Thousands take part in the 27th Great North Dog Walk

Thousands of people took part in this year’s Great North Dog Walk as the popular event marked its 27th anniversary.

The walk, which took place on The Leas, in South Shields, was organised once again by Tony Carlisle, 60, who said it attracted a ‘record breaking’ crowd.

Great North Dog Walk competitors taking part in the 27th annual event held on The Leas, South Shields.

Great North Dog Walk competitors taking part in the 27th annual event held on The Leas, South Shields.

Mr Carlisle said he was delighted with the turn-out, believing it surpassed last year’s total of 28,947 dogs, made up of 185 different breeds, with over 30,000 people taking part.

He said: “My gut feeling - and I have been doing this for 27 years - is simply a case of I think we could have a new world record in the making here.

“Its amazing to see - it’s a spectacle.”

Starting the walk this year was Metro radio presenter Steve, from the Steve and Karen Breakfast Show, along with special guest 12-year-old Callum McGilligan from Longbenton, who is battling mitochondrial disease.

More than 185 different breeds took part in the competition.

More than 185 different breeds took part in the competition.

The event - which aimed to raise money for 34 different charities- saw visitors also enjoy various stalls and games.

And to mark its 27th year a topiary dog has been placed on the Mowbray Roundabout, outside the New Crown pub, on the seafront. The shrub sculpture stands proudly next to the well known Great North Run Man.

Mr Carlisle added: “It’s been 27 years and it’s been long and hard. This has been the hardest due to lack of sponsorship, but it’s amazing and I’m at a loss for words.

“Now where we have the Running Man as a symbol of the Great North Run, we also have the topiary Running Dog - it’s absolutely phenomenal.

Jimmy Wilkinson with his five collie dogs.

Jimmy Wilkinson with his five collie dogs.

“It’s an exciting time for the dog walk and it’s going to get bigger and better.”

Washington residents Margaret and Jimmy Wilkinson took part the walk for a second time with their five Collie dogs, Silva, Honey, Shadow, Grace and Jaz.

Margaret said: “We decided to come back again as it was so good last time and all the dogs were so excited about it.”

Organiser Tony Carlisle believes the event had a record breaking turn-out.

Organiser Tony Carlisle believes the event had a record breaking turn-out.

Great North Dog Walk competitors lining up at the start.

Great North Dog Walk competitors lining up at the start.