How Does a No Pull Dog Harness Work – A Step By Step Guide

A good quality no-pull harness is essential if you have a dog that pulls. Not only does it prevent them from damaging their neck and spine, but it also makes walks more pleasurable when you’re not having your arm wrenched from its socket (believe me, I’m talking from experience here)

In this article, we will look at:

  • How do no pull harnesses work?
  • Do they hurt?
  • How to measure for harnesses correctly.
  • Do little dogs really need anti-pull harnesses?
  • Why they are not a miracle cure

How Do Non-Pull Harnesses Stop Pulling?

Simply put, a no-pull harness works by gently moving the dog’s core and shoulders to the side; when they pull, this is an uncomfortable sensation for them without hurting and they tend to stop lurching forward.

They are not a miracle cure; some stubborn dogs will continue to pull despite being uncomfortable, but they are an excellent tool alongside loose-leash training. Crucial if you have a large, powerful pooch who drags you around the block.

Do no-pull harnesses hurt dogs?

As long as your dog is measured correctly before buying a no-pull harness, it should not hurt them. 

No-pull harnesses were specifically designed to stop excessive pulling while reducing the pain a dog feels and the subsequent injuries they could experience from equipment like traditional collars.

A no-pull harness will use the clip at the front of the harness to pull back your dog as you stop or slow down.

A custom-fit, well-made harness will spread the pressure across your dog’s chest and shoulders so that it does not solely rest on your pup’s throat.

Measuring Your Pup For a No Pull Harness

A well-fitted dog harness will ensure safety and make a big difference in your dog training. You must always measure your dog correctly before buying any no-pull harnesses. 

You will need to measure around your dog’s neck and measure your dog’s chest at its widest point, from side to side. 

For more information on measuring your dog, check out the following in-depth video: How to Measure a Dog’s Neck & Chest Size for a Harness.

What if Your Dog Doesn’t Like a Harness?

Most dogs are okay with harnesses; however, other dogs can feel nervous and agitated when they see their harness. 

Learning how to put on a no-pull harness when you’ve got a nervous pup can be tricky, so here are a couple of tips:

  • Buy one that opens at the front. For many dogs, having to place it over their heads is the issue. Using a harness that opens at the front, there’s less need for concern.
  • Use positive reinforcement. Present your dog with a treat, their favourite toy, and some cheerful encouragement when you bring out the harness, and that will help them feel more excited about it.

There are plenty of fantastic harnesses to discourage pulling from your dog to suit all needs and budgets. For example, the Julius-K9 no-pull harness is an excellent choice for large dogs.

You could also opt for a Halti. A Halti is basically a head collar. The idea behind it is that it is an efficient way for dog owners to deter pulling, as dogs cannot put enough weight behind their heads to pull forward efficiently.

Some dog owners prefer Haltis to front clips for this reason – the choice is yours.

Back Clip V Front Clip Harness

So – what’s the best type of dog harness – a front clip or a back clip harness?

  • Back clip harnesses are easy to handle and super comfy for the dog. They’re also great for safeguarding the neck. However, they’re not always ideal if you need to stop aggressive pulling or have more than one dog to control.
  • Front clip no-pull harnesses offer you a lot more control and steering capability. However, front clip harnesses can lead to tangling underneath the dog’s body if you’ve got a long lead.


If for whatever reason, you have found that your back and/or front-clip harnesses do not seem to be doing their job, then you could always try a head collar.

Although head collars have proven efficient in deterring dogs as they pull on their leads, they do come with their faults.

Sadly, prong collars and choke chains are still commonly used as alternatives to special harnesses. Prong collar fittings can seriously hurt your dog if you misuse them. We, therefore, suggest you try something a little easier on your pet.

Do Small Dogs Really Need a No-Pull Harness?

Although smaller dogs tend to be lighter and easier to control than bigger dogs, that does not mean they never pull.

A good anti-pull dog harness will help you train them and help prevent them from getting physically hurt during their training. 

A professional dog trainer will usually recommend buying a harness to protect your dog’s body as you walk. It is also a more secure way of holding on to your pet, as diminutive dogs tend to get out of their collars quickly.

Why Training on a Loose Leash is Important

No-pull harnesses can be very beneficial but should be used as training tools. They are not special harnesses that will miraculously teach your dog to stop pulling entirely.

For your dog to benefit from the training and learn how to act correctly on a walk, it is essential to incorporate loose leash walking into your training sessions. 

With the leash attached, ensure it always remains loose and not tightly pulled. This will give your dog freedom and comfort while providing complete control over the walk.

No Pull Harness- Not a Miracle Cure

Even if you have a great harness or the best dog lead to stop pulling, there’s only so much they can do and they’re not a miracle worker – they will not magically train your dog on their own. Instead, it is up to you to use your easy walk harness wisely – making sure to actively train your dog with it, rather than depending on it to train your dog.


Do no pull harnesses work?

As long as they are correctly fitted and used as a training tool, yes, no-pull dog harnesses can work very well. Do dogs grow out of pulling? Yes, but it is essential to use positive words, reinforcement and loose-leash training with the harness to ensure your dog is adequately trained.

Do I need a double-ended lead?

A double-ended lead can be very beneficial for training or owners who need to stop a large dog from pulling.


Training your dog not to pull on a lead can take a long time. It takes hours and hours of consistent training, care, and patience.

Over the years, we have seen the emergence of tools such as standard collars, prongs, choke chain fittings, etc.

There is no doubt that we know now just how damaging these kinds of collars can be and how cruel they are. There are better ways to control your dog than choking it or hurting it with a prong collar. 

A top choice no-pull dog harness will help you to keep control as your dog pulls in a way that will evenly distribute the pressure and not harm your dog.

Now you know a little bit about how no-pull harnesses work, it’s time to find a perfect fit for your dog!

John Devlin

Hi, my name is John, and I am the founder of Dogsbarn – a UK-based website dedicated to helping the owners of furry friends enjoy life with their four-legged companion. We currently own two golden retrievers, George and Henry, who love running around in the park together. We are thinking about adding a third – called Frank! Our mission is to provide excellent guides and introduce great products we’ve bought or come across online.