Kyle Files, TV Responsibility for Dog Bites

Kylefiles-cropLast night on ITV the latest episode of “The Kyle Files” was broadcast, on the subject of dangerous dogs. I had an interest in this as I am an expert witness,  assessing dogs in bite cases for court.  I also had numerous calls from the production team for 2 months trying to find something they wanted to film.  They assured me this would not be just another show about pit bulls.  Sadly I think it was. Continue reading

Rescue Rules, good practice

3gsdLast year I spoke with Vicky, the great Aunt of Lexi Branson, sadly killed by an unassessed dog rehomed with no advice or homecheck.  The coroner identified some areas of concern regarding this type of rehoming. Two years on her family were horrified to discover from our conversation that nothing had been, or would be done to protect people in the future.  I had already written to George Eustice MP about the need for a live behaviour assessment on dogs who kill or seriously hurt people.  Mr Eustice’s response is here:

2015-09-scan-reply-george-eustice-dangerous-dogs Continue reading

Pets or Pawns? Using Pets to Control Partners

Beachside Stroll

Having pets can enhance a couple’s relationship.  But sometimes the pet becomes a pawn in a power struggle between adults. I have seen many cases of hidden agendas between people who use their dog to control their partner.

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Lies, Cons and Private Dog Sales

ebtThe last week has brought a larger than usual set of calls and messages from people who bought or were given a dog from a private seller/owner.  They happen frequently, but suddenly there’s more.  I don’t know whether the change to compulsory microchipping is behind it as many turn out to not be chipped.

Whatever the reason, both sellers and buyers do some really crazy and dangerous things. How can you avoid the pitfalls of private sellers who lie?  Or buyers who lie about their circumstances? Or disreputable rescues? Continue reading

Met Police Seize 300 Illegal Breeds under Dangerous Dogs Act

skynews1404 The Sky News special report of 12th April caused uproar in the dog world.  They had spent time with the Status Dog Unit and accompanied the dog handlers on various dog seizures.  Sky News interviewed Debbie Connolly, Dog Behaviourist and court Expert Witness, about this statistic.

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My dog has bitten, the Police seized my dog

The biggest fear of many dog owners is that of their dog scaring or biting someone and the police taking it away.  We have done many behaviour assessments for court cases relating to the Dangerous Dogs Act and if you are in trouble, here is some advice.  Whether an owner or a victim, please ask for help.

DDA changes 13th May 2014 incorporated, last update August  2020

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DDA Assessments, Court Expert Witness, Dog Bites

MDHB2I returned to doing Court Expert Witness work last year after relocating centrally.  I feel strongly that dogs involved in bite incidents need full assessment and support.  Owners can easily be misled or misinformed by Police and other owners and a dog’s life could be at risk.  What exactly do Expert Witnesses do?  Here’s an explanation: Continue reading

Tragic Fatal Dog Attack in Preston

Houses-of-ParliamentWe start 2016 with the sad news of another death caused by a dog. The tragic loss of a young man, Liam Hewitson is also a story of families breeding and owning Pit Bull type dogs and the potential cause being a dog reacting to an epileptic seizure. Continue reading

Britain’s Got Talent, Matisse the Collie

matisse-stunt-double-mainI don’t watch BGT, I find a lot of it cruel and uncomfortable.  I couldn’t ignore the winner this year as it hasn’t been out of the papers.Jules O’Dwyer and her dogs won BGT but were billed as “Jules and Matisse”. Does this win really justify death threats and over 1000 complaints to Ofcom?  Petitions to rob them of the title? It’s just a dog doing tricks on TV isn’t it?  Some people think not. Continue reading

Residential Dog Training

obigardenstand2-cropResidential dog training should offer your dog the chance to have behaviour therapy as well as obedience training. This balance is not offered by some companies who only offer obedience help entirely on their own premises.  In most cases, owners are looking to be able to walk safely in public with unknown people and dogs and to enjoy a normal life.

Ask the right questions before paying for this type of training.  Where will the training be done?  Are there previous clients you can talk to?  Is handover done in real life or only in their training field?  What ongoing support is there?  Will shock or prong collars be used?  Will you get a training plan to follow at home? Continue reading