When we first adopted Mr. B, I wasn't able to walk both pooches at the same time. I actually had to take Mr. B out on his walk, come back, then take Miss M. on a separate walk. When E was out-of-town this was actually a really tedious situation and I felt like my entire day was spent walking dogs.
It was actually a huge challenge to get the pooches to the point where I am able to walk them both at the same time. As we wrote before, walking around our neighborhood is like walking a gauntlet: there are dogs leaping out from behind fences, loose dogs running free, and always some person who Miss M. targets to pet her. When the pooches get excited, they tend to redirect their energy and stand up and fight like bears. Knowing the already negative perception of pitbulls, the last thing I want are people to think the dogs are vicious and fighting one another.
After some time, I am proud to say that as a small girl I can successfully handle 150 pounds of pitbull. Here are some things I learned:
1) We treat every walk like a training walk. They know they need to sit nicely and wait at all corners and alleys. I bring treats for positive reinforcement and randomly ask the pooches to do tricks. This makes the pooches pay attention to me, with the idea of getting a treat, rather than all the exciting things going on around them. I also change it up so they know I'm in charge and they'll pay attention.
2) We use these double-loop leashes in different colors. If something happens I can grab them close to me; the different colors distinguish which dog I'm grabbing. We also have an elaborate collar system because there have been times when the latches have come undone; the last thing I need is to deal with one dog running loose.3) The dogs aren't allowed to meet other dogs on leash. When they meet other dogs they just want to play, which can be dangerous without a proper introduction and because they could get hurt if they get tangled in the leashes. We're usually able to cross the street if other dogs are coming, or just wait on the side. This helps the pooches understand that walks are for walking and they don't get distracted and want to play.I know this sounds very rigid, but seeing that I do have a targeted breed, and knowing all the potential dangers in the city, I need to make sure the pooches are under control during the walks. Does anyone else have any good walking-control tips?