Why walk several dogs at once?
If you are a dog walker or pet sitter, you may want to walk several dogs at once for a few reasons. For example, you may want to bring your dog along too when walking your guest dogs. Then again, you may want to take several of your Pawshake dogs for a walk together. This might come up if a dog owner owns more than one dog and want them walked at once.
Whatever the reason, it can be hard to walk the dogs without getting all the leads entangled! Likewise, it can be tricky to manage the temperaments and sizes of the different dogs in your care. As such, here are some tips on the fine art of walking multiple dogs at once.
Practice walking with one dog at first
It is important to have a bond with each of the dogs so that they are calm and relaxed with 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 well with each of 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 with each other. While some want to play right away, others will have a bit of a “wait and see”-attitude.
As such, 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 with multiple dogs, and instead ensure 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”, with one dog to the left and one to the right.
Convenient leads for group dog walking
If you walk multiple dogs, it's worth having a couple of leads of the same length. Another option is using a splitter, which allows you to join several leads together. This allows you to 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, allowing them more freedom of movement.
If you let the dogs off-lead, they need to be obedient at returning when you call
Off-lead dog walking safety
The easiest way for you to exercise many dogs at once is to let them off-lead. However, as a dog walker, you have a big responsibility towards all the dogs in your care.
At Pawshake, we don't recommend letting dogs off-leash when dog walking. But if the dog owner insists, then make sure the dogs return 100% of the time when called. Also, only let them off in fenced, off-lead areas without any traffic.
Are you doubting whether a dog will come when called? Then DO NOT let them off the lead. Instead, consider using a long lead for them to run about on instead.
Know each dog's personality
It‘s all about having fun during the walk. If you are feeling comfortable and the dogs are happy, you‘re doing it right!
Of course, this isn't the right approach for some shy or nervous dogs. This is why the step of having a meet and greet before booking is always so essential. During the meet and greet, discuss the dog owner's preferences and plan for a short test walk first.
Do you need a dog walker? Check out Pawshake to find a responsible, friendly dog walker in your area today.