Susanna Reid has opened up about an encounter she had with an XL Bully dog.
The breed – which was said to have originated in the US back in the 1980s – has been hitting headlines in recent days after a dog, which appeared to be an XL Bully, went on an attacking spree in Birmingham.
Unlike Pit Bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiros – the only banned breeds in the UK – XL Bullies are not a recognised breed yet on British soil, and are therefore legal.
While discussing the dogs on Good Morning Britain this morning, host Susanna revealed she has had an incident with the breed before.
‘I had an encounter with one of these types of dogs in South London a few months ago,’ she began.
The 52-year-old presenter explained how the dog had been chained up to a metal pole, but due to its ‘strength’ somehow dislodged the pole – and was running around with it attached through traffic near her house.
‘I don’t particularly like dogs,’ she said. ‘I just knew this was school picking up time, I felt I had to intervene.’
The dog looked ‘distressed’ and was also ‘bleeding’ Susanna explained, as she said someone was on the phone to the police, who said it would take them an hour to arrive.
‘There were children around, this dog might bite one of the children,’ Susanna remembered saying to the police. She then explained how a woman then pointed out the dog ‘wasn’t going to bite anyone’ as it didn’t seem aggressive, but was actually ‘perfectly calm’ once out of the traffic.
But although this XL Bully didn’t look like a threat to humans at this moment, Susanna added that if it was, none of the people there ‘had the strength’ to stop it ‘if that dog got out of control.’
Once Susanna had picked her child up from school, she told her son about the incident and suggested they go back and, if the dog was still running around, they could take it to the vet.
She then explained how her son refused to have that breed in the car. ‘”We are not doing that, mum,”‘ she remembered him saying. Thankfully, when Susanna returned to the scene the dog was gone, and the chaos over.
‘If you just ban the dogs, you take away the problem,’ she concluded.
Bully Watch, which shared a shocking video of an 11-year-old girl being mauled in Birmingham on Saturday, has collected reports of hundreds of incidents this year alone.
The attack in the Bordesley Green area led Home Secretary Suella Braverman to announce that she has commissioned ‘urgent advice’ on banning the dogs.
Once the dog had bit the young girl, who is said to be ‘too frightened to leave the house’ after the incident, the muscular mutt then went on to attack two further people.
XL Bullies are thought to be a cross between American Pit Bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers.
The US Kennel Club – which recognises the breed – says XL Bullies make an ‘excellent family dog’ but also add that ‘aggression is characteristic of this breed.’
It is thought the breed – of which there are four sizes; standard, pocket, classic, and XL – first appeared in the UK around 2014 or 2015 and numbers have since grown rapidly.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV1.
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