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I’ve spent years in war zones. And the most terrifying moment of my life just happened in Norfolk

11 October 2014

9:00 AM

11 October 2014

9:00 AM

It happened so quickly, as these things always do. My wife Julia and I were pootling about on Wells beach with our fluffy mongrel Maisie when suddenly two fighting dogs, English bull terriers, came flying towards us like calf-high missiles. Declining the usual canine politesse of a bit of bum-sniffing, one immediately locked its jaws around Maisie’s throat, the other clamped its teeth into her right back leg. They then tossed her around like a rag doll, as my wife and I desperately tried to haul them off. Maisie was howling in terrible distress. She was seconds away from being killed.

With enormous difficulty, Julia managed to pull one of the killers away on its dangling harness. The other had no collar or leash and was getting stuck into Maisie. I had to mount it, sit on it, punch its head and try to prise open its jaws. This last manoeuvre involved putting my hands into the bull terrier’s mouth and having my fingers redesigned by its teeth.

Eventually we detached the two killer dogs. One of the owners arrived. Middle-aged. White. Shaven hair. ‘We’re calling the police,’ Julia said with that anger in her eye that always terrifies me. ‘Don’t do that,’ he said. ‘The police will have them destroyed.’ Surveying our terrified dog and my mangled, blood-spurting fingers, I confess my feelings regarding the imminent fate of this gentleman’s dogs were not as humane as they might have been.


Fearing the destruction of their dogs, the owners separated and slunk off into the dunes. We saw the man beating the living daylights out of his bull terrier, kicking and whipping it, which prompted a concerned member of the public to confront him. Cue much swearing.

We rushed to the vet where the traumatised Maisie was treated for shock and various wounds. She returned home the following afternoon with stapled puncture marks around her neck and leg and severe bruising to her groin. Tail at half-mast.

I went to A&E, where I was seen, after the usual long wait, by a doctor called Aladdin. Judging by his accent and moustache, Dr Aladdin could only have been Iraqi. Having spent much of the past decade in Iraq, it felt like seeing an old friend. He’d spent years patching up soldiers during the Iran-Iraq War. ‘I treated the first casualty in Gulf War One,’ he told me cheerfully. There was lots more chat about history being written by the (Sunni) victors, his harrowing experiences in Saddam’s prisons in the 1980s, the torture and execution of his brother and the media’s unfair misrepresentation of the recently departed prime minister Nouri al-Maliki (I had to disagree quite strongly on the last point). My fingers were bandaged up — stitches to follow a week later — and off we went.

After the attack, I posted an angry tweet: ‘1/2 To the owners of 2 English bull terriers who attacked us on Wells beach #Norfolk yesterday: we will hunt you down & bring u to justice’; ‘2/2 You almost killed our dog, left us with £850 vet bill, slunk off like cowards and left us hospital bound to A&E without an apology. Nice’.

It is strange that, after years in conflict zones, being kidnapped in Libya and narrowly avoiding a suicide attack in Mogadishu earlier this year, the most terrifying event in my life should have been a Sunday afternoon dog walk in North Norfolk. The most painful thing about it, though, is that the owners of the bull terriers have yet to be apprehended. As I write, BBC Radio Norfolk has just finished a phone-in about dangerous dogs and a witness to the attack on Maisie called in. Norfolk Constabulary is also on the case, appealing for more witnesses and pursuing the offenders for a crime under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Justice may yet prevail.

Bull terriers will always have their defenders — there are those who believe Hitler was misunderstood — and many of them are in the Middle East. Google ‘bull terrier attacks’ and make up your own mind. The man with half his face hanging off, the dog with its ear ripped off, the child with a lacerated eye. There’s a reason why collies, labradors, spaniels, poodles and 99 per cent of other pet dogs don’t elicit the same fear and loathing.

Justin Marozzi’s latest book is Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood.

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Show comments
  • Kitty MLB

    Ah! I know Norfolk very well, gun dogs are most favourable in that part of the country
    I adore Labradors( neighbour at the bottom of the hill has a brown one named Cadbury) who I look after he is adorable.
    Bull dogs as well as rottweilers are loathsome dogs I remember as a child stoking one
    and it put it’s mouth around my wrist, I stayed calm and luckily it eventually let go. But to be honest I have no idea why people have dangerous dogs as pets. Especially around children .

    • Fraser Bailey

      People have dangerous dogs because they are unpleasant people. It’s a simple as that. At a slightly deeper level, I note that a great many people who have dogs (at least in cities) are useless people. Useless in the sense that no employer or organization wants or needs them. Useless in the sense that they probably live off the state in some form or another. I think they need to feel that something or someone depends on them in some way – that they are at least useful to the something or someone i.e. the dog. Whatever, most of them should be shot, along with their vile dogs.

      • Kitty MLB

        I get what you mean Fraser. When you see a dangerous dog they do seem to resemble their owners the more vile and aggressive a dog the more so with the owners. A certain type prefers a certain dog and they
        are always the least responsible.

      • marie

        are you actually using up vital oxygen?, i live in a city, i don’t live off the state, i go to work every day, earn my own way, i work in a care home, sometimes having to work 12 hr shifts, getting battered, spat on swore at, all for minimum wage, because their families are tired of looking after them, i have 10 GCSE’s, NVQ’s, but shock horror i own 4 rotties, you are nothing but an ignorant, arrogant, judgmental waste of space, ever heard the phrase “never judge a book by it’s cover”, my dogs are on leads at all times, i pick their crap up, i train my dogs well

    • “But to be honest I have no idea why people have dangerous dogs as pets”

      They don’t, they have them as weapons.

      • Kitty MLB

        Weapons, Matthew? We are not allowed those unless
        a cricket bat. A lot of people where I live out in the sticks keep a gun for shooting game and have gun dogs..a licence is required the gun locked up and
        the gun dog kept outside.They’re not pets also.

    • Abigail Burns

      well thats lovely, we are not discussing Bull Dogs here though.I have an EBT a Lab and a Springer and a Collie, and statistics will put all of them at producing more dog bites to humans than an English Bull Terrier. All dogs are dangerous. I am currently looking after a chocolate lab too, who is not so nice to other dogs, but oddly he gets on well with my EBT because she is so well socialised, she gets on with all dogs, bar 2, an Akita and a collie. Neither of whom she would give time of day too, and both of their owners say they are not to be trusted. I trust my dogs judgement. She is now 14 years old and has never said a cross word to anything, and also herds sheep..including penning them and holding them if necessary and never has the evil that apparently lurks inside them all, escaped. Ergo don’t judge all by the actions of a few.

  • Pootles

    Now, if we had sensible laws, you could have bought a ‘dog potter’ in that little ironmongers/air rifle/fishing tackle shop just before Wells harbour. And you would have been quite within your rights to shoot the buggers.

    • Rik

      An armed citizen {cue laughter} anyone would think you wanted to live in a free country

      • Pootles

        Yup! Mind you, it’s a good job I live in England not Schottland, where the First Gauleiter is planning to ban all air pistols – I’ve still got my boyhood air pistol in the loft somewhere, along with my Scout knife.

        • post_x_it

          No doubt a kneejerk legislative response to the scene with the air gun and the dog in Trainspotting.

          • Pootles

            Actually, it’s a stupid response to a drug-addled swine killing a little boy with an air rifle in Glasgow a year or two back. Although the new ‘Polizei Schottland’ armed police mentality probably had something it.

  • trace9

    Owners of these objects are the scum of the earth. One practical little tip – where ‘ordinary’ dogs are in a fracas: if you can’t get one to release its grip on the (hopefully fur) of the other’s neck, that is likely because of its assumption that once released, the other dog will instantly whip around & bite in its turn. Get another person to put their hands round the head of the bitee to shield the biter from retaliation, & he’ll be more likely to let go, when both can be snatched up (if terriers, as per my own rapid ‘learning process’), & – barny over! Never work with the above of course. Stamp on their heads if poss.

    • Bob Rtarp

      pick up a stick and gouge its eyes out, if that doesn’t work jam a stick into its ear until you reach the brain. this is how you stop an attack from a frankenmauler

    • Bananie

      I like the take off your belt, wrap it around their neck and sinch it until they gag method, then you have them in a leash. Or perhaps the all-time hilarious solution where the lady stuck a finger in his bum. I’m sure any sizeable object will do!

    • marie

      you have the nerve to call owners of bull terriers “scum”, yet you are the one talking about stamping on an animals head, take a long hard look in the mirror love!!!!

  • Firstly I’d like to say I’m pleased no lives (Human or Canine) were lost in this incident & I really sympathise as it must have been very traumatic for all concerned.

    ANY dog in the hands of irresponsible owners can be dangerous, regardless of breed.
    The reaction of the owners (Beating their dogs after the incident) should give you a clue as to how they treat them.
    Violence breeds violence, even in the dog world.

    All dogs have their little quirks & good owners know them & manage them. Not all are perfect around others, in crowds or stressful situations. As owners we should avoid such situations & manage the dog accordingly.

    These dogs were rescues & we need to question the organisation that allowed them to be placed with owners who are clearly not equipped to manage them.

    All of the EBT’s I know are lovable characters, I have a Border Collie (rescue) who in her younger days would snarl at any strange dog that came near her & I’ve no doubt she’d attack them – if I hadn’t monitored her at all times around other dogs.

    Breed is no indication of how a dog will behave – look at the owners & dogs history & you’ll have a clearer picture.

    • Bob Rtarp

      Simply
      put, border collies do not herd sheep because they are raised on sheep farms;
      rather, they are raised on sheep farms because they herd. In addition pointers
      point, retrievers retrieve, and mastiffs guard, all because those traits are
      part of their breed expectations, meaning strong and continuous selection in
      the underlying breeding program ”

      Simply put Pit bulls do not attack because they are raised with dog fighters
      and drug dealers, dog fighters and drug dealers use pit bulls because they
      attack!

      It is their nature, their genetic truth and reality.!!

      It is not how you raise them rather it is simply what they are.!!

      Just like sled dogs run and pull, it is just their nature.!

      A pit bull type dog is what it is and does what it is.You can no more alter it
      genetic makeup then you can a collies to herd, a hounds to track, a retriever’s to
      retrieve, a labs to swim, a pointers to point, a sled dog to run and pull.

      They do what they are and a pit bull type dog
      is a mauling violent killer that has been bred to be a land shark, nothing you
      do can change that, even if you have them from birth.

      No matter if you love them, or how you
      nurture, train, rehabilitate, raise them optimally as normal dogs from birth,
      you can not change their Genetic reality to Kill, Maul, Maim, Disfigure,
      Dismember, cause Life Flights or trips to the Intensive Care Unit.

      For over 600 years the current pit bull type
      dog was brought into being through careful selective genetic breeding to create
      the most violent murderous fighting dog possible

      • Dogue

        Yet Michael Vicks ex-fighting dogs were rehabilitated, some of them even becoming therapy dogs. There’s a book published on the subject. The correct and desired temperament for a pit bull dog is never to show aggression towards humans in any circumstances. Something’s changed there. The only conclusion being genetics can be changed or it’s the manner in which the dog is raised. Take your pick.

        • Bananie

          Just as a brown-eyed couple can have a blue-eyed child, genetics can vary. The trouble with the bully breeds is that their propensity for aggression is not as easily detected as eye color. The only way to protect people is to protect them with laws designed for ALL of them.

      • Steve

        Fully with you on this. I have a pair of lurchers, and they simply cannot contain themselves, they HAVE to run round at top speed it is just in their natures. Now that doesn’t surprise me as it has been bred in over god knows how many generations. So I cannot see why a breed bred to fight over a similar amount of time wont have fighting hard wired in.

        • Dogue

          Not true and has no scientific basis. http://www.pitbullguru.com/InheritedDogAggression.pdf

          • Steve

            Thanks for the link, always ready to have my opinions challenged. But their are a few problems with it:

            It is relying heavily on two sources, firstly the work of B.F Skinner. His work is now viewed as controversial/discredited (delete according to taste) with numerous critics. Perhaps most significantly Temple Grandin – see chapter one of “animals in Translation”

            Secondly John,Paul,Scott,and,John,L.,Fuller. Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog. was published in 1965. i.e. it is nearly 50 years old, and although it viewed as a classic I would be very wary of citing it without more recent supporting evidence. More recent research on the heritability of dog on dog aggression comes out strongly against the conclusions of Scott & Fuller. See for example (among others)

            http://gooddogschool.webs.com/14810086-Heritability-of-Behavior-in-the-Abnormally-Aggressive-Dog-by-A-Semyonova.pdf

            There is also the intriguing case of rage syndrome, where dogs suddenly “flip” for want of a better term, beleived to a form of epilepsy, it still results in in random bouts of aggression. It is especially interesting in English Springer spaniels, where it appears to have originated in one dog and has been passed down ever since. This is strong evidence to my mind that aggression can have a genetic basis.

          • Dogue

            Thanks. I read through it. Wasn’t till the end that I saw it was written by Alexandra Semyonova, which pretty much devalued it for me. I should have guessed with the Retriever thing, I’ve seen her try to link a brain anomaly to aggression in specific breeds, which is pure conjecture. Her usual retort for being unable to prove it, is that aggressive breeds don’t want their dogs tested.

      • Bananie

        Thank you.

      • Anthony

        Certain traits, such as being strong etc does not mean that they are inherently violent. My bull terrier (not a pit bull, two different breeds, don’t mix them up) was mauled by a husky – a dog apparently just bred to pull sleds according to you. My bull terrier managed to grab the huskies back leg and flipped it to the floor and held it there until I was able to intervene. Not a violent dog at all, but a powerful dog who will take the shortest possible route OUT of trouble, not IN to it. That’s what attracts the rough crowd – the breed is powerful, fiercely defensive (especially of children in the family) and in the wrong hands, yes, a fighter. They’re a breed recommended by the dog whisperer for families, and I suspect that he knows more about the breed than you. Hell, the breed hasn’t even existed for 600 years. Where are you getting your facts from?

        Personally, I fell in love with the breed while I was at primary school. The loveliest example of a Bull Terrier lived in a house that bordered our school fields and I used to go to see him most days. When I had my own place and had the money available, I got my own. He’s a wonderful animal who loves human attention, but has been attacked more times than I can count by ‘lap dogs’. It’s not my Bull Terrier that is the menace, and you’d do well to get your facts straight before you spout off in a public forum. As should the author of this disgusting article

      • Abigail Burns

        yes but an English Bull Terrier is not a Pitt Bull Terrier and did not come into being 600 years ago. Please go do some research.

      • Dave Craig

        Absoloute bollocks ^^……obviously posted to get a reaction or you have your head in the clouds and never owned a bully. Its people like yourself that will always give them a bad name !

    • Bananie

      Again, false belief system in light of the tremendous lot of evidence to the contrary.

  • Someone

    It really frustrates me because the vast majority of dog owners are decent people and have lovable and wonderful pets. But bull terriers scare the living hell out of me. Even those who profess that theirs is completely safe, I look at them and can’t help thinking ‘If this thing flips…’

    Like yourself Justin, I have a silly fluffy mongrel (half pomeranian, half bichon) but I really do think some breeds attract a certain kind of dog owner. That certain kind of dog owner usually has a particularly domineering personality (often expressed in physical, sometimes violent forms) which transmits to the dog. Of course, being totally secure in myself, I see no need to have a dog capable of killing my family and others at the drop of a hat. But it’s no comfort to those who are the victims of this kind of attack.

    My best to you and yours.

    • Alex N

      Often enough it is not the dog’s fault, but the owners and how they habe brought up their dog. I have had my Bull Terrier since he was 8 weeks old, and I do not have particularly domineering personality (often expressed in physical, sometimes violent forms)! My BT has never attacked or bitten a human or another animal and likes nothing more than to be snuggled up to me or my partner. He also loves being around our niece who is 2years old, and they both get on famously.

    • marie

      i own Rottweilers, does that make me a bad person? i’m not violent, infact i was nearly beaten to death by an ex partner, so i always try to avoid confrontation, i find that comment rather judgemental and quite ignorant, and this is where all this breed discrimination comes from, pure ignorance

      • MountainousIpswich

        Breed discrimination has its place. Some dogs are bred to fight, hunt and kill. It is in their genes. Now that does not mean that a well brought up rottweiler or terrier in a loving family cannot be a perfectly safe pet, but the fact is they are mostly kept by young idiot men using them as penis extensions and keeping them to fight or to instil fear. Thus the breed must be accepted as inherently dangerous with exceptions, rather than the other way round. Let’s face it, no one has ever been mauled by a poodle, a pomeranian or a chihuahua.

        • Dogue

          Rottweilers were originally bred to drove cattle and pull carts – not to hunt, fight or kill.

        • marie

          so you’re saying a whole breed should be condemned for the actions of a few, i think you will find that behaviours can be trained out of dogs, myself and my partner trained the herding instinct out of our rotties, so it can be done, this moron obviously hasn’t used his common sense and trained these dogs, and in fact most EBT’s are family pets nowadays, i agree they have been used by chavs to instill fear, but the media do us responsible owners absolutely no favors when writing these articles, they never mention how many of these “dangerous” breeds are actually service and therapy dogs, or how many have saved their owners lives, why? because it’s not what the general public want to hear, they want to hear horror stories, it’s like they can’t live without a bit of drama in their lives or something to bitch about

        • marie

          oh and i refer you to your other reply to someone down the page about being mauled by Pom

    • Marianna

      I own 4 bull terriers and 3 of mine were mauled by OTHER dogs while out walking them! My one girl suffered brain damage and a loss of 40% of her sight in the last episode! DONT BLAME THE BREED BLAME THE HAND THAT HOLDS THE LEASH! FYI my arm was ripped to shreds by a scruffy “mongrel” in one of the episodes and the hospital bill for that was in the thousands and the same for the vet bills I had to pay after my bull terriers were bitten by OTHER DOGS!

    • The PrangWizard of England

      It’s time we, the people of England, were allowed to carry guns for our own protection. And not just against dangerous dogs.

  • beenzrgud

    I don’t believe bull terriers are any more likely than any other breed of dog to attack if treated properly. Of course once they do attack a bull terrier is likely to do far more damage.
    I’d say you were lucky as it could have been far worse. English bull terriers are incredibly strong and capable of enormous damage.

    • K BB

      This is true of course, but SBTs etc. tend to be bought and bred by those who want them as weapons or income from fights. The dogs are also victims in that sense.

      God knows what the answer is, it’s unlikely to involve our hapless police.

    • Bananie

      For some reason, amongst all of the evidence to the the contrary, people continue to make statements like this. It never ceases to amaze me. Your continual misguided comments, whether grounded in a true belief, or otherwise, is what keeps these mongrels on this earth. Allow yourself to accept the truth for what it is. It might be a breath of fresh air.

      • beenzrgud

        Since you cannot say exactly how each dog that has attacked has been raised and treated during its life then any statement regarding a breeds likelihood to attack is baseless.

        • Alex N

          Agree. Not all dogs from one breed are the same. You get dangerous labradors, poodles and so on as well. Just nobody talks about it when they might bite somebody, as its not sensational enough. My EBT has been bitten by a Chihuahua for no reason at all, and mine did not respond and just walked away!

        • Dogue

          Exactly. In the US, they stopped tracking bites by breed. As the means of reporting especially the media, are completely flawed.

  • Ed  

    Fifteen years ago my parents vacationed in Britain. While they were there, such a dog attacked a child on the street in London. The child’s father and uncle saved her by slamming the dog’s head repeatedly in a car door until it released her.

    You should be free to own a pistol. You could have shot those two damn dogs.

  • Jim

    Scary people have scary dogs precisely because they will scare people. Then when you get scared, they get the hump. Go figure.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    Repeal the Dangerous Dogs Act and all it’s complexity and replace it with something like:

    1) A Constable, or other authorised person, may seize, without warrant, any animal that they believe to have been, to be, or may become a risk to any person or property belonging to another.
    2) A Chief Constable may authorise persons to hold the powers as set out in Section One above.
    3) A Chief Constable, or a person designated by him, may, at any time, issue a certificate of destruction for any animal seized under the terms of Section One.

    Stop making things so bloody complicated.

  • Paul Evans

    This problem won’t be resolved until all financial incentives are removed from breeding these animals. Then society can turn its attention to the dogs.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Dogs don’t think they are dogs; dogs think they are people. So it seems to be rather unfair to put psychopathic canines to death when we do not extend that privilege to people.

  • Sian Phillips

    ‘Bull terriers will always have their defenders — there are those who believe Hitler was misunderstood’– utterly absurd comparison. I cannot defend what happened to you, it’s beyond awful, but please don’t be ignorant enough to dismiss an entire breed of dog. I grew up with an English Bull Terrier who never showed any malice towards anybody. All dogs have the potential to do harm–it is the owners responsibility to ensure they train their dog properly. It is unfortunate that there are some idiots out there who are attracted to bull breeds and use them for bad, but in my experience, they can be just as lovely and domesticated as any other breed.

    • MountainousIpswich

      I was about to say that no one has ever been mauled by a Pomeranian.

      However I’ve discovered I am wrong. There has been one known fatality from a Pomeranian attack (Apparently the only attack on record)

      http://www.dogexpert.com/fatal-dog-attack-in-california-on-infant-by-pomeranian/

    • alasdair galloway

      There is no doubt that the owners of such dogs have a substantial responsibility for events such as the one you describe. The owner of the Akita (Japanese hunting dog) which attacked my cocker spaniel (then eight months old) was totally unconcerned about what might have happened to my dog or to me, and was concerned about nothing else of than that “someone had left the ****ing gate open” and the dog was still at large. I have since discovered that this dog has attacked at least five other dogs in our area. Fortunately neither my dog or I were injured in the attack – a few well aimed kicks in the abdomen “persuaded” this Akita to give up – but whenever I take our dog for a walk I always carry a stout walking stick and would use it to whatever degree is necessary to achieve my purpose.
      That said, there are certain breeds of dog which always make me nervous – for instance alsatians have joined the list since one idiot wouldnt call his dog back till I threatened that I would use the above mentioned walking stick – and I am sorry to say that bull terriers are one. Its all very well for you to say that an entire breed shouldnt be dismissed in this way, but the reality is that they have reputation that has some degree of justification. You would do well to bear in mind that, rightly or wrongly, your dogs do make other dog owners nervous.

  • Monique

    I am terribly sorry that you had to endure such an attack HOWEVER I can assure you that not very Bull terrier is an aggressive “missile” and it is irresponsible of you not only to condemn the entire breed but to perpetuate public fear. It is the OWNERS who should be held accountable.

  • Laura Isabel Mata

    I am not sure where I can begin with this and the comments on this page are just as bad as this article. Let start with not every dog owner is irresponsible. We are not scum either! Many of us come from diverse back grounds, different levels of achievement and so much more! Rufus, Westminster winner, 2006 , Target with Bullseye, Spuds- Spokes dog for Bud Light, and much more. There are many respected people all across the world that also own bull terriers.

  • Someone

    I have a bull terrier and he loves other dogs you can’t judge a whole breed by the mistakes of these dog owners. – bully breed advocate

  • marie

    there are more attacks by collies and labs, they just don’t make the papers because it doesn’t sell, no one wants to think of these dogs as attackers, i’m not condoning what has happened one bit but don’t tarnish a whole breed because of 2 dogs that quite obviously have an abusive owner, where do think they’ve learned that aggression? I go through this every day while walking my Rotties, it’s so infuriating

  • Dean Isaacs

    It’s interesting how someone with a public platform is willing to label an entire breed on the basis of a single incident. We have a name for this when you do it with people.

    • Kennybhoy

      Well said sir. Interesting too, the sort of minority comment it has attracted insupport.

  • KEL2014

    Wow – pathetic. I am very sorry about you dog and your injury – there is no excuse – but PLEASE…my friend who’s a vet had to put a Labrador to sleep last week as it bit a baby and caused lasting damage, I’ve seen Spaniels bite other dogs and sausage dogs nip ankles of any passer by. In fact I know of a local girl who has had to have skin grafts to her chest as their pet collie turned on her in her sleep. ANY dog has the potential to turn, to bite or misbehave. To stereo type breeds is misleading and pathetic. What you should be doing is raging about the owner and suggesting how bad ownership is a problem and how this could be addressed. Ignorance can be dangerous and I believe that this article a waste of space. Yes something happened to you, fine, and by all means mention the breed if you want, to but to provoke ill feeling to a breed due to how two behaved is wrong. Yes they were out of control. I firmly believe all dogs should be on leads and if unpredictable wear a muzzle and be trained accordingly. I don’t find this article to be a constructive or helpful thing and I think those off the back of it telling stories of this ‘fighting’ breed being unsafe, scary etc sound like old washer women and we can all Google something nasty to see.You dare mention Hitler in this article – are you the sort to think every member of faith a radical? Open your eyes and see the bigger picture please before publishing your next ‘article’. Oh and YES I AM A BULL TERRIER owner and YES I ALWAYS WILL BE.

  • Eric Vaughn

    Come on…1st, look up Bull Terrier attacks on Google like the author, Justin Marozzi, said and you will see AMERICAN PITbull terriers, Stafford Terriers, and other bull terriers but hardly, if any, English Bull Terrier attacks…except for mainly this tragic event the author experienced. This is an ridiculous and naive article that was written with emotions of a recent event (Sept. 28, 2014) and is inaccurate of the majority of EBT’s. All dogs have the ability to be aggressive and ultimately it is the owners responsibility. Though I am terrible sorry for his “fluffy mongrel’s” attack, to stereotype the breed and to place less blame on the owners is not only unfair and prejudice, but it is asinine as well as uneducated. I have been attacked by smaller breeds more so than so called aggressive breeds. Love them or hate them, EBT’s are not the issue, proper training and handling is.

  • Dave Craig

    anyone can make a dog( any type of dog i may add) fierce and intimidating, all it takes is one ingredient….1 x idiot owner!…..meet the breed properly and then make your opinion before claiming another ‘devil dog’ epidemic of pig / shark looking dogs that savage anything in front of them…..remember the type of owner makes what type of dog it is!

    • Dave Craig

      and i would like to add that its amazing that this guy has apparently got a book to promote as well……..whats the odds on that?

      • Kennybhoy

        Indeed. The Disqus mods won’t let me comment o this. Cograts for getting this through.

      • Abigail Burns

        agreed it had crossed my mind too. 🙂

  • Kerry

    My partner had to go to A & E after a border collie attacked our English bull terrier. He had puncture marks all over his hands from the border collie, not our dog. Our English bull terrier has also been attacked by a retriever that ran out of it’s garden and laid into our dog who was on a lead. I’ve also lived next door to poodles who bit a child that came up to their gate, our dog never bit anyone. So go back to the War Zone if you feel safer there but don’t be prejudiced to English bull terriers just because your dog was unfortunate and attacked by two.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Dr Aladdin, nice one.

  • AndrewMelville

    All these dogs should be killed and their owners should be gaoled.

    • mamie boyle

      You arrogant fool, get a grip

      • AndrewMelville

        Perhaps divine providence will afford you the opportunity to be mauled by one of these savage brutes. Please contact after to let me know your thoughts then.

        • mamie boyle

          I have an english bull terrier you arrogant fool

          • AndrewMelville

            Kill it quick before it harms you and other innocent people.

      • AndrewMelville

        Let us hope that Divine Providence gives you the opportunity to experience what the victims of these savage beasts have suffered.

    • Abigail Burns

      All Germans are Nazis and should be killed too? Right – er no Wrong and so are you, stop generalising and making yourself look less intelligent than I am sure you are.

      • AndrewMelville

        You are nuts.

        • Abigail Burns

          No more than you sir 🙂

  • Andrew K Fletcher

    Google what humans have done to humans to put things into perspective, especially in those wars the author refers to. Imagine how those parents felt when their children were mown down by fighters on all sides. Look to Gaza or the video of the live baby recovered from a black bin bag floating down a river. Look to the dog meat trade where pet dogs are stolen, carted in horrific cruel cages to meet a fate one can not begin to imagine. Yes these two owners are shit heads. Yes these dogs have never received proper training, but ask yourself what breed wouldn’t have done the same under those circumstances? Humans need to “Get off the moral high ground”.

    • Kennybhoy

      “Google what humans have done to humans to put things into perspective, especially in those wars the author refers to.”

      Indeed.

  • zoid

    the crux of it is, that you don’t own a staffy or any other bull terrier because it’s a cuddly family pet that likes to lollop about, fetch sticks and you can leave the kids to play with it….

    and enough of the bs about ‘there are no bad dogs, just bad owners’…..dogs that have been bred for centuries to be fighting/hunting dogs with powerful jaws have that aggression and brutality hard-wired into them.

    and ordinary members of the public have no effective protection against these offensive weapons once they are off the leash.

    • Abigail Burns

      Enlighten me then why do we own them?

    • rugby god

      that is in extremely poor taste. My brother and I were raised with EBT’s, they are cuddly and loving. you;re right about the sticks, ours would just DESTROY them!

  • Kennybhoy

    Utterly disgraceful, indeed shameful article.

  • Nacho Munoz

    Thank god, their were not really dangerous dogs, like pit bulls… And in fact there are more attacks per year of labradors than bull terriers. I just think that some persons who lived in war zones, develop a extremely sensitive side, with a easy break point, and some normal situations like violent dogs in a park, may cause a serious trauma

  • Animals24-7

    Of the 5,048 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, when I began logging the data, 3,496 (68%) were pit bulls, including bull terriers; 557 were Rottweilers; 4,330 (85%) were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, bull mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes. Of the 570 human fatalities, 302 were killed by pit bulls; 87 were killed by Rottweilers; 433 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds. Of the 3,070 people who were disfigured, 2,152 (68%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 328 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,632 (84%) were disfigured by molosser breeds. Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict more than 70 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class. Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are together less than 7% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

  • MountainousIpswich

    On a dog attack, don’t attempt to use your hands to fend off the mouths, if you possibly can, go straight for fingers in the eyes. Blind it.

  • mamie boyle

    I’ve read the article and now reading the comments, mostly from people with no clue what they are talking about, this article is a joke and even more so half the comments, you talk about killer dogs then in the next breath saying what you would do to them and how you would do it and then do the same to the owner!! pot and kettle springs to mind. Did you know Murderers … very often start out by killing and torturing animals, think a few of you may need help!! Scary stuff!! Well I am now going to cuddle up to my beautiful, gentle, loving dog and hope I never meet any of you in person, disgusting excuse of human beings

  • Ms. KnowsTheTruth

    Any owner of a dog nearly killed whose experience will be brushed aside in the tsunami of blame the owner not the breed, his dog provoked it, the writer needs to be fired from his job, let’s write letters to make the injured dog’s owner look like a criminal, my pittie will lick long slobbery wet pissy tongue kisses all over a minute old baby, my pit is destined by my opinion to never hurt even the tiniest of gnats.

    Yet these excuses are often used to reverse pit bans, prevent new bans, and worse, allow daily attacks by known fighting breeds. Demand the CDC keep breed statistics with pictures of attacking dogs with every serious attack.

    • Abigail Burns

      I own one of those dogs (English Bull Terrier) and am proud to do so, but his experience should not be brushed aside, his dog did not provoke it, he shouldn’t be sacked and it can be understood that he is angry and put off the breed for life, thats his choice. However it is also his choice to cast aspersions on the type of people who own English Bull Terriers and their habits, and for that I think he should apologise. I also think the owners of the dogs in question should get in touch, pay his bills and apologise and get their dogs assessed and if neccessary rehabilitated or put down. Does this mean I am in denial, because oddly enough there are a lot of us responsible English Bull Terrier owners about who feel the same.

    • Abigail Burns

      I like the idea of the pictures of dogs with attacks though, so people can finally staart to see how few are involving English Bull Terriers..

  • James Clark

    Passionate and, I suppose, controversial piece.
    It’s a tad hysterical, but I can’t help feeling he has a point. I’m sure many EBTs are lovely, but plenty are not. The defence that it’s all about the owners feels to me a little like the NRA’s defence of owners of assault rifles – “Guns don’t kill people, people do”. Well, yes, but they can do so much more damage with an assault rifle. Same thing really, nobody actually needs a machien gun, and nobody actually needs a dog bred to kill other dogs as family pet, it’s just a choice.

    • Abigail Burns

      Hi James mostly true BUT and its a big one, English Bull Terriers were not bred to kill other dogs. And of course its about the owners, and whether or not they are idiots as they clearly were, and cowards too instead of staying and helping and paying bills.

  • Abigail Burns

    I have an Englsih Bull Terrier, she gets on with all dogs, bar 2, an Akita and a collie. Neither of whom she would give time of day too, and both of their owners say they are not to be trusted. I trust my dogs judgement. I do dog homestay and have many dogs come stay, never had an issue with her with any of them, not even now I have a 4 year old child, that she is not over protective of. I am annually inspected by Government Vet and he both loves her and is amazed by how chilled she is with other dogs. She is now 14 years old and has never said a cross word to anything, she herds sheep..including penning them and holding them if necessary, and never has the evil that apparently lurks inside them all, escaped. Ergo don’t judge all by the actions of a few.

  • Abigail Burns

    Whilst I feel empathy with Justin and his wife and Maisie for their experience, I don’t appreciate the tone and way the article insinuates that people own English Bull terriers as status dogs. Maybe some do but most of us don’t aren’t in Iraq either nor in possesion of the shaven heads to which you refer, and so many of you have latched onto the stereotype. Perhaps Google English Bull Terrier attacks rather than jsut Bull Terriers and see the difference, and there is a big one. These dogs were/are owned by General Patton, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, Marc Jacobs, John Bishop,Taylor Swift, Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg, Lilly Allen, Orlando Bloom as I child I believe, Bev Callard, Kirk Hammond, Eric Clapton, Jake McGee, Basil Rathbone and many others including Princess Anne.( although one of hers did bite someone) but the point here I am trying to make is that we are not all shaven headed card carrying members of the EDL or BNP as some of you bigots are trying to make out.

  • Abigail Burns

    Bit of factual actual history for you all as to how the English Bull Terrier came to be bred. Whippets Foxhounds and Dalmatians sound like nice dogs don’t they? Good read on. 🙂

    Early in the mid-19th century the “Bull and Terrier” breeds were developed to satisfy the needs for vermin control and animal-based blood sports. The “Bull and Terriers” were based on the Old English Bulldog (now extinct) and one or more of Old English Terrier and “Black and tan terrier”, now known as Manchester Terrier. This new breed combined the speed and dexterity of lightly built terriers with the dour tenacity of the Bulldog, which was a poor performer in most combat situations, having been bred almost exclusively for killing bulls and bears tied to a post. Due to the lack of breed standards – breeding was for performance, not appearance – the “Bull and Terrier” eventually divided into the ancestors of “Bull Terriers” and “Staffordshire Bull Terriers”, both smaller and easier to handle than the progenitor

    About 1850, James Hinks started breeding “Bull and Terriers” with “English White Terriers” (now extinct), looking for a cleaner appearance with better legs and nicer head. In 1862, Hinks entered a bitch called “Puss” sired by his white Bulldog called “Madman” into the Bull Terrier Class at the dog show held at the Cremorne Gardens in Chelsea. Originally known as the “Hinks Breed” and “The White Cavalier”, these dogs did not yet have the now-familiar “egg face”, but kept the stop in the skull profile The dog was immediately popular and breeding continued, using Dalmatian, Greyhound, Spanish Pointer, Foxhound and Whippet to increase elegance and agility; and Borzoi and Collie to reduce the stop. Hinks wanted his dogs white, and bred specifically for this. Generally, however, breeding was aimed at increasing sturdiness: three “subtypes” were recognised by judges, Bulldog, Terrier and Dalmatian, each with its specific conformation, and a balance is now sought between the three. The first modern Bull Terrier is now recognised as “Lord Gladiator”, from 1917, being the first dog with no stop at all.

    Due to medical problems associated with all-white breeding, Ted Lyon among others began introducing colour, using Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the early 20th century. Coloured Bull Terriers were recognised as a separate variety (at least by the AKC) in 1936. Brindle is the preferred colour, but other colours are welcome Along with conformation, specific behaviour traits were sought. The epithet “White Cavalier”, harking back to an age of chivalry, was bestowed on a breed which while never seeking to start a fight was well able to finish one, while socialising well with its “pack”, including children and pups. Hinks himself had always aimed at a “gentleman’s companion” dog rather than a pit-fighter though Bullies were often entered in the pits, with some success. Today the Bullie is valued as a comical, mischievous, imaginative and intelligent (problem-solving) but stubborn house pet suitable for experienced owners

  • John Court

    There are a few unhelpful suggestions here about how to break this up. By far the best way is to pick up the dogs by the back legs and slowly pull the dogs backwards. As soon as the dog adjusts its grip it will let go. More details at this link https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/breaking-dogfight Note how the dogs did not deliberately bite the author, he put his fingers in or near their mouths. I know it is very difficult to behave calmly in a situation like this. If the dog were to attack the person it would be a different story and some of the more extreme methods would apply. Fortunately there aren’t many dogs like that around. In my opinion if you own a fighting breed you should be held to higher standards of control. As a kid my family had Staffies and they definitely need to be kept on the lead if other dogs are nearby, particularly males.

    • Abigail Burns

      just like to say that if you have two dogs that are locked onto each other, and you pull them apart you will risk a lot of tearing and ripping where you don’t want it. I completely agree with pick up the hind ends though, but you are better advised to push the two together, no matter how counter intuitive it seems and they will sometimes smother either and release, or you just change their postion enough that they want to release and regrip for a better bite hold, but either way you have to be lightening quick at that point to seperate before they bite back on again.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    You have my sympathies. A few years ago my little spaniel suffered a similar attack from a cross-breed terrier. His and my injuries were similar to Maisies and yours.

  • Hironimous Nostril

    My neighbour suffered a similar attack when out walking his collie dog, only this time it was two husky type dogs. His dog almost died. Now he carries a big walking stick when he takes the dog for a walk.

  • Nessa

    It’s nice to have a public platform to vent and be paid for it too. Many people get attacked in just as vicious a manner and no one cares because they didn’t go to Oxford etc. So suck it up!

  • Andrew K Fletcher

    Go to any dog shows and meet thousands of friendly dogs from all walks of life, getting along just fine. Better still go to any bull terrier show and you will meet responsible owners and breeders who have proven that their dogs are loyal friendly companions that get along with other dogs.

  • Davey

    I am a vet, so can speak with some authority on this issue. In my experience, any dog can bite, even the usually gentle or docile. However, the most vicious attacks tend to be perpetrated by the breeds you would expect – the bull breeds, Rottweilers, German Shepherd dogs etc etc. – headstrong and confident and powerful dogs which need DISCIPLINE – otherwise they will become a liability to their owners and others. By discipline I mean control enforced by training, NOT hitting the dog, which some lazy people think is an acceptable method. A traumatised dog is not a trustworthy dog.
    We can argue the point until we’re blue in the face, but certain breeds tend to be owned by certain types of people (not in every case of course) and that fact is undeniable. There is a reason why someone would choose a Rottweiler over a Labrador or Standard Poodle, for instance. Why you would introduce a potentially aggressive and powerful dog into a house full of small children is beyond me, but I see this all the time.
    The main problem, perhaps the only one, is that fewer and fewer people take the trouble to understand their dogs and to train them properly. If your dog is a Shih Tzu, maybe you can get away with that – it’s probably only ever going to bite the vet! However, when your dog is a potential killer it is an absolutely essential element in your relationship with that dog. The trouble is, it seems, most people do not want to be bothered to take the trouble!
    I believe dog ownership is out-of-control in this country. Everyone sees it as their ‘right’ to own a dog, rather than a privilege. Few people take the trouble to research which type of dog would be most suitable for their circumstances, whether they can afford proper diet and healthcare for the animal and whether they have got the time to exercise and train the dog properly. It’s about time the indiscriminate breeding of dogs was clamped down upon, and that a proper dog licence (that you have to pay for) was introduced with compulsory third party insurance and some requirement to prove that you are able and willing to provide for that animal – and that includes a proper training regime. Perhaps that would go some way to reducing the HUGE unwanted dog population in this country – most of which are bull terrier types I hasten to add!

    • Abigail Burns

      Davey – Whilst I can agree with a lot of your points, I cannot agree with the “these types of dogs are owned by a certain type of person” even though you then say not in every case, are we talking about Bull Breeds in general or specifically Enlgish Bull Terriers, which are the dogs in question in this article? If you are talking about English Bull Terriers then I think your statistics are slightly out of kilter. I also refer you to my earlier comment about famous ENGLISH Bull Terrier owners past and present and they are certainly not the type you are alluding to. I own one, pay for a licence and insurance for vets bills and third party, at a staggering £80 a month but that is mainly down to vets bill claims! and she is now 14 so had a while to rack them up..I think that Staffordshire BT’s are being ridiculoulsy over bred and owned by a lot of people as status dogs. What is winding me up about this is that everyone is lumping English BT’s into the same pot and they are not. They are a different breed entirely, and if you look on Kennel Club website as best match to family dogs the English Bull Terrier is one of the best matches going.I would happily go buy from a licenced breeder only and continue to have my licence, and for what its worth I don’t think and type of bull breed is a first time dog owners dog, they are far too stubborn and need daily boundaries like wilful toddlers. Looking at some children nowadays and their boundaries its no wonder that so many children get bitten as they have no repsect for dogs at all, and the only way a dog can get them off it is with its mouth..Really irritates me. I have a 4 year old child and run a do homestay business and have 1 maybe 2 dogs occasionally 3 from same owner, and my daughter never has unsupervised interaction with them, they always come for visits prior and I only take dogs from homes that are used to children and other dogs, and I take them walking first with my dogs to check this out, not just take their word for it, as the risk is too great. Out of respect for my old dog and my child that they are unharmed. I don’t understand how as dog owners and parents we can be so blase about their interactions and then blame the dogs for the obvious outcome in most cases..sorry am getting a bit wound up now.

      • Michael Ristau

        I am not a UK resident, I live in Southern California. We have an epidemic of Pit Bull ownership. Pit Bulls are genetically bred to attack, attack, and to keep attacking until they are killed or incapacitated. They were never intended to be pets. 25 years ago in California they were mostly owned by gangsters (Crips, Bloods, La Eme) and motorcycle gang members. I will give some credit for intelligence to the old time gangsters and the bikies of that generation, they knew exactly what these dogs were for, pit fighting, and guarding used car lots and meth labs. None of the OG gangsters from the 70s and early 80s, and none of the Hells Angels, Outlaws, or Bandidos, wanted a pit bull chewing up their children or their granny. But somehow the gangster wannabees, and also very stupid white people, decided that these were intimidating dogs and they would make good protective pets. Even white girl students at UCLA and USC got them for protection, in the same way they would have bought a Doberman in preceeding years.
        Now pit bulls can be found in every neighborhood of Los Angeles, a terrible plague, even in old money neighborhoods like Hancock Park. Attacks on other dogs are common all over LA, and the pit bull owners almost always flee the scene. Attacks on people, including elderly people and small children, are all too common. There is a substantial difference between a pit bull and a German Shepherd or Doberman. Pit Bulls are genetically programmed for aggression and murder. They are like robots or terminators AND THEY CAN NOT BE RE-PROGRAMMED. A Pit Bull having a good owner, means nothing whatsoever. The dog is still programmed to attack for no reason and to kill. A German Shepherd or Doberman can not be compared to the pea brain hardwired Pit Bull.

        • Abigail Burns

          how is that Cesar Milan seems to rehabilitate so many of them then?I feel awful for America in general at the moment with the way the dog population has gone and is going and how it appears we are stupidly following suit. Thank God I live in a sleepy little village now, where everyone is used to my dog and the 3 others that different people have had here in the past.

      • Davey

        No Abigail, I said ‘tend’ to be owned by certain types of people, not ‘are’ owned exclusively by certain types of people – it’s not the same thing. I have been called upon to euthanase more than one English Bull Terrier over the years after attacks on family members. I would be interested to know the reason behind your choice of breed. General Patton, by the way, was quite an aggressive and belligerent man, by all accounts, so I wouldn’t use him as an example to prove your point.
        Also, if you own a dog, which is entirely your choice, you can expect to pay a substantial amount in vet’s fees over the years. I am rather tired of having to defend my profession in this way.

        • Abigail Burns

          ok Davey and I acknowledge that you said tend to be, but the reason I “bought” up English Bull Terriers is because the dogs in the article are English Bull Terriers, and I get sick and tired of people lumping them into the same statistics as Staffies and Pit Bulls, which are different breeds and going through a pandemic of plague like proportions as mentioned below. I am saddened to hear that you have had to euthanise more than one EBT due to aggression to family members, when they are genuinely generally one of the best family dogs you could ask for raised the right way. Which begs the question as to how people are raising their dogs nowadays. I agree that dogs of a more powerful nature like this do need to be controlled in ownership and breeding terms, but not demonised. Its the demonisation issue due to incomptent ownership of both the dogs and the children combined that is leading to so many issues and it does really upset me to such a lovely breed (again I am being specific to EBT’s here as that is what the article was about) being made a mockery of and people afraid of them. My dog is used to help other dogs who have been attacked by dogs to come back out and walk as she is so unthreatening. They are the clown of the dog world. As for defending your profession, you shouldn’t have to, you spend about 5-7 years at vet school and work hard. I have a great relationship with my vet and I pay my insurance safe in the knowledge that my dogs needs are covered and so are the vets bills. I am not denigrating that in anyway, so please do not feelt he need to defend the profession to me. I have horses sheep dogs cats all sorts I have to have a great vet! As to why I have English Bull Terriers is pretty simple really, my granny used to breed standards and miniatures very successfully showing and winning at Crufts including Kirbeon Bandmaster. My parents have had them as my brother and I were growing up and now I have them as household pets, alongside working Labs and Spaniels and Jack Russells. And of all them the Spaniels I don’t trust around food and bones, the Lab with other large dogs but the EBT no issues whatsoever with any of it. My granny was saved from being raped during the war by two of her dogs, who did no more than was necessary to stop what was happening, there was no red mist savagery, my father has been attacked by a German Shepherd that had made a habit of attacking people & dogs walking in a forest in Germany, and his 6 month EBT did defend him and killed the dog in question, but it had by this point already bitten 3 people and killed 5 dogs, so whilst it wasn’t ideal and the owner was upset he also admitted he had plenty of time to deal with the issue too and had failed his dog. After that the EBT in question did develop a real issue with Shepherds attacking the next one he saw unprovoked, so my father paid the vets bill apologised and explained, and from then on made sure he was never in a situation where that could happen again. The history was easy to see and prevent. I never normally comment on these things but its a cause close to my heart and I wish more people like vets and breeders could someone how help to stem the crazy tide of overbreeding and attacks, by taking away peoples freedom of choice in having a dog they are not fit to own. A german shepherd in security terms is rated just below a firearm in terms of efficacy of deterrent and immobilisation of a threat and Bull Terriers in a way are no different. Maybe we need to ruthlessly start adopting some policies such as the ones in France of grading dogs and then having them licenced and tested by properly qualified people, not just someone who has had 5 mins training, to do so. I would have no issue with that at all, would support it wholeheartedly, and would like it to happen so people, dogs and breeds alike can be more fairly matched and owned. Patton I guess so, bull headed attracts a bullheaded dog, doesn;t mean the dog was a killing machine though, nor does it make him an ill educated hoodlum gangster either.

          • Abigail Burns

            ok sorry very long reply..

          • Davey

            Agree with everything you said. The bottom line is all dogs should be under control, and real control, at all times when out in public, but unfortunately you rarely see it. Perhaps we need more dog wardens!

          • Abigail Burns

            Probably, but some of those I have seen are a bit ineffectual. We have the police doing it here at the moment through budget cuts, not sure how that is going to work out yet. we shall see. Hope every EBT you see from now on is in the hands of good responsible owners. You should swing by the FB page English Bull Terriers United it might restore your faith somewhat.I probably get away with owning them as I am a cross between Barbara Woodhouse and Cesar Milan..not selling myself too well probably but my bullies are lovely as they were intended to be, so that is all that matters to me, and yes they sometimes sleep in the bed! I am not horrid to them..they jsut know their boundaries. Do you think it likely that if you have professional body of vets, that they might start lobbying Govt together with Rescue places etc for stricter laws re breeding and licencing to be bought in. Its always topical after an attack but ill thought out by politicians. It’d be nice for something effective to come through that could work before something horrific pushes it on us again.

        • Dogue

          I don’t think they look aggressive. A dog only looks aggressive when it’s demonstrating aggressive behaviour. The only reason they are perceived as aggressive is the social stigma and stereotyping that has been forced upon them.

          • Abigail Burns

            Haha I think they have only the face a mother could love, my friend yesterday ( a new one) said since getting to know mine she said she first thought she is so ugly its kinda cute, but then you go past first impressions and get to know the dog and its about personality. That said I always ask why does it matter how ugly they are, they are dogs and not a potential sexual partner so who gives a rats butt what they look like. I own them for their epic personalities, once you have had an English anything else is just a dog, lovely don’t get me wrong, but just not the same league as a bull headed loyal, funny, friendly, grunty pigness of an EBT.they are totally different to staffies even.

          • Abigail Burns

            exaclty everyone used to love Bullseye in Oliver, and the Target dog, and then the Russian cosmo dogmanautin the Disney movie whatever its called. The one in the Incredible Journey also..just moved away from those images a bit.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      The bigger the dog, the stupider the owner.

      • A Golden retriever?! A Labrador?! A whippet?! More of your Japanese autistic and trolling rubbish again!

  • I have a very passive, playful breed and she’s been pinned more than once – she’s always on lead – the other dogs haven’t been – so, I’ve taken to carrying a can of citronella spray designed for dog attacks – it does not cause any permanent damage but will hopefully be enough of a distraction when sprayed due to smell and mild eye irritation that I can then free my fluffy friend – I’m from the US so I do not know if you folks can carry such a thing – I don’t know the laws, but it might be something to consider – I’d be afraid to have a breed that I couldn’t physically control, but I know people do, so I keep this protective measure with me at all times now, clipped to the leash or in my pocket. I am also chiming in w/out reading the other 99 comments (I came here by way of Bob and Sophie’s blog, so, perhaps others have suggested this – I hope your hand mends w/out issue and you can walk on the beach in peace again soon.

    • Michael Ristau

      Forget citronella spray, it won’t work fast enough to deter a pit bull or rottweiler or even an aggressive smaller breed. Buy the hottest pepper spray you can find, in a 2 ounce or larger can, and keep it with you at all times when walking your dog. 3 ounces or bigger is better because a 2 ounce can is enough for one pit bull, but if a pack attacks your dog, you need more spray. A 6 to 12 ounce can of bear spray is ideal, although you need a big pocket or a belt holster to carry it. In addition, a good stun baton (long enough so that you can maintain contact with the dog while the dog tries to bite the stun baton) is excellent, you can find them with a 10 million volt discharge. They won’t kill a dog because the amperage is too low. But they will stop a dog (or anyone) if you maintain contact with the animal for several seconds until it runs away. The really high voltage stun guns are great because even a pit bull will give up biting another dog when he gets a shot of juice from a strong stun gun. The reason to have a stun baton and not a short stun gun is because there is a high probability of the dog biting at the shocking device. So having something long enough to keep your hand from being bitten is a good idea. A Taser that shoots darts is also excellent, if you hit the aggressive dog. But a Taser only has one shot, (unless you buy the very expensive and large 2 shot model) so if you miss, you have to use the taser as a stun gun. Apparently in the UK your laws prevent you from buying the really good pepper sprays, and they also prevent you from buying stun guns and stun batons. These are defensive weapons that anyone who is not a felon or known criminal associate, should be able to buy. They are also extremely good devices to use against human attackers. On the other hand, a heavy stick or club, or a gun, requires a lot more skill to use, especially on a charging dog that is moving very fast. If you had a gun and were unnerved by the situation your shot might go wild. A heavy stick is hard to deploy against a dog that is much faster than most humans, especially humans under stress. You might hit your own dog if the dogs are fighting. Pepper spray, a stun baton, or a Taser, are a much more humane solution and much more effective, unless you happen to be a good shot, and you have absolutely no hesitation about killing a dog that is attacking you or your dog.

  • Andy Moriarty

    I am writing from Los Angeles, where we are plagued with put bulls, an even more aggressive canine than the Bull Terrier. I have had several dogs attacked over the years by pit bulls being walked off-leash, and only the fact that my dogs were able to bite back saved them. What I have learned to do out of necessity is to carry a powerful pepper spray (UDAP Jogger fogger or UDAP Mugger Fogger) in each front pocket. So if one hand is entangled with trying to separate the dogs the other hand has something it can reach. Even though I was prepared for the worst I never expected it to happen. Here is what happened about about 10 days ago. I was walking my dog, we had just stepped out the front door and the external screen door, and I had locked both of them. So it would have taken a minute or so to get back in the house. A neighbor with the biggest pit bull I have ever seen, more than 120 lbs, was walking his dog across the street from us – about 40 feet away. The neighbor had removed collar and leash from his monster pit bull, I presume, so his dog could feel “free” on the walk. Free to do what ? The pit bull spotted my dog and made an immediate bee-line charge at my dog. No bark, no growl, just a straight charge as fast as he could run. I have been in this situation before and I knew the pit bull was not running over to say hi and play. The neighbor said “Oh s–t” as he clearly could not control his “wonderful, friendly,” off-the-leash monstrosity. I knew I could not run back in the house with my dog because I would not be able to unlock the door before we got mauled. I had the UDAP Jogger Fogger in my right front pocket – I had never tried it before and I wasn’t sure how effective it was, but it was the only option I had – I pulled it out and pointed it at the incoming canine missile. By this time the pit bull was not more than 8 feet away. I unloaded about half the cannister in his face, and, HE STOPPED. Man, this pit bull was huge and indifferent to pain. I could smell this stuff in the air and it was strong. The pit bull shook it off and came in for another charge, this time from closer in, about 5 feet away–I had half the can left and I blasted it. The pit bull sat down, and just looked at us. No whimpering, no crying, but the important thing was that he stopped. He looked confused – he did not look like he was going to make another try, but who knows? Before he could mount another charge the neighbor crossed the street and put the collar and leash on his pit bull. The neighbor walked away with his dog, without saying a word – no apology, no nothing! If I had been a blind person with a guide dog, my dog would have been killed. The people who walk their pit bulls off-leash should really think hard about the harm they cause, and can cause. Apparently such people are too busy with their macho posturing to think about the danger they are creating. Anyway UDAP did the job, my dog did not get bit, there was no fight, and of course I did not get bit trying to separate fighting dogs—–and once a pit bull is biting another dog even blasting it in the face with spray may not force it to let go, it just holds on despite the pain. So thanks to UDAP Jogger Power, we are safe, I am very impressed.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Holmes and Watson would have sorted that dog and its owner in record time. But that was before the lower orders had risen. “I know my rights” but clearly not your responsibilities.

  • Stuson43

    This is the most stupid article I have ever read and simply throwing fuel on an already ardent fire. All dog breeds are potentially dangerous: it’s a fact. All weak people (whether white or not, working class or not) will opt for what people consider the more dangerous of the breeds. Because they want to appear “hard” when in fact they’re not.

    I have been bitten twice by dogs: once by a scottish terrier and then again by a red setter. What does this show?

    I’ve had a bull terrier, and also a pekinese. They were friends. The former was as docile as you could imagine. The other was terrible. Putting your hand in front of my bt he would simply slurp it. Putting your hand in front of the other was not recommended, even by myself. Poor Roy. He was so loved by all that he got dognapped once for illegal dog fighting. I managed to get him back. He wouldn’t have hurt a fly. Perhaps that’s because I brought him up to properly like many other owners I am reading about here.

    • Abigail Burns

      what a lovely bullie owner you are Stuson43.

  • pobinr

    Thanks for posting this. It reminds me I need to have a knife or weapon or something on me to protect me & my boxer dog when out walking.
    Possibly a small can of hairspray to spray in the attacking dogs eyes & its skummy owner if necessary.

  • Peter

    I’ve always owned ‘fighting dog’s ‘ and I’ve got a shaven head. 3 years ago my English bull terrier was attacked by a Jack Russell. My fighting dog tried it’s best to hide between my legs and run off. She suffered a bad wound to front leg and ear.

    I understand it was my fault as I was informed by the middle class owner of the Jack Russell that my dog is a pit bull.

  • hanaka

    I hink you are pretty blind because of your anger. Do some real research before saying something stupid. “(…)man with half his face hanging off, the dog with its ear ripped off, the child with a lacerated eye.” I heard about these stories, and they were with amstaffs so don’t mix them because people like you are the reason why everyone thinks that bullys are dangerous.

  • hanaka

    And yes, I Googled what you said, and I had to make huge efforts to find some attacks or accidents so… Also watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ep-YvX-xGs

  • Holli Cat Smith

    Oh pull your head out of your ass the lot of you. A dog is only a reflection of it’s owner. Didn’t you read where the man took his dog and beat the hell out of it? How is any dog that is brought up by broken people going to turn out anything different than it’s owner?

    A dog will be good if he or she is brought up in a good way. I have a Bull Terrier. I have had her since she was 8 weeks old. She is 1 year now and she lives with me, my partner and my 5 cats. She is sweet, she loves the cats she loves us, she loves strangers and she loves dogs. Her only crime is that she is incredibly playful which is too much for some owners and some dogs, but there are lots of dogs who share that same love for fun, not just English Bull Terriers.

    Don’t tar everyone with the same brush. That’s like saying we are all evil just because someone beat a man to near death. Just as we are not the same, so are they. Don’t be a Breed bully.

    For the record, my Cat was killed by a Golden Lab off it’s leash.

    If any dog is bad, it’s only through fault of the owner for bringing them up that way.

    Jesus, some people are so closed minded.

  • Rebecca

    This is not a very balanced article. It is true that this should not have happened and I am sure it was scary for the author. But it is a personal spiel rather than a researched level discussion. The truth is that the dogs are not born dangerous ,these are owned by a bad owner. If he then beat his dogs, it does not take a huge leap to understand why the dogs are themselves violent.

    The same happens with people, sadly, a violent parent will often have violent offspring, maybe we should euthanise them as well. Poor dog ownership is the reason and the cause is 100% human, not canine. We must learn to attribute cause correctly, all owners are accountable, the dog does not reason in our way, they respond to their owner, environment and training. I think the owner needs to be found evaluated for his ability to own certain breed types, ideally any owner that has allowed this and has acted in this way should be banned from owning all fighting breeds, he clearly does not know how to handle them.

    I have spent time with bull terriers, they are easy and soft if trained, socialised and cared for correctly. Blame the owner, blame the system such as it is not, blame the neighbours and friends who ignore what is clearly a poor set up. Do not blame the dog.

  • John Campbell

    Since i was born, I’ve lived with bull terriers. The only one of them that was ever remotely violent, who just so happened to also be called Maisie, absolutely hated other dogs. Before i was born, my father was out walking her one day, when an incident similar to this happened. Maisie was on her lead, walking along happily, not making any fuss, when suddenly, a huge golden retriever – dogs that are supposedly some of the friendliest – bolted at my Maisie and wrapped its jaw around her neck, shaking her around with the obvious intent to kill. Growing up past that, she would growl at other dogs, and if provoked would snap and bark at them, but never once attacked another dog till the day she died at the age of 13, living a long happy life with a family that cared for her. Bull Terriers are not violent dogs. It’s people like you that are violent, in attempt to portray Terriers as savages. Please, don’t judge a breed by the actions of a minimal majority, one of whom was clearly raised in a violent home.

    • Steve

      Were you born with bull terriers?

  • Abi P

    You Sir, are not only racist & class-ist but also breedist. Whilst I feel terrible for your lovely dog (about the attack and having a bigot as an owner). How a dog is treated and raised determines how it acts (just like humans), most sensible, intelligent people understand this.

  • Sure It Is

    The idiot beats his dogs- he makes them aggressive and for that reason animal cruelty the dogs should be removed and hopefully rehabbed.
    Sorry about your pup and hand. Please consider carrying pepper spray or a walking stick you can jam in their mouths or some other form of defense. It Will work on the 2 legged terrors of this world too.

    • Steve

      We should behead him for that cruelty and send the head to peta for mounting.

  • Guest

    Just a little FYI my English Bull Terrier was attacked by a Golden Retriever with no remorse from the owner. I would like to note that It was completely unprovoked and left my dog with scars on his tail and neck. Mind your judgement. Also I think the mention of Hitler was a but much. That escalated very quickly.

  • Guest

    “Some people think Hitler was misunderstood.” Comparing Hitler to a breed of DOGS is uncalled for. This is not the same issue at all.

  • Steve

    These dogs ought to be better trained. Train them not to attack other dogs. Attack islamists!

  • Tom

    Sorry, but you are misinformed.

    You google any attacks by any breed and plenty results come up. And for your information, when Googling “Bull Terrier Attacks” i mostly get results of attacks by “PIT bull Terriers” or “Staffodshire Bull Terriers”. English Bull Terriers barely attack anyone. And you basically highlighted why these Dogs attacked yours when you pointed out the cruel abuse they suffered at the hands of their owners after the fight. Do you treat your dogs like he treats his? I think not.

    You let your emotions cloud your judgment big time in this article.

  • lenny25

    So it’s quite clear that the owners are the problem here, yet you still blame the dog!? Any dog that has been subjected to life long abuse will be incredibly aggressive and capable of harming people and other animals. Even before you’ve explained what the poor dogs did, you where already describing them as “killer dogs”, as Tom says your experience is causing you to draw uninformed and false conclusions about EBTs.

  • Lizz

    these dogs should be banned!!! and killed!!!! I too suffered the above!!!!

    • Pierre Blignaut

      Yeah, sure, Lets kill thousands of dogs because of a handful of incidents. Go have a look at the statistics at the American Temperament Test Society, Bull terriers and related breeds actually have some of the best pass figures of all dogs (your cute dachshund or yorkie is but some order of magnitude, more likely to attack other dogs or people) . What the author and you clearly missed in this story, is that the owner is the problem here, not the dogs. Who lets unsocialized, aggressive dogs run around unsupervised!?

  • Owen Baseden

    Its terrible what happened to you and your dog. I understand that you are speaking from your experience.
    As a bull breed owner i know both Staffordshire bull terriers and English bull terriers very well.
    I have owned and been around other breeds of dog including Labradors, irish setter, border collies the list goes on.
    My current dog a Staffordshire bull terrier was bitten on the face by a yorkshire terrier that made her nose bleed and didnt retaliate. She now is very slow to interact with other dogs.
    People really need to understand bull breeds before owning one. They may look intimidating but really are the most playful loving dog you could own with the correct care. I wouldnt have any other dog from now on. I will emphasize all bull breeds need to be socialized with other dogs from an early age as they prefer human intaraction from my experience and can be aggressive towards other dogs. As all ready said all dogs are capable of being very aggressive with the wrong handling. I dont believe any breeds of dog should be banned as its the wrong people that should be banned from owning them.

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