As we near the end of 2023, the British Government has deemed it necessary to add the XL Bully breed to the prohibited list because of a series of attacks, one proving fatal in September. The legislation could be in place by the end of this year with mandatory requirements and regulations for dog owners of this breed.
An exemption scheme will apply, and owners must comply with mandatory muzzling, leads, microchipping, neutering, secure garden, third-party insurance and registration requirements. A question emerges for any dog owner because of what may come for the XL Bully.
Help, Police Have Seized My Dog posted a worrying incident on Facebook, proving how essential harness-mounted cameras are. A person with their off-lead dog made a false allegation against another dog owner. Because a GoPro camera captured the incident, the owner could show footage to the Police. The evidence revealed the other owner was injured by their own dog – the evidence prevented the accused dog from being seized.
“Under section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act even an on lead dog can still be classed as dangerously out of control. Police have to respond to a claim of injury or if not injured, a person felt reasonable apprehension might be hurt.”Help, Police Have Seized My Dog
In 2023, this situation prompts necessary canine safeguarding from owners. It encompasses protection from unjust accusations and fear-induced reactions, extending to safeguarding our companion in indoor settings too. If dogs can be wrongly blamed, then additional evidence becomes essential. This calls for considering harness-mounted cameras, body cameras, video door cameras and indoor home monitoring. Footage can prove a dog’s innocence, and show your solicitor or the courts your dog’s personality if it goes that far.
Looking ahead, maybe it is time to muzzle our dogs regardless of breed and to include various cameras to keep them safe. This approach should be complemented with home monitoring systems.
- GoPro Hero12
- GoPro Hero9
- Harness with mount for the GoPro camera
- Body-cam with clip attachment
- Ring video door security camera 2nd generation by Amazon
- Furbo indoor dog camera
- GNC cat & dog indoor camera
- Dogs Trust third-party insurance
- Contemporary, colourful, and fashionable muzzles
- Baskerville muzzles – sizes 1 to 13
- Baskerville muzzles – sizes 1 to 9
- Custom-made short-snout muzzles – ask in the first instance
What is the best kind of muzzle for a dog
Muzzles have long been used to manage and control dogs, particularly in situations where safety is a concern against the public. But muzzles are used for other reasons too: nerves, stopping a dog from scavenging or eating poop, and for sight hounds and wildlife.
Unfortunately, the public perception of a dog wearing a muzzle is that it is an aggressive dog. The perception has deepened with a reaction against any bully breed since the proposed ban on XL Bully dogs. A common comment is: “Is that one of them dogs?” and the public has been known to cross the road to avoid walking by a bully breed.
When choosing a muzzle comfort for your dog, understand that each canine has a different head shape and size, and the ability to pant, eat treats and drink water, is essential. Fitting a muzzle on your dog regardless of breed is a strong preventative method in a culture of insurance claims, false accusations, and doggy nerves.
One point is never to use a muzzle to prevent chewing and barking.
Here are key points to consider before buying a muzzle:
1: A dog must be able to pant ( to prevent heatstroke), drink water, eat treats, open its mouth easily and feel comfortable
2: Ensure the muzzle is lightweight, strong and preferably made of Biothane. Material must be suitable to withstand a wipedown with pet cleansing wipes
3: Measure the overall length of the snout, around the snout when the mouth is closed and open, and the neck measurement
4: A muzzle must fit correctly or your dog will slip it. You must be able to insert a small figure beneath the strap to ascertain the fitting isn’t too tight either
5: Choosing a hypoallergenic muzzle may be an option
Recommended muzzles for your dog:
- Baskerville muzzles are the most popular product for a first-time buyer and are available in various sizes to suit different breeds. It is lightweight with padding for the nose to prevent rubbing and soreness, and its open weave design allows your dog to breathe easily. The anti-scavenging muzzle prevents your dog from eating discarded food or targeting wildlife. The Baskerville muzzle will also prevent your dog from eating poop on a walk. However, the muzzle is fitted with a guard insert so your obedient pooch can be rewarded with treats. The muzzle is strong and is designed for aggressive dogs in training or nervous dogs
Unfortunately, it suits long-snouted dogs only.
- Veterinary & grooming muzzles will be supplied by the professional, but I suggest purchasing a soft mesh muzzle and training your dog at home. These muzzles differ from those used during dog walks because they prevent chewing and barking. The nylon muzzles are flexible, breathable, and will stop biting, are cheaper and are designed only for veterinary and grooming visits. Soft colourful mesh muzzles are available for short-snouted and all other breeds and sizes.
- Basket muzzles for short-snouted dogs are harder to find and quite often custom-made. A Canadian company, Khaos Kollars, that ships to the UK at little cost, will handmade a choice of colourful or traditional brown biothane muzzles and other non-toxic materials.
- Khaos Kollars handmade fashionable and colourful basket muzzles are stunning. I believe an uplifting collar creates a different mindset in humans – one of positivity. For Brent to handmake a biothane or leather muzzle, submit a photograph of your dog to Khaos Kollars, with measurements. The muzzles are robust and waterproof with either silver or brass studs. Unique hand-painted collars are available, too.
Keeping a muzzle clean is essential. Eco-friendly pet cleansing wipes by Eco Wave can be used to wipe the muzzle clean after daily use, but washing it twice a week and leaving it to dry naturally is also required.
How to muzzle train your dog
Introducing anything new to an animal should be done gradually to prevent startling and avoidance behaviours. It’s crucial to make the experience of wearing a muzzle enjoyable, helping the dog associate it with positivity rather than fear and restriction. During the initial stages of harness usage, your dog may need time to adapt; I’ve observed dogs occasionally rubbing their muzzles or snouts along the floor. However, whether this is due to discomfort, the adjustment period, or a lack of training, is not always clear.
1: Select treats that have a sticky consistency and can easily adhere to the inside snout area of the muzzle
2: Let your dog sniff and interact with a muzzle when you place it calmly by your dog’s nose. Reward with a regular treat
3: Repeat this stage until your dog feels ready to place its snout into the muzzle to eat the sticky treat
4: Repeat a few times, allowing your dog to enjoy the tantalising treat. When you sense your dog is ready, fasten the muzzle, remove it, and then leave it on for extended periods
5: During the different stages of training, maintain a happy demeanour and make the muzzle a fun experience. Ensure you muzzle train indoors and outdoors. Any dog needs to identify the muzzle with positive, fun and enjoyable experiences
Canine harness-mounted cameras for outdoor walks
Harness-mounted cameras have gained popularity as a means of recording a dog’s activities and interactions. They serve multiple purposes, including enhancing accountability and providing insights into a dog’s behaviour. Footage can be used to protect your dog against false allegations or reactions if your dog is attacked or provoked, be it by animal or human. We’ve learned that a harness-mounted camera saved a dog from being seized.
It is vital to download footage and save it on an external hardrive and Google icloud.
When you use a camera mounted on your dog’s harness, it’s secured to the upper part of the harness, and it gives you a view as if you’re right there with your dog, experiencing things from their point of view. These harness cameras come in handy when you want to gain insights into your dog’s behaviour, particularly when you’re out in public or when they’re interacting with other dogs.
Here are key points to consider before buying a harness-mounted camera:
- Does it include or exclude an SD card?
- How much storage does the SD card offer?
- Does it film on a loop and, therefore overwrite existing footage?
- Can you download it via a USB cable?
- Are there any subscriptions to download footage?
- Does the camera offer high resolution, giving clear imagery?
- Does it have low light and night vision?
- Is the camera waterproof or showerproof?
- Paying for the better quality camera is cheaper than paying a solicitor and court costs
- It will capture a dog’s perspective
- Can you buy a mount for an existing harness?
- Should I combine it with a lower priced body-cam
- Are there payment plans?
Recommended harness-mounted cameras available:
- GoPro Hero12 offers 91% resolution and is designed for action regardless of water, mud or snow, making it suitable for a dog. Because of its high quality, it reveals subtle details, with a lens that stops any flare, and offers the ability to capture high-grade footage even in shadows and bright light. The lens and cover is waterproof up to 10m / 33ft. Watch the video using the link provided.
- GoPro Hero9 is lower in price and offers an astounding 5K resolution and similar specifications to the Hero12 including a long battery life. The robust camera fits over 40 different mounts and is on the Amazon Choice list. Watch the video using the link provided.
Body cameras for dog walking
A body camera is an alternative to a harness-mounted camera but would capture footage from your perspective rather than your dog. A suggestion is to use both.
Recommended body cameras for dog walking:
- BOBLOV KJ21 Police Body Camera fits clothing using a clip and has a 360-degree rotation. It offers 30 minutes of recording time so consider this if you walk a younger dog for longer. It comes with a micro SD card, so to download to your laptop, you’ll need an adaptor because of the size. The price varies depending on the storage chosen. The options are 32G, 64G or 128G. Included in the pack is a cable to recharge the battery. With the KJ21, you get a 2-in-1 because it doubles as a dash-cam, which is ideal when travelling but also when parked up as you can record surroundings when leashing your dog. Another excellent plus is its high-intensity infrared LEDs, which can film 32ft (10m) in complete darkness. The body-cam has audio, too. Watch the video provided in the link.
- BOBLOV A21 Small Body Camera has a full manual 180% rotation and staying power of 8 hours when fully charged. It comes with a USB cable and a 64GB SD card but you can buy another with bigger storage capacity. It clips easily to clothing and offers HD recording and night vision lights, allowing you to record in darkness. BOBLOV produce a variety of body-cams.
- Ugreen SD Card Reader connects to your laptop or desktop. It allows you to download footage from any SD card of any size – all you do is insert the card into the adaptor, particularly the micro SD card. Your laptop will likely have a slot for a normal-sized SD card.
The key points to consider before buying a body camera for dog walking:
- If loop filming, ensure you download any footage, good or bad
- Is there a USB cable to download footage?
- Is an SD card supplied or do you buy it separately?
- Is there enough recording time to cover your walk
- What is the resolution (clear image)
- During low light and night time, is the footage clear
- How is the body-cam attached to clothing? Clip or magnetic?
Internal & External Home Surveillance Solution for Dog Monitoring
This section extends to reconsidering protecting our canines in the home, proving their everyday personality and any sudden ‘fear or flight’ reaction from unwanted visitors. Help, Police Have Seized Dog recommends video doorbells.
“They are distraught when the Police arrive, often with riot shields, to take away their dog, who has never even growled at anyone. Owning this dog means they must face a court process and may receive a criminal record if found guilty.”Jayne – Save Our Seized Dogs
How can I monitor and protect my dog inside the home?
Recording devices and saving footage filmed within the home can support proof of your dog’s overall personality and behaviour. A device can act as security too by capturing any unexpected events in your home such as Police visits. In extreme circumstances we connect with ‘fear or flight’ and a dog’s reaction can be the same. This may be perceived as a dog dangerously out of control and serve against a dog’s personality with the Police and the courts. It is vital to save footage from your chosen device to an external hard drive and a cloud-based provider, like Google Drive, as backup.
Indoor cameras come with various other features, and to have them may mean a subscription. But ultimately, recording your dog’s movements in the home is an important factor.
Key points to consider before investing in a home camera device:
- Is an SD card included?
- Is a USB cable for data transfer or charging included?
- Is there an app and does the software support your device?
- Does it record only with a subscription?
Recommended pet home monitoring:
- Furbo is for dogs only and has a design that offers automatic tracking and a 360-degree view of your dog in the home. You must position the home-monitoring device in the room where your dog spends the most time. Furbo will give you clear footage night and day. Enhanced features include home emergencies and recording as a subscription costs £99 per year (October 2023). Notably, 372,225 canine lives have been saved – carbon monoxide poisoning, burglary leading to Police arrest and house fires. Furbo for cats is now available, too.
- GNCC is for dogs and cats and is priced much lower than the Furbo, and for under £40 you can buy a two-pack. Or for under £20 you can buy one camera. The camera supports a Micro SD card and Cloud storage – however, the SD card is excluded. When purchasing a Micro SD card, the GNCC support storage up to 128GB. Because of the price, I’ll be buying a GNCC dog and cat camera – follow my YouTube channel for a forthcoming video
How can I protect my dog outside my front door?
Ensuring your dog’s safety within your own property is also an important aspect to consider. The purpose of external surveillance and the use of devices capable of documenting any unforeseen visits or encounters with authorities is to provide further evidence if needed.
It has been proven that a video doorbell is helpful during any Police visits.
Recommended video door camera:
- Ring Video Doorbell is a recognised brand with a range covering indoor and outdoor cameras. To save money, the option is a battery-operated device. If preferred, it can be connected to existing wires. The Ring video doorbell is suitable for night vision, too. Opting for the recording and download comes with a monthly subscription. The Ring Protect Plan costs between £3.49 to £8 monthly.
- Draconian Dogs Act – promoting a fairer dog legislation and available for advice only
- Wheldon Dog Law Specialists – experts in dog law
- Help, Police Have Seized My Dog – recommended by the Draconian Dogs Act for forthcoming legal cases and dogs in danger of euthanasia. Offer free, confidential advice
- Saved Our Seized Dogs – supporting owners whose dogs have been seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
The story of Tyson:
Tyson was home with his 17-year-old family when the Police arrived. This is an example of the Police welfare issues resulting in Tyson getting burned. Warning: upsetting and heartbreaking content
The stories of Pluto and Lady S:
Pluto was a 9-month-old stray when picked up by the dog warden because he resembled a Pit Bull type. Pluto served 8 days in the council pound, no one claimed him, nor was he chipped.
Lady S was found in poor condition and collected by the dog warden. Police decided she was a Pit Bull type. Lady S did not display any behaviour issues in the kennels and the Police supported her and reported how lovely she was.
Both finders stepped up and went through the court process and both Lady S and Pluto live happily with their new caretakers.
Keep a video diary of your dog’s life
In today’s world, maintaining a video diary of your dog’s behaviour is of utmost importance, as it can serve as a crucial tool in case of unforeseen circumstances. Making this investment now could potentially save your dog’s life, as video footage can be presented as compelling evidence. It’s essential to take proactive steps to protect our furry companions and be prepared for any situation.
- Investing in any form of camera and saving footage can support your dog in the future
- Never sign any paperwork from the Police until you get take advice
- Signing paperwork may mean relinquishing ownership of your dog
- Signing paperwork means your dog can be euthanised
- Microchip your dog
- Start muzzle training now for any breed – be prepared
- Take measures to ensure your dog cannot rush excitedly to the door when people arrive