Problem dogs, we've all met them. As a child a neighbour's Collie regularly chased me the length of the street, at the time it felt like I was running for my life. But now I know that the dog wasn't trying to eat me, it was herding me. It was following its natural instinct and doing the job it was bred to do.
You may have read pop singer Will Young's Huffington Post blog recently in which he rightly railed against park wardens who refused to help him find his dog Esme due to 'health and safety rules'. Three times the worried singer asked wardens for a lift in their vehicles to help search for his errant pooch and three times he was refused on 'health and safety' grounds.
We need penalties for those owners who allow their dogs to attack and kill other dogs, cats, and other animals. We need better controls on dog breeding, advertising and sales. Only when we insist on better behaviour from the person on the other end of the lead will we be able to address the dangerous owner problem.
It seems to be one of the perils of running a business in a city, if we were in the country I'm pretty certain I could make use of a church hall, a rugby club or a horse riding centre. My issue is that if we want our dogs to be properly socialised in the right way, for owners and dogs to be taught, to receive advice and learn then I need to be able to provide a safe and productive space to do this.
The PDSA estimate that as many as two and a half million dogs (one in three) as well as two million cats (one in four) in the UK are overweight... The report includes a survey of dog owners where nine out of ten admit to feeding high calorie human foods including take-aways, biscuits, chips and even alcohol to pets.