Back-Clip vs. Front-Clip Dog Harnesses: What is the best?

Back-Clip vs. Front-Clip Dog Harnesses: What is the best?

Have you ever found yourself in the pet store, staring bewilderingly at the array of dog harnesses and wondering, “Is a front or back harness better for my dog?” You’re not alone! Many pet parents grapple with choosing the right harness that will make walks enjoyable and safe for both them and their furry friends.

Front harnesses are generally better for training and managing pulling, while back harnesses are great for well-trained dogs who don’t pull and need minimal guidance.

Let’s delve deeper and discover which harness style might be the best fit for your canine companion, ensuring those tail-wagging walks remain a delight.

What’s the Front Clip Harness?

Front clip harnesses, also known as no-pull harnesses, have the leash attachment in the front of the harness, over the dog’s chest. This design is strategic: when your dog pulls, it is gently guided towards you, making it easier to gain their attention and correct their course.

Advantages of Front Clip Harnesses:

  • Directional Control: Provides better control over the direction your dog is moving, which is helpful for training.
  • Discourages Pulling: Helps in managing pulling behavior by redirecting the dog towards you when they try to pull.

Disadvantages of Front Clip Harnesses:

  • Potential for Tangling: The leash can sometimes get tangled under the dog’s front legs if not managed properly.
  • Requires Training: Dogs may need some time to get used to this type of harness, especially if they are used to pulling forward.

What’s the Back Clip Harness?

The back clip harness features the leash attachment on the back of the dog. This type is very common and generally preferred for dogs that are calm, do not pull, or are already trained to walk nicely on a leash.

Advantages of Back Clip Harnesses:

  • Comfort: Often more comfortable for the dog, with less chance of the leash getting tangled with the front legs.
  • Ease of Use: Easier for the owner to hook and unhook the leash, and it’s generally simpler for the dog to adapt to.

Disadvantages of Back Clip Harnesses:

  • Less Control: Offers less control over a pulling dog, which can make training more challenging.
  • Can Encourage Pulling: For some dogs, having the clip on the back can encourage them to pull harder, as it aligns with their natural pulling instinct.

What is the best dog harness?

Top Front Clip Harness Recommendations:

no pull dog harness
Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness

Top Back Clip Harness Recommendations:

Ruffwear Front Range Dog Harness
blue-9 Balance Harness

Best Dog Harness: QQPETS Reflective No Pull Tactical Dog Harness

The QQPETS Reflective No Pull Tactical Dog Harness comes equipped with not one, but two leash attachment points—like having dual-climate control for your dog walks! One is on the back for those leisurely strolls when Fido is on his best behavior, and the other is on the chest for those turbo-pulled training sessions. This design offers versatility and enhanced control, making it a favorite among pet owners and trainers alike. The front clip is particularly handy for training purposes, especially with dogs that tend to pull. When they try to charge ahead, the front leash attachment gently steers them back towards the trainer, effectively putting a brake on their pulling spree. It’s like teaching your dog leash manners with a built-in ‘etiquette enforcer.’ Meanwhile, the back clip is perfect for relaxed walks with well-trained, non-pulling pooches, or when direct control over your dog’s direction isn’t necessary. It allows dogs to comfortably walk or run, moving freely and naturally. The dual-clip design allows for a smooth switch between training mode and comfortable walking mode without the hassle of changing harnesses. This makes it ideal for various walking environments and situations. The QQPETS Reflective No Pull Tactical Dog Harness is a multifunctional, effective training tool and a comfortable choice for everyday walks, making it a top pick for many pet parents. It’s suited for all stages of training and walking scenarios—like a Swiss Army knife for your dog’s outdoor adventures!

QQPETS No Pull Reflective dog harness

When to Choose Which Harness?

Selecting between a front or back clip harness depends significantly on your dog’s behavior and training needs:

Opt for a Front Clip Harness If:

  • You are training a dog to stop pulling.
  • You need extra help managing your dog’s direction and attention during walks.

Choose a Back Clip Harness If:

  • Your dog is a calm walker who doesn’t pull on the leash.
  • Comfort and ease of use are your primary concerns during leisurely walks.

How to train your dog with a dog harness?

Training your dog using a harness involves a combination of choosing the right harness, proper fitting, and consistent, positive training methods. Here’s a structured approach to effectively train your dog with a dog harness:

  1. Select the Right Harness
    Choose a harness that suits your training needs and fits your dog’s size and breed. For general training and control, a no-pull harness with front and back leash attachments is often recommended. This type of harness can help discourage pulling by redirecting your dog towards you when they try to pull forward.
  2. Ensure Proper Fitting
    A properly fitted harness is crucial for both comfort and effectiveness:

The harness should fit snugly but not tightly. You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably under all straps.
Make sure the harness does not chafe or rub your dog’s skin, especially around the shoulders or chest area.
Check that the harness allows for full range of movement without restricting your dog’s ability to breathe or move their legs freely.

  1. Acclimate Your Dog to the Harness
    Before you begin training, let your dog get used to the harness:

Introduce the harness to your dog in a familiar, non-threatening environment. Let them sniff and explore the harness to reduce any anxiety associated with it.
Put the harness on your dog for short periods at home before attaching a leash or going for a walk. Use treats and praise to create positive associations with the harness.

  1. Basic Leash Training
    Once your dog is comfortable wearing the harness, start basic leash training:

Begin in a quiet area with few distractions. Attach the leash to the front clip of the no-pull harness to discourage pulling.
Teach your dog to respond to basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “heel” while wearing the harness. Reward compliance with treats and praise.

  1. Address Pulling on the Leash
    If pulling is an issue, implement training techniques specifically designed to reduce this behavior:

Stop-and-Go Technique: Immediately stop walking whenever your dog begins to pull. Only continue walking when the leash is slack. This teaches your dog that pulling will not get them where they want to go faster.
Direction Changes: Change your walking direction frequently to keep your dog’s attention on you. This teaches them to focus on following your lead rather than pulling ahead.

  1. Reinforce Good Behavior
    Continuously reinforce good behavior with positive reinforcement:

Use treats, praise, or toys to reward your dog when they walk nicely by your side or follow your commands with the harness on.
Keep training sessions short and positive. This helps your dog associate the harness and training with enjoyable experiences.

  1. Gradually Increase Challenges
    As your dog becomes more comfortable and responsive with the harness in quiet environments, gradually introduce more distractions:

Practice walking in busier areas or during different times of the day.
Introduce new commands and more complex training exercises.

  1. Consistent Practice and Patience
    Consistency is key to successful training with a harness. Regular, consistent practice helps reinforce the behaviors you want to encourage. Be patient and persistent, as some dogs may take longer to fully respond to harness training, especially if they have a history of poor leash manners.

By following these steps and maintaining a patient, consistent approach, you can effectively train your dog using a harness, improving both safety and enjoyment during walks and other activities.

No matter which harness you choose, proper training and consistent usage will enhance your walking experience.

  • Introduce the Harness Gradually: Let your dog wear the harness around the house to get used to it before starting your outdoor adventures.
  • Combine with Training: Use treats and positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior while harnessed.
  • Regularly Check the Fit: Ensure the harness fits well without being too tight or too loose, to maintain comfort and prevent any chance of escaping.


Whether a front or back harness is better depends on your specific needs and your dog’s behavior. Understanding each type’s benefits can guide you to the right choice, making walks more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

QQPETS is the leading wholesale dog harness manufacturer of adjustable harnesses for dogs and other items that people may use when walking their dogs. Our goal is to make dog walking easy for pet owners by providing valuable accessories. We offer a variety of customization services including custom logos, custom graphics, custom products and more. If you want to start your dog products business, check out our website and contact us today.

FAQ about dog

Should I Put My Dog’s Harness on the Front or Back?

Front-Clip Harnesses are designed with the leash attachment at the chest. They are particularly useful for training and managing dogs that pull because they allow you to steer the dog to the side and redirect their focus towards you, making it more difficult for them to pull forward. This is ideal for training purposes or if you’re dealing with a strong puller.

Back-Clip Harnesses have the leash attachment on the back and are generally better for well-trained dogs that do not pull excessively. They are good for running or jogging as they allow for more natural movement and can be more comfortable for the dog, as there is no leash in front to impede their front legs.

What Style of Dog Harness is Best?

The “best” harness depends largely on your dog’s behavior, size, and your specific needs:

  • No-Pull Harnesses (Front-Clip): Best for dogs that pull or are in training. They help control and redirect the dog’s pulling behavior.
  • Standard Back-Clip Harnesses: Suitable for dogs that don’t pull, providing comfortable support without the risk of neck strain.
  • Dual-Clip Harnesses: Offer both front and back attachments, providing versatility for training and regular walks.
  • Step-In Harnesses: Ideal for dogs that dislike having items put over their heads, providing easy wearability.
  • Vest Harnesses: Offer more coverage and padding, which can be beneficial for small dogs or those in colder climates.

What Are the Cons of a Front-Clip Harness?

While front-clip harnesses are effective for controlling pulling, they have some potential downsides:

  • Leash Tangling: The leash can tangle under the dog’s front legs, especially if there is too much slack.
  • Chafing or Rubbing: If not properly fitted, the front strap can rub against the dog’s legs or chest, causing discomfort or chafing.
  • Reduced Mobility: For very active dogs, a front-clip might sometimes restrict movement when running or playing.
  • Adjustment Period: Some dogs may need time to adjust to the sensation of being steered by their chest rather than pulled from their back.

Do Front Harnesses Stop Dogs from Pulling?

Front-clip harnesses can significantly reduce pulling by making it mechanically harder for the dog to pull. The design redirects the dog’s body towards you when they try to pull, thereby decreasing their ability to move forward aggressively. However, they do not stop pulling entirely on their own; effective training techniques should accompany their use to teach the dog proper leash behavior.


Article by

Kyra Luo

Product Design Manager

Kyra is the Product Design Manager at QQPETS, where her expertise in developing high-quality, customized pet products and keen insight into market trends has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals, save money, and satisfy consumer needs.

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Kyra Luo

Product Design Manager

Kyra is the Product Design Manager at QQPETS, where her expertise in developing high-quality, customized pet products and keen insight into market trends has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals, save money, and satisfy consumer needs.

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