To know the breed is to love the breed…and they are in such need
Staffies are soul-mates. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (SBT) and crosses have become Britain’s most popular dog alongside the Labrador. Thousands of pups who were surplus to need found their way into the hearts of families who saw their plight. As they came out of unstable homes they filled the council pounds and Rescue centres. The lucky ones who made it out the other side were introduced to their families for their charms or rescue minded families connected with their need. So we have a whole new generation of people being there for Staffies. Staffies are a common site in dog walking areas and being really appreciated as a breed.
Bull breeds are famed for their soft loving natures towards humans and children. Staffies have an emotionality all of their own. If you are looking for a devoted loyal and connected dog, introduce yourself to a Staffie and their owner and immediately you will witness their open hearts and how they centre their world on their people.
We home most of our Staffies in with children, the only restraint is some are too high energy and need boundaries to deter their leaping up to meet and greet. We home about 40% of our Staffies in with other dogs. We also home in with cats and small furries.
The Staffie breed is caring, loving, and will try to talk to you and join in with your conversation. They really identify closely with humans and try to communicate with their loved ones. This is called ‘Staffie speak’ and it is comical and great fun introducing your Staffie to friends and getting them to sing for their supper. They can be ‘snuffly’ and ‘snorty’. They can make little nasal grunts and snore the night through. They are charming in their need to offer you what they have and are very trainable.
Their sociability with other dogs is broadly based, like all dogs, on being highly socialised with dogs from an early age. The English tend to attach their dogs to their family unit and under socialise their dogs. Many dog will come to believe themselves to be human rather than canine. Fortunately Staffies tend to be raised with the sociable youth in and out of each other homes. Most of our Staffies are highly social. We have a few who won’t want to meet other dogs but on the whole as a breed you could say the Staffie doesn’t like a dog to be in their face or making a beeline for their sticks or toys. If you can manage your dog so they are kept moving on their walk and you manage to call ‘off lead’ dogs away from close encounters you would probably manage anyone of our Staffies. It is these Staffies we have trouble in finding homes for.
Staffies are muscular. Like the British bull dog they are heavily muscled which, when you own one and know their kindness, you tend to ‘forget’. Others seeing their muscular cheeks are shocked conscious of the power behind them. You however soon translate that into the smile and laughter of the Staffie as their personality shines through. The smiling Staffie which is our logo with their huge cheek muscles are like laughing clowns and yes they do laugh a lot. They will make short work of a hide bone, sticks and a large tough ‘Kong’ satisfies them as their non destructive toys! But their tongue muscle becomes the most prominent feature with visitors, who, if they are ‘doggie’, will receive a face wash which soon puts them at ease as to their true intentions.
Staffie Rescue is far from purists. We have learned to stretch the definition of a Staffie away from the kennel clubs guidelines. We never turn a dog away on the basis of measurement, we can not however help Pit bull Terriers or Pit bull crosses as is the law of the land. The press hasn’t helped in confusing ‘Pit bulls’ with ‘Staffies’. Most Staffies are so far away from their ‘fighting’ ancestry. They have lived generation after generation within loving family homes. Staffies are the abused not the abusers. On the whole their interactions with dogs are similar to other breeds. It is just that the public recognise their muscle power and tend to lay the blame at the Staffies door, even if they didn’t start the altercation and even if they are the ones carrying the resulting wounds. So to be a Staffie owner you have to be able to wear a certain amount of prejudice that can be thrown towards you and your dog.
Staffies health is robust breed type. Rarely do they have knee problems and less so hips. You are looking for a life span from 12- 17 years. We know of several Staffies currently in their 20’s. Yes they mellow with age and there is nothing more adorable that the older Staffie. Staffies can suffer from mange and skin problems in early life but with prompt treatment can overcome this never to need treatment again. Rarely do they have eye or ear problems. We have helped the most pitiful blind and deaf Staffies. In Oct 2011 we have a cerebral palsy Staffie; a Staffie with three legs and another with hip dysplasia: Wonderful dogs who need special homes and we help them to find their families.