The theme for the final week of Multiple Pet Mania Month is fitness fun. Fitness is generally a solo-pet thing at our house. As I mentioned in our training post in week 1, Soth is Barley's coach when it comes to noseworks, agility practice, or any other training. If Barley's training, Soth's never far away. He stays fit with chasing jingle balls while I work on sit-stays with Barley. But a big part of keeping Barley fit is to go hiking or go to agility class--and those are not activities Soth is interested in.
It's always fun, though, when we get to visit with my parents or siblings and can have more dogs join in on the fun.
Since we don't have a real yard, we keep Barley's tunnel at her grandparents' house and that way her cousins get to play with it, too.
Sharing the tunnel is not only good fitness for all the dogs, but it's also a great training opportunity. Agility is a high energy activity, so it's a good opportunity for all of the dogs to get to practice their patience as they see the others romping through the tunnel.
It's also fun to have company our our walks and hikes. Walking is literally the only time Barley and her cousin Hank (my brother's dog) can be near each other.
I honestly have no idea how those of you with more than one dog walk them at the same time without help, though! Sometimes, I'll walk Barley and my parents' dog, Maz, together--only on sections of streets where I know there are no other dogs and only for short periods, like if my mom stops to chat with a neighbor. Yesterday, I talked about how important it is for Barley and I to stay connected--and I have no idea how one person stays connected with two dogs at once without dying.
|Maz does not enjoy walking with Barley and me because we make a Maz sandwich and insist she heel--and if she doesn't, I stop and wait.|
If I'm going to keep both dogs focused on me, I have to reinforce the heeling with lots of treats and lots of eye contact--and making eye contact with two dogs severely limits my ability to pay attention to where I'm going and I'm klutzy enough even when I do pay attention. For me, walking two dogs at once is stressful and doesn't seem to be particularly fun for the dogs, either.
But Barley loves to adventure with the other dogs and people in our family. Her cousin Maddux (my sister's dog) is one of her favorite adventure buddies.
Although I'm not a huge fan of group fitness classes (with the exception of the old lady pilates class my sister and I took the summer after I graduated from college), fitness is a lot of fun when you have more than one dog. As long as you have one person per dog . . .
Thanks to our hosts of Multiple Pet Mania Month, Wag 'n Woof Pets, My GBGV Life, and Cascadian Nomads, for hosting such a fun month of pet-related fun! (And as always, be sure to visit the FitDog Friday blog hop hosted by SlimDoggy, To Dog With Love, and My GBGV Life!)