I walk my two pups every day unless the weather isn’t cooperating. Clover is too skittish to be walked in the rain if there is a possibility of thunder or lightning, and its just plain not safe. I have been walking them separately just because its easier, and I would get two times the exercise each day.
These two would much rather be at the dog park for an hour or two, but some days I just don’t have the time, and I keep promising myself that we will make at least two trips to the park each week. A couple of years ago when it was just Clover and she was still a very energetic puppy, we would go to the dog park at least 5 or 6 times a week. That was also back when my dog park friends were either single, without child, still married, or hadn’t moved away. I miss those guys and their dogs Daisy, Brady, Ocho, Sophie, and Lexie.
Walking two big dogs together takes a lot of planning. Just getting out the door is a challenge, but they’re getting better at it. As I try to hold them tight, turn to close the door and lock it, they will sit nicely on the stoop waiting for me to get my act together.
Clover does not like it when Cosmo bumps into her and she will pull left to get away from him. Cosmo just wants to walk and have fun and will move back and forth, left to right. So, I shorten their leashes by wrapping them around my hands, always with Clover on the left and Cosmo on the right … its a no nonsense walk with no pulling. I use a head collar on Cosmo (Halti) to keep him from yanking my arms out of their sockets, my shoulders back looking forward, no tension in my hands/arms (per The Dog Whisperer).
However, as soon as I lengthen the leashes when we are on the way back to the house via the large grassy public area behind our house, its like a three-ring circus. I am just thankful that Coz has quit trying to kill me by tripping me on up on his leash. He will sometimes get caught up on his leash and will stand still waiting for me to untangle him. Clover just looks on in disdain.
A couple of months before I started using the Halti on Cosmo, he slipped his collar when we were walking and before I realized it he was running very fast away from me. I almost had a heart attack. When I called his name, he thought I wanted to play, so he started running around in circles and was about to start off for neighborhoods unknown. I remembered something that I had seen on a TV show, and I yelled very loudly something like “whoop whoop whoo” and when he turned around to look at me, I started waving my hands high above my head and kept up with the “whoop whoop whoo.” I definitely caught his attention, and here is the hard part, I turned my back to him and took a couple of steps in the opposite direction from my loose and collarless dog (he is microchipped). I was about to turn around and see if he was still in my zip code, and I felt him at my hand nudging his collar and leash that I had in my hand. I grabbed that dog up, headed home, all the way trying not to hyperventilate.
I worked the recall command with Clover a few times when she was a puppy and it continues to work pretty well. She watches my hands and will come from a far distance just by my using hand signals. Cosmo, on the other hand, thinks everything is a game. He hates the clicker and the whistle, and is pretty head-strong. I still have a lot of work to do with that guy.