Apr 122012
 

Pic of Staffie DogThis morning we received this article from Kay Hamilton. It’s all about the breed of dogs she loves so much. In fact, she loves them so much, she heads up Scottish Staffie Rescue, a charity dedicated to their welfare

Written by Linda – an SSBTR volunteer

Staffies! Whether you love them or you hate them there’s no getting past the fact that this breed is set apart from all others, the marmite of the dog world! With such passion on each side of the debate the true Staffie story is being lost in the media hype.

Adopting a Staffordshire Bull Terrier comes with its downsides – the stigma attached to owning this breed of dog can make for very frustrated owners, ‘deed not breed’ is a phrase I’m sure every Staffie owner has said once if not 100 times!

Having said that, the benefits of adopting one of these beautiful and misunderstood dogs far outweigh any negative.

Staffies are very much people-orientated dogs; they always want to please you and be with you and they thrive in a family environment. Once nicknamed the “nanny dog” the media perception of Staffies could not be further from the truth. They may look the part for those who want a tough ‘status’ dog, but it soon comes to light that they’re so soft they’d rather cuddle up with the burglar than guard your house!

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s popularity has been its downfall. They have been grossly overbred and are now the most numerous breed in the UK and account for over half of the dogs in rescue centres up and down the country.

So can these so called ‘devil dogs’ really be the loveable cuddly pups their owners make them out to be? Here’s a few questions we hear on a regular basis:

Q. If they are lovely dogs then why do Staffies end up in rescue?

A. Staffies end up in rescue for many reasons, from awful cruelty cases to their owners passing away – the same reasons other breeds need rehomed.

Q. But why are there so many Staffies compared to other breeds?

Picture of Staffie DogA. For various reasons – the main reason being that there are so many of them. They are a popular dog and this makes them a great target for backyard breeders who churn out pups for profit money with no regard to whether they will end up in a good home for life. This makes them easy to come by for people who buy a dog on a ‘fad’ with no thought for the long-term.

They are an energetic breed and high energy dogs (like Collies for example) tend to end up in rescue more often than others when people can’t give them what they need.

Another factor here is that Staffies in particular don’t do well in kennels, they like their home comforts so when people come to look at dogs they sometimes don’t show themselves in a very good light.

To go along with this the way the media shows Staffies makes people wary of the breed. So although they have maybe never met a Staffie before, they automatically think badly of them. Add to that the fact there are so many Staffies in the rescue and it leaves a possible adopter thinking there must be something wrong if there are so many here!

Q. So how do we change this?

Pic of 2 Staffie DogsA. Spaying and neutering plays a big part in getting the situation under control. If we can clamp down on the breeding by unscrupulous breeders it will at least slow the rising population and result in less dogs in rescue.

Education is also very important. Teaching people, including the next generation, how to be responsible owners will bring about a drop in the numbers of dogs in rescue and the media image of Staffies should start to change.

Awareness is the other side of this. If people can be shown that
Staffies aren’t the problem and to start looking at the other end of the lead, then the general public’s view on these dogs will begin to change and Staffies will stop being such a taboo.

All this fuss over a dog! Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a breed of dog, the same as Chihuahuas, Great Danes and everything in between. Currently they seem to be seen by most as a different species! Let’s start treating them like dogs and remembering that a dog is only as good as his people make him. And with the right owner, like any dog, a Staffie is truly man’s best friend.

Want To Know More?

If you are interested in finding out more about Staffordshire Bull Terriers, the work of Scottish Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue or just want to see more pics of cute dogs; check out the SSBTR website:

http://www.staffierescuescotland.co.uk

(The photos used in the article were taken from the SSBTR website)

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