Harnessing the Walk: Choosing the Right Harness for Your Dog

Favorite back-clip harnesses:

Front-Clip Harness

Front-clip harnesses have the leash attachment in the center of the dog’s chest. Trainers often choose front-clip harnesses to lessen the dog's pulling on the leash. The chest clip gives the owner control over the direction the dog is moving and allows for the dog to be redirected to face the owner if needed.

Pros:

  • They give more control over pulling on the leash, jumping up or other poor leash manners.
  • They provide directional steering, allowing for the dog to be turned around when needed.

Cons:

  • Although front-clip harnesses provide more control than most traditional collars or back-clip harnesses, dogs with serious behavior issues, such as aggression, may need a walking tool offering additional control, such as a head halter. (Watch for more information in an upcoming article.)
  • The leash on the front of the chest can tangle under the dog’s front legs if too much slack is given.

Favorite front-clip harnesses:

  • Sense-ation Dog Harness: A sturdy front-clip harness that has been popular with trainers for years. The San Francisco SPCA, where I studied with renowned trainer Jean Donaldson, used the tool as one of its go-to harnesses.
  • Wonder Walker Body Halter: A front-clip harness that’s becoming more popular with trainers.
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