Today in this ‘Frank Talking’ column of mine I know that I will probably upset quite a few readers, but hopefully also make people consider their relationship with their pets and dogs in particular. A study by academics at Liverpool University have concluded that there is now a dog population in the United Kingdom of 12 million and that cases of animals attacking their owners has risen sharply over the past few years. One theory to explain that rise is that we dog lovers have become a bit too cosy with our cute canines and have forgotten that they’re still animals with sharp teeth and a fight-or-flight instinct even the cuddly cockapoos and lazy labradors. Indeed, another recent survey concluded, perhaps unsurprisingly, that we loved our pets more than our other halves! A large part of the problem it seems is that we no longer recognise that dogs are dogs, indeed some of us think of them as small children or objects that we can treat like toys - dressing them up for instance. By doing this, we lose that basic understanding that these lovely animals are dogs - they are not people.