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matthewm11 07-02-2014 01:34 PM

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

Shade 07-02-2014 01:41 PM

I'd say 95% of walks are staggered or there is one handler per dog if together since most walks are for training rather then exercise. For the 5% that are easy strolls or hikes I take both by myself without problems.

Daisy&Lucky's Mom 07-02-2014 01:44 PM

I have three dogs. I walk them seperately. The two girls can be walked together however in a mult dog house I try to give everyone some individualized attention.(the building the relationship vs getting too doggy) Mine all seem to pull more when not alone.The biggest drawback to that is time . I'd probably want to be able to help them learn to walk together as it increases yours and their oppurtunities for social oppurtunities.

Merciel 07-02-2014 01:52 PM

I only have two dogs, so I walk them both together most of the time.

When I have a foster dog, I will usually walk the foster separately so we can work on training throughout the walk. Sometimes I'll walk the foster together with one of my dogs if I want my dog to model something for the foster's benefit (such as "it's okay to potty outside, really, I promise").

Walking three dogs at the same time is a pain in my butt and I rarely do it. I can, it's just kind of annoying.

kiya 07-02-2014 01:55 PM

I can walk all 3 together or individually. These days I take the youngest on a long walk and when we get back all 3 go on a short walk.
If you got your dogs to walk on a loose lead you would have a better time than being dragged around. Personally I prefer a prong on a puller.
I think it's a big mistake not to let dogs get used to being separated. My boss & his fiancé got 2 puppies their about a year and a half now big time separation issues.

Liesje 07-02-2014 02:00 PM

I have 4 dogs. Walks are not really their way of getting exercise. Usually if I walk a dog it's to someplace, like to the park to train or play. I usually walk Legend and Nikon or just Legend. If my husband comes, he walks Coke. Indy rarely walks as she does not enjoy it at all (she prefers to sprint around for a minute and then chill out, walks are frustrating for her).

HarleyTheGSD 07-02-2014 02:09 PM

I have two. They are walked separately. The younger one gets too excited when we take his older brother.

Athena'sMom 07-02-2014 02:27 PM

I walk Athena and my husband walks Sinister every night together. But if my husband can't go I choose a dog to go with me. If I am taking my kiddos to the playground I take both with me just fine. Both my dogs are leash trained, I would never recommend walking both if one is not leash trained and one is dog reactive. Exercise come in many forms for a dog. If you can't take both everyday for a walk play with the one that does not go with a flirt pole. The flirt pole does a way better job tiring my dogs out in a shorter amount of time than just a walk.

d4lilbitz 07-02-2014 02:40 PM

I have four dogs...I will try and walk them in two's. So that they do not get to accustomed to walking with one dog only...I mix it up. Now the four dogs require different exercise requirements. The puppy 5 months, goes on a shorter walk with my female lab. She is very obedient on a leash and it teaches him the proper leash behavior. My two male shepherds go out together. They enjoy longer walks/jogs. Like someone previously mentioned, each also gets their individual time for exercise/training as well. Once the puppy is old enough to extend his walks, I'll increase the distence, but for now they are about a mile. My lab loves fetch so she enjoys 20 mins of that.

My one male shepherd was very reactive on the leash with my lab. I worked with them using the prong and treats for a reward. Now he is wonderful whether he's with her, another dog or by himself.

Chip18 07-02-2014 03:09 PM

When I had three dogs, I walked them as a pack, BullMastiff/APBT/Lab,Boxer and my GSD. Only my GSD is with me today. :(

Multiple dogs are going to take more time to train becasue you have to train them individually. It's best to have a dog without issues before adding another but water under the bridge now.

Dogs learn form each other, if you train them together all the's easy to "think" one dog knows something when he is actually cueing off the other dog! Saw that when I took my Boxer out without her buddy and I parked the car, opened the door and she popped out the door!!!

Oops so one on one training is a must!

Some useful links can be found in post 8 here:

And I also think you would find this useful, post 19 has additional info here:

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