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An ex-bodyguard has revealed how he has resorted to sewing ‘I am not an XL Bully‘ patches onto the harness of his American bulldog after people kept mistaking it for a killer dog.

Matt Stait says his beloved pet Eddie has been ‘ostracised’ by walkers who mistake it for the same type of dog that has been behind a recent spate of deadly attacks.

The father-of-one says while passers by used to be more friendly no one stops to stroke his ‘affectionate’ pet anymore and hopes the 2.5inch signs will encourage them to stop and start a conversation instead.

Rishi Sunak has pledged to ban XL Bully dogs, however, experts have warned it will be difficult to implement since the animal is not an official breed.

Mr Stair, 52, from Chepstow, South Wales, says he fears his own animal might be affected by the ban and thinks the ‘dirty looks’ Eddie gets could be down to ‘paranoia’ about large dogs.

Former bodyguard Matt Stait says his beloved dog Eddie has been ‘ostracised’ by people who mistake him for the killer XL Bully breed behind the recent spate of attacks

Mr Stait attached a ‘I am not an XL Bully’ patch to his American bulldog’s harness because people would cross the street and mistake the dog for the killer XL Bully breed

Mr Stait, 52, said he and Eddie get a lot of ‘dirty looks’ and suggests this could be due to ‘paranoia’ around large dogs since the awareness around XL Bully attacks has risen

Are you an XL Bully owner worried about the ban? E-mail Emily.davies@mailonline.co.uk


 Mr Stait 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.’

Rishi Sunak moved to ban Xl Bullys by the end of the year, however experts have warned the ban will be difficult as it isn’t an official breed.

They say common characteristics that could be used to identify them include if the dog has a muscular build, weighs over 20kgs, with a wide skull and jaw, muscular neck or convex cheeks.

The American bulldog dates back to the 17th century and was bred for farming and guarding livestock while the ‘designer’ XL bully only dates back to the 1980s and is a mix of several other breeds including the American pitbull. It is not subject to a ban.

Mr Stait added: ‘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.

‘It’s a shame for Eddie. He’s being ostracised and not getting the opportunity to meet dogs and people in the way he used to.

‘I thought that rather than have any confusion or stupid conversations I’d have the patch and hopefully it can create an understanding and I can explain the difference.

‘I ordered the patches from a lady off Etsy. It was my idea to do this but there’s been an amazing response from people who want them too. I should have ordered a couple of hundred and sold them.

‘They just fit on his harness. If I had a bigger harness they’d be bigger but they’re perfectly readable from someone a few yards away.

‘Some people think it’s a brilliant idea and then there’s also people who think I should be fighting for all dogs and not trying to dissociate from them. I do get that point of view.’

There are several dog characteristics that could mean a breed is included under the new ban, including if your dog has a muscular build, weighs over 20kgs, with a wide skull and jaw, muscular neck or convex cheeks

The dog owner said other dog walkers used to be more friendly but now no one stops to stroke Eddie because they mistake him for the XL Bully breed.

Mr Stait added he was disappointed his ‘affectionate’ seven-year-old dog had been ‘ostracised’ so he contacted a patch maker on Etsy to design one that could clear up confusion.

His two yellow patches read ‘I AM NOT AN XL BULLY’ in red block capitals and were sewn to either side of eight-stone Eddie’s harness.

The American bulldog owner, who worked as a bodyguard for wealthy individuals until a decade ago, says he hopes the 2.5-inch-long patches will encourage people to ask him about Eddie’s breed.

Mr Stait admitted Eddie ‘could have been problematic’ if he hadn’t had the correct training from a young age.

Mr Stait said he’s the perfect owner for an American bulldog as he’s used to working with large dogs from his security days and has an active lifestyle

The former bodyguard said ‘here’s always been an element’ of people picking up their children  and crossing the street because of Eddie but it’s been happening more frequently

The dog owner said he bought patches online for £5 so other dog walkers could read on Eddie’s harness that he isn’t an XL Bully

Mr Stait said it is key that compulsory training and owner suitability are introduced.

He posted about the £5 patches on Facebook, and since then he’s been inundated with requests for them – making him think he should have ordered hundreds and sold them.

Mr Stait has already had conversations with pedestrians since taking Eddie for walks with the patches on, with some mentioning they didn’t know he was different to an XL bully.

He said he’s the perfect owner for an American bulldog as he’s used to working with large dogs from his security days and has an active lifestyle.

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

The dog owner he doesn’t think banning dog breeds is a good idea and instead there should be ‘suitability checks’ when people try to buy certain large dog breeds.

The former bodyguard said: ‘Eddie’s incredibly affectionate and loving to his family but he’s a large dog and bred for farming, utility work and guarding so he will bark at the window when somebody knocks the door.

‘He’s a large and capable dog and if he hadn’t been trained and socialised or given what he needs then I don’t doubt that he could be problematic. I’d be lying if I said otherwise.

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

‘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.’

Posting on Facebook, he said: ‘New patches for his harness arrived today. It will start some conversations where I can educate people.

‘He is an American Bulldog which is a completely different breed but many don’t seem to know the difference.’

Mr Stait posted on Facebook to raise awareness of the misconceptions around his large dog

Mr Stait is concerned the XL bully ban may cover American bulldogs and that would mean they wouldn’t be allowed to train, go to kennels or visit camp sites with ‘no-banned-breed policies’.

He’s also keen to combat the view that anyone owning large dogs are thugs.

He said that ‘for the most part’ big dogs are bought because they suit the owner’s active lifestyle.

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

Are you an XL Bully owner worried about the ban? E-mail Emily.davies@mailonline.co.uk 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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