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Thread: multi-dog homes, do you stagger walks? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-03-2014 05:53 AM
counter I used to walk my GSD and Sibe. We could go for 2-3 hour walks and it wouldn't even tire them, plus it would take up too much of my time. I would use a "traffic lead" (basically the handle portion of a leash and the clip, totaling 12" in total length) and keep one dog on each side of me. I could maintain positive control over my 2, even if off leash dogs were running around.

Eventually I felt the need to find a new way of exercising them together that wouldn't take hours every day. That's also around the same time we added a 3rd dog, another Sibe. This lead me to learning about bikejoring, carting, dog scootering, and all of the other various dog powered sports aka urban mushing. This is basically dog sledding in areas where or when you don't have any snow. I found a local sled dog club that helped me outfit my dogs with the proper gear, and off we went! Here's a pic of what we (me, Paw Paw and Beowulf) look like so you get the idea:



We find places to bikejor where there are little to no cars, dogs, and people. The location in the pic is a cemetery where pets are allowed, and that we were given permission to use. The staff and security were dealing with thieves, and welcomed me in there as an extra presence to help deter people from stealing the precious metals on the tombstones. Oh, and the dogs have been trained to know all of the sled dog commands, and we've run into off leash dogs and people and cars, so they know to behave. The only real problem we ever had was coyotes, sometimes individuals or the entire pack of 10-12, that would run up on us and just stop and stare without backing away. My dogs didn't appreciate that. I was just happy to observe coyotes so up close and personal, but eventually we had to leave to keep the dogs from wanting to go fight them.

I'm in the process of finally purchasing a Diggler dog scooter, which seems to be the top of the line scooter to give you the most real "sled" experience, as you stand up and can kick to help the dogs, instead of sitting down and pedaling. Usually when I bikejor, I let the dogs do most all of the work, and normally don't have to pedal at all. They get to run and pull, so they're building strength and endurance.

Bikejoring, and soon dog scootering, helped us a ton. I now have 4 dogs and can take them all out together to exercise at one time. We do about 5-10 miles, 6 days a week, and it takes us an average of 1 hour versus those old 3 hour walks. Ha! Love it. Good luck!!
07-03-2014 02:57 AM
Zeeva This is probably bad advice so *disclaimer* BUT it works for us. You also have to consider how 'doggy active' active your neighborhood is (for us we see maybe 2 or 3 dogs total on an hour long walk).

My husky pulls. So he's on a prong and a retractable (I know; bad idea :C). Zeeva is reactive, so she's close to me on a rope leash and a prong. The prongs are really the only thing that (in my mind) give me control enough to walk them this way...

What I should be doing is taking them one by one on a half hour walk each. Or taking each one for an hour every other day. When I do walk them individually, they are much better behaved so IMO this is the best way to walk multiple dogs until they're trained enough to not fall into each others bad habits. Bad habits are always easier to pick up than good ones...
07-02-2014 09:30 PM
Packen Walking multiple dogs is an art, do like Cesar does!
07-02-2014 09:22 PM
Mikelia I love walking my pack together. When I lived in town I usually took two at a time for potty breaks (picking up poop is much easier with less amount of dogs meandering around you), but for long walks I enjoy walking all four together. I put the prong collar on the gsds just in case the pack gets too excited about something but I have put in a lot of time and effort working on reactivity and leash skills so they are pretty well behaved passing anything. And the looks and comments I get! People stop their cars to ask if they are all mine
07-02-2014 08:03 PM
shepherdmom I have 4. I don't mind if they are doggie. I have 5 acres so I never walk them off property unless we are going to vet or someplace and then they go individually.
07-02-2014 07:33 PM
KaiserandStella The more dogs I walk the more I enjoy it. :-) I walk both my dogs together and sometimes other peoples dogs. I don't worry about anything going wrong. Both my dogs are pretty similar in that they walk nicely and do not react to other dogs, small animals, or people.
07-02-2014 05:13 PM
misslesleedavis1 Leash walk yes only because i am really lazy and cannot be bothered to leash all 3 and stummble around fiddling with my phone trying to find good tunes, so i will stagger walks but when its a rip around the feild they all go.
07-02-2014 05:10 PM
Muskeg Nope. I enjoy a pack walk. It does mean I need to spend extra effort training each dog as an individual to not be reactive or to come when called off prey, because the pack feeds off bad energy especially, but I don't have time to run each dog separately, and running with a bunch of dogs is just fun.

I use E-collars, train the older dogs before introducing the younger. And prongs for multi-leash walks. The dogs have prey drive, and they outweigh me. Control is paramount. If you can have that, walking a bunch of dogs can be great fun.
07-02-2014 05:06 PM
Amurphy26 I have two dogs. A reactive GSD, 18mths and a 10yr old Huntaway who loves everyone and everything. The GSD is very well behaved and much less reactive when walked on her own. They feed of each other's energy and even though the Huntaway is a very happy dog it makes no difference, the reactive dog needs calm which the Huntaway doesn't always provide. They love their walks together so they get walked together in the morning and at night and separate walks during the day. I also do individual training now on their joint walks. I think it's important each dog sees me in charge and since I started doing training this way my GSD has become more focused on me and less on the Huntaway.


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07-02-2014 03:09 PM
Chip18 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 time...it'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:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...allenging.html

And I also think you would find this useful, post 19 has additional info here:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ing-dog-2.html
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