A bulldog has been credited with saving his owner from a knife-wielding robber who approached him as he walked his pets.
Martin Bolton with pedigree bulldogs Mille (left) and Alfie
Businessman Martin Bolton, 33, was out for his nightly walk near his home in Ingatestone, Essex, when a man holding a craft knife tried to grab one of his pedigree bulldogs.
Mr Bolton was slashed a dozen times on the arm and leg as he fought off the robber and believes he would have been killed if his three-year-old dog Alfie had not sunk his teeth into the man's leg.
"It was horrendous," Mr Bolton said. "He slashed at me and my older dog Alfie just went mad and grabbed his leg and the robber fell to the floor.
"Alfie is the quiet one, he doesn't bark and is so placid and gentle. He has never done anything like that before, he saved me, I dread to think what would have happened if Alfie hadn't bit him. I think it was just instinct, he was protecting his owner."
The robber fled in a scruffy white Transit van with an accomplice and Mr Bolton crouched into a ditch with his dogs until the police arrived.
He was treated in hospital for a broken finger, a dozen cuts and slashes to his arms and his leg.
Mr Bolton, who runs a family engineering company and has three young children, added: "It all happened so quickly, I didn't realise I had been cut until I saw the blood on my hands. My trousers were slashed to piece and my white jumper was covered in blood. I was worried the dogs had been cut."
He believes the robbers may have been laying in wait for his nightly walk so they could snatch his £4,000 pedigree dogs, Alfie, and 18-month-old Millie.
Alfie was awarded for his bravery with a t-bone steak.
The dog may hold the key to catching the robber - police have taken a sample of what they believe to be the assailant's blood from his mouth.
Mr Bolton, who was given two police commendations for helping detain a man who was attacking a female police officer, said: "We moved away from London to get away from things like this, to keep the children away from knife crime and stabbing. I cannot believe something like this has happened here."
Bulldog saves man from knife-wielding robber - Telegraph