How to walk multiple dogs
If you are a dog walker or a pet owner, you might come to a point where you have to walk several dogs at the same time. But that can be quite a challenge: you don't want the dogs to get stressed or aggressive when your attention has to be divided between several dogs. Today, we give you a few tips on how you, as a dog sitter or owner, can safely walk multiple dogs in one go.
Get to know them first
First and foremost, it's important that you're familiar with the behaviour of each individual dog: what's the physique of the dog? Does the dog listen to you? And how does the dog behave toward other dogs, how do they respond to traffic, noises etc? Practice walking with each dog so that you are familiar and at ease with every single one of them.
Observe the pack
When you walk with two or more dogs, you are officially a pack. This means that the dogs relate to each other: one dog might want to play immediately, other dogs might want to be left alone. Therefore, observe their behaviour carefully and give them time and space to get used to each other. Introduce them on neutral territory (preferably outside): a walk is the best way to let them get acquainted.
Chipped and tagged
Yes, we have to talk about this. Better to be safe than sorry: prevent your dogs from going missing by ensuring that each dog is microchipped and registered. In addition, we recommend providing each dog with a dog tag. Read tips to prevent your pet from going missing.
Collars and leashes
If you've walked with two or more dogs, you'll know the hassle of multiple leashes: it seems like you don't have enough arms! Don't use flex lines as you will lose control over the dogs. Make sure all leashes are about the same length. You can also split your pack to keep it manageable: one dog on the left and one or two dogs on the right from you.
For those who would like to walk with multiple dogs more often: consider buying a belt or a line splitter, so you can link all leashes together. That way you have only one leash in your hands and all dogs have the same freedom of movement.
A quiet place
Avoid the 'rush hours' where there are many other dogs and dog walking services in the park. This can cause extra stress for your dogs. Walk during a quiet time of the day in a (preferably fenced) park with plenty of space.
Fun for every dog
Every dog has a different physical condition: a young fit dog can do more than an older or injured dog, for example. Make sure you adjust the pace and intensity of the walk to the 'weakest link' and give the dogs that have a lot of energy extra challenges, for example by fetching and playing games.
What do you bring with you?
Make sure you bring snacks with you so you can call and reward your dog. And of course don't forget to take enough poop bags, toys and a bottle of water and bowl for longer walks.
Off-leash or not?
Dogs tend to behave in a more friendly and calm way towards each other when walking off-leash: they have more freedom of movement and have enough space to keep a distance if necessary. It is also easier for yourself to walk without all those leashes in your hand. But as a dog sitter, you have a huge responsibility: all dogs have to be safely returned home. Only release the dogs in safe, fenced-off dog park without traffic. And do you have an insecure or 'disobedient' dog in your pack? Don't take any risks and keep that dog on a long leash.
Problems like aggression, anxiety, running away etc usually arise only if the pack becomes too big and uncontrollable. Many dog owners, therefore, look for a small and personal dog walking service with a Pawshake sitter. Therefore keep your pack small: only up to 3 dogs, so you have maximum attention for every dog. Do you still want to walk with a larger pack? Make sure you have all the knowledge about dog behavior, pack dynamics, breed characteristics and first aid.
Enjoy your walkies!