Hull dog trainer holds session for American bully XL dogs

  • By Julia Bryson & Gemma Dawson
  • BBC News

Image source, Gemma Dawson/BBC

Image caption,

Dog owners who brought their pets included Ash Irvine and Brooke Osborne with their dogs, Versace and Dixie

A free training session for owners of American bully XL dogs has been held in Hull, with about 25 people and their pets taking part.

The dogs are to be banned by the end of the year under a law that applies in England, Wales and Scotland – once work has been done to define the breed.

Scott Godman from GDA Godman’s Dog Academy held the session to advise how owners can keep their pets safely.

He said he wanted to “represent the breed in its true form”.

Image caption,

Dog trainer Scott Godman held the free training event to “help the breed”

Speaking at the event on Oak Road Playing Fields, he said: “The people who have turned up today, they are families, with family dogs.

“It’s all about helping people and helping the breed, or whatever the breed is.”

He said no two dogs look alike, so the breed is hard to define.

Aaron Hall was at the event with his dog, Kimber. He said: “I want people to see they’re not a bad breed.

Image source, Gemma Dawson/BBC

Image caption,

The dog breed is to be banned by the end of the year

“He’s as daft as a brush, they’re just misunderstood.”

He added: “I know more people who have been bitten by little dogs than bigger dogs, and it has always been little dogs that have gone for him when I’ve walked him.”

Ash Irvine and his partner Brooke Osborne brought their dogs, Versace and Dixie.

Mr Irvine said: “You can see how they are, they’re just calm.

“If they’re brought up right, by the right people they can be really good dogs.

Image source, Gemma Dawson/BBC

Image caption,

About 25 dogs and their owners attended the event on local playing fields

“But if they’re brought up by the wrong people then they’re not going to be. It’s the same as any other dog.”

Ms Osborne added: “The worst thing they have done is chew an alcove on the door for instance.

“Just things that dogs would do. They are not aggressive, not aggressive towards people.”

What is the American bully?

American bullies are said to have originated in the US in the late 1980s, when American pit bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers were crossed.

There are four variations: standard, pocket, classic and XL.

The XL can weigh more than nine stone (60kg) and are strong enough to overpower an adult.

The American bully is regarded as a specific breed in the US. However it is not recognised as such by the main British dog associations, such as the Kennel Club.

The ban was announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak following a spate of recent attacks, including the death of Ian Price, who was attacked by two dogs on 14 September in Stonnall, Walsall.

A few days later an 11-year-old girl and two men were attacked by an American bully XL in Bordesley Green, Birmingham.

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