Arsenal goalkeeper 'training XL Bully dog as his bodyguard' after wave of break-ins hit Premier League footballers

26 February 2024, 05:50 | Updated: 26 February 2024, 07:36

Burglars have been targeting the homes of Premier League footballers
Burglars have been targeting the homes of Premier League footballers. Picture: Instagram/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Arsenal star David Raya is 'training' his XL Bully dog as a 'bodyguard' after a string of break-ins at the homes of Premier League footballers.

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Raya, who is Arsenal's number one goalkeeper, has an exemption certificate for the dog, after the breed was banned by the government, The Sun reports.

The dog reportedly lives in a 'secure cage' in their home in north London.

The goalkeeper has shared a number of pictures with himself, his girlfriend and their dog, showing its playful and innocent side.

David Raya with his partner and XL Bully dog
David Raya with his partner and XL Bully dog. Picture: Instagram/David Raya

In a bid to train his XL Bully dog responsibly, Raya is using firm Elite Protection Dogs, the publication reports.

It comes as more and more Premier League homes experience break-ins at the hands of criminals.

Read More: Newcastle star's house 'targeted by burglars' weeks after Jack Grealish and Kurt Zouma's homes broken into

Read More: Jack Grealish breaks his silence on 'traumatic' home burglary as footballer's mansion targeted in £1m gems raid

Manchester City star Jack Grealish, 28, lost £1 million in watches and jewellery in a burglary at his home towards the end of last year.

Meanwhile, Premier League footballer Joelinton was forced to call the police as he watched his team play in January after it was 'targeted by burglars'.

Grealish's home was broken into in December last year
Grealish's home was broken into in December last year. Picture: Getty

It's feared at least 10,000 XL Bully dogs were not registered as the ban on the dangerous breed came in to force in England and Wales earlier this year.

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) said 40,000 applications had been made for a government Certificate of Exemption before the deadline of midday on 31st January.

XL Bully dogs without an exemption certificate are banned in the UK
XL Bully dogs without an exemption certificate are banned in the UK. Picture: Alamy

But it’s estimated there are at least 50,000 XL Bullies in the country, which experts say is a “floor level”, meaning the true number is anticipated to be higher.

A ban on the breed was announced by Rishi Sunak last year after a series of highly-publicised attacks, including on women and children.

It is now a criminal offence to own an XL Bully dog in England and Wales without a Certificate of Exemption. A ban is also expected to come into effect in Scotland.

The dogs must be neutered, kept on a lead and muzzled when out in public, microchipped and kept in a secure place so it cannot escape.

Owners or anybody handling the dog in public must be over 16 years old and take out third party public liability insurance to cover injuries the dog may cause to other people.

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