To date it has been the club’s policy to allow well behaved dogs on a short lead on walks and the Ramblers ( Association as was ) encourage their groups to allow dogs on walks where possible as it encourages people who might not otherwise do so to take part in walks.
However following a couple of incidents on club walks I feel it is timely to remind those wishing to bring their dogs on walks that dogs are not covered by the club’s liability insurance and should an incident occur involving the dog that gives rise to a claim from a third party then the liability lies with the dog owner and not the club.
Most pet insurance policies provide liability cover in varying amounts and it is recommended that owners have this cover when bringing their dogs on walks.
The committee will monitor the behavior of dogs taking part in future walks and in the meantime the following rules will apply:-
1) Only full members will be allowed to bring dogs on walks therefore visitors/guests will not be allowed to bring their dogs. This will allow dog owners to observe the dynamics of walking in a group if they have not done so before see and how their dog might interact with the group.
2) Only the actual dog owner will be allowed to bring a dog on walks. This would hopefully ensure that the person bringing the dog is familiar with the dog’s behaviour in most circumstances.
It would be unfortunate if in future it was found necessary to ban dogs from walks (apart from assistance dogs as this would be in breach of the law) but walking with a dog in a large group requires extra vigilance on the part of the owner and it is to be hoped that those wishing to do so will recognise this.