Members of a local dog walking group are lacing up their shoes, popping on their leads and grabbing their poop bags to explore the trails around Hua Hin.
The Hua Hin Dog Walking Club, which meets at around 7am every Saturday morning, has become a social group for dogs and their people.
“I enjoy getting out, walking one of my own dogs and seeing the other dogs socialise,” said Paul Garnett, one of the group’s organisers.
Australian expat Paul says the dogs, as well as the owners, really benefit from socialising with one another.
“We have had some dogs join the walks who have not spent too much time around other dogs.
“They can be quite nervous at first, but after a few weeks it does the dogs a world of good and it is really nice to see the change in their behaviour”, said Paul.
Hua Hin Today joined Paul (and dog Olive) on a nice walk near the Khao Chong monk camp just off Soi 88.
The group walk a different route each week, which Paul tracks on GPS, the details of which are then shared in the Hua Hin Dog Walking Club Facebook group.
“We have people coming from all over the area, from Cha Am to Sam Roi Yot, so we try to mix up the locations of where we walk”, Paul explained.
The group was founded by fellow Australian Paul Hamon, whose wife Nat runs Hua Hin Dog Training and Boarding.
Paul H said that he originally set up the group on Facebook as a way for owners to share dog walking routes around Hua Hin.
“Then we started meeting up for walks, it then became a weekly thing and we went from there”.
Paul H now helps to record all the routes walked on a Google Maps database, which as well as walking trails includes a list of dog friendly cafes, suitable beaches for dogs, vets and animal hospitals and routes where dogs are not allowed.
Over the past six months the group has seen an increase in new people and pups joining and now has more than 300 members on Facebook.
Anywhere between 10 and 20 dogs and their owners can meet up on a Saturday morning, with walks normally around 3km to 7km in distance.
Walking a dog in Thailand can sometimes be problematic due to soi dogs.
However, the routes group walk are normally away from soi dogs and built up areas resulting in a stress free walk for all involved.
And the group isn’t open only to dog owners, some people who do not have dogs attend just to get out for a walk and socialise with others.
The group does insist on a ‘one person per dog’ policy just to help ensure safety and obedience.
If you are a dog owner in Hua Hin or Cha Am and want your dog to get a bit more exercise and socialise with others, then check out Hua Hin Dog Walking Club on Facebook.