What is Dudes & Dogs?
Dudes & Dogs is a group with a Vision:
For men in every corner of the world to know it's not just okay to talk, it's vitally important.
We're all about getting men out in the fresh air together, with a dog or two, for a walk and talk.
Do I have to be a Dude to join?
Quick answer, yes, but you can still support us in other ways, some of our biggest and most vocal followers are women looking out for the Dudes in their lives.
But the walks and our Online Community are male only. However, if you do want to see how you can help out in other ways or get involved, head to our website (https://dudesndogs.co.uk/) or our public social media pages Dudes & Dogs to find out how.
Why men only?
Simply put. It works. By being men only it has allowed some dudes to open up in ways they never have before. That doesn't mean we don't understand the value and importance women have in our lives and we work closely with other women only groups and organisations, plus some of our biggest supporters that have helped us get to this stage are women.
However, mental health is an international problem affecting all groups, but depression and anxiety are affecting more & more men and it’s that group which accounts for a frighteningly high proportion of suicides here in the UK.
How can I support Dudes & Dogs?
There's a few ways actually. You could donate on the website;(https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dudesanddogs),
Support our 3 Peaks Challenge fundraiser (https://www.justgiving.com/.../DudesAndDogs3PeaksChalleng...)
Or purchase Dudes merchandise from our online shop (https://dudesndogs.co.uk/collections).
You could also support us by spreading the word of what we're all about and inviting men you know to join the walks (https://dudesndogs.co.uk/pages/walks), download the Man Down UK app. (Google Play or App. Store) and / or the Online Community (https://www.facebook.com/groups/707760786384050), all of which are free.
You could contribute services or entertainment to the
If I make a financial contribution to Dudes & Dogs, where does my money go?
Good question. We use your donations to improve the services we offer. This is done in a multitude of ways, we don't want people to pay to go on or lead our walks, but all this costs money, so here's some of the things your donations help with.
The primary use is to cover the costs of training our Dog Dudes free of charge, course creation and course material. It also helps with the ongoing running costs of the website, merchandise costs and Rob's own travel expenses for training Dog Dudes. This plus a ton more is all funded by generous donations and Rob's own pocket.
Rob also works full-time for Dudes & Dogs, on delivering and developing Dog Dude training, external media and corporate links, website development, applications for grants and full charitable status and so much more, which he wouldn't be able to do without his minimal salary from Dudes & Dogs. Your contributions help to ensure that Dudes & Dogs can continue helping more men and even saving lives, in the UK and across the globe!
Are there any focused groups within Dudes & Dogs?
Hell yeah, and more to come. At present there is a group for military and ex-military personnel (Dudes & Dogs - Military Dudes), as well as the life saving app "Man Down UK", which is for military, ex-military and emergency services personnel. If you think there are other groups we could be focusing on, please get in touch; we're always open to suggestions!
It is intended for military and ex-military, as well as emergency services personnel and provides whatever level of support is required to someone in need, with just a couple of clicks. In association with a couple of other military based charities, free to download and supported by mental health professionals, this app is intended to tackle and reduce the alarming rate of suicide within these services.
Where should I turn if I, or someone I know, needs professional help? (UK-specific)
First of all, thank you for coming to us to ask. Dudes & Dogs is intended to be peer support; we aren't professionals and nor do we claim to be. Should professional support be required, we highly recommend the following organisations:
Samaritans (for everyone)
Call: 116 123
CALM - Campaign Against Living Miserably (for men)
Call: 0800 58 58 58
Papyrus (for under-35's)
Call: 0800 068 41 41 (Mon-Fri 10:00-22:00, Sat-Sun 14:00-22:00, bank holidays 14:00-17:00)
Text: 07860 039967
Childline (for children and young people, under 19)
Call: 0800 1111 (This number will not be displayed on phone bills)
Alcoholics Anonymous (anyone with a drinking problem)
Call: 0800 9177650
Find local meeting: https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/
What's this I heard about a smartphone app.?
You heard right, and we're proud as punch about it. We really think it's a game changer and something we want to offer to everyone moving forward. Released in October 2020, Man Down UK is an app. created by
How can I get more involved with Dudes & Dogs?
Oooh, you're good, we like you. Well hopefully now you can see there are a load of ways to get involved and help out, but the key message is spread the word! But just in case you need it here's a couple more ideas...
Host or come on one of our walks (details below)
You can support us with our 3 Peaks Challenge (now planned for May 2021),
Help with merchandise, media relations or a ton of other things... If you want to help, just give us a shout.
Or simply become a part of the Dudes & Dogs Online Community, you'll soon get to know an amazing group of dudes.
What is the Dudes & Dogs Online Community?
Our Online Community is fundamentally a private Facebook group, set up originally as the Walkers Group. After the COVID-19 lockdown in Spring 2020, the group quickly became an important outlet for men to support each other through a difficult, often lonely and anxiety-inducing times.
Online activities, support calls and fitness sessions are some of the things which grew the Online Community and provided an important ‘social life’ for hundreds of dudes. This group continues to grow and to evolve but we always strive to continue providing a safe and welcoming place for men to support each other.
Are posts in this the Online Community group visible to non-members?
Absolutely not, this is a safe space just like our walks. The Dudes & Dogs Online Community is a "private group", meaning that only members of the group can see posts and comments.
Non-members will only be able to see the cover photo, group rules, and so on. Be aware that if you comment on public posts on the Dudes & Dogs Facebook page, what you write will be visible to anyone on Facebook.
Fundraising or challenges:
What are the rules of the Online Community?
All the rules we create are ever evolving and focussed on improving the community and making it an even safer and more open space.
We set rules only to ensure the group continues to be a safe, enjoyable and respectful community. By being members of the Online Community, you are expected to follow these rules, which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/707760786384050/rules
Dudes & Dogs walks
How do I find and join walks?
All of our official walks can be seen and booked on our website: https://dudesndogs.co.uk/pages/walks. Official walks are led by trained Dog Dudes who will bring their own dog. If you want to meet our dudes head over to: https://dudesndogs.co.uk/pages/dog-dudes
Do I have to have a dog to join the walks?
Not at all, the idea is the Dog Dude brings their dog. However, if you do have a dog, and you're confident they will behave so you and other dudes can relax and chat of course you are welcome to bring them along.
How will tiers and lockdowns affect walks?
Whilst we encourage everyone to get out and exercise in the fresh air, due to COVID-19 restrictions in England, it is sometimes necessary for us to pause the group walks much to our frustration. We also ask that people do not travel between tiers to attend walks.
The Dudes & Dogs Online Community also provides an outlet for Dudes to keep talking to each other, as well as providing some online activities and events.
We do have a number of measures in place to ensure that the walks are COVID-secure, including social distancing considerations with our site selection, a track and trace QR code for each site and hand sanitising / washing facilities available. Head to our website for full details of how we keep our walks Covid safe.
Are the walks available outside the UK?
We wish and but for a global pandemic the answer would be yes, but sadly, not yet. However the plan is to build this across the UK first, then to replicate the success in other parts of the world, so just keep patient, we promise we want to be in every corner of the globe as soon as possible.
Can I start my own Dudes & Dogs walks?
If you’re interested in leading walks, please get in touch to apply to be a Dog Dude. We ask that you do not organise walks that are not led by a trained and approved Dog Dude. Due to the nature of what we do we want everyone to be fully trained and supported before they start a Dudes & Dogs walk. We have trademarked Dudes & Dogs to make sure all walks are official and the relative support is given to walkers and walk leaders alike.
How do I become a walk host (Dog Dude)?
Well, watch this video from Rob to start with
Walk hosts, or "Dog Dudes" as they're known, lead a small groups of blokes (and a few dogs) on walks somewhere suitable and convenient, on a regular basis (most do weekly). The Dog Dude will need to be empathetic and understanding, but is not expected to be a mental health professional.
There is a training course, which will include a discussion / presentation with Rob (the founder of D&D) and mental health courses as you get further down the line. The training is intended to ensure that you are properly prepared, as well as to ensure the hosts are suitable people for the role.