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Should I Walk My Dogs Separately?

A dog owner walking and training dog on leash

So, you’ve welcomed a new dog into the family, and now you’re wondering, “Should I walk my dogs separately or together?”

You’ve probably heard arguments for both cases.

Some dog owners swear by walking their dogs separately for the intimate bonding experience, convenience, and socialization. Meanwhile, others prefer to walk their dogs together to save time and effort, as well as for safety reasons.

The truth is, there’s no one definitive answer to this question. Sometimes, it’s beneficial for your pups to walk together, while in other scenarios, it can be a stressful experience.

In this post, we’ll explain how you can determine if you should walk your dogs separately or together. So, let’s dive in.

Why Walk Your Dogs Separately?

If you have multiple dogs, you must think that walking them together is the best idea because it saves much time and effort. However, sometimes it isn’t the best option, and that’s for several reasons, including:

1. Different Dog Characters

It’s no secret that every dog has a distinct personality. For example, you have one dog that’s a bit shy, likes to walk alone, and likes to take their time to sniff and explore their surroundings.

Meanwhile, you have another bold, active dog that’s always on the go and never bothers to stop and smell the roses.

Walking such dogs together can be a big hassle and lead to several behavioral issues. The shy dog will feel stressed out because they’re being forced to walk at a faster pace.

This also happens when walking two dogs of different breeds together. For instance, a pug won’t be able to keep up with a whippet, even if the dogs enjoy each others’ company.

2. It’s Difficult to Get Their Attention

Another reason dog owners prefer to walk their dogs separately is to give them enough attention.

When doing a multi-dog walk, it can be difficult to notice all their needs. Quiet dogs, for example, can find it difficult to get your attention while walking in a pack.

By walking your quiet pooch separately, you can easily give them all the attention they need and strengthen your bond.

3. Behavioral Issues

A dog sitting holding leash in mouth in a garden

Dogs react differently to external stimulations, even if they’re from the same breed. Some dogs like to greet every person or dog passing by, while others don’t like much interaction.

Additionally, some canines can be easily triggered by other animals, such as cats and squirrels. That’s why it can be extremely challenging to walk such dogs together.

It would be best to walk your dogs separately in that case. That’s because reactive dogs need more time, effort, and attention to control their behavioral issues.

Moreover, if you walk all your dogs together, even the shy, gentle ones may pick up on their reactive friends and misbehave like them.

4. Different Exercise Needs

Whether you’re walking your dogs for exercise, potty, or both, it’s crucial to understand that they have different needs depending on their health and age.

With that in mind, you need to tailor your walking experience according to your dogs’ needs, which are different.

For example, an elderly dog needs to walk at a slow pace for short distances, whereas a young, active dog may need an intensive workout. That’s why it’s not optimal to walk them together.

5. Easier to Manage

There’s no doubt that managing one dog is much easier than dealing with multiple. You’ll handle one leash instead of two, so there’s no chance the leashes get tangled.

Additionally, let’s say your dog reacted aggressively towards your neighbor’s dog. On that occasion, you’ll be dealing with only two dogs. If the same situation occurs while you’re walking multiple dogs, it’ll be almost impossible to manage.

6. Responding to Commands

Dogs are pack animals; when they’re grouped, they tend to mimic the behavior of each other rather than listen to your commands. This doesn’t only make it hard to discipline your dogs, but they may also act aggressively towards other vulnerable dogs.

Moreover, dogs might get confused and not follow your commands because of the lack of rewards. Imagine you’re walking with your dogs, and you order them to sit down; one might sit, and the other might not react to your command.

At that point, you’re likely to turn your attention to the standing dog and try to get them to sit down. Meanwhile, the other dog is waiting for their reward for following your order. This can result in further behavioral problems in the long run.

Why Walk Your Dogs Together?

Close-up of Dog and Person Walking on Grass

Walking your dogs separately can be tedious, especially if you have more than two dogs. Sometimes, it’s not even applicable if you have a busy life.

Luckily, it’s not impossible to walk your dogs together. There are even some compelling benefits of walking your dogs together, such as:

1. Time-Saving

If you have time constraints, walking your dogs together can significantly reduce your time walking them. To make walks easier and shorter for your pups, it’s best to walk them when the streets aren’t too busy.

This is probably during early morning or late evening. With fewer people and distractions around, walking your dogs together will be much easier.

2. Strengthening Bonds

Establishing a healthy relationship between your dogs is extremely important. Walks come in handy to strengthen the bond between your pups; it’s a structured way for them to explore their surroundings together.

3. Enjoy a Peaceful Time at Home

As a dog owner, you must know how energetic dogs can be annoying and destructive if they don’t release their energy. It’s even worse if you have multiple dogs at home.

Walks are a great way for your dogs to release energy and reduce destructive behavior through physical and mental stimulation.

On top of that, walking all your dogs together can help you enjoy a peaceful time at home as they’ll stay calm and relaxed after their walk.

4. Disciplining One Dog

As mentioned, dogs often pick on each other’s behavior and temper. But this isn’t always bad; it can be a huge advantage, in fact.

Let’s say you have two dogs. One is cute and timid, while the other is strong and dominant. Walking these dogs together can be useful if you want to change the behavior of one dog.

The timid dog may feel more confident walking with the reactive dog because they know they’re safe. In other scenarios, the dominant dog may pick up after the shy dog and learn to be more calm and relaxed.

Should I Walk My Dogs Separately or Together?

As you can see, walking dogs separately and together both have their advantages and downsides. But before you decide on the best option, there are some factors to consider:

1. Size Difference

Generally speaking, it isn’t wise to walk your dogs together if there’s a significant size difference between them. The smaller dog can easily get injured if the larger dog reacts aggressively to something.

2. Energy Levels

Dogs have different activity levels; one may be young, active, and fast, while the other may be older and slower. So, walking these dogs together might result in an injury for any of them.

The senior dog might pick up an injury if they’re walking at a faster pace, while the young dog can be stressed if they’re forced to walk slowly.

3. Walk Type

Three dogs walking with female dog walker

Before you walk your dogs together, it’s critical to understand their walking types. For instance, if you walk a sniffer with a puller, you need to increase the sniffer’s pace to match the puller.

This might make the walking experience a bit stressful for the dog dragged behind, even if you’re using a leash coupler.

Tips for Walking Your Dogs Together

Walking your dogs together can be a fun and rewarding experience. It also saves you a lot of time instead of going for multiple walks per day.

If you think this is the right approach for your canines, here are some helpful tips for a better walking experience.

  1. Use suitable equipment: Avoid too long leashes because they can easily tangle. Opt for a leash coupler or splitter.
  2. Set the pace: Set the walking pace according to your dogs’ different energy levels. Keep your slowest dog in mind and move to their pace to avoid tiring them.
  3. Bring treats: You never know what will happen during a walk, so always use positive reinforcement and reward your dogs with treats when they walk nicely together.
  4. Train each dog individually first: Make sure each dog is comfortable walking on a leash individually before walking your dogs together.

Final Words

Should I walk my dogs separately or together? It depends on many factors, such as dogs’ sizes, ages, tempers, and personalities.

Dogs are social animals by nature, and many enjoy socializing and bonding by engaging in similar activities. If your dogs get along well and there are no significant differences between their age, size, and energy levels, you can walk them together.

On the other hand, if one of your dogs prefers walking alone and doesn’t behave so well while walking with other dogs, it would be best to walk them separately.

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