APPARENTLY more than nine million households in the UK have dogs, and I’m willing to bet that a huge proportion of those are also home to arrogant dog owners.

You know the ones, those stuck-up, conceited morons whose ‘pooch is power’ attitude is something I am, regrettably experiencing more and more.

I have previously lamented the odious behaviour of dog walkers who refuse to pick up when their pet does the dirty on public footpaths and parks.

And for every one of them, I know there are dozens who do. But being a responsible dog owner doesn’t start and stop with poop-scooping.

How many times have you been out at your local park, enjoying the peace in the sunshine when someone’s excitable, hapless dog comes pounding in your direction.

If you’re anything like me you’ll stay rooted to the spot and hope that by not running for dear life, said dog will not sense your acute fear and will dash right passed you.

But too often, when you step (or bolt) aside to keep away from the bounding brute, its owner shouts over: ‘Oh he won’t touch you’.

Oh really? So why is he foaming at the mouth and running at me at full speed with the devil dancing in his eye?

“Honestly, he’s a harmless.” You sure? Those razor sharp railings look like they could tear a limb off.

I get it. They know their dog. They know its temperament. They KNOW it’s harmless.

But do they?

Is it completely beyond the realms of possibility that their dog could ever be disobedient?

Is it utterly absurd to suggest that this could be the one time that they go rogue?

If indignant dog owners are to be believed then yes, that is out of the question. So immersed are they in their love for their perfect pooch the mere suggestion that you might feel unsure or uncomfortable around their dog, sparks utter contempt.

My children know that they shouldn’t run on to the road because it’s dangerous and nine times out of 10, I ‘m pretty sure they won’t. But ‘pretty sure’ isn’t certain, so I take steps to make sure they don’t.

I’m not 100 per cent positive they will stop at the kerb every single time because they’re unpredictable little creatures and it only takes that one mad moment to result in catastrophe.

So why is it some dog owners can’t apply the same rationale?

Not having your dog on a leash in a public area is, at best a nuisance and at worst, a legitimate danger.

Here’s a fact such dog owners might want to take on board: It is against the law to have a dog dangerously out of control in a public place and your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them.

Just last week I was in the Beach Park with my children and nephews and one such dog owner was out for a stroll with her two pooches. One of which was on a lead. The other, much larger dog - a dalmation - was not.

As she casually ambled along in the sunshine the giant creature bolted towards us at full pelt. Before I knew what was happening it had nose-butted my one-year-old son in the face - in the face! - before darting off when it heard me shouting ‘go away’.

I was, naturally, furious but in the interests of not having a screaming row in public, I checked my boy was ok and waited for an apology which never came.

Thirty seconds later the same dog - still off the leash and running wild - darted over to where my other half was playing with the older boys in our brood and went to maul one of the toys they had brought.

Reacting accordingly my other half shooed the dog away and was rewarded with a tirade of foul-mouthed abuse from the owner who, in the midst of her rant, screamed the immortal line: ‘He won’t bl**dy touch you!” Well actually he already has you contemptible, arrogant moron.

He’s made physical contact with my baby - who was understandably frightened and upset - and then tried to make off with one of their toys.

In what world is that ok?

If you ask me, unless your dog is on private land it should not be allowed off the lead. It’s a matter of common courtesy and coexistence.

And not just with pet-less people like me who are concerned for their children’s well-being, but to other, sensible dog owners who do keep their dogs on a lead, only to have someone else’s highly-strung tail-wagger pounce and in seconds the scene transpires into a violent stramash between two frenzied canines.

But trying telling these people that.

They honestly think their dogs have more right to the public space than humans do!

Like it’s their God-given right to use all the picturesque beauty spots in the world as their own personal toilet and those of us on two legs should step aside and just make room.