Bully XLs should not be banned, a dog coaching expert has claimed, as their owners are responsible for their self-control – not the animals themselves.
A series of brutal Bully XL attacks on people in recent weeks – including several where the victims ended up in hospital – has galvanised a public movement for the breed to be outright banned.
In response to one of the attacks, home secretary Suella Braverman wrote on social media: “This is appalling. The American XL bully is a clear and lethal danger to our communities, particularly to children.
“We can’t go on like this. I have commissioned urgent advice on banning them.”
But speaking to Good Morning Britain, expert dog behavioural trainer Robert Alleyne argued that banning is not the solution.
READ MORE ‘I paid £3k for my eight-stone XL Bully – I trust him around babies’
He said that bans on dog breeds both target the wrong end of the issue, and simply do not work in removing the dogs anyway.
“The reality is the American pitbull terrier was banned in 1991 and just yesterday I had a phone call from somebody saying their pitbull cross was growling at their toddler. They’re still out there. It hasn’t worked,” Mr Alleyne said.
“It’s a very easy answer to the government. If we’re going to do something, we have to do something that’s really going to make a difference.
“And I think what we should be doing, rather than banning the breed, which clearly doesn’t work, we need to be looking the types of people getting these dogs.
“While there are some extremely responsible people who have them, an awful lot of people who get them for the wrong reasons: ‘I want a dog who will protect me, I want a dog who’s an efficient guard.’
“So they pick this dog but they don’t put the training into it to make sure that dog has the self-control to not make the wrong choices.
“The dog doesn’t have the self-control to not make those choices, it’s the person who picked it that’s the problem.”
The issue lies, he argued instead, in that the existing laws around dangerous dogs are not enforced by police.
“Section 3 of Dangerous Dogs Act says its an offence to have a dog that’s dangerously out of control, and the owner would be punished for that. So we already have that legislation,” he said.
“The problem is nobody’s enforcing it. The police don’t want to, because it’s too expensive – it costs tens of thousands of pounds to take someone to court for a fine that’s often only a few hundred.
Martial arts expert shares how to survive an XL bully dog attack[REVEAL]
Dad told ‘go to hell’ as he admits he breeds XL Bully dogs for drug dealers[INSIGHT]
Dogs Trust expert says ‘all dogs can bite’ as they slam Bully XL ban plans[ANALYSIS]
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
“So they don’t want to do it, they have to kennel the dog for months or even years. But the legislation is already in place.”
Sophie Coulthard, 39, who has a one-year-old dog called Billy, said “a moral panic” had arisen around the mutts following several high-profile attacks on youngsters.
Sophie said her XL Bully loved “cuddles”, adding those using the dogs for “status” and “protection” would just find another breed if they were banned.
She said: “I genuinely believed this is being turned into a moral panic. Certain let’s say retired dog experts have been using this language – ‘devil dogs’, ‘franken-bully’ and ‘tiger on a lead’.
“All that is doing is scaring the general public into putting pressure into a knee-jerk reaction. You are going to have responsible owners like me who are unfairly targeted for the type of dog that I have, while dog attacks across all breeds are up at the moment.”
American pit bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers were crossed in the US in the late 1980s to create an even more muscular dog.
The United Kennel Club in the US says that an American bully “makes an excellent family dog”, and “despite its powerful appearance their demeanour is gentle and friendly,” it says, although adds: “dog aggression is characteristic of this breed”.
Banning the Bully XLs may prove difficult in the UK as they are not officially designated as a breed, as they are in the US.
Richard Baker, an NHS consultant surgeon, told BBC News that because the dog has “such powerful jaws, the wounds are worse compared to other breeds”.
“In [American bullies] its a crushing or a tearing injury,” he said. “Once they grip they don’t let go. That kind of injury is more damaging than smaller dogs.”
Source: Read Full Article