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A great opportunity to get advice from Debbie Connolly

It isn't often you get the offer of something completely free these days, so if you fancy some free training and behaviour advice from expert Debbie Connolly here's how you can get just that:


From status symbol to a child’s best friend – get to know the real ‘nanny’ dog

Animal behaviourist, Debbie Connolly, has campaigned for many years to improve dog breeding practices and the responsibilities of pet ownership and is currently doing talks and seminars at UK shows about pet and child safety. 

As consultant to several animal rescues, she is very aware of the problems facing the bull breeds and rotties due to over breeding from back yard breeders - resulting in a large number being put down on a daily basis.

Media stories quite rightly feature the tragic and truly terrible stories of these breeds injuring and even killing children, but Debbie believes that the public misconception to tar them all with the same brush is unfair.

Debbie commented: "The dogs that are biting people are not strays and they are not escaping from rescue centres and terrorising people. They are owned by macho, lazy and selfish people who need a status symbol to raise their profile on the street and they use the dog to achieve it.  This kind of person would make a poodle dangerous because through fear and aggression, that's what they teach the dog to be and how to behave."
A recent Panorama programme highlighted the tragedy of Staffie types being put down on a daily basis for no other reason than there is simply no room for them - new Staffie’s arrive every day and space has to be found.  This is the reality in every pound across the country every single day and whilst many rescue centres lighten some of the load by taking and helping these dogs, the simple fact is that there are just too many coming in and too few going out.

Debbie feels that the publicity has not helped the problem and says: "Sadly there are many stories of bull breeds and rotties hurting adults and children and so the public fear adopting them.  This is a common misconception - the Staffie was known as the "nanny dog" because of its tolerance for and the love of children - yet this important fact is lost in the media hype and the terrible reputation brought on by the breed being used as a status symbol.  The result is too many overlooked dogs in rescue centres and more healthy dogs killed every day."

To raise awareness of bull breeds and support the cause to raise their profile in rescue centres, Debbie is giving up her time to give free training advice at The Mayhew Animal Home in North London on 14th April 2011 where she will be available, along with the Mayhew staff, from 2pm until 5pm.  Debbie is hoping that anyone in the London area, who would like to consider rescuing a dog, will come along and meet some of the fabulous bull breeds and rotties needing homes.  She is offering free training and behaviour advice specific to the needs of any visiting family and their potential new dog.  What a great way of finding out the real truth about the ‘nanny dog’ breed.

Caroline Yates, CEO of The Mayhew added:  “The Mayhew is at the forefront of dealing with dog welfare issues in an urban environment. As a result, we know all too well the challenges of having high numbers of bull breed type dogs in our shelter and the erroneous image many of these dogs have in the media, which makes finding them a new home all that more difficult. We are pleased to welcome Debbie to The Mayhew with the aim of hopefully finding some of our lovely dogs a new home.”

Debbie Connolly has worked with animals for 28 years in all disciplines; training, boarding, rescue, showing, behaviour and breeding. Best known for the BBC series Dog Borstal, she also appeared in Britain’s Most Embarrassing Pets in 2009. She is the feature writer for London Dog forum and has many published articles in a range of publications. She is the Behaviour Consultant for Zep the Dep Rottweiler Rescue, Bengal Cat Rescue and Trallwm Farm Animal Sanctuary. She has bases in Hertfordshire, London, the Midlands and Carmarthenshire and runs dog training holidays in Port Talbot.

Debbie is an associate member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers. She lives at home with her family, of the two and four legged variety. Her website is

Debbie also started to assist owners in finding a good breeder.


Established in 1886, The Mayhew is one of the busiest and most effective rescue centres in London, helping thousands of animals escape from a life of cruelty and neglect each year. They provide shelter and care for cats, dogs, rabbits and when the need arises, for a wide variety of other animals.
The Mayhew Animal Home and Humane Education Centre strives to tackle the companion animal welfare crisis from every possible angle. They are pro-active and continually work to assist both animals and their carers with educational programmes and initiatives.

Part of their mission is to take in and care for unwanted and abused animals and re-home them with responsible and caring owners. They believe that animals, as living creatures, are entitled to legal, moral and ethical consideration, and have a value beyond economic measure

Contact Details
The Mayhew Animal Home, Trenmar Gardens, Kensal Green, London, NW10 6BJ
Email: Telephone: 020 8969 0178


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