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Dog Ambassadors: Set up your own scheme

If you’re looking to raise awareness in your local area about responsible dog ownership you may want to think about setting up a dog ambassador scheme.

Having regular dog walkers in your area talking to other dog walkers can be a great way of helping educate people about how they can ensure they have a fun and safe visit to the countryside with their dog.

South Downs National Park Dog Ambassadors

In October 2017 the South Downs National Park Authority Heathlands Reunited project launched a pilot project recruiting Dog Ambassadors. The aim of this project was to work with site managers on several heathland areas in the National Park, to trial having dedicated volunteers walking on these sites to encourage responsible dog ownership.

With assistance from professional dog behaviourist, Natalie Light, ambassadors were given full training about how to interact with other dog walkers, what the key messages about responsible dog ownership were and how they can deal with any difficult moments. With regular check ins and continual support from both the SDNPA team and the site managers, ambassadors were able to carry out their roles during their normal dog walking hours.

Unfortunately due to reduced funding and increased pressures we as an Authority no longer have the resources to run or support dog ambassador schemes in the National Park, however we are able to share our experience and advice on how best to run such projects in a hope that it will enable communities to set up their own.