It is a very sad fact that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with a Kennel Club Pedigree Class for the past 80 years and from an historic line stretching back over 200 years, has acquired such a negative reputation in the minds of the general public in recent years.
Due largely to their overriding desire to please they are easy to train and, unfortunately, those individuals that wish to use this trait to imbed aggression find the Staffordshire is ideal for their warped aim.
The unfortunate effect of this small minority of bad owners is that the breed has become the stereotypical ‘dangerous’ dog and this has had a terrible impact on the perception of them. The net result has been that almost a culture of fear has developed in the public’s mind and we hear the result of this on a daily basis at our centre.
When people phone us with a general enquiry about the dogs we have at that time and we tell them about the Staffordshires we have, we are often met with a flat ‘oh no, I don’t really trust those types of dogs’ or words to that effect.
In fact we, at Borders Pet Rescue, take part in an annual survey run by the Association of Cat and Dog Homes who are the overseeing body throughout Britain’s rescue centres. This survey takes a snapshot of the types and breeds of dogs we all have in on a particular day. The shocking result for the past three years, on average, has been that around 50% of all dogs in all the centres have been Staffordshire or Staffordshire Cross. So, in other words, half of all dogs in rescue centres right across Britain come from just this one breed!
The rehoming rate for these dogs is significantly slower, in general, than for other breeds and we regularly see them staying with us for a year, and often much longer. Unfortunately our experience is clearly not unique.
Obviously there are will always be differences in individual’s personalities but, in general, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (SBT) is friendly, affectionate and enthusiastic. They are not the most reserved of dogs and can be quite excitable, meaning that even when well trained, they can require repeated reminders to settle. They are easy to train since the desire to please is extremely strong in their personality. As an added bonus the puppies are very easy to house train!