For the past few years working in the dog industry, my primary role has been working with dogs who have serious anxiety issues, come from traumatic backgrounds, or were not properly socialized as young puppies.
Dogs like these tend to all have one thing in common – they are not the best walkers. And there is nothing more rewarding for me than working with a dog who was once walking on a choke collar or prong collar and helping his owners to realize what a good walker he can be, if only he is given the chance.
Listen, lots of dogs pull and for lots of different reasons, but one thing I hear most from my clients is that they think their dog is a “bad” walker.
In reality, that’s just not true. While the dogs I work with tend to have underlying issues that make them pull excessively or become reactive during walks, for most dogs who pull, they do so because of the equipment.
And that’s what we are going to talk about today. Have you heard of the Easy Walk Harness? Do you have a dog who pulls? Then I’m about to blow your mind and rock your world. Keep reading!
Why Do Some Dogs Pull More Than Others?
Some dogs pull out of anxiety while others pull out of excitement.
As I mentioned briefly above, some dogs pull more than others and dogs can pull for a number of reasons.
But for the most part, dogs pull out of either anxiety or excitement. Dogs also pull because they have four legs and are just naturally faster than we are.
Here’s the thing; if your dog is pulling, you’re not alone. Pulling may not be a big problem with smaller dogs because smaller dogs can’t really pull us around. But with larger, stronger dogs, pulling can be a serious issue and even a safety hazard.
If your dog pulls, you may be tempted to invest in a choke collar or prong collar to solve the problem, but these types of negative reinforcement walking tools actually make the pulling problem worse.
Many dogs learn to eventually pull past the pain, especially if what they are pulling towards is more reinforcing and intriguing to them than the discomfort of what they are pulling against.
While training your dog can drastically help reduce pulling, what I tend to recommend to my clients first is a change in walking equipment. I can’t even tell you how many clients have been absolutely shocked at the immediate change in their dogs’ behavior just from switching from one harness to another.
Why? Because not all harnesses are made equally and some harnesses are made more for people’s comfort than our dogs’.
In fact, did you know dog harnesses that clip from the back may actually encourage some dogs to pull? That’s right. Many dogs were originally bred as working dogs and many working dogs were bred to pull heavy loads.
Think of Huskies, for example. These dogs have a natural instinct to pull and were bred to pull heavy loads in rough, cold terrain. When they feel a tug at their back, they pull on instinct. They can’t help it.
But Huskies aren’t the only dogs that have this natural instinct to pull when they feel a tug on their back. Many dog breeds have this instinct, so it’s actually unfair of us humans to get frustrated with dogs for doing what comes naturally to them during walks, don’t you think?
And this is where the Easy Walk Harness and dog harnesses like it come in to play.
What Is An Easy Walk Harness And Why Do We Like It So Much?
Easy Walk harnesses help your dog walk easier, just like they say!
Since many dogs have a natural instinct to pull against things that are either tugging against them from behind or putting an uncomfortable amount of pressure on their throats, it makes sense as to why traditional dog harnesses and collars don’t always work.
This is why equipment can make such a difference in dogs who are heavy pullers and even decrease anxiety and increase loose leash walking.
And this, my friends, is why we are such big fans of the Easy Walk Harness and dog harnesses like it.
We now know that traditional dog harnesses that clip from the back can actually trigger your dog to pull. Furthermore, many traditional harnesses press against your dog’s throat and can cause choking and, in severe cases, lead to tracheal collapse.
What we love so much about the Easy Walk harness and similar harnesses is that they clip from the front, are built to fit your dog’s unique body shape, and are meant to redirect your pup from pulling while reducing choking.
Easy Walk Harnesses and harnesses like them also reduce pulling as dogs don’t feel that little tug against their back that triggers their natural instinct to pull.
Are Easy Walk Harnesses Safe And Harm-Free?
An Easy Walk Harness does not pull on your dog’s neck or throat like walking him on a collar does.
Yes, Easy Walk harnesses and other similar harnesses are completely safe and harm free. In fact, they are highly recommended by most trainers and experts who believe in positive reinforcement training techniques.
In fact, the Easy Walk Harness actually goes hand in hand with positive training techniques as it enables owners to work with their dogs using the proper equipment along with treats and praise to get to the ultimate goal, which is a pull-free walk.
Easy Walk harnesses for dogs actually encourages dogs to focus on their owners and redirects unwanted behavior like pulling without causing harm or frustration to your dog the way some traditional harnesses or choke collars and prong collars do.
Tips Picking The Best Easy Walk Harness For Your Heavy Puller
Easy Walk Harnesses and harnesses like them are many experts top pick for walking leads.
Easy Walk Harnesses are pretty straight forward, but they can be complicated if you aren’t sure how they work. Before you purchase one, we suggest reading up on them so you know exactly how to put them on.
Once you get it, it’s super easy. For now, try to keep in mind that the one different colored strap goes under your dog’s belly. This was a concept I missed for a few weeks when I first started using Easy Walk Harnesses, which is a problem because it is important that this harness is worn correctly so it can do what it is supposed to do.
If you think you may struggle with this, I recommend getting an Easy Walk Harness that has some kind of fancy design to help you remember which strap goes where.
It is also important that you do your measurements and follow the measurement guides provided to you by the seller before you purchase the harness for your dog. The harnesses listed below, even if they are not Easy Walk Harnesses, are meant to fit snugly on your dog.
While most harnesses are adjustable, getting the right size is imperative and will have a direct result in the outcome and success of your Easy Walk Harness.
Last, we have listed a few harnesses below that are not Easy Walk Harnesses, but that are designed similarly. That said, if you do look for your own anti-pull harness, we suggest choosing harnesses that are front clip harnesses, as these are the ones that really do reduce the urge of dogs to pull against you on walks.
Now, let’s move on to some of my favorite harnesses for dogs who are heavy pullers.
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
We’ll begin with the original. This is the OG of Easy Walk Harnesses. We’re talking original color, fit, design, and so on.
I see and work with this harness on a daily basis with all my clients and my own dogs at home. The harness is simple to put on and clips in the front with a martengle strap. The martingale strap is meant to tighten when the dog pulls but loosen when they are walking with a loose leash.
This particular easy walk harness should fit snugly on your dog and is adjustable, but it’s important you get the right fit to ensure it works for your dog properly. Luckily, you can get it in a number of colors and sizes from small to to X-large. There are even petite sizes!
PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Harness
The deluxe Easy Walk Harness by PetSafe is just as reliable and comfy for your dog, but it’s deluxe because it’s made with padded neoprene to provide more comfort for heavy pullers.
What we love best about these Easy Walk harnesses is that they are made to make walking easier and more gentle for both humans and dogs, and that’s why we love this deluxe Easy Walk harness.
Like the original Easy Walk harness, this harness is made to go over your dog’s head and under his chest. It prevents choking and promotes loose leash walking by clipping in the front, therefore reducing your dog’s natural urge to pull ahead.
The martingale clip tightens when he pulls for extra security, and the sturdy snap clips mean the harness is easy to take on and off.
Make sure you do proper measurements and get the right size for your dog to ensure this harness works as it should.
PetSafe Easy Walk Chic Harness
This Easy Walk harness is so cute and super functional for a number of reasons. First, Easy Walk harnesses can be a bit confusing. There is a certain way they are meant to go on, with the different colored part going under the belly and arms and the matching colors going over the head and in front of the chest.
There can be a lot of room for error with the solid colored Easy Walk Harnesses, but this chic and colorful harness makes it much easier to determine which way is up and which way is down.
I also love that you can get it in three different designs and it comes in small, medium, medium/large, and large.
PetSafe Bling Easy Walk Harness
If you aren’t a fan of designs on your dog’s harness but still want some pizza, look no further than this Easy Walk Harness by PetSafe that offers design, function, and some bling.
Like the above chic Easy Walk harness, this harness comes with a bit of design and flash that is just enough to help you determine which buckle goes where on your dog.
It clips in the front and offers the same walking effects that make Easy Walk harnesses so great for dogs who pull. It also comes in four color options so your dog can look his or her best when showing off their newly acquired loose-leash walking manners.
Didog Soft Vest Harness
So this harness is not technically an Easy Walk harness, per say, but it is designed similarly enough that we felt comfortable adding it to this list.
What we like about this harness is that it offers a bit of diversity for pet owners and is also made with houdini dogs in mind. That’s right, dogs who like to slip out of their leashes, we’re looking at you.
This is an escape proof dog harness that offers all the benefits of an Easy Walk while also allowing you to clip from the front and the back.
It is also super soft and extra padded, which we really like for heavy pullers or shorter-haired dogs with sensitive skin.
The harness comes in five color options and five size options. The bottom strap is adjustable, however the chest strap is not and there is no martingale strap, so make sure you do your measurements to ensure you have the right size.
Premier Easy Walk Harness For Small/Medium Dogs
Premier offers another standard design of the Easy Walk Harness for small and medium sized dogs. We like the bright red color and the black bottom strap for the same reasons we like the above more decorative harnesses – it’s just easier to sort out which way is up and which way is down.
It offers only a front clip and is adjustable on all sides, with a martingale strap at the chest meant to tighten for heavy pullers.
Remember, this harness is meant to fit snugly so do your measurements so you know you are getting the proper size for your pooch.
ThinkPet No Pull Sport Harness For Dogs
Another harness that isn’t technically an Easy Walk harness but has a similar design is the ThinkPet No Pull sports harness. This harness is a bit more heavy duty and is made for dogs who tend to be slippery and slip out of their leashes.
This is an escape proof harness that is super padded, for extra comfort, and comes with both a front and back clip option. The material is super durable and also prevents choking.
The front of this harness provides a hand strap for owners, which is especially good for super reactive dogs as it helps owners gain better control over their pups.
The design prevents choking and promotes comfort for your pooch while also helping to alleviate pulling.
PETBABA No Pull Dog Harness
Not an Easy Walk harness, but again this is a similar design by PETBABA. This durable, thick material is excellent for larger dogs who pull. We like the wide rings and the martingale straps both on the front and on the back to help give you and your dog extra security while walking.
This is an excellent no-pull harness for dogs who pull heavily but are also little furry escape artists.
There is a front and back clip option and the back martingale can also be used as a handle for owners with especially reactive dogs. It is offered in a two-tone blue and is adjustable on all sides. As always, we recommend doing careful measurements to ensure you get the proper size.
The Company of Animals Halti Harness
Halti is another very popular harness amongst experts and trainers. Like the Easy Walk harness, the Halti offers the same level of anti-pull luxury while reducing choking and encouraging loose leash manners.
It is very similar to the Easy Walk Harness with a slightly different design. Unlike the Easy Walk harnesses, the Haiti’s different colored strap actually goes around the chest.
This harness comes in three sizes and has a front and back clip option. For heavy pullers, a double leash can be clipped to both the front and back clips to help guide and walk easier.
DEXDOG EzTrainer Front Clip Harness
Are you a runner with a heavy puller of a dog? You may forgo an Easy Walk harness for this ExTrainer front clip harness by DexDog. It comes in six bright colors, but that’s not the best part.
This durable, no-pull harness is ideal for runners who want their furry jogging partner not to pull them from their feet.
It is easy to put on and comes with all the benefits of an Easy Walk harness, save for the martingale strap in the front. Still, you can clip it from the front or the back and it is adjustable on all sides.
PetSafe Deluxe Harness In Blue
We love the simple design and color of this harness deluxe by PetSafe. Like all the other PetSafe harnesses on our list, this is the original design with some extra padding to add a little more comfort for that heavy puller of yours.
It is adjustable on all sides, includes the front clip martingale strap, and provides a gentle, no-choke approach to an anti-pull dog harness. If you don’t like the solid blue, you can order this harness in green, red, or black and gray. It is also available in small, medium, medium/large and large.
As always, we remind you to do your measurements and follow the measurement guide provided by the seller to ensure you get the best fit possible.
PetSafe Easy Walk Bonez Harness
You guys, how cute is this bone design? It’s bright and playful, while still offering your heavy puller the comfort he (and you) needs to go on a nice, casual walk.
Like all the wonderfully made harnesses on this list provided by PetSafe, this harness has sturdy straps, is completely adjustable, and offers a front clip martingale strap to help reduce pulling and make walks more enjoyable.
And if you aren’t a fan of this design, you can order it in other styles like Donuts or Poppies. It also comes in small, medium, medium/large, and large.
Freedom No-Pull Dog Harness
The Freedom Harness is another no-pull dog harness we use often for our clients and own dogs. It is similar to the Easy Walk harness and the Halti in that it offers a comfortable, no-choke approach to walking with dogs who pull.
It is a bit more complex than the Halti or Easy Walk Harnesses on this list but can add a bit more security and hold dogs a bit more snug. It also may fit certain dogs a bit better than some of the other harnesses on this list, like dogs with bulkier bodies or longer bodies.
It has a martingale strap on the front and the back, and offers both a front and back clip for easier walking choices. It is adjustable and easy to put on and take off as well.
We love this harness for dogs of all sizes, but highly recommend you do your measurements to ensure you get the proper size for your dog.
PetSafe Easy Walk Poppies Harness
Here is another PetSafe harness with a super cute design for those fancy dogs in your life.
The bright red poppies add a bit of flair to your daily walking routine while also helping you remember which color strap goes under your dog. (Hint, it’s the solid black color strap).
Like the other Easy Walk dog harnesses on this list, the harness is adjustable and has a front clip martingale srp for easier walking. The design reduces your dog’s urge to pull and will direct him back to you if he does without choking him or causing him harm.
And, if you’re feeling extra extravagant, you can order a matching leash to go along with this cute poppy design.
2 Hounds Design Freedom Harness
We’re going to round off this list with the no pull Freedom Harness by 2 Hounds Design. Again, it’s not the Easy Walk Harness but it is made similarly and is another ideal harness for dogs who are heavy pullers.
The front and back martingale straps are made to tighten when pulled on and you can clip a double leash to both the front and back for easier walking.
I have personally used this collar for when I’m walking two dogs at once who are both reactive and heavy pullers.
The Freedom Harness also offers peace of mind that any houdini dog won’t be able to easily slip out of this harness, especially if it is fitting snugly the way it is supposed to. That said, we encourage you again to do your measurements and follow the measurement guide provided by the seller.
Is Your Dog A Heavy Puller? Here Are Some Other Ways You Can Make Walks More Enjoyable For The Both Of You
Help enhance your dog’s walk using treats, praise, and a few expert training techniques.
Now that we know what a big difference the walking equipment can make for dogs who are heavy pullers, it’s time to also encourage owners to really work with their dogs during walks.
Some dogs pull due to excitement while others pull due to anxiety. Pay attention to your dog’s body language and keep in mind that anxious dogs may be more difficult to train and may require more work and patience than excited dogs.
Consider yourself when you are feeling anxious. When you are scared or nervous, it’s much harder for you to focus on tasks, right? Your dog is no different. Help your anxious dog enjoy walks by keeping your focus on him and working with treats and praise along with the proper equipment.
How do you know if your dog is anxious or excited?
Anxious dogs tend to walk with their tails between their legs and walk quickly ahead of you. They may pant excessively or drool excessively, and they are constantly looking to and from as if waiting for something to jump out at them at any moment.
Dogs like this may need to be walked on a shorter leash initially and offered intermittent treats and praise throughout the walk to help them keep their focus on you.
Excited dogs will also walk quickly, but they will be much more loose and walk with happy tails, relaxed expressions, and be more interested in sniffing and exploring than checking their surroundings for danger.
You can still help your excited dog learn to focus on you by offering him consistent treats and praise during walks as well as getting him on some new walking equipment.
Remember, never punish your dog for anxious behaviors like heavy pulling, as this can only make the problem worse. Instead, work with your dog at his level to understand what is making him pull, and help ease his fears by getting him the proper walking equipment and offering him treats, praise, and lots of love.
Madison Guthrie (also known as Sonny Mackenzi) is a pet care specialist and positive-reinforcement trainer who works most closely with anxious and reactive dogs. Born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, Madison developed a love for animals at an early age and spent most of her childhood outdoors rescuing stray pets and helping to rehabilitate injured wildlife. Along with animals, Madison also developed a love for writing and music. Over the past five years, she has worked to use her passions to help the pets and pet parents in her community build stronger bonds and live happier, healthier lives together. Currently, Madison lives in South Pasadena, California where she owns and operates Miss Madison LLC, a marketing company that focuses on helping privately owned veterinary establishments and pet care companies grow and thrive. She also works as a dog trainer at My Dog Spot, which is an award-winning pet care and training establishment in Pasadena, California.