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Can You Walk 2 Dogs At The Same Time?

Walking 2 Dogs in The ParkConsidering that training one dog to walk on a leash is quite a challenge, is there any way you can ever walk two dogs at the same time? Especially two large breeds? Even those feisty toy breeds can be a monumental challenge to control together?!

The answer is… possibly, as long as the dogs get along well.

First though, you must leash train each dog individually. Walking two dogs with two leashes can quickly become a tangled mess, not to mention a trip hazard for the owner trying to walk down the sidewalk. When each dog is walking reliably on a loose leash on their own, they can then be trained to walk together.

Walking two dogs can be accomplished in more than one way. You can continue using separate leashes,which allows the dogs more freedom to sniff and move about. Or, you can train them on a coupler, which is two short leads that snap to each collar, with a ring in the middle that attaches the two leads to one leash.

Using a coupler is generally easier for the owner, but some dogs dislike couplers because being connected restricts each dog’s movement. Owners must also ensure that the smallest of the pair doesn’t just get dragged along if the larger dog decides to investigate something along the way.

There are a variety of Dog Leash Couplers available for purchase. Be sure to choose one with the appropriate strength and flexibility for the dogs that you are walking.

Introduce a coupler slowly, with initial walks going no more than a few feet. As the dogs become used to the feel of being connected, gradually lengthen your walks.

The same is true when using two leashes (instead of a coupler). Start by walking your dogs for a short distance to make sure they remember their leash manners and understand that the rules still apply to them as a pair. Assuming you have taught some basic commands, such as “sit” and “wait”, work on these with the dogs together before stepping out on a walk.

You may find some interesting developments upon walking two dogs at the same time. The “you must be talking to that other dog” syndrome is common. Even the most obedient dog commonly suffers from this malady.

Then there is the competitive nature that surfaces, causing normally mannered dogs to suddenly start pulling as both dogs strive to reach that interesting smell first. The correct training response is the same as it is for one dog, to stop dead in your tracks as soon as the leash goes taught.

Remember too that this can be a physical challenge – two dogs make up quite a force and not every dog walker can handle this situation without landing face down on the ground! If you don’t have the strength to control two dogs bent on a purpose, it might be safer to stick to one at a time.

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3 Responses to Can You Walk 2 Dogs At The Same Time?

  1. Paul V. June 25, 2013 at 4:08 AM #

    Yes, couplers work well as the swivel in the middle will always untangle. There is an adjustable coupler leash on the market where you can adjust the length of the two end leashes. Triplers always entangle as the swivel in the middle can only untangle entanglements in the same direction which is often not the case. A tripler will only work if the 3 end leashes are kept so short that none of the dogs can cross another end leash. That means the dogs are confined to walk closely side-by-side which is no fun for the dogs. Couplers and triplers all have the drawback that they have a single main lead so you cannot easily communicate direction to each dog individually.

    My wife or I walk 2, 3 or 4 small dogs every day with one person easily with our UTurn handle. The beauty of it is that you can untangle all leash enanglements with half turns of the handle – while walking, you can direct each dog individually and the dogs have space to roam.
    Paul

  2. Marci Liroff October 22, 2013 at 9:23 AM #

    I’m 5’1″ and walk my two 90 lb Rhodesian Ridgebacks on a coupler leash attached to a very short lead. They walk right by my side and don’t pull. I have Sporn halters on both of them which also helps control them if they see a squirrel or another dog. It’s kind of a miracle actually but I take great pains to train them. The walk is about exercise, not a sniffing expedition. We also take lots of hikes off leash so they can run around.

    • LAdogs October 22, 2013 at 10:07 AM #

      Sounds like you’ve got it all under control! And yes, commitment to training is key…

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