CANINE ENTHUSIASTS on Tyneside have smashed the record for the world's biggest collective dog walk.
Over 10,000 dogs and their owners took part in an ‘unbelievable turnout’ at the Butcher's Great North Dog Walk in South Shields.
The walkers broke the Guinness World Record of 7,766 dogs, set at the event last year. Founder Tony Carlisle said that 10,272 had completed the 3.5 mile (5.6km) course last Sunday.
Walkers at South Shields have taken the world record 12 times since 1995, when 327 dogs took part. Similar record attempts have been held in Texas, Connecticut and Toronto, but have always been beaten by the UK event.
During the 2006 walk, 147 of the 209 breeds recognised by the Kennel Club completed the course. It is not yet known how many breeds took part this year. Mr Carlisle, a local comprehensive schoolteacher, first organised the event in 1990, when just 13 dogs took part and has to date raised nearly £2.5m for charitable causes.
Speaking from the finishing line, he said: ‘It's been my ambition for years to break the 10,000 mark. I'd like to thank everyone who turned up from across the UK. It's been absolutely fantastic and I can't believe so many people took part.
‘If this happens every year then before long we're going to be bigger then the Great North Run.’
An official from Guinness was on hand to count the dogs, which were registered by their owners on arrival at the town's Gypsies Green Stadium.
Under the rules, all dogs were required to be on a lead. Vets, St John Ambulance staff and Northumbria Police were also on standby around the course.