This is the first book in the UK or the US to set on record the recent cultural phenomenon of the use of certain dog breeds - both legal and illegal - to `convey status' to their owners. Such dogs are easily visible on social housing estates and provide acquired authority, respect, power and control. However, they are increasingly linked to urban street gangs as `weapon dogs' and present a danger to the general public. Local and statutory authorities are now seeking to address the issue through action plans and interventions. Written in a fresh, engaging and accessible style, this unique book contextualises the phenomenon in terms of sociology, criminology and public policy. It makes essential reading for academics and policy makers in criminology and criminal justice and those working with animal rights/animal welfare groups.