Being pulled around by your dog can take the fun out of traveling together! But leaving your furry travel companion behind isn’t an option. So we tested 12 no-pull dog harnesses to help you both enjoy your next adventure together even more.
Exploring new places is fun and exciting! So it’s easy to understand how a normally well-behaved pup can forget all his leash manners when you arrive in a new environment. No-pull dog harnesses can’t replace training. But they can help make the process safer and more fun for you both.
How No-Pull Dog Harnesses Can Make Traveling With Pets Better
Think back to the first time you went to a carnival. Do you remember the lights, the music, the twirling rides, and the scents from the concession stands washing over you? Perhaps it filled you with awe and excitement. Or maybe you felt overwhelmed and unsure.
Whether you couldn’t wait to be turned loose, or wanted to take things in more slowly, keep in mind your dog might be feeling similar emotions when you take him new places.
READ MORE ⇒ Training Your Dog To Travel
Experiencing new environments, situations, and events with your dog is great for you both. It builds confidence, deepens your bond, and strengthens your relationship. And few things are more rewarding than watching your pup play in the waves on a beach, explore a new city, or sniff all the scents on a hiking trail for the first time.
But exploring together also requires patience, understanding, and sometimes a tool or two to make sure everyone has a good time. Just like you felt at the carnival, your dog could be overstimulated or cautious when faced with new situations. And the first thing most excited and nervous dogs do is pull on their leashes.
Walking a dog while he’s pulling on the leash is difficult and tiring, not to mention frustrating for both you and your pup! That’s where no-pull dog harnesses can help keep you and your pooch safe, giving you time to help your dog acclimate to the new environment … without suffering a dislocated elbow.
No-Pull Dog Harnesses Can Keep You And Your Dog Safe
My first experience with no-pull dog harnesses was when we found our German Shepherd, Buster, as a stray. The vet guessed he was about a year old, and he acted like he’d never been on a leash. At 75 pounds, he could easily pull me off my feet. And we lived in Center City, Philadelphia at the time. So being dragged around by my dog wasn’t safe for either of us.
Recognizing that Buster’s training wasn’t going to happen overnight, and knowing that he absolutely needed to be exercised in the meantime, I immediately started looking for a harness that would help keep us both safe. That research led me to no-pull dog harnesses. Now, more than 15 years later, the options have grown significantly!
Much like my situation with Buster, it might take time to train your dog to walk nicely on his leash in new environments. And a no-pull dog harness could help in the meantime.
Disclosure: I am not a dog trainer. And no-pull dog harnesses are not a substitute for training your pet. That being said, in my experience, no-pull harnesses can make the training process easier, safer, and more enjoyable – for you and your dog.
Choosing Which Harnesses To Test
These days, a search for no-pull dog harnesses returns thousands of results. Obviously, testing them all wasn’t possible. But I noticed many harnesses that simply have a ring at the chest to attach your dog’s leash are being marketed as “no-pull.”
It’s possible that all you need to help control your dog is a front-attaching harness. And if that’s the case, any well-fitting option should work for you. However, for our tests, I chose harnesses that offer more than a front leash connection point.
I also decided not to include any head halters in our tests. They can be dangerous to the dog if not used properly, and most dogs seem to dislike them. My goal was to find a solution that both Myles and I enjoy.
All of the no-pull dog harnesses we tested have some mechanism that the manufacturers claim will help reduce or prevent dogs from pulling on the leash. Are some gimmicks? Do any actually reduce pulling? That’s what we’re here to find out!
Myles and I spent a month putting these no-pull dog harnesses through their paces. We’re hoping that sharing what we’ve learned helps you decide which harness will work best for you and your dog.
HITTING THE ROAD? CHECK THIS OUT ⇒ Best Crash-Tested Dog Harnesses For Traveling By Car
Finding The Right Size
Before we share how the no-pull dog harnesses worked, let’s touch briefly on finding the right sized harness. Of course, you’ll want to refer to the manufacturer’s sizing guide for whichever harness you choose. But even then you can end up with a harness that doesn’t fit your pet’s body type very well.
For reference, Myles weighs 53 pounds (what?! when did that happen?) and measures 15 inches at the neck and 29.5 inches around the torso. He’s slim and deep-chested, which makes finding a harness that doesn’t rub his armpits tricky. As we share the results for each harness, I’ll also let you know how it fit Myles.
Testing No-Pull Dog Harnesses
Testing these harnesses wasn’t as straight-forward as I expected. Just when I thought I’d chosen a favorite from the no-pull dog harnesses we’d gathered, Myles would catch a glimpse of something that caused him to pull on the leash — hard! I lost track of the number of times it was “back to the drawing board.”
All of these restarts confirmed my knowledge that there isn’t a miracle solution that will train your dog for you. However, we’re happy to report that some no-pull dog harnesses really do help if your dog is prone to pulling on his leash! Here’s what we found …
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Chest Strap Designs
Disclosure: Baumutt sent us their In Line harness and Laxo Leash to include in our testing. Receiving the harness and leash for free did not affect my opinion.
The In Line harness from Baumutt is the nicest looking of the no-pull dog harnesses we tested. It also has a unique design, with a padded back plate, small padded belly plate, and leash connection rings on the back and chest.
Putting It On: Large opening goes over head, belly strap connects using plastic clasps on both sides.
How It Fits: With five adjustment points – one on both sides of the neck, two on the belly strap, and one on the chest strap, this harness allows you to get a good fit for your dog. And with the small belly plate and adjustable chest strap, there should be no chaffing with this harness.
The medium harness seemed to fit Myles well. Though it did slide a bit from side to side while Myles was walking.
How It Works: The chest ring is on a strap, which slides and applies pressure on the neck/shoulders when the dog pulls. The medium-sized harness can reduce in size by a maximum of 6 inches.
Effectiveness: We give the Baumutt In Line Harness a score of 4 out of 5 on the no-pull scale.
The Frisco Padded harness is a basic harness with two leash connection points and a soft chest plate, but no neoprene padding on the straps or reflective stitching. It looks to be comfortable, if it fits your dog’s body type.
Putting It On: Large opening goes over head, belly strap connects on both sides using plastic clasps.
How It Fits: This harness has three adjustment points – one on both sides of the neck and one on the belly strap. The belly strap runs through a slit in the somewhat small chest plate, so there is no way to adjust the harness to move the belly strap back away from the arm pits. Which is the pits for deep chested dogs, because it almost always leads to chaffing. And the straps are just nylon webbing – no neoprene or soft covering.
Other than the belly strap being too close to his arm pits, the medium-sized harness fit Myles well. The large-sized harness might have better fit his deep chest, but I’m not sure if the rest of the harness could have been sized down enough to fit him elsewhere.
How It Works: The chest ring is on a strap, which slides when the dog pulls and applies pressure on the neck/shoulders when the dog pulls. The only limit on how far the strap can slide when the dog pulls is where the sizing adjustors are set.
That being said, the webbing does not slide easily. Your dog would have to pull really hard to feel pressure from the harness. And after the pulling stops, the webbing does not easily return to its original position to relieve the pressure.
Effectiveness: We give the Frisco Padded Nylon Harness a score of 2 out of 5 on the no-pull scale.
This harness is upgraded from the basic version with neoprene padding on the straps and reflective stitching for better visibility at night. But the Frisco Padded Reflective No Pull Dog Harness still one of the least expensive of the no-pull dog harnesses we tested!
Putting It On: Like the Deluxe Easy Walk Harness (review below), this harness has two plastic clasps — one on the belly strap and one on the strap that goes over the back — giving you several options for putting it on your pup.
You can open both clasps, which requires the least amount of cooperation from your dog. Or just open the belly strap clasp, put the opening over your dog’s head, pass the strap under the belly, and click the clasp. Finally, you can open only the shoulder strap, and put your dog’s two front paws in the opening, then lift the harness up and click the shoulder strap into the plastic clasp.
How It Fits: Again, like the Deluxe Easy Walk, this harness has four adjustment points with plastic adjusters. The plastic adjusters don’t work smoothly with the neoprene-padded straps.
Based on the manufacturer’s suggestions, I ordered a medium-sized harness for Myles. With all the adjustments maxed out to make the harness as big as possible, it barely fit. If your dog is close to the top end of the recommended measurements for this harness, I’d size up.
How It Works: The harness has two leash attachment rings on the chest. One is set and won’t apply pressure when the dog pulls. The other sides a maximum of two inches if the dog pulls, applying pressure to the shoulders.
Effectiveness: We give the Frisco Padded Reflective No Pull Harness a score of 3.5 out of 5 on the no-pull scale.
Leg Strap Designs
Halti is known for their over-the-snout halter, but they also make a No-Pull Harness for pups who can’t (or don’t want to) wear a headcollar.
With attachment points at the chest and end of the straps and padded chest plate and leg straps, it’s a comfortable option for most dogs.
Putting It On: Put loop and straps over the head, pick up each front paw and put them through the straps, slide the adjuster on the back of the harness until the fit is snug. Connect the leash to the ring at the end of the straps, or use a double-clasp leash to also connect to the chest ring.
How It Fits: With adjustment points on either side of the neck and straps that conform to your dog’s size, this is an easy harness to size.
Based on the manufacturer’s suggestions, I ordered a large harness for Myles. The chest plate seemed big on him, and the straps were too long. Next time I’d order a medium.
How It Works: The straps run from the chest plate, under each leg, and up to a connector on the dog’s back. When the dog pulls, the straps pass through the connector and tighten, applying pressure on the dog’s torso.
But I wouldn’t recommend this harness for people who want the option of only using the chest ring attachment point. The straps are quite long, and without the leash attached to them, they’d just be flopping around.
Effectiveness: We give the Halti No-Pull Harness 3.5 out of 5 on the no-pull scale.
The Sporn Non-Pull Mesh Harness and the Halti No-Pull Harness are similar in design, but the Sporn only has one leash attachment ring at the end of the straps. With a smaller, mesh chest plate and thinner straps, its lighter weight and perhaps more comfortable for smaller dogs.
Also, with chest attachment harnesses, Myles is always stepping over the leash. So I’m constantly asking him to lift his paw to keep the leash from rubbing his arm pit. With these harnesses the leash attaches at the back, so you’re no longer fighting that battle!
Putting It On: Put loop and straps over the head, pick up each front paw and put them through the straps, slide the adjuster on the back of the harness until the fit is snug. Connect the leash to the ring at the end of the straps.
How It Fits: With adjustment points on either side of the neck and straps that conform to your dog’s size, this is an easy harness to size.
Based on the manufacturer’s suggestions, I ordered a medium harness for Myles and it fits nicely. The only thing I don’t like is that the harness seems a little stiff and pops away from his body when Myles walks. I’m not afraid it’s too loose or will come off, I just wish it laid a little better.
How It Works: Similar to the Halti described above, the straps run under each leg, and up to a connector on the dog’s back. When the dog pulls, the straps apply pressure on the dog’s torso.
Less harness and more collar, the Sporn Training Halter is the minimalist among the no-pull dog harnesses we tested. Although, to say we tested it would be a bit of an overstatement.
Putting It On: Open the clasp, put the over your dog’s head, and lay the halter on the floor. Have your dog put his paws in the leg straps, then lift the halter around your dogs neck, and close the plastic clasp. Slide the adjuster on the back of the harness until the leg straps are snug, and connect the leash to the ring at the end of the straps.
How Does It Fit: Based on the manufacturer’s suggestions, I ordered a medium halter for Myles and it’s too small. The “collar” just fits his neck, but the leg straps are too short to be comfortable.
How It Works: Similar to the Sporn Non-Pull Mesh Harness described above, the straps on the halter run from the collar, under each leg, and up to a connector on the dog’s back. When the dog pulls, the straps apply pressure on the dog’s torso.
Effectiveness: The Sporn Training Halter was too small for Myles to walk in comfortably. Therefore, we don’t know how well it prevents pulling.
Martingale Loop Designs
If you’ve followed GoPetFriendly for a while, you know we’ve been using the 2 Hounds Freedom Harness for years. Ty and Buster wore these harnesses, and it was the very first harness we ordered for Myles when he wandered into our lives.
With two attachment rings (on the back and chest) and a comfortable velvet belly strap it’s worked beautifully for us.
Putting It On: Large opening goes over head, belly strap connects by plastic clasps on each side. The clasps won’t work if the belly strap is twisted.
How It Fits: The Freedom No-Pull Harness has four adjustment points for truly custom sizing. These harnesses always fit Ty and Buster perfectly.
Based on the sizing scale, I ordered a large for Myles. And, despite my best efforts at fitting, after several consecutive days of use this harness rubs Myles’ arm pits.
How It Works: The harness incorporates a martingale loop into the back attachment ring and has a second ring at the chest. It comes with a two-clasp leash, which attaches to both points. Or you can use your own leash attached to either ring.
Effectiveness: We give the Freedom No-Pull Harness 3.5 out of 5 on the no-pull scale.
The Awoo Roam harness is made from repurposed plastic bottles and has chemical-free brass hardware. There is one leash attachment ring, which can be placed at the chest or back.
Putting It On: Large opening goes over head, turn the harness so the leash attachment ring is either on the back or chest, pass the belly strap under and insert into the plastic clasp.
Note: I found the plastic clasp to be a little sticky, making it hard to open and close.
How It Fits: The Awoo Roam harness has three adjustment points, compared to four for the Freedom No-Pull Harness, but the large size fit Myles well.
The webbing the harness is made from is more slippery than the other no-pull dog harnesses we tested, and we needed to readjust after a few days of use.
How It Works: The harness incorporates a martingale loop into the attachment ring, which can be positioned at the back or chest. However you have to open the clasp, rotate the harness, and reconnect the clasp if you want to change the leash position while you’re out and about.
The leash attachment ring was the lightest of all the harnesses we tested. If you have a heavy dog who pulls with enthusiasm, I’d recommend a harness with heavier hardware.
Effectiveness: We give the Awoo Roam Harness 3 out of 5 on the no-pull scale.
We tested the Deluxe version of the Easy Walk Harness, which has neoprene on the inside of the straps for more comfort and reflector strips for night safety.
Putting It On: If your dog doesn’t like putting his head into a harness, this could be the solution for you! The Deluxe Easy Walk Harness has two plastic clasps, one for the belly strap and one for the strap that goes over the back.
You have the option to open both clasps, which is easiest for your dog. Or you can only open the belly strap clasp, put the opening over your dog’s head, pass the strap under the belly, and click the clasp. Finally, you could just open the shoulder strap, put the harness on the floor and have your dog place his front two paws in the opening, then lift the harness up and click the shoulder strap into the plastic clasp.
How It Fits: Like the Freedom No-Pull Harness, the Deluxe Easy Walk Harness has four adjustment points. However, the adjusters are made of plastic and don’t work as smoothly as the metal adjusters on the Freedom No-Pull Harness. Still, once I got it fitted, the medium/large size fit Myles well.
How It Works: The harness incorporates a martingale loop into the one leash attachment ring at the chest.
Effectiveness: We give the Deluxe Easy Walk Harness 3.5 out of 5 on the no-pull scale.
Other No-Pull Dog Harnesses
The Harness Lead dog harness was created by a shelter volunteer who saw the need for a dog harness to prevent pulling and escaping for the different sized dogs in the shelter. Made from cushioned rope, it’s comfortable to hold, simple to fit, and easy to use.
Putting It On: Put loop over head, pass leash under belly, pull leash handle through hole until snug, slide disc into place to prevent loosening
How It Fits: With just two adjustment points, this is an extremely simple harness to size. And it’s easy to see how it would fit nearly any sized dog.
Based on the sizing suggestions, I ordered the medium/large size for Myles and it fit him perfectly with no chafing. However, I wish I’d gotten the small/medium. After wrapping the rope around Myles, there’s about 5 1/2 feet remaining, which becomes his leash. Since we do a lot of walking around town, that’s a little longer than I’d like.
How It Works: When the dog pulls, the harness applies pressure on the dog’s torso, like a slip lead. The rope slides easily, so the harness tightens and releases smoothly.
Effectiveness: I give the Harness Lead 4 out of 5 on the no-pull scale.
We tested the LUXE version of the Joyride Harness, which has improved side rings and handle, and is slightly lighter than the original. Still, it’s the most substantial of the no-pull dog harnesses we tested. Unfortunately, I didn’t find that it discouraged Myles’ pulling.
Putting It On: Very large opening goes over the head, pass the strap under belly, click one very large plastic clasp.
How It Fits: This harness has an adjustable hook-and-loop strap across the chest and a plastic sliding adjustment on the belly strap. And it’s to size, and the large fit Myles nicely.
How It Works: With your leash attached to one of the two side rings, the Joyride harness supposedly turns your dog toward you when he pulls. We didn’t find this to be the case. On a hike, Myles pulled in this harness like he was training to be a sled dog.
Effectiveness: I give the Joyride harness 0 out of 5 on the no-pull scale.
However, Maynard doesn’t pull much and the Joyride harness is so easy to use, we’ve made it his everyday harness!
The Sporn Ultimate Control Harness is the only harness we tested that offers two mechanisms to deter pulling. And with neoprene-lined straps and reflective stitching, it’s comfortable and more visible at night.
Putting It On: Large opening goes over the head, pick up left paw and put it through the harness, pass the strap under belly and click one plastic clasp.
How It Fits: This harness has three adjustment points — one on either side of the neck and one on the belly strap. The chest length isn’t adjustable. This, combined with the way the chest leash attachment works, caused some chaffing behind Myles’ arms.
How It Works: The leash attachment ring on the back of the Sporn Ultimate Control Harness allows the belly strap to slide through a circular guide. Unlike the Martingale Loop designs, there is no limit on how much this strap will tighten. However, the neoprene-lined strap doesn’t slide easily and would only tighten if your dog pulled REALLY hard.
The harness also incorporates a 1.5 inch loop into the chest attachment ring that brings the belly strap forward when the dog pulls. This short loop doesn’t seem to add much more to deter the dog from pulling than any front-attaching harness. And causing the belly strap to shift forward could cause chaffing behind the dog’s arms.
Effectiveness: I give the Sporn Ultimate Control Harness 2 out of 5 on the no-pull scale.
Myles really took one for the team on this post! He pulled and pulled and pulled until he was exhausted. We hope all of his hard work helps you decide which of the no-pull dog harnesses is best for you.
And, if you’ve tried another harness that worked, please leave a note about it in the comments!
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