Below are harnesses and leashes owners of ME dogs have used. These are only ideas and you may have a different kind, but if you are trying to see what would be safe, see the links and then discuss with your veterinarian if/as needed.

We stress TRAINING, and more training, which as you know, is a lifetime sort of thing. Having said that, if your dog pulls hard, there are a number of tools for training to discourage pulling, depending on the size of your dog, prior training, your agility, skills, speed of response, and a number of other factors. Some of these tools are not good for certain dogs, depending. I don’t like slide collars for dogs that pull a great deal, and for those that that have megaesophagus, but a properly adjusted German steel pinch collar (these have well-rounded tips and do not tear skin) will not “choke” your dog. They pinch a bit – enough to be a bit uncomfortable, but not painful. A front-connection harness such as the Sense-ation or Sense-ible harness is generally a safe and effective tool, also. Again, there are factors that make one tool better than another. Head harnesses can be great, for the wrong dog, can cause injury. Read up on these, speak with a reputable dog trainer if you can get access to one, and generally try and see what works best for your dog. Whatever you use, if your dog pulls, become unpredictable, play games like “I’ll be you can’t catch me!” and make it great fun. Soon he’ll be very attentive to you and will want to be right where you are. Just don’t let him walk YOU! (These are the folks whom you see with the dog in front of the human by a foot or more – worse yet, on one of those Flexi-lead devices, several feet out in front.

Easy Walk has a cinch pull in the front, goes over the back and under the belly. Nothing around the neck. I was actually really surprised that Cedar, a young, temperamental GSD pup, responded so well and so quickly with it. Gentle Leader makes another harness that does go around the neck, so watch for that. Both of the Easy Walk harnesses I have bought have been black straps at front and back with a grey/silver strap under the belly. I am really happy with it..really easy to put on and take off as well. Our trainer also recommended it, so it is recommended for normal dogs learning how to walk well, and because of the ME I think its a pretty desired item. Also since it pulls from the front, not from the top like normal harnesses, it wont be pulling on his chest in any way. (made by the same company that makes the gentle leader), dogs can’t pull as much with this harness as they can with others. Easy Walk Harness made by Premier and Sporn Harness,  both designed to ease pulling.

Since Rugar is a 3-legged doggie anyway we bought him a harness (Ruffwear) when we got him to help him get in and out of cars, etc. But it came in handy throughout the beginning of his condition since he was pretty weak and had trouble getting up stairs and into the car for vet appts. The harness allows you to lift them up and kind of carry them around if they aren’t able to manage on their own.

Another possibility is a half choking collar something between a choking chain and a normal collar (Rogz gear makes a good one but I don’t know if you can get those in the USA) we recently started using one to assist in his obedience training.

I still like the Sensation and Sensible front-clasp harnesses best. Both are made by same company – size is the difference between the two names. Premier q=premiere+dog+harness&qpvt=premiere+dog+harness&FORM=IGRE makes the other one I know of – more commercially available. It is fine, too, but I think gives less control because there is too much “play” in the slip action of the clasp area. You’d have to see it to understand what I mean. But both are nice and give more control over the hard-headed dog without too much pressure on the throat usually experienced from improper use of a choke chain.

The Heavy-Duty Support Harness as appears very sturdy, allows potty both ways and is evenly distributed so as not to press on one specific area of the abdomen

We have used the rear harness  several years back for a GSD with DM – worked great – easy to get in and out of –

Got a great one at Tripawds

I don’t know one device over the other, but have you looked at the “bottoms up also? You might try calling a veterinary specialty center where they have a physical rehab section. Are you in Houston? Dr. Laurie Noaker is at one of the 24 hour emergency clinics and might know, and Dr. Kathy should also be able to give you some feedback. There is a rehab section at a vet group in Canton, MI near her that also may have some advice on products, but generally, I like I would also strongly recommend that you consider fitting her with some Neopaws for the slippery stuff on the ground.

Check out this website. I ordered one, but only needed a sling type for days when Sonnig needs rear end help, so ordered a perfect solution for that thru GingerLead. The harness I recommend is really neat and has many options for use. Actually easy to use. Tell them you have a
Megaesophagus dog. I spoke with the owner/person who developed it for a long time while describing the ME situation and he will even consider changes or modifications if you see something they could do better.

I have had great success with the Gentle Leader, but as someone said- it can take a bit of training for some dogs to get used to it. When introducing it I usually use lots of treats which isn’t really possible with an ME dog. I have seen some dogs take to it immediately though. The Easy Walk Harness (made by the same company) is also wonderful, and doesn’t usually take any time for dogs to get used to it. Every dog is a bit different, and what might work for one doesn’t for another. On my Patrick, a Pit/Shep mix, the Gentle Leader rides up and rubs his eyes, and he still figures out how to pull. I use the Easy Walk for him. The Gentle Leader works great on my strong little Border Collie, while the Easy Walk hits her shoulder and I don’t like how it affects her gate.

Another homemade device we have used for our dogs when they need support for their hind ends (stairs, etc.) is to take a cloth grocery bag and cut down the sides with a scissor so you end up with a cloth rectangle with a handle at each end – use it similar to the towel but with handles.

ComfortFlex harness for one of my dogs. It’s a different design from others I’ve seen, but it’s designed to protect the throat and underarm area. The front strap goes across the chest and isn’t near the throat. The harness fastens with both velcro and buckle straps so it’s very secure too. They’re a little more expensive. Here’s a link: