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Strolling with the Pack: 6 Tips for Walking Two or More Dogs

 by petbucket on 03 Sep 2015 |
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Walking two or more dogs can be a lot for one person to handle. But for many dog walkers, there isn't time in the day to take separate walks with each dog they own. Still, all dogs need exercise, and walking is one of the best ways for them to get it. So how can you walk multiple dogs safely and effectively? The short answer is, with care and caution. Beyond that, there are some valuable tips that will help make your daily walk with two or more dogs a successful venture.
Invest is good dog walking equipment. A durable, functional leash is necessary when walking one dog, but it becomes extra important when walking two or more dogs. Two- and three-way couplers that attach to a single leash can eliminate the problem of multiple leashes becoming tangled; however, a separate leash for each dog or a dual leash may be easier for dogs that need room to roam. Leashes should be non-retractable, no longer than six feet, and made of strong material. They should also have comfortable, easy-to-grip handles. Well-fitted dog collars are a must, too, although pinch collars, gentle leaders, or harnesses may be needed for dogs that pull.
Practice walking multiple dogs at home. Walking multiple dogs takes patience and skill--and practice. Before you start a routine of walking two or more dogs, make sure they're individually trained to walk on a leash. Leash training is best accomplished at a training facility, but once your dogs are proficient at it, you can work at home on teaching them to walk together. Be sure to also practice basic commands, like "heel" and "leave it," as these skills will come in handy when walking on the sidewalks and paths. Once you've mastered leash walking multiple dogs at home, begin your outdoor routine with short walks in distraction-free areas.
Clothe yourself and your dogs properly. Dressing appropriately for dog walking will help keep you and your dogs comfortable and make your walks more enjoyable. Besides donning good walking shoes, you'll want to wear adequate clothing, including a weather-proof jacket, sensible layers, hats, and gloves, if necessary. But while choosing what you should wear, don't forget about your dogs. They may need specific walking attire, too, especially if they tend to become chilled or overheated during exercise. Dog jackets, coats, and snow boots are all useful for walking in cold or rainy weather. Cooling vests can be helpful for dogs that get too warm. 
Don't leave home without dog walking essentials. Before you leave the house with multiple dogs in tow, make sure you have basic dog walking essentials with you. Items to carry when walking two or more dogs include several poop bags, multiple treats, water for you and your dogs, an extra leash should one break, a whistle or other dog deterrent, and your cell phone in case of an emergency. Keep a mental checklist of these items and then go over it before you head out the door. You can carry the items in a fanny pack fastened around your waist, a shoulder pouch, or a dog backpack--all which allow you to keep your hands free for leash handling.
Avoid hazardous walking paths and inclement weather. When walking two or more dogs at once, take extra precautions to walk in areas that are free of hazards and unexpected dangers. It's best to avoid high-traffic walking routes, where you might encounter aggressive animals or throngs of bikers, joggers, or other large groups of people. Even walking along paths that buzz with wildlife can be distracting to one or more of your dogs and disrupt your walk--or worse, cause an injury. Be sure to stay sky aware as well. If the weather calls for storms, postpone your walk until the skies clear. Likewise, avoid after-dark walks, when visibility is poor.
Be the pack leader for your dogs. A calm and confident dog walker usually begets calm, confident dogs, so aim to be a composed leader for your walking companions. If you're confronted with an uncertain situation while walking multiple dogs, the way you handle it can make all the difference to your dogs and how they react. By calmly diverting their attention to a toy or treat, getting them to refocus on you, or changing routes, you can turn a worrisome encounter into an easily overcome obstacle. Even if just one dog senses panic in you, he could make a bad situation worse by startling all the dogs. Stay cool, and your dogs will follow suit.
Walking multiple dogs is a time saver, fun bonding activity, and productive way to exercise your furry companions. Just make sure you're adequately prepared for the task and that you put safety first. A successful outing with your dogs will benefit the entire pack--including you.


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