
whole thing is backward. 

The
PetSafe 3-in-1
is sold in only three colors, but each is sewn
with reflective stitching for easier nighttime visibility. And
while the car safety loop has not been crash-tested (and it’s
always safer to transport a dog in a secured
crate
), knowing your dog won’t go flying if you have to stop
short offers real peace of mind.

All-in-all, the
PetSafe 3-in-1
is a highly versatile no-pull harness that can
make everything from walks to car rides less stressful.

Pros: Easy to fit all sizes and body shapes,
doesn’t restrict movement, good for handling-sensitive dogs,
accommodates a double-ended leash, reflective stitching for walks
after dark, affordable, can be used as a traditional harness or car
safety harness

Cons: May be confusing to put on correctly,
only comes in four sizes and three colors

The best no-pull head collar The
PetSafe Gentle Leader
is simple to use and has a padded nose
band for added comfort.

A halter contains only the head of a dog, with a strap over the
muzzle and one behind the ears, just like those used on horses. By
giving the walker control over such a sensitive body part, in some
cases, this equipment can actually be more effective than a body
harness. It does, however, present some dangers, especially for
dogs that are reactive or wiggly.

“What I’m mostly concerned about when a dog struggles is the
possible injury to the neck and the spine,” says veterinary
behaviorist Dr. Carlo Siracusa, director of animal behavior
services at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary
Medicine. “This is especially true for the head collar because it
really just contains the head of the dog. If the dog still
struggles, especially those dogs that jump and spin, I find it very
dangerous for the neck.” Dr. Siracusa isn’t opposed to head collars
for dogs that are not prone to high arousal, though. “In some cases
it’s good and in other cases it is not,” he confirms.

For those dogs that are good candidates for the head collar, I
recommend the
PetSafe Gentle Leader
. This super-simple halter couldn’t get
much easier to use. It has just two straps, a padded noseband that
conforms snugly to snouts of (most) shapes and sizes through a
slip-loop that attaches to the leash, and an adjustable headband
that clips behind the ears.

While the design is a cinch to use, the one thing this
headcollar lacks, which is found in that of its major competitor
the
Halti
, is a safety tether that attaches to a dog’s collar. And
forget using a head collar on a flat-faced (brachiocephalic) dog
like a pug or French bulldog. They don’t have enough snout to hang
the noseband securely.

The affordable Gentle Leader comes in five sizes and eight
colors, and while it shouldn’t cause your dog pain or extreme
discomfort, they aren’t exactly cozy either. In fact, if you don’t
desensitize a dog to a head collar before attempting to use it,
nine times out of 10 they will spend the entire walk trying to get
the thing off, rubbing it against plants and fences. I’ve even seen
dogs get down on the ground to rub their faces against the sidewalk
to try to remove a head collar. Once a dog is desensitized to the
head collar, the extra padding on the Gentle Leader’s noseband will
make irritation less likely.

Pros: Affordable, simple design, has a safety
attachment, padded noseband, sold in five sizes and eight
colors

Cons: Dangerous for over-aroused dogs, dog must
be desensitized to head collar before use, won’t work on flat-faced
dogs, no safety tether

What else we considered


  • 2 Hounds Design Freedom Harness
    : Many of the
    professionals consulted for this guide gave the affordable Freedom
    Harness an honorable mention. “I love the Freedom because it’s
    comfortable for the dogs, and multifunctional for human purposes,”
    says Emily Fleisher, a certified training and behavior counselor
    and owner of The Mindful Paw in San Francisco, California. In
    general, it is on par with the
    Blue-9 Pet Products Balance Harnes
    s and the

Source: FS – All – Interesting – Lifestyle
The best no-pull dog harnesses