I think we can all agree that nothing ruins a walk with your dog quite like constant leash pulling. You’ve probably heard of a no pull dog harness, but wondered if they really work.
As the proud owner of a 3 time obedience school dropout and chronic leash puller, I can tell you that they can work.
In fact, when they do, they will transform your evening walks from nightmares to enjoyable strolls. Let’s check it out!
This is important: Not all dog harnesses are no pull harnesses. There are hundreds of styles of harnesses, but not all are designed for your chronic leash puller.
To keep it simple, there are front clip harnesses and rear clip harnesses. With a rear clip harness, the leash attaches to the harness on the dogs back. With a front clip harness, the leash attaches in the front or center of the dog’s chest.
Here’s the really important part:
Front clip harnesses will reduce leash pulling.
Rear clip harnesses will not reduce pulling and may even make the pulling worse.
I wish I would have known this 4 years ago! Back then I was told to get a harness for my dog’s pulling. It was a basic rear clip harness.
While the rear clip harness might reduce choking and the chance of your dog slipping out of a flat collar, it also gives your dog more leverage to pull.
My dog would literally pull so hard that her front paws would be flailing in the air.
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Taking her for a walk was terrifying because I was so scared that she would get hurt or choke.
Some people will tell you that no pull harnesses are not a permanent solution. They will tell you that you just need to properly train your dog to walk on a loose leash.
While this is great advice, the reality is that many of us aren’t able to train our dogs to not pull for whatever reason.
In the real world, you need a solution to your problem that works. You want to spend the time that you have with your dog enjoying your walk, not fighting tooth and nail.
So that brings us to our initial question…
Yes, it can. A front clip harness will stop leash pulling in most dogs in two ways.
First, your dog just can’t pull as hard when the leash is attached to the front. Back clip collars harnesses allow a dog to really pull. Some dogs can pull so hard they almost pull their owners over!
Second, a front clip harness removes the reward for leash pulling. Dog training is all about rewards. If a dog is rewarded for behavior, he will repeat it.
All rewards are not treats. In the case of leash pulling, the reward is getting to the spot the dog is pulling toward, usually a sniff or smell.
Since a dog that pulls on a front clip harness will go the side instead of straight, the dog never gets to where he’s pulling to, so there is no reward.
No reward means the behavior is not reinforced and will reduce over time.
Now the fun part!
Imagine walking your dog…
There’s the constant pulling, the getting dragged down the street. The chuckles from the neighbors and the old “who’s walking who?” jokes.
Now imagine walking your dog without the constant pulling and wrestling.
For me, it was literally night and day. Two completely different experiences!
So the short answer is yes, a front clip, no pull dog harness will radically change the way you walk your dog for the better.
Have you tried a no pull harness? Let us know what you think below in the comments.