Watch: Richard Madeley challenges dog owner over their XL Bully pet
Dog-owners Alicia and Nick Elliott, who have two young children an a one-year-old XL Bully called Tank, appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss the proposed ban of XL American bully dogs after the breed were found to be responsible for 70 per cent of all fatal dog attacks in the UK in the past year.
Madeley told them: "Of course he's done nothing wrong at the moment, we take your word for that absolutely. He's a good dog - at the moment. But they're like ticking timebombs aren't they?
"And if they go, if they blow, watch out. They are so dangerous once they've lost control."
Alicia said: "Any breed can switch... He's never turned on my kids, he's never turned on other people's kids.
"He's been very loyal since we got him, he's been very loving. He's like a big teddy bear."
'It's not just because of the breed, you should be looking at the owner of the breed and how they bring the dog up.'
Alicia and Nick believe that XL Bully dogs shouldn't be banned, and say it is unfair to muzzle their dog when he has done nothing wrong. pic.twitter.com/im9e9JIMcV
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) September 18, 2023
Madeley responded: "So often, when you hear these terrible stories of children who've had their faces ripped off by that particular breed, the owner says, 'It never happened before. Up until now the dog was a lovely family dog, we had no concerns.' And then the dog turns.
"And it can turn on a dime, it can turn from the tiniest of reasons. Hand on heart are you not at all concerned that this might go badly wrong?"
Nick said in his dog's defence: "It's not just because of the breed, you should be looking at the owner of the breed — how they bring the dog up, and I will strongly say that is on any breed — it's how you bring your dog up.
"If you bring your dog up in a loving family the dog's going to be in a loving family. If you bring your dog up to be rough and nasty then it will be rough and nasty."
Madeley became emotional as he wrapped up the interview, telling the couple: "As far as Tank's concerned - you're a lovely couple, you're obviously a lovely family.
"I just pray to God you're right about the dog. I really pray you're right."
An American XL Bully dog is thought to be bred from an American Pitbull Terrier, which were banned in the UK in 1991, and an American or British Bulldog.
They account for one per cent of dogs in the UK and yet are responsible for 50 per cent of attacks on people and other dogs in the last two years.
The Elliotts have started an online petition in objection to the government plans to ban the XL Bully in the UK by the end of 2023. Police will be able to remove the dogs and owners must have them neutered to prevent further breeding.
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