Each year the Dog Friendly Angus and Dundee Group run a competition to find their ‘Ambassadog’. The lucky dog gets to represent the local area and promote local businesses, walks and attractions in Angus and Dundee.
They get to try out of experiences, which their owners get to enjoy too, and help us work towards making Angus and Dundee as dog friendly as it can be.
Current Ambassadog, Riley, didn’t get the chance to do much last year due to Covid restrictions but we’re hoping there will be some opportunities for her to enjoy later this year.
Ambassadog Hall of Fame
Angus & Dundee Ambassadog 2020
The furry face promoting Angus and Dundee in 2020 as a ‘grrrrrreat’ dog friendly destination is ‘Smiley Riley’, She’s the happy hound who’ll be getting out and about to help highlight the growing number of businesses that are welcoming our four legged friends with open arms. She takes over from Moss the Border Collie and Jarvis the Golden Retriever, who’ve spent the past year sniffing out all the great places to stay, things to see, experience and visit in Angus and Dundee. Riley’s owner, Jen Fleming said that “Riley is absolutely delighted to be named the new Ambassadog and can’t wait to do her bit for tourism. It’s going to be fun getting out to explore and report back on the fantastic dog friendly places she’ll be discovering. Glen Clova is one of her favourite walks and she’s always smiling from ear to ear when we get the chance to head up the hills. It’s even better when you know you can end a good long walk with a visit to the local hotel and know your dog will be made to feel as welcome as you are”.
It’s even better when you know you can end a good long walk with a visit to the local hotel and know your dog will be made to feel as welcome as you are”
At the endow last year Riley and her owner Jen were up at Glen Clova Hotel who sponsored the photo frame in this years search for the new Ambassadog. Marketing Co-ordinator Mhairi Preston was delighted to welcome them “I’m sure Riley will do a ‘pawesome’ job. At Glen Clova we welcome all doggie visitors to our hotel and whether it’s for a quick bite to eat or whether it’s for an overnight stay – you and your four legged friend can be assured of a warm welcome. We wish Riley and Jen a great year ahead promoting Dog friendly Angus and Dundee and are delighted to have them up to the hotel for their first visit.
The work to promote the area as a dog friendly destination is led by a small volunteer group of local Angus and Dundee dog enthusiasts and business owners with support from the Angus Tourism Cooperative. Stuart Clark, owner of dog friendly Balmuirfield House B&B and member of the ATC said “it’s estimated that 25% of UK families own a dog. Many of those families see their dog as part of the family, so it’s no surprise that the demand for pet-friendly holidays has been on the rise in recent years. Businesses are beginning to see the value in making themselves dog friendly and we can only see that trend continue to grow”.
There’s lots of positives to be gained for destinations who look to promote themselves as dog friendly and it’s not just the visitors who benefit. He added ”Our facebook group also helps local dog owners find out about nearby walks, events and activities that are on and really brings a community together”.
You can follow Riley and her adventures on https://www.facebook.com/dogfriendlyangusanddundee/ and https://www.instagram.com/sayhitosmileyriley/
Angus Ambassadogs 2019
Two intrepid pooches did their bit to promote dog-friendly tourism in Angus in 2019. Moss the 5 year old Bordie Collie was named as the ‘Angus Ambassadog’ in a competition run by Dog friendly Angus, along with Jarvis, a Golden Retriever puppy, who provided assistance in the role of ‘Junior Ambassadog’.
Moss and Jarvis spearheaded the Dog Friendly Angus campaign and spent the next year sniffing out all the great things to experience on a visit to Angus in an attempt to promote the County as a dog friendly destination.
Katherine Thomas, owner of Moss, was delighted that her dog was chosen and thoroughly enjoyed exploring all that the area had to offer “Angus has a great variety of places to visit with your dog. We’ve been to beautiful beaches such as Lunan Bay, glens where we can head up into the hills and farmland and forest to explore in between. There’s also historic sites like Edzell Castle and the Catherthun forts. Moss loves to go out exploring and adventuring as the Ambassadog and we were already active on social media; sharing tales and photos of our adventures locally and further afield. She came to me as a rescue, having been found as a stray and was terrified of people. But she has blossomed into a lovely, confident, active dog who is curious about everything. Moss is definitely brought enthusiasm to the role.”
The Ambassadogs also visited and reviewed dog friendly businesses throughout the county including the Lunan Bay Diner, Bunkhouse and B&B, Balmuirfield House B&B, Forbes of Kingennie Country Resort, Newton Farm Tours and Millies Pet Services amongst others.
When a fully grown Retriever arrives it’s a good test for any dog friendly business to see how dog-friendly they actually are!
Jarvis’ owner, Debbie Thomson said “when a fully grown Retriever arrives it’s a good test for any dog friendly business to see how dog-friendly they actually are. It’s all very well being able to accommodate a smaller dog, but a 40kg golden retriever is a different matter! Gaining insight and reporting back has helped locals and people coming to the area choose where they go to spend their time and money with their dogs.”
The Ambassadogs worked with members of the Angus Tourism Cooperative to create a better online profile of the dog-friendly businesses and places within Angus through their social media channels.