Action on dogs

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Having been fortunate always to have dogs as companion animals, I agree with your previous correspondent (Letters, 9 November) and would never leave a child alone with any dog.

There have always been irresponsible dog owners, but now dogs being sold by some breeders are very different. The breeds may not be listed as “dangerous” – but are unusual in Britain.

The public are not familiar with their temperament and requirements. If a dog looks impressive, then it will sell, whether it is suitable for people’s lifestyle or not. Dogs are bought and sold on the internet, with little or no information going from seller to buyer.

Some readers will disagree if I am concerned about Alaskan malamutes, Akitas, Shar Pei, all types of mastiffs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, bull terrier type crosses and some European shepherd dogs. Some traditional breeds have been rejected in favour of the more “exotic”.

Some are used to intimidate – a living weapon. Others are often difficult to handle and train, so are taken to a rescue centre or dumped.

How frustrated must powerful malamutes get in a small flat when they were bred to run for miles across the Tundra?

The government must take action against the irresponsible, indiscriminate breeding of dogs which cannot realistically be considered as suitable “companion animals” and stop the sale of dogs online.

A local rescue centre requires potential owners in rented properties to produce written permission from their landlord to have pets.

With certain breeds of dog they ask for evidence that people have owned this breed before and a reference from a vet, to try to ensure responsible ownership.

Alison Pearson