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Owner insists dog is not aggressive

PUBLISHED: 00:34 27 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 March 2010

A PET owner today insisted his dog was not aggressive after magistrates ordered him to keep the Great Dane under control.

He spoke out after a neighbour complained to police after his pet, Raidan, strayed onto her front lawn and nipped at her coat.

A PET owner today insisted his dog was not aggressive after magistrates ordered him to keep the Great Dane under control.

He spoke out after a neighbour complained to police after his pet, Raidan, strayed onto her front lawn and nipped at her coat.

Since the complaint Ross Keys, who lives near Woodbridge, put up new fencing and a new gate to prevent a repeat incident.

Keys, of Orford Road, Bromeswell, appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates where he admitted one count of not keeping a dangerous dog under proper control on December 8.

Three similar charges were dropped as Keys was in New Zealand at the time and a pal was looking after three-year-old Raidan.

"Mrs Thompson, a neighbour had difficulty with the dog and she would say it is aggressive, said prosecutor David Taylor.

"Quite frequently it went into her front garden causing her concern." On November 29 she telephoned Keys' house after Raidan was barking and snarling outside her home.

"Deciding to deal with the matter herself, Mrs Thompson walked to Keys' house followed by the dog who nipped at the sleeve of her coat and scratched at her hand but no injury was caused," said Mr Taylor, explaining the background of events.

"The next day the dog was out again and wouldn't let her out of her car causing her concern." On December 2 and December 8 the dog was outside her house barking. "

Prosecutor David Taylor asked magistrates to order the dog be kept under control, rather than destroyed.

Representing himself Keys, 24, said he has taken measures such as the dog being kept in a pen and new fencing installed. He has also changed the location of the dog run.

After the case, Keys, who was supported by his partner Louise Fitchett, 24, in court, said he has had the dog from a puppy and is always around children, including his 18-year-old nephew. His friend's children sometimes even ride him round the garden.

"Raidan is not dangerous by any means, but is playful. It was his way of saying who are you and what are you doing? If he sees someone he doesn't know he will bark. He's big and bounding and still a puppy. Although quite a big dog, he's not aggressive.

"It is a Great Dane trait to hold onto your arm by your sleeve and take you to the door."

He said he was not aware dangerous dogs may be ordered to be destroyed but said: "I knew he was not an aggressive dog anyway so is no harm to anyone, so I didn't think it would happen."

Three of the incidents happened while Mr Keys was in New Zealand and he had a friend to look after his pet – one of two.

"I didn't know at the time but he was working 16 hour shifts," he said. "If I knew that I would have got someone else to look after the dog."

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