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My dog's "pulling" habit finally went too far

Lisa Finley
Monday August 2, 2021

I was in pain. I was embarrassed and scared. And I kept asking myself, what just happened?

About three months ago, my husband and I adopted a 5-year-old lab mix named Mia. From the start, she has been absolutely wonderful. Except for one thing.

You see, Mia pulls like crazy when she's on a leash. And one night, she actually made me fall.

It happened while we were on our evening walk. Down the street, a man with three dogs was coming towards us. I could tell Mia was getting excited, but I wasn't prepared for what came next.

Loose Mia

Suddenly, Mia yanked on the leash with all her 60 pounds, and she started charging towards the other dogs. I was mid step, and she literally made me fall to the ground. I landed on my hip and got scraped up pretty badly.

 “I hobbled over, thanked him, and collected my runaway dog...”

What's worse, the leash fell out of my hand, and Mia ran off. Fortunately, the man with the other dogs caught the leash and held Mia while I got up and cleaned off. I eventually hobbled over, thanked him, and collected my runaway dog.

This might seem like a minor incident. But for me, it was unacceptable. I was in pain, I was embarrassed, and I was frustrated. I decided then and there that if Mia and I would go for walks, I needed to get her to stop pulling like this.

Failed to pull

Over the coming weeks, I started trying different strategies to stop Mia from pulling. The first was a martingale collar, which is loose unless your dog starts to pull. It didn't work, so I tried a harness next. That just seemed to encourage Mia to pull harder.

 “All it did was cause her to rub her nose and look miserable...”

I next tried a gentle lead, but all it did was cause her to rub her nose and look miserable. A few people also recommended a prong collar to me. I found this too cruel, and couldn't bear to put it on Mia.

I couldn’t bear to put something like this on Mia

Unfortunately, Mia wasn't as considerate with me. This whole time, she kept pulling my arm out of my socket each time we went for a walk. I was starting to get desperate — and then I got some helpful advice.

A professional weighs in

One of my co-workers named Karen works part-time as a dog walker. She told me she had a secret that solved the pulling issue for her a long time ago. "I would be just a giant road rash without it," she joked. I was all ears.

"You have to get a PawSafe®️ No-Pull Dog Harness," Karen said. My heart sank.

"A harness?" I asked her. "I tried that, and Mia just seemed to pull harder."

"The rule is back clip for dogs who walk fine, front clip for pullers."

"No no," she insisted, "this harness is different." Unlike a regular harness, the PawSafe®️ No-Pull Dog Harness has a special clip in the front as well. "The rule is back clip for dogs who walk fine, front clip for pullers." I was intrigued so I asked her to explain.

Focus on you

With a normal harness, a pulling dog is encouraged to pull even harder to get where's she's going. And a dog like Mia doesn't care how hard she has to pull.

The front-clip harness is different. Since the leash clips in the front, as soon as your dog starts to pull, she gets pulled around towards you.

The front clip spins your dog around — so they stop pulling. Note: My friend's dog Stella

This works with your dog’s psychology. Her focus is taken off whatever got her pulling, and the focus moves to you. It also teaches her that pulling is not the way to get where she wants to go.

It all sounded good in theory. But would it really work in practice?

We give it a shot

I ordered the PawSafe®️ No-Pull Dog Harness and it arrived in a few days. I was happy to see it seemed made of sturdy, high-quality material.

Putting it on was easy. I just slipped it on Mia and clipped it under her chest. Mia is around 60 pounds, and the L size was perfect for her (you can see the different sizes here). But there are adjustable straps so the harness can be fitted snugly if your dog is a little more lithe/bulky.

Putting on the harness was a cinch

So after getting Mia into the harness, we went out for a test walk. And the results were... mixed.

 “It was funny to see the confused look on her face...”

Of course, as soon as we neared the hill where she meets other dogs, Mia started to pull. I held on firmly to the leash and sure enough, she spun around. It was funny to see the confused look on her face as she looked up at me.

So it seemed to work as promised. But it didn't take long for Mia to start pulling again. Again, she spun around and stared at me in wonder. This was an improvement, but I couldn't say that Mia's pulling was cured at this point.

Added trick

I did more research, and I found out that the best time to correct unwanted pulling is right before it occurs. You see, dogs will foreshadow when they are about to start pulling. That is your cue to get their attention and reward them heavily for acknowledging you. So here's what I did.

I kept using the front clip harness. Each time Mia pulled I'd stop and spin her towards me. But I also got good at anticipating when she would pull. In those cases, I would give her a gentle tug using the leash (still tied to the front clip) as I changed direction. She started to realize she would never move forward unless the leash is loose.

 “In less than a week, she stopped pulling completely...”

I can finally enjoy our walks together

Using the front-clip on the harness along with this "foreshadowing" trick really worked. Within a few days, Mia would only pull once or twice per walk. In a few more days, she becomes more and more controlled. And in less than a week, she stopped pulling completely.

I was delighted with this improvement. But there was still one unresolved issue.

Permanent harness?

Some anti-pulling harnesses are not meant to be worn permanently. They restrict your dog's movements and are only supposed to be used to train your dog to stop pulling. If you continue to use them, they can get in the way of normal muscle development for your dog.

“It's cured Mia's pulling, and it also serves as a great harness all around”

But that's not the case with the PawSafe®️ No-Pull Dog Harness. It doesn't restrict Mia's movements. It doesn't cut into her muscles in any way. When she's wearing it and she's off the leash, she can run freely. And if I do need to grab her, it's so much easier than with a collar.

That's why I highly recommend this harness. It's cured Mia's pulling, and it also serves as a great harness all around. And I honestly don't see a reason to ever go back to a collar. This harness is so much safer and more convenient. And now that Mia's cured of pulling, I've even switched to the back clip.

40% off at the moment

I just found out that you can get a PawSafe®️ No-Pull Dog Harness at 40% off. I wish I had seen this deal when I was buying one for Mia. Maybe I'll get another in teal instead of the black one she has now. In any case, if you're looking for a harness to cure your dog's pulling, I highly recommend the PawSafe®️ No-Pull Dog Harness, and I think it makes sense to grab it while the current discount lasts.

How To Protect Your Pet Now

Now that you've been informed of this revolutionary product, let me show you how easy it is to use it. All you need to do is follow these 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Order your PawSafe®️ No-Pull Dog Harness today to take advantage of the 40% off discount.
  • Step 2: After receiving the product, take it out of the package and the clip the buckles around your dog.
  • Step 3: Use it whenever you take your dog on a walk or in a car and watch them behave better, quicker!

Here's a tip: Know anyone who has a pet? This device makes for the perfect gift and will save whoever receives them a lot of hassle and keeps them safe!

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Hi, I’m Lisa. I'm a huge pet lover and activist. You can always find me at the nearby dog park or volunteering at the Dallas SPCA. I write about pet care and tips and also work as a kindergarten school teacher.

- Lisa Finley

Customer Ratings

4.9 average based on 554 reviews

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Jane Pitkannen

• 35 minutes ago

I'm concerned about my puppy squirming out of this harness. Can he escape from it?

 131

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Arianna Huege

• 2 hours ago

Not if you tighten it normally and use the front clip instead of the top clip.

 15

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Mike Seymour

• 3 hours ago

Is the clip leash on the back? Or on the chest?

 23

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Jenny Hartshorne

• 3 hours ago

There are two clips, the one in front is very useful for dogs that pull. The other one you can use if your dog walks normally.

 19

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Leyla Benson

• 4 hours ago

Is it washable?

 71

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Maggie Smith

• 5 hours ago

It says it's machine washable but I washed mine by hand.

 68

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Nathan Perry

• 6 hours ago

Can this harness be used with a dog seat belt?

 98

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Regina Sherman

• 7 hours ago

Yep, that's how I use mine. In the car you want to make sure you use the back leash clip.

 45

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Jamie Macintyre

• 8 hours ago

Are both the front and back rings metal?

 23

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Stela Marguzova

• 9 hours ago

Yep, metal.

 17

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Peter Nunez

• 10 hours ago

My dog has a 15 inch neck and 24 inch girth, and weighs 30 lbs (small brittany spaniel). is small the best size for her?

 76

 0

Chris Lee

• 11 hours ago

Yes, it will work. I just went by my dog's weight and used the straps to make it fit perfectly.

 45

 1

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