A dog whipper was a church official charged with removing unruly dogs from a church or church grounds during services.
In some areas of Europe during the 16th to 19th centuries it was not uncommon for household dogs to accompany - or at least follow - their owners to church services. If these animals became disruptive it was the job of the dog whipper to remove them from the church, allowing the service to continue in peace.
Dog whippers were usually provided with a whip (hence the title) or a pair of large wooden tongs with which to remove the animals. They were generally paid for their services, and records of payments to the local dog whipper exist in old parish account books in many English churches. In some areas a portion of village land was made available for the use of the dog whipper, the small park named 'Dog Acre' in Birchington-on-Sea is the remnant of such a grant.