Sporn Ultimate control dog harness review

For me, The Sporn Ultimate Control Harness is the best dog harness for a dog that pulls.

The featured image is my two well-used harnesses, the larger is the biggest size, and the smaller is the medium. I also own the small for foster puppies that pull or just for security so I know they cant escape on walks.

Other harnesses may give you better control however this is often at the expense of your dogs safety and comfort. I don’t like the way they dig into my dog and worry they will tighten so much in some situations they will permanently damage her.

Review of the Sporn Ultimate Control Dog Harness

Got a dog that won’t stop pulling? 

Let me paint a picture of my dog. 

By the time I adopted her she had been wherever she was born, the first foster network, 2nd family/household, 2nd foster network, trial in 3rd home, back to 2nd foster network and finally adopted by us, her 4th ‘home’ or 6th counting the amazing foster carers. We have done hundreds of hours of training with her and she is still an overly enthusiastic nut job who sometimes lunges to try and chase birds on lead and pulls and barks at other dogs when she is on the lead. 

When we adopted her she did not walk well on a lead she pulled at the end of the lead constantly. I worked on this with a mix of the Stop and Be Still and Reverse Direction Technique (2024 note, looks like you are now required to sign up to read this article but its still a free course), with support from a local dog trainer plus treat training with yes as the marking word and using touch and treat games and she now walks much better on a harness. 

However, when we first adopted her my dog escaped from every harness under the sun. Even now she still barks at other dogs when she is on the lead and tries to take off after birds. She is 33 kg and strong and this harness feels secure.

The idea of a front clip harness is supposed to be for training, but I more than anyone appreciate that the reality for some people our dog needs to be permanently clipped at the front.

What I like about the Sporn Ultimate Control Harness

  • The Y shape combined with the sewn-in-place ring helps to keep it better centred – keep in mind it isn’t perfect, it will still pull towards the side but for me not as bad as other harnesses –  the harness works by making it awkward for the dog to pull because of this function
  • My dog has never escaped this harness because of the extra piece that connects between the stomach and front Y shape
  • The design does not require the harness to be clipped to the dogs collar to work effectively, therefore protecting their neck
  • There is still a back clip for situations where it’s not required or to clip up pup at a picnic table etc
  • I have also used this harness on a foster kelpie puppy (the size small, I just realised I own all three sizes now lol), foster staffy puppy and my friends adult border collie cross kelpie and it was able to be adjusted to fit well. 

What I don’t like about it

It’s certainly not perfect, just for me, better than the other options I have tried.

  • There is a big difference in size between the medium and the Large/XL – my dog is right on the edge of the two and I think if there was an in-between size it would be a better option 
  • The metal discs may be irritating for a dog with short or sparse fur – I worry that this makes it uncomfortable for any dog
  • It’s trickier to get on but for me that’s an ok tradeoff for her not escaping (though I did find one review where someone said their dog managed to escape) 
  • This harness did not fit my foster GSP or foster staghound well or my friends greyhound because of their long deep chests, best to get a harness recommended for those breeds
  • Keep in mind the back clip will not work as advertised as a tightening deterrent (but this is fine for me, I would never want to risk my dogs ribs in that way)

So let me compare it to my experience with other options to explain why the Sport Ultimate Control Harness is so far one of my favourite harnesses of choice.

Why I choose it over other harness 

Sporn ultimate control harness compared to other harnesses:

Halti Dog Front Control Harness: This is my second choice out of the harnesses I have tried as long as its clipped on the front – my dog managed to back out of this using the back clip when she was younger. However it is only secure when clipped to the collar and I was worried my dog would hurt herself if she wrenched against the collar*. It also does not have webbing from chest to tummy

Gentle Leader Easy Walk: My dog escaped this harness because it does not have a secondary clip point nor webbing from the chest to the tummy

Rogz Control Harness – doesn’t stay in place for me as it pulls all the way to the side and just doesn’t really feel like it helps control her (though a nice comfortable harness otherwise, which my dog prefers to wear and I often put on her for a trip to an offlead area). 

Rogz Utility Stop Pull – digs in under the dog’s legs 

Sporn Mesh No pull Harness – same as above, digs in under dogs legs plus the little tubes that are supposed to soften than move from position (my parents owned this for their dog and never used it because of that issue) it would rub fur off so there was missing patches. I image the Rogz one would do the same.

Ezydog Crosscheck – wasn’t even willing to try this one as was worried it would crush/snap her ribs if she tried to chase a bird

*For context, the RSPCA recommends walking your dog on a harness rather than collar to protect their neck (my dog has taken off after a bird so fast she snapped her collar at the front of our house so I learnt this lesson the hard way, thankfully she was ok). There are downsides to harness as they can affect a dog’s gait, consult with your vet for guidance. 

Other options

You may like to try something from the Ruffwear range like the flagline, which has a front clip for dog that pull and multi body clip points making them very very difficult to escape from, unfortunately, they are very expensive in Australia, you can get them from select local sellers who have imported them or from Amazon who posts them from their international store. 

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