The 5 Best No Pull Harnesses for German Shepherds for 2021


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The best no-pull harnesses for German Shepherds are durable enough to contain a big energetic dog and easy on your dog’s fur. The demand for kind solutions in general and no-pull harnesses, in particular, have risen enough for serious manufacturers to pay attention. As a result, we have numerous harness-makers putting their best foot forward. So which no-pull harnesses for German Shepherds would I recommend?

My five best no-pull harnesses for German Shepherds in 2021 are:

  • Walk Your Dog With Love No-Pull Harness
  • Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness
  • Julius K9 Powerharness
  • PoyPet No-Pull Dog Harness
  • Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness

This post will cover each of the products, and I’ll review them in detail, judging their brand trust, functionality, key differentiators, and possible drawbacks. By the end of this article, you will know which harness fits your context.

If you follow my blog, you’ll know I prefer to lead my German Shepherd with a harness. Studies have shown that collars risk causing neck injuries in dogs. In any case, no-pull harnesses, particularly those that attach at the front, really do make a difference if you have a doggo that constantly pulls. It’s time to take back enjoyable walks once again!

German Shepherd wearing a no pull dog harness. Best No Pull Dog Harness for German Shepherds

This is my buyers guide to the best no-pull harness for your German Shepherd. Let’s dive in!

The Criteria

Before we get into each of the best no-pull harnesses that I recommend for German Shepherds and other strong dogs, I would like to explain the criteria. I’ll judge each product based on the following.

1. Brand

This is basically how well-positioned a business is in the dog products marketplace. Some readers might say, “Who cares about the marketing? It’s the product that matters.”

My response to that is a simple idea that if a business has spent significant resources building a valuable brand, it is less likely to sell you a less-than-ideal product to make a quick buck. A brand is more than just a virtual polish job on a commodity. It is an indicator of the manufacturer’s commitment to the market.

2. Functionality

Of course, a brand is only as good as the product it is on. No amount of storytelling would make a harness valuable if it chafes or chokes your German Shepherd. In the function section, I will look at whether the product is durable or not alongside how comfortable it is for your pet and other practical aspects of the harness.

3. Key Differentiators

Here you will learn some of the things (about the product) that make it stand out from the harness market at large. Please note that the differentiators don’t necessarily make each harness stand out from others in this post. For example, most high-quality harnesses have reflective strips that make it safer to walk your German Shepherd in the evening. 

One of these harnesses has a much better reflective strip (hint: it’s the Walk Your Dog With Love No-Pull Harness), so I mention that in only one product’s differentiators section. That doesn’t mean that differentiator is absent from all other products in this post; it just is done better in the one mentioned.

4. Potential Drawbacks

Once again, I have only compiled products that I have found to be very good for German Shepherds. I haven’t used them long enough to have gripes with them, though, as I have skewed in favor of the one I love and currently use to this day.

For the sake of objectivity, I have gone through tens of thousands of reviews to find problems others have had with each item. That’s how I’ve managed to highlight any issues you should anticipate with each no-pull harness in this article.

5. Who Should Buy This?

Just like one size doesn’t fit all dogs with a harness, one product doesn’t suit all dogs, either. It all depends on your needs and situation. Factors like your German Shepherd’s age, health, cleanliness of your walk paths, etc., all play a role in whether the harness is right for you. I simplify figuring that out for each product in the respective “who should use this?” section for the harnesses.

TL;DR Verdict

If you’re in a hurry and just want to know my recommendations, here’s my “Too Long; Didn’t Read” verdict in a handy table. My German Shepherd wears the Walk Your Dog With Love Harness. A close second is the Julius K9 Powerharness, which I think is better for puppies and younger dogs. Willow used this product as a puppy, and you can see a photo of her wearing it later in the article.

ProductBrandVerdictBuy Now
Walk Your Dog With Love Original Harness5/54/5Go to Walk Your Dog With Love
Rabbit
goo No-Pull Dog Harness
3/54/5Check price on Amazon
Julius K9 Power
harness
5/53/5Check price on Amazon
PoyPet No-Pull Dog Harness0.5/54/5Check price on Amazon
Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness3.5/54.5/5Check price on Amazon

Walk Your Dog With Love No-Pull Harness

A dog wearing a no-pull harness. Best No-Pull Harness for German Shepherd

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Brand

Walk Your Dog With Love harnesses have their greatest advantage in brand, followed by their construction. While I have a couple of no-pull harnesses at home, I use the Walk Your Dog With Love harnesses almost exclusively because of how much I trust the brand and the business behind the product. 

Often, conglomerates and faceless corporations get in on whatever is the latest fad in any community. That’s why I have a personal rule when it comes to products for dogs; I prioritize businesses founded by people who have dogs and know the exact problem I am facing.

The founder of Walk Your Dog with Love, Dan Merson, had the same frustrations as you and I: dog collars were too cruel, and harnesses were not good enough, and just didn’t stop the pulling. While he didn’t invent the No-Pull harness, he surely did perfect it. 

I would know because I have gone through numerous cruelty-free harnesses and, in fact, find many quite usable. I just trust Merson’s brand because he has attached his name to his company in quite a public manner.

Corporations that can pay a couple of thousands to hush up disgruntled dog walkers are, at least to me, inherently less trustworthy than someone who created a product primarily because he was facing the same issue I faced – a dog that wouldn’t stop pulling.

Verdict: 5/5

Functionality

It doesn’t matter how solid a brand is if the function of the product is subpar. Thankfully, the Walk Your Dog With Love has become my go-to harness because of its functionality. My soft spot for the brand story is one reason that got me to buy, but with several harnesses lying around in my closet, I keep using this one mainly because of how easy it is on Willow, and there’s just no way she can pull.

The harness is designed so it offsets your mistakes. And that’s exactly what you have to look for in any product for your German Shepherd.

Your German Shepherd might be able to communicate his broad mood but is ultimately not articulate enough to communicate when you’re doing something wrong. That’s why you must look for products that make it impossible for you to hurt your dog accidentally. 

German Shepherd With No Pull Harness
My German Shepherd wearing her Walk Your Dog With Love harness

This harness is designed to walk your German Shepherd from the front, putting him in a natural heel position. This already sets you up for success. It has the lowest neck pressure of all harnesses, from what I have figured testing these products.

Of course, if you tug hard enough, you will exert pressure even if you’re using a harness instead of a collar. That’s where you have to pay attention to how close the straps are to your German Shepherd’s neck.

The straps that receive direct pressure are situated behind your German Shepherd’s front limbs, which make any tugging move your dog’s front legs. This diffuses any pressure that you could have generated during the tug. Speaking of tugs, you have to make sure the harness you buy is durable enough to survive its function. 

There will be times when you will need to pull the leash or hold it down. And this product has 20 stitches per inch, a number that dwarfs the average eight stitches per inch standard in the market.

Verdict: 4/5

You can find my full review of the Walk Your Dog With Love Harness here.

Key Differentiators

Now that we have explored the brand and the function, let’s go through some of the things that set this product apart from the other items on the market.

High-Quality Construction

As mentioned above, the product has an incredible stitch-per-inch ratio. But its construction accolades go well beyond how many stitches it has. The harness is made of high-quality three-strand nylon with industrial thread. It’s light enough for your German Shepherd to feel at ease but has the durability to withstand functional tension.

Easy to Maintain

Remember, harnesses can get stinky really quick! This product doesn’t absorb water and therefore is simultaneously easy to clean and hard to stink up. I have seen some kinder harnesses that are also humidity magnets. While dogs don’t sweat all over their bodies, humidity mixed with fur-trapped dirt can wreak havoc on an absorbent harness.

Attention to Detail

This company started with harnesses, and for a while, they didn’t make anything else, which means they dedicated all of their time and effort to perfecting their harnesses. The attention to detail goes all the way down to covering sewn tack points, so your German Shepherd doesn’t become uncomfortable or itch because of them. 

Things that wouldn’t even occur to you are already taken care of by the product’s manufacturers. For example, they use 3M Scotchlite, which is visible at night so you can safely walk your dog in the dark.

Potential Drawbacks

Outside of the fact that the product is shipped internationally to be received in the US, I can’t think of any drawbacks of buying it. But if I am to step out of my personal experience, I can see that some readers might not like that there’s no accommodation for walking their German Shepherds from behind. 

This is a value-based stance that the founder seems to have taken. All in all, if you choose a Walk Your Dog With Love no-pull harness, you’ll have to commit to a front-clip design, and you may have to wait a little longer for your package to arrive than the usual next day delivery from Amazon.

Who Should Buy This?

This harness is ideal if you have a German Shepherd that lunges and pulls. You’ll be able to enjoy your walks instead of having your dog jump ahead and dragging you along! Most German Shepherds will love this harness as it is easy on the body, and even fully grown dogs can learn to accept it.

If you live in an area where “walk” equals “getting dirty,” then you’ll love it even more because of how easily washable it is.

Rabbitgoo No-Pull Dog Harness

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Brand

I can trust the Rabbitgoo brand for durable harnesses, but I am not sure their messaging has enough about being easy on your German Shepherd. While the positioning might not reflect the actual products, I don’t know if I would be comfortable opting for a brand that is all about durability. 

Harnesses aren’t exactly work boots; they can be rough on your best friend if compassion isn’t a factor in the product’s engineering. That said, the lack of emphasis on compassion in the brand’s message doesn’t mean the product isn’t compassionate. 

That’s what we will explore in the functionality section. Still, when we consider the branding aspect alone, the product inspires trust in terms of longevity but raises concerns regarding how friendly it is for your German Shepherd.

Verdict: 3/5

Functionality

The fit is critical to comfort. If a harness is too big for your German Shepherd, it will not be functional. In contrast, if it is too tight, your German Shepherd will develop a dislike for harnesses in general and will have other issues like irritated skin and poor fur health in certain areas. 

Thankfully, this harness comes in a variety of sizes ranging from small to extra-large. The manufacturer has a handy size guide on the product page, making purchasing a functional fit easier for you. There’s a breathable cushion reminiscent of school bags, and it is supposed to help your German Shepherd stay comfy. 

I don’t know whether that’s a great design choice because it is visibly porous and might get dirty too quickly. Still, the product’s functionality is indisputable as it has four adjustment points making it easy to accommodate dogs of different proportions.

Verdict: 4/5

Key Differentiators

With the functionality and the business behind the product briefly covered, we can now dive deeper into the different aspects of this product that set it apart from other harnesses on the market.

Front and Back Loop

While the product is, for the most part, a no-pull harness, it does have the option to attach the leash at the back. Ultimately Rabbitgoo products are for a large market and have high customizability.

For those looking to lead their German Shepherd from the front, this aspect doesn’t have much value. Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning in case your German Shepherd is a fan of walking ahead and a little too happy to drag you along.

High Surface-to-Buckle Ratio

Some really slim harnesses consist almost entirely of buckles. And while those would work on some dogs, it wouldn’t be a great idea to have your German Shepherd in a harness that looks like a set of suspenders! 

You need a sturdy harness to hold back your GSD when he gets too excited and helps you control him without exerting too much pressure on a narrow area. Rabbitgoo harnesses have a high surface-to-buckle ratio, and there’s a broad enough cushion to go on your dog’s back.

Plenty of Instructions

The last thing you want is to have a harness in your hand with no idea where each strap goes. Fortunately, Rabitgoo has been a market leader long enough to have comprehensive instructions in video and text for each of its harness products, including this one.

Potential Drawbacks

Because you can attach the leash at the back, it might be an easy handicap to fall back on. If you can’t trust yourself to avoid the choice deliberately, you may need to personally remove the D clip at the back and commit to the no-pull lead walks. 

Aside from that, the only other drawback that seems like a deal-breaker is the potential of this harness to get stinky. With over 92,000 reviews on Amazon, very little is said about the dogs’ discomfort.

From personal assessment as well, I can see that the harness isn’t uncomfortable. So this product dodges the greatest drawback of a harness.

Who Should Buy This?

If you live in a well-maintained urban environment where it is difficult for your German Shepherd to get dirty on walks, this product’s main disadvantage becomes irrelevant. It would be no good for my German Shepherd as she loves to cool off by lying in whatever muddy puddle she can find!

And if your dog is quite strong and needs a controlling presence, then this harness is ideal for you. If you have such a German Shepherd in a more muddy or rural environment, I would recommend looking for a different harness.

Julius K9 Powerharness

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Brand

This brand is on par with my favorite choice, the Walk Your Dog With Love harness. Julius is committed more to harnesses than any other brand mentioned in this post. I appreciate specialization, and producing harnesses exclusively earns a high score for this business, which was started by a couple with decades of dog training experience

Julius harnesses have helped Australian firefighters, which resulted in the business receiving a Quality Award in 2003. Having worked with police German Shepherds, I would assume that firefighting dogs don’t need a robust harness to function. They are well disciplined, which nerfs this accolade a little for me.

Verdict: 5/5

I have used this harness in the past. Below is a photo of my German Shepherd wearing a Julius K9 Powerharness. She was 11 months old in this picture. It looks like she was ready for her walk!

German Shepherd wearing Julius K9 Harness
“Come on Mom! I’ve got my clothes on and I’m ready to go!”

Functionality

These harnesses are quite practical and worth the dollar amount they command. The heavy-duty buckles ensure that the harness won’t come off during your walk. The chest step is reflective, which is great for evening walks, especially when you’re ahead of your German Shepherd. 

Finally, the manufacturer claims that the harness is durable enough to hold 660 lbs of weight, a claim that I might be able to test if I stop eating, right? For now, take it with as much confidence as any claim made by a well-established company. Overall, I like the product’s durability, but there’s not really any special consideration given to comfort.

Verdict: 3/5

Potential Drawbacks

It might be easy for your dog to squeeze out of this if you don’t fasten it properly. There’s too much room to wiggle free, and GSDs, especially the ill-trained ones, can get out of wide harnesses quite easily. If you have a “super puller” and you pull back, the harness is capable of sliding over your dog’s head.

Key Differentiators

Here are the three things that make this harness stand out.

One Year Manufacturer Guarantee

Since a reputable business backs the product, you’re more likely to receive customer service post-purchase. You can also rest assured that if the product doesn’t deliver as promised, there’s a guarantee in place to protect you.

Closable Handle

There’s a conveniently positioned handle that allows you to pick up your dog easily. Of course, if your GSD is fully grown, that would require the strength of a powerlifter to pull off! But if you have a younger German Shepherd pup, a smaller Julius-K9 harness would be handy.

Who Should Buy This?

If your dog is very well-trained or quite young, you can get away with having a Julius-K9 harness. However, if your German Shepherd is fully grown, this might not be the ideal harness to introduce him to. Going with something with a much thicker back piece and sturdier straps would be better.

PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness

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Brand

The PoyPet brand does not inspire confidence. They posted the latest blog on the business’s website in 2018, and the “about us” section is a single sentence!

Perhaps I am too close to the subject as I love writing about dog-related topics, and there have been plenty of things to write about since 2018. Still, if you can overlook the lack of activity on the brand’s outdated site, you may judge the business by its self-description: “We are professional pet supplies manufacturer.”

Verdict: 0.5/5

Functionality

The divide between the brand authority and functionality is quite jarring because as poorly managed as the brand aspect of PoyPet is, in my opinion, the harnesses are quite functional. Again, I wouldn’t list the product here if I believed it wasn’t good enough for your German Shepherd. 

I love that the sizes available for this start at XS and go all the way to XL. Most German Shepherd puppies wouldn’t need an XS harness, but you can use this harness if yours is a petite mix and still young. It also has three snap buckles that make it easier to take off the harness and put it back on.

Verdict: 4/5

Key Differentiators

Here are some ways in which a PoyPet harness can provide unique value to you.

Soft Training Handle

You know that with German Shepherds and their excitement, a stitch in time truly does save nine. A soft training handle at the back allows you to “reign in” your GSD before he gets too excited. Allowing you to control him from the back in the absence of a leash is quite practical.

Easy to Put On and Take Off

As mentioned in the functionality section, the buckle positioning and quantity make it easier for you to put the harness on and take it off without annoying your dog. This is great if your GSD is fully grown and resists the harness. Still, I believe getting an overall comfortable one works much better.

Potential Drawbacks

I have not tested this harness for a long period simply because I find the one mentioned at the start much more compatible with Willow. But some people have complained about the stitches falling apart and the material giving away under force. Usually, dogs under 30 lbs can wear this harness without a problem, but a fully grown GSD may need something sturdier.

There are also numerous complaints about the manufacturer not responding to people who have run into trouble using the product. I’m not surprised when a business that’s not too active online is not too active in customer service either.

Who Should Buy This?

If you have a younger German Shepherd and only want to have him in a harness for a short period, this product is great. You will like this product, especially if you’re on a very tight budget. But for most people with grown GSDs, this is only a nice backup harness to keep. I wouldn’t recommend this for prolonged use.

Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness

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Brand

The Auroth brand is like a younger version of the Walk Your Dog with Love product with a very similar founding story. Having just started in 2016, the brand has made quite a mark. It focuses on pet-friendliness and emphasizes it more than “owner control.” 

I like that but would be more careful when looking at functionality just to see whether this comfort comes by sacrificing control. The brand story starts with a pitbull in need, and at least for people with GSDs, this should inspire confidence. A harness designed to control an energetic pitbull should be good enough for German Shepherds.

Verdict: 3.5/5

Functionality

This no-pull harness is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars for sturdiness and 4.6 for thickness. With these results drawn from over 20,000 reviews and ratings on Amazon, one can safely assume that the product meets my minimum viable standards for sturdiness.

A metal adjusting ring makes it easier for you to customize the harness to fit your dog’s size, something to keep in mind for those with younger German Shepherds. 

It also has several functions that go beyond a standard harness, which will be discussed in the differentiating aspects. Above all, it has extended pads that prevent chafing. I have only seen such consideration for skin health and itch-prevention in the Walk Your Dog With Love harness.

Verdict: 4.5/5

Key Differentiators

While this product seems pretty close to the first one reviewed in this post, it isn’t a direct imitation and has some unique benefits. Here are a few of these key differentiators.

  • MOLLE strips – The harness has two one-inch MOLLE strips on the sides so you can attach load-bearing pockets, and your German Shepherd can carry a few handy products on longer walks.
  • Available in various colors – Of all the harnesses reviewed in this post, this one comes in the widest visual variety. I would expect nothing less from a product designed in Cali.
  • High value-for-money – For all that the product has to offer, it is surprising how little it costs compared to some of the other ones of similar standard.

Potential Drawbacks

Some people have reported that the plastic buckle is not very strong and has broken in some cases, although I am clutching at straws here. As with the Julius K9 harness, your dog may be able to back his way out of it if he is a strong puller, as the front straps will release to their maximum length during strong pulling. 

Who Should Buy This?

If you live in a relatively clean neighborhood and have a well-behaved German Shepherd, you will love this no-pull harness, especially if you’re on a tighter budget. You are also very likely to appreciate it if you care about looks and style. I wouldn’t be surprised if some readers order multiple harnesses to match their outfits!

Final Thoughts

Harnesses are kinder than collars, and no-pull harnesses are among the gentlest solutions of their kind. The ones listed in this article are undoubtedly the best for German Shepherds. That’s why, even if you make errors in judgment while purchasing, you end up with a solution that is easy on your best friend if you choose from the options presented within this article.

If you really can’t decide, go for the Walk Your Dog With Love Harness. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Sharon Waddington

I am the owner of World of Dogz. I have a female German Shepherd named Willow, and I've worked with dogs for almost 30 years. I love spending time with her, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise of all things dogs on this site!

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