This months coveted Dog of the Month prize actually goes to 2 dogs, Max and Mae. Well I couldn't give to one without giving to the other! These 2 gorgeous dogs have been with us since 2015 and we've had them both on the books since they were puppies. Mae came first and Max was adopted later and it may have been 2016 when Max came on the scene. He was already 6 months old when his owner brought him home to meet Mae who by that time had pretty much gone through the puppy stage and was a happy go lucky young dog (I bet she didn't know what was going on when Max came to stay!).
Mae is a Border Collie and is very loving. She is happy to accept any dog into the pack and is just a really friendly and confident girl. When she was a puppy she went through a stage for a couple of months where her favourite thing to do was to undo my shoelaces whilst we were out walking. She still has a mischievous streak even though now she is older. I no longer have to double knot my laces though.
Max is a Belgian Shepherd and he's been Mae's little brother ever since he was rescued at age 6 months. He's a big lump of a dog but is actually very good on the lead and although he can be reactive to male dogs we encounter he is getting better and will continue to improve as he gets older.
Both dogs live together and get on really well. Mae's in charge though!
At coastal Dog Walkers we walk your dog - I know that sounds like a super obvious thing to say as surely all dog walking businesses do that don't they? Well yes and no. Read on McDuff...
Unlike many other dog walkers we mainly walk your dog from your front door, we walk them out for a specified amount of time and then we walk them home again. I think we're unique in that respect as other dog walking businesses in our area seem to round up all of their dogs in a vehicle of some sort and head somewhere where all of those dogs can run about and have a jolly old time and that's fine, there's nothing wrong with that but that's not how we do things. Don't get me wrong there are occasions when we might have one dog that lives in North Shields and two dogs that live Whitley Bay and it makes sense to transport the single dog to the pair of dogs but that's really about as much as we ever rely on a vehicle.
What I'm seeing is more and more vans, small and large whizzing about and collecting dogs en masse . I know there are multiple dogs in the vans as I can see and hear them in there when I walk by but I literally never see those dogs being walked as I guess the dogs end up in places like the Rising Sun or one of the beaches and are managed from there by their handler. I'm sure that's wonderful for those dogs that love having a good run about off lead but that's not all dogs. You may have a nervous dog or a older dog that prefers being walked on lead. You may have a younger dog that you would like to be walked in a small group to improve his social skills or lead work.
When I started Coastal Dog Walkers in 2015 I wrongly assumed that all dog walking businesses worked in the same way we do but I now know that we're different (I'm not saying better, keep ya wigs on!) and I genuinely don't mind being a bit different as I've never been a one to follow the crowd.
So if you're looking for a dog walker then there is more than one option out there for you. My advice is to do your homework and choose the right one for you and your dog.
Hopefully our way will suit your needs.
All of our walks are on lead. We never let any dogs run loose. I get that will put off some people who are looking for a dog walker but after doing this job for 5 years I also know that there are lots of dog owners out there that prefer our approach, horses for courses and all that. Our packs are small. No big groups. Your dog will be cared for and walked with friendly dogs in areas it's already familiar with. Our small team has bags of experience and I'd love for you to be our next customer!
Coastal Dog Walkers
We all know that dogs die in hot cars and yet every now and then we all see a dog in a car on a hot summers day so just what should you do when you see a distressed dog trapped in a hot car?
There are a few things you can do before you might consider the need to gain access forcibly. You could look around for the owner, maybe there's a pay and display ticket in the car which will give you a good idea on how long the dog has been in the car and perhaps how soon the owner is likely to return to the car. Perhaps the owner is in a nearby store or cafe, it may be worth a quick look if you feel you have time.
If the dog is clearly distressed ring 999. According to the Ask the Police guidelines the first thing you should do is to ring them if you see a distressed dog in a vehicle.
I also found this advice online which makes sense to me if the dog is distressed and you cannot quickly locate the owner:
1. Call the police and ask for their assistance.
2. If the police can't attend but the dog is in desperate need of help you may consider taking further action.
3. Explain to the police what you intend to do.
4. Take a photo of the dog trapped in the car.
5. Take the name and number of any witnesses.
6. If you do forcibly gain access to the car you should be willing to defend your actions in court.
Hopefully you'll never find yourself in this situation but if you do then I think doing 'something' is better than doing nothing at all.
After much consideration the panel have chosen Leo as the Coastal Dog Walkers Dog of the Month for June. Well done Leo!!!
We've been walking Leo since August last year and he is a much loved dog. Graeme, Julie and I all love him to bits and he's always happy to go for a nice long walk and you simply cannot tire him out. He's a very handsome looking dog and we think he's a Picard, which is a breed of dog I had never heard of before Leo. Picard's are are believed to be the oldest French Sheepdogs breed and are affectionate, easy to train and have a lot of energy - this describes Leo well as he is all those things and more.
Initially his owner was perhaps a little wary about him around other dogs as he had a tendency to bark at dogs he doesn't know. However Leo quickly showed us that actually he was a very friendly dog and after an initial bark he would happily accept any dog that we introduced him to. He regularly walks with Indie, Murphy, Jacob, Lola, Ralph and Delilah but has been out with pretty much every dog on the books in the past 12 months.
Recently Leo alerted me to a thunderstorm in the distance although I didn't realise that until the storm was audible to me. About 10 minutes before I heard the storm he started barking, jumping up and generally trying to get my attention. As we were at the end of our walk anyway I took him back home. A few minutes later I heard the storm and the heavens opened. Next time Leo warns me of an impending storm hopefully I'll pick up on his message and head for shelter!
We love the Wandering Dog Company because at the heart of this business is a genuine passion for your dog’s health and well being. As a Cullercoats dog walker we often pass by their store based in the metro station, sometimes we even pop in a buy the dogs a little treat.
When they started their business in 2015 they were ahead of the curve in the raw food explosion that a lot pet owners are finally getting turned onto. We’ve all heard the adage ‘you are what you eat’ right. Well it stands to reason that this applies to our furry friends too and who wouldn’t want to give their dogs a healthy and nutritionally balanced diet that genuinely meets their needs.
From humble beginnings just 5 years ago they recognised that dogs are primarily meat eaters but can survive on plant matter if necessary. The key word here is survive, not thrive. For your dog to thrive and meet biological nutritional needs then your dog needs to be fed a fresh food, fresh meat based diet.
Grains are often used as a cheap filler in dry commercial foods, causing a number of digestive issues for dogs and creating great big mounds of poo for you to pick up in the process. Feeding a biologically appropriate, fresh food diet is not only gentler on your dog’s stomach but produces smaller, firmer and less frequent poos – winner!!
Based in the North East of England the Wandering Dog Company are the region's largest specialist retailer of frozen raw dog food and complimentary treats. Visit there stores in Cullercoats or Blyth or check them out online at www.thewanderingdog.co.uk
They deliver throughout the region and they also offer a nationwide next day delivery service.
As a North Shields dog walker I am spoilt for choice with places to explore when I’m out on a pack walk with the dogs.
No matter what the time of year there’s always new places to go and that’s especially true during the summer months as we often stay out a little longer just because the weather is nicer and the dogs and I just love being outside.
If I’m dog walking in Cullercoats one of my favourite routes is the walk from Cullercoats Bay to Whitley Bay. The route along the coastline past the recently refurbished Spanish City and back to Cullercoats is always lovely and the views over the North Sea are always changing.
We never take the most direct route so the walk takes roughly an hour so it’s perfect for the walking the Cullercoats dogs – We normally start off near Beverley Terrace and cut in behind Cliff House (the stunning 18th Century house next to the Queens Head). Going this way gets you nearer the sea onto the headland and then the stairs ahead of you take you back up to Norma Crescent which has some stunning views back out over the bay towards Tynemouth.
Once we’re back up to the road level we then head toward the dome but cut down onto the lower promenade sections where possible (there’s a few of these little sections) just to get away from the road noise and enjoy a more peaceful walk towards the dome.
It’s lovely getting to the dome as it’s always busy with people just enjoying being outside in a stunning location. I have to say the refurbishment has exceeded my expectations and hopefully this will help to Whitley Bay back on the map for day trippers and holiday makers.
From the Dome we usually head up to past Playhouse theatre and then back to Cullercoats via Whitley Bay Town Centre. This section cannot compete with the views over the sea but it’s good for the dogs to get used to town centres as well as the quieter sections of the walk. The whole thing usually takes about an hour.
From time to time I like to throw the spotlight onto a local, doggy related business that I think is great and I would like to share with the group. Today i thought I would write a few words about the Doggy Delish Deli which is based on Albion Road in North Shields (more or less opposite Christ Church). I often pass this business when I am dog walking in North Shields and sometimes I even pop in and buy the dogs a few treats which obviously they love!
The place is packed with all manner of biscuits, cakes, baked goods, doggy pizza and even ice cream - all of which is dog friendly and a lot of which is made fresh on the premises each day by the owner, Della and her team. I only ever spend a couple of quid but always seems to come away with loads of stuff - Della you need to put your prices up!
Doggy Delish Deli is of course dog friendly and even though space is at a premium you're never made to feel that you're taking up too much room. I've been in there before with 3 dogs and each dog always gets spoilt with free biscuits whether I buy anything or not. We recently bought some of the dog friendly ice cream for our dog Buzz and he loved it!
So if you're passing pop in or if you're looking for something a bit different it's well worth a visit.
I have been meaning to start a Dog of the Month competition for some time and finally it's here! Getting to know the dogs as well as we do is really great and I thought it would be be fun to focus in on a dog every month, letting you know a little more about the dog and what kind of things they like to get up to when we are dog walking in North Shields, Tynemouth or Cullercoats.
The inaugural winner of the Dog of the Month competition is young Murphy. Murphy has been part of the Coastal Dog Walkers gang for nearly 2 years now and is around 2 and a half years old, as you can see he's an Irish Terrier and typically of the breed he is very active and inquisitive; he's great with people and other dogs. We've never had any bother from him with any other dog he's been walked with or even dogs we meet when we're out with him - he's very chilled out near other dogs and as such Murphy is often my go to dog if we have a new member of the gang that I am trying to socialise with others in the pack. This is quite unusual in Irish Terriers as often the breed likes like dominate other dogs but Murphy is so relaxed in almost any situation.As with most dogs he loves going for a walk and you can take him anywhere. His owner takes him to to the pub, out for meals, on holidays abroad and recently even on a paddle board! Murphy just loves to be involved and is just one of them dogs with a big personality. One of my helpers, Julie absolutely adores him and often keeps him out for 2 hours or more even though he's only supposed to be out for an hour!
He lives in Tynemouth so most of our walks either take us towards Cullercoats or sometimes he enjoys a walk to the end of the north pier and back. His regular doggy pals include Leo, Lola, Ralph, Ruby, Honey, Mac & Tosh although he really does get on with all of the dogs we walk. If we're dog walking in North Shields then Northumberland Park is somewhere he likes to be but mainly we stick to the coast with Murphy as there's something of the 'surf dude' in him that keeps drawing us back towards the sea.
Well done on winning the first ever Dog of the Month prize for May 2019. Murphy was presented with a certificate and some treats. He was very happy with the treats, not so fussed about the certificate.
Although Coastal Dog Walkers has been trading since 2015 I have frankly been hopeless at collecting reviews! I use review sites myself all the time when looking at choosing a product or service so it's crazy that I haven't been collecting reviews since day one. I do have a small number on Facebook but Facebook is becoming less popular all of the time and often when I ask someone to review me on there they tell me they aren't on it. I myself am not on it so I can't blame them.
So having looked around I have decided to start again with reviews by collecting them on Google so feel free to leave me a review if you've used us in the past!
To be more specific I do of course mean tennis balls! Tennis balls are great. Why are they great I hear you ask? Well a lot of the dogs that I've walked over the years are simply obsessed with them and you can use that to your advantage.
As well as being a great deal of fun for a spot of human/dog interaction I often use a tennis ball as a distraction tool when I really need to keep a dog focused on me.
I walk 2 or 3 dogs who are really lovely with dogs they know but not overly keen on the ones they don't and they have a tendency to bark and/or lunge towards random dogs that we'll inevitably cross paths with.
When we're approaching someone walking their dog I whip out the tennis ball and immediately the dog's focus is on me or rather it's on the tennis ball which I happen to have control of. This generally allows up safe passage past the dog we're walking towards without any of the kerfuffle that would have occurred had I been without my trusty tennis ball.
This has been a revelation for me and is a top tip that you should try if you have a dog who doesn't mix well with others. If sticks or treats are your dogs favourite thing then they might just be the answer for your looking for. It's a good idea give your dog a reward once you're safely past the other hound to praise and reinforce their good behaviour.
Coastal Dog Walkers
Welcome to the occasional ramblings of a North Shields dog walker.