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The amount of staffies in rescues makes me sad

(46 Posts)
GinAndOnIt Mon 27-Mar-17 09:38:19

We've been on a search for our next dog for a while now, and although originally we were wanting a puppy, I have still been keeping an eye on rescue centres just in case. We aren't having much luck (because we have a cat, I think), but I can't believe the amount of staffies in rescues - there also seems to be staffie crossbreeds, and they seem to be the only crossbreed that will be listed avoiding the staffie breed. For example, I'll see a Labrador advertised, and think 'that doesn't look like a labrador' and when you click, it's a lab x staffie. Yet any other crossbreed, it will say 'Collie x lab' or similar really clearly.

Is this because of media coverage of staffies? I don't really know a lot about the breed, but I just feel so sad how many of this one breed are looking for homes sad

Onlyaplasticbagdear Mon 27-Mar-17 09:47:39

It's for a couple of reasons. One people buy them as tough dogs and realise most of them are soft as anything (though boisterous) so they get abandoned, two experienced dog owners buy them not realising they require a lot of training and commitment.

The Staffie is a strong dog and as such requires firm loving handling and committed training.

I love them but I have to say I wouldn't have one living in my house with a young DC. I do have my DC around a smaller dog. I know you can never 100% guarantee any dog but in the unlikely (very unlikely - she's ridiculously gentle) event this dog flipped out I could get her off my DC much quicker than a staff.

GinAndOnIt Mon 27-Mar-17 10:53:47

It's such a shame. I'd love to rehome one, but realistically I don't think they're a good fit for us at all (from my limited knowledge of them).

I feel terrible that we're being so 'fussy' and really struggling to find a dog when there are so many out there, but I do know we're doing the right thing waiting for a well suited dog rather than taking on something unsuitable.

TheOnlyColditz Mon 27-Mar-17 10:57:17

It's because they are a status dog for stupid people, they sell for nothing because people don't get them neutered, so idiots buy them, don't get them neutered, end up with puppies they can't afford to care for and the whole lot end up in a shelter. They're pleasant enough dogs but they are very high energy and not intelligent which makes them difficult to train. You are not alone in not wanting one. Nobody wants one, they usually aren't good family pets.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:00:33

I can't believe they don't make good family dogs. They used the be called the "nanny" dogs because they were so good with children.

Anyway, I have two labs at the moment. Once they've gone - hopefully not for many many years yet though, admittedly - I'm going to rehome a lovely staffy or two. That's the plan.

GinAndOnIt Mon 27-Mar-17 11:01:08

We don't have children, but we do ideally need something with a bit of intelligence to handle being on the farm, which I just don't think they would suit!

isupposeitsverynice Mon 27-Mar-17 11:02:44

Many dogs have been called nanny dogs. A dogs personality has more to do with it being a family dog than its breed, I think. My friend has one, a sort-of rescue job, and while she's a sweetheart, she's also incredibly anxious and destructive. I wouldn't want one I don't think.

isupposeitsverynice Mon 27-Mar-17 11:03:19

But yes I agree it's really sad how many are in rescue

tabulahrasa Mon 27-Mar-17 11:04:02

"They're pleasant enough dogs but they are very high energy and not intelligent which makes them difficult to train. You are not alone in not wanting one. Nobody wants one, they usually aren't good family pets."

They make great family pets, much more suitable than loads of other breeds.

They are high energy as puppies, but most breeds are and they're hugely trainable - it's not intelligence you want to train a dog, it's how biddable they are, intelligent breeds as a rule are the ones that make unsuitable pets for novice owners because their training needs aretoi much.

DixieNormas Mon 27-Mar-17 11:08:10

My expil always had staffies and they were always fantastic dogs and great with dc. I have lots of friend's with dc who also have staffies, they are as soft as shit.

I think the problem is some people see them as a status dog and buy them on a whim as they are so cheap. They can be high energy and boisterous and need training which can be difficult if you don't know what you are doing as they arnt always the brightest of dogs.

DixieNormas Mon 27-Mar-17 11:09:29

Although all the ones I've known have been happy to train for a treat or a fuss

HmmOkay Mon 27-Mar-17 11:09:47

We have a lab/staffy cross.

She is beautifully behaved and very clever. She was dead easy to train. Never chewed or damaged anything.

She is very affectionate and loyal. Loves her walks. Makes us laugh every day.

TheOnlyColditz Mon 27-Mar-17 11:18:06

Yes hmmm, labradors are like that.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't hate the breed. A jollier dog you could not hope to meet. But they haven't been bred for trainability, calmness, obedience, gentle nature or intelligence - all of which are traits desired in a dog that lives with children. Instead, they've been bred by idiots to be reactive and aggressive. Some are not reactive and aggressive, just like some collies are stupid. This isn't a given though.

winekeepsmesane Mon 27-Mar-17 11:18:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HmmOkay Mon 27-Mar-17 11:19:37

I don't agree with you, Colditz.

Dollygirl27 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:23:45

I have one had her since 9 weeks I have to say she's one of the easiest dogs I've ever owned.

Very food oriented which makes training easier and she's very loyal (towards me anyway) so tends to stick to my side when out.

She did go through a horrid chewing phase (like all dogs) but stopped chewing completely at 8 months. I've got a cat and horses she's fine with both and never had an issue with another dog.

I've also found she's incredibly lazy inside the house (she only 12 months old) the only time she displays any real energy is out on walks then she goes hell for leather everywhere.

The biggest problem I think is the perception people have of the breed. Dogs are a product of their environment so many end up in shelters because of lack of training, socialisation and people not being arsed. The breed being used as a status dog (a status I personally don't think they deserve) mine would be the first to run away for trouble, I've watched her leg it from dogs half her size.

I'm getting a bit preachy... I think you're right Gin with regards to the lab x staff thing it does put people off. My enitre family were not exactly on board with my choice of dog but have been converted (thankfully).

Unfortunately breeds of dog tend to come in and out of fashion in both positive and negative lights and the staffie is the whipping boy of media choice at the moment just as rotties, dobermans and gsd's have been previously.

Loupee Mon 27-Mar-17 11:25:47

We were in a similar situation when we were looking for a dog a few years ago. We had 2 cats and a baby and thought that ruled out rescue dogs. We ended up with a Staffy x Lab puppy (10 weeks)

The rescue we used doesn't advertise when they have puppies, instead when people are visiting they 'assess' them and then decide whether or not to tell you about the puppies they have. We had no idea that was how it worked. If a pregnant dog is rescued they tend to go into foster rather than into the rescue centre. So if a puppy would suit you better, it is possibly worth going into a centre and speaking to the staff there.

After being shown the pups we went home and did some research on the breed for going back to take one home.

A 'typical' staffy trait is their eagerness to please and that's why they can be suspectable to abuse as they will literally do anything to please their owner. The 'typical' lab traits in our dog are harder work than than the staffy parts but he's our perfect family dog.

tabulahrasa Mon 27-Mar-17 11:34:25

"But they haven't been bred for trainability, calmness, obedience, gentle nature"

Except they have... what use is a staffy you can't train or handle?

TheOnlyColditz Mon 27-Mar-17 11:35:18

To be absolutely clear, I also believe a dog will rise to its training rather than its breed, however if you're looking at rescues, the Staffies are far more likely to be two years old and dumped there by an idiot who thought they could sling a bowl of bakers at it once a day, walk it round the block, and have a good dog.

If you're looking at tiny puppies then it probably doesn't matter much

Dollygirl27 Mon 27-Mar-17 11:58:39

One of the things I love the most about the breed is they tend to blindly follow instruction because they want to please... makes them very easy to train.

GinAndOnIt Mon 27-Mar-17 12:01:18

Loupee I didn't realise that was how it worked either, but I have been thinking of going round and 'putting my name down' at the rescues that don't have anything suitable at the moment.

I can see now why there are lots of staffies in rescue, and I wish there was a way of stopping the cycle they currently seem to be in! I'm sure they are lovely dogs in the right home - I never thought otherwise. Which is perhaps why I was so surprised by the sheer volume in rescue centres.

Meanwhile, our search continues...

pigsDOfly Mon 27-Mar-17 12:34:40

I understood Staffies were easy to train because they are one of the most loyal breeds and will do pretty much anything asked of them.

That along with their strength and hardiness means they are ideal for the sort of thugs who like to use them as weapons to intimidate.

I've met quite a number of Staffies and without fail they've been charming because they've had lovely owners. Having said that, I wouldn't want one myself as I don't think I'm physically strong enough to deal with such a powerful dog - my dogs small and fluffy.

Agree it is very sad that so many are in rescues and, of course, so many will have to be pts, but they are just not suitable for everyone and you're right to wait for your perfect dog OP.

tabulahrasa Mon 27-Mar-17 14:07:48

"We don't have children, but we do ideally need something with a bit of intelligence to handle being on the farm, which I just don't think they would suit!"

Hmm, I'm not sure you do need intelligence btw, unless there's someone else looking for a dog on here recently that lives on a farm? There might be, I tend not to notice usernames, lol

It's not intelligence you're after, it's common sense and they're not the same thing at all - they can come in the same breed, but, a lot of so called intelligent dogs are actually really bad at applying any sense to a situation.

That's the reason breeds like labs are ranked as intelligent but, people have the impression that they're not...because they are very intelligent in that you can teach them all sorts of things, but, they'll do things that seem ridiculously stupid when left to their own devices.

You want sensible IMO, not necessarily clever...and that's more of an individual thing than a breed trait.

sparechange Mon 27-Mar-17 14:21:44

I've had 2 rescue staffies, and also fostered many more for a rescue.
My most recent one was a therapy dog - she was about 5 I rescued her from a puppy farm where she was being used as a breeding bitch, had barely any training at all and didn't know how to behave in the house.

Within 18 months, she had passed her Pets As Therapy assessment, and was ready to go to old peoples homes and hospitals, so I can assure they very much can be trained, and they very much can be relied on to be calm, gentle and predictable dogs!

The rescue that I fostered for said that significant amount of their dogs were given up by owners who had come from chaotic and unstable home lives, and wanted a dog as a proxy-family
Because of their unstable situation, they would often move house frequently, or sofa surf/room share, and would quickly come to a point where the only accommodation they find isn't dog-friendly, and they have to make a choice of keeping their dog or keeping a roof above their heads.
The dogs are well-looked after and have some training, and the owners are heartbroken to have to give them up, but realise they have to
I fostered a few of these dogs, and the only real 'issue' with them was they were lacking in manners, because they were used to jumping on sofas and beds, and begging for food while people were eating, but there wasn't any reason they couldn't be great family pets

My first staffie's best friend in the world was a cat. They would groom each other, and sleep curled up in the same bed... He was scared of the mice he would bring into the house though...

Thewolfsjustapuppy Mon 27-Mar-17 20:44:29

"Good with kids" doesn't quite adequately describe my staffys devotion to children - she would go rafting on the lake (she was a bit of a pest when the kids were swimming as she had to be in the water with them but she did once drag a child out of the river when he was in trouble), watch TV with child lying on her back, act as a baby walker, sit for hours by the pram.. she would happily sunbath in the garden with the cat and the rabbit and was a great farm dog as, despite her gentleness, she was an amazing ratter.
She had her nutty traits and was a chewing nightmare as a pup. The biggest drawback to having a staff is that other dogs attacked her for no apparent reason but as she was a staff she always got the blame hmm. I miss her every day 13 years after her passing. I plan to get a rescue staff soon.

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