Why are rescue centres full of staffies?

(105 Posts)
lecce Tue 09-Jul-13 21:09:34

Just that really. We are currently looking for a rescue dog and have no criteria other than that we have two dc aged 4& 6 and, having rarely sat on our own sofa together over the last 10 years grin, we would like something a fair bit smaller than the beautiful, sofa-hogging lurcher we recently had pts. We would also like a dog with more of a playful disposition than he had (he was a fantastic dog - not a criticism of him) and for the dog to be as young as possible, definitely no older than 2.

I have been ruling out staffies without really thinking about why. I suppose I had assumed they were aggressive. However, the more I look, the more it seems that we may be waiting a very long time for a dog unless we consider a staffy and I keep seeing all this stuff on websites about how unfair their reputation is.

Is it? Does anyone have any experience of this breed? Can they be great family pets?

tabulahrasa Sat 20-Jul-13 12:41:43

Don't forget that the media have invested massively in the staffies are dangerous discourse...

WARNING - the links have some really not very nice pictures of injured children. (oh and a lot are from the mail as it seems to like reporting on dog attacks)

This is a story about an attack by a collie illustrated with snarling staffy photos.

Another collie, this time illustrated by a collie doing a play bow.

Yet another collie with a picture of a lovely looking dog.

Labrador this time, but another stock photo of a meek looking dog.

And finally a staffy, notice the stock photo is nowhere near as nice as the collie or lab.

None of them are photos of the actual dog involved, so they're being picked on purpose to represent a dog after an attack...and notice that with the collies and the lab it's stated what good family pets they are regarded to be by experts, but these are the same experts that also recommend staffies and that's never mentioned.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Sat 20-Jul-13 09:06:48

also, the majority of dog attacks are reported to be by "staffie-*type*" dogs.

Can someone please tell me what this breed is as I have never heard of a Staffie-Type. is it a new breed? hmm

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Sat 20-Jul-13 09:03:26

They are in rescues because of utter knobheads who either:

A: Are sheep and believe the negativity before they have even bothered to come to their own conclusion
B: Get them hoping for a snarling bastard and all they get is a soft lump who wants to sleep and fart all the time
C: They manage to tap into the SBTs nature of wanting to please and be good for their owners, but then they cant be arsed with them so they hand over a broken damaged dog for someone else to try and sort out

I see a poster has commented on how they wouldnt let their child be friends with someone who had an SBT. To you I say I wouldnt let YOUR child be friends with mine if they have a parent who makes screaming assumptions about others. Woudl make me wonder WTF else you are weird about and the whole friendship would just be too much like hard work.

I think they do tend to be anxious dogs so more prone to separation anxiety - one of the main reasons people abandon dogs in my experience working with rescue centres. This, plus they are often bought by people with less money (who may later find themselves with even less money or in a housing situation in which they cannot provide for a dog) is maybe why so many are in rescue centres.

What Greyhorses said is similar to my own experience. Several people have mentioned them killing cats etc - our local RSPCA will not rehome them to homes with other pets for this reason but that is part of their terrier instinct and does not mean they are people aggressive that is totally unrelated. Its the reason I don't have one though as I have cats and rabbits too.

My main concern about rehoming a Staffy would be that the ones i've seen in my local rspca are hyperexcitable and untrained, meaning a lot of pulling on the lead and jumping up - all things that can be fixed but as they are so strong might be a bit much with a 4 year old in the house, might get knocked over lots. I do think that otherwise they tend to be good family pets.

I personally would at least go and meet a few - you might meet the right staffy for you if you give them a chance, or you might decide they're not for you (massively different personality than a lurcher!).

If you decide against a Staffy in the end, going to a breed-specific rescue might be better for you?

Vibbe Fri 19-Jul-13 22:32:12

Oops, forgot a couple of words there...

It should be:

To those of you who mention that the staffie being referred to as nanny dog is not a myth

Vibbe Fri 19-Jul-13 22:28:40

Those of you who mention that the nanny dog - can you provide sources to where this term comes from and when the breed started being referred to as nanny dog?

I simply can't find anything - it's either mentioned as being a myth or pit bulls are mentioned as the nanny dog.

HotCrossPun Fri 19-Jul-13 21:02:55

Every owner of a staffie (myself included) will tell you what kind, gentle and loyal dogs they are.

Canine organisations, The Kennell Club, Battersea dogs home, are all in agreement about how excellent staffies are as family dogs.

Why is that? Do you think that reading a few stories in the paper about dogs that have been bred to fight, mistreated, and kept in unsuitable conditions are a more true reflection on the breed itself?

And the Nanny Dog thing is not a myth. I've had many different breeds of dogs over the years and they way our Staffie acts around young children is (in my experience) unique amongst dog breeds.

Yes they have huge jaws, (I forget how big big they are until he yawns!) but he has never nipped, snarled, or growled at anybody.

www.battersea.org.uk/dogs/staffies_theyre_softer_than_you_think/

Branleuse Fri 19-Jul-13 20:57:33

They are great dogs.
Ive had a collie, a spaniel and a GSD and now have a staffie that dp got as a rescue at 6mths old. She is the cleverest dog ive ever met. They are so trainable, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on whos hands they end up in.
Shes reliable, obedient, everyone loves her.

They are brilliant dogs. If i was going to get another dog, id get another staffie

LEMisdisappointed Fri 19-Jul-13 20:51:31

ah, right

Wuxiapian Fri 19-Jul-13 20:48:26

I'm sorry. I didn't mean all staffie owners, of course! I meant the sort who buy them for image, fail to train/treat properly and hence they end up in rescue centres.

LEMisdisappointed Fri 19-Jul-13 19:49:49

my sentiments exactly ceres! Im not sure ill-educated is even a word! But hey what do i know, i used to have rotwiellers but still managed to get a PhD

ceres Fri 19-Jul-13 19:33:27

"They are image dogs for the ill-educated."

what an ignorant statement.

Wuxiapian Fri 19-Jul-13 12:49:28

They are image dogs for the ill-educated.

Clare1964dogmad Wed 17-Jul-13 22:04:19

Sadly people will keep breeding (dogs) in general and in particular staffies! It's such a shame......they make wonderful family dogs and are amazing companions. Just need to get all dogs neutered really and make sure all puppies are socialised.....that goes for all breeds!!

Clare1964dogmad Wed 17-Jul-13 22:03:57

Sadly people will keep breeding (dogs) in general and in particular staffies! It's such a shame......they make wonderful family dogs and are amazing companions. Just need to get all dogs neutered really and make sure all puppies are socialised.....that goes for all breeds!!

LEMisdisappointed Tue 16-Jul-13 22:25:50

I love staffies - i think they are fantastic dogs but i wouldn't have one. Simply because it wouldn't fit in with my family - i have two mental terriers that put together don't weigh as much as a staffie - staffies are bonkers, and for some that means lots of fun, but for me, bonkers weighing 25-30kg is too much. I used to have rotweillers, they are lazy arse dogs that weigh 60kg. If i see a staffie i am automatically disposed to go and stroke it. I am saddened to read that people are still so ignorant about this breed of dog.

teetering13 Tue 16-Jul-13 22:22:21

oh .. I thought there was only one page lol ... missed loads of comments

teetering13 Tue 16-Jul-13 22:21:26

I've heard that the rescue centres are full of staffs because staffs don't meet up to their reputation .. They are got as a status dog but many don't fight and are quite soft and friendly, so they are abandoned ..

Not sure I believe that, but I do believe they are wanted by types that can't look after themselves never mind a pet so they just get rid ..

I know 2 staffs that live with an older lady whos not chavtastic in the slightest .. these dogs are so lovely and chilled BUT saying that .. if I was walking down the street and saw a young chavvy lad with the same dogs I'd be wary :/

OrmirianResurgam Tue 16-Jul-13 22:15:34

I think the issue with SBT is that they have hugely powerful jaws. So IF they do attack they can do a lot of harm. But that is no more than saying that as human being can get hold of knives they are all potentially lethal. I am guessing they are in rescues because of their rep. Treat a dog well, lovingly and with consistency, and it can be a good dog. Treat a dog with cruelty, aggression and encourage it to be aggressive and and it will a problem.

We have a lab/collie/staffie cross (mostly staffie I suspect) and he is the perfect family dog. If I could clone him I'd make a fortune!

Cheddars Tue 16-Jul-13 22:10:18

This is intriguing me now. If this link is true then the nanny dog myth is still being propagated all over the web, including the Kennel Club and the RSPCA.

Surely this does more harm than good to the breed. Many breeds of dog are good with children with the right upbringing. Why are Staffies being pushed forward to be homed with young children? Where is the evidence that they are better than other breeds?

Dobermans can be lovely family dogs, but nobody would deny that they were bred as police dogs.

Most importantly, should any breed of dog be given the title 'nanny dog' and trusted to such an extent with young children?

LadyBigtoes Tue 16-Jul-13 22:08:01

Yeeees you will get lots of people saying it's not the breed it's the owner, and my staffie wouldn't hurt a fly they are so friendly and love kids. All this may be true, but as others have said, any dog can turn. If and when they do, for whatever reason, dogs with large jaws and a lot of biting power are the ones that end up making headlines sadly.

I would think (going by cats I've had!) a rescue dog is going to have a higher chance of personality problems or having been brutalised, therefore getting a staffie there is a risk I wouldn't take.

ClaimedByMe Tue 16-Jul-13 22:00:20

I have added a before and a few after pictures of my rescue staffie to melt your heart or scare you

And yes she is very sensitive! She is actually rather meek and mild, hates wet weather and loves nothing more than finding a spot of sunshine to lie in.

Yes, the reason there are so many in rescue is they have been bred to death - quite literally. Unfortunately they are (for now) popular amongst the feckless, though the poor husky seems to be overtaking the popularity. sad

I bought mine as a puppy from a good friend who allowed her bitch to have one litter. Never again though. If I do ever have another dog the children will be much older so I'll feel confident in adopting from a rescue.

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