How and where to walk 3 or 4 dogs?

UturnerMarch 7, 2013

What are good ways of walking 3 or 4 dogs? Do 3-way couplers really work?
Where to walk? Is it safer in parks than along streets?
In parks owners could sometimes let their dog loose and it may become a threat to other dogs. Along the street there may be a dog escaping from a fenced area and suddenly attack. In streets there may also be lots of traffic.
Are rural areas less safe than residential suburbs?

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What size and type of dogs? What types of walking areas do you have available to you? What have you been doing up until now? Is it just you, or is there a spouse/kid who can walk them with you?

We have four dogs (Aussie size/type), but we have three fenced acres, so we don't need to walk them.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:16AM
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I agree, not enough info for a answer.

What size, what breeds? All yours, or a mix of different owners? How much do you know about them before walking them? The most important factor might be your own dog skills.

Unless you know something of how they interact, I would not even try to walk two or more dogs at one time.

I have walked two dogs at once, mine being one of the pair. A pair of 4 or 6 foot leashes may work. My hyper dancing dog can walk with the neighbors smaller dog, but mine has to be on a six foot leash, and the smaller dog on my 16 foot retractable leash. They need the space between them, or my dog will pester the other dog too much for anyone to enjoy the walk

I encounter only one person who walks three dogs in my area. They all belong to him. Medium size dogs, two herding types. I think two of them have the muzzle-type control collars.

The best people to ask might be the professional dog walkers you see (or at least movies show them) in the big cities. It may be impossible for the average dog lover to walk six or eights dogs as sometimes shown in the movies. Maybe not even three or four at a time.

I look forward to reading other replies to this post. I remember a dog-walking cycle gismo on the net a few months back. Have no idea of how well it worked. Maybe three wheeled-bike with extensions on sides for four dogs? Cost more than a grand as I recall.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 3:19PM
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I have two little dogs and several different types of couplers, even one that I made. Here's a pic and link to one that separates at the handle:
EZ Steps Low Impact Shock Absorbing Coupler Leash by Bergan

I'm sure you've seen the kind that are shorter and separate further down the leash.
Rok Straps Coupler

And the one that I customized is a shorter stretchy coupler, with one side cut off, and then I slip the ring over the retractable leash. This way, the dog that likes to always be pulling ahead can do so, while the other dog can run back and forth between her and me.

I worry, too, about loose dogs (or coyotes) running up to mine and a fight ensuing, so I carry this stuff called "Pet Corrector," which is a sprayer that apparently emits a loud blast of air. Fortunately, I've never had to use it yet, so I can't say how well it works. The citronella protective sprays have been deemed bad for all critters involved.

Just in case you're new to this, be careful of those retractable leashes, bc the dog(s) can easily dart into the road. If it's the cord type, it's hard to grab it quickly.

And I wish I had known before I bought all my leashes about the stretchy kind. Even tho my dogs are little, their combined weight is 30 lbs.+ and the yanking and pulling really takes a toll and esp pulls me off balance on ice.

Would love to see a pic of you walking all your dogs. :)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:19AM
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I walk 4 small ones (around 90 lbs total) and am trying to find out all the possible ways other dog owners may be using.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:11PM
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Awwww! Thx for the pic. I'd like to comment on rural vs. city vs. park. I lived in a rural area and a lot of people let their dogs roam. I, personally, would be more worried about having to fend off a big dog in that environment. Also, in the city, you have more people to help you if a situation does arise. As for parks, I think most people do keep their dogs on leashes in parks and if they don't, I think it's bc their dog is well behaved. My problem is that one of my little dogs is not friendly right away to other dogs - maybe she's protecting me? So if a friendly big dog approaches when she's on a leash, she may attack and then I worry that the big dog will retaliate. Have you checked with local park systems to see if there are any small dogs only dog parks in your area? I know that may sound like a stupid question, but I found out about two of them within 40 minutes of me that I didn't know about.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:55PM
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I looked around on the net for more info on the 3 wheeled bike with outrigger arms, supposed to be able to walk four dogs. Could not find it. Think it was closer to two grand than one grand.

Your dogs are smaller, and all seem to be about the same size, so you might not need that, even if you were willing the spend the big bucks for it.

Having some stretch in the leashes, as mentioned above by another poster, seems a good idea. There were quite a few products on the web for this, but it may be a buy-and-try type of things. The Petco nearest to me has quite a limited variety of products for multiple dog walking. Even with a regular leash, they have metal leashes only in four foot lengths, for example.

My new hyper-dog tries to bite thru his leashes, but the handles of these metal leashes are are chewable material! I may end up making something at the hardware store.

Like fad diets, products come and go. The Caine Car harness I bought ten years ago can't be found at Petco any more. Now the trend is for stretchable harnesses, but that means they are also more likely to be chewed on.

The more dogs one walks, the more thought should be given to problems encountering other dogs. At night I have a decent flashlight, Nebo Redline for $27. This is a compact light with adjustable beam and very fast strobe mode. Tried a bunch of lights on the dogs collar, the latest is a $20 solid/blinking fluorescent light found at Eddie Bauer intended for walkers/bikers.

A spray like Halt might be more practical when you have only one dog of your own. I bought a cheap air horn for a buck. Only for a last resort, as it would cause problems with your own dog(s). But I can't see using a spray like Halt or tear gar on strange dog, when you have four of your own to contend with. Odds are fair you or your dog would get the spray.

A bright or fluorescent vest is a great investment.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 5:53PM
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Thanks for all the responses. I am still worried about large dogs escaping from their yard or dogs being walked off-leash by their owners and suddenly attacking my dogs. I need to be prepared as our dogs are so small. I think I favor a high frequency sound device carried around my neck to scare a dog and maybe a 2-ft or 3-ft solid stick that can be hooked to my belt, used as a last resort if I need to fight off the dog. I was bitten in the arm once and more than 25 years ago but I still remember the pain, the deep gashes and the trip to the hospital. Don't like that to happen again!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:36AM
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Any suggestions on good dog or pet-oriented catalogs folks have found helpful?

There seems to be a lot of common sense type products I cannot find at the local Petco. For example, only four foot metal leashes are offered. And none of the retractable leashes (German and Chinese) are offered with a metal start of braided wire. So when the one dog and I walk to the store, three leashes are involved. The 16 foot retractable leash is used until we reach the store. Then we switch to a four foot metal leash tied to a six foot nylon leash for the length of my visit, even if only three minutes. He has chewed thru more than one leash. After my shopping, we switch back to the retractable leash. The extra leash is put into a large coat pocket, or a small backpack.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:30PM
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I used to walk three dogs. One was 70 lbs and jumped and lunged at dogs barking at us, so I had her leash going around my waist, through the hand loop, then down to her collar. She was supposed to be heeling. The two boys, 60 and 35 lbs, walked ahead of me, and I carried their leashes in my hands.

I found that it was best to have everybody's leash attached to my waist. Here is a belt made for walking a dog. It has loops on both sides, so you could have two dogs attached to each side. You could probably rig it so that two leashes attach partway down the leash, or could just loop the dog end of the leash through the handhold, around the loop. This belt will work much better than my method, since I would get almost cut in two when Megan pulled that leash that was around my waist tight!

Having both hands free is sometimes necessary when you are walking so many dogs. You might have to stop and clean up an accident, or take something interesting out of one of the dog's mouth.

There is also a belt that is made for real sporting events with your dog. It has leg loops to hold the belt in place and to distribute the pull better. I found both of these at the store called REI Outfitters. This one is called, "OllyDog Mt. Tam Hands-Free Belt and Dog Leash." and cost $45. The one I linked to below is the, "Skijor Now Dog Belt" on sale now for $53, down from $130.

Here is a link that might be useful: Skijor Now Dog Belt

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 12:31PM
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As for catalogs, I find that Drs. Foster and Smith is doing better with prices these days. I love looking at In The Company of Dogs. Frontgate and Plow and Hearth both have high quality dog beds and beautiful gates in their catalogs. If you want furniture quality pens or a side table that is also a dog crate, look there.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:03PM
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Ever since I started walking the neighbors 100 pound hound dog, I've thought about how nice it would be to have a little cart or gizmo that would hold weights, and could be attached to a dog harness. It would have to have very high quality and flexible wheels, for one thing. Maybe two dogs could be attached to the cart at the same time. The purpose would be give the dog more of a workout and me less of a workout.

Might be easier to make one than to find such a item for retail.

The cart would have a low center of gravity, and room for plate weights of varying amounts. Some kind of ball style wheel that could move in any direction. The more weight, hopefully the lesser the strain on my knees.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 5:12PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Robert, what about a vest type thing for the dog that will hold weights? Wouldn't that accomplish the same thing?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:59AM
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Anyone used a 3-way coupler or tripler leash to walk 3 dogs? It's my understanding a coupler for 2 dogs works fine as the swivel in the middle always untangles.

However with 3 the swivel is not enough. It seems to only fully untangle when all entanglements are in the same direction, which is not always the case. That means a tripler will still give messy entanglements.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:01PM
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I would think that loading down a dog with weights might be hard on the animals bones and muscles. Having the dog pull the same or different amount of weight would seem less hard on the dogs frame. Some dogs love to pull such as sled and carting type dogs. They might even pull more when feeling a heavier resistance!

The dog I am thinking of has a heavy build of a hound, and pulls extremely hard even with a control collar. I am the only one foolish enough to walk him.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 5:48PM
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