Madonna Smith ("Dog Danger," April 13 letters) is making sweeping assumptions about a number of breeds and large dogs (no matter what the breed). This is as nonsensical as making assumptions about a person of a particular race, ethnic group, etc.
Dog owners need to be responsible and get the required training for their pets, particularly larger ones. Owners also need to consider, when purchasing a dog, if they can handle a dog that weighs 120 pounds when it sees something of interest and decides to give chase. My own dog weighs only 35 pounds, but he is amazingly strong for his size. He can pull me off my feet if I am not attending to his behavior. I am not a particularly small person.
Dogs, purebred or not, need to be properly trained and restrained around strangers. They are not inherently aggressive but do show behaviors that have been taught or permitted (similar to children). Small breeds are not necessarily safer, either. They simply inflict less damage due to their size.
Perhaps Ms. Smith would benefit from getting to know some dogs. They really are wonderful creatures. There are some bad ones, just as there are bad people.
MARY K. YOUNG