How to Safely Walk More Than One Dog
What’s the best approach to walking 2 or more dogs? How can you do it safely? Here’s how to get started.
Start with one dog at a time.
It may seem obvious, but before you walk dogs together, they must be taught how to walk properly on leash alone.
This means teaching the heel command. There are many ways to approach this. If you don’t already have a strategy you prefer, connect with a reputable trainer in your area to help you teach your most challenging dog. While not all dogs are the same, and each may require a slightly different approach, you may be able to use your newly acquired training skills to teach the other dogs.
Make a dog sandwich.
You’re the filling. When you first start walking the dogs together, have them on either side of you. This gives you the ability to control each leash and give guidance to the dogs separately. This is also helpful if the dogs you’re walking haven’t met before. They can get used to each other’s presence without being forced to interact.
Try a one-handed approach when you and the dogs are ready.
Feeling a bit more advanced? If the dogs have demonstrated they are comfortable together and can also obey the heel command, you can walk them both on the same side. This frees up your other hand to do things like push walk buttons and pick up waste.
Get the right equipment.
Never use a retractable-style leash when walking multiple dogs. You need to have as much control as possible, and retractable leashes can get tangled or cause injuries. Standard, non-stretch nylon, BioThane or leather leashes with a secure clip are best for 2 dogs. Once you have 3 or more dogs, you may want to look into professional dog-walking equipment.
Check your city’s bylaws.
Most cities restrict the number of dogs you can walk at one time. Be sure you’re following the rules, or risk getting a fine.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Start with fewer dogs than you think you can handle. You’re responsible for their safety as well as how they interact with other people, children, and dogs on the street. Make sure you’re equipped with good pet insurance as well, so if an accident does happen, you’ll be covered.