Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CityDog: The Two-on-One Walking Date

Perhaps I've been watching too many episodes of the Bachelorette, but after we wrote about how dog-walking is like dating we realized how much our own walks are like the 2-on-1 date. On the show it is the dreaded episode where the two suitors are pitted against one another on a single date to win the Bachelorette's attention. The stakes are raised because they know that she only has one rose and the other contestant is heading home in the mini-van.
This is exactly like our morning walks where I'm walking our two pups at the same time. They each have separate needs and I need to figure out how to give them both attention for different reasons. Though I have plenty of treats and no one is going home in the mini-van.
It has become a bit of a delicate balance as we spend the time working on each of their different needs.
The funny thing is that each pup is a 'savant' in the area that the other pup is working on.
On our walks, we are working on getting Miss M to pee and poo on command. She has a problem where she has to over deliberate, and she can often spend an entire walk without peeing. Each time she pees or poos, we mark the behavior with a treat so she learns to do it more often. And each time Mr. B pees or poos, we will also mark that so Miss M can learn from his example. The only problem is that Mr. B is an expert pee-er lifting his leg for every weed, corner, branch, piece of trash, or blade of grass that we pass.
At the same time, Mr. B is working on focus. He is afraid of small dogs, tall dogs, dogs barking behind windows and the feral cat colony on our street, and he tries to bolt with the speed of Scooby-doo cartoon legs whenever we encounter them. We have been focusing on getting him to do check-in's so when we do see any of his phobias, he won't notice because he is too busy focusing on us. Every time he makes eye contact and checks back with us, he gets a treat. The only problem is there is a certain someone else who has an over-attention problem and every 'look at me' intended for Mr. B involves the ever-widened eyes of a certain someone who does not need to work on focus and takes it all a bit too literally. 
It involves a lot of balance and the hope that they are actually improving in their deficit and not over-improving in their savant skill.
How do other people manage the needs of walking multiple pups at the same time?

Learning to walk two dogs at the same time.
Dog Speed dating
Did you know a certain 2 familiar pups are going to be Mr. and Miss July in the Unexpected Pitbull calendar? All proceeds go to rescue and you can get 15% with pre-order (and see our calendar page!) here.
Stay tuned tomorrow where we will announce the winner of our Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest Giveaway.


Anonymous said...

I'm currently failing at walking both of my dogs at the same time due to their issues. We walk but it's absolute chaos!

Boomer can walk well on a leash but if he sees another dog he becomes a complete freak and starts howling because he wants to meet the other dog. Dottie on the other hand thinks she is a sled dog and does nothing but pull pull pull the whole time and if she sees another dog she tries to run the other way.

But, we're working on these issues separately. Hopefully one day we can all walk together calmly!

Andrea Joy said...

Oh my goodness this post made me laugh. We've only recently ventured into the world of walking two dogs at once since we started fostering and it is definitely an adventure! Thank goodness for lots of walking equipment options.

Kiira said...

too funny!!! I've got a few peeing savants as well...

Melanie said...

Henry is just like Mr. B - he piddles on everything! And when he's out of piddle, he still goes through the routine of lifting his leg for the rest of the walk. Haha.

And that picture of Miss M focusing is so funny and cute!

Walking 2 dogs is difficult (the few times I've done it), so I'm impressed that you do it daily!

Anonymous said...

I read and nodded, read and nodded! Most of the work is around Jake, who can also go a whole walk without doing any business. I treat Melvin to try and get Jake to understand and basically he just ignores me and could care less about teats!

Regina Hart said...

I don't have any advice since I only have one dog (who behaves much like Mr. B on his walks), but I will say that I laughed out loud at that photo of Miss M at the end. What a face!

domesticgoddesse said...

It appears our dogs match 2 for 2 in their walking personalities! However, we honestly find it such a struggle to do training walks with them at the same time, that when we do, it's on separate walks. We walk them together daily at least 3 times and it's hard to get motivated to turn that into separate walks for each. You've inspired me to try training walks together again though!

Callie's Mom said...

Miss M is saying "I KNOW you give out treats for just looking at you, so where is my treat????" Our pups are very different walkers too, although the pup is learning. He adores hiking and Callie can be a very good example when she chooses to be!

Anonymous said...

Ooooooooooh! That's a tough one! Male dogs will pee on anything! I had a shar pei before Petey. She came from NJ and would only pee on grass. Which is a problem in NYC. All planets in the solar system would have to be aligned for her to go. And if it was raining, forget it! Once she didn't go for 72 hours!

Corbin said...

I still haven't mastered walking Amelia with Corbin. Amelia is taking a much longer time to learn leash manners than most previous fosters! Usually walking them with Corbin helps because they mimic Corbin, but not Amelia. She's on her own little mission and treats mean nothing!
-Corbin's momma Jenn

Two French Bulldogs said...

We were wondering why mom was cheering when we peed and pooped
Benny & Lily

2 Punk Dogs said...

I was so surprised to read that Mr. B "tries to bolt with the speed of Scooby-doo cartoon legs whenever" he encounters things that scare him! He always looks so chill in your photos. :)

Duke also marks EVERYTHING, which cleared up Maggie's selectivity, as she now has to mark his spots. Urgh.

Maggie and Duke were/are very fearful dogs. It's awkward when Maggie is trying to go see a dog walking towards us while Duke is trying to drag us away from its owner. Neither dog will take treats when they're nervous, so their reward is moving away from the scary object(s). They look like great loose leash walkers until someone wants to say "hi" to them.:) Definitely works in progress!

Unknown said...

. Each time she pees or poos, we mark the behavior with a treat so she learns to do it more often. And each time Mr. B pees or poos, we will also mark that so Miss M can learn from his example.Challenge coins

Rachel said...

haha I love that photo of Ms. M. She cracks me up.
And I love your Bachelorette reference about the mini van - I am just catching up on Hulu (about to see the finale haha).

Have a great day!

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