Going out for a walk with your dog can be one of the most relaxing activities and a great way to bond with your dog. However, if your dog likes to pull or lunge, it can become a stressful and painful chore. That’s why we wrote this piece on the best leashes for dogs that pull
Being diligent about training your dog and having the best control system is really going to help reduce the strain on both you and your pet. It will also give you more control over the movement of your dog. The three control systems we have reviewed are all reasonably priced and will make all the difference in your dog walking experience. Finding the right gear can be overwhelming, so use this guide as a tool to help you decide on the perfect leash for you and your dog’s needs.
|Dog Leash Name||Rating out of 5||Dog Size|
|PetSafe Gentle Leader||4.4||5 lbs to 130+lbs|
|SPORN Halter||4.1||5 lbs to 130 lbs|
|2 Hounds Dog Harness||4.4||Chest sizes from 15" to 44"|
Made by PetSafe, the Gentle Leader Head Collar is made for dogs that pull, lunge or jump. The Gentle Leader makes going for a walk, or a trip to the vet, much less stressful, especially with dogs that have a tendency to pull. The Gentle Leader puts you in control of your dog without being painful for your pet.
A dog’s natural tendency is to pull, and this effective headcollar uses gentle pressure to reduce your dog’s desire to pull, and eliminates uncomfortable pressure on their throat. This is especially helpful if you have a dog that tends to be anxious or aggressive.
One of the best features of this headcollar is that while wearing it as a training tool, the Gentle Leader allows your pet full range of motion. They will still be able to bark, fetch or get a drink of water while wearing it.
When your dog pulls, the headcollar will gently move the dog’s head toward you, and this movement refocuses your pet’s attention. Their attention is directed away from the dog approaching in the distance, or the squirrel on a tree branch.
Unlike a muzzle, the nose loop gently moves your dog’s head when he pulls, while still allowing him to pant and bark. This innovative headcollar is designed with a neoprene padded nose loop for comfort, too. The Gentle Leader is available in multiple sizes and nine different colors.
Co-creator of the Gentle Leader Headcollar, veterinary behaviorist, Dr. R. K. Anderson was considered a “gentle giant” in the world of veterinary medicine. He had a legacy of teaching, mentoring and inventing. His Gentle Leader, developed with Ruth Foster, revolutionized dog training and the handling of dogs. Dr. Anderson felt that dogs deserved to be treated with integrity and respect.
Ruth Foster, co-creator of The Gentle Leader, was an internationally recognized dog behavior expert who believed that there was an importance in the human-animal bond that enhanced the quality of both lives. Together, these pioneers developed and invented The Gentle Leader Headcollar.
The Gentle Leader Headcollar was included in the “Invention at Play” exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Natural Museum of American History. The inventors of the Gentle Leader were celebrated for this humane and effective training tool.
In 2005, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals honored the co-inventor of the Gentle Leader, Dr. R.K. Anderson, with the ASPCA Lifetime Achievement Award.
This video shows you how to fit the PetSafe Gentle Leader headcollar:
- Over 5 million sold
- Vet and trainer recommended
- Provides gentle control
- Perfect as a training tool
- Comes with detailed instructions and a training DVD
- You need to make sure the snap below the chin locks in place
- It can take the dog a few tries before getting used to the headcollar
Sporn has an innovative and patented pull control mesh harness for those doss, big or small, who are natural pullers on their leash. Joseph Sporn started the first doggie day care and walking service in New York back in 1986. His experience with dogs who pulled on their leashes inspired him to create and patent the Sporn Halter as a solution to this habit in dogs.
Today, the Sporn Halter is made of the highest quality braided cord and has nickel plated steel fasteners. Strong nylon webbing on the halter gives it strength. The material is both weatherproof and machine washable.
The halter is designed so that when you pull, restraints under the front legs of the dog makes the dog stop immediately. Those restraints are covered in sherpa so that they are comfortable and not harmful to your dog.
The Sporn Halter is easy to put on your dog in a few easy steps. Put the collar around the neck of the dog and adjust it. Make sure that it fits equally on both sides, or the halter will not function properly. Pass restraints through the rings on top of the collar and pass the restraint cord behind the dog’s leg and connect it to the D-rings on the bottom of the collar. Press a button on the cord lock to adjust for a snug fit.
The Sporn Halter is recommended for walking only, do not leave the halter on your dog after the walk, or use it as a tie-out. You will need to supply your own leash to attach to the Sporn Halter.
Check out this video on Original Sporn halter:
- Good for high-energy dogs
- Works well with larger breeds
- Can be difficult to put on, especially with an excited or anxious dog
- Some owners felt it was too restrictive
The Freedom harness by 2 Hounds Design helps you and your pet to have an enjoyable walk without pulling. The No-Pull Harness features a martingale loop on the back of the harness that will tighten around your dog’s chest and discourage them from pulling. The tightening action distributes pressure evenly to avoid pinch or pain points.
The connection on the front of the harness allows you to help “steer” your dog and redirect them while you are walking. The Freedom No-Pull Harness Is a positive reinforcement training tool that helps both you and your pet have a stress-free walk.
Watch this video on from 2 Hounds on their Freedom harness:
- Does not pull across a dog’s throat
- Comes in 19 different colors
- Some owners complained that the harness was easily chewed through
- Can pull on the fur of dogs with medium or longer fur.
What’s a Good Leash for Pulling?
If your dog likes to pull while walking, a good control system is essential for protecting you and your dog. It’s almost impossible to find a system that will completely stop the pulling, but there are some leashes out there that can really help.
How To Choose the Best Dog Leash for Pulling
Here are a few important things to look for when shopping for a great leash for pulling:
Choose the Right Style
You’ve got a few different options when it comes to the style of the control system. There are halters, harnesses and nose systems.
Choose the Right Material
NNylon is a great option and one of the most common materials out there when it comes to control systems. Nylon is rugged, and is easily cleaned.
Take Your Dog to Your Local Pet Store
A lot of pet stores will let you take your dog in and try on harness, halter or nose systems like the Gentle Leader. This really helps to get an idea of the fit and length to make sure that it’s comfortable for both of you. It also gives you the opportunity to ask employees questions about popular ones and even get recommendations for training in your area.
How To Train Your Dog Not To Pull
First and foremost, it’s important to make sure you’ve gotten your dog the right harness/collar. Then it’s time to actually start the training for proper leash behavior.
As will all dog training, positive reinforcement is the most effective method to use. Be sure to pack some small training treats to take along on walks for when your dog is doing well. To start, just take smaller walks. Keep a tight grip on the leash with little leeway at first so that your dogs know that you’re in control.
If your dog starts to get excited or is jumping around, just pull the leash tight and make them settle down before you begin moving on. It’s important to let them know that you are in control and they must calm down.
Ensuring your dog can walk without pulling is important for the safety of both you and your dog. Especially if they are big and strong, they can easily injure themselves, you, or even someone else if they get loose.
Walking should be an enjoyable activity that both you and your dog look forward to. Using a control system that keeps your dog from pulling will make this fun for both of you!