Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or as most people know them as staffies are most commonly seen in a negative light. But as any dog lover would know they really are the soppiest breed out there. With so many out there in rescue centres waiting for their forever home I thought it was about time we set the record straight on what they are really like. We did have a whole blog planned but then we got an amazing email from a lady called Helen telling us about her rescue staffies and well it just blew us away.
I was looking to adopt a dog, but didn’t have a specific breed in mind. I had never had a dog before, but when I saw a picture of Honey, looking so sad, I somehow knew she was for me. When we met, she jumped straight into my car and curled up in the footwell to sleep all the way home. From the moment I brought her home, she followed me everywhere!! She would sleep on the floor by my feet rather than in the comfortable dog bed that I had given her.
The first few nights were tricky, as she was so worried that I would leave her. I put her bed in the corner of my bedroom and on the first night she would come up to my bed, calmly place her paws on my arm and check I was still there. So, I’d give her a cuddle, get up, put her back in her bed and 20mins later do it all over again!!! Each night she would let me sleep a little longer until 2weeks in when she would allow me to sleep until 5.30am before checking up on me!!
The first two weeks of having her were completely exhausting. There was the lack of sleep, but also, having to house train her so I was taking her outside as often as I could (I live in 2nd floor flat), walking her, and the mental challenge of trying to remember/work out everything she needed!! I would say it took me about 2 months to get into a “routine” where I fed/watered/walked her without having to think about it! All stuff you aren’t warned about – however, once you have the routine down it really isn’t an effort!!
Honey settled in well and her basic training was easy as she was bright and keen to learn! She is just so sweet and big hearted, clearly she had never been played with as she had no idea what toys were for – the first time she played a game of catch with a ball I shed a tear!!!
After 3years I started to feel “clucky” for another dog and it was 6months later when I spotted Stanley on Facebook. Again, his eyes shouted out that he needed love and a good home. I took Honey to meet him and just after New Year I went with a friend to pick him up. It took Honey a couple of weeks to start to completely relax with him around, but they quickly started to bond because Stanley is the softest, silliest dog ever!! He brings laughter and joy into our home and has brought out Honey’s mothering side. She is quite and sensible and he’s a daft clown so they are perfect balance for each other.
The worst thing about living with Staffies is nothing to do with my dogs – it’s the reaction of other dog owners/members of the public who are scared of the breed and I’ve had all sorts of horrible reactions from people screaming and running away when my dogs weren’t even looking at them through to one occasion when the owner of a Chihuahua that was aggressive towards Honey threatened to hit Honey with a stick even tho she hadn’t reacted at all to his dogs aggression!
On the other side, there are countless people who have met my dogs who HAD been scared of Staffies, but are now fans!!! We will change everyone’s minds/hearts one Staffie Cuddle at a time!!!
How amazing does Honey and Stan sound? If you would like to follow Honey you can find her on twitter.
But what makes them great pets? And why do they have such a bad reputation? Its simple really – Staffies love to please their owners and are easy to train, even if those owners train bad behaviours. It is this trait in staffies that make them prime targets for dog thieves who can easily train them to be attack dogs or used in dog fights. Staffies are a prime example of dogs who as good as their owners. In the right hands staffies make the perfect family pets, Emma who has had staffies in her life said they make the perfect ‘nanny dog’.
‘I now have my 3rd staffie – my first had to be removed from her mum as she turned on the litter so we raised her from 6 weeks old – she was the most loving loyal trustworthy dog – she was my baby until I had my daughter I was concerned as I had spoilt her and made her my life but true to staffie nature she was perfect with my daughter – perfect nanny dog, she slept outside her room every night, she laid by her side on the floor as she grew she followed her around the house they were best friends – until the day we lost her they were inseparable – we lost her after 14 fantastic years RIP defor.
I said I would never get another as it broke my heart loosing her but a year later we got Doug – totally opposite to Defor but just a loving and loyal a true staffie, by this point I had a son and a daughter he was a perfect nanny dog to my son a true gentle giant – sadly he got cancer and we lost him a week after his 2nd birthday – again heartbroken said I would never get another!
That takes me to now well you guess I have another staffie – Boycee the most gentle – loving boy who adores the kids we rehomed him 5 months ago, he has had a terrible past but that is what it is his past, he is perfect and now our family dog!
My final thought – staffies get lots of bad press because of the vile owners who own them but this is not the real breed, they make fantastic family dogs, fantastic pets and I will never have any other breed in our family‘
So what is stopping people from adopting staffies – at this time Finding Furever Homes has 5 staffies/staffy crosses waiting for homes so why not give them a look up? Maybe they are the right dog for your family.
Annie & Kane