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We have several really good walks around us and one of my favourites has slowly been discovered by the people who walk others dogs for a living.

 

Its a great space, secure car park well off road and then about a mile and half of pathway to a river crossing and a meadow on the other side. A wood land walk off to one side and several small paths to the water's edge.

 

I walk four (two at a time) an they re all mine. Several ohter two and three dog vehicles come and go during the course of the day and a couple of months ago a new vehicle arrived and seven dogs were unloaded and disappeared along the footpath. This walker seems to have reasonable control over her group and always walks at roughly the same time so the rest of us can fit round the large group coming or going.

 

This week tho a vehicle has arived at various times through the walking day (it seems to be the same group of dogs so it looks like the walker isnt set on her pick up times) but each day the door of the vehicle opens and fifteen dogs tumble out and dash off in all directions - regardless of who is coming or going. Two walkers set off behind this unruly mob of dogs.

 

I find myself wondering what understanding do they have of pack mentality, what control do they have, what do the owners think who hand their dogs over for exercise, what public liability insurance do these people have and what legislation governs them?

 

Possibly readers in large cities will not think a large group of dogs with a walker is much to worry about but here I think we have suddenly seen a huge increase in what looks to be  a numbers game for money!

 

Any thoughts??

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I wonder if the owners of all these dogs are aware of how many other dogs are being exercised at the same time ? I would not be happy to have mine exercised in this way, as all you nead is a dog to attach one of the pack and the "minder" would be unable to round up the others to get vet help if required. There are many more sanario`s that come to mind, bye laws in Colchester prevent any one walking more than 6 dogs at any one time, but even this may not cover the area you are refering to. It is a shame when you find a realy nice walk and it is spoilt, we had the same thing happen when the young off roaders invaided one of our favourit walks. We have been looking for 2/3 acres to bye for the family to use for picnic`s and dog walking for 10 years now and with interest rates so low and building`s poping up everywhere the price has gone sky high ( maybe we were to fussy at the begining, we wanted open field and woodland for the hoter days.)

That seems a ridiculous number of dogs to walk and control at the same time.I used to walk four (all mine)which was more than enough at any one time.

I think Angela's point about how would the walkers cope in an emergency is a very good one and the answer is they couldn't.

I was walking three of mine when one was seriously and savagely and unexpectedly attacked whilst walking home (on lead) by a Ridgeback.I had to ask someone passing to help me with the other two until I could summon help.Luckily they did and my dogs are well behaved and I managed to deal with the situation.I think you are right to be concerned.

What about contacting the local dog warden, just to ask the questions. Maybe they could pop by the site at the appropriate times and observe for themselves.

I too think that 15 dogs is far too many to have running loose together without many more than two people to deal with any incident which might arise.

Dawn R.

Where I live, there was talk of restricting the number of dogs one person could walk to 4. However this Dog Control order did not get through, after a public consultation. I know some of the local 'professional'  dog walkers were up in arms about it, and I remember thinking I would not want my own dog walked by someone else in a group as large as that.

Years ago I used to walk our 5 Irish with my husband, but have never dared walk more than 2 off lead by myself nowadays, and actually we tend to only walk 2 at a time together due to the wording of the Dangerous dogs act.

3 years ago, I took early retirement from the NHS, and I started my own pet care services. I only walk other people's dogs on a one to one basis. This obviously limits the money it is possible to earn, but I made the decision based on current dog legislation and the strong desire to make a good bond with each dog that I care for. My clients all have chosen me specifically because they know their dog will be walked on its own, and because I can then follow up on the training that they are doing with their dog. They each have my full attention when I am with them. I love each one...they are my extended doggie family.

I am police checked and have good insurance specific to the pet care business.

There is no legislation for dog walking other than that which applies nationally, and locally, to walking your own family pet.

I take pride in the work I do, and enjoy the experience of spending time with, and learning about, various breeds that I will never actually own. I am often asked for advice on various aspects of dog ownership and can share many years of experience. I think I know my own limitations and do not set myself up as a 'trainer', preferring to suggest appropriate dog training classes.

There are some very good dog walkers out there, but equally some pretty atrocious ones who think its an easy way to earn money. The case that Ossian mentions, must be earning a fortune e.g. 15 x £10 for one hour....!!!!!!!

Sorry for going off on one. Obviously this hit a nerve, hence the long self-defensive blurb:)

 

hi, in london some parks allow no more then 6 dogs, others (as the royal parks) no more than 4 per person. also, if you walk dogs professionally in the royal park you are required to have a licence, obey a code of behavior, and pay an annual fee. All dog walkers i met are super and they really enjoy the dogs.

as for as, we have two guys that walk oberon three times a week in the huge commons, where he can swim in rivers and ponds, stay in the woodlands etc for 5-6h a day- similar to what he does in the days in which he's with us. They are simply fantastic and organize such energetic walks!!! other dog walkers that i see around just look at their mobile and strolls 4 dogs at the lead around the corner for a couple of hours. I woudnt live oberon with such a service.. so i think we are lucky that we have found such lovely, energetic and nice persons:)

btw, the price that sue mentions is huge indeed... we pay 15£ per day, and oberon is with them off running from 10am to 3-4pm , in large woodlands and rivers, swimming, etc.. 10£ per hour and we will be bankrupted if we wish to cover the same amount of free run per day;) .. we ask these guys 3 days per week, the rest of the week he's doing  the same 5-6 hours running per day, but with us;)

Sue: I agree with you, most dog walkers that we met are extremely competent, lovely and entustiastic. I am sure you enjoy your "guests" during your lovely walks:)

btw, a sign in the surrey hills recently got the attention of an article in the Guardian. It says " you are not supposed to walk more than 4 dogs under your control". This means that you can walk 10 dogs, 6 of them completely out of control and 4 under control- ha ha: where's grammar gone ? ;)

Ha ha ! That's great silvia :)

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