More than 30,000 canines go walkies at annual Great North Dog Walk

Great North Dog Walk at The Leas, South Shields.
Great North Dog Walk at The Leas, South Shields.

The organiser of this year’s Great North Dog Walk says the event was another record breaker.

Tony Carlisle, who runs the annual event on The Leas in South Shields says the final figures show more than 30,000 canines turned out with their human for Sunday’s event .

Great North Dog Walk at The Leas, South Shields.

Great North Dog Walk at The Leas, South Shields.

The four-legged friends also came in all shapes and sizes - representing 185 breeds.

An estimated 42,000 people accompanied the 30,114 dog for their annual charity fundraising walkies on Sunday - the 27th time the event has been held.

Tony, who is already planning next year’s walk, said: “The day was absolutely fantastic.

“The weather had been so up and down, but the rain missed us on both sides, making it a fantastic day.

I didn’t think it could get any better than last year – but we beat the 28,947 – which is great for Shields and another world record

Tony Carlisle, organiser

“I didn’t think it could get any better than last year, but we beat the 28,947 dogs which turned out then.

“This is great for South Shields and another world record.”

This year, the annual event has been honoured with a green topiary sculpture - installed alongside the Great North Run’s Running Man on Mowbray roundabout on the seafront.

Tony added: “This year’s event coincided with the running dog being put up, which had a lot of people talking about it.

Tony Carlisle's Great North Dog Walk topiary dog

Tony Carlisle's Great North Dog Walk topiary dog

“It is becoming an established symbol for the Great North Dog Walk, just as the Running Man is for the Great North Run.

Following the terror attacks of recent, extra security measures were in place to ensure a safe event for all.

Tony added: “We had armed police providing reassurance. They were talking to people and it was fantastic to see them doing their job.”

Doggie weddings and Christenings proved a particular hit and the day was also enjoyed by Tony’s wife Nicola and daughters Summer, eight, Toni, six, and three-year-old Taylor-Skye, as well as their new pup, Bella Blue.

Tony said: “I’m just thrilled – the day was great.

“All the charities did well and so many people turned up. It is getting bigger and bigger each year.”

Tony said he wanted to thank sponsor Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter, without which he would not have been able to pull off the event.

He added: “South Shields has once again been put on the map. We have a beautiful coastline and I just can’t put it into words.

“We’ll be doing this for many, many years to come.”

The next Great North Dog Walk will take place on June 3, 2018 and more than 120 dogs have already signed up. Visit www.greatnorthdogwalk.co.uk for information.