Staffy owners - do you get a negative response from others?

(35 Posts)
diplodocus Fri 01-Feb-13 13:45:39

Hi. We're hoping to get a rescue puppy / young dog in the next few months, and I regularly look at the websites of our local rescue charities (I'm keen to get one that's been fostered in a home rather than in kennels as think you get a better idea of suitability). I have 2 primary-aged children so obviously a dog that is good with children is our main priority. I tend to find that a lot of the dogs that are identified by the rescue homes as "suitable for young children" are staffies or staffy crosses. I wouldn't have a problem at all with a staffy - I've read a bit about them, the one's I know are lovely, gentle dogs and I feel they have an undeserved bad press. I could see the right one fitting in really well with our family and lifestyle, and we would obviously train it and not leave it alone with the children the same as we would with any dog. I was just wondering about whether owners find other people's negative reactions to them a problem? I'm thinking about other parents being wary of letting their kids coming round to play etc. because we have a "dangerous dog". Do you feel your staffy has to be "whiter than white" as normal boisterous behaviour is misconstrued as something more sinister?
TIA

Jayne266 Sat 02-Feb-13 19:36:23

grin

LadyTurmoil Sat 02-Feb-13 16:18:33

Yes I have 4dc and an extremely soppy docile almost 12 year old Staffie.

Even when I'm walking with the kids & the dog (on a lead) people cross the road to get away from him.

Makes me wonder seeing as quite obviously i have children.

Lots & lots of people asked what we going to 'do with the dog' when I was pregnant with dd1.

He is a lovely dog and ds 14mo is especially fond of him.

Thingymajigs Sat 02-Feb-13 12:44:04

I live in a housing association area and the only dogs owned are Staffys. My next door neighbour owns one which is aggressive, loud and is let outside on its own as if it was a cat instead of being walked. I know for certain that its the owners and not the breed of dog to blame but the stigma is rife.

LadyTurmoil Sat 02-Feb-13 12:32:06

If you look at this thread Pg 2 at the moment So, getting a puppy, the update - We found our forever resue dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks mumsnet grin you'll see that they are very, very happy with the 2yo Staffy they got from a rescue...

diplodocus Sat 02-Feb-13 11:32:05

You all sound like you have such lovely dogs. Where I live is a small, rather classy country village - a bit "lab and spaniel central" IYKWIM? We would stick out like a sore thumb, but to be honest whatever we get that's likely to be the case as not many rescue-type mutts about (to be honest even without a dog we manage to stand out a bit round here!). The advantage is we back onto open countryside so not heavily populated with other dogs and their owners. Only issue would be if we walk the kids to school with the dog, which we were intending to do (on the lead obviously)- I could invisage a few raised eyebrows. Jayne - good to know about the farting - one of the main advantages is I'll now be able to blame the dog as the kids are now refusing to accept the blame!

Jayne266 Sat 02-Feb-13 05:49:48

I have 2 SBT who I call piglets Tbh when people ask me what dogs I have I get a look from them
Straight away but for us they seem to be classed as chavy (near me which is funny as since I have moved in my cul de sac I have noticed 3 other neighbours now have them).

I think no matter what dog you get being near a child is up to you and your training. Mine don't pull on the lead and are ok with other dogs but they are always on a lead (they have big enemies called cats) so I wouldn't want to loose themhmm.

Regarding children I have no worries what so ever my brother looked after
My two when I was away and when I picked them up I found one of them in the living room with my young nephew licking his toes and playing with him and the other in bed snoring with my older nephew (under the covers with her head on the pillow). I also have 6 month 3 week old and no issues at all to be honest the cat is more of a worry. And weaning is easy as every bit of food that fell on the floor the dogs ate (also good food
Hoovers).

They do get a bad rep because of arsehole owners and because they look like a pit bull (which is a whole separate issue)

Bad issues (lighthearted) -they snore they don't need as much grooming care so I wasted my money buying all those cleaning brushes. They can look a bit silly in those dog coats and if they eat something that doesn't agree with them they don't have anyway to disguise that wind. Mine can just walk up the stairs and fart.

But no matter what dog you get you have made my day by thinking about getting a rescue.

Spero Fri 01-Feb-13 22:04:06

I have a girl staffs from a rescue and nearly everyone I know was rolling their eyes and making comments - my mum was really upset, queried safety of my daughter etc, etc.

Of course, she is a lovely lump, well socialised at puppy training and very popular at the local park where she either plays nicely or just ignores other dogs.

But I have had quite a few experiences of people whipping their children out of the way (even when being walked by my 8 year old) and some comments (one man told another to 'watch out' for his dog as we approached!) plus I never see other staffies at the more upper crust dog venues we frequent...

However my mum has totally come round and bought her three chew toys for Christmas...

I think they are lovely dogs and with good training and good socialising, should be no problem and a lovely family pet.

Twattybollocks Fri 01-Feb-13 21:57:29

I did get some raised eyebrows from a couple of parents, but once they actually meet the dog they don't have an issue, its patently obvious that she is just a mad bouncy thing who wants to play with everyone and drown them in soggy dog snogs. She is actually very gentle with smaller kids. She is good with other dogs, but I don't let her off lead unless I know the owners. Kids can't walk her though, as although she doesn't pull constantly like some staffs she does have the odd squirrel moment and is more than capable of pulling a small adult down the road!
It's not until you feel the pull on the end of the lead that you realise that they are in fact small bundles of iron strong muscle.

CatelynStark Fri 01-Feb-13 21:35:21

* epic italic fail up there ^^

CatelynStark Fri 01-Feb-13 21:34:45

Most people who stop and have a chat will tell ^me^all about how Staffs are misunderstood, like I don't bloody know smile

The minority will drag their snapping hounds away because most dogs want to have a go at my boy, while he's prancing around, trying to lick them to death. He is thick as mince when it comes to reading doggy signals <sigh>

@spicey working on the lead training but hard to stop prancing if another off lead dog is asking to play.

OP I would think carefully about where you live - I know that sounds mad but - in some areas there is much more tolerance of staffies than others. Also, they are very nickable in some areas. You could try asking a couple down the local park what the atmosphere is like.

Personally I love them - esp Ron down the pub. I also like their owners as they have usually rescued them as opposed to gone for latest variation on poo plus they are usually more relaxed about mad loony lurcher play unlike sanctimonious lab owners who say all lurchers steal sticks Even if you don't go for a staff do go for a rescue. Loads of amazing pooches out there.

SpicyPear Fri 01-Feb-13 17:33:56

Let's agree to disagree on that one LadyT. SpicyDog was easy to lead train as once she stopped trying to use her power to get ahead or change direction etc, it's was like walking any small size dog. SpicyPup on the other hand, little terrier a third of her weight but an absolute terror, prancing and po-going around on the end of the lead like a loon smile

LadyTurmoil Fri 01-Feb-13 17:24:25

Spicy - completely agree with you about the lead training BUT the sheer physical muscle these dogs have (hers is really small, well below knee height and v compact) just makes it physically more difficult than, say, a Cavalier, Westie, poodle or some other smaller mixed breed.

SpicyPear Fri 01-Feb-13 16:59:45

Oh well she sounds like a complete fool. SpicyDog is fine with children but if they approach I always say to them that they should check first with the owner because not all dogs are friendly. It's the only time I interfere with other people's parenting because it's really important.

MadCap Fri 01-Feb-13 16:46:14

I was verbally attacked by a staffie owner recently. She was standing with her dog just outside a shop when I came out with my 2 dc's (aged 2&3). I said to the kids not to pet the dog as I could tell they were about to run up to it. I don'twant them running up to any strange dogs not just staffies.

This lady just went mental at me. Going on and on about them not being dangerous dogs. Really shouting, etc. I just gave her a hmm and walked away.

diplodocus Fri 01-Feb-13 16:45:40

Some interesting posts - thanks. Think I'll look at whatever dogs are available on their respective merits when the time comes for us to get Diplodog. As you say, Staffies are strong, but to be honest we wouldn't want a very small dog (and it would have to be pretty small for my 5 yo to manage it), so we would have the same issue until it's trained (I have vivid memories of being hauled down the road by my Granddad's collie when I was small).

x post, I 'll be off..... smile

I meant pulling on the lead, sorry I am multi taking and failing!

That's good then. Never had a dog before until 6 weeks ago - I love them now and will get another next year, probably another Springer tbh at this stage, to make a (Spicy) pair smilesmile

LadyTurmoil does make a good point that I had forgotten, another reason we didn't choose a Staffie, or similar or large breed was because I would like the kids to be able to walk him/her and also that I am 5ft and 7 stone wet through, somebody did mention this as a consideration, although there is training of course (looks at Springer puupy and glares.... this bit ain't sinking in...)

SpicyPear Fri 01-Feb-13 16:27:35

No offence LadyT but that's entirely your friend's fault for not training proper lead walking. SpicyDog doesn't attract aggression from other dogs either.

SpicyPear Fri 01-Feb-13 16:21:49

I walk with various people too. It's actually quite helpful because people who will walk with us are the real dog lovers rather than the people who have a pretty dog iyswim. Plus my girl is winning over others all the time smile

LadyTurmoil Fri 01-Feb-13 16:19:28

I have a friend with a lovely, small black (entire) Staff. He is the soppiest lump and very sweet and was ace at dribbling a football in the garden! However, when we went for a walk together, she couldn't let him off the lead, said that he seems to be a magnet for other dogs to have a go at, sure enough a very enthusiastic big DDB puppy/youngster came up and had a bit of a go which was a bit hairy for a minute! The staff, although small, is also very strong and I can't imagine you'd be able to let children take it for walk even when they get a bit older, and she was struggling a bit as well. Just doesn't seem much fun to have a dog like that...

Agree Spicy - just posted to give an example of how some people view Staffies. Probably a really bad example (!!!!) but I suspect if you say the place name Benidorm or Ibiza a certain image springs to mind that is likely far from the truth.

Interesting re whether it would bother me or not though...you got me thinking... one of the reasons we got a dog was for me to be out and about meeting lots of interesting dog owners, I am amazed how many people stop because I have a puppy I walk with a different person now every day and at different times of day - it's fab, I love it. Might be a thought for the OP to consider, I would HATE people to cross the street if I had a Staffie.

It's a horrible thought actually sad, poor Staffies.

In 3 years time it will be Huskies...

SpicyPear Fri 01-Feb-13 16:01:29

BTW I have volunteered with rescue staffs and some of them were untrained and unruly but definitely not scary. Not training them properly leads to undesirable behaviours as with any breed, but they are not naturally scary dogs that need aggression trained out of them to make good pets. Plus many of them did have basic training but the owners then just gave up once the whole dog ownership thing got too boring, inconvenient or expensive. It is a myth that most dpgs are in rescue because they are aggreasive.

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