DOG owner Caralyn Hastings is defending her “gentle and loving” pet after it bit her 17-year-old son in the face.

She said her Staffordshire Bull Terrier acted out of instinct after teenager Adam Hastings accidentally leant on a leg the dog had injured as a puppy.

Adam, who lives with mum at Honeyknob Hill in Kington St Michael, was taken to Chippenham A&E on Sunday at 9pm, where he received treatment for cuts to his face.

Adam, a former Abbeyfield school pupil who studied agriculture at Lackham College, said he was being affectionate to the pet but it bit out when he accidently leant on its leg.

Ms Hastings said it was a gentle, good-natured dog that had shown a natural reaction to pain and she had no reason to worry. “My grandchildren jump on him all the time and he’s fine,” she said.

“He’s a lovely, gentle dog, it’s not like him at all.”

She was keen to point out it was a different situation to the one in Greater Manchester last week. Two Staffordshire bull terriers and two bull mastiffs were destroyed by police after 14-year-old Jade Lomas-Anderson was found dead in a house she was visiting in Atherton, near Wigan, where five dogs were said to be “aggressive and out of control”.

Ms Hastings said: “It wasn’t like what happened in Wigan. He injured his leg as a puppy and Adam leant on it by mistake. It was just a natural reaction.”

In February the Government announced plans to extend legal protection over dog attacks to cover incidents on private property.