top of page

Two dogs, two separate walks

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

Everyone who has two dogs, raise your hand.

Everyone who has two dogs AND walks each dog separately because one or both are terrible on leash, smile grimly.

Yes, walking two dogs can be challenging, especially if either one is Leash Reactive (LR). The LR dog goes bonkers when he or she sees another dog (or a car or a person or a bicycle, etc) while on a leash.

Image result for leash reactive dog

Bonkers may or may not include the following:

  1. Non-stop howling, shrieking, whining and/or barking;

  2. Pulling towards the distraction;

  3. Grabbing any bit of the leash that is within reach and gnashing on it furiously;

  4. Rearing up on his or her hind legs, jumping into the air, or twisting while leaping;

  5. In general, causing the human at the other end of the leash to be thoroughly humiliated.

Why does your dog do this? Is he deliberately trying to make you a pariah in your neighborhood?

Well, there’s this phenomena called “fight or flight” which loosely translates to: if the dog can’t get to it, then he’d better come on like gangbusters to warn the threat and keep it from approaching. LR dogs react because they ARE leashed. Many of these dogs do just fine in dog parks or at doggie day care because they have the freedom there to run up to another dog, investigate it, and then move away whenever they want to.

Is there anything that can be done, other than walking LR dogs at 4:00AM in the pitch dark?

Let’s answer that question with two really important questions:

Question #1. Are your dogs well-behaved in the house – no jumping, barking, destructive chewing, counter-cruising?

If your dogs are NOT polite family members inside the house, where there are no distractions, then you can hardly expect them to be mannerly outside where there are countless distractions.

Question #2. Are your dogs walking next to you on a loose leash, right at your side, and paying attention to you?

Image result for walking a dog

If you allow your dogs to sniff and pee and roll in the grass and do their doggie thing 90% of the time you are walking them, then don’t be surprised if they think its okay to bark and lunge at other dogs during that 10% of time when you decide you need control over them.

Like nearly everything having to do with dog training, there is no quick fix. There IS a process, though, that can be successful if you are calm, consistent, and persistent.

First, teach BOTH of your dogs to be model citizens inside your house.

Then, teach each dog separately, and then together, how to walk properly on a leash next to you.

Note: restraining your dog with contraptions like pinch collars, choke chains or harnesses that impede movement is not training your dog to walk, and can actually make LR dogs worse.

Unfortunately, some dogs become LR dogs because they have been attacked by a dog, or because they are fearful or timid, or sometimes because they are trying to protect the person who is walking them.

These issues don’t resolve on their own. Often, they get worse over time. And the LR dog in the family can negatively influence the non-LR dog.

Sign up your dogs for a Reactive Rover class, or get help from an in-home dog trainer/behaviorist who can help you train your dogs outside – and inside – your house.

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page