The Great North Dog Walk has leapt ‘bark’ into the record books - after celebrating its biggest and best show ever.
The annual extravaganza is still leading the way as the biggest event of its kind across the world after a record-smashing haul of pet pooches went on parade in South Tyneside on Sunday.
A terrific total of 28,947 canines - more than 2,500 up on last year’s record 26,423 entry list - put their best paw forward at The Leas, South Shields, during a sun-soaked day of entertainment.
Animal-lovers and their prize pets enjoyed a 3-mile stroll of the picturesque course before enjoying a raft of activities laid on for the day, from doggie weddings in partnership with the Little Haven Hotel to the hard-fought heats of the Scruffts competition as well as a chance to contribute to the 34 charities beig supported on the day.
Organiser Tony Carlisle, who started the walk with just 13 four-legged friends back in 1990, says the bonanza has been on the shoulder of the Great North Run for years as attendance numbers continue to soar.
But now the proud founder says the dog walk has now pulled up alongside its fellow ‘Great North’ event’ after another fantastic festival of four-legged fun.
We are on the same level as the Great North Run now.Tony Carlisle
“This was the biggest and the best dog walk we have ever had.
“Every person enjoyed themselves and i have already had over 100 emails from people registering for next year.
“It has been fantastic for tourism and brilliant for the borough.
“We have two Great North events in South Tyneside.
“We are on the same level as the Great North Run now.
“Pedigree coming on board as sponsor has taken us to the next level.
“They were delighted with the success of the event and have agreed to sponsor the walk again next year.”
The Great North Dog Walk has entered the Guinness Book of World Records a staggering sixteen times - and Mr Carlisle is determined to make his latest feat official.
He is eager to thank the small army of volunteers - including many of his former pupils - for helping ensure the event was a smash hit.
The former Harton Technology College PE teacher added: “We have had 28,947 dogs at the walk this year.
“We hold the unofficial world record from last year of 26,423 but I hadn’t got that ratified.
“It involves a lot of paper work and can take months to process but I will be doing it this year.
“Our Guinness World Record was set in 2011 but we will be beating it this year.”