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Urgent advice please about staffy

(21 Posts)
Undecidedmare Wed 12-Dec-12 21:10:37

We have spent months thinking about getting a dog and decided we would like to rescue a staffy.We have been turned down a couple of times from rescues for being out of the house for too long and having young children.
We started our dog search full of excited anticipation and felt sure we could offer a good although inexperienced home.
Now we feel deflated,unsure and a bit fed up with it all. Everyone is so negative, I literally haven't hear one bit of encouraging advice.
Anyway,recently received a call out of the blue from someone who has taken on a 15 week old staffy girl who was being neglected with the intention of rehoming her.She has also recently rescued a horse!
So, went to see her and she is lovely. Very calm, has some training,almost clean in the house, hasn't chewed so far, amazing recall,doesn't use a lead mostly, stays very close by.
My problem is, I work three days so out 8-3.30 term time only
I have four young children
I really don't want a destructive dog, this could be a deal breaker for me
I can arrange for someone to come in midday.
Do you think she may stay this calm?
Even after lots of thinking and research how do you really know a dog is for you if you've never had one?
Thanks if you've managed to follow this ramble, should add kids loved her.

Kormachameleon Wed 12-Dec-12 21:16:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crispycake Wed 12-Dec-12 21:31:32

Every staff is different.
My staff has always been quite calm and not really destructive, although if we lefted hoodies, jumpers etc out when she was a pup she use to chew off the zips/buttons.
If you could walk/run her in the morn then have someone midday maybe walk round the block or do a bit of playing to burn energy off with her, then walk again late afternoon I think she'll be fine!
We leave the radio on for our doggy and sometimes leave her a frozen kong to keep her occupied for a while smile
On the whole we couldn't ask for a better dog she's very very good and is hilarious! Plus they are so loving.

PartridgeInASpicyPearTree Wed 12-Dec-12 21:42:35

You have really answered your own question there, because it is not possible to know what dog a 15 week old will become. The fact that destruction is a deal breaker is a big issue, because you cannot guarantee they will not be. In fact I would go so far as to say a Staffie pup that age is likely to be destructive if left that long each day.

Staffies are amazing dogs, but this causes no end of problems for them. A Staffie puppy is likely to be loving and obedient. The problem is when they get a little older and adolescent. They suddenly have more strength behind them and become more independent. If consistent trading hasn't been in place from day one they will likely start being "disobedient", e.g. not coming when called, because they haven't been taught differently. This is one reason why there are literally thousands of staffies in rescue and put to sleep. I've seen it again recently with a neighbour, who took hers everwhere with no lead as a pup. Six months on and he has no idea how to walk on lead but doesn't stick to them like glue any more. He will run across busy roads to get to other dogs to say hello and they have no control over him. He is in danger and a danger to others.

Please do not take on this dog unless you have the time and money to do appropriate ongoing training (this means every day) and are completely prepared to stick by her whatever challenging behaviour she develops.

ceres Wed 12-Dec-12 21:56:05

it is not fair to leave a dog for that long.

staffies are very sociable and generally do not like being left alone for long.

there appear to be valid reasons for you being turned down by rescues i.e. you are regularly out of the house all day and you have four young children.

Undecidedmare Wed 12-Dec-12 22:10:38

Thanks for your replies, do you think we would be right for a different type of dog. I really want to be sure it is right for everyone,particularly the dog.
I understand dogs shouldn't be left but surely some dogs live happily in homes where people are at part time work.
I think this pup isn't for us, and I don't want to add to her already difficult experiences.
Maybe I'll put all thoughts of having a dog on hold and try and gain some more doggy experience first. Maybe with a rescue or similar.
Thanks again

PartridgeInASpicyPearTree Wed 12-Dec-12 22:20:22

How old are your children? Rescues are desperate for good homes for and if they are turning you down you need to accept that there is probably good reason for this. Having any dog would be challenging if you are out at work and have four children. Have you thought through the realities of finding time to exercise and train it? Volunteering at a rescue is an excellent idea as it may open your eyes to what you would be taking on.

AlmostAChristmasHipster Wed 12-Dec-12 22:26:30

I would say that my Staffie ate the skirting boards when he was a pup and left for a couple of hours one day. Staffs are extremely fond of humans. Mine sits on me every time I'm sitting down - he hates being alone so he even follows me to the loo.

I don't think it would be fair on this pup if he'd be left alone for 6+ hours. He'd miss you too much and would probably occupy himself by eating your house.

I wish I could take him - they're such great dogs, they're worth the negative attitudes you get from numpties and I didn't like the skirting boards anyway

Undecidedmare Wed 12-Dec-12 22:33:02

Children are 13, 11, 6,4
My plan was to walk the dog before work, get midday walker, eldest child would let dog out at 3.00 ish when she got in from school and then I/we would walk dog when we were all home.
We have several friends close by who dog walk and attend dog training together,so would join them.
The other four days there would be someone around for most of the day.
But this still doesn't help with our lack of experience.
How about a budgie?

Quodlibet Wed 12-Dec-12 22:33:59

OP you might have more luck thinking about a retired greyhound - they are much less highly strung and aren't as prone to deportation anxiety (which can be a reason for destructive behaviour). Most will just go to sleep all day if they've been out for a walk, so being left (with a lunchtime wee break) wouldn't bother them so much. There are loads in rescue - whilst they look like big dogs, because they are quiet and spend a lot of time asleep they are less obtrusive in a way than many smaller more high octane dogs. The ones I know all have lovely dispositions. Try a few GH rescues?

Quodlibet Wed 12-Dec-12 22:36:22

The only thing with GHs that can be an issue is they have high prey drive and their recall can be rubbish, so some of them can only be walked on lead or in enclosed spaces. But in every other way they are a great 'novice dog'.

Undecidedmare Wed 12-Dec-12 22:54:21

Thanks everyone
Have sent a text message explaining we are not the right family for the pup. A good decision I think.

Scuttlebutter Wed 12-Dec-12 23:10:28

I'd not advise a greyhound with four young children and a novice owner. Many greys do very well with one or two quiet, or older DC, but would find a houseful of four lively DC including some littlies too much. And greys can have separation anxiety - especially if they are the only dog in the family.

fluffygal Wed 12-Dec-12 23:38:55

I would have to disagree with scuttle , I have 5 young children (all currently 6 and under), a greyhound and a lurcher and we get on fine. My greyhound is a large male. The larger the more docile it seems, he just sleeps all day and is happy to have as short/long walk as you like. They are also left for 6 hours and we have no problems with him at all. My lurcher is different, she loves a run off lead and will complain if her walk is late in the day!

I also foster greyhounds and none of them have ever been bothered by my children.

fluffygal Wed 12-Dec-12 23:42:49

OP I think the best thing to remember is that all dogs are different. Whilst one greyhound may be perfectly suited, another wouldn't. Would you be open to any breed, as long as it was matched to your family? Will the rescues not even take your details and when a match comes in, could let you know?

The rescue I help with does home to people who work as long as you get a walker in midday, and also is happy to home to children. The generic rescues seems a bit more strict when it comes to children though.

LadyTurmoil Thu 13-Dec-12 00:06:00

What about an older dog? Maybe one about 5-7 years old who wouldn't be quite so active, would probably be past the chewing/destructive stage. There are lots of dogs in rescues who are older, some have been put in rescues because of marriage breakups, or because owners have to go into rented accommodation that won't accept dogs or owners have become ill. It doesn't necessarily mean they're "bad" dogs with issues, just because they're in rescues. I would imagine that rescues might consider your application more seriously if you can give them details about your potential schedule (as you have in this thread) - getting a midday walker etc. (of course you might have done this already and not had much luck) but hopefully they may be flexible. Good luck!

needastrongone Thu 13-Dec-12 07:40:13

I am a first time dog owner too Undecided, but we did do a fair bit of research before deciding a puppy was the right choice for us (our circumstances are very different smile) and we did look at the rescue route quite seriously.

I agree with Lady - Perhaps you need to be open to considering the right dog for you, regardless of breed and, if you haven't already, explain your circumstances to the rescues? You might get the smaller rescues being more flexible. An older dog is a great idea perhaps, as it gives you an excellent introduction to dog ownership while the kids are still young and life is busy?

Perhaps delay until the summer holidays (I notice you work term time) when you are around for a longer period and can settle the dog, get to know him/her and find a routine? Also gives you time to find the right one!

The only thing I did find with the smaller rescues (just my own experience) was, they are so full and clearly need owners to come forward, we were offered a couple of dogs that I don't actually think were suitable. One in particular was apparently fully trained, walked well on the lead etc. We walked him, he jumped all over us and pulled like a train! No that these issues were a deal breaker but neither was he the dog they claimed he was either. The 'biggies' like Dogs Trust do it very differently, that's all.

Hope it works out for you smile

Undecidedmare Thu 13-Dec-12 07:55:06

I have been keeping an eye on a old staffy male, about 8, who has been in rescue for months but again, not sure if we would be his idea of hell!! I've messaged the rescue twice now and not heard back so am guessing they think we are not right.
I'm fairly open to most types of dog, it just needs to be fairly calm, a non chewer and can squeeze into the car with the kids.
Oh and importantly we don't want a dog with a taste for children

higgle Thu 13-Dec-12 08:19:17

Have you looked on the Oldies Club site? We are getting an 8 yer old Staffie ( see other thread) on Saturday. He has been fostered by a full time worker who goes home at lunch time and he is very happy with that regime. He had been in kennels for 2 years. I know someone with 2 rescue greyhounds who pops back at lunchtime, they are happy (more than happy it seems) to sleep most of the time and spring back into a laid back kind of action when the famiily are home.
I'm sure if you are only working 3 days a week and are home at 3.30pm there is a dog out there for you. The dog for you has probably come from a home where there has been a divorce or maybe a move into rented where he is not welcome and could already be having a day of the pattern you describe. Please don't give up, when you have homed yours that makes a vacancy for another homeles dog. Good luck!

PartridgeInASpicyPearTree Thu 13-Dec-12 10:12:59

An older dog sounds like it might be a much better option for your family. One that has been in foster through a reputable rescue will have been fully assessed so you will know whether it is destructive and whether it will be able to cope with in a busy household of six.

I would focus I the official dog rather than breed as they do all have their own temperament. My staff, for example, despite being calm, would not cope in a house with lots of young children. It would stress her out. Another would love it!

PartridgeInASpicyPearTree Thu 13-Dec-12 10:13:43

Sorry, that was meant to say "focus on the individual dog".

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