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Do you need to be breed experienced to have a staffy ?

(42 Posts)
frumpet Sat 09-Jul-16 15:25:32

Still looking at getting another dog , I like pointy type dogs and pointers , but DH would prefer something smaller and likes staffys . All the staffys I have met have been lovely sweet cuddle monsters and I quite like the idea of having a dog that wouldn't take up all the sofa even stretched out !

Have looked at a few breed specific rescues and a lot of them seem to suggest that previous experience with the breed is a good thing , which obviously we don't have . My friend has terriers who seem to spend their whole lives attempting to find new and amusing ways to kill or maim anything small or furry , actually forget the small they would take on a mammoth if they still existed . Are staffys very terrier like ?

tinytoucan Sat 09-Jul-16 15:39:10

My aunt has a staffy. They'd never even had a dog before, let alone breed experience, but I think they did do a fair bit of research beforehand. Their staffy is very calm and not terrier like at all (she wipes her paws on the mat before she comes in the house!) but I can't say how typical she is.

hollinhurst84 Sat 09-Jul-16 15:46:20

Not terrier like. The ones I have met are just big soft cuddle monsters! Like to play with toys, sleep on a sofa and drape themselves over a human

Scuttlebutter Sat 09-Jul-16 15:47:56

We know quite a few (lots of friends in rescue) and I also see them regularly at dog training events (obedience and Rally). I'd definitely consider doing training classes with them - they are strong so can pull like little trains if not trained in loose lead walking. They are also highly intelligent and enjoy the mental stimulation - in fact, there's a well known obedience judge who has staffies and hers do the full spectrum of things like nosework, field trials, obedience etc. - they are amazing and a joy to watch. Other than that, they are just snuggle monsters but I have heard reports of staffie farts being a bit eye watering.

Oh, and prepare for lots of people to cross the road when they see you coming and assume you have a pit bull that eats small children for breakfast. wink

frumpet Sat 09-Jul-16 16:12:28

I keep seeing so many in a local pound , usually brindle ones , all still really young sad .

My only concern and I know this can be true of any breed ,is the number that get described as 'dog reactive ' , is this a common trait with the breed or is it possibly just that the ones who end up in the pound haven't been well socialised as puppies and are also very stressed in a kennel environment ? Might need to start a new thread about if it is possible to turn them around and make them non dog reactive .

Dutchcourage Sat 09-Jul-16 16:14:10


You just need to be a strong leader and kind - like all dogs.

<<glances over at my 12 year old soft arse staffy>>

Dutchcourage Sat 09-Jul-16 16:17:04

My dog isn't reactive, it really is down to you as a owner to make sure your dog is confident and feels safe. Which goes for all dogs.

Most Staffies that are in homes are usually from nob head young lads that think they are a tough mans dogs. When in fact Staffies are extremely caring and lovely dogs.

My staffy smiles I'll try find a pic!

Dutchcourage Sat 09-Jul-16 16:18:38

Tough mans dog 😂😂😂

tabulahrasa Sat 09-Jul-16 16:21:30

Dog aggression is a bit of a breed trait, but ultimately it's down to early socialisation and training, just with breeds prone to it you should as a puppy make sure it's something you're doing more for than with other breeds.

So it's a bit of both, but mostly environmental.

Whether it's possible to 'cure' a dog reactive dog very much depends on why and how it's reactive and to some extent how much work you're willing to put in...but also what your expectations are of the end result, friendly for a dog with an extreme issue is never likely to be possible for instance but neutral for a dog that is just a bit grumpy should be fairly quick and easy.

Going back to the OP, nope they're a pretty easy breed TBH, really motivated to please humans, active enough to be fun without being so intense that they need constant entertainment...although they have terrier in the name, they're not terriers like other ones.

Darnmysocks Sat 09-Jul-16 16:38:42

Not trying to put you off OP but am laughing my head off at the idea that one small staffy can't/won't take up your whole sofa grin I have two admittedly but they do like to spread out, they also like to get as close to you as possible so I frequently end up confined to half a seat on a three seater sofa even if one of the dogs is with DH on the other sofa! To answer your question though, no I don't think you necessarily need breed experience, they can be stubborn and often quite excitable but as long as you're willing to put some work into training they're also generally eager to please. I don't see any 'terrier type' behaviour with mine, we have a cat and they get on fine, no chasing, no issues with recall when out, even in woods full of squirrels. I would think the majority of rescues would be happy with potential adopters who have researched the breed and show a willingness to put effort into training, not to put too fine a point on it there are so many staffies in rescue I doubt they can afford to limit adoptions to people with experience of the breed only. Best of luck finding the right dog for you flowers

frumpet Sat 09-Jul-16 18:13:18

Dutchcourage that smile is adorable grin

Tabula the pound describes a couple as dog reactive , which I honestly have no idea how they assessed it , just thought that the stress of being in kennels , with the noise etc might exacerbate the situation . I have looked after a friends dog that is very dog reactive on its lead , although we had it for a week once and by the end it had given up , maybe because it got used to all the dogs in the village or maybe because I just marched along with it telling it to stop being such a daft sod . It was fine off lead though , bizarre creature smile So I could cope with that quite happily .

tabulahrasa Sat 09-Jul-16 18:53:39

" just thought that the stress of being in kennels , with the noise etc might exacerbate the situation"

It probably has, it's just that it's kind of an unanswerable question...if you see what I mean?

Some dogs will be loads better as soon as they're in a home and easily trainable. Some dogs, well some just aren't 'fixable' and will never be ok with other dogs and of course there's loads somewhere in between those two extremes.

Personally I wouldn't advise taking on a dog you know is dog reactive if it really matters to you that that could be a forever situation.

frumpet Sat 09-Jul-16 19:08:49

Tabula I think you are probably right , will hold out for a non dog reactive one as I live in an area where most of the walks are very much off lead territory and although I am happy to put the effort into training, ideally I would like to end up with a dog happy with the vast majority of other dogs . Just feel so sorry for all the poor little brown staffys that end up in the pound and aren't deemed cute enough and so end up there for ages or worse sad

Dutchcourage Sat 09-Jul-16 22:55:22

I know I bloody hate it when I see them in there sad

My sil has a chihuahua and he is a nasty little git. I wont have mine around him. I trust mine to be off lead around other dogs but if I sense they are too giddy, could get emagressive I have to lead kimber up as ultimately if she ever did go off - which she has never ever done, The other dog is going to come if worse as my dog is so powerful.

I think that's why I wouldn't have a rescue staffy, I love the idea but because they grow in to muscle machines I really wouldnt trust its past especially since I have a small child. I've had kimber since she was eight weeks, I used to carry her around in my dressing gown pocket grin

Dieu Sun 10-Jul-16 01:16:02

Best dogs ever. Would protect their loved ones to the death, no question. Bloody bonkers too. Love them.

SingingMyOwnSpecialSong Sun 10-Jul-16 01:44:02

Fantastic dogs. DH had an old girl when we met who won me over to the breed instantly. She was rescued by his parents at around a year old, and tbh not kept in ideal circumstances until he took her on a few years later, so was quite dog reactive and had to stay on a lead when walked.

We got a rescue puppy when she died a couple of years ago, we wanted to be able to socialise him properly as we were planning a family. He is great with the baby, the cat and other dogs, although he can annoy some with his bounciness so we check with owners before letting him play.

He is allergic to lots of stuff, which I believe is a bit of a ataffie thing. We had him insured before collecting him so it's all been covered. My mum was caught out when adopting a rescue cat with allergies. Shelter said insurance would not consider it a pre-existing condition, insurers did. He has cost her a fortune.

SingingMyOwnSpecialSong Sun 10-Jul-16 01:47:28

Scottish Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue are a great organisation and offer plenty of post adoption advice and support.

Daytona79 Sun 10-Jul-16 05:15:28

We have 2 rescue staffys

1 small one who is very terrier like, loves routing about in stuff, she had very poor recall when we got her infact it took two years of training before really she could be trusted not to run off.

2nd staff is much larger and was very dog aggressive when we rescued her from the pound , that said 4 years later she lives happily with other dogs but it was a long road to get here and we had a very nasty incident along the way costing us £3000 in vets bills and a boxer dog who was nearly killed. The boxer started the fight when but the staffy lost the plot we couldn't get her off, very scary indeed and not something I ever want to witness again. We have to still be very careful as if provoked the staff with fight and it's not something I ever want to see again so she is never walked in busy places, only allowed off lead of middle of nowhere and often muzzled in public

She doesn't want to fight but if a dog comes into her space all hell will break lose

That said she lives happily along side some friends , they know she is top dog and do not challenge her in the slighest so she is happy

So yeah you can I believe to some extent retain a dog aggressive dog but you always need to be very careful with them as at the end of the day they are bred to fight and when a fight breaks out its serious stuff to deal with.

RoseDog Sun 10-Jul-16 21:41:35

Singing mine is a SSBTR dog.

We had no dog experience before we took on a rescue staffy, she is dog aggressive but doesn't get off lead, she is a big lump of love!

triballeader Sun 10-Jul-16 22:21:57

Staffy's in the right hands do make wonderful family pets. They tend to be sofa hogs, need a big comfy warm space to snooze and like all terriers need brain work to tire them so taking them to KC Good Citizen classes and similar all helps. The bull breed in them makes them very devoted to anyone who shows them love, food, fun and a safe home and they will lay down their lives for their families.

For a dog who is in rescue due to family circumstances changing a willingness to learn about staffys and commit to meeting the breeds needs for companionship, exercise, play and a loving home will be enough. Real breed experience is needed if you plan on taking a staffy or staffy cross who has been subjected to neglect as it takes 2 or more years of committed day in day out work. For a dog that has been subject to a police criminal investigation and cruelty you usually have a few extra hoops to jump through. This is simply to make sure a dog with extra needs is matched with an owner who is equipped to meet such needs. A good rescue should be able to tell you all they know about a dog and if they think your a potential good match for each other.

Some staffys love all other dogs, some are picky over which dogs they like and some hate all other dogs but love their people. Never walk a rescued staffy off lead until you know what they are like around other dogs. A good training club can help with socialization and gradual introductions to new dogs.

Staffys still have terrier brains but they are a little easier to divert onto acceptable alternatives as they are eager to win their owners approval. That terrier chase drive can be diverted onto tennis balls, boomer balls and heavy duty black kong toys with training.

The dogs trust produce a helpful Staffy leaflet. The RSPCA have some very good online resources on Staffy's including some local branches videos of rescued staffy's learning how to learn to be good family pets.

My rescue was an extreme cruelty case so I had to demonstrate breed experience, jump through the extra hoops, arrange extra insurance and prove I could not only meet her needs but I would commit to real training. Two and half years on and she has come out of her shell and showing the best bits of her SBTxEBT natures.

camperjam Mon 11-Jul-16 20:30:12

I had no dog experience at all when 8 rescued my staffie cross 3 years ago but she was a great first dog. She has a lovely nature. She was a bit fear agressive but loves food so we distracted her with treats. She is mostly fine now.

She is a big softie though, she's been chased by cats and is scared of my MIL'S chihuahua

Gamgee Mon 11-Jul-16 23:13:15

If you like pointy dogs but would like a small one you could always get a whippet. The racing types can be really petite or if your oh really wants a dinky dog you could go with an Italian greyhound. My pup is only 23 inches tall and we met two racing whippets at the weekend who made him look massive in comparison to them.

ScattyHattie Mon 11-Jul-16 23:51:04

With so many staffies in rescue i imagine its not too difficult to find dogs to suit different owners needs and even within same breed the typical traits can vary between individuals.

i've whats known as a bull lurcher, so a pointy x staffy she's a greyhound mix so taller 23" and a proper muscly chunk. She has a bit more of a staffy character so is very licky, cuddly & more people orientated.

pippinandtog Tue 12-Jul-16 10:57:46

Some beautiful dogs on photos on this thread.
Our rescue is a collie-cross, but have seen lots of lovely staffies out on our walks, and there's always a lot of beautiful ones at Dogs Trust kennels when we visit, desperate for a loving home.
Unfortunately, it's a breed which undeservedly ends up too often in rescue, so I'm sure you could find the right dog for your family.

Godstopper Tue 12-Jul-16 11:35:14

We have Matilda, who is a rescue. She is three now, and came home at around eight weeks.

No aggression. None. I don't think she's even barked at a dog unlike our Border Terrier who is now improving after going Tasmanian Devil. When a dog barks at her, she attempts to disappear behind my legs. Not bothered by small furries. When she saw a fledgling the other week, she let it walk all over her and proceeded to lick it.

She's not, er, the brightest. We do regular training. She's a bit of a clown. Demands to be in a spot between my partner and I on the sofa every night, and wasn't supposed to be in the bedroom, but now she sleeps on the end of our bed.

Most forms of aggression can be massively improved. But .... Staff's are powerful dogs in terms of strength, and I would caution against going into this if the aggression is severe and you haven't dealt with it before. If you're talking barking/lunging at dogs across the road, then you can turn that around. But if you're talking really going for other dogs, that's making life difficult for yourself from the outset. My Border came very close to that, and it's taken about two years and working with a behaviorist to stop feeling like walks are a military operation.

I'd definitely rescue a Staff. Far too many in rescues, and a misrepresented breed.

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