The owner of a “docile and perfect” American XL bully says it is not fair the whole breed is being punished because of the behaviour of a few.
Lindsey Beaumont, 43, who lives in Kingsnorth, Ashford, says her dog Rosie is a “lifeline” for her eldest son who has autism – offering him constant support.
But the Prime Minister has now promised to ban the breed following a spate of attacks – including a man being killed in Staffordshire last week.
There will not be a cull, but existing owners could face a requirement to neuter their dogs and muzzle them in public, the government’s chief vet has suggested.
But the Beaumont family say the generalisation that all XL bullies are dangerous is untrue and that Rosie is “an amazing family dog”.
Mrs Beaumont said: “She is so docile – that is in their nature. She is like a big cuddly bear.
“If she hears a child crying, she will stop. If my youngest is climbing a tree, she won’t continue walking. She will sit at the bottom of the tree and wait for him to come down.
“She can get excited – all dogs get excited. We tell her to go to her bed and she’ll calm down. We have never had any problems.”
The mother-of-two added Rosie is a “lifeline” for her eldest son, Joe, who has autism.
“If he closes down and is not able to speak what he is feeling or thinking, he will go to the dog. She is the constant support,” she said.
“It is unconditional love. She is the biggest comfort and help, and his lifeline.
“She is his emotional support and sometimes the only way I can get him to communicate.
“We all rely on her in different ways – she is a member of our family and brings us together.”
The family adopted Rosie when she was a pup three years ago, and Mrs Beaumont now says the breed is being “picked on”.
“I have to deal with it when I walk with her,” she said.
“I have had someone go through a bush to avoid her and people will cross the road.
“What is happening now is going to make it 10 million times worse because of the way the mainstream media are now portraying it and what the Prime Minister has decided to do.
“He said they are a danger to our children, but no, they are not.
“There might be some dogs in this breed that are, but you cannot make that generalisation about all dogs in the whole breed.
“It is not fair to just pick on a whole breed of dog because there may be only a handful of bad ones.”
Mrs Beaumont is concerned about Rosie having to wear a muzzle on walks when the new rules are enforced.
“I keep her on the lead all the time,” she said.
“I always have control of her.
“A muzzle is going to take away her walks. How can she be a dog if she can’t sniff, bite a stick or play with her ball?
“It is ridiculous and makes no sense.
“If she has to be muzzled that is going to take her quality of life away. If she is labelled as a dangerous dog, I won’t be able to have the freedom to take her places.
“When she gets hot, she pants and her tongue lulls out. Dogs use that to cool down so I would worry health-wise that it would be detrimental.”
Among those who have backed the ban on the breed is a woman from Whitstable whose dachshund puppy was “torn apart” by an American XL bully.
But Mrs Beaumont says rather than punishing all XL bullies, it should be “down to the owners”.
“Maybe there should be some sort of licence we need to be able to own a dog,” she said.
“Why should you be able to take away people’s right to be able to breed lovely family dogs?”
The first step of the move to ban American XL bullies is taking place this week, with police, vets and other experts helping to define the breed.
A consultation will then take place on the ban, which will come in by the end of 2023.