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Last Updated: Tuesday December 09 2008 11:05 GMT

How safe do you feel around dogs?

Dog (Photoby SERGEY SHAKHIDJANIAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Rescue centres say they're having problems finding homes for lots of Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Experts think it's because people think of Staffies as violent, even though with proper training they're just as good a pet as other dogs.

But we wondered if YOU feel safe around any type of dogs?

Perhaps you've had a bad experience with dogs, so you're scared of them.

Or maybe you think some types - like poodles - are OK, but you're scared of bigger ones?

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are other comment subjects available on the main Chat index.

Your comments

"Personally I love dogs because I used to have one as a pet. I really like Lhasapoo Pug Bull Terriers, they are ssssooo cute because their little eyes just stare at you and say 'I need to be loved'."

Beth, 12, Glasgow, Scotland

"I feel frightened of dogs. They have big teeth and I'm afraid they will bite me."

Bhavna, 10, London, England

"I used to have a dog and he was the friendliest dog ever! Unfortunately he died a few months ago, but that doesn't mean I'm scared of dogs now. It doesn't matter what size they are, surely - they all have teeth!"

Kate, 11, Northampton, England

"I am fine around all dogs except when I am walking my own, then I am very cautious because he HATES other dogs!!! But he is fine around humans."

Lily, 11, West Yorkshire, England

"I had a bad experience with a dog, when I was nearly drowned by a large one in the New Forest on a family outing. My dad had to pull it off me to stop it harming me. Now I am OK with most dogs, it's just the big, big ones that scare me."

Bryony, 10, Dorset, England

"I love dogs, but once I went on a walk and a huge black dog kept running up to me and barking, which was really scary!! Most dogs are fine, but it is up to the owner to train them well so they don't hurt anybody!!"

Hannah, 11, UK

"I LOVE dogs!!! I used to have a German shepherd and he always used to bite me, but never too hard. I feel really safe around dogs; my dog used to protect me!"

Georgina, 12, Cornwall, England

"I feel very safe around dogs, because if you have a dog you usually feel safe around it so then you feel safe around other dogs too."

Misha, 11, Portsmouth, England

"I feel quite safe around pet dogs, but when I see one without a collar on in the streets on its own I feel a little bit scared."

Natalie, 10, Wolverhampton, England

"I feel very safe around a lot of dogs, particularly because we have a dog as a family pet. He is very docile and would never hurt anyone. When I was younger my grandma's dog almost bit off my nose (I can still remember it) so they had to give him away!"

Naomi, 13, Leicester, England

"I don't like big dogs and dogs that jump up, but my friend's nan's dog jumped up at me and I didn't mind her jumping. She is a Jack Russell and sooo lovely!!!"

Grace, 11, Buckinghamshire, England

"I love dogs and I would never get one put down if it bit me, because maybe it did because I was in their private space."

Emily, 11, Hull, England

"I love dogs, I feel very safe around them."

Yasmina, 9, UK

"I'm not at all scared of dogs, but that might be because I've never been seriously bitten by one. If I see a dog in the street, I will always stroke it."

Holly, 12, Brighton, England

"I'm not terrified of dogs anymore, well I was until I learnt a small Dua (prayer) which makes dogs stay away from me and it works! Just don't look at the dog and say the Dua and the dog will stay away from you."

Aysha, 14, Hillhead, Glasgow

"I feel safe around dogs I know but I feel a bit frightened around dogs I don't know because if they are not trained they could bite. I also feel a tiny bit scared around dogs I know because my brother got bit by the dog downstairs who is my friend. We think it's because the dog reacts to sound. My brother is fine now and we still play with that dog and it is so friendly."

Zoe, 9, Cumbernauld, Scotland

"I have a big dog, I feel really safe around her. I have had her for seven years and she has never tried to go for someone."

Ashleigh, 13, Spain

"I am very scared of dogs. When I go to parks I always see dogs and I get very scared. Once when I was at a park a dog came near me and my sister. The dog kept throwing the ball to my sister. I felt very scared and did not go so near. Then the owner called it away. "

Leyya, 9, Leicester, England

"I'm OK with little dogs, but my mother's friend got a puppy. I always get scared when I see him because he always jumps up on me"

Ellie, 7, Port Talbot, Wales

"I feel really scared next to dogs because I have heard so much stuff about them that don't make me safe to buy one or stay next to one."

Melek, 13, Tottenham, England

"I absolutely love dogs. I don't think people should generalise about Jack Russells, Staffies, Rottweilers, Bull Terriers etc. They all have a reputation for being nasty but with the right training all of breeds can make lovely pets. It isn't just these breeds that are aggressive, even a Labrador can become aggressive if it is badly trained."

Isabel, 15, Leamington Spa, England

"I feel safe when I feel that this dog looks friendly. But I can't be for sure, so in the meantime I keep a good distance between them. I love cuddly dogs but big black ones make me uneasy. But I love most of them!"

Lilli, 13, London, England

"I love dogs. They're my favourite animals but I have been attacked by a dog before so now I am very wary of them and I now know not to trust them."

Harriet, 14, Hull, England

"I was always wary of dogs when I was little and then we got one and I was fine with them. But then mine attacked me and now I'm petrified of them. It's not always the owner's or the dog's fault if they bite. Mine had a fit and bit me so it was nobody's fault."

Claire, 13, Bristol, England

"I have a dog myself, and I am worried about taking him for a walk and seeing a Staffie of its lead in case it is a violent dog. I also think that they are OK, but it is the owners that don't train them well enough."

Jamie, 12, Birmingham, UK

"I am scared of Jack Russels because I have been bit by one before and it hurt a lot."

Bethanie, 11, Birmingham, England

"I love dogs because I have my own. But I would ask the dog's owner before stroking them. Most dogs are very safe."

Emily, 9, London, England

"I have grown up with dogs ever since I've lived in a farm. I have loads of dogs and feel safe with them. We used to have a Staffie which was loyal and not violent"

Ingrid, 12, Cardiff, Wales

"I only feel safe around dogs I know"

Hana, 13, Tumbridge Wells, UK

"I'm scared of dogs and I have been since I was a little girl. I get scared of dogs when the jump up at me because I always think they are going to hurt me."

Sophie, 14, Southampton, England

"I love Staffies. They are the best dog and I have one. He is lovely and so cute!!!"

Jade, 13, Warwick, England

"I love dogs . I have a dog. I think dogs are cute! Some dogs are vicious but that's only because they've had bad owners and bad experiences."

Lacey, 10, Stevenage, England

"My uncle has had loads of dogs, and from when I was a baby until when I was about four, he had a MASSIVE German Shepherd and I was never scared of it. I was scared of my Granny's cats, because one of them scratched me. I think Staffies are quite ugly, and people always want cute dogs."

Emily, 11, UK

"I love dogs I got a Rottweiler called Roxy, but if I take her out for a walk other dogs bark at me and I am scared just in case she goes after them!"

Laura, 13, Pontypridd, Wales

"I love dogs but big dog's barking scares me and I feel like I want to run home or go behind my mum."

Eleanor, 10, Hauxton, UK

"I LOVE DOGS!!! They are ALL cute, and if they are mean and bad, it's the owners fault. I have a 10-year-old Chihuahua and his name is Spot, and he has been a part of my life since I was two!"

Hayley, 12, Pleasanton, America

"I'm terrified of dogs. I run when I see one. If there's a dog by the shop exit or entrance I have to wait until it's gone."

Ciara, 11, Liverpool, England

"I always feel 100% safe with dogs. In fact, 110% safe! Any dog, Anywhere - I'm not scared!"

Bethany, 11, Leicester, England

"I am a huge animal lover and I have lived my whole life with dogs. When I was born I had a large boxer dog, which now shows I was never scared. I feel safe when I see that the owner is taking control of the dog, but I am not really scared."

Emmi, 11, Prague, Czech Republic

"I have a Staffie myself. They are so cute but they can be a bit wobbly sometimes. I still think they are the best dogs in the world!"

Amelia, 11, Wells, England

"What?! Loads of people in my class love and have Staffies. I love all dogs, and my favourite animals are wolves. So I'm not scared of any - as long as they weren't neglected, abused, or not trained properly, then they shouldn't be aggressive. Oh, and if they've been mentally stimulated. e.g. going for walks. If a dog is aggressive it's the owners fault, not the dogs."

Rachel, 13, West Brom, England

"I feel safe around dogs. I used to be scared of them when I was younger, but now I've got my own dog who is medium/large. Everyone should be told never to approach an unknown dog because you never know what some dogs may do. I think a lot of people find bigger dogs scarier than little dogs (especially young children), but actually it tends to be that larger dogs are more docile than small dogs."

Hayley, 13, Stroud, England

"I love cats and am scared of dogs. It used to be the other way round, but now I prefer cats."

Robert, 9, Chinley, England

"I love dogs, they are so cute. But you shouldn't put the blame on dogs if they are badly behaved, it's the way they have been brought up by their owners."

Emily, 11, Warrington, England

"My friend has just bought a Staffie from Battersea Dogs Home, and it is really cute! They told her he was abandoned by his previous owner and just left on the streets. I have a dog as well, and no dogs scare me!"

Hannah, 11, Cardiff, Wales

"I just LOVE dogs. I think that if the dog is violent then the owner hasn't been training the dog properly. It's NOT the dog's fault. I have a seven-year-old cocker spaniel called Flynn and he is one of the members of my family! I'm not scared of dogs, but I am of cats!"

Rosie, 14, East Sussex, England

"I love my dog. When I'm around her I feel safe. When I go out and see other dogs I don't give them a stroke as I do not know what personality they have. For me a German Shepherd like my dog is the best and I feel more safe."

Monika, 14, Northamptonshire, England

"I've had dogs all my life, I feel safe around calm and gentle dogs. But I don't feel safe around bulldogs and dogs like that as you hear about what they can do in the papers. This sometimes means I don't feel safe around dogs."

Hannah, 14, Lincolnshire, England

"I absolutely love dogs and I don't see why anyone would be scared of a dog that could easily be trained. I feel really safe around dogs even if they are really big."

Calum, 12, Scotland

"I'm absolutely fine with all dogs. However, my relatives in Ireland have this sheep dog called Popeye which works on the farm. He barks and gets very excited and it does become a little scary."

Sarah, 11, Yorkshire, England

"I think dogs are unpredictable. So when I see a dog I try to avoid it. To me, if it's got teeth, it can bite and attack!"

Kieran, 13, Birmingham, England

"I like dogs. I am careful approaching them though, but if they are friendly, then I love them. It is often the owner that is the problem, not the dog."

Ella, 12, England

"I'm not scared of dogs and have my own. However, I can understand why people get scared of them. I think owners, who aren't going to look after the dog and make it aggressive, should be prevented from buying one."

Bethany, 12, London, England

"I love dogs and would have every dog in the world if I was allowed. I have a dog of my own and the reason people think twice about Staffies is because they think they are dangerous. Some might be but others can be nice. You just have to train them how you want them to be trained."

Kate, 13, Isle of Wight, England

"I love dogs! I'm ok when they growl at me but some dogs are scary."

Helena, 11, Leeds, England

"I like dogs, but my next door neighbour's always barks really loudly when you move!"

Izzy, 11, Oxfordshire, England

"I LOVE dogs. I've got one. My other one died a couple of years ago. And I don't find them scary or intimidating when one growls at you. If you just treat them the right way they'll treat you nicely back, that's what we say."

Beth, 12, Blackburn, England

"I have a Staffie. They are great pets. I get angry when people are horrible about them all the time. It's up to the owner."

Carl, 12, Dublin, Ireland

"I love dogs and I have my own but it is so cruel to abandon them in the streets."

Kate, 9, Northern Ireland

"I like small friendly dogs but I am petrified of big and medium dogs!"

Lucy, 9, London, England

"I love dogs but get a bit scared when my Nan's one growls and bites."

Jack, 12, Kent, England

"I love dogs but it's scary when a dog you don't know growls at you."

Snophy, 12, Nottingham, England

"I absolutely LOVE dogs and I do feel a bit scared if they bark at me. But there still is no reason to put them in cages. I think it's cruel if you're going to put it in a cage. It's pointless having a dog!"

Crystal, 10, England

"It depends how the dog is, if it barks and jumps on people well then I'm scared but if it seems nice and calm then I'm not scared."

Sara, 13, Devon, England

"I love dogs and I think they are all safe as long as the owners trust them. Just because other dogs of certain breeds have done bad things it does not mean all of them will."

Ellie, 11, Leeds, England

"I feel completely safe around dogs. I love them all, especially Labradors and greyhounds."

Megan, 11, Kent, England

"I really love dogs but I am scared of them a bit when they bark at me and try to bite."

Sian, 11, Wales

"I like little dogs, but the dogs that bark a lot and are violent definitely scare me. There are lots of dogs that are uncontrolled in my area. All dogs, big or small should have leads, just in case. In a supermarket entrance, there were three massive dogs that weren't tied up properly. That was scary."

Lucy, 11, London, England

"I feel safe around all dogs unless they're barking like crazy at me."

Sophie, 12, Sussex, England

"I have got a rare husky dog and it is just the cutest thing ever! I used to be terrified of them but since we got our husky, I am attached to them!"

Nathalliah, 9, Milton Keynes, England

"I love dogs and I don't see why people get so scared of them. I have three black labs and two golden terriers and they are so cute!"

Sophie, 11, York, England

"I feel scared around dogs. I don't know why; I just don't feel safe. I think they are going to bite me. I love cats, though; I feel safe around them."

Jennifer, 12, Norfolk, England