Considering that leash training one dog is quite a challenge, is there any way you can ever walk two dogs at the same time? Large dogs and feisty toy breeds can be a monumental challenge to control together! You must leash train each dog individually. Two dogs and two leashes can quickly become a tangled mess, not to mention a trip hazard for the owner trying to walk down the sidewalk. When each dog is singly walking reliably on a loose leash at your heel, they can then be trained to walk together.
Walking two dogs can be accomplished in more than one way. You can continue using separate leashes, which allows the dogs more freedom. Or, you can train them on a coupler, which is two short leads that snap to each collar, with a ring in the middle that attaches the two leads to one leash.
Using a coupler is generally easier for the owner, but some dogs dislike couplers because being connected restricts each dog’s movement. Introduce a coupler slowly, with initial walks going no more than a few feet. As the dogs become used to the feel of being connected, gradually lengthen your walks.
The same is true when using two leashes (instead of a coupler). Start by walking your dogs for a short distance, to make sure they remember their leash manners and understand that the rules still apply to them as a pair. Assuming you have taught basic commands, such as “heel, sit and “wait”, work on these with the dogs together, before stepping out on a walk.
You may find some interesting developments upon walking two dogs at the same time. The “you must be talking to that other dog” syndrome is common. Even the most obedient dog commonly suffers from this malady.
Then there is the competitive nature that surfaces, causing normally well mannered dogs to suddenly start pulling as both dogs strive to reach that interesting smell first. The correct training response is the same as it is for one dog, to stop dead in your tracks as soon as the leash goes taught.
Remember that this can be a physical challenge – two dogs make up quite a force and not everyone can handle this situation without landing face down on the ground! If you don’t have the strength or control to thwart two dogs bent on a purpose, it might be safer to stick to one at a time.