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If I Get a Harness for My Dog, Will That Make Him Pull More?

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Myself and other dog trainers I know get asked this question quite often when the topic of harnesses comes up during our training sessions. And to cut to the chase, the short answer is no. But the longer answer is that any tool or product (excluding items designed to inflict pain) you use will require time, practice, patience, and the right training methods to help you and your dog reach your goals together.

Dog wearing a red nylon harness and a dual black leash attached

Should you decide to get a harness and walk your dog with it instead of a collar, an irrefutable argument for harnesses is that they are a far safer option as they relieve your dog's neck of any pressure (especially with growing puppies) as well provide a more secure option to a collar that could potentially slip off or break with enough pulling or pressure. The most ideal harnesses, particularly Freedom (No Pull) Harnesses will come with a clip at the back, as well as the front. Both clips can be used together in unison with a double-clip leash to better guide heavy pullers, and the front clip on its own can also be relied on to guide an eager, happy-go-lucky dog by redirecting their chest and body towards you so that you can further guide them. The back clip can also be used as you work your way to more and better communication with your dog on walks (a must!), but this is where a lot of pet parents will think that harnesses encourage pulling, seeing how sled dogs wear them to do their job and for good reason.

Even if you were to not at all consider the suggestion that harnesses make for a better training and walking tool, ultimately if you have a dog that is already pulling on their collar, switching to a harness will at the very least add a layer of safety to your outings.


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