Hounds On The Downs

Hounds On The Downs Professional Brighton and Hove Dog walking service.

Permanently closed.

I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone that has entrusted your dogs with me over the last ten years but it time to hang up my walking boots now.
Thank you to you all โค๏ธ


- While the holiday season often comes with the excitement of lights, parties and presents under the tree, Christmas brings hidden dangers for dogs. - The RSPCA and Dogs Trust have revealed their best advice for keeping your four-legged friend safe over the festive season.



The 12 Dangers of Christmas!

At number 1 on the 2022 list are those oh so yummy leftovers. With there being so much delicious food around over the festive period, itโ€™s tempting to feed our pets any leftovers to allow them to join in the celebrations.
However, this can cause some serious problems, as pets can suffer from a painful condition called pancreatitis if they are fed too much fatty food. This condition can leave lasting effects on pets and can make them very unwell. Symptoms can include lethargy, bloating, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, painful abdomen and vomiting. Treatment by a Vet is really the only way to ensure your pet recovers.
Aswell as fat , bones can be a risky business around this time...especially cooked ones that may be found in meat treats. Ingestion can lead to splinters of sharp bone posing a real risk of gut perforation. Large quantities of bone may cause a blockage or pose a choke hazard.

First time in twenty three years we have mushrooms growing in our garden. Not all are safe for dogs to eat. Please bewar...

First time in twenty three years we have mushrooms growing in our garden.
Not all are safe for dogs to eat.
Please beware when out walking what they are eating as there have already been cases of dogs becoming very ill from eating them.

Can dogs eat mushrooms? The answer isโ€”not all of them. Find out all about poisonous mushrooms and which wild mushrooms your dog should avoid at all costs.



Meet the incredibly handsome Hurley!

Hurley was rushed in by his owners when they realised his new lick mat was missing, luckily they got to us quickly and we were able to make Hurley throw it up. Hurley had enjoyed his lick mat so much that he had eaten the whole thing!

Please be careful and monitor your pet when covering toys and mats in tasty treats.

Thankfully Hurley was absolutely fine and made a very quick recovery ๐Ÿฅฐ



Guest article from the team at Canine Arthritis Management: Hannah Capon, MA Vet MB MRCVS Danielle Pountain, RVN dip AVN dip HE CVN Cert SA hydro Lynsey Tindall, RVN dip AVN Rebecca Barr, BVMS MSc Behaviour MRCVS Melanie Bruder, DipCOT, [โ€ฆ]



โš ๏ธ GRASS SEEDS โš ๏ธ

There are still plenty around!

These might look small but in the wrong place they can cause a great deal of trouble (infections, pain, lameness and worse...).

They can become lodged in your dog's ears, eyes, paws and even lungs! If they aren't removed, they often find a way to get under the skin and can start migrating around the body!

If you have been walking your dog in long grass, always check them for grass seeds afterwards ๐Ÿพ

If you think your dog might have a grass seed stuck somewhere, please contact your vet! ๐Ÿง‘โ€โš•๏ธ



I can't take him to the beach for a walk because it bothers you on your vacation, you don't allow me to rent a house if I have a dog, nor can I put it on urban public transport.
However, I can take him to the rubble to look for you after an earthquake, in the forest after you got lost in the mountain and you had no map or GPS; under the snow, because you did a forbidden off-piste; in the water, because despite the red flag, you went swimming when the posted signs said not to. You welcome him when you need him but not when itโ€™s not convenient for you. After allโ€ฆ.โ€it is just a dogโ€โ€ฆ.

Think again people. Dogs are better than most humans, theyโ€™re kinder, more loyal, love unconditionally and they appreciate you no matter whether you deserve it or not. โค๏ธ



Here are some sobering August figures for you

We had 105 surrender requests completed and several other requests to take dogs via other rescues and dog wardens and vets . That is nearly 4 dogs a day.

Of these forms the most were for cockers. These cockers were mostly males and mostly under 2 years of age. More than half had issues - guarding ,snapping, biting and dog reactive

We took into foster 64 dogs meaning we couldn't take approx 40 due to the dogs issues being too severe for us to find a foster home for. ie multiple bites causing hospital treatment . We have a small group of fosters willing to take dogs needing rehab from an experienced fosterer. They are all full and have a waiting list.

We took in 7 dogs that had been dumped and came to us via dog wardens. We usually take one or two every couple of months on average. This will continue to rise.

Today so far we have had 2 surrender requests from owners and one from another rescue re 2 young springers aged 2 ish already on their second litters.

We have 62 dogs in long term foster

We have 108 dogs in regular foster either being assessed , on meet and greet stage or awaiting homechecks

Dog ownership in this country is in a huge huge mess. We are one small charity. Multiply these figures by all the rescues covering all breeds and the figures will be heart breaking. And its going to get worse. The cost of living crisis is going to have a huge impact

We are very very fortunate that we have the funds to help these dogs . What we don't have is places for dogs with issues. We have no room for them nor does anyone else.

What is the answer? Stop breeding . Every dog you produce another one or two or more will end up in rescue or die. You think vets don't put to sleep healthy dogs? What else are they supposed to do? They cant take them all in. I see people breeding and asking questions they should have researched before mating their dog not when the pups have arrived. If you are going to breed then make sure they are already reserved. . Make sure they are adding something to a line or helping to protect a vulnerable breed or to help breed out some of the horrendous traits we have bred in to some breeds. Make sure your dog and bitch have health tests relevant to their breed (and no that doesn't mean they are vaccinated and had a 5 minute vet check). Make sure you check out the home you are selling to. If none of these then don't do it. Your bitch doesn't need to have a litter. Your dog being used as a stud will not calm him down. Stop buying dogs from gumtree or free ads or similar. A good breeder does not need to advertise their litters on websites like that. If a breeder doesn't ask you any questions or checks you out then they are just in it for the money. Make sure they have a return to breeder contract. In 3000 dogs we have seen about 10 of these! Do your research. Then do some more.

We are supposed to be a nation of dog lovers. It sure doesn't feel like it at the moment :(

The photo below is of Roo SA2990 when she arrived 10 days ago. She was so scared that she would only look at the wall. She came to us after being signed over to a vets from a breeding hell hole. Aged about 7 so no use to them any more. Multiple litters. Abused and scared. Only good for making money from. She is a different dog now but still has a way to go. She is one of the lucky ones who ended up in a fabulous foster home

Author J.D. EllisI am your dog, and I have a little something Iโ€™d like to whisper in your ear.I know that you humans lea...

Author J.D. Ellis

I am your dog, and I have a little something Iโ€™d like to whisper in your ear.

I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise.

It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life.

Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The gray hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle.

You smile at me; I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just simple moment of your time? That is all I askโ€ฆ to slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me.

So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of other of my kind, passing. Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat.

Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land.

I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just โ€œOne more dayโ€ with me. Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me. We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes. What do you see?

If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come to me not as โ€œalphaโ€ or as โ€œtrainerโ€ or even โ€œMom or Dad,โ€ come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one anotherโ€™s eyes, and talk.

I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general. You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone very different from you, and here I am. I am a dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a โ€œDog on two feetโ€ โ€“ I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

Now, come sit with me, on the floor. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper to my ears. Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short.



From a local Vet....
This tick has been hanging around for us to show people for a while. After months in a sealed container with no additional feeding she laid eggs. This gives you an idea of how long a tick can be dormant and how many eggs one female can lay. Remember ticks bloom again in the fall so keep up with prevention.

Introducing new boy Charlie to the Hounds family ๐Ÿ’™

Introducing new boy Charlie to the Hounds family ๐Ÿ’™


New boy Charlie learning "go to sleep" ๐Ÿ’™



No consent to invade my space!

When every precaution possible has been taken, the best matched walks have been chosen, an on lead only or low dog traffic environment has been carefully researched for safe walks.

It can be really challenging, frustrating and nerve jangling to walk a dog that needs their space.

There are many reasons for a dog needing space and it can be super helpful when we can advocate for our dogs and not be judged and criticised.

Fearful, anxious and reactive dog behaviour can be expressed and communicated in different ways depending on the individual dog and the context.

Some dogs can have a big emotional reaction with evident communications that are loud and physical lunging or pulling.

Some dogs can be silent but terrified.

Some dogs can look like they are goofing around but feel anxious.

Why can it be so challenging to walk with a dog that is fearful, anxious or has significant reactions?

It is not necessarily because of the dog we are walking with but more often because of potential hazards.

There are lots of opportunities to optimise our walks with a sensitive dog and to enjoy walks on both ends of the lead.
Choosing on lead only areas can help if everyone respects those rules. A private hire secure field can give peace of mind. Low dog traffic areas with lots of space and vision can also be useful.

Walks that are without fear or anxiety and that can be fulfilling and enriching for the dogs and the human too.

What can change a calm, relaxed walk with a sensitive dog is an off lead, unskilled, out of control dog?

A dog that is allowed to get too close for comfort or capability or without consent from the dog or human and behaves inappropriately towards the other dog.

How do dogs become sensitive? Not all dogs start their lives being sensitive, some learn how they need to behave either from a single situation or a number of situations over a medium or longer period of time.

Some dogs are resiliant and cope well with unwanted or inappropriate approaches from unfamiliar dogs. Some dogs are not and cannot cope well. They may have a shorter tolerance level which can be for a number of reasons including health.

Fearful, anxious and reactive behaviour is often described as bad behaviour or that the dog is bad or naughty. The dog is often behaving in a way that they feel they need to in the circumstances and is often misunderstood.

It can take one incident or situation to change an otherwise dog fluent dog.

When a dog is off lead it is not okay for the off lead dog to bolt towards an unfamiliar dog, jump on the dog, bowl the dog over, bully, intimidate or in the worse case scenario attack another dog.

The effect this can have on a dog and or a guardian can be devastating. It can change a dog very quickly. In some cases, it can cause fearfulness, sensitisation and anxiety and in other cases it can trigger a reactive response or start a journey towards increased fearfulness and reactive behaviours.

An owner can end up being pulled on to the ground, a dog may get loose and bolt in fear of an unwanted approach, a real or perceived threat of or actual attack. An otherwise social dog may change their behaviour towards other dogs or a socially reserved dog may intensify reactive behaviour.

If your dog is off lead please consider other people and their dogs that may not want to be approached and do not consent to the approach.
A dog may be on lead for any number of reasons from health and recovery to a recent incident, the dog may be deaf or blind or could be a flight risk.

It doesn't matter if the off lead dog is 'friendly'. I have experienced plenty of 'friendly' dogs that have been unskilled, out of control, rough, inappropriate, over stimulated and even snappy or worse.

A 'friendly' dog is often used to describe a dog that lacks appropriate social skills. Just because the friendly dog may not try to attack or bite another dog that is simply not okay.

A well skilled dog can often read another dogs body language and a humans body language. A well skilled do will often not approach unless it is appropriate, consensual and will only do so via a curve, checking in with the sensitive dog, slowing the approach, averting an approach and staying away at a distance.

It matters and makes a big difference to the dog and guardian that needs space and is retained safely and securely on a lead and cannot take flight.

When a dog experiences an unwanted approach, has been unnerved or set upon, even if the dog is not physically injured and does not need vet attention he or she will have experienced emotional distress.

Consider how we might feel if something similiar happened to us!

We all have a duty of care to advocate for our dogs, to be responsible and accountable, to respect on lead rules, to retain our dog on a lead if there is unreliable recall or choose the safest spaces and environments possible for our on lead dogs and dogs that need space.

After an unwanted event.

Rest and recuperation can be very supportive and restorative for a dog recovering from an incident. A quiet and calm place to snooze, keep warm and comfortable and to be able to sleep deeply can all provide great comfort without taxing the dog too much.

Giving a dog recovery time by having a calm walk without challenges and then rebuilding their confidence can also help with positive steps forward.

My intention and focus for this post is about consent, dogs that need space and guardians that work hard to keep themselves and their dogs safe and do their best to have calm and relaxed walks.

There are lots of dog to dog interactions that seem harmless, fun and playful. Some interactions are but so many are not. So many times each unskilled, off lead, out of control dog gets away with their behaviour, gets away with a telling off or gets away without significant issue. Each time the dogs are learning how to interact. We need to ask ourselves what it is that the dogs are learning!

Are they learning to interact better, to read dogs better or are they learningn that bullying, intimidation, inappropriate approaches, having to defend themselves works as an effective strategy?

How long might it be before the off lead, unskilled and out of control dog gets or causes injury? The risk can be hugely reduced with the appropriate use of an appropriate lead, education, awareness, empathy and consideration.

I was blown away by the response and engagement from my recent post. Thank you again for all the shares, comments and engagement.

For more content, education and information join my Fearful, Anxious, Reactive Dog Behaviour private Group for guardians. I will pop the link in the comments.

Not just for humans but their dogs as well. Be aware of who is around you when walking your dog off lead and if another ...

Not just for humans but their dogs as well.
Be aware of who is around you when walking your dog off lead and if another dog is on lead or not showing any interest in your dog call it back, if you don't have a reliable recall keep them on a lead.
There is enough space for everyone to enjoy walking their dogs if people are considerate towards others.


EDIT......Thank you!
It is really great that this post has been shared so widely and that it has generated so many comments too.

Facebook did not notify me of any of the comments! That's crazy. So I apologise for my delay in responding to you all.

Thank you for being respectful of the post and to each other. Sometimes we can feel triggered by what we read and for everyone that follows my page will know that I write from the heart with positive intentions and integrity.

I have removed the post that was negative and can confirm again that I have credited Lili Chin and the authors of the infographic.

I will never try to steal or pass of another persons work as my own. I don't wish to and I don't need to.

Thank you again for all the shares and engagement. Together we can make things better.

No means I do not consent.

It means do not approach me or my dog and do not touch my dog.

Nobody is entitled to touch a dog that is not their own.
If we ask permission to say hello to a dog and we are told, 'no thank you' we are not being insulted, disrespected or rude.
If we are told, 'no thank you' the person saying no is entitled to say no, without reason, justification or explanation.
The person saying no is not being anti social, unreasonable, unfair or mean.
When a person say's no, they are not saying it because they are being selfish or because they have a bad dog or a dog that is naughty. They are saying no because they do not want their dog to be approached or touched by an unfamiliar person.

Why shouldn't we touch a dog we have never met before?

Because we don't know the dog, because the dog may not want to be touched by a stranger, because the owner said no.

Why do we feel we are compelled or entitled to touch a dog or use a dog as an experience for a child that also may not want to go near the dog or may be unpredictable and make an inappropriate approach and become insulted or defensive when we are told no?

People that say no have been sworn at, shouted at, laughed at and ignored when having to either stop strangers approaching their dogs or when declining a request.

Dogs are sentient beings, they rely on their humans to be their advocate and to protect them.
It can take time for guardian and dog to devolp a relationship based on trust and confidence.

A dog may be on their first walk out after being adopted or fostered.
They may be recovering from an injury or an incident.
They may be shy, anxious or fearful about touch at that moment in time, the owner may have experienced a trauma or situation and prefer not to have their dog approached.
Some dogs simply prefer not to be touched.

A common response is 'You shouldn't have a dog like that in public' or You shouldn't have a dog like that or you should have that dog PTS.

It can make a real difference when people are kind and empathetic.
It can be super helpful to be able to look at a dog and not approach and not ask to touch because they are content to simply observe a dog.

I am grateful to people that have empathy when they see a dog and are happy to walk on by. It's a wonderful exchange, sometimes a kind look, a smile and no attempt to encroach on our space.

When I work with dogs that are lacking in confidence, feel anxious or fearful and we are supporting them to build trust and confidence it is a gift for people to have the grace and generosity to respect and support that dog.

Working with a young, overseas dog recently, we were able to introduce him to a pub garden. We were able to sit in a space where the dog felt comfortable.
Like anything new, our dogs can find it a little challenging but with the support and kindness of all of the staff this dog had a very positive learning experience.
The dog was able to observe the surroundings, take in the scent and look at different people, process the movement and direction of travel of the people and nobody made an inappopriate approach or asked to touch him.
Good planning, effective communication and the right place at the right time ensured it was a successful and positive experience for the dog and the care giver.

A huge thank you to every person that doesn't approach an unfamiliar dog, that does ask permission before an approach and isn't offended or abusive when declined.indness costs nothing and can shine a light when things may feel a little dark.

Please feel free to share more of your experiences.

I also highly recommend this wonderful book by Lili Chin https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50999387-doggie-language
The image below is credited and referenced to CattleDog Publishing, Lili Chin and Sophia Yin DVM, CAAB, MS Animal Science (1966-2014). full details in this link to the blog that includes the illustration https://cattledogpublishing.com/blog/preventing-dog-bites-by-learning-to-greet-dogs-properly/




We are seeing a higher than usual number of patients with grass seeds this year. This maybe due to the dry, long uncut grass than usually seen in the city.

Grass seeds can be come very painful if untreated. They can become embedded in the ears, eyes, paws & nose. Signs of a grass seed causing discomfort will be

๐ŸŒพ Shaking the head
๐ŸŒพ Licking paws
๐ŸŒพ looking uncomfortable
๐ŸŒพ yelping when touching the area
๐ŸŒพ lethargic

The vet will try to locate the seed in the consult while the dog is conscious but sometimes they are unable to do this due to the seed being too far embedded and the patient finding this too uncomfortable. This means we potentially have to sedate them to take a proper look and remove the seed.

If you think your dog may be showing signs of a grass seed please get in touch


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Our Story

Hi my name is Sarah. I set up Hounds On The Downs to be able to offer the type of dog walking service that I would use myself if I ever needed someone to walk my guys. I have registered with Adur council and Brighton & Hove Council and passed both their inspections to become an approved dog walker. I am also fully insured, have completed an animal first aid course and hold a full discloser with the criminal records bureau. Small groups of dogs walked together. Any dogs to be considered for group walks must be dog and people friendly. I also cater for special needs dogs. Having owned a dog that doesn't really like hanging out with new dogs I know only too well how important it is to find someone that understands the stresses some dogs encounter on what is supposed to be a fun part of your dogs day. Please do contact me to ask any questions. People Training For Dogs Your dog and your family trained with positive reward based methods. Having worked closely with many different breeds of dogs from puppies to adults helping them through the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme I feel that working without distractions to start with and building your training up at a pace your dog can cope will give you excellent results. Agility Classes Agility Hounds currently is holding small group sessions and one2one beginners training in and around Brighton and Hove. Please contact for class and one2one availability.

Nearby pet stores & pet services


Join us for the Palmeira Square and Adelaide Crescent Community Fair and Dog show this Sunday 26th September 2021.

Table sale starting at 10a.m. with 60 stalls, coffee, cakes and crepes!

Dog show in Adelaide Crescent starting at 12 noon. Registration at 10.45a.m. with more coffee and ice cream for humans and dogs!


Thank you for sharing my previous post in regards to the ITV dog show that we are making! I wanted to just update on the breeds that we are looking for in the hopes someone might be able to help us!

Filming would only take an hour or so at most and we are thinking of doing this at the beginning of next week, possibly Monday PM or Wednesday AM. The location is yet to be confirmed but I think somewhere in Brighton like Devils D**e would be the best location for all of our different dog owners to get to. For some of the dogs we will only film the dogs but for others we would want to do small 5 minute interviews with the owners as well โ€“ any breeds where we want owners talking I have indicated with a *. The breeds we are looking for are:

- Parson Russell Terrier*
- Sealyham Terrier*
- Bearded Collie *
- English Pointer*
- English Setter
- Welsh Pembroke Corgi

If you have any questions or if anyone is interested at all here are my details:
TEL: 07777 629 249 / 01273 03 2185
EMAIL: [email protected]

Many Thanks,
Have to say ours aren't that fussy and will eat most things although very disappointed with them both when I gave them a huge blackberry each and they licked them and left them ๐Ÿ™ˆ
They usually love them.
If you are looking or using somewhere for daycare or home boarding there are new regulations coming in October.
You can't suppress the way your dog communicates with you.
You need to learn what they are saying and work together to make them comfortable and happy in as many different aspects of their lives as possible.
I sadly see overweight dogs on a daily basis.
We as owners are in control of what they eat and more importantly how much they have.
Don't kill them with kindness.