Considering 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.