How to Walk Two Dogs at the Same Time on Leashes

Three Parts:Training the Dogs IndividuallyWalking Your Dogs TogetherAvoiding Pitfalls

Walking two dogs at the same time can be fun and convenient. You can get both walks in together and enjoy spending time with both your canine companions. Most dogs, with some basic training, can successfully walk with another dog. However, before you attempt to walk dogs together, individually leash train both dogs. Once both dogs are well behaved on their own, start walking them together in brief training sessions. With some time and patience, you'll be able to take both your dogs for long walks together.

Part 1
Training the Dogs Individually

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    Get the right equipment. If you want to walk two dogs together, you must first train each dog individually. If one or both of your dogs are not leash-trained, walking them together will be very difficult. To start, leash train your dogs together. Make sure you have the right types of leashes and colors for effective training.
    • When it comes to leashes, make sure you get two leashes of the same material. Leashes made from similar material are less likely to tangle. Leashes made from nylon, leather, and rope tend to work best for walking two dogs at once. Chain leashes or retractable leashes tangle easily when used together, so these are better avoided.[1]
    • When it comes to collars, you can use your dog's regular collar. However, if one or both of your dogs is new to leash training, consider a gentle leader. This fits over a dog's snout, preventing strain on the neck from pulling and allowing you more control as an owner. A walk harness may also work.[2]
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    Make sure your dog behaves before a walk. If you want your dog to be well-behaved during his walk, make sure he behaves beforehand. If you allow your dog to jump, bark, or otherwise misbehave prior to walking, this sets the tone for poor behavior. You want to work on training your dog to behave before and during his walk.[3]
    • Dogs often act out to get a response from you of any kind. If your dog gets excited before a walk, and begins jumping and whimpering, ignore it. Do not scold your dog, as this is the attention he's craving.
    • Stand completely still. Wait until your dog is standing with four paws on the ground before clipping on the leash. If your dog starts jumping and acting excited as you lean down to put the leash on, stand back up again completely. Once again, remain still until your dog is calm. Repeat this process as many times as needed. You should not clip your on your dog's leash until he is completely calm.
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    Practice loose-leash walking in short training sessions. When you're first beginning to train, practice loose-leash walking in short sessions. Loose-leash walking is when you hold the leash with some slack. You allow your dog to sniff and explore, but pull the leash gently if your dog is pulling or resisting your direction. When you first start, keep training sessions brief.[4]
    • You can practice a technique called "red light, green light." Walk with your dog and, as soon as he pulls, stop in your tracks.
    • Keep standing still until your dog stops pulling and call him towards you. When he comes, reward him with a treat and praise.
    • Continue this pattern throughout the walk. This will teach your dog he needs to follow your lead on walks, and obey the direction and signals from his leash and collar.
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    Use treats, if necessary. Treats can also help with leash training. The use of a treat can teach a dog to walk near you rather than pulling on the edge of the leash. To start, have several treats in your hand when you begin the walk. You should also have extra treats in your pocket, bag, or purse.[5]
    • Hold the hand with the treats in front of your dog's nose, about one inch away. Start walking. Every few seconds, praise your dog for walking near you and give him a treat. When you run out of treats, pull more out of your bag or pocket. Increase the distance you go each day.
    • After a week, stop using treats as a lure. Just keep your hand at your dog's side, with some treats in your pocket. Reward your dog every once in awhile with a treat, but not as often as you were before. Gradually, decrease the amount of treats per walk. Eventually, your dog should walk at your side without expecting a treat as a reward.
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    Practice positive and negative reinforcement. Remember, dogs respond to positive and negative reinforcement. When your dog behaves, reward in the immediate moment with treats and praise. When your dog misbehaves, simply ignore the behavior until it stops.
    • Make sure to reward good behaviors the moment they occur. Dogs live in the immediate moment. They need to be rewarded right away to understand why they're receiving praise.

Part 2
Walking Your Dogs Together

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    Make sure your dogs are friendly with each other. If you want to walk your dogs together, make sure they get along first. If you've had both dogs for awhile, you may already know how well they get along. If your dogs are generally friendly with one another, they'll probably adapt well to walking together. If one dog is new, however, you may want to wait a bit before attempting to walk them together. They may need time to get used to another before they can be good walking companions.[6]
    • You should also make sure your dogs are friendly with other dogs. If your dogs sometimes get territorial on their own during walks, they may develop a pack mentality when walking together. This can result in a lot of aggression. If one or both of your dogs tends to be territorial, keep in mind you'll have to quickly correct any aggressive behavior during the walk.
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    Walk both dogs with another person. If your dogs have never walked together before, it's a good idea to start out walking the dogs with another person. You can walk one dog, and a friend or family member can walk the other. You can walk side-by-side, keeping the dogs parallel. Do a few brief training sessions, in calm areas, with another person to walk one dog.[7]
    • If your dogs are already friendly with each other, this may not be necessary. If one dog is relatively new to the home, however, this step can really help your dogs get used to one another while walking.
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    Hold the leases in a way that feels comfortable for you. There is no strict right or wrong answer when it comes to holding two leashes during a walk. A lot depends on the size of your dogs, and your sense of control. Some people feel like they have adequate control holding the leashes in a single hand. However, with bigger and stronger dogs, you may feel better holding one leash in either hand.[8]
    • If one dog is bigger or stronger, you may want to hold his leash in your dominant hand.
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    Practice with short walks in calm areas. Once your dogs are comfortable walking side-by-side, you can start walking them together. However, you should start slow. Have brief training sessions in areas free of outside distractions.[9]
    • Choose a calm area free of distractions. You can practice walking your dogs in your backyard, for example, or a portion of your neighborhood that is usually free of traffic and people.
    • Keep sessions brief. Short walks are best at first, as it will take time for both you and your dogs to get used to walking as a group. If one dog gets antsy or distracted, you may want to end the training session and do a quick practice session with the problem dog. He may need a quick refresher about basic leash manners.
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    Build up to busier areas and longer walks. As with leash training dogs alone, you'll gradually work your way up. Once your dogs are behaving well in a calm area, practice walking them on busier streets. Gradually increase the duration of walks. Over the course of a few weeks, experiment with different areas and walk your dogs a little longer each day. Eventually, they'll learn to cooperate together on a variety of types of walks.[10]
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    Correct competitive behaviors. Dogs may sometimes get competitive with one another during walking sessions. They may fight with one another to sniff a certain spot first, for example. Work to correct these behaviors as they occur to get your dogs to work well together during walks.[11]
    • You can correct problem behaviors as you would correct them when walking one dog. As soon as one or both dogs misbehave, stop dead in your tracks. Do not move until both dogs calm down.

Part 3
Avoiding Pitfalls

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    Introduce two dogs gradually. If you have a new dog in your home, gradually introduce him to other pets. You should do this well before you attempt to walk your dogs together. Dogs are territorial by nature, and need time to adjust to a new family member.[12]
    • Keep the dogs separated at first. Allow the new dog free range of the house for only 15 to 20 minutes several times a day, at first. Allow the old dog to explore the house after the new dog is put away. This will let both dogs get used to one another's scent.
    • The first face-to-face meeting should occur outside of the home. This will minimize potential aggression over territory. Keep both dogs on a leash and allow them to sniff one another and gradually make introductions.
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    Make sure your dogs are a good match. Not all dogs are going to walk well together, even if you strictly follow a training regimen. Some dogs are simply a poorly suited match, and should not be walked together.[13]
    • Dogs should be around the same energy level and age. An elderly dog is not going to be able to keep up pace with a young, rambunctious puppy.
    • You should also keep size in mind. Physically, a toy poodle is not going to be able to keep pace with a Great Dane.
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    Watch out for negative body language. You don't want to walk with dogs if they're getting aggressive with one another. If you notice any negative body language during training, this is a sign your dog is stressed and agitated. You should cease training for the day and try again when your dog is calm.[14]
    • Keep a close eye on both dogs' faces. An agitated or aggressive dog may have rounder eyes, dilated pupils, and may be showing a lot of the whites of his eyes. You also may notice his mouth is closed with lips wrinkled slightly. This is a sign of agitation. If your dog starts wrinkling his muzzle, this is a sign of aggression and you should separate the dogs.
    • Pay attention to the rest of the body. A tail that's between the legs or held up without movement could indicate fear or aggression. If your dog is upset, his hair may rise along his back. He may also tremble or crouch when scared. When aggressive, a dog will try to make himself look big by standing with his head raised above the shoulders.


  • If your dog is not responding well to training, consider an obedience class. A professional may be able to provide you some training tips and tricks based on your dog's specific needs and personality.

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Categories: Handling Dogs | Working with Dogs