Learning To Walk Again

One of the staples to a successful, fun and healthy relationship with a pup is learning the art of walking.  We’ve all seen those Da Vincis out there who can walk five dogs on lead perfectly, but most of our ambitions are slightly more pedestrian.

As I’ve said before, Eko and I have a rocky walking history. We went from good to bad to now (after much painstaking relearning) to good again. However we have a new (tough but cute) variable named Penny to work with these days.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory, adventure, dogs

Two dogs, one man and (hopefully) zero shoulder surgeries

I’ve started to work with Penny individually on loose leash walking, but I also want to practice walking the pups together. I want all three of us comfortable and familiar with the process as soon as possible. I’m working on a couple different styles and techniques at the moment. I like having the two on the same side when in close quarters or on busy streets.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory, adventure, dogs

Same siding is a perfect fit at the ATM. As an added bonus I don’t think anyone will get through these two to catch a look at my PIN number

What I like about same-side walking is that Penny will keep pace with Eko, making it easier for us to all move together. On busier sidewalks, same-side walking keeps a lane clear for other pedestrians.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory, adventure, dogs

However, in her puppy exuberance, Penny will often try to start wrestling Eko mid-walk

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory, adventure, dogs

Thankfully Eko literally and figuratively takes the high road and doesn’t engage Penny

Trying to get Penny to stop wrestling, but yet keep walking, all while managing Eko on a busy street is not an ideal training situation. So I will often turn down side streets and put a leash in each hand.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory, adventure, dogs

When in sidewalk-hog formation, I do my best to keep an eye out for other pedestrians so we can move over when needed. 

The leash in each hand setup is nice because it gives me completely independent control over each dog. However, it often leads to Eko trying to walk at our normal pace while Penny lags behind.

What I really need work on is having both pups focus on me for all proper walking cues.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, marking our territory, adventure, dogs

This is kind of focus I’m talking about! Unfortunately I can’t carry a spoonful of ice cream for every walk

Penny will continue to have her solo loose leash walks and Eko will have some solo runs to keep his sanity, but I also want to make sure all three of us learn to walk together. I know there are a number of different ways to find a solution and I’ve seen some of you somehow handle 2+ pups and a camera so I know it can be done!

If you have a multi-dog walking system, program or just any suggestions, be sure to let me know. We have lots of work to do!

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