Thursday, August 19, 2010

Walking three dachshunds at once

Now that Luna and Topper are five months old, it's time to get them out to walk as often as possible. We introduced them to the leash one at a time a couple of months ago, with just some walks up and down the driveway and along the sidewalk in front of the house. Then we had each of the puppies walk with Emma as a side-by-side, then the puppies together, and then, finally, all three at the same time. Topper is always eager to go, no matter what time of day it is. Emma loves to go for walks, but usually she wants to go when it's very cool and not much humidity in the air. Luna always acts as if she's being punished when the harness and leash are brought out. She is reluctant for the first block and then really gets into it. I'm hoping she'll start to look forward to walkies as much as Topper does. I only have to mention "walk" when he's around and he's goes hyper. Oh, wait a minute, he does that all the time. . .

At first, each of the dogs were on their own leads with one person handling a dog. Next, it was time to try two together with one person while the other dog was on another lead with a different person. That was an experiment that was interesting. Whoever was behind had to deal with a dog pulling on the lead to be up front with the pack, and the person in front had to drag at least one dog along, because whichever dog was behind from the front group wanted to walk with the dog walking with the second person.

This past weekend we bought a duo lead with a four foot strap. We tried every combo: Emma and Luna on the duo lead; Emma and Topper on the duo lead; and Luna and Topper on the duo lead. It works best for Luna and Topper to be together with Emma on her own lead. Steve and I walked them together for the first couple of times and then, a few days ago, I started taking the dogs out on my own.

What an experience it is to have three dachshunds walking at heel! It's quite a sight and it's quite a lot of fun, especially with the neighborhood distractions. Every time a rabbit trail is picked up, or a squirrel/cat/bird/bicyclist/pedestrian/other dog is spotted, it's like walking a thirty pound dog with three heads and 12 legs, each going in a different direction. It doesn't take much effort to bring them into line again, especially with the harnesses the pups are using. I can pick both up with one hand and look them in the eye to let them know what is not acceptable behavior. I usually get a duo kiss from them in apology if they've been rude. Fortunately, they are becoming very polite walkers and are very curious about the neighborhood.

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