IT’S not the usual seaside attraction, but a huge group of Rottweilers is causing a stir in South Tyneside.
Every Sunday afternoon the dogs gather at South Shields beach to play in the sand and enjoy a swim.
And, in just over a year, North East Rottweilers UK has grown from a couple of dogs up to 30 meeting with their owners in tow.
Nicola Scott, who hails from South Shields, said she and fellow South Shields Rottweiler owner Gaz Graham started the group by chance and can’t believe how popular it has become.
And she says the weekly fun and frolics of the dogs, including her own two-year-old, Tara, and Gaz’s dogs, JJ, three, and nine-month-old Dexter, is helping to change people’s perceptions of the breed as visitors to the beach happily pet the animals.
The 29-year-old said: “I met Gaz through another website for rottweiler owners and happened to mention I was taking her to Shields beach and he said he would join us.”
The dogs got on so well they decided to make it a regular walk, and news of the group soon spread, with dozens of Rottweilers from all over the region joining them.
Mum-of-three Nicola, said: “It is just fantastic how much the group has grown, and it is getting bigger and bigger.
“It’s not just the dogs who love it, us owners are good friends now and even go on nights out without the dogs.
“When we are at the beach a few people do give us a wide berth when they see us, but mostly people are happy to stop and chat to us about the group.”
Nicola said Tara is her family’s first Rottweiler and she admits to being a bit apprehensive about getting one because of the unfounded reputation that they can be vicious.
She said: “Nothing could be further from the truth. As soon as we got her I fell in love with her. They are so friendly and well-behaved dogs and very loving.”
In fact, Nicola said there is a little French bulldog joins the walks every week and she is the boss of all the Rottweilers and rules the group.
After their walk on the beach, members of the group relax with a coffee at Minchella’s cafe.
Nicola said: “The staff at Minchella’s are great with the dogs, letting so many sit outside, but the dogs are really well-behaved.”
The Sunday afternoon beach stroll is not restricted to Rottweilers and anyone is welcome to join in with their dog, whatever the breed, meeting at 2pm at the Water’s Edge car park in South Shields.
Anyone who is interested in joining the group can visit the Facebook page at North East Rottweilers UK.