Our Lead the Way group dog walks run in conjunction with Burns Pet Nutrition are back in full swing. We’ve asked group leader, Luke Jones to share what he loves about leading the group walks, letting you know how you can get involved when they pick back up.
Prior to starting Lead the Way, I set up my own social media accounts called LucyInvestigates. I set this up because I’m so passionate about my rescue Greyhound Lucy and spreading awareness of adopting animals to become your pets.
We both absolutely love meeting dog owners and can chat for days about all things dog. My pooch Lucy is the queen of investigating and we’re regularly investigating local parks, restaurants and anywhere dog friendly. Above all this, we both love meeting other dogs and humans, which is why we signed up to be a Lead the Way group leader!
About Lead The Way
Lead the Way is a campaign run by Burns Pet Nutrition to encourage dog owners to go for a walk together. They banded together with Dog Furiendly who helped to recruit Explorers much like myself to lead the group walks.
Since then, we’ve run group walks across the UK, in Birmingham, Petersfield, Doncaster, Flintshire, Chester, Dundee, London, Edinburgh, Scunthorpe, Liverpool, Pontypridd, Weymouth, Barry, Bridgend, Portsmouth, Port Talbot, Glasgow and obviously our walks here in Manchester.
All dogs are welcome, big, small, fluffy, not so fluffy, black, white, tan, brindle, rainbow. The walks are perfect for socialising and we always have a huge variety of dog breeds attending the group walks.
Our greyhound Lucy had never met other breeds when we adopted her in September 2017. So these group walks have been incredible to help her, other dogs and their owners to meet and socialise with other dog breeds.
My Group Dog Walks in Manchester
We hosted our first group dog walk here in Manchester in February 2019. It started with six humans (including me) and four long snooted greyhounds. It was an accidental retired greyhound meet up – I think everyone saw Lucy’s snoot and thought it was just for greyhounds! It was a lovely first week and everyone enjoyed their goodie bags from Burns Pet Nutrition.
We hosted the walks in Manchester each month (around my weekend part-time job) and managed to squeeze in twelve walks in throughout 2019 and two in January and February 2020 before the world changed forever.
We’ve had Westies (hi Charlie), Lurchers (hey Scout), Whippets (hiya Aria) and obviously Greyhounds too. We love seeing the huge variety of dogs.
We also have a section towards the back of the walks for those new dogs that need a bit of time to get settled or just need to get familiar with the area and the number of people and dogs. Most dogs soon group the pack and walk with us all.
Free Goodies From Burns
The best part – goodies! Every person who takes part in the group walks are given goodie bags provided by Burns Pet Nutrition!
They contain a sample of Burns biscuits plus a bag of training treats – which Lucy absolutely loves. There’s also a Burns bandana (which I usually make everyone wear for our cheesy walk photo). They add in a handy lint roller to get rid of any dog fur – I’ve always got two spare ones in my car. They’re always adding new goodies, our favourite was the best invention – a poo bag holder with a built-in torch!
Don’t Take Our Word For It!
We really loved hosting the walks but don’t take our word for it, here’s what some of the Manchester doggos had to say about the walks.
Jess and Junior
“Junior was still living at Bleakholt animal sanctuary when we started coming, so this was a big step for him. It was the first time he’d been around that many dogs and I wasn’t sure how he would be. I’d found the walks through Dog Furiendly and it was a good chance to improve his socialisation. Junior did so much better than I hoped (I think he was too overwhelmed to misbehave) and he was completely pooped afterwards.“
“Honestly can’t remember how we found out about the walks but the first event we attended was the Dog Furiendly Howloween Party. We had such a lovely time (as did Aria). Everyone proved to be kind and lovely and we will 100% be back for the group dog walks when they start back up.“
“We found out about the walks on Facebook. Charlie loves coming even though he is not as long-legged as some of the other dogs. He loves mixing with all dogs and his humans enjoy getting out in the fresh air. We definitely will be coming when we can meet up again and we wouldn’t change anything.“
“We found out about the dog walks through Instagram! I think I was a little worried about not knowing anybody but that’s the beauty of dog walks in that everyone just gets chatting about the dogs. I would and have recommended the walks to other dog owners, it’s a great way to visit new places and get out and about.”
“I loved the walks and I miss them so much. I was looking for other doggos in Manchester to help me with my socialisation and came across the events!
My mum was worried about if I would come on too strong and scare off the other dogs and parents. No need to worry though as everyone was super nice and understanding. DEFINITELY recommend. the walks really helped me with my interaction with other dogs and calm me a bit. Everyone was so friendly and it was nice to get out and socialise.“
Fancy getting involved with our group walks? Click here to sign up and find a group walk near you.
Been involved in any of the Lead the Way walks? Pop your experiences in the comments below.