The market is flooded with no-pull harnesses, leaving consumers’ heads swimming with tough straps, secure clips, reflective fabrics, and soft cushioning. Some of the cheapest harnesses sell for fifteen dollars, while the more expensive can cost more than fifty. Among all these options, how do you tell what’s best for your dog and worth your money?

What is a No-Pull Harness?

No-pull harnesses are specifically designed to prevent dogs from straining their necks by pulling on their leash. Instead, the harness distributes the force across the dog’s body and loops around their front legs, restricting the dog’s movement when they try to hurry ahead of you. Because the leash is typically fastened at the front of the dog’s chest, they are prevented from pulling away from you.

Why Do Dogs Pull?

Dogs pull for any number of reasons, but it all boils down to one thing: getting where they want to go. Hounds pull when they pick up a captivating scent. Territorial dogs like Dobermans pull when the see another dog. Energetic dogs like collies pull because they want to go faster, and friendly dogs pull when they see a potential playmate. Similarly, puppies have a lot of energy and not many boundaries. They pull because they haven’t been trained.

To learn more about pulling behavior, check out this article.

Features to Consider When Choosing a No Pull Dog Harness

You want a harness that fits your dog’s body and behavior like your favorite pair of jeans. If your dog’s a tugger, then they need a harness that lets you to put on the brakes and keep them on. If your dog’s a swimmer or a roller, then they need a durable and washable harness for adventuring. 

Or, maybe you have an exceptionally small dog who needs a gentler touch. In that case, you’re probably in the market for a harness that keeps the strain off your dog’s delicate neck without sacrificing comfort or fit.

Key Features of a Good Dog Harness

  • Find the Right Fit - A dog harness should fit comfortably. It should lie flat against your dog's body with no dangling straps and should not restrict natural movement. When considering dog harnesses, review the manufacturer's directions for how the harness should fit your dog. If the harness is available in different sizes, always measure your dog using the manufacturer's instructions to ensure the best fit.
  • Front Harness or Head Halter - You know your dog best. If you have an aggressive, willful dog who needs firmer direction, then maybe you should consider a head halter. Head halters allow owners to lead their dog in whatever direction they wish, much like a horse. Some even allow owners to close their dog’s mouth if the dog tries to nip. However, most dogs prefer a front harness, which restricts forward movement when they pull but allows some flexibility while walking.
  • Durability and Quality - Quality is important, especially when it comes to your dog. When choosing a harness, be sure to select one that is well-made and durable. A flimsy one with thin straps and poor design could hurt your dog and get trashed in a hurry, shredding your money in the process. Like children, dogs play hard, so they need something that takes wear and tear. While you’re at it, check to see if your harness has a warranty.
  • Sizes Available and Adjustable Harnesses - The fit of your harness makes the difference between one that chafes and applies painful pressure in the wrong places, and one that is comfortable for your dog to wear and applies pressure exactly where you need it, such as high on your dog’s front legs. If you’re the proud owner of a toy breed like a Papillion, or an exceptionally large breed like a Newfoundland, you’ll want to look for harnesses that are either adjustable or available in your dog’s size.
  • Cost - The price range for dog harnesses is staggeringly broad, leaving many people scratching their heads. Should you go cheap or deluxe? Practical or plush? Consider the overall quality and effectiveness of a harness when making your decision. At the end of the day, it’s a dog harness: go with what’s practical and comfortable for your unique dog. 
  • Security - When shopping for dog harnesses, consider how secure the attachments are. If you have a big, strong Great Dane, is that front clip going to hold when your dog lunges at the end of his line? 
  • Ease of Use - You want a harness that is easy to take on and off, since you will be handling it several times a day (while wrangling your dog).
  • Visibility - When choosing a color for your harness, it’s important to think about visibility. You probably walk your dog in the snow and rain and during dim times of day such as the evening. For safety reasons, you want vehicles to be able to see your dog. In addition, if your dog is excitable or aggressive, it might be helpful for others to see your dog from a distance.
  • Cleaning - Dogs get dirty. You can find the most comfortable, attractive harness in the world, but if it isn’t washable, you may have to throw it out sooner than you’d like. So, look for a harness that can be cleaned easily.
  • Attractiveness - Even if you value practicality over appearance, why not have both if you can? After you’ve narrowed down your list of potential dog harnesses based on the previous categories, think about how your dog will look. If you’re going to spend the money on a new, no-pull harness, you probably want your dog to look snappy. 

What You Don’t Want

Harnesses aren’t designed equal. You don’t want a bottom-of-the-line harness that is uncomfortable, flimsy, or hazardous to your dog. Likewise, a fancy harness that is difficult to clean, difficult to use, a poor fit, or just not right for your breed isn’t going to be worth your money.

Our No Pull Leash

Our No Pull Leash has three different configurations (leash, harness, and Gentle Leader) so you can adapt when you need more control. Use the Gentle Leader head halter for your stubborn dog, or take pressure off a smaller dog’s neck with the No Pull Leash Position.

Other Features

  • Comfortable: wide straps avoid chafing and hang at the right level on dogs’ legs
  • Adjustable: designed to fit any dog
  • Visible: reflective colors available
  • Attractive: comes in 10 fun colors
  • Sturdy: tough design
  • Easy to Use: easy to take on and off
  • Secure: no clip in front, unlike other designs, so no possibility that it will fail
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Money back guarantee

Learn more about and purchase the Dog Guard® No Pull Leash here