No Pull Harness vs Regular Harness (Solved & Explained!)

It can be confusing figuring out which dog harness to use. There are two main types: the no-pull harness and the regular harness. The no-pull option is designed for dogs who tend to pull on their leash, while the traditional one is used for dogs that have been trained to walk at your side (e.g. heel training). In this article, we’ll cover the main differences to help you decide which is best for you.

no pull harness vs regular harness

What is the difference between a no-pull harness and a regular harness?

No pull harnesses have a front or side ring. When you connect the leash to the front or side it gives the dog an awkward sensation of falling when they try and pull. This quickly gets them to stop pulling on walks. Think of it as the easy button for heel training.

Regular harnesses attach at the top of the harness behind the head. This gives them full use of their body weight when pulling on the leash. This can make it difficult to talk to a large dog that gets easily excited and pulls often.

Step in harness vs regular harness

Step-in harnesses are similar to regular harnesses only you put them over your dog’s front legs first then clip them together over the back. Regular harnesses go on over the dog’s head then usually clip under the belly or on the side. Both can be designed as a no-pull harness if they have a leash connecting ring in the front of the dog’s chest. Also, most mesh harnesses are step-in style.

Front harness vs Back harness

Front harnesses are another name for no-pull harnesses. They have a leash clip on the front of the harness under the dog’s chin on its chest. Back harnesses are another name for regular harnesses. They have a leash clip on the dog’s back at the base of the neck.

Why Are Conventional Harnesses So Uncomfortable for Dogs?

There may be several reasons why your dog is so uncomfortable. The biggest reason is probably that you are using a conventional dog harness.

These types of harnesses are usually made of rougher material and are far less flexible than the modern no-pull harness. A dog who pulls on them may end up chafing or bruising their neck.

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This type of harness is centered on their neck and may cause considerable chafing. This is especially true for smaller and medium-sized breeds.

The best way to eliminate this type of dangerous behavior is to move to a no-pull harness.

This type of harness is made of much softer materials and is designed to distribute the weight over the front chest of your dog rather than their neck. This makes for a much more comfortable walking experience for you and your dog.

Mesh Dog Harnesses

One of the most popular no-pull dog harnesses is a mesh dog harness. The reason why they are so popular is simply that they are so comfortable and so very well made.

Depending on the precise model that you buy, you will receive a harness that allows your dog to finally be able to have a comfortable walk without feeling the need to pull.

Since this type of harness is made of soft, pliable mesh, there is plenty of giving in the material. You can attach the leash and guide your dog in a smooth, easy-going manner.

Mesh harnesses enhance your dog’s obedience by increasing their level of comfort. They are fully adjustable on the front, back, and chest, making them ideal for many breeds.

Step-in Dog Harnesses

Another popular type of no-pull leash is the step-in dog harness. These are becoming more popular because of their innovative design. They are especially useful to help train puppies who are still in the growth stage of their lives.

The step-in dog harness is exactly what its name implies. Instead of being pulled over them from outside, they are designed to allow your dog to simply step into them.

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By doing so, the dog gets a far more manageable and comfortable walking experience. This type of harness goes around the front legs and chest. This eliminates chafing on the neck and trachea.

The dog steps into the harness, front legs first. You then fasten the buckle on their back by the area around their shoulder blades.

This type of harness comes with two rings that are designed to allow you to attach your leash. Most models will fully adjustable around the front chest of your dog.

2 Ring Velvet Harnesses

Most 2 ring velvet harnesses are fully adjustable. They come with a girth strap that is designed to fit under the chest. It then adjusts by the front legs. They are lined in velvet to increase your dog’s general level of comfort.

The idea here is to provide full support in the most easily adjustable and comfortable manner. It gets its name from the fact that it includes 2 rings for easy placement.

The first ring is on the front chest where the bulk of the harness will be placed. The second ring will be found on the back of your dog’s shoulders. This is the place where you can attach the leash for guidance during your next walk.

You can actually attach separate leashes to both rings if you want to maximize the control that you have over your dog while leading them.

This is ideal for puppies and dogs who have exhibited undue willfulness during past walks. If your dog should choose to pull forward, the harness will gently push the dog back to you.

Fabric Dog Harness with Front and Back Lead Rings

This type of harness comes with padded chest and belly panels. They are some of the most comfortable harnesses that your dog can wear.

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They also come with an aluminum ring on the back where you can easily attach your lead. This type of harness also features a reinforced webring in the front. Adjustments can be made in 4 separate spots to increase flexibility.

These harnesses are becoming more popular all over the world because they can be sized and adjusted to fit almost every breed of dog from the largest to the smallest.

The front and back rings on the front range harness have been specially designed by animal care experts to minimize the chance of choking and chafing.


What are no pull dog harnesses good for?

No-pull dog harnesses are best for large dogs that like to pull. They are especially good for dog walkers dealing with dogs that haven’t been trained to heel. For your own dog, a no-pull harness is a great addition to use along with standard training on teaching your dog to heel. You can skip the heel training (like I did!) with a no-pull harness but training, in the long run, will be best.

Are No-Pull Harnesses Really More Comfortable for Your Dog?

No-pull harnesses have a recent history. They have been designed to put the weight of the harness on your dog’s front chest rather than their neck.

The idea here is to give them direction that they can respond to without any uncomfortable chafing. This will also eliminate the need for them to pull ahead of their harness.

Does the Material of a Harness Matter?

It definitely does matter what kind of material a harness, especially a no-pull harness, is made of.

The softer the material, the easier it will be to keep your dog happy on their walk. This is why many smaller and medium-sized breeds respond best to a no-pull mesh harness. When in doubt, keep the material firm but soft to the touch.

How Effective is a No-Pull Harness?

When it comes to judging just how effective a no-pull harness really is, the best way to do so is to put one on your dog and see for yourself.

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Because the weight can be distributed more evenly around their front end, the need to pull ahead to escape a badly fitting neck harness is removed. This in itself will eliminate most occasions for pulling.