Achieving Balance and Harmony

DOG TRAINING

Cesar's Advice for Walking a Pack of Dogs

Ask Cesar for Help Walking a Pack of Dogs

Dear Cesar,

I have 4 dogs that I'd love to take for dog walks all together. The problem is that the minute the dogs see the dog leashes they get so over excited, they run around and bark. It takes me forever to catch the dogs to get the dog leashes on. My lab is 100lbs and once I am able to catch him he pulls me and steps on the other dogs (2 JRT's and a rat terrier/chi). Please help me walk my pack of 4 dogs.

Theresa Vinciguerra Vinopal

Cesar’s Advice on How to Walk a Pack of Dogs

Theresa,

In this situation, as soon as you start chasing your dogs, they win. They are getting you to do something for them before they will agree to go on the dog walk. The solution is to make them come to you, and then make them show the behavior you want before they get to go on the dog walk—sitting, with calm submissive energy and waiting until you have put the leashes on them and given them the okay to get up. With four dogs it will take a little time, but you’ll be surprised how quickly the first one to learn will teach the others; or, rather, the others will quickly figure out that the one dog that calms down and sits gets the dog leash on first. Eventually, you’ll want to extend this process so that it looks like this: you get out their dog leashes, the dogs all sit before they get their leash put on and remain sitting until all the dogs are ready. They do not move when you open the door, or when you step through it first; they do not move until you tell them okay.

That is the goal. Imagine this in your mind’s eye as you gradually teach your dogs. It will take patience at first, and do not get frustrated if, in the beginning, you just have to put their dog leashes away without a dog walk because they would not calm down. Try again in fifteen or twenty minutes, and keep trying until your dogs begin to get it. After all, they didn’t teach you to play their game and chase them down in one try!

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