Rottweilers not all bad, says owner

AN Ipswich dog-lover has today stressed that rottweilers can be loving animals despite two recent attacks on children.

AN Ipswich dog-lover has today stressed that rottweilers can be loving animals despite two recent attacks on children.

Donna Harvey-Arnell, 36, said she is worried public fears may force owners to put muzzles on their dogs, and said her dog Sky was a friendly creature who had never harmed children.

She said: “I wouldn't worry about children playing with Sky, but also I wouldn't leave her alone with them.

“No dog should be left alone with children because any dog of any breed could hurt a child and owners should know that.

“From when they are eight weeks old you have to show them who the alpha-male is and if you teach the dog how to behave there should be no problems.”

But Ms Harvey-Arnell, of Brimstone Road, Thorington Park, admitted she liked big dogs and also had a Boxer as well as 20-month-old Sky.

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She said: “They do give a sense of security and I know she would do anything to protect me, probably even give up her life.

“But although they are naturally guard dogs I hope people don't overreact and cross the street when they see me walking her.”

Ms Harvey-Arnell's comments come two days after two-year-old Harvey Lawrence was bitten on his face and body by a rottweiler at his grandmother's home in Middleton, West Sussex.

And last week five-month-old Cadey-Lee Deacon was mauled to death by two rottweilers in the New Parks area of Leicester.

Ms Arnell is the second rottweiler owner in two days who have spoken out to defend the animals.

Yesterday, 21-year-old rottweiler owner Lorraine Price, of Hill House Road, spoke up, saying “Most dogs are trained as pets and are not dangerous. When things like this happen people tend to blame the breed rather than how they have been trained.”

n Do you think it is safe to have rottweilers near children? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

During the First World War, rottweilers were used as police dogs.