There are few things as painful as a dog pulling you during a walk. You might lose your footing, the leash burns your hand, and your arm is going to end up sore. It's even worse if you're a dog walker who happens to be walking more than one dog at a time.
While your long-term goal should be retraining your pet so that they stop pulling, you need something to help you in the meantime. There are a variety of options to help save your arm muscles, but they're not all created equal. There are harnesses, as well as head collars, that can help you, as well as shock absorbing leashes that will help minimize the force Fido pulls with.
The Gentle Leader
The Gentle Leader is a classic no-pull walking device for pets and has been around for many years. It is a head collar that loops around the muzzle and helps to steer your dog's head. These collars are great for smaller or disabled people who have to deal with a large dog pulling them, and they're relatively easy to fit to your pet's head. Some brachycephalic - or short-nosed - breeds are not great to use these with; they just don't have enough snout.
The Gentle Leader helps by turning your dog's head back to you when they start to pull. These collars can take awhile for your dog to get used to, so training is very important. It should be used with a short leash, no more than 6 feet in length.
The Halti Head Collar
The Halti head collar comes in several different types, such as the Halti Optifit. It is a head collar like the Gentle Leader but has several distinct differences. Both are designed to help with pulling pups, but the Halti is a wider head collar. In addition to helping with pulling, it deters pets from lunging and jumping. It's a great help to people of all sizes, from your kid to your dog walker.
The Halti Optifit is made out of wide nylon webbing, so the force of your pet pulling is displaced over a wider area. Like the Gentle Leader, it is designed to fit any dog breed, but you may have issues with snub-nosed pets like Pugs wearing these. This collar comes with reflective strips on either side to help make your dog visible when walking in the evenings.
The Harness Lead is another great option to help with your pulling pup and is one used by owners, dog walkers, and other animal professionals. It helps to keep the pet from pulling by using your dog's upward lift to discourage pulling. It is tied directly to Fido's center of gravity and encourages him to keep his feet on the ground.
The Harness Lead is both a harness and a leash in one combination unit. It tightens around your pup's barrel chest, rather than around the trachea, so it won't cut off his airflow or make him choke. As an added bonus, it helps keep him from slipping out by tightening around his body like a slip lead based on its design.
Easy Walk Harness
The Easy Walk Harness is a front-attaching, no-pull harness that fits your furry friend, no matter how big or small they are. It is designed to steer your dog around if he starts to pull on the leash. Because it rests across his chest, you don't need to worry about it making him choke when he starts to pull on the leash. If you need to remind your pup to keep walking, a gentle tug is all it takes.
This harness is very easy to fit, with easy-to-use buckle snaps that help you take it on and off. There are four different places where you can adjust it, so you're sure to find the perfect fit for your dog. In addition, the front loop is a martingale that the leash attaches to, so you don't have to worry about the front of the harness getting twisted up when Fido runs. It'll make walking a breeze for you and your dog walker.
Freedom No-Pull Harness
The Freedom No-Pull Harness is another no-pull harness that you might want to look into. Considered one of the "top models" in the harness industry, it has attachment points on the front and back. Hooking the leash to the back puts pressure on the chest when your pup starts to pull. Putting the leash on the front attachment gives you the same benefits of a front-attaching harness like the Easy Walk Harness.
The Freedom No-Pull Harness can also be converted with a double-ended leash. This gives you the control of having attachments at the front and the back simultaneously. It makes it so much easier to steer your pup and keep him from pulling. These are designed to fit any pets, even short-nosed breeds, and they have a velvet lining to protect your pup's sensitive skin.
Leash Shock Absorber
A different type of tool on this list is the Leash Shock Absorber. This is a shock absorbing leash, also referred to as a bungee leash. This helps reduce the force that your dog pulls on the leash with. The biggest disadvantage is it doesn't stop your pup from pulling on the leash like the other options on the list. It's design is to help save your arm muscles from the constant back-and-forth pulling.
You can use the Leash Shock Absorber with just about any harness or collar. It is an attachment that goes between the harness or collar and your leash. While you can use any sized leash with this shock absorber, it may be most effective when used with a shorter leash.
If you have trouble with your furry family member pulling on the leash, you have options. You don't want to wait too long though, as Fido can injure someone pulling them, and your dog walker has a pretty tough job as it is. Find the style and type that works best for you and your pet, as well as your budget. Don't forget to take Fido to training classes though to teach him not to pull!
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