The owner of three XL Bully dogs is fuming over the Government’s plans to ban the breed and claims educating children could be the key to preventing attacks.
Lee Sansum, who’s also a professional dog walker, acknowledges that there is a “problem out there” following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s vow to ban the animals by the end of the year but says the problem isn’t specific to American Bullies.
He told KentLive: “Kids go over to dogs and try giving them kisses and holding their faces.”
He added: “If we taught our children not to do this, we would be fewer dog attacks on children.”
Mr Sansum, who said his dogs are “lovely” and that he’s had more problems walking Labradors and Dalmations, believes there are other ways to tackle the issue of dog attacks.
Although most fatal dog attacks in the UK involve XL Bulldogs – at least three in seven this year – Lee believes that a blanket ban on the breed is not the solution.
The owner of bullies Ruth, Nala and Nelly, said: “I took a look at the Calgary model. It’s a proven way to reduce dog attacks in Calgary and they did that by three things, licensing, public education and enforcement.
“If the British Government brought those three things into play, we would not have an issue with dog attacks. We would still see them, don’t get me wrong, but we could enforce it, and punish and we could educate people on animal behaviour.”
Speaking about his own pets, the 38-year-old from St Margaret’s, said: “They’re loving dogs, family pets really. One of them is just the softest thing.
“My girlfriend is pregnant, and we’re having our first child, and last night, we played the heartbeat, and she (the dog) just laid on her belly for the rest of the evening and that’s the type of loving dog that we have.
“I’m a dog walker, I walk with 17 different dog breeds, and I’ve had more fights from the Labs and the Dalmatians that I work with, than any issues with my bullies. They’re very well trained, I can get Nelly to sit, lay down and stay with hand movement, and not having to open my mouth.”
He says his dogs took months of dedication to training and that if owners are willing to commit time and effort, “they’ll learn”.
He said: “All dogs are exactly the same.”