Dogs Guidance for Leaders
It is a rare occurrence for a dog to be brought on a South Bank walk, but we have been asked to clarify the Committee’s current policy on the issue, and to give guidance to leaders
South Bank offers a range of walks and many are in the countryside near farms and livestock. We do not therefore actively encourage the participation of dogs and we do not mark our walks as “Dog Friendly” on the website.
Leaders can be assured that Ramblers Insurance covers incidents with dogs on programmed walks.
Should a Rambler want to bring their dog then we expect them to get the explicit agreement of the leader in advance. The blanket exception is Registered Assistance Dogs which must always be welcomed.
Our leaders are in the best position to judge whether a walk is suitable for a dog, and we therefore leave it to their discretion. The Committee will support any leader with their decision and in particular if this means not accepting the walker and the dog on the walk.
Should a leader be contacted and asked if a dog may attend there are a few points to consider:
Is there livestock and particularly young livestock?
Are there busy roads?
Are there stiles? (Many dogs can’t manage them and have to be lifted over.)
How will the dog owner deal with the dog if there are people on the walk who really don’t like dogs? (We would expect them to check this at the beginning of the walk and they could possibly stay up at the front or at the back of the walk.)
Is the owner conversant with the Dog Walkers’ Code (available on the Ramblers website) which covers issues of the essential need for a short lead, dealing with livestock and dog poo?
If a leader has agreed to a dog being on the walk, they may insist at any point that the dog be kept on a short lead. If the leader feels the owner is not complying with the leader’s reasonable requirements, then the owner and dog could be excluded from the walk at any point.
If there are any queries on this guidance then please do contact the Walks Organiser or Chair for advice.
Sue Ellenby March 2017