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June 11, 2014

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
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!

Comments for Learning To Walk Again

  1. Marcela says:

    You look so happy with your furry kids specially on the last picture. I’ve walked up to 5 dogs at a time, but it takes training and patience to do that. My suggestion would be to teach Penny and Eko, individually at the beginning, how to walk properly. You can, then, walk them together. You 3 look amazing together.

  2. Victoria says:

    no suggestions that will help from me -when walking both of mine on bad days i usually end of swaddled in leash and look like i am physically attached to each dog on some part of their body and on good days Muffin is a speed walker and Rigs and i try to catch up – then i get swaddled in leash….

  3. Emmadog says:

    I am actually the one that instigates wrestling on walks, not Bailie. We aren’t in the city and Mom likes us to each have plenty of sniffing room so we all have a side to walk on in your “sidewalk hog” configuration. If we need to make space, we just move onto the grass a bit. Mom isn’t big on the “proper” heel stuff, so we are a bit chaotic looking when we walk, but Mom knows exactly what is going on and what each of us is up to. Everyone has a preferred walking method, you three will find your groove. You will find taking photos, etc., gets real tough with both hands tied up.

  4. Great photos…….Sam is (believe it or not) leash/harness trained so we do go for walks – mostly around the yard……but a multi-animal walk would be a challenge. I think once Eko and Penny get used to walking together it will work out. They both want to please you and that’s a plus (so is the ice cream!).


  5. fredrieka says:

    It would be hard for me I would want to play also. Woof real hard

  6. Ogee says:

    When Jackson was little and Bella weighed 80 lbs, we often had the “crazies” take over mid-walk. Green grass always set it off. A firm “sit!”, “look at me”, reward and brief “wait” got them re-focused. “Walk nicely!” is the cue to resume the walk as the well-behaved dogs they are supposed to be. I still use it when we see a kitty on the path. Good luck!

  7. Eve says:

    Finding your groove will be the big part of the puzzle! But it can and will get done with patience and work!! But otherwise you three are looking good to me!! LOL Love the short pup attention span, Penny has! But with growth and patience on everyone’s part it can and will be learned soon!! Have fun and enjoy the walks!

  8. Since Ku and Nalle are snow pups/drafters I let them walk in front of me, but with space for me between their fluff-butts. I like to hold the leashes in one hand so the other is free to steer one (distractible Nalle usually) if they go off course.

  9. Judy says:

    I walk 2 dogs all the time. The Same side way is usually the best when you get the new dog trained for leach walking.

  10. Melody says:

    Both our were trained independently to properly walk but we also used a coupler with help to keep Luna who is 4 years younger on pace when she was an exuberant put. We did not start with the coupler until she was older and taller otherwise she would have been hanging off Zonka. Now the coupler is used more often than two leashes. There are different lengths to try out. I found the shorter ones are not very good.

  11. It took me awhile to be able to walk my two together. I did exactly what you are doing; iI would take each for an individual walk and then a walk together. I will say though that Apollo has always been a perfect gentleman on a leash and usually it was Artemis I was trying to corral.

    I really relied on Apollo to help teach Artemis. If we stopped and he sat, he would get a treat. Artemis would realize that if she wanted a treat too she’d have to sit. Soon she caught on pretty quickly.

    Penny looks like she’s growing by the day! Soon you might be able to get a split lead. When we go for brief walks or just around the neighborhood I sometimes put them on the splitter, especially now that they both walk well enough together. Good luck!

  12. Dottie and Tuffy-Cat says:

    Those are really special pics. I loved the last one with the sign that says “NO OUTLET”. How true, How true. lol
    Dottie and Tuffy-Cat

  13. Such cute pigtures. Our hooman said that her Auntie walked her two dogs with a friend who had a perfectly behaved older dog. This taught the puppy good walking manners and whee think that over time Eko will do the same for Penny ^_^

    Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil

  14. Ambitious, but it looks like you’ve got a good start going. I’ve got my hands full with my own 22 pound bundle of psycho.

  15. I think you’re doing a great job and have excellent ideas for walk training. I love seeing photos of your two pups side by side, it really highlights the difference in their sizes! 🙂

  16. perhaps when Penny starts to walk better you will have less trouble managing two at a go 🙂

  17. I only can suggest self adhesive heat pads for injured shoulders, the pads from Masterplast are the best (just in case you will need it), but both look great think they are good pups :o)
    oh and can you hold the spoon with the ice cream a little closer to the screen?

  18. Ya always have to sneek in a wrestle.

  19. […] Photo of Eko, Penny, and Will courtesy of Marking Our Territory […]

  20. Kyla says:

    We don’t go walking for a few reasons. Our back yard is big enough for a good run. I can’t stand the pavement when the sun has baked it and the outside temp is 115.

  21. Caitlin says:

    Looks like you’re doing much better than me!

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