Walking My 2 Together

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by brattina88, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. brattina88 New Member

    Gah! I'm getting frustrated! Need some advice/encouragement. . .

    When separate, Missy (GSD 5ish) and Maddie (Cocker Spaniel 6) walk very well on a leash... they both know heel, and typically never pull on the leash.
    They both naturally heel toward my left, but I was working with them for several months to heel to my right on command (left="heel", right="side") so I could eventually walk on on my left and one on my right. They also both know when I release them ("okay!") they don't have to heel, but they still need to walk loose leash.

    My problem is trying to walk them together. They can walk one on each side in the house and in the yard, but one a walk they feed off each other's excitement or something. For the first quarter of the walk they take turns yipping excitedly :eek: I only walk them together at dusk, and this is their second 25min walk a day... in addition to other play, ball throwing, backyard zoomies, what have you. [Their first walk I walk them separately, because I walk with a friend and her dog also.]

    The yipping generally stops when we get going and turn the first corner. However, the PULLING doesn't. Usually, one of them pulls and I work with them and get them to heel. While I'm going that, the other one starts to go ahead (which is fine as long as they don't pull) and by the time the first one who was pulling is finally not, the other one starts to pull . . . etc etc
    More often than not, I get Maddie to heel to my left, and then I struggle with Missy for most of the walk to stop pulling, and Barking at other people, and (mostly) dogs. She does this even when I get someone else to walk Maddie with us (rare occurrence, but I can get my brother or friend occasionally). She doesn't usually bark at others on a walk without Maddie... she'll walk nicely on a walk with my Dad's dog... but I'm having problems with walking Missy and Maddie together, in general. Oh, and when she barks at dogs, she sometimes gets Maddie doing it as well . . . *takes deep breath* :o

    I'm considering putting the Gentle Leader back on Missy, just for walking them together. I hesitate, however, because I haven't used it with her for so long and it took her a long time to get used to it - she doesn't like it very much and has been known to howl like I'm killing her. :p lol

    I'd appreciate any tips/suggestions !!! :D TIA

  2. goldencheddar New Member

    I'm right there with you. I can't get close to a heel when walking my two together. I get dragged all over the neighborhood! If I take treats with me and let them know it, then they are not pulling me, but all over me and giving me their undivided attention. This is good, because they both are agility dogs and they need to be that attentive to me, but not so good for the walk. I wonder if you could walk a few steps and then quickly go to a halt where they both sit. Maybe you could use their jealousy to let them try to out do the other at staying close to keep the leash loose. Have you tried taking treats on the walk and treat them for not pulling?
  3. srkellums New Member

    Hello....I also have two Belgians that I walk together as well. One is older almost 8 and she is good. She has been trained to understand what easy means. The other her pup will be 3 this summer. He pulls as well. Treats don't really work for me, because when they get outside, they want to do dog stuff initially and I allow it. I have found that if you wear out dogs (maybe throw a frisbee or ball outside) prior to walking them, they don't pull as hard. I have tried gentle leader but it just isn't effective enough for me. They still can pull. What I tend to do it wrap the leash around their belly and loop it back thru so that as they pull, the leash creates tension around their stomach area. This is sort of self correcting.

    Good luck.
  4. traxxie New Member

    brattina,

    I had another thread about this: walking 2 5yo sister Labs. I've been using the GL with both of them. I play ball with them for 10-15 minutes before the walk. Walk them uphill (they're in a hilly neighborhood and out of shape).

    Just this last week they are both finally walking loose leash for the whole walk. (unless we meet up with another dog).

    I've put in a couple of months, one hour a day, 5xweek. I was discouraged that it has taken so long, but I AM seeing solid results. The beginning of the walk is more challenging. If they pull, I either pick up the pace or slow it down drastically, or I stop and they sit. Some days we did a lot of sitting and I worried that they weren't getting enough of a walk. But now, we don't sit much, except at curbs when we cross the street, and we are able to walk faster and I've added a couple of blocks to the routes we walk.

    They are becoming better behaved than my own dogs, I think because our time together has become so consistent.

    And I've learned that I have to be firm with the Labs. I love spoiling and playing, but I don't get to be real affectionate with these dogs because we have 'work' to do.

    Oh, one other thing I do with the 2xLabs is that I move them from side to side during the walk. They have a 'favorite' side to walk on, but I control that now.

    I plan to adopt a similar strategy with my dogs -- a work/walk period every day to get them to be more responsive and to the point where I can trick train them. (But I'm going to do it the easy way, one at a time.)

    Don't give up. These Labs have been pully bullies for so long the owner *can't* walk her own dogs.

    Good Luck
  5. lane New Member

    I had the same problem with my two and they still get excited when we set off but here's how we worked on it.
    I started inside. Put out a treat or toy (let him see it going out)and walk dog towards it. If he pulls stop, draw him back into heel position, click - and the reward is to move towards the treat. He has to come back into heel position and stay there 'til you move forward again - not come back and go straight forward by himself. When you get there he isn't allowed to pick up the treat - you pick it up and give it to him. After a while, as you stop he will come back into position. Then you can take it outside and eventually start using it when out on a walk. After a while you won't have to stop - just hesitate and they'll come back into position. I worked on each of them separately, then together in the garden before taking it on the road. It takes time though. Mine are getting there but I still have to keep reminding them from time to time.
  6. blisandt New Member

    I have 3 to walk at once and do the "be a tree" thing whenever anyone gets too far ahead. They know they ALL have to be in position before we are going to move. This takes time and patience... and NO EMOTION. I take a magazine and ignore them until they are "ready"....

    It has not been easy... Getting a GREAT "here" command with each of them has helped. Then it's "{name, name, name} heel" as I step out.

    Good luck.

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