Why are rescue centres full of staffies?

(105 Posts)
lecce Tue 09-Jul-13 21:09:34

Just that really. We are currently looking for a rescue dog and have no criteria other than that we have two dc aged 4& 6 and, having rarely sat on our own sofa together over the last 10 years grin, we would like something a fair bit smaller than the beautiful, sofa-hogging lurcher we recently had pts. We would also like a dog with more of a playful disposition than he had (he was a fantastic dog - not a criticism of him) and for the dog to be as young as possible, definitely no older than 2.

I have been ruling out staffies without really thinking about why. I suppose I had assumed they were aggressive. However, the more I look, the more it seems that we may be waiting a very long time for a dog unless we consider a staffy and I keep seeing all this stuff on websites about how unfair their reputation is.

Is it? Does anyone have any experience of this breed? Can they be great family pets?

sleepdodger Tue 09-Jul-13 21:11:15

Many people will be along to tell you they're lovely friendly dogs with kids
But sadly, like many breeds they've been instead and many of them seem to suddenly turn...

shazbean Tue 09-Jul-13 21:18:45

Staffies can be lovely dogs if you have them from pups but rescue centres we went to cannot guarantee their background.
They are a popular breed amongst young men and, without trying to be funny, within deprived areas.
People are much less likely to be able to afford to neuter the dogs and or breed them to make a bit of cash so rescue centres are brimful with them.
It's a real shame.

MacaYoniandCheese Tue 09-Jul-13 21:19:04

They look very menacing and frightening. I know people say they're lovely but I think it's a pretty anti-social choice, TBH. I wouldn't let my children play at a friend's house if they owned one. There are weekly stories about them attacking small dogs and children....a particularly gruesome one last week sad.

jemstipp Tue 09-Jul-13 21:21:28

That's just it, the stereotypes of the dog and the people who own them is enough unfortunately and with all the mis handling very hard to trust one that you haven't reared yourself and even then there are people who'd say stay well away.

Pantone363 Tue 09-Jul-13 21:24:20

I would have one from a trusted breeder as a puppy. I wouldn't touch a rescue centre staffie with a barge pole.

Helpyourself Tue 09-Jul-13 21:24:20

Get a female one as young as you can. I've never met a nasty one, but any dog, if brutalised can turn.
We have a Staffie I would and do trust 100%

shazbean Tue 09-Jul-13 21:26:06

I won't tell you what breed I have then.

Helpyourself Tue 09-Jul-13 21:27:51

grin
shazbean

mrslaughan Tue 09-Jul-13 21:29:12

My dog is best friends with 2 staffs - they are lovely and I often walk my dog with them with my 3 1/2 year old =- she loves them. Interestingly as boisterous as they are in playing with my dog and greeting me - they have never knocked her over, which I think shows a lovely awareness.

It is all about the dog and its upbringing. Don't judge a book by its cover.

One killed MIL's cat. Nuff said.

shazbean Tue 09-Jul-13 21:32:28

I just really dislike that a whole breed of dog is vilified because of this kind of thing. I know there are dangerous breeds and of course any normal person would not choose to bring that into their home.
But the majority of dogs, whatever breed, if trained and treated correctly respond accordingly. And if you do happen to be unlucky enough to pick a wrong'un then you'll know fairly sharpish and be able to deal with it.

Magnificunt Tue 09-Jul-13 21:33:27

We have a staffy we've had from a puppy, and she's great with my DC, and anyone else's. but as with ALL dogs, you can never be 100% sure, especially so with rescue dogs because you'll never be certain of their background.

SilkySocksSinkShips Tue 09-Jul-13 21:34:33

They look menacing and frightening?! How can this look menacing! Like any dog, as long as they are being reared properly, with love and care, they make fantastic family dogs. They seem to be seen as a bit of a 'status' dog but, if going by my area, so are German shepherds with young people.

They do have a bad rep. Shame really. However, I've known of more jack russells attacking humans than staffies (in my local area). They are notoriously nippy.

imawigglyworm Tue 09-Jul-13 21:35:05

They are stupidly over bred too. As too many people see it as quick easy money until they cant rehome them, then they end up in rescue centres.
As said above any dog without the correct training or care can end up being vicious unfortunately. But that doesn't mean ALL staffies are bad.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Jul-13 21:36:38

Because it's seen as a chav dog.

Turniphead1 Tue 09-Jul-13 21:37:01

I have to say I largely find them fairly unattractive dogs. Sorry to Staffy owners.

I think others have said above why the majority of rescue centre dogs seem to be Staffs at the moment. Very popular dogs amongst a demographic that are not necessarily good dog owners and buy them to look tough / decorate with studded collars etc. (clearly vast generalisation - lots of lovely good Staffy owners).

We meet a lot of Staffs on walks and never have had a problem. I don't shy away from letting my pup play with them if they are off lead.

shazbean Tue 09-Jul-13 21:37:56

Exactly Silky.
We had Yorkies when I was growing up and they were fab but our neighbours one took a nice nip out of DDs knee and she is scared of them.

imawigglyworm Tue 09-Jul-13 21:38:01

I was just about to mention Jack russells too sillysocks

expatinscotland Tue 09-Jul-13 21:38:14

It's cross bred a lot, too, so you don't know what you're getting.

RandomMess Tue 09-Jul-13 21:38:41

We've been looking at rehoming a dog, dh refuses to consider a staffie or similar looking breeds etc because "they are chav dogs" so yep the reputation of who owns them for him.

imawigglyworm Tue 09-Jul-13 21:38:42

Sorry silky not silly opps blush

Turniphead1 Tue 09-Jul-13 21:38:46

I expect in a couple of years there will be as many husky / wolf type dogs in rescue homes though ...

YoniRanger Tue 09-Jul-13 21:39:43

I think all rescue dogs are a risk because you just don't know what's gone before.

My collie is generally a rug full of cuddles unless you touch his back then he will bite you in the face. I've had him 5 years and the list of things he can't stand has become shorter with buckets of love and patience but he will never be able to be around other dogs or traffic.

He was also at least 5 years older than the centre said he was. They promised me he was no trouble as I had tiny amounts of experience.

We are lucky to have land enough for him to live his last couple of years out in peace and quiet, dog king of all he surveys grin

imawigglyworm Tue 09-Jul-13 21:42:10

Huskys are being overbred too atm and because people don't have the time to give them the care they need (ALOT of exercise and very strong dogs) they are ending up in resuces more and more too. There will always be a 'fad' dog back in the 80's it was german shepards/Alsatians.

There are so many in rescues because they're over-bred. Because they're affected by negative press, and so many people will hand them over if they start families, and not many people will rehome because of the bad press.

They are high energy dogs. They need proper training. They need to be socialised. They need to be walked. They need to be kept busy. Without those things they can be destructive, over boisterous...or worse.

There are some that will be dumped because they haven't made good fighting or guard dogs. Others may be dumped because they're past their use for breeding.

I have one. They're the only breed I would come close to trusting around children - the way they live alongside children is something I've not seen with dogs before - they are actively involved in the lives of "their" little people. They're fantastic, clever, happy dogs - but they need to be in the right hands as the potential they have for damage is larger than other smaller breeds.

shazbean Tue 09-Jul-13 21:45:21

Fad dogs -true but made me laugh.
I haven't seen a Doberman for years, where are they all?

jemstipp Tue 09-Jul-13 21:46:18

There already are lots of huskies in rescue centres due to ignorance, more because they can be destructive, blow their coats twice a year and are ultra efficient escape artists than anything else. I have a husky, as well as a German Shepherd and 3 Cairn terriers. People get huskies as they look "cool" not knowing how much exercise they need. They have a high prey drive and will kill small animals and cats if the opportunity comes along. Should be kept on a lead as they are notoriously heedless to recall (mine does albeit reluctantly lol). All these idiots buying dogs for the look are causing all the problems and for a lot of shite breeding to take place as there are unscrupulous people out there wanting to make a fast few quid. Whatever dog you go for, thoroughly research the breed where possible and ask other owners of the same type of dogs and you should be onto a winner. Still highly recommend Cairns though ;-)

KateCroydon Tue 09-Jul-13 21:48:28

the kennel club on staffies: 'with the human race he is kindness itself and his genuine love of children is well known'.

MacaYoniandCheese Tue 09-Jul-13 21:48:58

Aww, Silky. I totally agree he's lovely, but he's a puppy. Even Grizzly Bear cubs are adorable grin. Here's a picture of a smiling, grown-up Staffy. He looks like a good sort but terriers are very determined, stubborn, mercurial little creatures (we have a Westie and I grew up with JR's). Arm them with a miniature powerhouse body and a wide, strong jaw and you're asking for trouble.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Jul-13 21:49:04

I wouldn't have one, tbh.

Megsdaughter Tue 09-Jul-13 21:52:55

We have two Staffies, rescued both, one at 4 months (Little dog is 3 tomorrow) and one at 2 years old. (Big Dog is now 3)

You couldnt find a softer pair.

We have had people pull there dogs away from them, take one look at DH (with his crew cut) and say some awful things.

Our dogs are never off lead unless up on Salisbury plain away from anyone.

Oh and btw, my 'thug' DH is a Army Dog Handler.

Turniphead1 Tue 09-Jul-13 21:53:18

As an aside - I wonder what happened to the lady on here who got a "half-wolf" puppy for her young family. Dog house thread a few months back. She got some good advice here.

Megsdaughter Tue 09-Jul-13 21:54:20

Both mine are on my profile.

GertrudeMorel Tue 09-Jul-13 21:57:33

My friends lovely cat was ripped apart by a Staffie.

I wouldn't want one.

MothershipG Tue 09-Jul-13 22:00:31

I have a friend who used to show her Staffies, she loves them, but she has said that she won't get another - because the breed's (undeserved) reputation is so bad people started giving her a wide birth and not given her or her dogs a chance.

Although I have nothing against them they just don't appeal to me aesthetically.

Empress77 Tue 09-Jul-13 22:02:53

I think most rescue centres will only give you a dog that they are totally happy are safe for your children - as they dont want to cause a problem or put the dog in a home incorrect for him, so im sure they will be overcautious and careful with who they let you have. You dont always not know whats gone before as often the centre will know the dogs history - some dogs are there through no fault of their own atall. Certainly they can be fantastic pets.

MacaYoniandCheese Tue 09-Jul-13 22:05:01

Meg. I love the picture of them 'spooning'...so cute.

imawigglyworm Tue 09-Jul-13 22:06:21

Any good rescue centre would be over cautious. We tried to rescue a cat a few years ago (already owning one) and no one would let us as my Ds's were 5 &3. most had a min age for children of 6 years if not older. Incase the cats were viscious or the kids terroised the poor cat. Finally cats protection allowed us to rehome 2 cats smile

OldBagWantsNewBag Tue 09-Jul-13 22:06:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I would be less likely to get a Staffie purely as they are often owned by young males (and gangs in my area usually have a few- and there are many stray staffie a we've called the RSPCA for- probably todo with our area) who don't give them training, or adequate care and are instead, bred to look vicious and be a dog a guy want to scare people. They are often overbred and poorly bred, with little care, inbreeding and although there are MANY exceptions (mine, to name one!) that doesn't mean that many of the rescue centre dogs are, although lovely, probably quite unsuitable for the younger family. Just like many strong dogs who could easily overpower a younger child, although, if trained and cared for properly, they can be lovely, I prefer smaller dogs who have been trained to be lap dogs (as an example) or used as family dogs, and if no that, then dogs who have a more reliable reputation and any of my children could escape or overpower if so necessary- unlikely, but necessary. So in goes a Border Terrier for example, out goes a German Shepherd.

I rescued a staffie after being told very firmly on here not to get a puppy but to rescue!!! grin He is the softest lump of pudding anyone could meet. Like any dog, I would always be aware of him around children etc, but he has had a roomful of really rambunctious boys all over him and his bed and done nothing more than grin and wag his tail round and round!

They can be a handful around other dogs/cats etc, but I never, ever let him off when we walk him for that reason, and I am happy that we have a 'little brother' for our ds. He is the soppiest, most loving thing ever. He follows me everywhere, treading on the back of my flip flops and pressing his nose on my leg whilst I peg out the washing! as long as some part of his is in contact with some part of you he is happy. They are a much misunderstood and much maligned breed - and I was the first to do this until I had one. I will never have another breed after this. Hth.

I was very nervous of staffies. Their reputation went before them, iyswim. But having met a few since we got Jas, I can only say that they're just like every other breed of dog. Some are gorgeous, soft lumps (elderly bitch that runs around with Jas like a puppy for three seconds before needing a little lie down grin), and some are out of control and worrying (beautiful blue young dog who's 'owner' doesn't agree with leads and tells everyone he thinks he has some pitbull in him hmm). We all tend to judge a book by its cover, but as the owner of an adorable looking spaniel who can be a right shit, I can safely say that its a rubbish way of judging anything. Some dogs seem to get adopted as status dogs for morons, and the breed suffers. I am seeing a ridiculous amount of Huskies, Malamutes and Akitas about at the moment sporting designer collars and leads and being posed outside pubs.

Frettchen Wed 10-Jul-13 11:07:46

It's so heart-breaking to read comments about the 'evils' done by Staffies. I do feel terrible for the few posters who have lost cats to dog attacks, but this is not a breed problem, this is an untrained, out of control dog problem. As has been mentioned, Staffies have been picked as the preferred dog of the 'tough young man', typically with more attitude than sense. They have been trained to be aggressive, but this is the individual dogs being trained, not the entire breed.

Staffies are so often in the news because they are the breed currently being abused by these bad owners. All dogs have the potential to become vicious, aggressive animals, but they also all have the potential to become wonderful, affectionate family pets.

My father has a staffie whippet cross who was previously owned by one of those attitude-filled young men, and who does have some dog aggression issues. He is happy with members of the family, but is frightened of unknown dogs and displays that though barking and lunging. He's wonderful around people, and is so affectionate.

My best friend has a staffie. She got her as a puppy last year, and has two DC (aged 1 and 4) and the dog is great with the children. She went through the usual puppy issues; jumping about and the like, but that's not a Staffie thing, it's a puppy thing.

They are wonderful family dogs if you can look past the awful, undeserved reputation.

ChestyNut Wed 10-Jul-13 11:08:07

I think it's so unfair the reputation staffys have sad

Any dog who is badly treated or trained badly can be aggressive.
The issue is with the owners not the dog.

Chestydog is the most placid, loving dog I've ever met.
I wouldn't have another breed now, he's luffly smile

Google staffy and nanny dog.

meg your brindle staffy looks just like mine.

TotallyBursar Thu 11-Jul-13 14:54:17

The staffies I've had have been no harder to turn around than the labs or spaniels. If they can be - that is not a breed fault, it is an abusive owner fault.

I would pick a staffy to be by my side a hundred times over. Lovely dogs. Little lad we had would have walked over hot coals for me. Most that have come through our hands have gone on to be wonderful companions, much loved.
Judging by breed average is different to judging by rescue average - far fewer people will get a poodle or Goldie as a status dog (unless it's like Monty Python's Bad Nanas) than will get a bull breed or a large breed like Rotties etc. Often cross breeding to make them bigger.

Any rescue dog is a risk, however calculated. Unfortunately staffies are more likely to have been encouraged to pull, lunge, be very vocal at the least and all the other stuff at worst.
Many staffs I've been involved with are a real risk around other dogs. This has not been a problem with the responsibily bred and owned dogs I've known (apart from the statistical outliers every breed has). Unfortunately one aspect people seem to forget when bashing responsible breeders is the behavioural impact a bitch and environs will have on a litter - unless you hand rear from birth you never start with a blank slate, it's just varying degrees of difficulty.

I don't know what the next breed will be - here is cross bred Huskies, Malamutes and a worryingly increasing trend for Boerbels. Staffies are reliable though and I doubt will ever truely go out of fashion just because they have the potential to cause more damage with bites, are intuitive and eager to please their handler (generally) and not the most difficult dog in the world to train.
I feel the potential is what keeps a lot of staffies in rescue (they are over represented in being given up but also take longer to home here) there can potentially be a disaster with an inexperienced owner and, quite rightly, it's not a risk they are willing to take. Once the hard work is done by a rescue or foster carer you then have to find a home for an adult or older dog of an unpopular breed that may or may not need an experienced owner - not going to happen every day.

As a slight aside the cats I've had to pts/were killed by dog attacks were all caused by Greyhounds. Also small furries - but you won't find many that don't recommend a (retired) G'hound as an excellent dog.

TotallyBursar Thu 11-Jul-13 15:14:19

Ha, shit sorry rantingly killed your thread blush.

I am waiting for someone to come and tell me I'm a bellend so hopeful we will be back on track soon.

ShesADreamer Thu 11-Jul-13 16:02:18

I have 2 retired greyhounds (would never let them near a cat!) who had never met other breeds of dog or learned to play before coming to us.

In both cases it was lovely exuberant staffies who first helped them see it was ok to play and that other dogs were great!

Lovely dogs in the right hands.

Twattybollocks Sun 14-Jul-13 00:28:52

Staffs are generally lovely dogs, if you train them and treat them right as others have said. I have 3dc, 8yo,7yo and 5mo. I have no concerns at all about the dog and the kids. Of course I always supervise, but the dog actually joins in the games rather than just watching or putting up with it (except the dog grooming game where she has to have a bath, she's not overly keen on that one but puts up with it as there are treats if she sits still)
She is a bit over friendly with visitors, not many folk like a dogs tongue in their ear but she is well trained, well socialised and an all round happy lovely dog.

carly183 Mon 15-Jul-13 15:21:38

I work in rescue. 95% of our dogs here are staffies and staffie crosses. The reason is because of most of the opinions that people who have no experience of them as shown above - that they are "aggressive" and out for blood. The newspapers will print a story about a dog attack and automatically print a picture of a SBT - whether it was a SBT or not that was actually involved! I have seen a Lab rip a 3 1/2yr old boy apart - yet Labs are considered family dogs. I have witnessed Cocker Spaniels puncturing their lifelong owners from no where - but again spaniels are seen as "soft and scatty". As soon as the media report a story, we have an influx of SBTs who have been with a family for 10yrs+, never shown an ounce of aggression and always been great with the kids - but thanks to the papers scaring these people, they turf out their well trained and peaceful SBT because of idiotic comments and opinions from people who have never actually owned nor dealt with one. If the media reported that all black people were aggressive and will "switch" at the slightest provocation, there would be outcry and complaints of "not every black person is the same". Same thing.
A lot of the SBTs that end up in rescue are here because they are NOT what they were bought for - they refuse to fight or bite. So think about that first. SBTs are two a penny at the mo and therefore if a young person loses his or he cannot work it up enough to be aggressive for him, its easier for him to pay £30 to the bloke down the road for a new pup rather than spend however much looking for his dog - again, one of the main reasons they end up here.
Staffies are incredibly gentle and fantastic family dogs - they were bred to be PEOPLE friendly. A lot of SBTs are PTS in kennels because they slowly go insane due to the lack of human contact - more so than any other breed.

OldBagWantsNewBag Mon 15-Jul-13 15:36:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoesBuggerAll Mon 15-Jul-13 16:01:46

Google nanny dogs? I did. Very informative but not in the way you SBT owners might have thought. It's a myth. A dangerous one.

LithaR Mon 15-Jul-13 18:04:50

There is a good reason why the got the title Nanny Dogs. My family has always had staffies, some even from rescue centres and with the right love and handling they are excellent with kids. In my 32 years none of the staffies I've known and looked after have bitten anyone. I would say not to get one if you are insecure around dogs, since they require an experienced handler if from a rescue centre.

I thought nanny dogs were the names given to pit bulls. This talks about the myths surrounding pitbulsl and Staffordshire terriers. It seems a bit vague but has some references etc;

A Staffie bit the ear off a girl playing in a forest near where I live. I own a Staffie. A love,y Staffie. But Staffordshire Bull Terriers are VERY strong and were bred for fighting. I am not going to deny that. They have strong jaws, a strong bite and can be hard to overpower. They are bred to go again and again at another animal and to be the predator. It would be irresponsible to own one and deny it.

ClaimedByMe Mon 15-Jul-13 19:55:42

My rescue staffie is my baby! She was very very badly treated, used for breeding, malnourished, beaten, covered in cig burns, has a scar on her leg from a rape cage.

She is dog aggressive but with the help of a behaviourist and a few trusting dog friends and a lot of time she is getting better around other dogs, we have had to teach her how to play with ropes and balls.

In the house she is the most loyal, affectionate, trusting, loving dog, we thought long and hard before getting a staffie and done quite a bit of research and I don't regret it for one minute!

Vibbe Tue 16-Jul-13 15:46:14

This whole nanny dog story seems more like a myth to me - and this blog seems to be able to explain that it simply isn't true - and with sources: thenannydogblog.blogspot.com/

I suspect that there are loads of staffies in the rescue centres as it's a popular breed.

Personally, I wouldn't want a staffie or other pit type dog. I don't mean to offend, and if I am, then I apologise in advance. But pit type dogs have a certain image which reflects back on the owner. In the same way as some people will think that chihuahua owners are a bit like Paris Hilton, pit type dog owners will be pigeonholed too.
I know several dog owners who will not let their dogs near a pit type dog. Because they assume things that may or may not be true. Less people will have problems with dogs that aren't pit type dogs, like retrievers, spaniels, lurchers and so on.

OldBagWantsNewBag Tue 16-Jul-13 15:53:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LithaR Tue 16-Jul-13 16:03:53

If someone judges and owner based on the breed of their dog, then its their problem and I'd rather they kept at a distance rather than infect me with their prejudice. I've yet to get that reaction though, if anything when I got out with her I can't move more than ten feet without being stopped by folk wanting to stroke her and fuss her lol.

RoooneyMara Tue 16-Jul-13 16:10:01

The only experiences I've had with staffies have been negative, from the one that visited next door making my children too scared to play in the garden (it barked incessantly in a vicious sounding manner) to the one that squared up to ds1 in a park, so much so that I had to call it off, and then it squared up to me, before the drunk/high owner wandered over and said 'it ain't his fault, he's been brought up like that' hmm

Staffies are ubiquitous round here among the feckless, drunken, drugg addicted people who habituate the parks on a sunny day and make everyone else's life miserable.

Soooo

No thankyou.

Owllady Tue 16-Jul-13 16:16:57

My grandparents used to have staffordshire bull terriers when we were children and they were lovely dogs. They lived in a council flat in staffordshire and my grandpa had loads of tattoos because he used to be in the navy. How this is relevant I have no idea.

People is deprived areas can look after their animals properly you know. All white working class men aren't aggressive thugs either

cq Tue 16-Jul-13 16:31:44

My two dogs would probably kill a cat if they could ever catch one. They don't get the chance.

They are rescued Lab mixes. They would roll over for tummy rubs for a child though, and very carefully wash it all over.

So you just can't generalise about dog breeds. Or their owners.

Owllady Tue 16-Jul-13 16:33:56

yy my neighbours dog is notorious for killing rabbits
a really dopey golden retriever!

Twattybollocks Tue 16-Jul-13 16:38:17

Not all staffs are owned by feckless drug addicted youths you know. I'm certainly not young, drug addicted or feckless, I'm a law abiding mother of 3 kids.
I'm quite sure that most dogs owned by a feckless drug addict would probably have some undesirable qualities, simply through lack of training, or training of the wrong sort, but you could probably say that most children of drug addicts would have some undesirable habits due to lack of boundaries and discipline, but it doesn't make them bad kids.

Twattybollocks Tue 16-Jul-13 16:43:34

Oh, and my dog barks in a very vicious sounding manner every time someone knocks on the door. I then open the door and she bounces out and proceeds to greet the visitor with great enthusiasm and much licking and slobber. In fact id hazard the only way she would ever harm anyone is by drowning them in dribble.
If there was one thing I could change about my dog it would be her over enthusiastic greeting of anyone and everyone who walks through the door.

RoooneyMara Tue 16-Jul-13 16:54:41

Sorry, I didn't mean to cause any offence and probably could have put in something of a disclaimer. I know there are nice staffies out there. But so many people seem to have them, here, people with whom I would not wish to associate so it gives the poor dogs a bad name iyswim...and I wonder why they are so popular among the uncouth.

Huskies do seem to be the new staffies, don't they sad. There are loads of young huskeys where I live, some owned by people who appear to be responsible and 'dog educated' but many who do not sad

Vibbe Tue 16-Jul-13 18:04:11

My point about people making assumptions based on appearance and the dog/car/anything people have is not silly or prejudiced. It's reality.

If someone drives up to you in a Bentley or Rolls Royce, you'll assume they are rich.
If someone's well-dressed and in a suit, you'll assume that they professionals. If someone's unwashed and in tattered and dirty clothes, you'll probably assume they are homeless.
And the same about the dog breed they have - an Afghan hound will make you assume one thing about the owner, a rottweiler and dobermans will make you assume something else, and the same goes for a staffie.

Where I'm from, the staffie is a breed that certain people get because they want to intimidate others. A chihuahua is not intimidating. Neither is a cocker spaniel.

It's not silly. It's anthropology.

It's sad there are so many in rescues.

Also sad so many people judge on the breed. Breedism. sad

My lovely staff is also on my profile.

Threads like this make me go and cuddle her.

RoooneyMara Tue 16-Jul-13 18:27:16

I agree with Vibbe. Although I don't assume things about the owners because they have a certain breed of dog - it's the other way round, I assume things about the dog because of the owner.

I KNOW the people I am seeing with staffies are most often, homeless drug users because it's a small town and it's obvious in their behaviour and habits. Everyone knows they are behaving like this.

The dogs are I assume an attempt by them to have guard dogs, or something. It makes me think, those dogs have been chosen because you can train them up to attack children. Which is, sadly, probably true.

It doesn't mean all staffies are trained that way. But I would consider them more likely to be capable of attacking a child than say, a labrador.

tabulahrasa Tue 16-Jul-13 18:55:52

Judging somebody on their possessions only works if they've been picked to give off a certain image - that isn't why most people get a dog. People pick dogs as to how suited they are to their lifestyle and which traits they want, how they look comes way down the list of requirements for most dog owners.

It may sway you over whether you pick a collie or a rottie (similar original purpose, intelligence level, activity level) but you don't get either of those breeds if you're only wanting a dog that will walk for an hour and sleep the rest of the day, however much you admire how they look.

FairyThunderthighs Tue 16-Jul-13 18:56:57

I wouldn't, but not for the "aggressive" notion, but I have known three staffies and they've all been noisy so and sos! They do that whiny barky thing almost like babies babbling, only much louder! Do all staffies do that, is there a reason for it? I'm interested!

I also got headbutted in the nose by one causing the most unbelievable pain, but that could have been any "excited to meet a new person" dog.

BMW6 Tue 16-Jul-13 19:30:21

Having witnessed two SBT's fighting and seen the owners inability to get their jaws apart (one had to get a crowbar and use it to open the jaws) - no thank you.
I was walking my dog at the time, by the sea. I was so afraid that they would turn on my dog I picked him up,waded into the water and put him in a rowing boat.

One of the most frightening things I have ever seen, and I've seen plenty of other dog fights in my life.

RoooneyMara Tue 16-Jul-13 19:57:36

There will be a lot of friendly, loving SBTs out there. But think about it, if you walked into a vet's or a rescue, and asked them to recommend what sort of dog to get, with small children in the house, what are they going to say?

Oh yes, I think a staffie would be ideal for your family?

No - and if that's the case, what reasons would they give.

Twattybollocks Tue 16-Jul-13 20:09:03

Actually a sbt is one of only a few breeds that is recommended by the kennel club as being suitable for a home with children, and if you ask a vet they will probably tell you that, if they know anything about the breed that is.
Most thugs got staffs because they look hard (I'm not denying it) they are short, stocky, and are gobby buggers. Also look great in a nice butch lead and collar with studs for added hardness.
The truth is they are usually as soft as butter in temperament, love people, especially kids, and their faults are usually through boisterousness and wanting to play.

Greyhorses Tue 16-Jul-13 20:44:40

I work in a vets and have dealt with hundreds if not thousands of Staffies. They seem to be the dog of choice for idiots.. It is rare to find a well trained staff in my area!!

For me the reason I wouldn't have one is that the majority I have met have been dog aggressive. Not saying its not impossible to meet a nice one however in my experience most are difficult to introduce to others and dont make good multi dog household dogs. I would not want a dog I couldn't trust not to bite someone else's pet hence would never want to own one. I am aware this can be turned around but I feel it's in the temperament of the staff to be dog aggressive. I have met some lovely Staffies bred and raised by lovely people who still for no reason want to attack other dogs! They are also very strong dogs and are hard to overpower if they do turn (and I've met some evil ones!) Obviously all dogs can be dog/pet aggressive but for some reason staffs seem to be more prone to it.

In a single pet household however I would certainly consider a staff. I don't believe dog aggressive=people aggressive!! I find Staffies can be good family dogs though despite this issue if owned by an experienced confident handler, if you can deal with the screaming noises they make :-)

Greyhorses, my staffy is dog aggressive when on a lead. She was attacked by another dog when she was being walked along a road. Off lead she is fine and will run and frolic and generally be a happy little dog.

TwattyBollocks is right about the gobbiness grin For months mine would go ballistic when the window cleaner came, there was one occasion where I needed to talk to him so I open my back door and she (the dog) rushed out, the poor bloke looked terrified until she dropped to the floor in front of him and rolled over for as belly rub! ~Everytime he'd seen her before that was when she was inside and he was out and she would be snarling and barking at the window!

portraitoftheartist Tue 16-Jul-13 21:05:50

I wouldn't consider a rescue dog for a family with very young children and doubt a reputable rescue organisation would either. Rescue dogs come with the problems which landed them in the home, usually bad owners and no training.
An adult staffie of unknown background might be ok but would you chance your 4 year old's face or throat?

Cheddars Tue 16-Jul-13 21:17:27

Vibbe's link is quite shocking. The author can find no evidence at all for the 'nanny dog' myth.

I have read that 90% of dogs in rescues are Staffies. If they are such good dogs why is this? They can't all have been abandoned by feckless owners. confused

I don't want to be 'breedist' but they were bred to fight and kill other dogs in pits were they not? Why are people so desperate to deny this?

I thought they were originally bred to kill rats in rat baiting pits? Along with Jack Russell's and Yorkshire terriers?

Greyhorses Tue 16-Jul-13 21:38:19

That's a shame AmazingBouncingFerret, perhaps staffies are more sensitive as mine have been attacked also (funnily enough by a staffy off lead and also by a rather crazy jack Russell!) but seem to have forgotten about it. Despite being GSDs they aren't particularly intelligent!!

I think a lot of the problem is breeding to be honest. I've lost count of the amount of staffy ceasarians I have had to do with no health testing, no temperament testing, not proven dogs or bitches and most often no money to pay for vet treatment or the correct care of the bitch/pups. It is often then these pups for sale for buttons and then ending up in rescue. Saying that it's not limited to Staffies, I have seen a huge increase in chihuahua/doodle/poodle/labradoodle/bulldogs being adopted by backyard breeders sucking in people with a cute name... Although that's a whole other thread!!

I think if you find the right dog it would be fantastic to rescue any dog from rescue staffy or not, my own two are rescue dogs and I think it's a great thing to do- if nobody rescued just incase no dog would ever find a home! I would go on the individual animal but personally I would not take home a staffy for the reason I said earlier, shame really, I just don't think they are my 'thing' but I also wouldn't criticise anyone who wanted one provided it was done the right way!!

Also to anyone saying buy a staff puppy...please don't, it's just encouraging people to breed more hence the problem will never go away!!! There are some great breeds out there that aren't flooding the population, the only way to stop breeding is to stop buying unfortunately. The only way to help the poor Staffies being PTS everyday IMO is to stop the breeding of more and make the breed exclusive again.

Yes, the reason there are so many in rescue is they have been bred to death - quite literally. Unfortunately they are (for now) popular amongst the feckless, though the poor husky seems to be overtaking the popularity. sad

I bought mine as a puppy from a good friend who allowed her bitch to have one litter. Never again though. If I do ever have another dog the children will be much older so I'll feel confident in adopting from a rescue.

And yes she is very sensitive! She is actually rather meek and mild, hates wet weather and loves nothing more than finding a spot of sunshine to lie in.

ClaimedByMe Tue 16-Jul-13 22:00:20

I have added a before and a few after pictures of my rescue staffie to melt your heart or scare you

LadyBigtoes Tue 16-Jul-13 22:08:01

Yeeees you will get lots of people saying it's not the breed it's the owner, and my staffie wouldn't hurt a fly they are so friendly and love kids. All this may be true, but as others have said, any dog can turn. If and when they do, for whatever reason, dogs with large jaws and a lot of biting power are the ones that end up making headlines sadly.

I would think (going by cats I've had!) a rescue dog is going to have a higher chance of personality problems or having been brutalised, therefore getting a staffie there is a risk I wouldn't take.

Cheddars Tue 16-Jul-13 22:10:18

This is intriguing me now. If this link is true then the nanny dog myth is still being propagated all over the web, including the Kennel Club and the RSPCA.

Surely this does more harm than good to the breed. Many breeds of dog are good with children with the right upbringing. Why are Staffies being pushed forward to be homed with young children? Where is the evidence that they are better than other breeds?

Dobermans can be lovely family dogs, but nobody would deny that they were bred as police dogs.

Most importantly, should any breed of dog be given the title 'nanny dog' and trusted to such an extent with young children?

OrmirianResurgam Tue 16-Jul-13 22:15:34

I think the issue with SBT is that they have hugely powerful jaws. So IF they do attack they can do a lot of harm. But that is no more than saying that as human being can get hold of knives they are all potentially lethal. I am guessing they are in rescues because of their rep. Treat a dog well, lovingly and with consistency, and it can be a good dog. Treat a dog with cruelty, aggression and encourage it to be aggressive and and it will a problem.

We have a lab/collie/staffie cross (mostly staffie I suspect) and he is the perfect family dog. If I could clone him I'd make a fortune!

teetering13 Tue 16-Jul-13 22:21:26

I've heard that the rescue centres are full of staffs because staffs don't meet up to their reputation .. They are got as a status dog but many don't fight and are quite soft and friendly, so they are abandoned ..

Not sure I believe that, but I do believe they are wanted by types that can't look after themselves never mind a pet so they just get rid ..

I know 2 staffs that live with an older lady whos not chavtastic in the slightest .. these dogs are so lovely and chilled BUT saying that .. if I was walking down the street and saw a young chavvy lad with the same dogs I'd be wary :/

teetering13 Tue 16-Jul-13 22:22:21

oh .. I thought there was only one page lol ... missed loads of comments

LEMisdisappointed Tue 16-Jul-13 22:25:50

I love staffies - i think they are fantastic dogs but i wouldn't have one. Simply because it wouldn't fit in with my family - i have two mental terriers that put together don't weigh as much as a staffie - staffies are bonkers, and for some that means lots of fun, but for me, bonkers weighing 25-30kg is too much. I used to have rotweillers, they are lazy arse dogs that weigh 60kg. If i see a staffie i am automatically disposed to go and stroke it. I am saddened to read that people are still so ignorant about this breed of dog.

Clare1964dogmad Wed 17-Jul-13 22:03:57

Sadly people will keep breeding (dogs) in general and in particular staffies! It's such a shame......they make wonderful family dogs and are amazing companions. Just need to get all dogs neutered really and make sure all puppies are socialised.....that goes for all breeds!!

Clare1964dogmad Wed 17-Jul-13 22:04:19

Sadly people will keep breeding (dogs) in general and in particular staffies! It's such a shame......they make wonderful family dogs and are amazing companions. Just need to get all dogs neutered really and make sure all puppies are socialised.....that goes for all breeds!!

Wuxiapian Fri 19-Jul-13 12:49:28

They are image dogs for the ill-educated.

ceres Fri 19-Jul-13 19:33:27

"They are image dogs for the ill-educated."

what an ignorant statement.

LEMisdisappointed Fri 19-Jul-13 19:49:49

my sentiments exactly ceres! Im not sure ill-educated is even a word! But hey what do i know, i used to have rotwiellers but still managed to get a PhD

Wuxiapian Fri 19-Jul-13 20:48:26

I'm sorry. I didn't mean all staffie owners, of course! I meant the sort who buy them for image, fail to train/treat properly and hence they end up in rescue centres.

LEMisdisappointed Fri 19-Jul-13 20:51:31

ah, right

Branleuse Fri 19-Jul-13 20:57:33

They are great dogs.
Ive had a collie, a spaniel and a GSD and now have a staffie that dp got as a rescue at 6mths old. She is the cleverest dog ive ever met. They are so trainable, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on whos hands they end up in.
Shes reliable, obedient, everyone loves her.

They are brilliant dogs. If i was going to get another dog, id get another staffie

HotCrossPun Fri 19-Jul-13 21:02:55

Every owner of a staffie (myself included) will tell you what kind, gentle and loyal dogs they are.

Canine organisations, The Kennell Club, Battersea dogs home, are all in agreement about how excellent staffies are as family dogs.

Why is that? Do you think that reading a few stories in the paper about dogs that have been bred to fight, mistreated, and kept in unsuitable conditions are a more true reflection on the breed itself?

And the Nanny Dog thing is not a myth. I've had many different breeds of dogs over the years and they way our Staffie acts around young children is (in my experience) unique amongst dog breeds.

Yes they have huge jaws, (I forget how big big they are until he yawns!) but he has never nipped, snarled, or growled at anybody.

www.battersea.org.uk/dogs/staffies_theyre_softer_than_you_think/

Vibbe Fri 19-Jul-13 22:28:40

Those of you who mention that the nanny dog - can you provide sources to where this term comes from and when the breed started being referred to as nanny dog?

I simply can't find anything - it's either mentioned as being a myth or pit bulls are mentioned as the nanny dog.

Vibbe Fri 19-Jul-13 22:32:12

Oops, forgot a couple of words there...

It should be:

To those of you who mention that the staffie being referred to as nanny dog is not a myth

What Greyhorses said is similar to my own experience. Several people have mentioned them killing cats etc - our local RSPCA will not rehome them to homes with other pets for this reason but that is part of their terrier instinct and does not mean they are people aggressive that is totally unrelated. Its the reason I don't have one though as I have cats and rabbits too.

My main concern about rehoming a Staffy would be that the ones i've seen in my local rspca are hyperexcitable and untrained, meaning a lot of pulling on the lead and jumping up - all things that can be fixed but as they are so strong might be a bit much with a 4 year old in the house, might get knocked over lots. I do think that otherwise they tend to be good family pets.

I personally would at least go and meet a few - you might meet the right staffy for you if you give them a chance, or you might decide they're not for you (massively different personality than a lurcher!).

If you decide against a Staffy in the end, going to a breed-specific rescue might be better for you?

I think they do tend to be anxious dogs so more prone to separation anxiety - one of the main reasons people abandon dogs in my experience working with rescue centres. This, plus they are often bought by people with less money (who may later find themselves with even less money or in a housing situation in which they cannot provide for a dog) is maybe why so many are in rescue centres.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Sat 20-Jul-13 09:03:26

They are in rescues because of utter knobheads who either:

A: Are sheep and believe the negativity before they have even bothered to come to their own conclusion
B: Get them hoping for a snarling bastard and all they get is a soft lump who wants to sleep and fart all the time
C: They manage to tap into the SBTs nature of wanting to please and be good for their owners, but then they cant be arsed with them so they hand over a broken damaged dog for someone else to try and sort out

I see a poster has commented on how they wouldnt let their child be friends with someone who had an SBT. To you I say I wouldnt let YOUR child be friends with mine if they have a parent who makes screaming assumptions about others. Woudl make me wonder WTF else you are weird about and the whole friendship would just be too much like hard work.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Sat 20-Jul-13 09:06:48

also, the majority of dog attacks are reported to be by "staffie-*type*" dogs.

Can someone please tell me what this breed is as I have never heard of a Staffie-Type. is it a new breed? hmm

tabulahrasa Sat 20-Jul-13 12:41:43

Don't forget that the media have invested massively in the staffies are dangerous discourse...

WARNING - the links have some really not very nice pictures of injured children. (oh and a lot are from the mail as it seems to like reporting on dog attacks)

This is a story about an attack by a collie illustrated with snarling staffy photos.

Another collie, this time illustrated by a collie doing a play bow.

Yet another collie with a picture of a lovely looking dog.

Labrador this time, but another stock photo of a meek looking dog.

And finally a staffy, notice the stock photo is nowhere near as nice as the collie or lab.

None of them are photos of the actual dog involved, so they're being picked on purpose to represent a dog after an attack...and notice that with the collies and the lab it's stated what good family pets they are regarded to be by experts, but these are the same experts that also recommend staffies and that's never mentioned.

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