View Full Version : Taking two dogs through obedience on a double leash?

7th October 2007, 09:03 AM
Has anybody here taken two dogs through obedience together on a double leash?

Today when Beau & I were at obedience I saw in the distance, a lady in one of the more advanced class, with two little dogs on a double lead. They were doing so well. In fact they were doing better than all the other dogs that were there as singles.

Anyway this got me thinking about taking Sonny through obedience too. I always feel mean leaving him behind, but I’d had it in my head that I could only take one dog at a time through obedience.


Barbara Nixon
7th October 2007, 01:18 PM
I worked Izzy and Joly in the same class but not together, excepting for stays. Sometimes the dog who isn't working can be a distraction, if he barks, but it worked in my favour, making him want to work even harder for mum.

My trainer has competed at Crufts, but when both his shelties were working, he always did them individually, except for stays.

7th October 2007, 01:20 PM
Wow, never heard of that. I sure have never been able to train two at once! If they have the basic commands they will all respond at the same time but I cannot get them to focus on actually learning, if there's more than one.

I know Tara and Lisa do not even recommend two dogs that live together be in the same training class. I know their reasons are 1) the dogs find it harder to concentrate and pay attention to each other rather than their handlers; 2) training together retards their ability to function alone in one of the few opportunities most people give their dogs to get on on one attention and to learn some independene and confidence away from the group they live with.

On the other hand if I were working specifically to train two well trained dogs, that already are very confident and independent, to work together on a double lead (eg to walk politely, in a designated place) then I can see working with two. I know Dee (of www.deesdogs.com) trains in a group with her own dogs because the others are trained to wait in a relaxed down while another is worked. Boy I only wish I could do that!

7th October 2007, 10:35 PM
Good points you guys raise. I’m going to have to look into this a bit further. Sonny & Beau walk really nicely on the double lead together and at home I’ve been teaching Sonny all the things Beau & I have been learning. Sonny also was shown by his breeders, so he is confident around other dogs & used to being handled.

I can certainly see that there would probably be a limit to how far you could go with two dogs, but I am wondering if that limit is as far as I want to go anyway. I guess the other thing I could do is to take Sonny through basic obedience alone and then alternate which dog I take each week. That way they’d both get a go. The basic obedience 8 week class is structured and they like you to go every week without missing. However once you get into Class 1, which Beau is in, you can just go as you wish, because you’ve already learned the moves & it really is just a matter of building on that.

Anyway, food for thought and I’ll see what the trainers think. I’ll let you know what we do and thanks for your input. It is always great to bounce ideas off this group.

8th October 2007, 12:47 AM
I don't know about Australia but here there is a nonregular obedience class that you can sometimes find at a show called a brace class where you do work the dogs in a brace..they can either be on separate leads or on a coupler..and they have to do all the exercises together...while I would probably teach them each separately at some point you would have to work them together to practice.

Cathy T
8th October 2007, 01:00 AM
I had Jake and Shelby in the same obedience class. I don't think I'd do it again though. I ended up with someone else taking one dog while I took another and then we switched off. It was actually a good experience for each of them to be handled by someone else while I was there but it was a lot of work. The good thing is that they both knew their basic commands so it wasn't like we were starting at the very bottom. I wanted to see if I could get them both their Canine Good Citizen awards...and both ended up passing the test. It was a really good experience but if I were starting with basic training I would do them separately.

8th October 2007, 11:08 AM
I have brought Molly + Bella to the same class but one stays in an ex-pen while I work with the other. If the dogs are at a good level of obedience it probably would be possible to train them together. There's no way I could do that with my two nutters though :cool:

8th October 2007, 01:17 PM
:lol: I would never have considered it with my Boxers either. They remain crazy puppies all of their lives. Beau & Sonny are quite calm little fellows. I am really quite surprised at how sensible Beau is at 10 months.

I've learned that the little dogs I saw are Maltese Terriers. I'm going to talk to the boss trainer next Sunday, but in the meantime I am going to take on board the comments made here because I think they are very valid & worthy of consideration. It could turn out that the little Malts had been trained individually and are now going through together. I'm going to see if I can find the lady too. Would be interesting to hear what challenges she faced to get them where they are currently at.

Anyway, I'll keep you all posted.

Barbara Nixon
8th October 2007, 01:41 PM
I could always get two to sit, down, stay or come together. The problem would be with heelwork though, as 'close' means just that and if both dogs were worked on the same said, one, because of the dog in between, would not be able to obey.

14th October 2007, 06:37 AM
Woohoo! I’ve been given the go ahead by the trainers at the dog club to take Sonny through obedience together with Beau. They said they’ve had a couple of people take two dogs through together and though it is more challenging it is double the fun. I also got to talk with the lady I’d seen in the distance with her two Maltese Terriers. She was thrilled to learn that I was so impressed with the performance of her two that it had inspired me to follow in her footsteps. She gave me a few tips, like using a double leash (which Sonny & Beau already use) and to train at home both individually & together so that they can perform either as individual or as a team.

Now I can’t wait to start. Sonny will start Beginners at the beginning of the month. There are 2 weeks left to Class 1 and I envisage that Beau will graduate to Class 2, but I’ll keep him back until Sonny can go up with him. It means that Beau will be going through both Beginners & Class 1 again, but that is ok. We are in no hurry.


Cathy Moon
17th October 2007, 11:10 AM
Sounds like fun! Years ago when I took beginners obedience with my first dog, Heidi, we had two chihuahuas in our class who were being trained for competing in a brace. They were adorable together, and I've often wondered how well they did. :)

4th November 2007, 05:04 AM
Today was Sonny’s first day at obedience, and as a team with Beau. Wow, it was fun and not at all difficult. Beau had already passed Beginner Obedience and was part way through Class One when I decided to back-track and take Sonny along too. As Sonny is 3 years old and I have been training him from home, it really was a piece of cake at obedience class today.

I took both Sonny & Beau on a double leash, but I also took a single leash along as well. I just tied that around my waist so it would be available if I needed it. The hardest part was getting the boys out of the car in an orderly manner. They were both so excited about getting out, and I had to be doubly careful that neither of them escaped from the car before I had their training collars & leash on. I just blocked the door of the car with my body and double checked collars & leashes before letting them out.

Beau was so excited about trying to drag Sonny over to meet all of his friends. I am pleased I turned up 30 minutes early so that Beau could blow off some steam before class started. I was surprised that Sonny was so calm & relaxed. I did expect him to be a little nervous, but he was like an old hand, just politely greeting the other dogs and then ignoring them as though it was beneath him to be too gushy.

Once pre-class line-up started, both Sonny & Beau seemed to know it was down to business and they settled down into a beautiful “drop” while the instructors gave their talks of the day. I was so proud of them both.

The class ran smoothly and really was not anywhere near as challenging as I thought it might be. For each of the commands that Sonny was taught today (actually he already knows them), the instructors had me take him on the single leash so he could work alone. I just tied Beau to a fence poll in the shade while I was working with Sonny. This actually was a great exercise for Beau too, as he is not used to not being the centre of attention at training. It was good discipline for him to just sit there and watch Sonny & I working together and I was surprised that he didn’t kick up a fuss.

Once the trainers were satisfied that Sonny did understand the commands and that he would perform them on his own, I could then link him back up to the double leash and he and Beau worked as a team.

Today we did walking at heel, lots of different turns, sit, drop & stay. The boys were perfect. I was so proud of them and I am so pleased that Sonny too now can join in the fun of going to training classes. I always felt bad about leaving him at home.

I swear today, all day long, Sonny has had this great big, self satisfied grin on his face.

So any of you gals & guys out there wondering about whether or not to train two dogs at a time, I say “go for it!”. I think if you had a very young puppy or two young puppies it may be rather challenging, but with one adult & one pup that has already had some training, I think it is just going to be fun & very rewarding.

Cleo's Person
4th November 2007, 10:05 AM
Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I'm so glad that Sonny had a good time and got to join the fun! :)

Cathy Moon
4th November 2007, 03:36 PM
I'm so glad this is working for you and your boys! Now Sonny gets to be included - yay! :)

28th November 2007, 06:15 AM
Last Sunday was the last obedience class of the year. We resume the first Sunday in February. Though this means that Sonny’s 8 week Beginners Obedience class gets split up into 2 sections, it also means we won’t be training in the full blast of summer, which is a good thing. We had our half way mark assessment & Sonny passed with flying colours.

Taking both dogs to training has been the best experience. Sonny & Beau have really different personalities & it has been fun using their personalities for success. Beau is totally fearless, very food driven, competitive & eager, whilst Sonny is a little timid of new experiences, responds to smoochies better than he does to food rewards and isn’t particularly interested in what the other dogs are doing. This has made Sonny’s walking, sit, stay & drop a snap, but a little more challenging with things like fetching or running through tunnels & hoops.

The experience of having Sonny as the focus has been hugely beneficial for Beau as well. For large chunks of the class, Beau must sit & stay calmly while Sonny is being taken through his paces, and this has meant that Beau has had to grow up pretty fast and learn patience, and also trust that I will return to him if we are half way across the paddock.

We had our club Christmas party also last Sunday and as well as festivities we were treated to demonstrations of advanced obedience, agility, gun dog etc. It was totally awesome. Watching a dog being placed in a sit stay, then from 100s of meters away being given a command (verbal & hand signal) to come, then when the dog is half way there, being given another command to drop was really inspirational, especially when there were lots of people, children & other dogs around as potential distraction.

Anyway, we will be missing our classes over the next 8 weeks, but it gives us something to work on over summer & something to look forward to come February.