An American Bully Walking on the Shore of a Beach
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Dog trainers slam Home Secretary’s call to ban American Bully XL

Dog trainers have pushed back on calls to ban the American Bully XL following the Home Secretary’s decision to order ‘urgent advice’ to ban the breed.

After the Home Secretary’s remarks, dog trainers have been arguing against a ban as the necessary course of action, following a spate of attacks recently involving the breed.

Talking on a social media video, Southend Dog Training Director Adam Spivey, said: “Let me tell you why banning the XL Bully will not change a thing.

“There are already four boundaries in the UK – it hasn’t changed anything. Dog attacks are higher than ever before.

He continued: “So, you ban the XL Bully, guess what? Roadmen will find another dog and another dog and the cycle will continue to go on and on.

“What needs to happen is the government needs to open its eyes and they need to start punishing irresponsible dog owners severely. If you imagine someone attacking an 11-year-old girl with a knife, and then going after another person with a knife repeatedly; life in prison.

“But if your dog does it, [it’s a] slap on the wrist. ‘We’ve spoken to the person’. The person is going to do it again and again because there is no consequence.

“I guarantee if you started holding people accountable with their dogs, if a dog attacks another person, and that person got the same sentence as attacking someone with a knife, you watch how quickly people would take dog ownership seriously.”

He notes it’s the ‘backyard breeders’ who breed what he describes as ‘oversized abominations’ that the government should be coming down rather than ban the breed.

Doggy daycare owner Nigel Wilmslow agrees, telling The Canine Times: “It is not the dog that is the problem it is the owner. Ask any professional doggy person they all say the same. XL bully dogs can be just as good or bad as any other dog. It is how they have been trained that is the problem.

“All that banning a certain breed will do is to cause people to look for another, different similar dog as has happened in the past, with American pit bull dogs.

He added: “The law is not strong enough. People are now just scared of walking past certain breeds or often any dog because of [what] they see in the newspapers.

“If people are scared of walking past other dogs. What does that do to their own dog on the other end of the lead. It also makes that dog scared. That dog will then react to any other dog it comes into contact with.”

Meanwhile, talking to BBC Newsnight, dog trainer Jo-Rosie Haffenden said that dogs that are bred for “working and sporting purposes or for protection” are “ending up in family homes.”

She added: “I don’t think there’s enough education out there for the public about what breeds they should be getting and what those breeds need.”

Furthermore, appearing on ITV dog trainer Kay Taiwo said the American Bully XL was ‘not bred or made to be ultra-aggressive’.

She added: “These dogs don’t want to jump about the place. You go online and see people who own these dogs, they will tell you that the dog is calm.”

What are your thoughts? Are you a dog trainer or a dog walker who handles or has handled the particular breed in the past? Let us know by emailing

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