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Man warns dog owners after bull mastiff attacks his puppy

PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:14 28 April 2020

Bull mastiff dog. Picture: Ian Burt

Bull mastiff dog. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A man whose puppy was attacked by a bull mastiff has warned other owners to be wary when out walking, regardless of “how placid other dogs may seem”.

There has been a rise in the number of recorded offences involving 'dangerous dogs' since 2015. PHOTO: ArchantThere has been a rise in the number of recorded offences involving 'dangerous dogs' since 2015. PHOTO: Archant

The Bradwell resident, who has asked to remain anonymous, said that he had become suspicious of “other dogs of any kind” since his cocker spaniel puppy was attacked in January this year.

He said: “I was out walking in Great Yarmouth when another dog just went for my pup out of nowhere. The owner was shocked and very apologetic.

“It absolutely broke my heart to see. If I hadn’t jumped in so quick and pulled the other dog off him I think we’d have been looking at some serious damage and a very big vet bill.

“I think more generally, the problem is to do with a lack of responsibility on behalf of owners.

“Whether it’s socialising them properly or even picking up after them - people seem not to understand the kind of commitment required when looking after a living animal.”

In January of this year, the EDP reported on the increasing levels of dangerous dog offences recorded by Norfolk Constabulary.

Between 2015 and 2019, 787 dangerous dog offences were reported to the police.

Inspector Sally Hammerton from Norfolk Constabulary’s dog section said the increase in dangerous dog offences was the result of inadequate socialisation by owners and an influx of street dogs from outside the UK.

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She added that the increase in puppy farming and irresponsible breeding meant that the puppies being bred had a natural aggression.

The owner whose dog was attacked said: “There used to be a thing in the past when people bought ‘tough’ looking dogs almost as an accessory, like Alsatians, bull mastiffs and Staffies. This trend seems to be making a bit of a comeback.

“A lot of these dogs will be absolutely lovely, but I’ve learned that you can’t take risks with other dogs around children and small puppies. I’m surprised my own pup wasn’t scarred for life.”

Last year, this newspaper reported on a number of different incidents involving dangerous dogs, with one dog killed in a brutal altercation.

Staffie dogs are frequently abandoned after neglect by their owners, often resulting in them becoming aggressive or defensive. Picture: RSPCAStaffie dogs are frequently abandoned after neglect by their owners, often resulting in them becoming aggressive or defensive. Picture: RSPCA

The RSPCA said: “We believe it is vitally important that owners care for their dogs properly and ensure that they are happy and healthy.

“Ensuring dogs are bred and reared well, and provided with the right training, helps shape friendly dogs. But it is also crucial that people learn how to act around dogs and understand their body language and behaviour.

“Parents need to teach their children in particular how to behave and interact safely with dogs - whether it’s their own family pet or other dogs in public places or private homes and gardens.”


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