Birmingham dog owner defends his pet XL Bully saying he's 'like a son'

Mark Brown and his pet XL Bully Credit: ITV Central

An XL Bully owner has defended his pet describing him as being "like a son".

Last week we reported that a girl and two men were attacked by a crossbreed Bully XL/Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy in Birmingham.

In a separate incident days later, Ian Price, aged 52, died in hospital after being mauled by two dogs thought to be XL Bully breeds, near a primary school in Stonnall, Staffordshire.

Mark Brown, from Kings Heath in Birmingham, has owned XL Bully, Paddy, for five years. He spoke to ITV News Central about his dog, their temperament and how a dog's behaviour can be impacted by its owners.

He said: "You get people that buy dogs and they just want to fight them, trophies, make money out of it which is pretty disgusting as a dog lover.

"It's given the dog a bad name, but if that is the case, dog attacks that have been happening over the years - if it is XL Bullys, why are the government discussing about it now?

"You've got other vicious dogs out there, but it always seems to be the ones with XL Bullys."

Mr Brown's motto is that if people buy a dog they should "get it from a puppy and bring it up respectfully, not train it to fight people".

He said: "If you show a dog aggression then he will be aggressive to everybody else.

"My dog is a rescue, we rescued him he's such a tame lad. It's the way you bring them up and that's the way I see it."

He said: "I take him out no problem. He's in my heart. If it comes to a point where you had to worst case scenario then I would fight it, I would go to court and say hang on a minute.

"My dog is fine, there's nothing wrong with him.

"People round here love him, my neighbours love him. He's very playful. He's never showed me any aggression or the family. He's just such a playful little dog.

"He is always on the lead I would never let him off. Other dogs walk by him and he just sniffs them them. I would be upset if I had to muzzle him, but if that's what you got to do, then that's what you got to do.

"My message to people getting dogs don't buy to fight them y to bring them up in a family manner. The dog is just not a pet, they are supposed to be a member of the family."

Restrictions will be placed on American XL bully dogs to “safely manage” them once a ban on the breed comes into force.

Mark has described his dog as being like a son Credit: ITV Central

Owners of American XL bullies will not face a cull of their pets after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised to ban the breed following a spate of dog attacks.

But Downing Street said measures will be put in place to cover the “existing population” of the dogs in response to concerns that they will still be allowed on the streets once a ban on new owners comes in.

Existing owners could face a requirement to neuter their dogs and muzzle them in public, the Government’s chief vet has suggested.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We will need to safely manage the existing population of these dogs. Exactly what that looks like will be a topic for the consultation.

“And there will need to be some sort of transition period.”

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey told MPs that guidance about the enforcement of the Dangerous Dogs Act will also be tightened.

“While the courts have the power to allow people to keep banned breeds with certain conditions, like being muzzled and neutered, the number of so-called exempted dogs is higher than a decade ago,” she said.

Mark has spoken to ITV News Central about his pet dog Paddy Credit: ITV Cenral

“That was not the intention of the legislation passed over 30 years ago. Therefore, we will also review our guidance to enforcers of the law.”

The Chief Veterinary Officer indicated on Saturday that there will be an “amnesty” approach to American XL bullies, echoing the way the ban on pit bull terriers under the Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced in the 1990s.

Professor Christine Middlemiss said owners will need to register their American XL bully, with the dog required to be neutered and muzzled and on a lead when in public.

They will also need to be insured.

She stressed that anyone complying with the new restrictions will be able to keep their dog.