Dangerous dogs

Another child has been disfigured for life in Scotland after being attacked by a dog – this time a Japanese Shar Pei.

We were invited to a housewarming in a fairly affluent area of Edinburgh, during which the father of two very boisterous wee ones went to his car and appeared with a Shar Pei puppy.

As a lifelong dog owner, I was very troubled by the combination of excitable kids and this animal, which is not among the breeds I would choose to have with young children.

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When I met the hostess some time later and asked about the dog, I was told it was dead – put down because of its aggression towards the children.

Re-introducing licences and micro-chipping for dogs is, in my opinion, a waste of time and money, administering rules that will only ever be obeyed by responsible dog owners.

Visiting my daughter in Sydney, I noted that the city requires certain restricted breeds to be registered. Failure to register can mean that the dog will be assessed to determine its breed and temperament.

Restricted breeds must be neutered, muzzled in public, and wear a distinctive red and yellow collar. They are not allowed free, even in off-leash areas. At home they must be kept in a secure area with visible warnings to the public.

Any dog which has attacked a person or another animal, or repeatedly shown aggression or chased other animals or members of the public, can be declared a dangerous dog and be “restricted”.

Sydney has declared its determination to protect its citizens.

Alison Pearson