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Hello,
I’m with my girls most of the day and walk them often. On leash they are well mannered but I need to control their curious nature. I use 2 separate leashes that require to much of my short attention span to keep from tangling. So I’m wondering how you’ve dealt with this
 

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Couplers never really worked with mine, as Sophy likes to walk just ahead of me and Poppy just behind. I use different coloured 6 foot leads and mostly rely on the dogs' good manners - mostly they manage very well and they know what "Disentangle!" means, but if they get really wrapped up they pause for me to sort it out.
 

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I haven't had the greatest luck with couplers. Either the dogs are trying to go two different directions and pulling each other off balance, or else they are going the same direction and hauling like a sled dog team.

I tend to walk my dogs separately until they get their leash manners. Part of the leash manners includes encouraging the dog to stay in its lane. Either walk on my left side, or walk on my right. Do not cross behind me, as I do not appreciate being clotheslined by the leash. Do not cross in front, as I do not appreciate being tripped. Pick a lane and stay in it.
 

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I use one flexi leash with Beckie, who has to be in front, and one regular leash with Merlin, who stays close to me. I tie Merlin’s leash to the handle of the flexi leash and put my hand in the loop to make sure even if the leash unties Merlin won’t go anywhere.

This way I only use one hand to control them both.
 

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I do not like leash couplers at all. If everything is quiet and peaceful they are okay, but if there is a problem like an aggressive dog and you need to drop your leash to give your dogs a chance to defend themselves or to try to escape them being linked to each other sounds like a good way for both of them to be severely injured or even die.
 

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I usually have one dog attached to me with a European style over the shoulder lead (usually Annie or the best behaved dog) and the other dog on leash held on the opposite side. The European leash more or less holds the dog on one side, which reduces tangles a lot, and frees me up to still have a free hand. A waist leash would probably also work.
 

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I forgot to mention I have trained the dogs to remain in a specific position, ie Merlin closest to me and Beckie next to Merlin, the farther away from me. They respect this rule 90% of the time, the rest is up to me.
 

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I do not like leash couplers at all. If everything is quiet and peaceful they are okay, but if there is a problem like an aggressive dog and you need to drop your leash to give your dogs a chance to defend themselves or to try to escape them being linked to each other sounds like a good way for both of them to be severely injured or even die.
With small dogs, I don’t think it would be a problem, since most people wouldn’t drop the leash, they would just pick the dogs up. That’s what I would do. Worse case the aggressive dog will get me, but they’ll have quite a fight...
 

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This reminds me of the incident my husband had with Peggy a few months ago, when two terriers, leashed together, wrapped themselves tightly around his legs while trying to get to Peggy. The owner was nowhere in sight.

Although I understand the reasons for it, having them tethered together made the situation much worse.
 

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I have two different leash management techniques when I'm walking a pair of dogs. They both start by sticking my right hand through the loops of both leashes, like so:
468530


I then take hold of the leashes so they are flat together, thus:
468531


I then slide my left hand about 2-3 feet down the leash and take firm hold, so the leashes pass in front of me and are pinched together by my left hand:
468532


My left hand then becomes the steering, with the two dogs walking on my left side. By keeping the leashes flat and pinched together, my left hand basically acts as a coupler forcing the dogs to walk side by side. I move my left arm forward, back, and out to the side to control the position of the dogs next to me. I use my right hand to control the slack/leash length, feeding or pulling the leashes through my left hand as needed.

Of course, sometimes one of the dogs is feeling spunky and won't walk calmly next to his brother. I pass the calmer dog's leash over to my right hand, and I keep the spunky dog's leash in my left:
468534

I shorten the leashes as much as possible and spread my arms as wide as I can. I then walk with one dog on either side of me.

Safety tips to remember:
  1. Never let the dog pass behind you with his leash. Getting clothes lined from behind can pull you down. Keep the leashes short if a dog is trying to zigzag behind you.
  2. Never wrap a leash around your fingers or hold the slack in a loop around your hand. You could break fingers or your hand if your dog lunges.
 
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