The 11 Best No-Pull Dog Harnesses, According to Pet Experts
Choosing the best no-pull dog harness for your pup is one of the smartest and safest decision's a pet owner can make.
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My German shepherd, Magic, had so much strength at nine months that he could pull me all over our 13 acres. As an award-winning pet journalist who has authored over 35 books, I knew the solution to pulling was a combination of positive reinforcement training and the short-term help of the best no-pull dog harness. Magic quickly learned better leash manners.
Professional dog trainers agree that the best no-pull dog harness only supplements training. But not every dog owner has access to a professional for help. It’s tempting to rely on a typical dog harness that makes your freshly groomed pup look cute, but the right option goes beyond looks. Choosing the right one is a safety issue for you and your furry best friend.
Blue-9 Balance Harness
More than half of my colleagues listed this dog harness as their first or second choice for the best no-pull dog harness. Trish Ryan, the owner and trainer at For Paw Drive, especially likes this harness for deep-chested large dogs. “It sits further back on the body, allowing for ease of front legs and shoulder movement and no chafing under the arm.”
The six points of adjustment make it comfortable to fit nearly all dog body types, even when they’re wearing a dog winter coat. It has both front and back rings for leash attachment. For canines that dislike having the harness slipped over their head, the buckle on the neck eliminates that challenge.
Judith Porter, owner of Red Mountain Canine, calls it her go-to halter. “I use it when training dogs that are pullers, as well as puppies starting out on loose leash walking.” Nicole Ribeiro, managing partner at Ad Astra Kennels, a boarding and pet sitting service, also prefers the Blue-9 Balance harness. “We prefer it for all clients, so we aren’t walking dogs on collars.” She likes the clips in both front and back, so you can use the dual-point leash clipped for loose leash walking.
- Ergonomic design and six adjustment points
- Five sizes and nine colors available
- Neck buckle for dogs that hate over-the-head styles
- No chafing under armpits
- Harder to adjust the fit properly
- Won’t fit giant dogs
Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness
This popular harness combines a budget price with many of the features the pros want. The Y-design padded vest features four adjustment points with both front and back leash clips. The large size has a convenient handle on the back for additional control. It’s not designed for all-day wear and comfort, so use primarily for training and outings. Once you adjust the straps, the over-the-head design makes getting it on and off a breeze.
- Won’t break the bank
- Has padding with breathable material
- Four adjustment points and 14 colors
- Comes with illustrations and instructions on how to fit
- No extra-small size
Front Range Harness by Ruffwear
This padded harness by Ruffwear gets a lot of votes for best no-pull dog harness. After her Australian Shepherd suffered shoulder problems from a poorly designed no-pull harness, dog trainer, Nancy Brunswick, switched to the Ruffwear Front Range Harness.
Certified Trick Dog Instructor and pet author Sassafras Lowrey says the Front Range is her top choice. “It’s easy for readers to find, but it also isn’t restrictive for dogs to wear. It doesn’t pull straight across their shoulders like some other brands or models do.”
Dr. VanFleet likes the Haqihana harness (not available in the U.S.), but says the Ruffwear harness offers a similar design. “It’s a little stiff and a bit bulkier, but seems very comfortable for many dogs.”
- Padded straps to comfortable “hug” the dog
- Ergonomic design and no chafing under armpits
- Four adjustment points and two leash attachments
- Five sizes and 10 color options available
- Harder to adjust the fit properly
- Straps on the stiffer side
Best for puppies
PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness
Maryland-based dog trainer, Julie Davidson, recommends the 3-in-1 by PetSafe. It’s tighter in the armpits than some others, but works well for new pups. “It has a front and back ring connection on small martingale loops to prevent dogs from backing out. That prevents the harness from sliding when the pup gets to the end of the leash. It’s also got a good shape, and doesn’t hinder shoulder movement or change the dog’s gait.” It’s convenient for clients to find the right no-pull harness for teaching proper outdoor potty behavior and avoiding the need to break out pet stain removers.
- Comes in four sizes with five adjustment points
- Ergonomic design with front and back leash rings
- Has a back handle strap
- Reviewers noted chafing after long use
- Fasteners aren’t the most durable
Halti No-Pull Harness
Diana Stearns, of Capital Training and Behavior, says her go-to for larger or giant breeds is the Halti dog harness. “I’ve tried lots of other options, even custom-fitted ones, with my own 7-month-old super-puller. But I’ve found these to be the most widely available, and the easiest for most people to fit and handle. I’m not as stable walking as I used to be, with arthritis in my hands, so whatever is easiest on and off, is a plus.”
- Easy to put on and take off
- Leash included
- Has padding for comfort
- Only available in medium and large sizes
- Only available in one color
Best for heavy pullers
2 Hounds No-Pull Freedom Dog Harness and Leash
Several trainers listed the Freedom harness as a top pick. Dog trainer and expert, Greta Kaplan, of Fuzzy Logic Dog Training, explains that for heavy pullers who need more control, the Freedom harness can help. It’s just not as ergonomic as other top choices. “The Freedom does have straps across the shoulder joint, which makes me cringe,” Kaplan says, noting it’s not as terrible as the worst offenders that usually sit higher on the dog. “The velvet girth is a little easier on armpits for thin-coated types.”
Dog trainer, Beth Hrnciar, agrees. “I love them because of their ease of use, huge selection of colors and prints and the ability to use both front and rear connections individually or simultaneously,” she says, and notes that these harnesses are a game-changer and give owners immediate relief. It offers solid construction with several points of contact to adjust fit for even the most oddly shaped bodies.
- Has two leash attachment points and included leash
- Comes in 19 colors and has velvet padding
- Has four adjustment points
- Made in USA
- Straps go across the shoulders
- Some reviews noted fraying of the material
Best for car rides
As a general purpose harness for car rides, the Kurgo offers many benefits. One of the few brands that conducts crash tests for pet safety, the Kurgo harness keeps dogs who weigh up to 75 pounds safe during a car ride. The front leash ring helps with no-pull harness training, but only for moderate pullers. This harness is quite heavy, so for all-day wear it doesn’t offer the same comfort as other options.
- Crash-tested and comes with seatbelt attachment
- Metal nesting buckles for security
- Available in five sizes
- Padded front for comfort
- Girth and shoulder straps don’t have padding
- Heavier harness than most
Best for service dogs
Mumupet Service Dog Harness
Charity Marie Starrett, a dog trainer and handler of service dogs, uses this service dog harness with her golden retriever mix, Max. “He managed to get out of every single harness I’ve ever bought him except this one. He has yet to outsmart it,” she says, noting it doesn’t bother him or chafe in any way. Her second service dog, Rory, chewed up other harnesses, but Rory also accepts this one.
Starrett likes the Mumupet for the easy way it goes on and off in 10 seconds or less. “Our dogs will put their head through voluntarily, because they recognize it is work time and they like doing work. Then, clip one strap around them behind the front legs,” she says. Also, it’s easy to clean, and lasts for years. “For less than $20, I highly recommend this product. I bought it in 2020 and still use it any time I take our dogs anywhere,” she says.
Don’t have a service dog? Though the photo shows the service dog label, you don’t have to use the velcro tags that come with the harness.
- Has a removable Velcro patch that says “service dog”
- Affordable and comes in six sizes
- Takes 10 seconds to go on or off
- Buckles are padded
- Front strap rides across shoulders
- Velcro fasteners can stick to fur
Best for large dogs
True Love Adjustable No-Pull Dog Harness
Jane Hadfield, trainer at Bigpaw training, specializes in big and giant breed dogs of 120 pounds or more. Owners of these dogs have limited options finding appropriate equipment that fits. “We recently successfully switched a client’s 175-pound Dane to a front-attach harness. For particularly strong pullers under 40 inches at the girth, we prefer a Y-design front-attach, such as the True Love,” she says. The Y-front can help prevent the harness from slipping around on a particularly strong puller, and the back attachment clipped onto a long line for recall training.
- Fits dogs with up to a 40-inch chest
- Has a padded chest and belly area
- Available in 11 colors and five sizes
- Includes a handle on the back
- Reviewers note that clips are stiff
Best for the long haul
Weiss Walkie No-Pull Dog Leash
Professional pet sitter, Cindy Steinle, of Four Paws Pet Sitting, specializes in dogs with behavioral issues. She says in her experience, the Weiss Walkie works best for dogs that pull. The name describes the product as a leash, but it actually works as a no-pull harness. The round cord, made of woven cotton, first connects to the dog’s collar. Then, the other end wraps around the dog’s body behind the shoulders. Finally, the handle end feeds through a second ring near the collar connection, creating the harness. When the dog pulls, the rope tightens with pressure around his girth.
“I’ve tried numerous harnesses, and the Weiss Walkie is my favorite for pullers, especially with large or exceptionally strong dogs,” she says. Most of Steinle’s clients’ dogs are in the 70- to 100-pound range, and readily accept the Weiss Walkie. This works well for walks and initial training not to pull. It’s also a smart choice for multiple dogs or growing youngsters, as it has lots of wiggle room in terms of fit.
- Continues to fit as dog grows
- Combination harness and leash in one
- Comes in five colors and eight sizes
- Hooks to collar, adding potential pressure
Best for older dogs
Baydog Chesapeake Dog Harness
It’s true that older dogs sleep more and may have trouble getting up out of their dog beds—even for a dog treat or dog toy. Kaplan says the Chesapeake is one of her top two harness picks. “It has a dynamite handle (on the back), which is very helpful for some dogs,” she says.
Older dogs unsteady on their paws will welcome the boost getting up with your help on the back handle. The harness has three leash attachment points for flexibility. The girth straps sit behind the dog’s armpits instead of cutting into them, and this model works best on medium to large dogs. A number of companies like Chesapeake also offer outdoor and winter gear for dogs.
- Handle assists with helping older dogs up
- Goes on and comes off easily
- Has padding and doesn’t cause chafing under armpits
- Only available in one color
What to consider when buying a no-pull dog harness
The best no-pull dog harnesses should have:
- An ergonomically designed Y-shape: This harness shape leaves the shoulders unconstricted, allowing for a full range of movement.
- Multiple adjustment points: The best no-pull dog harness needs to have a customized fit. The harness should have detailed measuring instructions, the same way you’d pay attention to sizing dog boots.
- Well-padded straps: This will prevent your dog’s skin from chafing.
- Two leash attachment points: You can use the back leash connection to secure dogs with a seat belt in the car, or clip in both the front and back with a double leash for additional control during walks and training.
There are some things to avoid while you shop. “Any harness with straps across the shoulder joint is out,” says Kaplan. The earliest popular no-pull harnesses still use this H-type design in which a strap crosses the front of the dog’s breast. When the harness tightens, this strap restricts normal shoulder action, changes normal gait and, in the worst cases, injures a tugging dog.
Harnesses that tightly hug in the armpits or chafe the dog’s front legs are also out. Besides being uncomfortable, the tightness can increase a dog’s anxiety. Also, steer clear of harnesses made from harsh, inflexible material that can chafe dogs with short or thin fur. Those with thick fur have a bit more padding, but also benefit from padded straps and softer, more flexible material that offers comfort for the dog.
How we found the best no-pull dog harnesses
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Why do dogs pull?
You might think dogs pull against the leash to get their way. Or maybe the lure of sniffing and exploring keeps them from thinking straight. Pet lovers often mistakenly think their dogs want to be in charge. The reality comes down to nature. Pulling (or pushing) against an opposing force is a hard-wired reflex. That’s why when you want to brush your dog’s teeth (yes, you should!), your pooch leans away. Dogs have trouble controlling this natural inclination—and so do people.
The opposition reflex prompts dogs to counter pressure with an opposite action. When a dog feels pressure against their throat from the collar, they reflexively move against it. The added pressure from the leash increases opposition reflex so much that dogs willingly injure themselves. Dangerous pressure against the fragile structures of the neck affects dogs’ muscles, breathing, nerves and blood supply when they pull hard against a leash. It’s especially dangerous for tiny breeds susceptible to a collapsed trachea.
Are harnesses better than collars?
Attaching the leash to a harness instead of a collar reduces the potential for neck injury in dogs who pull, but it won’t make the opposition reflex go away. And harnesses that aren’t well-designed can actually make pulling worse (think of sled dogs), which means more danger for you, the dog walker. Unfortunately, poorly designed and ill-fitting no-pull dog harnesses can injure your dog.
- Julia Robertson,canine expert in canine myotherapy, a specialized massage technique
- Risë VanFleet, PhD, CDBC, CAEBI, licensed psychologist, certified dog behavior consultant, certified animal ethology, behavior instructor and co-creator and author of Animal Assisted Play Therapy
- Trish Ryan, PMCT, a Pat Miller-certified dog trainer, an Online Faculty Advisor for Victoria Stilwell Academy, and owner-trainer at ForPawDrive.com
- Judith Porter KPA-CTP, UW-AAB, owner of Red Mountain Canine in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.
- Nicole Ribeiro, MBM, IAABC-ADT, managing partner at ad Astra Kennels, a boarding kennel and pet sitting service
- Nancy Brunswick, a Karen Pryor Academy-certified training partner
- Sassafras Lowrey, a Certified Trick Dog Instructor, American Kennel Club CGC evaluator, author of Tricks in the City and writer about dog training for The New York Times and the American Kettle Club
- Mary Swinyer, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer in California, with 30 years of experience training dogs
- Julie Davidson, a member of Association of Pet Dog Trainers and Pet Professional Guild, and a trainer at 4 On the Floor Training in Montgomery County, Maryland
- Dianna L. Stearns, MA, CPDT-KA, CDBC, CATT, trains dogs at Capital Training and Behavior
- Greta Kaplan, AB, MA, JD, CDBC, CCUI, owner and trainer at Fuzzy Logic Dog Training & Behavior Consulting, fully certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and one of the first Certified Control Unleashed instructors
- Beth Hrnciar, a member of the Pet Professional Guild and trains dogs in Connecticut
- Charity Marie Starrett, a dog trainer, service dog handler and an award-winning author
- Jane Hadfield, CPDT-KA, a trainer specializing in large and giant dog breeds at BigPaw® Dog Training in Sydney, Australia
- Cindy Steinle, a professional pet sitter at Four Paws Pet Sitting in Wisconsin, specializing in dogs with behavioral issues
- Amanda Dendler, a Certified Dog Trainer, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Certified Play Facilitator with NWA School for Dogs in Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Karen Harbert, a longtime breeder and exhibitor of Cardigan Welsh Corgis, titled in obedience and conformation, board member of the Dog Writer’s Association of America and the award-winning author of Murder at the Dog Show mysteries
- Greg DeFranza, a dog-training consultant in Florida at CampK9
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