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Rescue staffy? Advice please?

(18 Posts)
Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Wed 24-Apr-13 14:44:11

We are looking at a 6 year old rescue staffy at the moment. He's with the RSPCA and is very gentle and been classed as fine for living with small children.
I haven't had a dog since I was 19 and never a staffy but am pretty confident and am often used as a boarding kennel by my friends so it shouldn't take me too long to get back into the swing of it.
My children are 3 and 5.
I wanted to ask the collective doghouse wisdom regarding this breed. I haven't had a staffy before but had other terriers and bigger dogs growing up. Is there anything I should watch out for or do in particular?
Also, is 6 years old too old to take on?

tabulahrasa Wed 24-Apr-13 14:58:06

They fantastic wee dogs - I don't have one, but I would in a heartbeat. If I was allowed another dog that is, lol.

I've had a dog at 5 before, within a few months we felt like we'd always had him and we had him another 10 years before he died. He came with a few quirks that had obviously been allowed in his previous home, but to make up for that there was very little basic training to be done and no issues with toiletting.

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Wed 24-Apr-13 15:02:07

Thanks Tabulahrasa, I was hoping someone would say that!
He seems like a lovely guy, very gentle and sweet and would fit in with the family quite quickly. I am going to have another look tomorrow and then take DH husband at the weekend (the big test...)

Twattybollocks Thu 25-Apr-13 07:42:11

They are the best breed in the world (shamelessly biased staffy owner)
They are generally great with kids, very tolerant, love to play.
They can be a little stubborn sometimes, but if you find the right bribe you will be fine (usually food)
They tend to like their grub so can be prone to being chubby, not helped by the fact they are heavily built anyway.
They are very versatile re exercise, they do fine on loads of walks, and also fine with not so much walking (although the weight will suffer) and you may find chewing a problem if they are bored.
Do not buy standard chew toys, they will be shredded in an hour, you need the heavy duty jobs, or the stag bar antler chews are good.
Not really suitable for children to walk without an adult as they are very strong and can easily pull a small adult into the road or bushes if they have a squirrel moment.
They like to be a part of the family, prefer to sleep on your bed (or in it if they can get away with it) and likewise on the sofa with you, usually on your knee. Most of them aren't particularly terrier like in their behaviour from what I've seen. They are almost always desperate to please their owners which means that sadly they are often abused by people who train them to fight etc.

UterusUterusGhali Thu 25-Apr-13 21:54:04

I would echo exactly what Twattybollocks has said.

UterusUterusGhali Thu 25-Apr-13 21:55:08

If you have brio, hide it.
<<rueful stare at chewed trains>>

UterusUterusGhali Thu 25-Apr-13 22:15:58

My MN Staffie passed the dh test with flying colours as he wouldn't feel like a ponce walking it, as he would, say, a bichon frise. hmm

They are ^the best^ with children.

higgle Fri 26-Apr-13 11:01:55

We are on our second rescue Staffie, Porridge came from Many Tears and Butch from Rescue Remedies. An older gentleman Staffie is a wonderful creature, but 6 isn't really old. Porridge and Butch were both 8 when we took them. Staffies just love people and it doesn't take them long to fit in with a new family. They are cuddly, and loving and very trainable ( though Butch doesn't understand that the dishwasher and fridge are not doggy snack boxes). I'd second the bit about dog toys, none of them last long, even the super strong ones.

Callisto Fri 26-Apr-13 12:46:16

Sorry, but I wouldn't. I wouldn't have any bull breed. They were originally bred to bait bulls and for dog fighting and I have known a number who are very dog aggressive (and no, not owned by hoodies but by responsible people who have rescued/had from pups). The 'nanny dog' myth was propagated in the US in the 70's by a staffie breeder. A bite from any dog is going to hurt, but dogs with huge jaws like this can do serious damage.

YoniFoolsAndHorses Fri 26-Apr-13 13:46:04

I wouldn't either (but it's not the only breed, there are loads I wouldn't personally keep in a family with small children).

But there are many MN who love staffies.

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Fri 26-Apr-13 14:29:16

Thanks for all your comments. Interesting about those anti the terrier breeds, I will certainly take it into account. I am intending to do lots of training, esp clicker training with whatever dog we end up with and hopefully this will help.

FWIW we had 3 dogs - a jack russell, mongrel and a retriever/ newfoundland when growing up. All had little training and it was the Jack Russell that ruled the roost, which I now understand is known as 'small dog syndrome'. This is one of the reasons I want to do lots of training and would like a trainable breed. The JRT was adorable but probably only because you could just put it somewhere else if it was being a pain! I don't want to have to do that with my dogs.

Callisto Fri 26-Apr-13 14:37:18

I've got a jrt and a terrier x. Very different dogs to a staffie which is called a terrier but was actually originally bred to fight other dogs and bull/bear bait. Most terrier breeds originated as vermin (rat and mouse) control, hence the tenacious character.

tabulahrasa Fri 26-Apr-13 16:12:35

Staffies aren't really terriers, they don't have that terrier personality.

They're very trainable, that's exactly why lowlifes use them for fighting because they'll do just about anything to please. sad

That do have a bit of a tendency towards dog aggression...but so do a lot of breeds and as it's a 6 year old you'll know how it is with other dogs rather than having to guess like you do with a puppy.

Twattybollocks Fri 26-Apr-13 17:44:42

You do get some which aren't good with other dogs, and I don't let mine off lead because of that (she is good with other dogs, but should the worst happen I need to know I can pull her off quickly as she could do a lot of damage in a very short time) but they really are fantastic with people, ive never seen a staffy that isn't wiggling with excitement at meeting a new person (or indeed any person)

higgle Sat 27-Apr-13 09:27:25

.. and a tail doing windmills.. mine barks too ( unusual for staffies, I think) oooh, I just love their piggy little round bodies and tiny velvety ears to bits.

Twattybollocks Sun 28-Apr-13 06:20:29

Mine barks too, and talks to you if you are ignoring her. I swear sometimes she says "walk"
An she chases the little white bit on the end of her tail round in circles like a nutter, even when she's upside down on the floor, which is a sight to see.
They are little cuddly teddy bears aren't they, I can't imagine having any other breed, i do like dogs, but I love Staffies, their lovely little smiling faces, soft soft ears, that little soft patch just behind their heels, when they wag their tails frantically and their whole body wiggles......

Twattybollocks Sun 28-Apr-13 06:21:39

And she gets in the paddling pool with the kids (very unusual to find an aquatic staffy) she also will get in the bath with them if I don't shut the bathroom door!

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Sun 28-Apr-13 07:24:38

Wow! Thanks for the replies, off to see the little chap with dh today, wish me luck then hopefully we can join the mn staffy lovers club too!

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