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Many dog owners face the common problem. Dealing with an overeager dog that pulls a lot on its leash can be dangerous not only for the dog but for you as well. Switching to a harness or leashes for dogs that pull, especially with medium and large breeds, is crucial.

While there are many reasons why a dog might pull on a leash, one of the main reasons is the dog being equipped with the wrong type of leash.

With that in mind, we're sharing our experience with leash pulling dogs, explaining what you can do to stop it and how to find the best leash for dogs that pull a lot.

One last thing to remember, just putting on a type of leash isn't a cure-all to keep a dog from pulling.

Leashes for dogs that pull

Why Your Dog Pulls on a Leash?

You may wonder why your dog won’t listen to you and just stop pulling on their leash already, but it's not that simple.

Here are the most common reasons why dogs pull.

  • Inexperienced Owner – If you are a first-time dog owner, you probably lack the experience necessary to properly handle and train your dog. Inexperienced dog owners can make many beginner mistakes, especially when buying the right collar and leash, particularly for dogs that pull a lot.
  • Overeager Dog – A dog that is nervous or highly strung will usually pull on the leash, as well as a dog that gets too excited.
  • Overprotective or Jealous Dog – Some dogs, particularly some specific breeds like Border Collies, can pull on the leash because they feel the need to protect or be jealous.
  • Dog Is Not Leash Trained – If the dog is not leash trained, he will pull on the leash. That’s why puppies often pull on the leash, as well as older rescue dogs that had no opportunity for leash training.
  • Using the Wrong Type of Collar and Leash – This is probably the most important reason why some dogs pull on the leash. A good leash for dogs that pull shouldn’t tighten on the dog’s throat, or chest or your dog may get injured.

Choosing the right dog leash is crucial for pulling dogs, which can be difficult if you don’t know what types of leashes exist.

Below are some of the best leashes for dogs that pull, and we'll discuss all the different types later in the article.

Types of Leashes For Dogs That Pull

There are different types of leashes, and each of them has specific advantages.

For example, some leashes can decrease the impact of pulling dogs on your shoulders, while others come with multiple lengths and attachments, and more.

But no leash can help you prevent your dog from pulling on its own.

Leashes need to be combined with the right no pull dog harness or collar, and the dog needs to be trained to stop pulling.

No-Pull Dog Harness

The most common way to reduce pulling is with a no-pull dog harness.

It is designed similarly to a vest, which means that it is secured to your dog’s stomach and worn around the front legs.

This design of no-pull dog harnesses can reduce the pressure on your dog’s neck and avoid choking, which can happen with leashes that get attached to the dog’s collar.

This also gives you more control over your dog’s movement.

A no-pull harness has downsides, too, like being uncomfortable for some dogs and being difficult to put on.

It can also get dirty easily since it wraps around the front legs.

A no-pull harness can also be ineffective with large dogs, so it’s more suitable for small or medium dog breeds.

Head Collars

Another common type of anti-pull dog leashes is those that go with head collars.

These leashes attach directly to the dog’s head, which allows you to have control over the dog.

They are also suitable for dogs of any size, and your dog won’t be able to slip out of a head collar leash.

Because pulling your dog back only makes them pull stronger, a head collar may be the most appropriate in such cases.

This type of design will pull your dog’s head upwards when he starts to pull and back towards you, which will give your dog a clear indication to stop pulling.

This is a similar principle to a halter used on horses.

While this type of leash gives you a lot of control over your dog, it can also lead to neck strains if your dog pulls too strong.

That is why head collars should be used with shorter leashes.

Choke and Prong Collars

Some dog owners resort to aversive collars to help them train their dogs and stop pulling on the leash.

These are usually choking dog collars and prong collars.

Choke collars constrict the dog’s neck when he pulls, which can make your dog pull less.

However, choke collars can be dangerous to your pooch and hurt them if misused. And if your dog starts to associate the pain with walks, that can cause many new problems.

Choke collars should only be used as a last resort and with professional oversight.

Prong collars are dangerous too, IF NOT USED PROPERLY, although to a less extent than choke collars. When your dog starts to pull, prong collards pinch his neck. These collars should be used temporarily and only if necessary.

How to Choose the Best Leashes for Dogs That Pull?

Before you buy your next leash for your pulling dog, there are a few important factors to consider to pick out the best leash for dogs that pull a lot.

Design

The design of the leash will mostly depend on your dog’s breed and size. If you have a large dog, then you should choose a leash that goes on a headcollar.

If your pooch is small and lightweight, then the no-pull dog harness design is the best choice.

This design can prevent strain on the neck, which can be crucial for smaller dogs predisposed to collapsed trachea injuries.

Shock Absorbance

A good leash for pulling dogs must have adequate shock absorbance. This is incorporated in the bungee section of the leash, and it can help absorb strain from unexpected pulls.

If the shock absorbance of the leash is good, it can prevent injuries.

Durability

Durability is a significant factor when it comes to leashes for dogs that pull. These leashes have to be strong, or your dog may be able to break them when he pulls.

The best leashes are made from nylon, leather, and durable rope.

While some of these options may be more expensive, they are worth it in the long run because they should last for a long time.

Visibility

If you like to take your dog for a walk at night, early morning, or in low-lit conditions, pay attention to the visibility of the leash to ensure your dog’s safety.

When you choose the leash, go with one that’s made from reflective material or one that has LED lights on it.

However, if the leash you like isn’t reflective or includes LED lights, you can still get it and buy LED lights separately and weave them into the dog leash yourself.

Alternatively, you can simply use a light-up collar, which is the most convenient way to ensure the dog's visibility.

Features of the Best Leashes for Dogs That Pull

As you look at our choices for the best no-pull dog leashes, you will notice that most of the options have a few features in common. These include:

  • Made from soft material
  • Adjustable
  • It has a quick-release buckle
  • Offers underbody protection (for harnesses)

Leashes for dogs that pull

Top 10 Best Leashes for Dogs That Pull Choices

1 Heavy Duty Rope Leash for Dogs
by SparklyPets

This is a very durable, heavy-duty rope leash with anti-pull bungee that provides great shock absorption. The leash is made of a thick nylon rope with elastic leather joints. It has strong stitching and powerful metallic hooks to keep it together when your dog pools on the leash. The leash also comes in four different colors – black, green, red, and teal.

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The leash is 5.6 feet long, but it only weighs 8.8 oz. The length can be too much for some breeds and dog owners, and it would have been nice if the manufacturer provided another size.

On the other hand, the leash provides 43 inches of space between you and your pooch if you use it without the extension bungee to use it in high-traffic situations.

This leash is affordable and chew-resistant, but the handle seems a bit weak to me.

However, this product comes with a 5-year warranty.

My dog also seemed uncomfortable with the bungee extension, and while the leash should be chew resistant, if you have a chewing enthusiast, you should probably look for another leash.

» PROS: Affordable, Available In Different Colors, Lightweight, Durable, Provides Shock Absorption, Suitable for Medium to Large Dogs, 5-Year Warranty

« CONS: Some Owners May Find It Long, Handle Not Very Durable, Not Fully Chew Resistant

2 Heavy Duty No-pull Dog Leash
by Fashion & Cool

This leash is a good choice for dogs that weigh up to 150 pounds since this product can sustain the pulling force of medium and large dogs.

This leash comes with a 4-6 ft. of extendable bungee leash that provides shock absorption and reduces the effects of pulling to ensure your safety.

The leash is made from water-resistant nylon material.

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It is available in black and orange versions, but whatever you choose, the stitching is reflective and suitable for use in low-light conditions.

The leash also has two padded handles that are soft enough to offer a comfortable grip.

They also allow you to have better control of your pooch in traffic.

The traffic handle is positioned 18 inches from the collar attachment, while the other is located at the end of the leash.

This leash comes with a D-ring that you can use to clip various accessories, as well as a car seat belt buckle so you can use it when you take your pooch for a drive.

While I really like this leash, I should note that the bungee section might prove overpowering for certain dogs. I also noticed that the bungee loses elasticity over time and that the locking mechanism sometimes malfunctions, although that happens rarely.

» PROS: Affordable, Available In Two Colors, Provides Shock Absorption, Reflective Stitching, Suitable for Medium to Large Dogs, Dual Padded Handles, Has a Car Seat Belt Buckle.

« CONS: Bungee Section Can Be Overpowering, Losses Elasticity over Time, Locks May Malfunction Occasionally

3 ThunderLeash No-Pull Dog Leash
by ThunderLeash

This is one of the oldest and most reliable leashes for dogs that pull. The leash deters dogs from pulling with a gentle pressure applied on the torso.

This product comes in three different sizes and five different colors, so you can easily find the one that suits you the most.

The leash is made from heavy-duty nylon, and it is waterproof as well. It can withstand the pull from all sizes of dogs, depending on the leash size.

The large size is suitable for all dogs above 25 pounds of weight.

The buckles on the leash are made from rust-proof stainless steel, and they are as durable as they come.

You can attach this leash to any regular dog collar by clipping it to the D-ring.

After that, wrap the leash around your dog’s torso to use this leash as a harness, and you will notice the decrease in pulling.

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While this leash is meant to be used as a training tool, you can also use it as a regular leash as well.

The only problem comes from the fact that this leash applies pressure on the dog’s trachea, which can be dangerous for some older dogs with breathing problems. I also had one unpleasant experience when the leash got unhooked from the collar, which is a possibility with this product.

» PROS: Comes In Many Sizes and Colors, Durable, Waterproof, Padded Handle, Can Be Used as a Regular Leash, Easy to Use

« CONS: Expensive, Not Suitable for Older Dogs with Breathing Problems, Not Reflective, Leash May Get Unhooked from the Collar Sometimes

 

4 LeashBoss Heavy-Duty Dog Leash for Large Dogs
by Leash Boss

This leash is available in four different colors – black, blue, red, and purple.

It is a heavy-duty leash made from durable materials, or to be more precise, a strong, 1-inch thick nylon webbing and full-metal hardware. These materials have been chosen carefully and specifically for medium and large dogs that pull.

The leash comes with two padded neoprene-padded handles that allow you to have more control over your pooch while providing comfort and eliminating leash burn or chafing.

One handle is located at the end of the leash, and you can use it when you want to give your dog freedom.

But you can also use the second handle, located 18 inches from the clasp, in high-traffic situations when you need to keep your dog close or even right at your side.

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This leash comes with a 5-year warranty, but it also comes with a warning not to leave your dog unintended with the leash if he is prone to chewing.

Apparently, dogs love to chew on the handles of this leash. I also found the double handle to be a bit awkward, and it may be a problem to grip the handles firmly if you have small hands.

» PROS: Available In Multiple Colors, Durable, Double Handle, Padded and Comfortable Handles, Suitable for Medium to Large Dogs, 5-Year Warranty

« CONS: Expensive, Dogs Can chew handles Through Easily, No Shock Absorption, Not Reflective.

 

5 Leather Dog Leash with Double Handle
by FOCUSPET

Leather leashes are usually good for strong dogs that like to pull, and this one is no exception.

The leash is made from cow leather, so it is both sturdy and lightweight at the same time.

It is perfect for medium and large dogs since because of this. The leash is also a bit longer than most since it is 6 feet long. That gives your dog a lot of freedom so that he won’t pull as much.

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While you can get this leash in just one color, the leather looks very fashionable. The twisted braid is done by handwork and looks beautiful. The leather is also water and stain-resistant, which allows you to clean the leash easily.

This leash comes with a double handle.

Both handles are padded to prevent injury to your hands if your dog pulls on the leash. The second handle is positioned right above the metal clasp, which allows you to walk side-by-side with your dog and have control over his movement on busy sidewalks.

The leash's clasp is made from rust-proof metal and has a tensile resistance that can sustain 500 pounds of pull force. You can connect the clasp to both collars and chest straps.

Since it is made from leather, this leash is not reflective and not recommended in low-light conditions.

Also, the leash is really narrow, unlike most other leashes. While this isn’t a problem for functionality, I found it a bit weird and worried that it might snap, especially since the leash is also quite thin.

» PROS: Fashionable, Made from Real Leather, Durable, Padded Double Handle, Suitable for Medium to Large Dogs, Can Be Used with Collars and Harnesses, Water-Resistant, Stain-Resistant

« CONS: Leash Is Narrow and Thin, Not Reflective, No Shock Absorption

 

6 Escape Resistant Dog Leash
by Harness Lead

This is another leash that can also be used as a no-pull harness or a regular leash.

The leash has a rounded strap, which is unique since most leashes have a flat one. This can reduce chafing for you and your dog, especially since the leash is made from soft polyester.

The leash is available in two sizes and multiple colors, but it also features a reflective design to ensure visibility in low-light conditions. That means that it is suitable for dogs of all sizes since it can work well for dogs over 150 pounds, depending on the size of the leash. The leash has no metal hardware that could potentially hurt your dog.

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This leash is easy to use and adjust, although I did find the design to be a bit cumbersome, especially compared to some other 2-in-1 leashes.

Tensile strength on the leash is great, and the leash works well to prevent pulling, but it has to be used correctly.

It is also important to note that this leash isn’t chew-proof, so you should only use it for walking your dog.

» PROS: Available In Two Sizes and Multiple Colors, Hand Spliced In the USA, Good Tensile Strength, Can Be Used as a Regular Leash, Easy to Use, Prevents Chafing, Reflective

« CONS: Not Chew Proof, Not Very Durable, Somewhat Cumbersome Design

 

7 EzyDog ZERO SHOCK Dog Leash
by EzyDog

This is one of the best shock-resistant leashes on the market. This leash can reduce pulling and keep you safe from related injuries.

The leash comes in two sizes and many different colors. The two sizes are 24-inch and 48-inch leashes.

In addition to the patented shock reduction technology, this leash also includes a secondary handle you can use in traffic to keep your pooch close to you.

The handles are padded with neoprene lining and waterproof, and they are very comfortable and soft to the touch.

This leash also has a highly reflective trim that allows you to walk your pooch during the night or early in the morning.

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Like a few other leashes I mentioned, this leash can also unhook occasionally from the collar or harness, which is a big drawback.

Also, the elastic part of the leash can lose some of its elasticity over time, and if your dog likes to chew on everything, this leash is not for you since it is not chew-proof.

» PROS: Available In Two Sizes and Many Colors, Durable, Shock Absorption, Has a Traffic Handle, Padded Handles, Reflective

« CONS: Expensive, Not Chew Proof, Leash May Get Unhooked from the Collar Sometimes, Losses Elasticity over Time

8 Halti Training Lead for Dogs
by The Company of Animals

This is one of the most affordable options on my list, but it is also one of the best leashes for dogs that pull.

The leash might appear basic at first glance, but it offers many dog owners who struggle to control their dogs. It is available in two sizes and colors.

The leash is made from a soft padded material that goes easy on your hands, and it is very comfortable to use.

This dog leash has two trigger hooks on each side, and three attachment rings allow you to choose how to use it to suit your needs better.

Halti Training Lead for Dogs

For example, different rings provide different functions:

  • Short leash for heel training or walking in busy streets
  • Medium leash for obedience training
  • Long leash for distance and recall work

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This multi-functionality is one of the things I like the most about this leash, along with the fact that you can hook the leash to your waist and use it hands-free. That being said, this leash is not for dogs that like to chew, and it doesn’t seem too durable.

» PROS: Available In Two Sizes and Colors, Very Affordable, Multifunctional, Lightweight, Easy to Use and Clean

« CONS: Not Reflective, No Shock Absorption, Not for Chewers, Not Very Durable

 

9 Freedom No-Pull Dog Leash
by 2 Hounds Design

This is a bit different since it is not just a leash in question but also a harness. While you can buy them separately, getting this combination from 2-Hounds Design is a smart choice since they have an effective no-pull design. This includes a martingale loop on the back of the harness that reacts by tightening lightly around the dog’s chest, preventing further pulling on the leash.

This combination is available in one size, but you can get it in numerous colors. The double-ended leash can be attached to the harness in two places – to the front to prevent pulling or to the back for exercise and more freedom. Both leash and harness are made from the same sturdy material.

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However, this leash would not hold up well in time, although I didn’t get the chance to use it long enough to prove it. Another thing that you should include is reflective stitching, but it doesn’t, so don’t use this product in low-light conditions unless you choose a very bright color.

» PROS: Available In Multiple Colors, Unique No-Pull Design, Double-Ended Leash, Lightweight, Easy to Use and Clean

« CONS: Only Available In One Size, Not Chew Proof, Not Very Durable, Not Reflective, Not Suitable for Large Breeds

 

10 Braided Leather Leash for Dogs That Pull
by Fairwin

This is another leather leash that is strong enough to handle even the strongest pullers, including breeds like German Shepherds and Pit Bulls. The leash is handmade from full-grain leather and has a soft top layer to make it more comfortable. Since it is made from real leather, the leash is very stylish, but it also means that it only comes in one color.

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However, the leash is available in four different sizes, and it is elastic enough to provide some shock absorption and protect you from sudden pulls. The hooks are made from pure copper with alloy casting, and they are quite simple and practical. The leash also has tensile resistance that can sustain 500 lbs pull force.

The leash is 5.6 ft long, which is pretty much the standard. Unfortunately, this leash doesn’t have a second handle to grasp in traffic, and the handle is not very comfortable. And while I didn’t have any problems with it when I used it, some dog owners reported that the leash broke and was not durable enough.

» PROS: Available In Different Sizes, Stylish, Real Leather, Strong Tensile Resistance, Suitable for All Sizes, Offers Some Shock Absorption

« CONS: Only Available In One Color, Not Reflective, Only One Handle, Reports of Leash Breaking Up

Conclusion on Leashes for Dogs That Pull

If you are struggling with your dog because they keep pulling on the leash, the fix for this can be as simple as choosing the appropriate type of dog leash. There are many great options when it comes to leashes for dogs that pull, and as long as you measure your pooch and fit it properly, you can then move on, retraining your dog not to pull using the new and safer lead.

Common Questions About the Best Leashes for Dogs That Pull

Still, have a few questions about the best leashes for dogs that pull? We gathered all the answers to the most common questions in one convenient spot, so you don’t have to search far and wide for what you want to know. 

What are the best leashes for dogs that pull?

Our pick for the best leash for a dog that pulls is the Heavy Duty Rope Leash for Dog from SparklyPets. For even more suggestions, check out our complete list. 

How do I get my dog to stop pulling on the leash?

Try giving your dog small treats when he walks on a leash without pulling. This should encourage the behavior.

You can also try stopping and making your dog sit every single time that he pulls. This will eventually teach him to walk without pulling. 

Does pulling on the leash hurt the dog?

Yes, pulling on the leash can hurt your dog. This will restrict blood flow to your dog’s ears and eyes. This is not a major concern if it happens occasionally.

When it happens often, though, it can lead to swelling. That swelling can lead to permanent damage. 

Why do dog trainers hate retractable leashes?

Dog trainers believe that retractable leashes encourage pulling and other bad behavior.

Dog trainers also don’t like them because they can be dangerous, such as when the leash rubs over a body part (of either the dog or person) when being extended or retracted.

In extreme cases, they can even sever fingers, although that is rare. 

Do harnesses keep dogs from pulling?

There are no-pull and anti-pull harnesses designed to discourage your dog from pulling. In general, if your dog pulls a lot, a harness is better for him than a collar.

That is because they reduce the strain on your dog’s neck by distributing it. They also give you more control of the leash.

READ NEXT: 10 Leash Pulling Training Tips Using a Dog Harness

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Best Rated Leashes for Dogs That Pull


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