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Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Tree-hungry dog gives owner stick
Staffordshire bull terrier
Staffordshires are known for being good with children
A Swiss dog owner faces criminal charges after his dog chewed 10 trees to destruction.

Police in the city of Lausanne said that the pregnant three-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier caused damage to the tune of 100,000 Swiss francs ($56,000).

The trees were so badly damaged they had to be replaced.


She obviously feels she gets something from the trees that she needs

Phil Buckley,
UK Kennel Club
Police caught the dog and her 28-year-old owner in the act as the terrier chewed a chestnut tree in one of Lausanne's esplanades.

They said that the owner had not only stood by as the dog wreaked destruction on the tree but had actively encouraged it.

Phil Buckley from the UK Kennel Club told BBC News Online that the dog's pregnancy may have affected her behaviour.

Cravings

"She obviously feels she gets something from the trees that she needs," he said, comparing it to cravings women experience during pregnancy.

But he condemned the owner's behaviour as "irresponsible".

Lausanne
Lausanne's city authorities are taking civil action
The owner has been charged with causing criminal damage and the case has been referred to the criminal authorities.

The city is also taking civil action against him.

The dog was taken away for observation but was later returned to the owner.

Although often associated with the much larger American Staffordshire terrier and pit bulls, Mr Buckley says that the aggression has been bred out of Staffordshire bull terriers and he has never heard of this kind of behaviour from the breed before.

It is one of the most popular dogs in the UK and is known as the "nanny dog" for its characteristic of being good with children.

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06 Feb 01 | Europe
Swiss SOS for St Bernards
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