Can Dogs Pull Harder with a Harness?

Can Dogs Pull Harder with a Harness?

Have you ever felt like you’re being yanked off your feet during a peaceful stroll with your pooch? If so, you’re not alone! Let’s us diving into whether your dog’s harness is turning them into a neighborhood sled dog.

Indeed, dogs can pull harder with a harness because it distributes pressure across a broader area of their body, making it more comfortable for them to pull.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of why harnesses might be giving your furry friend a little too much leverage and how you can regain control.

Why Dog Harness Encourage Pulling?

Harnesses, especially those that clip on the back, can inadvertently teach dogs to pull. The design allows them to use their body weight to pull forward, much like sled dogs pulling a sled. This is because the harness doesn’t cause discomfort or restrain them as a collar might when they start to pull.

What Types of Harnesses Are There?

There are mainly two types of dog harnesses: front-clip and back-clip. The back-clip harnesses are typically the culprits in making it easier for dogs to pull because of the reasons mentioned above. Front-clip harnesses, however, can help reduce pulling as they direct the dog’s body towards you when they try to pull, making it physically awkward to pull.

This harness is designed with a front-clip attachment, which effectively discourages pulling by redirecting the dog’s forward momentum towards you whenever they try to pull. This interruption in their path makes it difficult for them to pull strongly or gain speed, and over time, the dog learns that pulling is counterproductive.

How Can You Train Your Dog Not to Pull?

Training is key! Regardless of the type of harness, training your dog to walk nicely beside you is crucial. You can start by practicing in a low-distraction area:

  1. Use Short Leash: Keep the leash short but loose. This gives you control without putting constant pressure on your dog.
  2. Stop Technique: When your dog begins to pull, stop walking. Stand still until the leash slackens. Once your dog comes back to you or turns to look at you, praise them and continue walking.
  3. Direction Change: Another technique is to change direction suddenly. This teaches your dog to pay attention to where you are going rather than bulldozing ahead.

Are There Alternatives to Using a Harness?

Yes, if you find that harnesses aren’t working for your dog, you might consider other training tools like head collars or martingale collars, which provide different kinds of control and feedback. However, these should be used under the guidance of a professional to ensure they are used safely.


While a harness can give your dog the mechanical advantage to pull, with the right training techniques, fit, and type of harness, you can enjoy tug-free walks. It’s all about finding what works best for 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 how to get your dog to stop pulling

  1. Why does a harness make my dog pull more instead of less?
    • A harness can encourage pulling because it’s more comfortable than a collar and doesn’t cause discomfort when the dog pulls, giving them little reason to stop.
  2. What type of harness is best to prevent my dog from pulling?
    • A front-clip harness is ideal as it redirects your dog’s forward momentum towards you whenever they start to pull, making it awkward for them to continue pulling.
  3. How can I train my dog to stop pulling while using a harness?
    • Implement the “stop-and-go” technique: halt every time your dog pulls, and only continue walking when the leash is slack.
  4. Can the fit of the harness affect how much my dog pulls?
    • Yes, an improperly fitted harness can be uncomfortable or allow too much freedom, both of which can increase pulling. Ensure the harness fits snugly but doesn’t restrict your dog’s movement.
  5. What should I do if my dog starts pulling in the middle of a walk?
    • Immediately stop walking, call your dog back to your side, ask them to sit, and only resume walking once they have calmed down.
  6. Is there a way to use treats effectively to reduce pulling?
    • Yes, use treats to reward your dog when they walk beside you with a loose leash; this reinforces the behavior you want to encourage.
  7. What common mistakes should I avoid when trying to stop my dog from pulling?
    • Avoid continuously pulling back on the leash, which can trigger your dog’s opposition reflex and make them pull harder.
  8. How long will it take to train my dog not to pull on a harness?
    • Depending on the consistency of training and your dog’s temperament, it may take several weeks to a few months of consistent reinforcement.
  9. Should I use a different type of walking gear if the harness doesn’t help?
    • If a harness isn’t effective, you might consider trying a head collar, which provides more control over your dog’s head and can discourage pulling.
  10. How can I tell if my dog is more comfortable with a harness or a collar?
    • Observe your dog’s behavior and body language. If they seem less stressed and more responsive to commands with a harness, it’s likely more comfortable for them.

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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