Have you ever watched someone struggle to walk multiple dogs down a crowded street, in a field or park? Did you happen to witness five, six, seven or more dogs walking in all different directions, while being corralled on multiple leads with a single human at the helm trying to take control? Local Authorities in the UK are looking at new local rules seeking to stop this practice and restrict these type of outings to just four canines per person, at any given time like NarpsUK’s policy.
Many unregistered dog walkers are opposed to these rules because it means less pounds in their pockets with fewer paid pets being available on their leads according to this possible new law. But for dog owners with more than four of their beloved four-legged critters out for a stroll, they’re also are up in arms about the possibility of this new legislation going into effect. But how many dogs are too many to control by the walker?
Can one person actually handle a problematic dog incident with five (or more) dogs involved in a possible violent disagreement amongst these pets on a lead?
Statistics, Violence And Uncertainty
Some pet owners swear that smaller dog breeds, are easier to walk and control (indoors and out) compared to larger animals and they consider this in their opposition against this potential new rule. But according to some recent statistics, the family friendly, smaller Jack Russell terrier is responsible for the most dog attacks where a breed was pinpointed as the culprit.
Also according to Beverley Cuddy the editor of Dogs Today magazine, “More often than not when a dog attacks it is because of a lack of dog-handling knowledge.” Cuddy doesn’t specifically say this has to do with how they’re handled on a lead, but it seems to be implied at the very least.
Another reason for the possible push in this new legislation could be the significant rise in violence since dog attacks have surged during the last decade. It’s been reported that from 2005 to 2015, canine attacks are up 76% over this ten year period of time.
Concerns About Control
But for supporters of this possible new ruling, they say it’s mostly about a lack of control and a growing amount of animal waste. When it comes to doggie-doo-doo patrol and a lack of control, can a walker of multiple animals really keep track of all the excrement that happens during this journey? With only two hands available, this is a difficult task at best with multiple dogs.
While pet owners could be walking a half-dozen cute little dogs, what happens if they run into some kind of trouble? The possibilities are endless, everything from an encounter with an aggressive dog to some kind of unforeseen accident. With the walkers hands already full, how can they deal with a possible tragedy? What if the animal walker becomes injured, what happens next for the dogs if their controller is disabled, even temporarily?
Responsible Dog Walking
Some of the real answers to these important questions happen when it comes time to hire a pet sitter or dog walker for our beloved animals when we’re away from home, at work, school, even a holiday when we can’t take them with us for whatever reason. When we hire pet sitters and dog walkers, we want them to take possession of these beloved family members and give them their undivided attention and care regardless of what the law has to say on the matter.
That’s why we already have special terms and conditions already in place when it comes to responsibly walking our client’s dogs that include no more than four canines per lead. We don’t need legislation to tell us this is simply the right thing to do for everyone involved. This forms part of our Terms and Conditions and Code of Practice which have been written in consultation with the RSPCA.
Travel junkie, Amber Kingsley, is a freelance writer. She is a dog enthusiast and loves spending time with her Pomeranian, Agatha.