These come in many varieties. SPS recommends the Premier Pet Easy Walk Harness, the Walk-in-Sync harness, and Ruffwear’s Front Range Harness. The Easy Walk harness is best for very strong pullers, but is not recommended for jogging with your dog. The Walk-in-Sync and Front Range are better for dogs who run, or do sports, or have shoulder problems.
These harnesses also come in many varieties. For small dogs, SPS recommends soft harness with fabric chest plates that spread out leash tension across the dog’s sternum. For larger dogs that do not pull, a regular Y chest harness like Ruffwear’s Front Range Harness works very well.
Flat collars are fine for larger dogs that are very well trained on the leash. If your dog pulls at all on the leash, a flat collar can cause damage to the neck vertebrae and trachea. If you want help teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash, check out our training page.
Martingale collars are designed to tighten when pulled on so that they will not slip over a dog’s head, but they do not tighten enough to choke. These collars are best for dogs with necks the same width or wider than their heads, like greyhounds and other sighthounds. Like flat collars, they can cause damage to the neck if your dog pulls too much.
Head Halters are a great solution for very large dogs that pull because, like front attach harnesses, they turn the dog back towards you when he pulls. A dog does not have as much leverage to pull with his face as he does with his chest. Like harnesses there are two types of head halters, rear attach, and front attach. SPS recommends that you try a rear attach head halter first such as the Perfect Pace by Bold Lead Designs. The best front attach head halter on the market is the Gentle Leader.
Sarah’s Pet Sitting does not recommend choke chains, pinch/prong collars, or electronic collars. All of these collars can cause physical pain and damage to dogs, and if use improperly, can cause future training problems or aggression. Our policy states that we can not walk dogs with these tools.
There are a number of factors to consider for you and your pet about which option is best for you. If you would like help selecting and fitting a collar or leash for your dog, please Contact Sarah’s Pet Sitting.