Explore by Paw is a friendly group of dog walkers in Warwickshire/West Midlands and Worcestershire. We meet on Saturday and Sunday mornings and occasional weekdays for a 3-6 mile 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: spaniels, collies, labs, terriers, hounds and 'others'.
The dog walks are easy to get to from Alcester, Henley, Stratford, Bidford; Kenilworth, Leamington, Rugby, Southam, Warwick, Solihull, Birmingham and Coventry.
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! To make this happen, we try to avoid fields of scary cows and silly sheep, horses, llamas and so on. Road walking is also avoided - the occasional country lane is OK but big busy roads are not for us. We like our dogs to be off-lead when possible, and safe. Nearly all walks begin and end at a dog-friendly pub or cafe, so after the walk there's the chance for people to socialise too.
Explore by Paw walks are for socialised 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 if your dog is off-lead. Yellow ribbon dogs are welcome, as long as the dog is not distressed by walking in a pack.
The group has a Code of Conduct and you can read this by clicking on 'Pages' and scroll down. All members joining the group are assumed to have read, understood and agreed to our Code of Conduct. There's also a page of FAQs in 'Pages' for frequently asked questions.
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 to be lifted over by 2/3 willing people.
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.
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 £12.00. 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.
Group members benefit from discounts on outdoor gear (walking clothes, boots, etc), some training courses (First Aid for Pets, Dog Behaviour Diploma, Dog Walker Certs have been recent ones) and other offers as they arise.
Other activities include for 2015: weekend walkies at the seaside, weekend walks in the Peak District, a Treasure Hunt and a set of sponsored walks in aid of the Myton Hospice.
Explore by Paw is sponsored by the Driving with Dogs website, and our walk routes are provided by them.
Explore by Paw Warwickshire has a London-based sister group called 'Explore by Paw dog walking weekends'. The weekends group is for people who DON'T live locally, but who may enjoy sharing some of our local walks. Membership terms and conditions are quite different for the weekend group (it's more like the Ramblers, on pay-as-you-go) and for that reason members of Explore by Paw Warwickshire may not also join the weekend group.