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The 9 Best Leashes for Dogs That Pull (and One Kind to Avoid at All Costs)

Leashes By K9 Editor 14 min read June 23, 2022

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leash for dogs that pull

Leash pulling is a real pain in your neck arm, but it can also hurt your dog. This makes nipping the nuisance behavior in the bud critical. Unfortunately, not every leash helps you do just that. In fact, some leashes can even make pulling behavior worse.

But don’t worry – we’re here to help!

We’ll explain why dogs pull on their leash, share a few things to look for when picking an anti-pulling leash, and identify a few of our favorite no-pull leashes below!

Best Leashes for Dogs That Pull: Quick Picks

  • #1 Zeedog Classic Airleash [Best Overall Leash for Dogs That Pull]: This lead allows for safer, more comfortable walks thanks to its shock-absorbing mechanism and locking hook.
  • #2 Harness Lead [Best Harness-Leash Combo for Dogs That Pull]: This rope lead doubles as a harness and discourages tugging with a no-pull design.
  • #3 IOKHEIRA Dog Leash [Best Budget-Friendly Leash for Dogs That Pull]: This affordably priced lead is packed with extras, including a secondary handle and car safety buckle.
  • #4 High Kiss Long Leash [Best Long Leash for Dogs That Pull]: Great for reducing pulling and instilling a good recall, this long leash is available in myriad lengths, colors, and widths.

Why Do Dogs Pull On Their Leashes?

Why do dogs pull on their leash

Leash pulling is a common problem in canines, but it’s a relatively easy fix once you understand why your dog is doing it.  

The most common causes of leash pulling behavior are:

  • Using the wrong leash. Unfortunately, the wrong kind of leash  can encourage naughty behaviors like pulling, spinning, or chewing. Retractable leashes are especially guilty of this — since retractable leashes rely on having constant low-level tension, your dog learns to expect to feel tension on the leash, making him less likely to follow leash pressure and making leash training even tougher. Most standard leashes will work just fine for pullers, but the best leashes will keep your arms comfortable as well.
  • Never learning leash manners. Teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash is one of the first skills you should master with your pooch. With a refresher course and some patience, your pup should be walking like a champ in no time.
  • Leash reactivity. Some dogs suffer from a Doggy Jekyll and Mr. Hyde phenomenon called leash aggression. Off-leash, they may be happy-go-lucky normal dogs, but on a lead, they exhibit aggressive behaviors toward other dogs or people, like barking and lunging.
  • Frustration. Humans walks a lot slower than dogs, with dogs naturally moving at a faster gait (that’s what four legs are for, after all). Your dog isn’t trying to boss you around – dogs will often be at the end of the lead simply because they walk faster!
  • Boring Environment. Walking around at one pace without sniffing anything or interacting with the environment is boring. Anyone who’s walked a high school track can attest to this. If you don’t like doing it, your dog won’t either. In a boring environment, your dog might pull more in order to find the few things that do smell interesting. Consider switching to walking in areas with more grass and less asphalt, and give your dog the chance to stop and smell the roses (plus, sniffing is great mental exercise for your pup)!
  • Excitement. Just as a boring environment can result in pulls, a super exciting environment can be challenging for your dog too! If your dog is easily aroused, a stimulating environment can make it more difficult for your dog to pay attention to you and stay close by.

What Makes a Leash Good for Pulling Dogs?

best harness for stopping pulling

Overcoming leash pulling takes time, patience, and the right leash. With so many so-called “no-pull” options on the market, it’s important to make sure your ultimate choice really is what’s best for you and your dog’s walking needs. 

The best leash for dogs who pull has the following attributes:

  • Strength: Leash snapping is the stuff of nightmares, and with your puller pup consistently testing his lead, you need a heavy-duty dog leash made of a durable material like thick woven nylon. 
  • Comfortable Design: A leash must have a handle for gripping as well as a little give in the line so you and your dog can enjoy a natural stride without any awkward jarring that can occur with stiff leads.
  • Durable hardware: Pullers need a sturdy clip to keep them contained. Weatherproof metal is best, as plastic is prone to snapping or cracking over time, especially with dogs who pull.

And while these aspects aren’t mandatory, some owners also prefer:

  • Shock absorbers: Usually made out of a bungee material, these features make for a more comfortable walk for both you and your larger dog. That said, they can be too stiff for small and toy breeds.
  • Harness/leash combo: These leads function as a harness and leash in one. Just realize that, while convenient, these types of two-in-one products mean you won’t be able to use one without the other. 
  • Alternative handles: Not everyone is a fan of the standard unpadded loop design. Some owners need more cushioning for comfort or prefer extra handles for added control.
  • Dual connection points for harnesses: These leads attach to two different points on a harness, like your dog’s chest and back. This is often a feature included to provide greater control.
  • Convertible styling: Some leashes feature extras for mixing up usage, whether it’s a bungee add-on, a two-dog hookup, or the ability to shorten the lead for city use.
  • Extra clips: Additional rings allow you to clip on poop bags and treat pouches, freeing up your hands.
  • Extra length: Extra long leashes can help give your dog more freedom (while still keeping him safe), which in turn can help eliminate his tendency to pull on the leash.

Think about everyday walks with your dog and what features might make the journey more enjoyable. They might not be must-haves for everyone, but if they improve the quality of your walks, they’re worth looking into.

The 9 Best Leashes for Dogs That Pull

holding dog leash

We’ve fetched nine of the best leashes for pulling dogs to help make finding the right one for your walks easier, whether you’re looking for something super short for city life, budget-friendly, or shock-absorbing.

1. Zeedog Classic Airleash

Best Overall Leash for Dogs That Pull

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Zeedog Classic Airleash

Zeedog Classic Airleash

A lightweight nylon lead with a built-in shock absorber for a comfortable walking experience.

About: The Zeedog Classic Airleash makes walking your woofer more enjoyable with its comfort and safety-focused design. Featuring a bungee portion for shock absorption hidden by rubber to prevent chewing, it’s a solid choice for owners whose dogs are just starting with leash training.

Features:

  • Bungee design absorbs movement, reducing jolts for you and your dog
  • Padded handle for owner comfort
  • Durable aluminum hook with a locking sleeve for added security
  • Made of nylon and FlowTex™️ elastic webbing

Options: Available in 9 patterns, including blue, violet, and neon, and 2 lengths: 3.3 and 5 feet.

Pros

  • The built-in shock absorber makes for a comfortable walk
  • The carabiner’s locking sleeve provides additional security
  • Unique style options stand out from other leads

Cons

  • This leash is a bit expensive
  • The rubber covering may be enticing for curious canine teeth

2. Harness Lead

Best Step-In Harness-Leash Combo for Dogs That Pull

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Harness Lead No Pull Dog Harness

Harness Lead

A harness and leash combo device that features a dog-friendly, anti-pull mechanism.

About: The Harness Lead is a harness and leash in one that prevents pulling by gently tightening around your dog’s middle as he tugs, which discourages the behavior. Unlike other options, it never squeezes his neck, keeping him safe from accidental injury while he learns leash manners.

Features:

  • Adjustable for a customized, comfortable fit (including for stocky breeds like bulldogs)
  • Made of woven polyester rope that soft against your pup’s skin
  • Some patterns include reflective stitching for added safety in low light conditions
  • Made in the USA

Options: Made in small/medium (14 to 40 pounds) and medium/large (40 to 170 pounds) strengths in 8 colors, including black, orange, and red.

Pros

  • The customizable fit provides top-notch canine comfort
  • Pricing is reasonable for a harness and leash in one
  • The self-tightening design works great for dogs who try to back out of harnesses 

Cons

  • Rope material won’t stand up to your dog’s teeth
  • Not recommended for jogging by the manufacturer

3. ThunderLeash No-Pull Dog Leash

Best Wrap-Around Harness-Leash Combo for Dogs That Pull

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Thunderleash No Pull Dog Leash

ThunderLeash No-Pull Dog Leash

A harness-and-leash-in-one design that’s fully adjustable to any dog’s unique shape.

About: The ThunderLeash No-Pull Dog Leash can be used as a harness and leash in one with no tricky straps or step-in headaches. Just attach the lead to your dog’s collar, wrap it around his chest, and hook into place.

Features:

  • No-pull style gently applies pressure to your dog’s abdomen, discouraging pulling
  • Reflective logo emblems for extra visibility
  • Works with most standard collars
  • Made of thick nylon

Options: Available in 5 colors, including gray and pink, and 3 size options: X-Small (dogs less than 12 pounds), Small (dogs 12 to 25 pounds), and Large (dogs over 25 pounds.)

Pros

  • The simple design makes it easy to put on and take off
  • The no-pull design works well
  • Affordably priced 

Cons

  • The long-term durability is questionable
  • Not the best choice for dogs who twist while walking

4. IOKHEIRA Dog Leash

B​​est Budget-Friendly Leash for Dogs Who Pull

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IOKHEIRA Dog Leash, Dog Leash for Large Dogs, Multifunctional Dog Leashes for Medium Dogs, Adjustable Dog Leash with Car Seatbelt, 4-6 FT Strong Bungee Dog Leash

IOKHEIRA Dog Leash

An affordable nylon lead featuring an extra handle and shock absorber.

About: The IOKHEIRA Dog Leash is an adjustable nylon lead that lets you choose between 4 and 6-foot lengths. It features a secondary handle for added control and shock-absorbing bungee styling, making for more enjoyable, controlled walks. 

Features:

  • Rounded handle with plenty of padding
  • Features an aluminum carabiner instead of a traditional clip
  • Reflective stitching for added visibility 
  • Made of nylon

Options: Available in 8 patterns, including Solid Red, Christmas Tree, and Army Green.

Pros

  • Offers a lot of bang for your buck with the extra features (car safety buckle, D-ring)
  • It’s lighter than similar models
  • Well-made with a quality bungee design

Cons

  • The handle is a little stiff
  • Some owners experienced quality issues with the carabiner

5. EzyDog Zero Shock Leash

Best Shock-Absorbing Leash for Dogs that Pull

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EZYDOG Zero Shock Dog Leash

EzyDog Zero Shock Leash

A bungee-style neoprene lead that saves your arm from jerks and jolts during walks.

About: The EzyDog Zero Shock Leash is made to absorb tugs and strains, allowing for a more seamless connection between doggos and pup parents. The padded handle also cushions your hand for maximum comfort.

Features:

  • Reflective stitching for extra visibility 
  • Longer length includes a second handle for added control
  • Shock-absorbing bungee design 
  • Made of waterproof neoprene

Options: Available in 12 colors, including blue, pink camo, and purple, and 2 lengths: 25-and 48-inch. Zero Shock Lite is also available for small dogs.

Pros

  • Offers a comfortable walking “feel” for both you and your dog
  • Thick, durable material is hardier than thinner nylon options
  • Extra D-ring for attaching accessories 

Cons

  • Some owners experienced issues with the clip coming undone
  • Not made to withstand chewing

6. Kruz Short Traffic Leash

Best Short Leash for Dogs Who Pull

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Kruz Short Traffic Leash - KZROPE5020-01L - Soft Silicone Grip - Click & Lock Snap - Heavy-Duty Reflective Dog Rope for Security, Safety and Control - Walking, Running, Training - Black - 1/2' x 20'

Kruz Short Traffic Leash

A petite nylon rope lead made for close-quarter dog adventures with a pulling pupper.

About: The Kruz Short Traffic Leash is a short dog leash designed for maximum control of your dog during training and walks in high-traffic, busy areas. We love this leash for helping to nail down that “heel” cue. The rubberized grip allows you to stay comfortable too.

Features:

  • Reflective stitching
  • 20-inch length keeps your canine close
  • Features metal locking hook for added security
  • Made of polyester rope webbing

Options: Available in black with 4 color stitching: red, orange, blue, and white.

Pros

  • Perfect length for keeping your dog under control
  • Quality gets a thumb’s up from owners
  • Great for walking in crowded urban settings

Cons

  • Too heavy, short, and stiff for use with small dogs or puppies
  • Not recommended for super chewers

7. FAIRWIN Leather Dog Leash

Best Leather Leash for Dogs Who Pull

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FAIRWIN Braided Leather Dog Leash 6 Foot - 5.6 Foot Dog Training Leash for Large Medium Small K9 Dogs ( S:1/2' x5.6ft, Brown) 004

FAIRWIN Leather Dog Leash

A handmade leather lead with metal hardware and a braided section for added durability.

About: FAIRWIN’s Leather Dog Leash is a leather lover’s dream with its buttery soft feel and durability. Designed to keep your dog contained while offering a relaxed connection, the lead offers a no-fuss solid finish that fits any style.  

Features:

  • Crafted with Italian leather and metal hardware
  • Lightweight for comfortable walking but still strong enough to handle big dogs
  • Copper alloy hardware for a secure connection
  • Made in China

Options: Available in black and brown leather and 4 sizes from small to X-Large.

Pros

  • Affordably priced for a leather leash
  • Offers a comfortable walk “feel” for both you and your dog
  • Swiveling hook allows your dog to move without twisting the lead

Cons

  • It’s made in China
  • Leather isn’t a good material for dogs who chew

8. Halti Training Lead

Best Dual-Contact Leash for Dogs Who Pull

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Halti Training Dog Lead

Halti Training Lead

A nylon lead allowing for multiple connection points to provide maximum canine control.

About: The Halti Training Lead can be used up to eight different ways, including a short leash, hands-free device, and multi-pup walker. It can be worn with your dog’s collar, harness, or gentle leader, even connecting to more than one place for top-notch control.

Features:

  • Made with nylon and metal hardware
  • Sleek, non-bulky design
  • Adjustable to different lengths between 3.3 and 6.7 feet
  • Approved for dogs up to 115 pounds

Options: Available in red and black in 2 widths: 1-inch for large breeds and 0.6-inch for small breeds.

Pros

  • Dual connection points offer excellent mutt management
  • Its versatility is unmatched (hands-free use, multi-dog hookups, and more!)
  • Pricing is great for such a versatile tool

Cons

  • Not a good choice for chewers
  • Some owners experienced hardware durability issues

9. SparklyPets Heavy Duty Rope Bungee Leash

Best Convertible Leash for Dogs Who Pull

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Heavy Duty Rope Bungee Leash for Large and Medium Dogs with Anti-Pull for Shock Absorption - No Slip Reflective Leash for Outside

SparklyPets Heavy Duty Rope Bungee Leash

A nylon lead that converts from a short training leash to a longer length for relaxed walks. 

About: SparklyPets’ Heavy Duty Rope Bungee Leash transforms from a 3.5-foot city lead to a 5.5-foot bungee device with a simple clip, allowing for no-pull walks. It’s made with a thick padded handle and a chew-resistant finish with both comfort and quality in mind.

Features:

  • Elastic bungee extension absorbs shock 
  • Reflective stitching for added visibility
  • Extra handle for additional control when needed
  • Made with a durable metal hook and braided nylon

Options: Made in 6 color options, including black, green, and red. Also comes in one or two-dog setups.

Pros

  • Added bungee feature makes for a more comfortable walk for you and your dog
  • Versatile design can switch between a short lead and a longer relaxed option
  • Reasonably priced for the quality 

Cons

  • Stretching may be an issue over time, as with many bungee devices
  • Too heavy for use with small dogs
  • Owners prone to misplacing things may not appreciate that it has two parts

10. Hi Kiss Long Lead

Best Long Leash for Dogs Who Pull

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Hi Kiss Dog/Puppy Obedience Recall Training Agility Lead - 15ft 20ft 30ft 50ft 100ft Training Leash - Great for Training, Play, Camping, or Backyard - Black 50ft

Hi Kiss Long Lead

A long lead that gives your dog more room to roam, thereby reducing pulling behavior.

About: As mentioned earlier, extra-long leashes can sometimes help reduce pulling behavior as they give your doggo more room to explore the world. If this sounds like a good approach for your canine, you’ll definitely want to check out the Hi Kiss Long Lead. It’s essentially a standard leash, but it’s available in super-long lengths up to 100 feet!

Features:

  • Both nylon and rope versions provide great durability and hand comfort
  • Nickle-plated clip swivels to prevent tangles
  • Includes wrist strap for security and convenience
  • Clip is easy to operate with one hand

Options: Available in 15-, 20-, 30-, 50- and 100-foot lengths, 14 colors, 3 different widths and 2 different materials.

Pros

  • Long leashes are not only helpful for reducing pulling but also teaching recall
  • Available in scads of colors, lengths, and widths
  • Very affordably priced

Cons

  • Really long leashes can be a bit cumbersome
  • You’ll need to use care in crowded areas to keep your pooch safe

One Leash to Avoid for Pulling Dogs

retractable dog leash

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but one leash just won’t work for dogs who pull, and that’s the retractable leash

We know, letting your dog wander at his leisure on these is convenient, but we don’t usually recommend retractable leashes for any pup parent (though there are a few exceptions). And this is especially important for those with leash pullers. 

As we mentioned earlier, the constant low-level pressure applied with the retractable dog leash means that it actively encourages your dog to ignore leash pressure.

Not only do retractable leashes encourage pulling behavior, but they’re also dangerous. You or your dog can be cut by the lead, leading to some nasty gashes. Retractable leashes are also prone to snapping, particularly in dogs who pull, which can lead to tragic results.  

Additional Tips for Stopping Leash-Pulling

While a good leash helps curb leash-pulling behavior, other measures ensure long-term success, including:

  • Opt for a front-clip harness. This style encourages your dog to walk by your side, eliminating nuisance pulling. Check out our favorite no-pull harnesses to grab a good one!
  • Fine-tune walking manners. Sometimes your pup needs a refresher course in learning how to heel, especially after a move or rehoming. 
  • Provide more exercise. Dogs that are underexercised may pull out of frustration. Aim for some indoor play or backyard ball before walks. 
  • Offer more canine enrichment. Your dog might be pulling on his lead out of boredom or instinct, particularly if he’s a scenthound looking to sniff. Dog walking games like dog parkour and allowing your dog to sniff dog-safe items along the way can make your outing more fun and ward off naughty behaviors like leash pulling.
  • Avoid your dog’s triggers. If you know your pup is reactive and unable to disengage, it’s best to avoid places that may lead to upset until he’s undergone desensitization training. Not only is this safer for everyone involved, but it’s far less stressful for your dog.
  • Use positive reinforcement training. Leash pulling is frustrating, but remember to keep training methods upbeat. Harshly correcting your dog can worsen leash pulling and other anxious behaviors (that means no prong or e-collars either).

***

Do you own any of the leashes on our list? Does your dog have another no-pull leash that rocks your world? Share it with us in the comments. We’d love to hear.

best leashes for puppies
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