Harold Wood man calls on ‘squashed-faced’ dog owners to join group

Take a look at these beauties: you probably wouldn’t want to run into any of them in a dark alley – though you might just see them in a park near you!

Boggily-eyed, wrinkly-muzzled and snuffley; they form part of a specialist dog-walking club – set up by a Harold Wood man -which caters only for certin breeds, affectionately known as squashed-faced dogs.

The MeetUp Group - for French and English bulldogs, Boston terriers and Pugs - gathers once a month in South Weald Country Park, in Brentwood, or Forest Park, in Hainault.

Nick Chutter, 36, started the dog group just over a year ago after buying French bulldog, Hugo.

He scoured the internet for walking groups but after drawing a blank locally decided to set up his own.

In the past 12 months, the group has gone from strength to strength, drawing around 20-30 regular participants and a Facebook following of nearly 850.

Now Nick, who works in a garden centre in Essex, wants more people to join and plans to bring the walking group to parks in Havering.

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“One of my members set up a group for the north-east of England - Little Snorters - for anyone who cannot make the south meetups,” he said. “The aim of the group is to extend across the UK so no owner of these breeds is left out.”

The group, which is free, follows some simple guidelines for its events: no aggressive dogs; owners must clean up their dogs’ mess; and bitches ‘in season’ are banned.

All walks are trialled and timed beforehand.

Nick said: “It’s great to get to know people and their dogs – it‘s a very social group.”

For more information go to: www.bulldoggroupuk.vpweb.co.uk or email: bulldoggroupuk@btinternet.com

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