Dogs with bad press

12 Feb

By this, i mean dogs that are always in the news or being spoken about, the dogs that have a bad reputation, in the UK this would the the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and in the US it would be the Pit Bull. Everyday we are surrounded by stories of how bad they are, how they can’t be trusted and in many places across the world, such breeds have even been made illegal to own.

But are they really that bad?

At some point this week, I am taking my sister and my dog to a re-homing center where we are going to be meeting an 18 month old Staffordshire Terrier cross (although from his picture, i suspect he could be a fully staffie). There is the potential that one day we could end up bringing him home as Maya’s new big brother.

The thing is, you hear so much about how “bad” they are, that i wonder if my family will even consider actually giving him a home. I have done my research into the breed, and it turns out that they are one of the softest, cuddliest breeds known around. It wasn’t that long ago that they were known as the “nanny dog” because they are so great with children. So, why all the bad press?

I can answer that one. Somewhere along the line, the breed got into the wrong hands. They look big and bulky, and of course they did decent from dog fighting ancestors. Part of what went into making a staffy was the bull dog, notorious for its tenacity. This all made them very appealing to gangs or people who wanted to look and act tough. Some people (the wrong people) get them because they think it will make them look big and tough, they give them the wrong sort of training, encouraging aggression and what do you end up with? An aggressive dog.

But they aren’t all like that. In fact, most of them arent. I recently met some adorable, well mannered and calm staffies. A friend of my mums breed one of her bitches and we went to meet the puppies. The whole family were so sweet, you would never imagine that they could be considered to be a “bad” breed.

Image   How can you be afraid of that big smile?



Now, the problem when it comes to potentially re homing this staffie that we are going to visit…. I would absolutely love to re-home a staffy. I know that they can make loving and loyal pets, they sure as hell could keep up with the rough and tumble Maya has to offer, but also, i feel sorry for them. I know that isn’t a good reason alone to get a dog. Everywhere you look in shelters you find staffy after staffy in need of a home, they are everywhere, nobody wants one.

I am a true believer that it is the person that makes a bad dog, not the dog. People aren’t born bad, and neither is a dog. My issue comes with people’s perceptions. I don’t want to walk along the beach with my two dogs and people to be afraid, just because of his breed. I wonder if that is often the problem with staffies in need of a home. People are afraid to give them one because of what other people think?

Anyone with a staffie or a dog with bad press out there, you tell me what you think. Prove to us that they are worth giving a second chance, give us the evidence. Like this page or better yet, leave a comment. I would love to see what opinions people have on the issue.


5 Responses to “Dogs with bad press”

  1. meekothepit February 13, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    I can tell you this, at first some, if not most, relatives are going to stop visiting. They will even make condescending comments during family reunions about the type of person you are for actually going through with the adoption. I didn’t meet any of my owner’s family members until about two months from when I moved in (and I was only two months old when I got here). It wasn’t until our neighbor came over with her three year old daughter that my owner’s family decided to give me a try.
    So eventually a few, if not more, will come around out of pure curiosity and that’s when we kick their butts with love and obedience! We’re good dogs, you know? But in order for us to be great, we need a strong and caring owner who will love and discipline us to raise us the right way. I say “strong” but I don’t mean physically muscular, I just mean with a strong personality. Strong enough to not be put down by some of the nasty comments some people make while we’re on walk. We dogs can shake off those comments so our owners need to be able to do the same. Or at least use those comments as motivation to make us even more amazing than we already are. This bogus “Pits are dangerous” thing can be put to an end if all the dogs like me find the right owner. You seem like an astounding person so I’m sure you’d raise this dog well!
    I’m only a year old but I have absolutely no trouble being around babies, toddlers, adults, cats, small dogs, big dogs, ignorant people, open minded people, or other pit bulls. In fact, I’m friends with other pits who are a lot more patient with other animals and children more than any other “friendly” dog.

    • taylorr1991 February 13, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      Thank you so much for your great comment, i really appreciate it. I’ve been trying to prompt people to give me their opinions on facebook and twitter but no one has been responding.

      I think we will be going to see the little guy again because after meeting him yesterday he seemed like a great dog, even if he does need some work (don’t all dogs though?) . We are still all a little unsure however, partly because he is a rescue (2 years old) and we don’t know what he would be like with cats (and we have two) and partly because of the bad press. I think whilst i would be able to cope with people being wary of him, i’m not sure my family members would.

      Whether it is with us or not, i am 100% certain that the majority of these lovely dogs do deserve a wonderful forever home.

      Thanks again for your comment, i hope you have many healthy, happy years with you humans full of love and tummy rubs!

  2. jackiewriting February 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    As a Staffie owner myself, I agree with everything said! I’ve never met a bad Staffie yet, only bad owners. I have a Border Collie who was rescued from a neglectful and abusive home, she was beaten with the nearest thing to hand, not fed properly, and kept shut up in a flat for the first 2 years or so of her life. Understandably she was very wary (especially of me), and has taken nearly 7 years of love & patience but she is happy. I had to teach her to come to me when called, and to play.
    Our Staffie had 3 homes before us and she was a year old when I was handed her. She is always ‘guilty’, and still quite timid after 4 years, but again with love & patience is happy and loving. We can do anything with her, she is so willing to please.
    Considering their backgrounds, they are both great dogs with great personalities and prove that any dog can be a loving family member if given the right opportunity – and love! I’ve never personally had any negative comments about my Staffie, and when we’re out it’s always the Collie I say to watch out for – especially with men! She’s bitten several men who’ve come to our house, if that were the Staffie no doubt she’d have been taken away and destroyed as a dangerous dog!
    It really angers me that some breeds of dogs (and their loving, responsible owners) have to contend with ‘breedism’ – it’s as bad as racism, sexism, ageism, and all the other isms, and has cost the lives and suffering of countless family pets and their owners.
    Breed NOT Deed!
    If you give me a link to your Facebook etc I’ll be happy to post my thoughts there as well 🙂

    • taylorr1991 February 13, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      Thank you so much for comment, i really appreciate that. I’m glad both of your dogs found you to show them what love really is and now they are happy and healthy.

      I love hearing rescue stories about Staffie’s just because they seem to be so few and far apart. As a family we have decided that we will be paying the rescue Staffie that we are considering another visit and we will go from there. Obviously getting any rescue dog is a big decision.

      Thanks again, give your doggies a kiss and a cuddle from me and Maya 🙂

      • jackiewriting February 13, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

        Will do, and I hope it all works out great for you all 🙂

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