As a dog walker I have a lot of experience walking dogs, including dogs that pull. These dogs often come with special leashes and other devices their owners have gotten to help them. There are training techniques I use with dogs that pull such as reversing direction every time they pull. Also if a dog pulls, I’ll stop until the dog loosens (which can be awhile). But I am not a dog trainer and I don’t strive to be.
So here I’d like to let you know about some of the different leash and harness options available out there that may be helpful for you and your dog.
After each there will be a link to where you can buy it on Amazon, I do get a small affiliate fee if you do. But some can also be found at your local pet store.
Front attach harness
Above you can see Sydney, Zoey, Remmy, Sophie and Percy sporting front attach harnesses. Don’t they look lovely 🙂 With one of these on, a dog’s leverage when pulling is defeated. When they get to the end of the leash it pulls them sideways. Percy, leans into it sideways and it’s not as effective. With Percy one thing that works is to feed it between her legs like you see above. She doesn’t like wedgies. So she doesn’t pull. If you look at Sophie’s picture, I clip the leash to her collar also, which helps make it more effective. I have one of these for my puppy and it works well for her. It’s important to get the right size though!
Here you see Percy sporting a head harness. Head harnesses are very popular! Many people love these. They say these are good for very strong pullers. I had a dog that, when I put it on him, pawed and scratched at it until he bled. I think the problem was that we didn’t take the time to get him accustomed to the harness slowly, just a bit at a time. Percy, who you see above, didn’t do well with it either, she leans into it and still pulls. She is an exceptional puller though. Most people say it does work for their dogs. It works almost like the reigns on a horse. It’s harder for them to pull with just their head instead of their torso. Again it’s important to get the right size.
You can buy it here:
No pull squeeze leash
Above you see Gerby sporting a squeeze leash. Ok I just made that up, I don’t know what they’re really called. There are a few variations of this but for the most part they attach to your dogs collar and then go around a dogs torso and when they pull it squeezes their body. The pit bulls and my dog didn’t do great with these either and I was always concerned that as hard as they pull they might break a rib or damage their internal organs. They have a stop on them so they can’t get too tight but where I set it the dogs didn’t seem to mind being squeezed. Maybe there’s some fine line in between somewhere but I couldn’t find it. But they’re an option to consider. Perhaps if you’re dog is sensitive this would work. And it definitely gives them feedback when they’re getting too far.
You can buy it here:
Above, Karma has an alarm device between her harness and leash. When your dog pulls, it emits a sound to distract and annoy them. The sound is inaudible to humans. The two dogs I walked with it were both startled and distracted at first. It was actually quite helpful with Karma. The other dog, Percy, just got used to the sound and didn’t care.
You can buy it here:
So those are the most popular training aids out there for stopping a dog that pulls on leash. I hope it’s helped. Walking a dog is very important and a dog that pulls can make it frustrating. Please don’t give up on walking your dog. It’s important for their exercise, socialization, and mental stimulation. Plus it’s just fun! A dog stuck in it’s own house or yard is missing out on sooooo much! It can take quite a while and a ton of patience, but it’s very worth it.
One more thing, treats and praise can always be great training aids. Including while walking. If you have treats, and your dog gets them when they’re good, they’re going to be more likely to want to stay close to you (and the treats :-))
Ok, now get out there and have fun with your dog!