An owner of the controversial American bully XL breed has urged people not to believe stereotypes following calls for a ban on the pet.
People throughout the UK were shocked after footage of a dog attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham on Sunday went viral.
The girl had to spend a night in hospital and another two men who intervened were bitten and treated.
The dog, an American bully XL, is now being held in secure kennels.
However, an Aberdeen owner of the pet has hit out calling the possible ban “upsetting” and says the blame for attacks lie with the owners.
‘They’re not aggressive dogs’
For Leillah Ewen, taking on a nine-week-old American bully XL puppy was a big change.
The bigger dog was very different from the Jack Russells she grew up with and was her first pooch.
Aware of the stereotypes surrounding the breed, the Northfield resident decided to to get some training for Chance.
After investing nearly £500 going to a trainer in Stonehaven, she said: “I’m aware he’s not your most average breed. I didn’t want him to be a bad dog so I did actually pay for one-to-one training.
“I put in the time and effort with him to get him trained up.
“He’s fully trained I can take him on a walk and I genuinely wouldn’t be worried about him at all.
“I think it was mainly because I wanted to have a well-behaved dog and I realise that they have a stereotype but I personally don’t think they’re aggressive dogs.”
Dog attacks: Is the owner to blame?
Chance is now two years old and weighs around 42kg.
While Miss Ewen, 29, described him as a “lazy loveable dog”, she understands why people are afraid of bigger pets, particularly when news of dog attacks appear in the social media spotlight.
But she said these are instigated by all breeds of dogs and believes the blame for them lies with the owners.
“You’ve got to be able to have your dog under control,” she added.
“I think it’s the owners fault because the people that I know who have XL bullies have never had any issues and I very much think it is the owner that is to blame.
“I got training to make sure my dog is fine to be on the streets. It’s very much an owner thing, I don’t think it’s the breed at all.”
She stated: “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.”
Former victims and families impacted by attacks carried out by the breed – which has killed in the UK before – are again raising questions why they have not already been banned.
It follows after kennel owner Adam Watts in Auchterhouse was killed by an American bully XL two years ago.
‘Can’t imagine life without Chance’
Miss Ewen said action on dog attacks should definitely be taken, but added it should be directed at ownership rather than the animals.
She said: “As a dog owner, if I had to have a dog licence or whatever for me to have Chance, I would happily have that because he’s my dog and I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to him.
“It’s very upsetting to see they want to ban a breed that lives in my house. He’s just an absolute loveable dope. I genuinely couldn’t imagine my life without him now.
“It is a shame for the people that have been attacked but like I say you can be attacked by any breed of dog.
“It just so happens that XL bullies went viral and are in the limelight and people are jumping on the bandwagon of it.”