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Pulling Dogs: Does a Harness or Headcollar Work Best?

I am so exhausted by all the pulling my puppy, Cricket does on our walks! I had to get her a regular harness so that she wouldn’t choke herself! However, she still likes to be out in front, likes to pull, and wants to jump on people when we’re out walking. I have used a headcollar called the Gentle Leader by PetSafe in training other dogs and it works wonders! There’s no pulling and no jumping while the dog is walking. I just don’t know if I want to get one for Cricket or if I want to get a special harness like the Rabbitgoo No-Pull Adjustable Harness.

Each one has different strengths. The Gentle Leader headcollar is great for those dogs you want to learn to heel as well as teaching them not to lunge, bark, or jump while walking. The headcollar works by putting gentle pressure on the nose and the back of the neck, turning the dog around through its own pulling efforts, causing the dog to stop pulling forward. However, you must be gentle and not yank on the headcollar. Let it do the work for you.

It can be difficult to picture how this headcollar works, so here are a couple of videos on its fit and use.

The Rabbitgoo No-Pull Adjustable Harness takes less time to get your dog used to it and if you have a dog who has a short nose or squished-in face (brachycephalic), the harness is best. The harness works to stop your dog from pulling when you clip the leash to the ring on the chest part of the harness. When the dog pulls, the harness causes the dog to turn to the side which curbs his/her need to pull. Photos of this harness and how it fits on a dog can be found on Amazon.

I just need to figure out which one would work best for Cricket, as both are great products. I suppose I can train her to not jump on people without a headcollar, but it WOULD be easier if I used more than one tool.

But, I also like how the harness has another clip at the back to use when Cricket has learned to walk without pulling. I wouldn’t have to buy another harness as this one is adjustable for when she gets a little bigger and more filled out. I also like how it’s reflective for her safety. So, I guess I have some more thinking to do. But I better not wait too long since she’s getting older by the minute!

Both products are available at most major pet supply stores. And interestingly, the Gentle Leader has a better price on Amazon than buying directly from the PetSafe site itself. We’ve supplied those links below.


[amazon asin=B01M8JT6FT&template=iframe image float left]

[amazon asin=B00074L4W2&template=iframe image float left]


Please share your favorite stuff.

  • Have you used a headcollar or special harness to keep your dog from pulling?
  • Does it work well?

Let us know in the comments below!


Jeannie / Lead Writer, Tires & Tails

Hi, I'm Jeannie! I'm a full-time RVer with a lifelong need for travel. I used to be an elementary school teacher and had a dog training business in Washington State. I have had numerous pets throughout my life, and love to travel with them. I started my full time RV adventure with one dog and two cats. I currently have a dog who comes with my husband and me on our traveling adventures.

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