Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

Dog wears 'I'm not an XL Bully' badge because he gets dirty looks

A man has been forced to sew a message on his dog’s harness that says ‘I am not an XL Bully’ because people mistake him for the deadly breed.

Matt Stait, 52, from Chepstow, South Wales, says he gets funny looks from other dog owners ever since the spate of deadly XL Bully dog attacks.

His seven-year-old dog called Eddie is an American Bulldog and Matt feels like he has been ‘ostracised’ by other people.

This is why Matt decided to order the £5 badge off Etsy and since posting about the news on Facebook he has been inundated with requests for them.

Matt said: ‘Lots of people have confused my dog with an XL bully so I ordered them because I want them to start a conversation.

‘We used to get a lot of interest for a positive reason but now it’s different. People aren’t saying they’re avoiding us on purpose but that’s what’s happening.

‘Even the people who know me, know the dog and would previously come over to stroke Eddie would avoid coming near us at all.

‘You get a lot of dirty looks and you don’t know how much of that is paranoia because they’ve been reading these stories about attacks.

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‘There’s always been an element of people picking up their children and small dogs and crossing the street but I’m seeing that more and more now.’

Matt said the new badge has worked and people now come up to him and mention they didn’t know Eddie was different to an XL Bully.

Matt used to work as a security guard and claims he is the perfect owner for Eddie because of this.

He said Eddie is a ‘typical representation’ of his breed and has guarding instincts but the right training means he doesn’t cause trouble.

Matt is also worried the XL bully ban may cover American Bulldogs and this would mean they wouldn’t be allowed to train, go to kennels or visit camp sites with ‘no-banned-breed policies’.

‘Here lies the issue with who should own the dogs and what requirements there should be,’ Matt said.

‘Overall I’m not for banning specific breeds and I’d look towards licensing and much tighter rules for breeders like compulsory training and suitability checks.

‘The dogs don’t actually have a voice and unfortunately the people who do have a voice and are loud aren’t necessarily informed.’

Matt wants to tackle the stigma large dogs are owned by thugs and are instead owned by people who enjoy an active lifestyle.

He believes rising crime in working-class areas is forcing residents to turn to more vicious-looking dogs to protect their families.

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