New laws designed to protect people will mean certain breeds of dog must be muzzled in public spaces.

Over a hundred German Shepherds are being judged on build, temperament and response to owners commands at the German Shepherd Championships.

As the dogs are paraded, however, another discussion is going on about public safety from aggressive dogs.

Regulations now dictate that a number of certain dog breeds must be maintained on a long chain or leash. From 14 June, these breeds will have to wear a muzzle and an identity collar. From autumn, a total ban on ownership of certain breeds of dog will be introduced.

Breeds required to be muzzled include Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dobermann Pinscher and German Shepherd. German Shepherd owners believe that there is no reason for their dogs to be included on the list of dangerous dogs.

Seán Reidy, Chairman of the Campaign Against Muzzling, explains that the German Shepherd has served mankind for many years in many guises as a guide dog, sniffer dogs, search and rescue dogs.

We feel that as responsible owners, we're being penalised for the actions of a very small group of people that fight dogs and gamble on that activity.

German Shepherd owner Anita Behan believes that muzzling does not make sense and is worried about how it would impact a puppy.

Those against the introduction of muzzling say that they will go all the way to the High Court to oppose the new laws.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 June 1991. The reporter is Tom Kelly.