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American bully XL owners scared to go out, says trainer – BBC.com

A dog trainer says he has been inundated with calls from American bully XL owners worried about what could happen to their pets.
Martin Winfield said owners were scared to leave the house with their bully XLs since Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to ban the breed.
The announcement followed a number of deadly incidents involving the dogs.
Emma Whitfield, of Caerphilly, whose son Jack Lis, 10, was killed by one of the dogs, said she welcomed the ban.
But Mr Winfield, 61, also from Caerphilly, said a ban was not the answer.
He argued that the issue was not with the breed of the dog, but the breeders.
"We've had a lot of people asking for training and advice since reports of the attacks and the ban. People have come to us feeling really bad about leaving the house with their dog, and that's only going to make the situation worse," he said.
"If you've got this dog, you should be coming out and seeking advice to help identify any problems."
Mr Winfield, who owns Rockwood Animals on Film, has been working with dogs since he was 14.
"American bully XLs are an engineered dog, but you can say that about all dogs, they are all a product of selective breeding," he said.
"When the breed first came over, they weren't like they are now, they were lovely dogs, very loving, similar to the Staffordshire bull terrier in many ways, very affectionate and good with families.
"But sadly, what's happened is that, because they are a crossbreed, there have been breeders that have been introducing certain lines which have aggression in them, and they have selectively bred and interbred those dogs to be more aggressive, and we are now seeing the result of that."
Mr Winfield said the situation had happened before with dobermans in the 1980s.
He said a small number of breeders started breeding aggressive dobermans which ended up in a number of people being attacked.
"It will happen with another breed, it will just continue as people breed dogs excessively for certain characteristics," he said.
Mr Winfield said the solution was stricter breeding laws.
"The long-term solution is to punish people for breeding these dogs – they must bear the responsibility," he said.
"If you own one of these dogs, and they injure or kill someone, then that person must suffer the consequences of that, be stripped of their assets, any more made, they must lose it all and go to jail.
"That is the only thing that is going to deter people, because if we ban these breeds, they'll stop breeding them, and it will die down for a short period of time, but then in a few years we'll be talking about a different breed, but with the same people."
Ms Whitfield said she was shocked when she heard the news of the prospective ban by the government.
"I didn't think a decision like that would be made, I cried when I heard, but the government can't stop at a ban, it has to go further.
"Things have to be brought in to deal with backyard breeders and irresponsible owners, and sentencing needs to changed."
She said the breed had been responsible for a lot of attacks and deaths, and hopefully the ban means will put a stop to this.
"It hurts every time I hear of another fatality, and families should not be grieving because of a dog attack."
She added that the ban was a step in the right direction, but did not go far enough.
"If backyard breeders still exist, they are going to create a new breed, and we could find ourselves in a few years in the same place – it could be a whole lot worse.
"This is why the government can't stop at a ban, they need to stop the breeders who are abusing the system."
Gail Jones's mother Shirley Patrick was killed by an XL bully, and said she was ecstatic when she heard about the ban.
"Banning doesn't mean all the dogs are going to be seized, but hopefully it will mean responsible ownership."
Strict rules relating to ownership of XL bully dogs are now in force in Britain.
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