We dog lovers are obsessed with our furry friends, with 34% of households in the UK owning a dog as of 2022. They show us unconditional love, loyalty and companionship. In fact, we love them so much and the light they bring to our lives that many of us consider adding a second pup into our lives.
At Poppy & Ted, we believe in the more, the merrier and if you have the space and facilities to take care of a second dog, why not!
But that doesn’t mean you won’t have to face some adjustments when adapting to having multiple dogs in your life, no matter how angelic they are. One of the more difficult challenges you might face is taking both dogs on a walk at once, which can be difficult to keep them and you calm and safe.
To help, we have pulled together our top five tips for walking two dogs at once that you can put into action. Get practising and thank us later as you skip into the sunset with both of your pups!
1. Practice Loose Lead Walking Skills
Before you dive into juggling your dogs on their leads, you should have a strong foundation. This means your dogs walk well on their leads before you attempt to walk them both together. Trying to do both, training your dogs on their leads and walking together simultaneously, could lead to disaster.
So, you should ensure each dog is trained to ‘loose lead’ first, which means they will walk by your side without pulling on the lead. Training your dog to loose lead requires patience, time and a lot of treats, something which you can carry with you on the go securely with our handy treat pouches that clip onto your leads.
2. Train with Two Handlers & a Decoy Lead
This tip is handy for training two adult dogs to walk on their leads together rather than puppies who won’t know any different.
The idea is to trick your dogs into thinking they have a handler walking them each. Diving into walking two dogs alone will signal to your dog that they have the power and can pull you where they want to go. Choose one of your dogs, perhaps the one with more difficulty walking on their lead and attach two leads to their collar or harness. Give one lead to your friend to hold while you take control of the other.
Your dog will believe they have their own handler when the secondary walker gradually slackens their hold on their lead until it falls. Eventually, your dog is walking just on the primary lead you hold. This will settle the dog into walking alongside their other furry companion.
3. Use the Right Equipment
When walking two dogs simultaneously, the key to success is often the equipment you use. Not only will it make controlling both dogs easier for you, but it will also be much more comfortable for your dogs.
This means you should have matching equipment for your dogs, including the same leads, collars or harnesses wherever possible. Even if they are not identical, it is best practice to have the same styles to keep both dogs safe and secure on the walk. For example, if wearing harnesses, ensure they are either clipped on the front or back. Avoid having one of each style.
To make walking two dogs at once even easier, you should invest in a split lead. The design is simple but revolutionary for anyone with more than one dog. Split leads connect to the end of a standard dog lead and allow you to have separate attachments to each dog's collar or harness. Avoiding having multiple leads and handles that are begging to get tangled.
4. Plan the Route
On your first few walks with two dogs, you should think out your route and make a plan. You will want your first walks with your dogs to be as uneventful as possible, especially if one or both of your dog has any ‘triggers’ that might set them off.
We recommend choosing a time for your walk that will be less popular for other dog walkers or have less foot traffic. You might want to avoid the school traffic and any other distractions that might affect your dog. Similarly, you won’t want to walk past that particular house with the dog that sits by the fence waiting for your dog to bark!
5. Finish on a Positive
Finally, keep your first few walks with your dogs short and sweet and build them up to longer treks and hikes together. Plus, don’t forget to practice and be prepared to take them out individually every now and then if they struggle to adjust.
You should always end on a positive note for any training you do with your dog. If things are going well and the walk is pretty smooth, plan to loop back around to your home. You don’t want to continue the walk further than planned because it was all sunshine and rainbows. Waiting for things to turn sour can be disastrous as you then need to make the long journey back with restless and agitated dogs.
When ending the walk on a positive note, your dogs will maintain better focus on their next outing, and you will feel more optimistic. Remember, walking two dogs at once needs to be as easy for you as it is for your dogs!
Shop Quality Dog Walking Accessories
Are you ready to get out with your dogs and stretch your legs? We hope walkies get easier for you and your pups with the help of our advice and tips. You might even be a professional dog walker before you know it!
To help you get off to a great start, ensure you have the right gear to keep you and your dogs safe and comfortable. At Poppy & Ted, we are the experts in stylish, high-quality walking equipment for dogs, and you can shop a collection of leads, collars and harnesses that suit your pup’s personality. Not forgetting our innovative split leads that make walking more than one dog at a time easy.