Dog parents want to take their dogs for a walk simultaneously, primarily because of how convenient it is for them to do so. Perhaps, you live alone, so you do not have the time to take out each dog for a walk individually.
Still, if you want to walk two dogs together, you need some skills yourself, and your dogs also need some composure for the process to be successful. Please understand that not all dogs are good candidates for walking together. Still, here are some tips that should help you pull this off.
Knowing if your dogs are suitable for such walks
You should know if your dogs are good candidates to be walked together or not. For example, if one of your dogs is reactive and lunges or barks at other dogs, it can be risky to add another dog to the mix. The second dog may feed off the emotions of the first.
Apart from that, they could also get in a fight because of redirected aggression. If one of your dogs is anxious, you should not add another to the mix as the second dog could become anxious too, thus making it risky for all of you.
This applies to dogs that have not been trained well as individuals, so if one of your dogs pulls the leash while the other sticks to the line, you will struggle because the disobedient one could influence your obedient dog.
Planning the final goal
When looking to walk two dogs at once, you have to do some planning. For example, would you walk them both on the same side, or would they walk on either side of you? It means that one of them would be on the right while the other would be on the left. Do you want to walk both of them in front of you using a leash coupler or splitter?
Remember that there are always pros and cons to the decisions you make.
Training each dog individually
It is significant to train your dogs to walk correctly while they are on a leash. This is something that need not be said as such. It would help if you did this until they are proficient in walking on a leash before you add the other dog, which could become a distraction for either of your dogs. It implies that you would have to train them separately and do a lot of it. You need to start this training in quiet areas before moving on to places with distractions.
Taking baby steps
Once you have been able to establish a lot of control in walking your dogs individually, you can start the process of walking them together. However, it is always better to begin with, small steps in these cases. Just think of the final goal in these cases – the way you want to walk your dogs together.
For example, you can walk one of your dogs on your left and get an assistant to walk the other dog on their left. It will ensure that both your babies are on your two sides when walking them.
Issues with lead splitters
Lead splitters – also called couplers – let you walk two dogs simultaneously without bothering about the leashes getting jumbled up. There is no doubt that this is a great invention, but it does have some pitfalls. The biggest problem, in this case, is that when you put two dogs so close, they could start competing with each other.
This could mean that they start pulling more and more. One dog pulling the leash could also put a lot of physical strain on the other.
Providing them plenty of feedback
When teaching a couple of dogs to walk with a lead splitter, you must train them just like a musher does with sled dogs. When walking your dogs using a lead splitter, it can be hard for you to give them treats since they are primarily in front of you.
Hence, please provide them with feedback and a lot of it! So, when you see them behaving well while walking with each other, praise them a lot. Let them know how happy you are with their conduct.
Practice can make it perfect
There is nothing to deny this particular statement. So, if you walk both your dogs every day at the same time and in different settings, you will be rewarded soon. The ultimate reward for such consistency would be a duo of walking dogs polite.
There will be situations when things do not work out as planned. It could be that your reactive dog is having a negative influence on your well-behaved dog. You could struggle to train your dogs to walk nicely in tandem with each other.
If any such situation pertains, do not get too hard on yourself. In these cases, you can try other measures like getting someone else with you to walk both of them at the same time or walk one of them at a time.