Only a handful of people and a couple of dogs showed up to an XL Bully protest aimed at showing how 'gentle' the dogs are, after fears the meet could have been a 'mauling session' and a blood bath.
Around 15 people, including children, and just two dogs turned up at the Bully meet at Handsworth Park, Birmingham, yesterday (September 30).
A rule change meant that only puppies under six-months-old were granted access, with the older, larger dogs not allowed. That marked a double U-turn for the walk plans.
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Following a flurry of online backlash, all dogs were initially barred from the event by organiser Mr Harris, before he announced pups would be permitted.
Mr Harris said he believed fewer people turned up at the event due to the train strikes and the prospect of police involvement. The Bully meet also faced backlash after many people online said it had the potential to be a "mauling session" and a "blood bath".
Mr Harris told BirminghamLive: "To be fair I think it's when I said people could bring dogs. Because I've said that there's been a lot of police who have contacted me telling me to be careful.
"I think because police have been included in articles in the Mail, a lot of people have been put off it."
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Mr Harris said he would be in favour of owners to receive mandatory training for certain breeds. He said: "I'd support that 100%. You shouldn't be owning no Belgian Malinois, none of that stuff, unless that dog has actually been trained."
Steve Constantinou, who runs Spartan Kennels in Coventry, said XL Bully owners in Birmingham have been hiring out private fields, where dogs can run without a lead.
He said they were worried about the implications of the upcoming breed ban. He told ITV News that some were "frightened to take their dogs out". One passerby hid "behind a tree" as the dog walker walked past with his XL Bully.
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