Dog-walking groups are becoming ever more popular, whether as a social get-together with friends on special occasions such as Boxing Day, or regular organised walks.
Finding and setting up a dog-walking group
- Decide whether you want to walk with owners of the same breed or with a mixed breed group.
- Talk to other dog owners, including friends, people you regularly see out walking, and members of your family or dog training club.
- Place adverts in local vet's, shop windows, social media, and on your breed club's website.
- The internet is a good source for finding local dog-walking groups.
- Contact animal charities for details of sponsored dog walks.
Top tips for dog-walking groups
- Remember to take poo bags on your dog walk.
- Avoid crowded places if there are a large number of dogs.
- Check permission to walk as a group in your chosen location.
- Carry a first aid kit for dogs and people on your dog walk.
- Always carry water on your dog walk.
- Plan a dog-walking route before you set out, and do a risk assessment of it to ensure it's safe.
A number of branches of the Retired Greyhound Trust organise regular dog-walking groups for owners of the breed and for those considering rehoming a Greyhound.
The East Midlands branch organises an annual Boxing Day dog-walking group which is growing in popularity each year. The group walk has been organised for 13 years and sees more than 100 Greyhounds attend. Other group dog walks are held across the region throughout the year.
John Morton, who runs the branch, said: "Our main dog-walking group is on Boxing Day; we serve the owners mulled wine and have a barbecue. It's a popular event and is becoming more so each year.
"So far we've been lucky with the weather on Boxing Day and get lots of people come. The dogs are well behaved and come back happy.
"It's great exercise for the owners and the dogs, and it helps to socialise with other people and dogs. A lot of owners talk about their pets with other walks."