Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and author of the online dog training course "Brain Training for Dogs."
If you own a dog that loves to pull, you may wonder how that teenager who walks dogs in the summer is able to manage walking three to four dogs at a time. No, that teen does not have the muscles of an athlete, nor does she have Cesar Milan's "magic" willpower. The ultimate secret is the right use of equipment and proper individual training for each dog. Here are some tips on how to better manage multiple dogs on a walk.
Tips for Walking More Than One Dog at a Time
- Give one-on-one attention.
- Use the right equipment.
- Prioritize your safety.
- Avoid tangles by using the right leash.
- Keep treats handy.
- Carry a doggy backpack.
1. Give One-on-One Attention
In order for an orchestra to play, each instrument must be fine-tuned. Same goes with walking a group of dogs. One-on-one attention will help you provide guidance to each dog so that you can train polite leash manners until they have it down pat. You want a dog that is able to walk without pulling, heel on cue, and be able to pay attention to you even with distractions.
Each dog should therefore be able to perform these tasks individually before being put together. Putting together dogs that are not disciplined to walk may mean looking for trouble. Each dog will feed off each others' emotions and will pull towards other dogs and people—sometimes even with not so friendly intentions.
2. Use the Right Equipment
If some dogs still tend to pull, they should wear a no-pull harness, or for severe cases, a head collar, or what people call a ''halti,'' which makes them much easier to control.
3. Prioritize Your Safety
Never walk more dogs than you can handle. If every walk turns out to be a hassle, you are looking for trouble. Also, if feasible, try to use only one hand on the leashes, leaving one hand free for emergencies. You want to have one hand free so in case of a fall from pulling dogs, you may be able to protect your face from hitting the ground.
4. Avoid Tangles By Using the Right Leash
One of the most challenging parts of walking multiple dogs is the fact that the leashes tend to tangle. There are various solutions for this. Look for a "coupler' which consists basically of one leash to which is attached a handle which splits into two double clipped leads. Additional leads can be purchased in order to walk more than two dogs.
5. Keep Treats Handy
You never know what may happen during a walk, so it is always a good idea to attach a fanny pack full of treats. You may want to give treats to praise the dogs when they heel nicely or you may want to use the treats as a way to get your dogs' attention right away should they be looking at those squirrels too much.
6. Carry A Doggy Backpack
When walking several dogs, you will of course notice that each dog has different walking needs. If you walk a small dog along with larger dogs, it's very likely that the small dog will be tired while the larger dogs will still be full of energy. In these cases, a dog pack pack may help the large dogs get tired more easily.The dog back pack is also very helpful in carrying water bottles or other accessories that may be helpful during the walk.
Learning to walk multiple dogs at once in an orderly fashion does not happen in one day. It takes some practice before all the dogs get the idea. Dogs that tend to give problems most likely need some more one on one interaction until they are better manageable.
As seen, walking dogs as a professional may take some time, however, the results are certainly very worthy once your dogs are able to walk in an orderly fashion.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2009 Adrienne Farricelli
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 01, 2020:
Look for a "coupler' which consists basically of one leash to which is attached a handle which splits into two double clipped leads.
Jeannie Bain on March 31, 2020:
Please recommend leash types and connections!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 18, 2013:
Thanks Nicole, it's not easy? My dogs used to drag me down the road!
Nicole S Hanson from Minnesota on April 18, 2013:
Great ideas here. I recently tried to walk two dogs at once and we sure didn't get very far! Wish I would have had these tips then.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 04, 2012:
This hub is full of great advice:
Kim on April 04, 2012:
How to keep my dog from pulling when i walk him? He also likes to go out of the house 1st when we bring him out for a walk. He'll dash to the lift with me running after him with the leash on. Please help.
Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on July 19, 2009:
Sound advice. The Halti has a magical effect on hardened pullers.