Dundee owners of XL Bully dogs have hit back against plans to ban the controversial breed.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is planning to rush through legislation that would see the dogs banned in the UK by the end of the year.
It comes after a man died in Staffordshire on Friday in an attack by two dogs, thought to be XL Bullys.
There have been a number of other incidents involving the breed in recent months – including several in Dundee.
Dundee XL Bully owners say ban not the answer
Speaking on Friday, the prime minister said: “The American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children.
“It is clear this is not about a handful of badly-trained dogs, it’s a pattern of behaviour that can not go on.”
But Dundee-based owners of the breed say blanket bans are not the answer – a view supported by the Scottish SPCA.
Loraine Kidd, 36, who trains dogs and owns a three-year-old XL Bully, Ziaan, with her partner John Tomlin, branded the idea “terrible”.
She told The Courier: “It won’t achieve anything – you need to target the breeders and dog owners.
“People don’t know how to train their dogs any more.
“XL Bullys are high predation dogs and you need to train them from day one.”
Loraine says Ziaan is the only XL Bully to compete in the dog sport of flyball in the world.
She feels a ban would punish those who train and look after their dogs properly.
She said: “My partner and I have put in the work to train Ziaan how to behave – it punishes everyone who has made the effort.
“The Dangerous Dogs Act isn’t fit for purpose – you can breed a killing machine if you want to.
“There need to be tougher penalties on improper breeding practices.”
‘Any dog has the potential to be dangerous’
Shan Shanks, from Dundee, who owns a two-year-old XL Bully called Blu, says any big dog has the potential to cause harm in the wrong hands.
She said: “I don’t condone any of the attacks but any dog has the potential to be dangerous.
“Banning entire breeds doesn’t work.
“People need to start taking responsibility for their animals – it’s not about poor dogs, it’s poor owners.
“Like other large breeds, XLs need specific training and engagement from responsible owners.”
Shan describes Blu as an “amazing dog” who is submissive in social situations.
The 26-year-old added: “She was actually attacked by a sausage dog when she was eight weeks old – and because it was a sausage dog people don’t react in the same way.
“If it was her it would be a different story.
“I’ve done everything to make sure Blu is safe to be around and good-natured.
“But if any of my dogs ever showed any signs of aggressive behaviour I would use a muzzle and take them to a secure field.”
Despite Rishi Sunak’s plan, powers over the banned breeds list are held at Holyrood – with the Scottish Government currently “urgently considering” whether to follow the Prime Minister’s lead.
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