Southend dog trainer says irresponsible owners are to blame for attacks by American XL bully dogs

  • What kind of restrictions are owners facing? ITV News Meridian's Tom Savvides reports.

A dog trainer from Southend says irresponsible owners are to blame for attacks by American XL bully dogs.

The Prime Minister confirmed a breeding ban on the animals should come in by the end of the year.

The XL bully has been responsible for a number of recent attacks, including one that led to the death of a man and another that seriously injured an 11-year-old girl.

Current owners could face restrictions like neutering, muzzles and registration and insurance.

Tracey Ground was on a walk with her husband and two Dachshunds just over a year ago when an XL attacked her and her puppy. Credit: Tracey Ground

Southend dog trainer Adam Spivey says: "Until we have harsher sentences, nothing will change. We're going to have the same conversation again about another breed until we actually wake up and realise it's the owners that are purposely not controlling their dogs."

Owners of a puppy killed by an XL bully in Whitstable say dangerous dogs need to be controlled.

Tracey Ground said: "It literally had its jaw around my puppy and it wasn't letting go for anything. I think if that dog is in that moment of aggressiveness, having experienced that first hand, there's not a lot you can do."

Some MPs says any XL bully that is violent needs to be put down.

Sir Robert Goodwill MP, DEFRA Select Committee, said: "If a dog is causing concerns in a neighbourhood then I think that dog needs to be looked at by a vet and either classed as being not vicious or if that dog does present a danger to people around it then I think something needs to be done."

Vet Danny Chambers says irresponsible breeders and owners have a a habit of working around new laws.

He said: "As soon as you ban a breed, people just start developing a new breed that it's just as big, just as muscular and just as dangerous. If we want to take these dogs off the streets and out of our communities we need to target the reason that these dogs exist in the first place and that is often status symbols, it's irresponsible breeding, unregulated breeding, breeding dogs that are not suitable to be family pets."

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