The best leads for dogs that pull

Stop your furry companion from tugging or pulling with one of these leads.

Best leads for dogs that pull

by Isabel Martins |

As much as we love our dogs, it gets quite tiring having to constantly stop them from pulling or tugging on their lead. Be it a small dog or a large dog (although larger dogs are significantly harder to control), it's less than ideal to keep stopping and pulling your furry companion back to walk alongside you. So, we've rounded up the best leads for dogs that pull

Related: Dog coats for all breeds and sizes

Now, a lead, leash or harness can't completely stop your dog from pulling, you need training for that. As Carolyn Menteith, Dog Behaviourist at tails.com, tells us, "any piece of equipment that will stop your dog pulling will only do so because it hurts or is uncomfortable if they pull. It’s obvious if you think about it. There is only one thing that will stop your dog pulling - and that is training."

Many dog owners actually use the wrong collar and lead for their dogs, and whilst buying the correct one can't absolutely stop your dog from pulling, it can lessen the strength of the pull and ultimately absorb a lot of the strain and shock from unexpected pulls.

But if you're unsure which one is best for your dog or even how to properly lead train your dog, Carolyn has answered a few of our questions below, so make sure you check out our FAQs section at the bottom of our guide.

The best leads for dogs that pull in the UK:

Heavy Duty Rope Bungee Lead for Large and Medium Dogs

Editor's pick
Heavy Duty Rope Bungee Lead for Large and Medium Dogs
Amazon

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An overall superb product, this lead is incredibly effective at stopping your dog from pulling. Don't be fooled by its heavy-duty aesthetic, as it's actually fairly lightweight. It additionally features excellent shock absorption, so you won't be jarred if your dog unexpectedly pulls. The Nylon rope material combined with the strong metallic grips truly keeps your dog in place if they try pulling.

Review: "I’ve been using this leash for a few months now, and love it so much I decided to buy extras. Hands down my favourite leash I’ve owned and have yet to find a downside! The handle is comfortable and fits nicely around my wrist. I have two pups, a 70 lb 6-month-old German shepherd and an 11-month-old mixed dog over 100 lbs, both pullers.

"The bungee portion works exceedingly well to save your arms and wrists from the brunt of the pressure when the dogs pull. The rings are all strong, durable metal that holds up well. The second handle up near the collar is excellent for when you need better close control of your dog and need them to walk next to you, like when walking through crowds or passing other people/dogs on the sidewalk."

MOKCCI Truelove Soft Front Dog Harness

MOKCCI Truelove Soft Front Dog Harness
Amazon

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Prefer a harness over a lead? Mokcci has got you covered with this product, featuring reflective and bright colours. It's excellent for walks at nighttime or in poor visibility. We're also impressed at how efficient it is in stopping your dog from tugging or pulling on the lead, as it has a close grip to ensure you're in control. The material is also very durable and scratch-resistant. Additionally, in terms of size and colour options, you're spoilt for choice.

Review: "We were a bit apprehensive buying this, but it's absolutely brilliant! It does exactly what it's supposed to do, stop the dog from pulling, and it fits perfectly on our foster Staffordshire Bull Terrier who is no longer taking us for a walk! We would highly recommend this no-pull harness, it's a great product. A***"

Heavy Duty Dog Leash

Best lead for large dogs that pull
Heavy Duty Dog Leash
Amazon

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Having owned large dogs, I can completely sympathize with how difficult they can be to walk, especially if they're not trained. This lead is built for those stubborn larger dogs who just can't seem to stop tugging and pulling on the lead. We love that it has reflective stitching, making it excellent for walks in low visibility conditions and at nighttime.

Review: "Holds my 120lb bullmastiff" - Enough said!

EzyDog Zero Shock Dog Lead

Best lead for unexpected pulls
EzyDog Zero Shock Dog Lead
Amazon

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Whether your dog only pulls occasionally or their pulls are incredibly strong, this lead is excellent for absorbing the shock on those occasions, making you much less prone to injuries.

Review: "I really love this lead, so much so that I bought a second one when my 8-month-old puppy chewed the first!. It's long, which I like and also has a traffic control handle so I have a lot of flexibility with it- short on roads, loose on the field. I really like the shock absorber section too, as when she does occasionally pull to get to something it's not so hard on my shoulder. I love my purple choice too. Great lead."

rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness

Best harness for big dogs
rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness
Amazon

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Have a large dog? Then this product from rabbitgoo might just be the one for you. Made from incredibly tough and durable material, it will efficiently stop your dog from tugging and pulling on the lead. Despite its heavy-duty design, you shouldn't be concerned, as it features an air-padded, breathable sponge both on the back and the chest parts of the harness to keep your dog comfortable.

Review: "I have bought two sizes of this harness for our Springer Spaniel pup. The size 'S' did her up until she was 9 months and then I bought a size M.

"I bought it again because the quality is excellent. I like the bright orange colour as we can spot her in the undergrowth for a good distance away. She loves wearing it and it doesn't impede her from running around in any way. I also like the loops at the front and back to easily allow you to hold the dog while you attach a lead. Lastly, it is easy to put on and off as the clips are on the topside behind the front shoulders. It's been through the wash multiple times now and is still going strong."

ThunderLeash No-Pull Dog Leash

Best lead for small dogs that pull
ThunderLeash No-Pull Dog Leash
Amazon

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Don't be fooled by its basic and simple design, this lead is incredibly efficient. We recommend it for small dogs that pull as it doesn't have the shock absorbant qualities to handle larger dogs. We love that it's waterproof, so you can comfortably take your dog out in the rain or let them go for a swim. It's important to note that this lead may not suitable for some older dogs, as it applies pressure onto the dog's back and trachea when they pull.

Review: "Winner winner chicken dinner. this leash is a miracle. My dog was let off the leash and he just stuck around with me... I can't make this up, this leash is amazing. I went to my vet and all these dogs were pulling their owner. So, I showed my dog off by walking him around and around without him yanking me. Furthermore, I just had a shoulder replacement and cut back on walking my dog due to the surgery and being yanked. Not anymore. I love love love this leash."

FAQ with Carolyn Menteith, Dog Behaviourist from tails.com:

Why do dogs pull?

"Dogs pull for several reasons. One is that often they have a faster walking speed than us - and so in our dog’s eyes, we are dawdling!"

"Also, dogs want to get where they are going quickly so they can enjoy the fun of the park, their favourite places, or meet their doggy friends, so they pull in the hope they will get there faster. And the other reason they pull is that walking nicely on a lead is boring - and because they have never been trained not to!"

Do I need a harness or a lead?

"Harnesses are ideal for both small dogs and larger ones. When walking small dogs, especially if they haven’t been trained to walk nicely on the lead, so often the lead pressure is upwards (because we are so far above them). With a collar, this puts a constant, sometimes jerking, pressure on their delicate throat area. A harness prevents this and spreads any pressure evenly. Also, tiny dogs can be experts at slipping out of a collar!"

What type of lead/harness would you recommend for dogs that pull?

"There are several options that are recommended by dog owners - from a collar or a chain to a headcollar or a harness. It’s important to remember that any piece of equipment that will stop your dog from pulling will only do so because it hurts or is uncomfortable if they pull. It’s obvious if you think about it. There is only one thing that will stop your dog pulling - and that is training".

"While you are doing that training, it isn’t fair to use aversive equipment that hurts, or that makes walks anything less than the fun and enjoyable time it should be for both you and your dog."

"While a plain collar is traditional and what many people are used to, there is enough research to show that they can cause injury and long-term damage to the delicate structures in your dog’s neck - even from just low levels of pulling. They can cause tissue damage, increase pressure in the eye, potentially affect the thyroid, and compress the blood vessels. Not only that, but the pressure on the dog’s windpipe can affect their breathing and their ability to pant to cool down."

"As for what harness is best - it’s a bit like asking you what dress I should wear! Every dog is different. It depends on size, shape, the extravagance of movement, degree of hairiness, how thin-skinned they are, what kind of exercise they are doing... What works well for one dog won’t work for another. A good harness won’t slip, won’t rub, certainly won’t tighten in any way, won’t put pressure on your dog’s neck, and will leave the dog’s shoulder and front legs free to move fully. Comfort is always more important than appearance!"

How do you train a dog not to pull?

"The place to teach your dog not to pull on the lead is not in the middle of the great outdoors with lots of exciting things going on all around you! Lead training is something you start at home in a quiet room with no distractions long before you take to the streets."

"While it might sound strange, start teaching your dog to walk beside you without a lead on – as neither of you has anything to pull on (the big secret… it takes two to pull on the lead!)."

Here are Carolyn's top tips:

Use a treat you know your dog likes, hold it in your hand by their nose, and walk forward a few steps. Reward them with a treat for walking close beside you.

As soon as your dog has got the hang of this, increase the number of steps you take before giving them the treat.

Once they are doing this well, you can move the treat further away from your dog’s nose so you are not luring them so much – just letting them know there is a treat on offer and walking forward as before.

If your dog gets ahead of you or wanders off, call them back to you excitedly and carry on as before.

Once you’ve got the hang of this, you can try with the lead on – but remember to reward your dog frequently.

If the lead goes tight, stop, call your dog back to you (maybe even walking backwards a few paces as you do so your dog has to follow you) - then carry on walking and reward after a few good steps.

Make it fun! Talk to your dog, change speed and direction, do turns and circles, walk backwards – make staying beside you a game.

"Then you’re ready to practice this everywhere. In the garden, in the park, with distraction."

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