For many young people, dogs are increasingly viewed as a commodity which can be traded up or down like a mobile phone.
It has become less about whether the dog will fit into family life and more about, 'What will this dog do for me, how much will it make me?'.
– Dr Simon Harding, Middlesex University London
Through their reputation for aggression or ability to intimidate [bull breeds] are also used in drug deals, gambling debts and loan-sharking, where their owners do not have recourse to law if the money owed is not paid because his business is illegal.
The dog says, 'I am here to be taken seriously' - it acts as a 'minder' and a 'heavy' when collecting dues. People believe that possession of an aggressive dog means that the threats posed by such men will be carried out.