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5 Tips for Walking Multiple Dogs
Follow these five tips to stay safe and relaxed while taking multiple dogs out for a walk.
- Use the right equipment. There are two necessities for walking dogs: a suitable collar or harness and a dog leash. As a dog walker, you need to ensure that each dog has a durable leash and the appropriate collar or harness (a strong collar works for calm dogs, while a harness is the best choice for pullers). When picking out separate leashes for multiple dogs, avoid retractable leashes, as they aren’t as easy to manage. Consider getting a dog leash coupler or leash splitter, which attaches multiple leashes to one handle. You’ll also need enough doggy bags to take care of each dog’s business.
- Work with each dog individually. If a dog can’t behave on a solo walk, the problem will compound when you walk them with a group of dogs. The poorly-behaved dog will be harder to manage when you have other dogs to worry about, and their pulling or restlessness may cause even the best dogs to act out. To walk multiple dogs properly, start by leash training each dog individually to ensure they know how to behave. Leash manners are an essential part of dog training that you just can’t skip.
- Tailor the walk to the slowest dog. Different dog breeds have different energy levels and fitness abilities that don’t always correspond to their size—you may have a Chihuahua with boundless energy and a German Shepherd with arthritic legs. When walking two or more dogs, keep the slowest dog in mind to avoid overworking them on a long walk. If focusing on the slower dog means another dog in the pack isn’t getting the exercise they need on a short walk, consider an extracurricular activity for the high-energy dog.
- Bring treats. You can’t predict what will happen on a walk—a leash might break, a cat might run out in front of you, or a larger dog might bound up dragging a loose leash. Anytime you take your dog outside, whether it’s a big dog or a small dog, arm yourself with a handful of treats, so you’ll always be able to reestablish control over your dogs in tricky situations. If a dog starts to get overly distracted or hyper, single them out and calm them back down. You should also reward dogs for displaying good behavior during a walk. Treats are especially important on a multi-dog walk—you don’t want to lose control of several large dogs at once.
- Practice. The best way to get better at walking multiple dogs is to practice. The more you take your dogs out for group walks, the more you’ll all get used to it.
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