The Dogs Trust has paused rescuing XL American Bulldogs in Scotland after the breed was banned south of the border. 

The animal charity said it made the "difficult decision" to suspend intake of dogs suspected to be an XL Bully breed while it awaits an update from the Scottish Government. 

But it told XL Bully owners to "stay calm" and "not panic"  as it urged them not to surrender their pets to rescue shelters as they may not be able to be rehomed if the breed is banned in Scotland. 

Read more: The XL Bully rules in Scotland as ban announced in England and Wales

XL Bullies have been added to the banned breeds list under the Dangerous Dogs Act in England and Wales, where it was made illegal from December 31. 

But the Scottish Government has not yet confirmed if it will ban the breed, which has been linked to a number of fatal attacks on humans. 

A spokesperson for the Dogs Trust said: "We are urging American Bully XL owners in Scotland to stay calm and not panic.

"We believe the best place for a dog is at home with their family. Until the Scottish Government announces any changes to the law in Scotland, we have made the difficult decision to pause the intake of dogs suspected to be an American Bully XL-type into our rehoming centres.  

"Taking a dog that could potentially be typed as an American Bully XL into our kennels may be detrimental to the dog’s future as, if a ban is announced in Scotland, we may be unable to own or transfer ownership of these dogs. "

Read more: SNP urged to act as XL Bullies banned in England and Wales
Dogs Trust is providing behaviour advice to XL Bully owners through its Behaviour Support Line and has further information on its website.

The charity is part of the Dog Control Coalition, which has spoken out against the ban of American XL Bullies.

Its members, including the SSPCA, Kennel Club, and British Veterinary Association, said in a joint statement: "The Dog Control Coalition agrees that urgent action needs to be taken to protect the public from out-of-control dogs, but we are disappointed that the Government hasn’t taken the opportunity to completely overhaul the Dangerous Dogs Act.

"With its continued focus on specific breeds, rather than a focus on prevention and implementation of tougher penalties for those owners not in control of their dogs, it is not fit for purpose."