If you’ve ever come back from a dog walk thinking your dog has major control issues, walking two dogs at the same time can leave you feeling like the canines have joined forces and voted you off the island. For some, this scenario has resulted in a walking routine that means separate walks for each dog. The good news is that with training, patience, and the right equipment, you can walk those canines like a professional dog walker.
1. This one is very important: if your dogs aren’t leash trained individually, it will be nearly impossible to train them on-leash together. So, begin by training each dog one-by-one. Make sure they can walk at your side without crossing in front of, or behind you, and they don’t dart out in front of moving objects (such as other dogs, people, children, or cars).
2. Choose the positions for each dog and stick with it. Your dogs will learn which side is theirs and feel comfortable this way—in fact, they may even begin to lean one direction when put on the leash alone! A good rule of thumb is to put the best-trained dog to the outside, so the likelihood of them heading towards a ditch, the road, or a squirrel is reduced.
3. Get good gear. You will want a strong set of leashes with a clip that swivels so the dogs don’t get tangled. We recommend the Ruff Wear Knot-a-Coupler which features three sets of swivels and an elastic core, paired with the Ruff Wear Knot-a-Long leash, which helps maintain control with a short length and heavy-duty grip handle (pictured above).
4. Know how to take control. Discontinue the walk if the dogs begin to take control over you. For tips on how to prevent leash pulling, check out our tips for preventing leash pulling.
5. Plan your route ahead of time. Knowing where you’re going will help you feel confident and assertive, which in turn will help the dogs gain confidence in you. A good first-time adventure would be a 5-10 minute walk followed by some off-leash time. These pit stops will help them release energy and give you time to reorganize in between leash activity.