Friday, June 26, 2015

Multiple Pet Fitness

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!)



13 comments:

  1. I think when you have more than one dog, you just adjust. Mom finds it so boring and simple with only one dog! With multiples, there needs to be rules, who walks where, which dogs can be trusted for what. Running with two dogs is not different than walking with two and almost better for balance with one per side. Mom sometimes walks 3 or 4 dogs which is really hard since she only has two hands.

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    1. Since Barley still needs a lot of help managing her reactions to other dogs, there's no way I could actually take a real walk with a second dog. Even just walking a part of the street is difficult since I have to have one had free to give her treats when necessary, so both leashes have to be in one hand.

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  2. We love going on group walks with our neighbor dogs. Even though I only have Rocco, I sometimes have houseguest pets here so I've learned to walk more than one at a time. Our houseguests all get along great with Rocco, so walking them together is usually fun!

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    1. It's a miracle that Barley will let another dog walk next to her in distraction-reduced environments, so we will probably never get to the point where we can take a full walk with just me, Barley, and another dog, but we definitely have fun going with a group!

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  3. I used to walk two dogs together all the time. Granted both were toy dogs and foster pup was very food focused. On rainy days though, Mr. N would be walking ahead like normal and foster pup would be dragging six feet behind.

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    1. I think if I didn't have a reactive dog, I'd probably be less worried about it--I used to walk our family dogs together growing up--but my parents' poor dog has found herself covered in Barley slobber when Barley decided she needed to react to barking dogs in the neighborhood on more than one occasion. It's definitely tough when you have two walking at different speeds--Barley usually heels on all neighborhood walks and my parents dog wants to pull ahead and with both leashes in the same hand that gets tricky!

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  4. Walking two dogs can be a challenge for sure....lots of practice makes it easier.

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    1. I don't think Barley will ever be at the point where she can walk by a barking dog if I've got two leashes in hand!

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  5. Hi Y’all!

    The TUNNEL! My favorite agility object!

    My Human thinks movin' a blog, especially a long established one, is akin to movin' into a different house. It takes awhile to get everything unpacked and put away and even longer to remember where everything is.

    Check us out at our new home http://www.browndogcbr.net.

    Our theme is still changing periodically as we try to select one that works the best for us and you, our readers.

    Y’all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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    1. We love the tunnel, too! And we love the new home of your blog. I imagine that is a challenge to move!

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  6. Aw love the pics of our pups together!! And yes, walking two dogs is hard (depending on the dogs). Some of the fosters have definitely been easier than others ha!

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    1. Barley is looking forward to the next modeling session with her cousin!

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  7. I prefer one on one for walking too. Though I think Luke walks better and is less reactive if he has sister Sheba with him. But that only happens when I have my sister or hubby to help, which doesn't happen too often unfortunately. I enjoy the one on one time with each dog anyway, but when you have multiples that means they don't get walked as often (I just don't have the time). We're lucky to be able to exercise them in the yard too (I need to get our tunnel out!).
    Thanks for joining the hop and for being such a great participant in Multiple Pet Mania month!
    Lots of wags and woofs from the crew at Wag n Woof Pets

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