Should dog walkers have a Code of Conduct?

DogWalkerIn a move that could result in the industry’s first Code of Conduct, professional dog walkers are being approached and requested to join the code presented by Brighton and Hove Council.

The council has said the move has come about due to the rapid increase in the number of dog walkers operating professionally in the city and in response to public demand, the council has drawn up a register of reputable walkers.

Animal Welfare Office Amanda Teale said:

“People offering dog walking services approached us about the increasing numbers of cowboy dog walkers.  There were reports of some dog walkers behaving irresponsibly.”

On Wednesday, some of the first set of twelve registered dog walkers will be presented with their own certificates at Hove Town Hall.

Within the code of conduct, the agreements are that dog walkers will have insurance, clean up after their dogs, keep them under control and minimise any impact that walking multiple dogs may have on other visitors to parks.

Dog walkers also agree to ensure all dogs have fresh water as necessary and are transported properly with the right level of ventilation especially in warm weather.

There is however no limit on the number of dogs the walker may walk.  Animal Welfare Office Sue Watson commented:

“We decided not to specify numbers because it was going to be contentious and arbitrary.  The insurance will cover the amount of dogs they walk.  But my personal opinion is that I wouldn’t be happy taking more than four.”

So should dog walkers have a national Code of Conduct?