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Steven Roberto
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a problem. I have two dobermans, the male is younger than the female but she is the dominant dog. He, however, naturally wants to be dominant because he is male and larger. This means that when I walk them together, he wants to be in the lead. This in turn leads to a competition between them to be the leader, which in turn leads to my left arm being a centimeter longer than my right arm after years of this.

I have had trainers, coaches, and others give me hundreds of tips, none of which have worked. I have tried everything short of tasering them, from rewards, to tricks, to techniques, to you name it, without result.

When they are walked separately, they are angles and heel perfectly. Its only when they are walked together that the behavior happens. I don't have time to walk them separately. Anyone have some tips?:|
 

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Super Moderator
Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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25,082 Posts
Walking my two, I had one that was a natural leader and the other who was content to walk at my side. So the first had a longer leash, and the other had a short leash to keep him in heel position. Basically two different length leashes (about 4 feet in difference in length--or at least a 6 foot and a 4 foot leash) seemed to help the problem the most.

Even if neither of yours seems content to walk at your side, you could have the dog most consistent at the heel walk at your side. You may perhaps be able to tell which is more determined at walking in front and let him have his way.

Typically females ARE the boss in a mixed household ;) and males may be more content to lag and sniff more--do you let your guy sniff a bit as he walks? That might slow him down and get him to naturally walk behind the girl.

You might be able to teach each of them to heel on either side (perhaps with different commands (or better a hand signal) to avoid confusion) and then place one on each side of you as you walk if you plan to insist on a heel as you walk. We had a heel command that expected perfect position, no sniffing, and then a more casual one that allowed for some looking around and sniffing. It’s partly in the kind of walk you expect.
 

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Big Lil pup
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6,153 Posts
I do it all the time. The first thing that needs to be taught is to move to the proper side on command. Ideally the left side for the one dog that will be closest to you. I use "wrong side". It is an extremely easy thing to teach.

Two different size leashes. 6' for the lead dog, 4' for the trailer. Lead dog stays right or straight ahead. Trailing dog stays left. Both dogs must learn to "halt" on command. (for pooping etc.) Gee/Haw training is really helpful when walking multiple dogs. It must be taught individually, but will ultimately be used in unison. This avoids crossing leads.

I always let my boys play before a walk, to get the angst out of them.

Finally, if they start acting up (Hey they are dogs!), i become a "tree". Yeah, I know it is trite, but after a couple of times they get it. They would much prefer to walk well than stand immobile for several minutes. LOL.

So.... Even with a bad left hip and a crappy right knee, I am able to manage 150 lb. of leashed male Dobermans.

John
Portland OR

Edit to say: Posted before I saw Mel's comment. What she said.
 

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Bazinga!
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4,534 Posts
They key to walking two is how well they do individually.

Mine both understand and are adept at walking loose leash alone so walking them both isn't an issue. If they don't understand loose leash walking then you need to work on that individually first. Once they both have loose leash walking down you can start walking them together. If they don't understand it you're basically walking freight trains. If they have loose leash down Then it is working with the most malleable dog to get them to walk on the right side instead of the left. I prefer a leash in each hand so I go with a dog on each side.
 

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Steven Roberto
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. they are good on loose leash individually. I walk them both on the left side, the male on the outside. They know their positions and fall in beautifully, but the male insists to lead and that causes the female to try to recover, and then the pulling on my arm begins. Pulling was worse when they were walked on different sides.

I have tried the "tree" sudden stops, reversing direction, multiple times, and this works as most trainers tell me it does - but only for 30 seconds, and then the pulling resumes. It ends up being a two hour walk advancing only 50 meters.
 

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Big Lil pup
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6,153 Posts
They are both on choke chains; he is too old for a prong and it did not work, anyway.
I would give a front attaching "no pull" harness a shot. This is the one that I use:

Ruffwear Front Range? Harness - a Comfortable Dog Harness With Two Leash Attachment Points, Including a Chest Attachment Point

I attach the leash on the front (chest) and attach a carabiner on the back (top) ring. I then feed the leash through the carabiner.

I use this leash for solo walks, which is actually when McCoy likes to pull:

Ruffwear Knot-a-Leash? Rope Dog Leash

It is the best leash I have ever owned.

John
Portland OR
 

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Super Moderator
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21,272 Posts
I would give a front attaching "no pull" harness a shot. This is the one that I use:

Ruffwear Front Range? Harness - a Comfortable Dog Harness With Two Leash Attachment Points, Including a Chest Attachment Point

I attach the leash on the front (chest) and attach a carabiner on the back (top) ring. I then feed the leash through the carabiner.

I use this leash for solo walks, which is actually when McCoy likes to pull:

Ruffwear Knot-a-Leash? Rope Dog Leash

It is the best leash I have ever owned.

John
Portland OR
I love the Front Range harness! That's what Sypha uses :)

Honestly, if you can't walk both of them together I would rearrange my schedule to walk them separately. The more they practice the behavior you don't like the harder it will be to retrain it. Right now my puppy is learning loose leash walking so I don't walk my two together...her skills aren't solid enough to handle that.

If I were in your shoes, I'd start this as a situation where they need to be trained as if this is a new skill. They both know the basic skill - walk on a loose leash - but they *don't* know walk on a loose leash with another dog. So I'd start right in front of my house, walking in a low distraction environment, using my method for teaching loose leash walking with both of them together as if they were starting from scratch, building on the skill set they have as the foundation. So I might end up going back and forth in front of my house only until they can be successful there, then building up farther away as they are able to do so. In my case, I would be rewarding correct behavior and either stopping (be a tree) or turning the other direction when they started to pull.
 
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