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St Bull Terrier - what to expect, what to read!

(57 Posts)
Frith2013 Sat 28-Nov-15 16:18:32


We've not long got back from meeting a SBT in our local rescue kennels.

What we know about him is that he was well trained in a house with children until 7 months when the dad in the house became seriously ill. He's been in kennels for several months so just over a year old.

He seemed daft as a brush - friendly, rolling on his back and is friends with the other dogs. He knew quite a few commands. He's been neutered, chipped etc and is quite small for his breed.

What should we expect? We've got the house visit on Wednesday and (until then) have bought nothing, dog-wise. I had dogs growing up but none since leaving home - 20+ years ago!

I've 2 high school aged sons and 2 cats that live outside (one old farm cat who has never been in, and one who gets shut in the living room if the temperature really drops overnight).

Can anyone tell me what I need to buy, what book I should read (I really want a well behaved dog - ours growing up had no training and were silly with visitors/ran off etc) and what to expect from a SBT?

Thank you.

TheoriginalLEM Sat 28-Nov-15 16:27:48

mayhem . expect mayhem. grin

PersonalClown Sat 28-Nov-15 17:52:18

Expect to be sat on.
Mine has no idea that he is a little big and far to heavy to be a lap dog but he'll still sit on me and demand his loves.

A serious suggestion. Start working on walks straight away. I halti mine otherwise he'll dislocate my shoulder. He doesn't pull as such, he just wants to see and sniff everything!

RoseDog Sat 28-Nov-15 17:59:49

You will need a sofa and a knee for him to sit on. Black kong toys are the only thing my STB hasn't destroyed, training him shouldn't be too difficult as they are people pleasers and quite often food orientated so you'll need to find out what treat he wants the most.

I use a lead similar to a halti to stop mine pulling, she is dog aggressive and chases cats, birds, anything that moves and she is big and strong and can pull me off my feet.

Dieu Sun 29-Nov-15 01:01:42

Best dogs. Ever.

ChestyNut Tue 01-Dec-15 16:12:38

Expect to gain a new best friend! I have SBT and would recommend....

A halti for walking on the lead- mine pulls despite harness training.
Puppy classes- great for obedience and socialisation.
Kong/rough and tough toys
A boomer ball- best thing I ever bought! He loves it and spends ages playing with it.

Also expect never to be able to sit on the sofa without a doggy blanket snoring in your lap.

To be followed around a lot.

Staffies are often noisy, mine sort of purrs when stroked and snores like a pig!

They are fart machines grin

My boy is a joy to have.

Frith2013 Tue 01-Dec-15 19:09:58

Thanks, all. House visit done today and he'll be here the Saturday after this!

We're beyond excited. Sons' Advent calendars have become dog countdown calendars!

Dieu Tue 01-Dec-15 21:25:52

Lovely! The other thing about your Staffie is that he will fight to the death for you and your sons. I should know, as I grew up with them. Not sure I could say the same about my Shih Tzu these days grin

Seawig Wed 02-Dec-15 08:10:59

I grew up with two who were fantastic with my DB and I and our friends and hugely tolerant and loving.

One was a male, loved his food, tried to eat everything, had a cast iron stomach and was never ill. Tried to befriend a cat when young and got scratched so scared of cats we met on walks and would pull away from them. Loved being scratched and cuddled and just loved being round us. Not the smartest tool in the box, used to head bang doors and wonder why they sometimes opened and sometimes closed on him..... Handy for pulling our sledge when we were small and friendly towards other dogs.

T'other was a clever female. Wanted to chase all cats and so pulled towards any we saw on walks. I was a stretched child! Protective of us when fireworks went off, used to be visibly stressed but would calm if we all sat in one room so she could protect us, if someone went out to the toilet she would rush between us all til they came back in. Loved being stroked and also ate anything and had a cast iron stomach. Not so keen on some dogs, but not a lot of training done to desensitise her so not sure which ones she took against and if it could've been worked on more.

Both loved long walks, being in the fields, jumping in streams, eating anything, being loved and were up for any mad ideas we had. For the record, they make terrible huskies. We sat in our plastic sledge and they would pull us for a bit then decide to head in totally different directions, sledge would capsize, we'd be on the ground and got licked enthusiastically by confused dogs wondering what we were up to.

Enjoy him!

Dieu Wed 02-Dec-15 10:56:02

Yes, you will feel very 'rounded up' on family walks! They hate for their family to be out of sight! Wonderful dogs.

Godstopper Wed 02-Dec-15 11:55:04

A slightly dim, but loveable clown.

Do not, under any circumstances, allow him on your bed even once. That will then be understood as 'I can sleep in your bed every night'.

A good level of obedience if you put in the work: They are certainly more biddable than many breeds.

Mine is not dog-friendly, but will tolerate other dogs fine. It's more normal for them to bond better with people than other dogs.

He'll make you smile every day smile

JoffreyBaratheon Sun 06-Dec-15 10:40:19

Late to this but wanted to join in!

I have a staffy jack russell cross but have had two staffies, and several bull terriers, in the past. The bull breeds are the only ones I would ever have. They are such characters - you won't want to go back to a boring breed after these! They make other dogs look like overgrown hamsters they are so full of personality and quirks.

Our sbt/jrt is now 16 months old and a joy to be around. She is the most affectionate dog we have had. As others say, they are very people orientated indeed (if I am alone in a room with her ad I go to the loo, she wakes up and lies with one eye open, til I get back...)

They have a rep for being not dog friendly but of the three I have had, only one was dog aggressive and it sounds like your's isn't, so just keep exposing him to other dogs when you're out and about, and keep reinforcing that other dogs = Good, and you should be alright. My current one went to puppy classes, was fully socialised but is still a bit scared of other dogs, if anything. She approaches them cautiously but with interest. If someone is walking two dogs together, though, it scares her and she hides behind me, as we pass.

All our staffs have been passionately attached to the kids, growing up. My first staff adapted with ease from being an only child, the centre of our childless world, to living with our firstborn. Current staffy cross has grown up with two teenage boys in the house and thinks they are 1000 times cooler and more fun than me (especially the one who acts crazy).

Enjoy your staff. You won't ever want another kind of dog after you have had one of these!

They hate rain, btw. Hate it. (Why? Is there no rain in Staffordshire?) And they like to sleep under the bed covers with their heads on a pillow. And they can open door handles.

JoffreyBaratheon Sun 06-Dec-15 10:46:33

Oh and...

Dieu Sun 06-Dec-15 11:44:45

Agreed Joffrey. We have a Shih Tzu as our first family dog, and although we love him to bits, he's frankly not a patch on Staffies in the personality or affection stakes.

ThursdayLastWeek Sun 06-Dec-15 11:50:39

Ours is an absolute dope - we got him as a rescue puppy.
He's a strange combo or delinquent and timid confused, has been amazing since the birth of our DS (now an unruly toddler) incredibly tolerant.

Taking some tips on training is a good idea - we didn't, and any 'good' behaviour is down to the dogs personality rather than us.

Beware - SBTs have very delicate tummies <vom>

ThursdayLastWeek Sun 06-Dec-15 11:52:33

Oh yes watching them shake themselves dry a hundred times during a wet walk is hilarious!

Ours is terrified of winds and storms when in the house, can tolerate them if we're out in one though.

potap123 Sun 06-Dec-15 11:57:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JoffreyBaratheon Sun 06-Dec-15 12:17:53

Sounds like OP's dog is a similar age to our's, and at just over a year old, she is still really a puppy in most ways, and still learning and open to training. So it is a good age to get a rescue.

Frith2013 Sat 12-Dec-15 14:58:50

It's been a shaky start. :-/

He's been here 4 hours. First he was sick in his basket.

Just been for a walk in the forest. He's turned on me and growled once home for picking up a ball (he didn't have it at the time).

Then he walked to his basket and did a massive wee of spite! He's no on the sofa while his basket dries, looking murderous.

Son1 won't come out of his room.

Any thoughts?

Dieu Sat 12-Dec-15 15:02:02

Is this a trial home visit, OP? Hope you're ok. I'm sure the dog will settle after the first couple of days. It's a big readjustment for him, even though it's a positive change. Hang on in and please keep us posted.

Frith2013 Sat 12-Dec-15 15:03:18

That should have read he's NOW on the sofa. No carpets and couldn't put him on the tiled floor.

JoffreyBaratheon Sat 12-Dec-15 15:39:09

I think kids and rescued pets need time to adapt to eachother, sometimes. It's a two-way process. Use the time when your Son1 is absenting himself, to work with and bond with the dog. I think in the early days it's natural to panic and think "What the hell have I done?" as the whole family dynamic is affected when you adopt a dog. Emphasis is put on the dog adapting, but it's also the humans, or seems to be in most households. However much you wanted the dog,once he is with you and a reality, you also need time to adjust - just as much as he does.

Right now he may feel insecure. He was happy in a home before. Now he knows homes aren't always 'forever' and it may take some time for him to relax. Some new rescues are in a honeymoon period at the start, not daring to put a foot wrong - others are testing the boundaries, or simply saying "I'm scared!"

The growling? I'm not sure. But I'd give him time. He has had enormous upheaval, and he sounds like he might be afraid (the sick). If he keeps being ill get him to the vet/the rescue's vet ASAP as it could be something medical. May be best to get some advice and check him in with his new vet or the rescue's one, anyway just to have a quick checkover and be sure there are no medical issues.

I'd let him settle for a day or two then get on with the training and lots of exercise. He is probably resource guarding his ball as he has had to share toys etc recently. There are some good resources out there re. resource guarding and what you can do about it (esp in books and on training groups, that have been mentioned in this forum).

His 'wee of spite' might be a wee of territory marking - saying "This is mine!" Could also just be stress. My dog does excitement wees (mainly when her dad comes home from work, or one of the kids). They are tiny, though.

There may be a setback in toilet training especially as it may not have been fully established at 7 months and then he went into kennels. So that may be nothing sinister, either - just something to work on. My sbt/jrt wasn't fully housetrained til 7 months. Maybe he was the same. Every other sbt/bt I have had was housetrained by 10 weeks. They are all different.

Frith2013 Sat 12-Dec-15 19:03:49

Ok, he won't do a wee if he's on his lead. :-/

He's also eaten the flight off one of sons' plastic arrows.

Frith2013 Sat 12-Dec-15 23:18:01

We've had a pile of poo on the landing (no wee, randomly) and another growling fit because I looked at him while he was eating.

But we have had a wee whilst on the lead outside. Another problem is he tries to twirl round and kill the lead and he chews his harness as soon as the walk is finished, to the point where I have to take it off or it would be ripped to bits.

He's now shut in the living room and ominously quiet... no whining, chewing noises or any sounds of life at all. We're all upstairs in bed.

Frith2013 Sun 13-Dec-15 02:03:17

Oh, this is a nightmare. The whining and scratching can probably be heard by passing motorists.

Went down at 1am to find he'd got up on the lid of the piano (how?) and eaten one of the advent calendars.

Down again just now and there's the 3rd poo mountain of the day and he's got on the window sill and eaten a bongo! The leather skin has gone completely and the sides are splintered. I've put it on the wood burning stove. :-/

Sons have asked me to take him back. :-(

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