How to walk multiple dogs
If you are an active pet sitter or dog walker in your neighbourhood, you may sometimes want to walk several dogs at the same time. Perhaps you want to bring your own dog along too when walking your Pawshake guest dog, or perhaps you take several of your Pawshake dogs for a walk together. It is quite difficult to have all the dogs walk next to you in a well-mannered way without getting all the leads entangled, so here some tips on the fine art of walking multiple dogs at once!
Practice with only one dog at first
Before you go for a walk with more than one dog, it is important to have a bond of trust with each individual dog so that they are calm, easy and obedient around you. Practice walking one dog at a time without pulling on the lead. Does the dog pull anyway? Stop walking right away, wait until the dog releases the tension on the lead and continue walking once they do. When you can walk each dog easily and you communicate well with them, you can introduce the dogs to one another.
Getting used to each other
When walking two or more dogs, you‘re officially a pack. This means that the dogs will start to develop a relationship. While some want to play right away, others will have a bit of a “wait and see”-attitude. Observe their behaviour and give them time to get used to each other. Meet on neutral ground, preferably outside: a walk is the best way of getting to know each other.
Leads of the same length
If you have walked more than one dog before, you know how much of a hassle the leads can be. They get entangled and it seems as if you can never have enough hands to manage your group. Don‘t use extension leads and make sure that all the leads are the same length. This will make things easier for you and prevent the dogs from wandering off in different directions. It‘s also possible to split the “pack”: one dog to the left and one to the right.
It‘s definitely useful to have a couple of leads of the same length if you do a lot of dog walking in a “pack”. Another option is a splitter, which allows you to join several leads together - so you have only one lead in your hand and all dogs have the same amount of space. An adjustable splitter is even better if you can get your hands on one: you can set it lower (towards the dogs) or higher (towards you). The latter is more enjoyable for the dogs, as it will allow them more freedom of movement.
If you let the dogs off-lead, they need to be obedient at returning when you call
The easiest way for you to exercise many dogs at once is of course to let them off-lead, but as a dog walker you have a big responsibility: returning all dogs safely. Make sure the dogs return when called and only let them off in safe off-lead areas without any traffic. Are you doubting whether a dog will come when called? Then DO NOT let them off the lead and perhaps take along a long lead for them to run about on instead.
It‘s all about having fun during the walk. If you are feeling comfortable and the dogs are happy, you‘re doing it right! Perhaps you have found other ways for walking several dogs at once? Let us know! Have a fun during your next walkies :-)