Best Dog Collars for Pulling


Many dogs who were not properly trained pull on their leashes. This behavior can be dangerous for both humans and dogs; dogs can get loose, choke, and strain or pull muscles and people can injure themselves. Along with proper training, there are products to help curb this unwanted issue, starting with the collar. A dog’s collar is the most important thing when training a dog to properly walk on his leash without pulling. Here are three suggestions to consider when choosing the proper collar for pull-free walks with your pooch.

Martingale No-Slip Collar

Martingale No-Slip Collar ($8-$15)
The Martingale style collar is affordable and discourages pulling. The double ring system tightens around the dog’s neck if he pulls; when the dog stops pulling, the leash loosens. The dog will quickly associate pulling with the unpleasant feeling and will automatically be relieved when he stops pulling. It’s better than a traditional collar because it is loose and comfortable when the dog isn’t pulling; you actually slip it on and off the dog’s head (no clips). Read more about the Martingale collar here.
Buy it at PetSmart, $9.99

easy walk harness

One of our fosters, DJ, in an Easy Walk Harness

Easy Walk Harness ($20-$30)
This harness is great for training dogs who constantly pull on their leashes, especially medium to large breeds. The leash clips to the front of the harness, meaning when the dog pulls on the leash, it turns them to the side and ultimately, all the way around to you. It does not go around the dog’s neck, so it’s impossible for the dog to choke or gag. This is great for moderate-strength to strong dogs, including Labrador Retrievers, American Pit Bull Terriers and German Shepherds, but works just as well for smaller dogs. Read more about the Easy Walk Harness from Premier, the makers of the harness here.
Buy it at Pet Expertise.

foster dog

Gentle Leader Headcollar on our foster dog, DJ

Gentle Leader Headcollar ($15-$20)
This collar attaches around the dog’s mouth, like an open muzzle. It isn’t a muzzle; dogs can eat, drink and pick things up with the Headcollar on. This is my favorite of the three collars to stop pulling; this will stop every breed from Chihuahua to Rottweiler. Some dogs can get easily frustrated and upset with it on, especially when they aren’t used to being muzzled. Every dog is different and for some dogs, it calms them, reduces anxiety and even curbs barking. This collar applies pressure to the back of the neck instead of the front of the throat and will not choke the dog– much like a horse collar. It can be a great distraction for especially aggressive dogs but is not a muzzle and should not be used to prevent biting. Read more about it here.
Shop for the Gentle Leader at Nextag.

Is there a collar you recommend to stop the pulling? What do you use? Tell us below!

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16 responses to “Best Dog Collars for Pulling

  1. We have had great success with the Gentle Leader Headcollar. I would recommend it to anyone!

  2. We use plain old training collar with a lot of practicing. 🙂

  3. Andrea Thomson Viner @ Iowa Dog Blog

    I use the Easy Walk–it’s great for deep-chested dogs like my boxers. However, it’s annoying when I’m walking with both of them because they turn into each other or opposite of each other, and we get all tangled.

    When Gertie and I took our last obedience class, the instructor suggested we just use a regular collar, instead of the harness, to teach Gertie to heel (or some semblance of healing). It worked while we were in the class, but on walks with strange barking dogs and squirrels and people she wants to meet, I just need the harness!

  4. I’ve had a couple people recommend the Gentle Leader to me. So far Bongo has been on a regular collar and he’s pretty good until there’s a dog or other animal he wants to go after. I may have to look into one of these collars.

  5. Might try that Martingale collar with DeDe. She pulls when we walk. I tried the Gentle Lead, and it worked ok, but my neighbors wrongly assumed it was a muzzle and that she was dangerous (nothing could be further from the truth). And once the lead came off, she was right back to pulling. I wish I were one of those trainer-types that have all the answers. All I seem to have are questions.

    • Me too– dogs are never-ending sources of surprise 🙂 I’ve had the most success with the Martingale; it’s great for moderate pullers. One thing we do to curb the habit is to stop every single time Scarlett pulls and turn around; we only go if she completely stops pulling the lead and her Martingale is nice and loose.

  6. We use the SENSE-ible! Because I am a horse trainer, I got quite interested in this harness and to me, it made perfect sense! The website explains everything very nicely. I love the harness! Especially for my older dog who cant see curbs well, I can easily pull her up without hurting her so that she doesnt fall on her face when she cant see the curbs.

  7. Pingback: How To Stop Dog From Pulling Leash

  8. I have a 70lb Samoyed with a very thick coat and an even thicker stubborn streak. As I write this, i’m placing a cold pack on my bruised and scraped knee and elbow I accuired on yesterday’s “walk”. Kaitlin is almost 3 yrs old and determined to go where she wants, especially if she sees another animal. She not only chases cats, and squirrels but mice, crawling and flying insects, birds (that she flushes out of bushes) and bikes/motorcycles. No kind of treat (including Hot Dogs, liverwurst, etc) or correction will stop her from pulling me while outdoors. I’ve tried The Martindale, but her hair is so thick that the collar doesn’t go back to the loose position. On one walk she pulled so hard, she started coughing and choking for nearly 10 min. I’ve also tried the Gentle Leader Collar, but she took it as a tug of war challenge and walks backwards shaking her head back and forth. It’s common for her when we start our walks to bite onto the leash a few inches from her collar so she can control the walk. I’m wondering if the Harness with the connection ring down by her chest will work better than the head collar. Samoyeds are notoriously hard to train as they can be indifferent to their owners and “pack” politics. I guess thats why even though the’re an ancient breed from Northern Russia they are rarely used in dog sled racing. They only follow the leader when and for as long as they feel like it. Any other ideas? I have taken her to training classes where the instructor insisted on an uncapped prong collar, and “corrected” Kaitlin harshly and often

    • I’m sorry to hear you are having such a tough time. The best advice I can give you is to contact a positive reinforcement dog trainer in your area to help you work on these leash issues (who does not use prong collars, harsh corrections or force. They motivate them with treats and positive reinforcement & is much more effective). Also, try a harness that hooks in the back + a regular collar that goes around the neck at the same time– hook the leash onto both. This will help keep her secure (almost impossible to escape from 2 collars). The best way I’ve found to train dogs not to pull is to walk backwards and make her follow you, using LOTS of treats. Take a treat bag, put her on leash and start walking backwards with the treats, so she has to walk toward you to get them– you should keep walking back & she should keep following you– give her a treat every few steps. Dogs can’t pull if they are following instead of leading. Once you get this down, you will walk backwards with her for a few steps and then turn around and start walking forward. If she starts pulling, you stop and start walking backwards again, letting her come to you. It’s very hard to explain by text– please check out our YouTube Channel- http://www.youtube.com/user/loveofmydogs– there are two videos of us doing this exercise with our foster dog, Enzo. Good luck!!!!! Please let me know if you’d like me to help you find a good positive reinforcement trainer in your area– would love to help 🙂

  9. Hi I have a 9 month old shepherd/husky mix. He’s really big and really strong! I just adopted him and he obviously has never had any sort of leash training. He pulls to no end! I am deffinetly going to try some of the techniques listed below but my question is which collar do you think would be best to train with. Like I said he’s very big and strong and has a very thick coat. He’s really not that hyper for a 9 month old dog and walks pretty nicely in the yard on leash. But once we hit the road he goes full force with the pulling! I want to try the headcollar leader but I am afraid he might break loose from it… any suggestions?

    • Gentle Leaders are very secure when fitted properly however if your dog pulls constantly, it can cause some skin irritation around the muzzle. I like the Easy Walk for larger breeds and have had great success using it with Pitties, Rotties and Shepherd mixes. Hope this helps!

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