Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Southern California
multi-dog homes, do you stagger walks?
In February of this year I felt I was in the economic and career position to dedicate the time and money it takes adding a second dog. I rescued a one year old male GSD. I already had a four year old female gsd husky mix. Usually I've walked them together. Obviously dogs of these ages and breed require quite a bit of mental and physical stimulation. Problem is that my male is dog reactive and my female has always pulled. What I end up with walking them together is two pulling dogs that are reactive; they pick up up the others bad habits and are less focused on me. not to mention that even for a 30 some odd year male in decent shape it's quite a toll physically walking the two. I've started staggering their walks and the younger male, who is naturally quite obedient and teachable, has good leash manners and also is less reactive and importantly easier to control when alone. My older female when walked alone pulls less than she used to. I really do have the time to do it too which is a great luxury. Dogs are emotionally complex animals but even still i can have the tendency to humanize them and worry about jealousy or hurt feelings leaving one behind not to mention the more practical concern of doubling the amount of time i spend walking dogs. Thing is i knew adding another would be taxing on my time and went ahead with the adoption so its a responsibility i am committed to. Curious about other multi dog owners and what their thoughts and experiences are.
Brings up another somewhat related point. I've been advised about potential problems when you never separate two dogs living together. I heard a great term to describe the phenomena that may devolop; the dogs get "doggy". My brother has two littermates, they are certainly "doggy", less focused on people and more bonded to each other than my brother or his wife. I feel that I don't separate my two enough but again would love to hear others thoughts and experiences