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Gentle Leader vs Easy Walk Harness: Which Will Help Your Dog Walk Better?


Last Updated: June 17, 2024 | 4 min read | 93 Comments

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gentle leader and easy walk harness side by side

Does 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. I review two popular options that might help you and your pup. But which is better: gentle leader vs easy walk harness? It depends on your dog and their needs, so let’s find out which might help your dog.

PetSafe Gentle LeaderPetSafe Easy Walk Harness
PetSafe Gentle LeaderPetSafe Easy Walk Harness
View Gentle Leader on AmazonView Easy Walk on Amazon
View Gentle Leader on ChewyView Easy Walk on Chewy

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, I want to point out the features of each. Look at the table below to help you decide which one to choose. After reading, you may decide that your dog could benefit from both (more on that below).

Gentle Leader HeadcollarEasy Walk Harness
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 everyday walks


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

Leash Training

Once you’ve decided which of these products is best for you and your dog, it’s essential to understand and teach your dog the basics of leash training. Most dogs take to walking on a leash quickly, but some might need extra help. If so, consider Doggy Dan, a convenient online doggy training tool that can help you get the most out of walking your dog on a leash safely and enjoyably.

How Does A Gentle Leader Work?

Why is the gentle leader effective for dogs who pull? Because the gentle leader harness applies gentle pressure on the nose when the dog pulls. Correctly putting on the gentle leader is critical to its effectiveness. It might take some practice for your dog to become accustomed to this gear, but with patience and effective anti-pull leash training, they should soon get the hang of it.

How To Put On A Gentle Leader

Watch this one-minute video from Austin Pets Alive to see how to put on a gentle leader and how your dog should wear this headcollar appropriately.

How Does An Easy Walk Harness Work?

The easy walk harness has four adjustment points, so your dog is comfortable and has a reliable fit. The chest piece has a martingale loop 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. Dogs typically accept an easy walk harness much quicker than a gentle leader. But proper leash training is still required.

How To Put On Easy Walk Harness

The easy walk harness is relatively easy to put on. One strap is secured via clasp and goes across the dog’s back, and another is below their belly. There’s a hook-in-the-loop hook in the front where you attach the leash. Adjust the straps as needed so they fit firm without being too tight.

Our Experience With The Easy Walk Harness

We use the easy walk harness on our Lab. It definitely reduces her uncontrolled pulling on walks. However, it gets stuck behind her front legs sometimes, rather than staying in front as it should. I guess this annoyance is worth the trade-off for a more manageable dog on walks!

Michelle Schenker, Dog Mom & Co-Founder Of Canine Journal

Easy Walk & Gentle Leader Sizing Guide

The gentle leader headcollar is sized by weight. Although the easy walk dog harness suggests recommended weight usage, the best way to achieve the right size is to measure your dog using chest and girth measurements. If your dog is between sizes, PetSafe recommends sizing up.

Gentle Leader HeadcollarEasy Walk Harness
Petite weight under 5 lbsPetite chest width 7″-8″ girth measurement 12″-17″
Small weight 6-25 lbsPetite/Small chest width 8″-9″ girth measurement 13″-18″
Medium weight 25-60 lbsSmall chest width 9″-12″ girth measurement 15″-21″
Large weight 60-130 lbsSmall/Medium chest width 11″-13″ girth measurement 19″-26″
Extra Large weight over 130 lbsMedium chest width 12″-15″ girth measurement 22″-32″
Medium/Large chest width 14″-18″ girth measurement 24″-34″
Large chest width 16″-21″ girth measurement 27″-40″
Extra Large chest width 17″-24″ girth measurement 32″-49″

How Much Do The Easy Walking & Gentle Leader Harnesses Cost?

Lab in a harness outside

View Gentle Leader on Amazon | View Easy Walk on Amazon

The easy walk harness costs $10.09  and the gentle leader for dogs is  $16.95 . PetSafe is a global leader in pet behavior and training products. They have a US-based customer care team and are available by phone, email, or chat if you have any questions about their products.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know some of our readers still have questions about easy walk harnesses vs. gentle leader harnesses. If you don’t see your question below, please ask us in the comments below, and we’ll find the answer for you.

Can You Use Both The Gentle Leader & Easy Walk?

You might be debating easy walk harness vs gentle leader. But what about both? These two tools are relatively inexpensive. So, if your dog has issues with pulling on the leash and lunging, you may want to purchase one of each and try them out. You can then apply the training tool that makes sense in a particular situation. For example, you may use the easy walk in the park, but the gentle leader for dogs at the vet’s office. Just don’t use them at the same time.

Why Isn’t The Gentle Leader Or Easy Walking Harness Working?

Although these harnesses can be immensely helpful, they are still just one of many training tools and take time and patience. If your dog’s issue is that they pull on the leash, you must be consistent with your commands. Also, don’t forget to reward your dog when they aren’t pulling, reinforcing good behavior.

Tips For Improving Dog Walking Behavior

To further maximize your dog’s walking success, you might also consider other dog training collar options or other harnesses. Every dog is different, and you might need to try a few different products before finding the best harness for your dog. If your dog struggles to get the hang of them, why not consider an online dog training class for additional assistance?

Do you use the easy walk harness or the gentle leader? Perhaps you use another product? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Kimberly has written about various dog-related topics, such as pet insurance, health conditions, treats, training, and more. She hunted down the best pee pads with the best performance and the lowest price. She consulted with other Canine Journal members to glean their personal experiences using pee pads for their dogs. Kimberly spent many hours researching and writing this article.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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