Explore by Paw is a friendly group of dog walkers in Warwickshire/West Midlands. We meet on Saturday and Sunday mornings and occasional weekdays for a 3-6 mile off-lead dog walk across open countryside and usually manage to find a dog-friendly pub or cafe at the end of the walk.
The walks are quite relaxed and easy-going. We like to see where we're going, enjoy a chat along the way and let the dogs have sniffing space, a good run and often a swim too. There's a good mix of dogs in the group.
Walks are led by a volunteer walk-leader, so you don't need to worry about map-reading or getting lost. Our walks are created specially for the group, and are intended to be as much fun for dogs and people as possible. Since the publication of Explore by Paw's book of dog walks, '24 Walks in Shakespeare Country' some walks are self-navigating - with photos of all the route, a written description and map to make sure the group stays on track!
Explore by Paw walks are for socialised adult dogs with good recall. The group does not offer any dog training or behaviour advice to owners, but you are welcome to invite your own trainer on walks if you wish. Reliable recall is essential when your dog is off-lead.
The group has a Code of Conduct. This is posted up as an event so it's easy to find. All members joining the group are assumed to have read, understood and agreed to the Code of Conduct. There's also a page of FAQs in 'Pages' for frequently asked questions.
All dogs should be in good health, fully vaccinated and free from parasites. Public liability insurance (included in most health insurance deals) for your dog is strongly advised.
There is an annual membership of £18.00 payable after your first walk. The group is non-profit making and funds are used to maintain the group - MeetUp doesn't charge you to join, but groups do have to pay to use MeetUp. Donations have been made to the Cinnamon Trust, and the Dogs Trust during 2016.
Group members benefit from discounts on outdoor gear (walking clothes, boots, etc), training courses (First Aid for Pets, Dog Behaviour Diploma, Dog Walker Certs have been recent ones) and other offers as they arise.
Explore by Paw is sponsored by the Driving with Dogs website (www.drivingwithdogs.co.uk), and they provide most of our walk routes.
Please don't join the group if ....
Sorry, these walks aren't suitable for growing puppies (please see the Kennel Club health guidelines on this), or dogs who can't manage stiles on their own and are too heavy or unwilling to be lifted over by 2/3 willing people.
Very, very small toy breeds, such as chihuahuas, may not join the group because of the high risk of injury to them from the larger dogs - if you have a toy dog, the Ramblers Association is probably a better bet.
Boxers, Pugs and other dogs with flat noses frequently struggle with the distance; if your dog has trouble with breathing on long energetic walks then this may not be the group for you.
If your dog has poor recall, or cannot be let off lead safely when the other dogs are off-lead.
Young people under 15 years may join walks if they are KC Young Handlers or similar, and must be accompanied by an adult. Otherwise children are not able to join walks - this is because (like all Meetup groups) the group is intended for adults and has no insurance for anything occurring on the walk.
We completely understand that the weather, circumstances and 'stuff' changes. But to keep the group active, members who don't come on their first walk within 2 months of joining will be automatically removed by Meetup. It's nothing personal, and you're very welcome to re-join when you're ready.