Tangled, tense, and tired? Consider these tips on how to walk two dogs at once.
It’s simple math – adopting a second dog doubles your responsibilities. Twice the food, twice the vet visits, twice the baths! But does owning two dogs mean double the walks? Not necessarily. You can walk multiple dogs together with the proper gear, training, and consistency. Follow these tips if you find yourself tangled, tripping over leashes, and pulled in different directions.
Protect Your Pets
The first step to simultaneously walking two dogs is ensuring they are protected. Even the best pet owners occasionally find themselves in a situation where a dog has gotten loose or spooked and runs away. Whether you plan to walk your dogs separately or together, having your pet microchipped with up-to-date contact information is essential, as is a rugged ID tag that includes your pet’s microchip number. If they get lost, taking these preventative actions can increase the chance of being reunited with your pet. For added protection, 24Petwatch offers a Lost Pet Membership, which is invaluable in these situations. Since 2003, they’ve reunited over 625,000 pets with happy pet parents.
Choosing the Right Tools
Having the appropriate gear is vital. With several types of leashes, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. For example, should you use two separate leashes, a double dog leash, or a leash splitter? Two single leashes help you keep control until your dogs can be trusted not to walk in opposite directions, after which a double dog leash can allow you to keep one hand free. Getting one with a waistband is a bonus. A leash splitter is convenient but recommended only for dogs who can be trusted to walk peacefully side-by-side, as it makes it difficult to restrain only one dog at a time. One type of leash to definitely avoid? Retractable leashes are hard to hold and can become tangled quickly.
Before investing in a new leash system, you’ll want to figure out your dogs’ temperaments and whether they are amenable to being tethered together. Whichever one you decide on, remember pet parents who enroll in our Lifetime Protection Membership are eligible for a $25 Petco coupon to pick up high-quality dog-walking essentials.
Building a Good Walking Relationship with Each Dog Separately
Taking one unruly pup on a walk can be frustrating – two can be downright dangerous!
But what’s the plan to make it easier? According to noted dog trainer turned celebrity Brandon McMillan, dog owners should “start by leash training each dog individually to ensure they know how to behave.” Though there are many dog walking training methods, it’s generally agreed the “loose leash” technique is ideal. It involves always having slack in the leash when walking your dog. Your pup remains at your side and does not pull or strain on their collar or harness. Teaching your dog to keep to one side instead of zig-zagging back and forth will ensure you don’t get tangled or tripped when a second dog is in the mix. And, of course, general obedience training is imperative, as you’ll want to be sure each of your pets can be trusted to stop, stay, and listen when directed. Carry treats on your solo walks and reward, reward, reward for good behavior.
If you’re struggling to train your pets to behave on walks, you may consider bringing in a professional. With a Lifetime Protection Membership Plus from 24Petwatch, you receive customized pet training provided by Petcademy (complimentary for one year).
Short, Sweet, and Slow: How to Walk Two Dogs at Once
Before taking the big step of handling two leashes at once, consider enlisting a partner to help your dogs practice walking in tandem. Having a second pair of hands ready to assist if your dogs get distracted or reactive is a great safety net. As the dogs become more accustomed to walking close together, you may be ready to take the reins – literally!
For your first walks as a trio, choose a short, boring, and uneventful course with minimal distractions like other dogs, pedestrians, or traffic. Bring your treats and focus on loose leash consistency, rewarding good behavior, and eliminating poor leash manners by allowing them to pull. Whether you keep both leashes in one hand or carry one leash in each is up to personal preference, although many dog walkers prefer both in one hand to keep the other hand free for picking up waste.
There are circumstances where walking two dogs together, unfortunately, is not practical or safe. Walking them together may be dangerous if your dogs have different temperaments, energy levels, or sizes. If, after consistent training, you or your dogs feel uncomfortable and anxious, walking multiple dogs may not be for you. Leaving it to the professionals may be a better option. The 24Petwatch Lifetime Protection Membership comes with a $30 Rover discount, so you can save on dog walking services.
Like all pet education, learning to walk two dogs simultaneously takes time, patience, and consistency. But with time, your new pet pals may learn to walk safely and comfortably together.
For more information about enhanced Pet Protection Services for the care and support of your pet, contact a 24Petwatch Lost Pet Recovery Specialist today at 1-866-597-2424.