When it comes to walking your dog, there are plenty of products on the market for those thinking beyond the simple collar and leash. And many should think beyond just the collar and leash as that old standby can be damaging to the windpipe of numerous breeds of dog; it also lacks the control of many harness-style collars. So which is the best harness for walking your dog? We review two of the most popular dog harness products on the market, the Easy Walk Harness and the Gentle Leader Headcollar, each having its own features, drawbacks, and best uses.
The Easy Walk Harness Review
The Easy Walk Harness is fitted around your dog’s body and does not include their head. It is therefore easier to fit and is recommended for short-nosed or brachycephalic breeds like pugs or boxers, etc. It also discourages pulling on the leash because of the absence of head influence. There is no special training or skill required and little to no acclimatization time for you or your dog.
On the downside, the Easy Walk Harness gives you less ability to direct your dog. You have a lot of control over their body but since you lack control over their head, you have a harder time with training them to heel or stop engaging in certain behaviors like lunging or other aggressive posturing. It also can be physically uncomfortable for some dogs; for certain breeds with thick middles but small heads, it can be difficult to fit properly. If the harness is too large they may escape, while a harness that is too small may rub them raw at their “underarms” on their front legs.
The Gentle Leader Headcollar Review
The Gentle Leader Headcollar, alternatively, tends to offer many of the opposite pros and cons. While it also helps protect your dog’s trachea, prevents gagging and coughing, and is great for everyday use, because it goes around the head, it does the reverse of the Easy Walk Harness. The fit is based on weight, which itself is not difficult, but it must be put on correctly in order to be safe and effective which is sometimes tricky to do. Because it’s on the head, it also doesn’t discourage pulling at the leash.
The Gentle Leader Headcollar being head-based, allows you more control to direct any aggressive behaviors like jumping or excessive barking, as well as training them to heel. It also attaches to the leash around the head , so it is less likely to be uncomfortable for your dog.
Final Verdict: Easy Walk Harness vs Gentle Leader Headcollar
In order to determine which is the best harness for walking your dog, you need to consider a few things. Firstly, what is your dog’s breed and body type? That may already determine whether the harness or headcollar is right for your dog. Secondly, what is your dog’s behavior and what are your goals? Are you trying to get your dog to behave more calmly on walks? Is your dog generally calm, and you just want to take her out easily? Consider what matters to you and, first and foremost, what will ensure the health and safety of your dog.