Training your pitbull: Best harness, collar & leash
If you’ve already kept a pit bull, you know what’s up.
Despite being so admirably loyal to their owners, they can be quite stubborn. Pair this with their high energy levels, and you’ve got a serious challenge to your dog training aspirations.
If this is your first ride on the pit bull train…prepare for an adventure!
Look, pitties need extra attention for their proper training. This is why there are heated discussions on what to use when fostering their habits.
Some owners go for a pit bull harness, with the Freedom no pull set being especially popular among pittie online communities.
Others swear by pitbull collars. Usually they go for a martingale training collar like Mighty Paw as it doesn’t choke like standard slip collars.
In both cases, you want to have a leash to supplement your training efforts. I advise you to shoot for either proper leather, or extra sturdy nylon leashes. This leash is a good pick.
Anything beside from stronger leather/nylon wouldn’t stand the test of a pitbull’s strength.
So yeah, I’ll get to the reviews of the best collars, harnesses and leashes for pitbulls. But let’s first take a look at a common issue:
The eternal harness or collar question.
Pitbull harnesses vs Collars:
Is one better than the other?
Normally, you’d see a lot of pittie owners jump against using harnesses.
Common remarks are that they actually motivate your pet to pull you forward, instead of training it to abstain from that. Others mention another observed problem – harnesses rubbing on the underarm area and causing skin irritation or rashes.
Let’s get two things straight.
First, yes, if you go for a typical harness, you’ll have a problem for sure. That’s why you opt for a no-pull harness for pitbulls like the Freedom training one I mentioned.
Those type of harnesses come with a ring in the front. Once your pittie pulls, they’ll either turn sideways, or face your direction.
Friction is reduced, you don’t get swept by your pet’s sudden motions, and your pitbull soon realizes what they’re doing is wrong.
Second, a harness will bruise your dog only if it:
Isn’t the proper size for your pup
Lacks proper padding/soft materials to make it more comfortable
Higher end harnesses like the Ruffwear All-Day come with extra cushioning and padding. It’ll be very hard to see a dog getting bruised with them.
In my opinion, collars are ok if you want to do more relaxed walking. Or, if your pittie doesn’t pull that much and is more composed.
For running and more…fiery character pitties, though, a proper no-pull harness should work better. Or at least be sure to get a martingale-style collar, instead of standard ones.
Sturdiest no pull harness for pit bulls with velvet lining for a cozy pet experience. Extra training control.
Martingale-style collar that doesn't choke your pet and gives you more control. Durable and elegant.
Black/Orange or Grey/Green.
Thicker, extra sturdy leash with tightly webbed nylon. Plush padded handles for your comfortable grip.
Black/Blue or Black/Green
Beautifully designed front harness, with soft cushioning and ID-tag pocket. Good durability.
Multiple fantastic colors to pick from.
Flexible and stylish collar that comes either in genuine leather, or tough nylon. Cute and resistant to chewing.
Unbelievably rich variety & leather or non-leather collars available.
Best harnesses, collars & leash for your pit bull
1. Overall best harness for pitbulls:
A hazard with lower quality harnesses or collars is the pressure your pittie will get in its neck and shoulder area. Unfortunately, this could easily lead to injuries and severe skin irritation.
Freedom Training’s no pull harness is designed to soften pressure/pulling. It’s flexible, gentle and ready to train your pittie without endangering their health.
Well, a part of this has to do with neat little details like the soft velvet lining. I talked about chaffing and rubbing – you won’t get any here due to the extra material.
A very important addition is the chest ring in front. This is crucial if you’ll be doing leash training, as you can hook it both at the front and at the back for extra control.
(This is why I also recommend you to get the full leash + harness Freedom set. Other leashes won’t be as compatible.)
In other words, your pitbull is getting a gentle, yet firm treatment…and you’re getting more control and sturdiness. All of that, produced locally in the US.
Easy to see why a lot of pittie owners love this no pull harness!
2. Best martingale training collar for pit bulls:
Mighty Paw looks badass, performs like a badass, and is produced by a family business that does everything in the US.
Sounds awesome, right?
It truly is.
Most pitbull owners prefer the martingale-style collars. In fact, I wouldn’t get a normal slip collar for any dog that tends to pull.
Martingale is better because it both gives you more control and skips on the typical “choking” effect. Mighty Paw will surely get a bit tight if your pittie pulls, but it will be gentle – just the right way to do some quality dog training.
As far as materials go, this is a mix of sturdy nylon, stitching (reflective for night time walks), and a 100% iron chain.
The collar is relatively lightweight, durable, and as I said, it looks beautiful.
A very important feature is the sound it makes. If your pet is an escape artist and likes to play games with you, it’ll be easier to hear where they’re located.
3. Best designed pit bull dog harness:
Ruffwear need no introduction, really – they’re a legend in dog accessories. This pittie harness of theirs is perfect for every day use on most pit bulls (maybe except extra bulky respresentatives of the breed.)
Similar to the Freedom set, you have two control points, unlike standard harnesses. One of them is the V-ring on the back, suitable for everyday use.
Then, once again you have a front ring on the chest for those training sessions where you need the additional control.
In terms of durability, comfort and material quality, Ruffwear performs the same as the Freedom set.
The biggest difference is the design. Ruffwear comes in so many exciting colors and honestly, it just looks beautiful and cute.
A good touch is the reflective trim that makes following your dog easier if you’re in dim-lit environment. The small ID pocket for your dog’s tag is also a neat feature.
If you’re an eye-candy addict like me, Ruffwear is the best harness for your pitbull. Keep in mind that the Freedom set is a bit more sturdier in case you have an extra large pittie, or an exceptionally hot-headed puller.
4. Best pitbull leash:
Paw Lifestyles Extra Heavy Duty
Honestly, we’ve previously recommended going for the full Freedom training set that also includes a leash. It was mentioned in our husky harnesses article.
However, you might want something else. Or you might already have a harness, and are now looking to grab only a leash, not a full set.
Paw Lifestyles have a well-designed, but above all – extremely durable leash for any pitbull. Yes, no matter how energetic or strong-pulling your pittie is!
There are several secrets to why it performs so well.
First, it’s thicker than standard leashes at 3mm (width is still around 1″.) The webbed nylon is tightly knit to ensure bonus sturdiness you wouldn’t get with standard leash construction.
As with harnesses, leashes can cause rashes – this time both for you, and for your dog. I bet you don’t like nylon slicing through your hands (ouch!) in case your dog pulls you.
Here you have plush padded handles so even if you do get pulled, the leash will be gentle on your palms.
Last but not least, the threading here is reflective. If you’re a fan of night walks and hated not having good vision on your pet, you’ll rejoice with the luminous experience Paw Lifestyles’ product delivers.
Normally I’d point out a flaw, but….really, there’s nothing negative to say here. Especially for that price!
5. Best general collar for pitbulls:
Blueberry Pet Leather
I’m a fan of leather collars with one remark: they should be made of proper high-quality material. Otherwise they don’t make the cut.
Well, Blueberry’s leather line is practically flawless. First of all, it mixes the genuine leather with some polyester webbing.
So you can get some extra durability and your pittie gets a flexible, cozy collar around their neck. No stiffness, no suffocating restrictions.
Of course, if you’re not a leather fan, you can go with their reflective collars. They also provide you with durability, not to mention the cute designs.
Also, unless your dog is a record-holding chewer, both variations will hold ridiculously well against tearing or chewing. A long-term investment for sure!
Keep in mind that this is not a martingale training collar for pitbulls!