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Question
Posted by: Lovemydogs | 2011-03-14

Ok to walk dogs seperately

I have 3 dogs - female bassett, male daschund and a male Labrador cross.

The Lab is a recent addition to our " pack" . He is a rescue and about 2yrs old. When we first got him (9months ago) and took them all out for walks, it was an absolute nightmare.

He walks terribly on the lead - criss-crossing, pulling, agro towards other dogs etc....and so it became virtually impossible to walk him.

But then i decided to try and walk him alone, without the other 2, and what a dream. I mean he''s not perfect but he is SO much calmer and more obedient. I think he was feeding off the other 2''s high energy (which is more managable for us as they are small)

My question: Firstly, is there any solution to my walking problems? Ive tried all of Ceasar''s approaches but it dont work for me!

Secondly, is it a problem to walk the pack seperately? He gets SO upset when i leave him and take the other 2 (which i usually do before him cause he was last in the house).

Thank you!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi, nice to hear from you! Going to approach this from several aspects
1.I know a lot of people who do as you do and as long as there are no problems when dogs are brought back together, if it works and you have the time then why not? Always be careful of reintroducing dogs and avoid doing it in doorways etc to avoid possible conflict. If possible have them seperate for a few minutes till they all settle down. You could even consider teaching a sit and wait for this.
2. To get him to stress less when you do take the other dogs out, give him a nice big chewy Ox Femur to chew on while you are away. this will change his preception of being alone to a rewarding one rather than a stressful one and make him more confident. If you go this route, take the bone away the second you arrive home. This is two fold - one you are the pack leader and all possessions belong to you, two, it will stop any agro between the dogs and finally it will give him something to look forward too.
3. It is easy to walk all dogs together, but you have to go back to basics and start with one dog walking quietly, calmly and not pulling (have a look at my cv on this site and go to the website and under Dog Stuff there is an article on Lead Pulling). Work with each dog seperately and when they are all walking well seperately, start to take either the bassett or the daschund out with the Lab cross, but start in the garden area where you have more control and when this is working, then add in the other dog in the same manner.
4. When you have a multi-dog household, it is even more important that all humans are the pack leaders - there is no such thing as a democracy in a combined human/canine pack, so start to lift yourself up in the pack by putting the dogs on a 'work to earn' regime ie. sit to be greeted, sit/down for food, sit for attention etc. This way it will be much easier for you to control them all.
If you are battling after this, i would suggest getting in someone to help you and who can show you a few more tricks such as the Time-Out exercise, using a Halti with two points of contact etc which will make it much easier for you to control all dogs (on the Lab x). Good luck and do let me know how you do, thanks Scotty

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011-03-14

Hi, nice to hear from you! Going to approach this from several aspects
1.I know a lot of people who do as you do and as long as there are no problems when dogs are brought back together, if it works and you have the time then why not? Always be careful of reintroducing dogs and avoid doing it in doorways etc to avoid possible conflict. If possible have them seperate for a few minutes till they all settle down. You could even consider teaching a sit and wait for this.
2. To get him to stress less when you do take the other dogs out, give him a nice big chewy Ox Femur to chew on while you are away. this will change his preception of being alone to a rewarding one rather than a stressful one and make him more confident. If you go this route, take the bone away the second you arrive home. This is two fold - one you are the pack leader and all possessions belong to you, two, it will stop any agro between the dogs and finally it will give him something to look forward too.
3. It is easy to walk all dogs together, but you have to go back to basics and start with one dog walking quietly, calmly and not pulling (have a look at my cv on this site and go to the website and under Dog Stuff there is an article on Lead Pulling). Work with each dog seperately and when they are all walking well seperately, start to take either the bassett or the daschund out with the Lab cross, but start in the garden area where you have more control and when this is working, then add in the other dog in the same manner.
4. When you have a multi-dog household, it is even more important that all humans are the pack leaders - there is no such thing as a democracy in a combined human/canine pack, so start to lift yourself up in the pack by putting the dogs on a 'work to earn' regime ie. sit to be greeted, sit/down for food, sit for attention etc. This way it will be much easier for you to control them all.
If you are battling after this, i would suggest getting in someone to help you and who can show you a few more tricks such as the Time-Out exercise, using a Halti with two points of contact etc which will make it much easier for you to control all dogs (on the Lab x). Good luck and do let me know how you do, thanks Scotty

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