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Feeling Outnumbered? How to Walk 2 Dogs at Once

Feeling Outnumbered?How to Walk 2 Dogs at Once

Do you ever feel outnumbered when walking your dogs? Somehow walking 2 dogs is far more challenging than walking only one. “Fluffy and Spike do great when they are alone but when Spike joins, it's like they both have forgotten everything they have ever learned!” Does that sound familiar? Even with Manzo and Piper, when they are together, they are much more likely to explore, the potential for them to be reactive is higher and sometimes I swear they coordinate ways to tangle us in the leash as much as they possibly can. I’ve even had the sneaking suspicion that they were laughing at us while doing this! Now for most people, walking their dogs separately can be extremely difficult to fit into a busy schedule. Plus it’s often hard to deny that dogs have a little more fun when they are out with their buddies. So you might be sitting there feeling defeated like you can’t walk your dogs out together in public without frustration, maybe embarrassment, or, maybe even fear! Don’t worry though. We are here to give you the steps you need to take to turn walking your dogs from a chore into a pleasure.

Step 1. Building foundations separately.

If your dog can’t focus on you around distractions, respond to recall, or walk politely on a leash by themselves, good luck getting them to focus when they have a partner in crime by their side. Spending the extra time now, teaching each dog a strong recall, the ability to focus around distractions, and some basic leash manners away from the other dog is an essential step to getting peace on your walks together. It starts at home. Set one dog up behind a gate with something delicious to work on while you work with the other dog on their foundations. This will also help each dog focus better around distractions in the future!

How do walk multiple dogs at one time

Step 2. Put your dogs together and start over.

When you start working with your dogs at the same time, lower your criteria and expectations. Start back over with the basics and work your way up to the harder things that both have proven capable of when separate. Starting easy and taking baby steps will help you reach your goals faster in the long run. If the behaviors we are working on are solid separately, they should be able to make quick progress while they learn to listen together.

leash manners for multiple dogs

Step 3. Start In Quiet Place.

Once you are ready to go out and tackle the challenges of walking your dogs together in the real world, avoid jumping into the deep end of the most crowded and chaotic places out there. If your neighborhood gets busy, go out early, late, or while everyone is at work. If you are trying to head out to the trails, pick a quiet time or go when the weather isn’t the greatest. Work on your leash handling, grow your confidence and practice your dog’s skills in a setting that gives them the best chance of success. Over time, go to busier trails at busier times until the worries of the past stay there.

Bonus Step. Bring a friend.

We get it. Training one dog has a lot of moving parts and it’s hard enough! Adding a second dog complicates the who-gets-a-treat-and-where factor. Bring a friend or family member to work with one dog while you work with another. This helps to provide the same distractions that multiple dogs provide, but they’ll each have a person whose job it is to focus on them.

So how do you get started? We put together a cheat sheet just for you on the skills for teaching your dog leash manners. Grab your copy here, Leash Manners Cheat Sheet. Then, get started working with your dogs, one at a time, and before you know it, walking your dogs will feel relaxing again!

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