A GUIDE dog instructor was mauled by a bull terrier after stepping in to protect her trainee pup in the city centre.
Trainer Jayne Brown, 29, sustained heavy bruising to her right leg in the shock attack on Nicolson Street last month and credits the thick jeans she was wearing for preventing more serious injury.
She shielded the 17-month-old animal – that had been undergoing guide dog training – after the terrier shot out from beneath a blanket occupied by a homeless girl outside a Tesco Metro.
Ms Brown instinctively manoeuvred the dog out behind her and the “Staffy-type” breed latched onto her leg as she buffered the attack which lasted only a few seconds.
“We were walking past a homeless girl sitting on a blanket when the dog just flew out to try to bite my training dog Les, but instead made contact with my leg,” said the trainer, who has worked with the Guide Dogs Association for the Blind since 2006.
“The girl pulled the dog away and managed to get it under control. The whole thing was totally unprovoked, but the dog wasn’t on a lead, and she didn’t manage to keep hold of it.
“Luckily I was wearing thick jeans and dropped the harness so the dog was able to move out of the way. If a small child had been in between us when it happen the consequences don’t even bear thinking about.”
“I was very shaken after the attack, and Les has shown apprehension passing other dogs now. Before he was absolutely fine but now is hesitant and needs support to get past them.”
Ms Brown revealed that it costs her association £50,000 to train a guide dog and one traumatic attack can drain confidence to such an extent that they are incapable of working.
Yesterday, the News told how a guide dog was attacked by a bull terrier while escorting her owner in Leith. The animal suffered puncture wounds to its neck and chest in the horrifying ordeal, on August 30, which lasted around five minutes.
This latest incident, which took place on September 15, was the second in as many weeks in Edinburgh alone.
A police spokesman said: “Officers are following a positive line of inquiry to identify the owner of the dog.”