- What Makes a Good No-Pull Leash?
- A note on Head collars
- Further Reading
Pulling in dogs is a common type of behaviour that dog owners face. We often discuss the role of harnesses in reducing pulling behaviour, but leashes are often an afterthought.
That’s not to say that choosing the right lead won’t get you closer to your goal.
Some attempt to carry out more than one function, such as leads which turn into headcollars; most common example is a generic figure of 8 lead, or what would essentially be a slip lead, turned into a headcollar.
Others promise pulling prevention because of their shock absorption (nothing to do with electric shocks, you deserve that yourself if you’re using an e-collar), and while those are unlikely to help much with loose lead walking, they most certainly serve a purpose.
What Makes a Good No-Pull Leash?
The main outcome is to prevent or decrease the injury to yourself and your dog if you have a dog who regularly pulls and jerks on the lead.
There are no leads themselves that stop pulling. They require a collar, harness or (as you’ll see shortly) a headcollar. These leads have been selected by us as they have given us the best results with dogs that pull.
However, not all leads are created equal; whether it’s a lead that will reduce the impact of pulling on your shoulders, or one that has multiple lengths, there are always good and bad ones. Below we cover some of the best leads and attachments which will see you and your dog walking in sync soon.
1. 🏆 The Halti Training Lead
Yes, it might seem basic at first glance, but it’s far from it. Halti Training Lead is by far the best readily available lead in many ways, and we use it to walk all our resident and guest dogs.
Made from a soft padded material, it is incredibly comfortable to use, with very little risk of lead burns on your hands. Watch out for those rings though!
There are two trigger hooks, one on each side of the lead, and three attachment rings. This means the lead can be used in 8 different ways. Don’t worry, this lead knows what it is, and isn’t trying to do any other job than be a leash.
The primary function of the rings is to provide different lead lengths quickly. Short lead for heel training or those busy city walks, medium length for obedience training, or long length for distance and recall work (if you don’t have a giant dog as we do, you’ll need a longer line when working with an XXL dog).
You can hook the lead around your waist, which is particularly useful when using a clicker and treats, or use the lead to tether your dog easily, just don’t do it for long periods of time.
We are lucky that none of our resident dogs chews leads, but I don’t think it would survive for long if they did.
Other uses of this lead are in combination with a harness, as we most commonly do, particularly one with front and back attachments, and halters.
With harnesses, you would attach one end to the back and one end to the front of the harness for easy steering. When it comes to headcollars, you can attach just one point, but we would not recommend that as you shouldn’t always need to steer; additionally, if your dog likes to wriggle out of things, headcollars will not hold them back, so attaching one end to a normal collar or a harness is highly recommended. It also works well with the Halti Headcollar.
The Halti comes in two widths, and we tend to use narrower one for smaller dogs, and a wider one for dogs above 15kg. The smaller one would simply not be comfortable enough for walking with bigger dogs, especially those who pull.
Colours are a little limited: black, red, and black with red handles. You could bleach and dye and make it your own, or in our case, let a Great Dane drool all over them and then you can turn them whichever colour you want.
And finally, every Halti Training Lead comes with a free training guide, so do make sure you give it a read.
A note on Head collars
Before delving into other dog leads that stop pulling, it’s worth noting that head collars are not suited to all dogs. To start with, the design is only really suitable for long-nosed breeds; don’t try to fit this on a Frenchie! Even with long noses, sizes vary, and you might find the collar hanging off too low on the nose, or getting too close to the eyes for comfort.
A big factor to take into account is whether your dog would like something around the mouth. It’s a fairly unnatural thing to have on one’s body, and most dogs will find it offensive at first. When deciding to use a headcollar, it’s best not to put it on for a good few days, and instead spend those desensitising and counter-conditioning your dog to the collar. This should even be weeks with some dogs.
Although to humans the head collar seems perfectly harmless and gentle, dogs decide what is unpleasant to them, and many will find restrictions imposed on them upsetting. This is primarily because they have something around their face, and it doesn’t feel great. Like with anything new, it shouldn’t be a problem after spending some time properly desensitising your dog and getting them to associate the head collar with something amazing (i.e. treats and walkies).
2. Halti Headcollar
Halti head collars are both comfortable (it uses padded lining) and adjustable.
The head collars measure in size depending on your dog – so it’s best to check out the measurements before you order. The smallest size, 0, suits breeds such as a Bichon Frise or a Yorkshire Terrier.
The largest, size 5, would be for a breed like a Great Dane. Incidentally, we have used this particular head collar on our Great Dane and found the results positive (albeit she got a little annoyed with it).
3. 🏆 Big Dog Styles Head Collar
I love this head collar. Big Dog styles cater for large dogs. Specifically Labradors to St Bernards (puppies to adult). Another British company – they’ve created four variations of this popular head collar.
Its core purpose is to prevent your large dog from pulling (a problem I know first hand with a Great Dane). It is built not to ride up when worn and is made from a strong cushioned polypropylene webbing.
Given the breed sizes the head collar uses a 4mm thick martingale chain to stop your dog chewing straight through it.
We have used this head collar many times on our great dane, often combined with the Ruffwear Front Range Harness.
4. Gentle Leader
This head collar is ideal for those on a budget. Despite the price, it is extremely durable and recommended by many looking for a head collar to accompany a dog lead to stop pulling. The loop around the dog’s neck and nose are adjustable.
The head collar is available in a range of sizes. The Gentle Leader head collar also comes with a handy guidebook.
5. Halti All in One Shock Absorbing Lead
The HALTI All-In-One Lead is another specially created dog leads that stop pulling. It works as a handheld, hands-free or tether format. This is handy when doing running, hiking or other active exercises with your dog. The lead measures 2.1m long (15mm wide).
The lead also comes with a 3M reflective strip for night-time walking and running. The shock absorber protects both owner and their dog from sudden halts (a frequent hazard when out jogging).
As with other leads of this type – a suitable no-pull collar or harness is also required.
6. Dogmatic Headcollar
|DOGMATIC HEADCOLLAR PADDED CUSHIONED WEBBING PCW - BLACK - SIZE 3||203 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
Dogmatic is a lovely British company and their website is always heartwarming.
Out of the readily available headcollars, Dogmatic is the best for comfort, as it has a much wider range of sizes and materials to ensure a perfect fit for your dog.
If it’s a headcollar you want, start with a Dogmatic one.
7. Ancol Outside Training Line
This isn’t for everyone and is for more advanced types of training. But if you are looking for a line for sports or specialist activities – this is for you.
8. Ancol Nylon Training Lead Police Type
Like the previous review – this is one of those dog leads that stop pulling for those looking to train for outdoor activities. Particularly if you have a very active dog which perhaps has a high prey drive.
These types of dogs can suddenly just… go. In my experience, this can be when a squirrel is nearby – but it depends on your circumstances. The lead is sturdy double-ended nylon with three attachment points.
The lead measures at 225 cm length by 19 mm width.Available On Amazon
9. Dogs & Co. Rolled Leather Police Training Lead
This lead is not only practical but also a bit of a luxury item. Beautifully crafter from soft rolled brown leather this lead includes chrome fittings. Beyond the aesthetics this 200cm lead is VERY strong – so good for large breads and those with great strength.Available On Amazon
When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs
Written by Jane Killion, this firsthand account of training dogs considers not only the owner but the dog, providing guidelines that are both humane and dignified.
Covering techniques such as shaping and clicker training – this is a must read for anyone looking for practical advice on training a difficult dog.Available On Amazon
This concludes the collection of our dog leashes to stop pulling. As we explained there are some great leads out there which need suitable collars/harnesses. Alternatively (or in combination with) there are head collars where the leads themselves are less important as long as they are robust. Breed, energy levels and desired training outcomes will heavily influence your choice. From the items above this is our summary to suit your needs.
Lead For Dogs That Pull – Halti Training Lead
Headcollar for Larger Dogs That Pull – Big Dog Styles Head Collar
Headcollar for Smaller Dogs That Pull – Dogmatic Headcollar
We hope you enjoyed our article on dog leads that stop pulling. If you have any other suggestions please let us know in the comments section below.