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Best No Pull Dog Harnesses & More: A Comparison of No-Pull Dog Training Aids

By Jess Rollins
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No device is a substitute for training your dog!
Click for our article on
how to teach your dog to walk nicely on the leash.

No Pull Device Type

Example Brands**

How it Works

Pros / Cons

Our Rating*

Front Attachment Harnesses

Freedom No Pull Dog Harness on a Ridgeback

When your dog pulls, pressure is applied along his chest and shoulders, which turns him back towards you and makes pulling less productive and rewarding.

Pros: Effective for most dogs. Dogs generally don't mind them. Easy to put on.

Cons: Can cause chaffing if not fitted properly. Both the Freedom Harness and the Halti Harness have padding to prevent that. Dogs can slip out of some of these if not fitted properly or a back up attachment is not used.

9 out of 10

Head Collars or Head Halters

Halti head collar

The leash is attached to the dog's nose. When your dog pulls, it turns his head back toward you similar to the way a horse's halter would. Some head halters attach to the back of the dog's head. In our testing, we found these to be less effective, but some people like that they do not cause the dog's spine to curve at all.

Pros: Best for very strong pullers and aggressive dogs since it gives you control of the head.

Cons: Takes some training for most dogs to get comfortable wearing. It seems possible that a dog could strain his neck if he were to pull into a head collar very hard. (We recommend using a 4 - 6 foot leash).

8 out of 10 for the Gentle Leader, Halti Optifit and Comfort Trainer

Bungee Leashes, Elastic Leashes, Shock Absorbing Leashes

Bungee Leash

When dog pulls, the leash expands and reduces the force of the dog on the leash.

Pros: Easy to use. Reduces the force of the dog's pull somewhat. Makes walks more pleasant as it reduces the force on the leash.

Cons: May not teach your dog to stop pulling. Important to choose a leash with the right amount of tension. It can feel difficult to control your dog if you get a bungee with unlimited stretch or until you get used to the way it stretches.

Rating depends on the quality of the bungee leash.

We give the Xtreme Leash and Leash Shock Absorber a 6 out of 10.

Harnesses that tighten under the front legs or around the belly

2 Hounds leash

  • ThunderLeash
  • Sporn Harness
  • Holt Harness
  • Mendota EZ Trainer Lead
  • Lupi Harness

When the dog pulls, a cord or strap tightens around the belly or "armpits" causing discomfort or upward force to discourage pulling.

Pros: Pretty easy to put on and the dog doesn't generally mind wearing them.

Cons: Some dogs can get acclimated to the pressure similar to the way they ignore collar pressure. Training can help prevent this. We prefer harnesses that have a limit to how much they can tighten.

3 out of 10 for most.

6 out of 10 for the ThunderLeash

Choke Collar / Check Collar / Training Collar

Choke collar

When the dog pulls, a cord or chain tightens around the dog's neck which is unpleasant and discourages him from pulling.

Pros: Dog doesn't generally mind having it put on.

Cons: Can constrict to a dangerous degree and cause throat damage. Doesn't reduce pulling very effectively.

1 out of 10

Limited Slip Collar, Limited Choke Collar or
Martingale Collar

Martingale Collar

When the dog pulls, a cord or chain tightens around the dog's neck which is unpleasant and discourages him from pulling. (When fitted properly the collar will not tighten down enough to choke.)

Pros: Dog doesn't generally mind having it put on. Prevents escape due to backing out of the collar when properly fitted. Does not choke when properly fitted.

Cons: Not very effective at reducing pulling in most dogs and puts a lot of pressure on the trachea if the dog pulls. Can be a good regular walking collar for dogs that do not pull or as a back up for a harness.

3 out of 10
(For reducing pulling it is not that effective but it is a good collar for other purposes such as preventing escape.)

Pinch Collar or
Prong Collar
(Metal or Plastic)

Pinch collar

  • Herm Sprenger
  • Good Dog Collar

When the dog pulls, the points on the collar come together to pinch the skin on the neck causing discomfort and discouraging pulling.

Pros: Dog doesn't generally mind having it put on. Effective at reducing pulling for most dogs.

Cons: Most brands are difficult to take on and off. Can cause irritation to the neck area. Can break apart. Can make sensitive, fearful or aggressive dogs more fearful or aggressive.

2 out of 10

Noise Maker that Attaches to the Leash

Wonder Whistle

When the dog pulls it activates a whistle which discourages the dog from pulling.

Pros: We like to use this product as a reminder to the *human* to stop walking so that the dog is not successful in pulling.

Cons: Dogs don't generally find the whistle to be much of a deterrent, but very sound-sensitive dogs may find the whistle frightening.

5 out of 10

Is there a no-pulling product that you would like us to review? Contact us!

*Rating System: 1-10, with 10 being most effective at reducing pulling while being safe for the dog and easy to use. Items with a rating under 5 are not generally recommended by Pet Expertise.

**Note: if you wish to find out more about any of the products which are not available through Pet Expertise, simply Google the product names.

Of course, no device is a substitute for training! Click for our article on how to teach your dog to walk nicely on the leash.

If you found this article helpful, we would really appreciate you giving us your business or sharing our site with a friend!

Happy Training!

- Jess

Jess Rollins

The Author:

Jess Rollins

Jess Rollins and Pet Expertise's Mission is to Help You to Maximize Your Dog's Potential!

We've all had the experience of walking into a large store and being confused by the huge selection, perhaps wanting someone with the background knowledge who can help us make a wise choice. The Pet Expertise Experts personally select and test the items available for purchase on the site to find those that are as safe and effective as possible. The right products can make a big difference!...Read More