XL Bully Petition Sparks Fierce Debate

XL Bully dog with a red cross over its mouth, symbolizing silence and the inability to speak for blog on XL Bully Petition

The XL Bully Petition: A Comprehensive Overview

A storm of debate has been triggered by the XL Bully petition, a plea against the potential ban on the American XL Bully dogs in the UK. Amidst this debate, two camps have emerged. One advocates for breed-specific legislation, and the other champions responsible dog ownership. This article delves into the heart of this debate. It sheds light on the realities of the XL Bully breed, the public’s response, and the potential future for these dogs.


Key Takeaways

  • The XL Bully Petition has sparked a debate. It’s about the effectiveness of breed-specific legislation versus responsible dog ownership.
  • Animal welfare groups oppose breed bans, citing their flaws and lack of public safety enhancement.
  • Responsible pet care initiatives, such as regular exercise, proper socialisation, mental stimulation, and a proper diet, are key to reducing risks associated with dogs. This helps maintain public safety.
  • RSPCA has been granted judicial review for mid-January 2024 offering a glimmer of hope for XL Bully owners.

XL Bully Ban Update January 2024: RSPCA Gains Judicial Review

In a significant update on the XL Bully ban, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has been granted a judicial review hearing. This development could potentially challenge the UK government’s recent decision to ban XL Bully dogs. The review is due to be conducted mid-January 2024.

This breed-specific legislation, part of the government’s effort to address a spike in dog attacks, has sparked widespread debate and concern among dog owners and animal welfare groups alike. Check out further information on applying for an exemption certificate in our detailed guide.

Scotland Announces XL Bully Ban

Scotland’s announcement they will follow England and Wales in implementing the XL Bully Ban marks a significant shift in the nation’s approach to dog legislation. This ban, mirroring measures in England and Wales, aims to address growing concerns about the safety and welfare associated with XL Bully dogs.

It encompasses restrictions on owning, breeding, and selling these dogs, reflecting a commitment to public safety and responsible pet ownership.

The ban’s alignment with the UK’s Dangerous Dogs Act underscores its importance in the broader context of animal legislation. Owners of XL Bully dogs in Scotland now face new legal responsibilities and are encouraged to stay informed about the changing landscape of dog ownership laws.

Update on Scotland’s XL Bully Ban Debate – February 2024

Legislative Developments and Community Response

Legislative Challenges: The proposed ban on XL Bully dogs in Scotland faces opposition, with MSP Christine Grahame leading a call for annulment. This motion, supported by members from both the SNP and Scottish Greens, questions the effectiveness of breed-specific legislation. In response to these concerns, a petition has been launched to gather public support for reconsidering the legislation.

Stakeholder Summit Request: The Scottish Green Party advocates for a comprehensive stakeholder summit. This approach aims to incorporate insights from animal welfare organisations, vets, and law enforcement into the legislative process, ensuring that any action taken is well-informed and considerate of animal welfare.

Public Concerns and Clarifications Sought

Owner Confusion: Dog owners across the UK are voicing concerns over various aspects of the proposed regulations, such as lead requirements in vehicles and the criteria for defining an XL Bully. These questions highlight the need for clear, practical guidance. The petition also addresses these issues, seeking to ensure dog owners’ voices are heard.

Role of Rehoming Centres: The prohibition against rehoming centres assessing and preparing dogs for adoption has sparked debate. There is a call for allowing professionals, including animal behaviourists, to play a role in the rehoming process, ensuring dogs are matched with suitable owners. Supporters of this approach are encouraged to sign the petition to advocate for more flexible, welfare-oriented policies.

Advocacy for Responsible Ownership

Training and Licensing Proposal: A licensing system that includes mandatory training for dog owners is being suggested as a proactive approach to address dog behaviour issues. This system emphasises the importance of responsible ownership over breed-specific bans. The community is rallying support through the petition for these proposed changes, highlighting the need for education and training in enhancing dog welfare.

Take Action: Contact Your Local MP

Beyond signing the petition, we urge you to amplify your impact by writing to your local MP. This personal outreach is a powerful way to express your concerns and advocate for a thoughtful, well-informed approach to dog legislation.

When you contact your MP, you help ensure that the voices of responsible dog owners and animal welfare advocates are heard at the highest levels of government. Drafting a letter or an email that shares your perspective and the reasons you believe in a more nuanced policy can make a real difference.

Together, through both our collective signatures and individual messages, we can advocate for legislation that prioritizes the welfare and fair treatment of all dogs, fostering a safer and more compassionate community.

Click here to locate and contact your local MP. Engaging with your representatives is a crucial step in advocating for responsible and fair dog legislation.
Sign the Petition

The XL Bully Petition: A Call for Change

Concerns over a potential UK ban on American XL Bully dogs spurred a petition called ‘Bad Owners Are To Blame, Not The Breed’. The petition aims to oppose the ban and start a discussion on breed-specific legislation. It has attracted significant public attention.

The petition’s creator passionately contends that the XL Bully, a breed renowned for its gentle and kind demeanour, should be exempt from the ban. They believe that this breed is loving and well-suited for interaction with children and people.

For a deeper understanding of the potential implications of an XL Bully ban, read our detailed analysis on the future of the XL Bully ban.

XL Bully breed standing in a park

The plea to reconsider breed-specific legislation

Those opposing breed-specific legislation put forth a number of arguments challenging such bans. These include:

  • The lack of effectiveness
  • The unfair targeting of certain breeds
  • Issues with breed identification
  • The negative impact on responsible dog owners

They contend that breed-specific legislation takes resources away from more impactful strategies like encouraging responsible dog ownership.

For crossbreeds, including bully breed types, the implications could be significant due to the confusion and unfair targeting that may arise from unclear breed specifics.

Public support and signatures gathered

People signing the XL Bully petition

The recent movement against the UK’s decision to ban XL Bullies has gained momentum through various online petitions. People are rallying through initiatives like ‘don’t ban the xl bully petition’ and similar campaigns, including ‘do not ban xl bully petition,’ to voice their concerns.

Petition 1

The UK Government’s response to the petition against the banning of the XL Bully under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 acknowledges public safety concerns. This is due to increased dog attacks involving this breed.

As a result, strict regulations will be implemented for XL Bully owners from December 31, 2023. The regulations will include restrictions on breeding and selling. Owners will also have to keep their dogs on a lead and muzzled in public.

From February 1, 2024, owning an XL Bully without a Certificate of Exemption will be a criminal offense. This measure aims to address irresponsible dog ownership and improve safety.

For further details, you can view the full government response here.

Petition 2

The new petition, titled “Delay the ban on rehoming and owning XL Bully dogs for 18 months,” requests an extension of the amnesty period for XL Bully dogs. This extension aims to give owners more time to either rehome their dogs or obtain exemption certificates. It’s in response to the impending ban. This ban makes it illegal to own these dogs without an exemption from February 1, 2024.

The petition highlights concerns about XL Bully dogs being abandoned or placed in rescue centres due to the ban. It emphasises the need to prevent unnecessary euthanasia of these dogs.

Sign petition for xl bully here:

Sign the Petition

Learn more about muzzling requirements for XL Bullies and the government’s position on the future of the XL Bully ban.

Responsible Dog Ownership versus Breed Bans

The debate fundamentally hinges on whether the focus should be on promoting responsible dog ownership or imposing breed bans in an attempt to prevent dog attacks.

Responsible dog ownership involves the appropriate care, supervision, and training of a dog, which ensures the animal’s welfare and minimizes harm to others.

On the flip side, breed bans target specific dog breeds, imposing restrictions or prohibitions based on assumptions about their behaviour tied to their breed.

Advocates for responsible ownership

Supporters of responsible ownership assert that appropriate care, training, and socialisation can prevent problem behaviour from developing in breeds such as the XL Bully.

Responsible ownership, which includes providing a structured living environment and meeting physical and mental needs through regular exercise, mental stimulation, and a well-balanced diet, can prevent behaviour issues and contribute to the development of a well-behaved XL Bully dog.

Arguments in favour of breed bans

Supporters of breed bans contend that some breeds are naturally more dangerous or inclined to aggression than different breeds. They believe that by banning these breeds, public safety can be safeguarded by decreasing the likelihood of dog bites or attacks. However, it is worth noting that the effectiveness of breed bans in improving public safety has not been conclusively demonstrated.

Aggression in dogs, including the XL Bully, is influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some breeds may have natural tendencies. However, a dog’s temperament is largely shaped by upbringing, experiences, training, and socialisation.

This perspective is significant in the context of breed-specific legislation. For instance, proposed bans on breeds like the XL Bully for inherent traits is misguided. Considering genetics, the environment, medical history and individual socialisation backgrounds are essential in understanding dog aggression.

Dangerous Dogs Act and Its Impact on XL Bully Dogs

XL Bully dog on a leash with owner

The Dangerous Dogs Act looms over XL Bully dogs, as it includes them in the list of prohibited breeds prohibited. A significant increase in attacks and fatalities associated with this breed prompted the government to take action to safeguard public safety. The inclusion was driven by this increase.

Inclusion of XL Bully breed

The inclusion of the XL Bully breed in the Dangerous Dogs Act has led to stringent regulations, such as a ban on breeding, selling, or transferring the dogs. Non-compliance with these regulations may result in serious consequences, such as acquiring a criminal record, facing an unlimited fine, and the potential confiscation of the dog.

Requirements and restrictions for owners

Owners of XL Bully dogs must adhere to stringent requirements under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Owners must apply for a Certificate of Exemption to legally own an XL Bully. The certificate mandates the owners arrange the following:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Microchipping
  • Neutering
  • Keeping the dog leashed and muzzled in public

Non-compliance with the enforcement practices these regulations could lead to the dog’s confiscation and criminal charges for the owner, which is a consequence of irresponsible dog ownership.

Scotland Announces XL Bully Ban

Scotland’s announcement they will follow England and Wales in implementing the XL Bully Ban marks a significant shift in the nation’s approach to dog legislation. This ban, mirroring measures in England and Wales, aims to address growing concerns about the safety and welfare associated with XL Bully dogs.

It encompasses restrictions on owning, breeding, and selling these dogs, reflecting a commitment to public safety and responsible pet ownership.

The ban’s alignment with the UK’s Dangerous Dogs Act underscores its importance in the broader context of animal legislation. Owners of XL Bully dogs in Scotland now face new legal responsibilities and are encouraged to stay informed about the changing landscape of dog ownership laws.

Animal Welfare Groups Weigh In

Animal welfare organizations such as the RSPCA, have expressed their opposition to breed-specific legislation. They argue that these laws are:

  • Flawed
  • Outdated
  • Do not enhance public safety
  • Result in the unjustified euthanasia of dogs based on their breed.

RSPCA’s stance on breed-specific legislation

The RSPCA’s opposition to breed-specific legislation is rooted in its belief that the laws unfairly judge dogs based on their breed rather than their behaviour. They argue that these breed type of laws have not proven effective in reducing dog bite incidents and that prohibitions on specific breeds do not achieve their intended purpose.

Other animal welfare experts’ opinions

Other animal welfare organizations, like the BVA, Battersea, NACA, and the AVMA, also oppose breed-specific legislation. They argue that these measures are ineffective, discriminatory, and do not improve public safety. Instead, they propose alternative solutions such as:

  • Lifting the ban on transferring banned breeds to new owners
  • Establishing dog licensing
  • Enforcing more impactful laws to address safety concerns and animal welfare.

Addressing Dog Control Issues

Navigating dog control issues requires balancing public safety and responsible dog ownership. While there has been a concerning rise in dog attacks, studies indicate that breed-specific legislation, including dogs banned, has had a limited impact on public safety.

Importance of public safety

Public safety continues to be a paramount concern in the debate. With a 22% increase in dog attacks in England over the past two years, the importance of responsible dog ownership in enhancing public safety cannot be overstated. Responsible dog ownership involves proper training, socialisation, and supervision of dogs. This helps in reducing the occurrence of dog bites and promoting positive behaviours.

Strategies for effective dog control

Strategies for effective dog control encompass:

  • Enhancing socialization
  • Managing the environment during training sessions
  • Allowing dogs to make choices about their surroundings
  • Exercising patience and calm behaviours
  • Applying training tips for improved dog walks.

These strategies, when combined with responsible ownership, can significantly ensure dog control issues. It can also reduce the risks associated with dogs and ensure public safety.

Adjusting to New Regulations

Many dog owners are now navigating the complexities of the new law. They are seeking ways to comply with the muzzle and lead requirements. This situation has led to an increase in demand for training resources. Owners are learning to safely muzzle their dogs, ensuring both comfort and security​​.

Basket Muzzle

Fitting your XL Bully with a muzzle will become a legal requirement starting 31st December 2023. Accordingly, we have selected a muzzle available on Amazon that is specifically designed for the comfort and breathability of your XL Bully. This choice ensures a secure fit, while simultaneously allowing your dog to pant and drink water. You can check out muzzle training guide here.

Top Selling

Basket Muzzle

  • Allows dogs to pant when hot or stressed and drink

  • Can be heat shaped to fit different dog nose shapes

  • Strong Thermo Plastic Rubber (TPR)

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Lead Regulations for XL Bullies

In addition to the muzzle, it’s important that XL Bully dogs are kept on a lead in public. The lead must be held by an individual who is at least 16 years old.

It is advisable to use a harness with a no more than 2 meter dog lead for your XL Bully. The recommended lead should be heavy-duty and strong to ensure the safety and control of the dog.

Front Range™ Dog Lead

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  • Combines a strong connection with an elegant design

  • Includes a padded handle, Ruffwear's unique lockable Crux Clip™ hardware, and a bold design

  • Keeps you comfortably connected to your canine companion

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Double-Clipped Harness

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  • Front Range Harness is a padded everyday dog harness

  • Easy to put on and comfortable for dogs to wear 

  • Features two leash attachment options


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Realities of the XL Bully Breed

XL Bully dog playing with children

The characteristics of the XL Bully breed are undeniably complex, and understanding the various XL Bully breed types can help to appreciate the breed’s diversity. Despite the breed’s imposing physique, XL Bullies are known for their strong, confident, and sociable temperament. They are often described as gentle and friendly, contradicting the dangerous image often associated with them.

Physical characteristics and temperament

XL Bullies are recognized for their substantial size, muscular build, and broad head, reflecting their strength. Despite their larger size, they are known for their gentle approach and social behaviour.

The breed’s robust and confident disposition, along with their muscular physique, influences a sociable and amiable behaviour, making them well-suited for family settings.

Success stories of responsible XL Bully ownership

Numerous instances of responsible XL Bully ownership can be found. These owners have managed to create a nurturing environment that emphasizes the affectionate and gentle nature of their XL Bullies. They:

  • Organize events
  • Share personal anecdotes and achievements
  • Highlight the positive aspects of the breed
  • Suggest assessments to verify the responsible manner in which they care for their dogs.

What Happens Next?

The destiny of the XL Bully breed currently rests with the UK government. As the authority on breed-specific legislation, the government’s response to the petition and the subsequent policies strict rules they enact will determine the fate of the breed.

Government response and potential policy changes

The UK government has instituted a ban on XL Bully dogs making their ownership a criminal offense from 1 February 2024, unless the dog holds a Certificate of Exemption.

Potential policy changes that may impact the XL Bully breed in the future include a ban on breeding and mandatory neutering and microchipping.

The role of local authorities and public opinion

Local authorities have a significant part in determining the outcome of breed-specific legislation. They are attentive to public opinion and have a history of responding to calls for the repeal of breed-specific provisions in dangerous dogs legislation.

Similarly, public opinion, as evidenced by the support for the XL Bully petition, can significantly impact dog breed regulation policies.

Expert Insights on the XL Bully Debate

To provide a well-rounded perspective, this article includes insights from dog behaviourists, legal experts, and XL Bully advocates. These expert opinions will shed light on the complexities of the issue, offering a balanced view that considers both public safety and animal welfare.


Explore various perspectives on the XL Bully debate, including insights from experts in dog behaviour, along with a deep dive into types of aggression in dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the petition for XL bully not to be banned?

Sign this petition to show your support and stand up against breed discrimination in the UK . Let’s advocate for fair treatment of all dogs based on their individual behaviour, not their breed.

How many people have signed the XL Bully petition?

More than 540,000 people have signed the petition to stop UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak from banning the American XL Bully dog. The petition, launched by Glyn Saville from Oxfordshire, has gathered enough signatures to be debated in the House of Commons.

Why was a petition started about the XL Bully breed?

A petition was started to oppose the potential ban of American XL Bully dogs in the UK and initiate a discussion on breed-specific legislation.

What are the main arguments against breed-specific legislation?

The main arguments against breed-specific legislation include the lack of effectiveness, unfair targeting of certain breeds, issues with breed identification and the negative impact on responsible dog owners, making it an unjust measure.

What are the requirements for XL Bully owners under the Dangerous Dogs Act?

XL Bully owners must obtain a Certificate of Exemption, hold public liability insurance, have their dogs microchipped and neutered, and adhere to other requirements mandated by the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Learn more on this topic

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