Gentle Leader vs Easy Walk Harness (Which Is Better for Your Dog?)

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Two dogs with Gentle Leader and Easy Walk HarnessDoes your dog have issues pulling on the leash, barking excessively or lunging and jumping while walking?

Not every dog is a perfect Lassie. So a training leash is a helpful tool to tame your pup’s anxiety and aggression.

Article Overview

Gentle Leader vs Easy Walk Harness

PetSafe Easy Walk HarnessPetSafe Gentle Leader
PetSafe Easy Walk HarnessPetSafe Gentle Leader
View Easy Walk on AmazonView Gentle Leader on Amazon

Gentle Leader & Easy Walk Harness Features

Two popular training collar options are the Easy Walk harness and Gentle Leader Headcollar.

Both can help train against unwanted behavior but they are not identical products. So when comparing side by side we wanted to point out the features of each.

To help you see which one you should pick, take a look at the table below. After reading, you may even decide that your dog could benefit from both (more on that below).

 Easy Walk HarnessGentle Leader Head Collar
Discourages pulling on the leash

Helps train against excessive barking, lunging, jumping and even anxiety and aggression in some cases

Perfect for training dogs to heel

Easier to fit because it goes on the body, not the head

Recommended for brachycephalic breeds or short-nosed dogs (pugs, boxers, etc.)

Can be used on most breeds older than 6 weeks


Does not damage the trachea


Prevents gagging, choking and coughing


Requires little acclimation time or special technique

Great for every day walks


Popular among trainers and vets because you can walk your dog more comfortably on a leash

How to Use the Gentle Leader Leash

Why is the gentle leader effective for dogs who pull? Because the Gentle Leader harness applies gentle pressure on the nose when the dog does a pulling action.

Putting the Gentle Leader  on correctly is critical to its effectiveness, so  watch this one minute video from Austin Pets Alive to see how this head collar should be properly worn.

Dog Harness Sizing Options & Pricing

The table below shows the various sizing options for each harness.

Note: the Gentle Leader head collar is sized by weight, whereas the Easy Walk dog harness uses chest and girth measurements.

The Easy Walk harness has four adjustment points, so your dog is comfortable and has a reliable fit. There is a martingale loop in the chest piece to prevent twisting and the quick snap buckles on the shoulder and belly straps make it easy to put on and take off. The collar sits high on your dog’s neck without putting any pressure on the throat.

The Easy Walk harness costs $19.95 and the Gentle Leader for dogs is $15.90.

Black is pictured above but they both come in a variety of colors to chose from.

Gentle Leader Head CollarEasy Walk Harness
weight under 5 lbs
chest width 6"-7"
girth measurement 12"-16"
weight up to 25 lbs
chest width 8"-9"
girth measurement 13"-18"
weight 25-60 lbs
chest width 8.5"-11"
girth measurement 15"-21"
weight 60-130 lbs
chest width 11"-13"
girth measurement 19"-26"
Extra Large
weight over 130 lbs
chest width 12"-15"
girth measurement 21"-32"
chest width 14"-18"
girth measurement 24.5"-34"
chest width 16"-21"
girth measurement 27"-40"
Extra Large
chest width 17.5"-23.5"
girth measurement 32"-50"

Can You Use Both the Gentle Leader and Easy Walk?

These two tools are fairly inexpensive. So, if your dog has issues with pulling on the leash and lunging, you may want to purchase both. You can then apply the training tool that makes sense in a particular situation.

For example, you may use the Easy Walk at the park but the Gentle Leader for dogs at the vet’s office.

Tips for Improving Dog Walking Behavior

View Easy Walk on Amazon | View Gentle Leader on Amazon

We’d like to remind you that although these harnesses can be immensely helpful, they are still just one of many training tools. If your dog’s issue is that he pulls on the leash, it’s important that you are consistent with your commands. Also, don’t forget to reward him when he isn’t pulling so it reinforces good behavior.

To further maximize your dog’s walking success you might also consider other dog training collar options or an online dog training class.

Have you used these products? Share your Easy Walk harness review and/or Gentle Leader reviews below.

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Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She and her husband adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and she has brought so much joy into their lives. Life as pet parents has been very rewarding.

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My daughter has a Doberman and just bought a gentle leader and he’s being stubborn and not wanting to poop like his normal times like in the mornings. He waits til lunch.
I have a 16 week old Beagle puppy that pulls a lot when we go for walks. She wears a SPORN harness to prevent pulling but it’s not working. Even if I tighten it she STILL pulls. She doesn’t seem to care. Which harness do you think might work better on her? I’d really appreciate some advice. As she is starting puppy school soon, and I would like to at least tone down the pulling.
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Hi Zoe, We use the Gentle Leader on our strong-pulling Lab, Bella, and it works like a charm. It is the only thing I have found that stops her from either pulling or choking herself. There is no guarantee that it will work for your dog of course, but it sure has helped us.
This is very informative. Thanks for posting all the pros and cons of this product.
I have a young Basset who has just turned a year. He is quite lean but girth measures 63 cm when last measured. The problem is in training he pulls – I have tried several harnesses on him and the recent was the PerfectFit Harness which supposedly was guaranteed against pulling – but he still pulls if he cannot get away using front muscles he uses his back muscles to pull and is really strong. What would you suggest be used for him in training so that he does not pull?
This is very informative, thank you!
Amy Ferraro
I have a 97lb rescue shep/lab mix.. That still has some anxiety issues. She is also houdini!! Her escape trip is to Back out of collars and some halters I have a combo halter’ish leash made from woven cotton.. I think. That puts pressure around her chest directly behind her front legs and not her neck at all. It is also houdini proof. I’m concerned when this wears out… I don’t think it’s still made, what is the best alternative for her. She gets freaked easily and does not respond well to change. However, we live in the rural area of Maine and is off leash with good recall during the day. Nights are another matter when the wild things are out and about. Thanks for suggestions.. Sorry so long
If she doesn’t pull, you may want to try the ruff wear webmaster harness. It has and extra belly strap making it virtually impossible to escape. However, the leash attaches to the back of the harness, so it will not help with pulling. You could also get a martingale collar. These collars tighten slightly when a dog tries to back out of the collar but there is a limit on how tight a martingale collar
can go which means that when they are adjusted correctly they will not choke the dog, just tighten a LITTLE BIT if they try to back out of the collar which stops them from escaping. The best martingale collar is the PetSafe quick release martingale. If you don’t buy that one, just make that the one you get has a fabric loop (Not chain; it can get stuck when it tightens) and make sure it has quick release buckles. Martingale collars should only be used for walks and should not be left on a dog 24/7. Goof luck!
CJ davidson
I bought easy walk harnesses for all 3 of my dogs & am sorry I did. I have GSPs which have very deep chests but narrow shoulders. The easy walk is supposed to be adjustable but I could never adjust them properly for my 2 bigger dogs (both got sores); I can sort of use it for the younger one but it doesn’t stay adjusted. I’m disappointed.
j. Giblin
I bought the Easy Walk Harness for my 63-pound Border Collie/Black Lab Cross because walks had become so uncomfortable for me from her pulling that I finally stopped walking her. I was led to believe that the harness would help control the pulling and jerking, but it not only didn’t help, she was even less controllable than when we used a ‘choke-chain’ training collar. I felt that she could have easily pulled me over if I had been less steady on my feet. I’m sure it has been fitted to her correctly according to the instructions, and I believe the purchase was a waste of time and money. I’d still like to have walks with my wonderful (in every other way) pet. So I’m on this site to consider buying a gentle leader head collar. A good idea? or wasting more money and time?
Hound Dog
The Gentle Leader worked for my dog, and I used to use an Easy-Walk Harness, but stopped because it didn’t work and was rubbing.
Hound Dog
Absolutely the same same problem! Glad to here I’m not the only one! My dog is very slim except for her BARREL chest, and it always rubbed on her too. Try the Gentle Leader, it worked better for me.
Our Large Munsterlander has the same physique, deep chest and narrow shoulders. Try ‘The Perfect Fit’ harness. This has a front attachment and it fits perfectly!
I’ve been worried about my dog’s neck when I tug on her collar when she’s sniffing around or picking up something on the ground that she’s not supposed to eat while out on a walk. So I’m going to give one of these a try and hope it helps!
Hound Dog
If your dog sniffs a lot, DON’T get the easy walk harness, or any harness for that matter! Here, I’ll explain it. My dog is very barrel-chested, so that even though we got a medium easy-walk harness, the chest strap was out ALL the way. That was also because my dog sniffs a LOT (she’ll walk around the block without taking her nose off the ground) and when she sniffs her chest would push forward more so that her nose could reach the ground. If I didn’t want the whole harness pulled off whenever her chest and nose went down to the ground, then I had to loosen the chest strap to give her room for the sniffing; however, whenever my dog wasn’t sniffing the now loose chest strap would begin to rub. (Actually, she got a lot of places all over that were raw, from the harness.) My dog is also a very strong puller and though this decreased the force, she still would kind of run pulled sideways, and could also pull her way out of the harness. SO, if your dog is a hard puller or has a barrel chest or likes to sniff or all three, don’t get this! (My dog has a gentle leader now, and it works fine.)
Hound Dog
So, an update–I, or actually my neighbor found a harness that I like and works for my dog! (I know, I just said don’t get any kind of harness and now I’m advertising one!) I left Rosie with my neighbor while I was out of town for 4 days. And Rosie chewed up her Gentle Leader (true, it had been left ON her, which I never did because I was pretty sure I knew the results)! Anyway, my neighbor went to Pet Smart and bought this “Sporn no-pull” harness”. It has a neck collar and then two straps run from it between her belly and up onto her back where a leash ring is attached–the way it works is when the dog pulls, the straps squeeze under its belly, and loosen when it stops pulling (unlike the Gentle Leader which didn’t always loosen after it tightened). The under straps are padded with fleece and it’s only $8 on Amazon. The great thing (to me) is that you can fasten it really loose, and it will only tighten when the dog pulls; this is the best tool I have yet to find!