Training & Behaviour
Leader of the Pack: How to Walk Multiple Dogs
Posted on: October 11 2013
Professional dog walker and pack runner, Matt Boyce, tells us how to maintain order when walking multiple dogs and tips on introducing new dogs to the pack.
While out with my pack it’s essential I’m a calm yet assertive leader. Dogs are unlikely to follow a leader who is erratic, high-pitched and inconsistent. Although there is a dominant dog within every pack, dogs will respond to commands from a well-established human pack leader.
Leading the pack at the start of each day is something that now comes naturally, although it wasn't always this easy. The day-to-day experience of running the City Paws Club (we’re a dog day care centre and take dogs out on pack runs) has taught me that in order to get the results you desire you must always maintain order through leadership, staying calm and be fair.
Being part of a pack allows a dog to experience what was once natural to it, but has today become less familiar as the pack has been eroded and dogs tend to live in significantly smaller groups, and often all alone.
Back to basics
Life in the pack is pretty basic really. The strongest willed or most aggressive will dominate and the weaker will follow the leader. Unlike human society, dogs are quite happy to exist in this social structure – how else did dog’s become so happily domesticated? There’s no money or fast cars to give the physically weak the sense of power in the dog world so the pack forms naturally and each dog carves out its place in it.
Natural pack instincts
Although your pooch may display all the tendencies of a domesticated softy, deep down in their genetics lies a whole host of natural pack instincts that are just waiting to be unleashed. Just watch a couple of episodes of Big Brother and you can see just how quickly humans can degenerate to the lowest common denominator if left untended – same for your dog!
Introducing a new dog
When a new dog is introduced into our pack it doesn't take long for the pack to be at ease again. A few sniffs will soon tell them everything they need to know about the newcomer. Dogs don't dwell on the past or worry about the future; it’s all about ‘now’ for them. They don't worry who might be coming or miss someone if they don’t show up. They just want to get out into the wilderness as a pack and start working for their adopted family!
It’s a dog’s life.
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