Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Dog walkers get code of conduct

Dogs being walked (generic)
The code does not limit the number of dogs to be walked

Professional dog walkers are being asked to join what is thought to be the industry's first ever code of conduct.

Brighton and Hove council said the number of dog walking businesses in the city had increased rapidly and it had set up a register of reputable walkers.

"People offering dog walking services approached us about the increasing numbers of cowboy dog walkers," said animal welfare officer Amanda Teale.

"There were reports of some dog walkers behaving irresponsibly."

Certificates are being presented to some of the first batch of 12 registered dog walkers at Hove Town Hall on Wednesday.

No numbers limit

By signing the code of conduct, dog walkers agree to clean up after their animals and keep them under proper control.

They must minimise the impact that exercising multiple dogs has on other park users and have insurance.

They also agree to transport dogs in vehicles with proper ventilation so as not to cause them distress, especially during hot weather, and to provide water as necessary.

But the code does not limit the number of dogs which can be walked.

"We decided not to specify numbers because it was going to be contentious and arbitrary," said animal welfare officer Sue Watson.

"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."

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