The cons of owning a Stafforshire Bull Terrier

Monday, November 18, 2013

I took this pic while we were on honeymoon in St Francis. I forget his name, it was something Scottish -  McDuff? Macbeth? McGuffey? Maccintosh? I don't know. 
But I wanted to take him with me, he was just so damn awesome!

The only con that comes along with owning these little, robust, high-energetic, life loving breeds, is that they eventually die. And that they lick the body lotion of your legs as soon as you have applied it. WHY?

But, their pros far outweigh the cons. Like the way they cock their heads to one side when you scratch them behind the ears; or when they leave the room for five minutes and upon return act like they haven't seen you for hours. How about when they have entire conversations with you? They have more personality that some humans I know. They are loyal and loving and they love spending time with their humans, being on the couch with you, or going for jogs, and car rides. (You have to see my car's doors; scratched to pieces from Mila hanging out the window)

But, lately, I have experienced some terrible prejudice towards Mila, my Staffordshire.

Scene 1

When I go for jogs with my dogs, I don't put them on leashes, because although they have been taught to walk nicely on a leash, running is a different thing. And they just love exploring! My dogs never run away from me, just sniff something and run back to tell me that they found something and when I tell them to heed, they heed.

I often go for jogs around a dam near our house; early mornings, as there are fewer people and dogs. However, on my one particular jog, a lady - running with her husband - literally froze when she saw Mila. He asked me to hold my dog, because they want to pass, his wife is scared of staffies.

On the same morning, I had to run around the dam a few times more than planned, because there was a woman with a Great Dane, on a leash, who looked very worried about my staffie not being on a leash. Every time I saw her, I had to turn around. Eventually I grew tired of running in circles and decided to pass her - my dogs still unleashed.

She said that she was scared of passing us, as about two weeks prior, her Dane was attacked by two pittbulls that looked like Mila. One, I have nothing against pitt bulls, but I'm pretty sure they aren't brindle. Two, the pitts owner should have taken better control of their dogs.

And three, my dogs are socialised with other dogs. I would never take them off a leash if this wasn't the case. The only dog Mila cannot tolerate is our neighbour's Yorkshire terrier, who torments her!

Scene 2

I was watering my outside garden earlier this week. Mila joined me outside, leashless, because she loves playing with water. I recently noticed a couple that walks their three bullterriers, those ones with the long faces, every afternoon. Unfortunately, I was outside at the same time they were walking their dogs and Mila saw, no heard, them. The man was frantically screaming "oh shit, oh shit, oh shit."

I must say it looks very intimidating when a staffie storms towards other people, but I know Mila just wanted to play and make new friends, because that is who and what she is. I told the guy to calm down, she won't do anything, just want to say hi to his bullies.

The guy then proceeds to tell me that he freaked out because he knows how vicious Staffies are and he was scared that she might bite him.

Excuse me, you are walking a muzzled dog here, and my staffie is roaming free. Who has the vicious dog? I was thinking that, not saying it out loud.

 It makes me sad to know that there are people out there that are scared of this breed. They are enthusiastic little energy monsters who like to lick every piece of exposed skin on your body. I've already converted my husband to loving and defending staffies, as well as converted a close friend. I wish I could convert the rest of the world. Still, I'm glad that staffies don't get the same treatment as pitts, which is just as wrong. Those myths also need to be busted.

If you want to know more about owning a Pitt bull, check out Gaelyn's post here.


Monique Keulemans said...

What if the dog on a leash is beast agressive, as my boy sadly is? Isn't it dangerous for Mila to approach them? I walk my dogs with 2 leashes on each, collar and a harnass with a 'handle' should I need to pick either one up, but one can only do so much if another dog comes into his space. I try and do as much as I can to prevent any interactions with other dogs, like turning around and changing route if I see an offleash dog, but there is only so much one can do? There are brindle pits, they are just not very common here.

Sad for the well socialised (way to go for doing that) pups, amstaffs, pits and staffies all get thrown in the same category for having 'muscular heads and square jaw lines' - the basis of bsl in america.

Megan said...

This adds some well needed perspective to this post, thank you Monique. i have replied to you on Facebook, but I will also share my reply here:

I know Mila goes into the other dog's space, but she will never be aggressive. She is the perfect dog when it comes to fostering because we have had a lot of different dogs on our year end all she wants to do is play.

Just to add and clarify, I never have her off of her leash when we are walking, because she wants to run to all the other dogs. It's only when I run, or when I am on my own property, when she is not leashed. As I also mentioned, she is well socialised, and when the day comes when she actually attacks another dog, I will be utterly surprised.

Megan said...

*just to fix* on our yard and

Claudz said...

My in-laws have similar issues with other people and their dogs when they take their Boxer to the park. People are strange....

Good luck!

Gaelyn Cokayne said...

Thanks for the mention of my pit bull post! I wish more people would take the time to educate themselves about the different breeds, and what they are actually known for! We grew up with staffies, the most amazing family dogs. Any breed has the potential to have beautiful manners and great socialisation skills, and some will never get it right! Being a responsible pet owner - regardless of the breed - is about knowing your animal and caring for him the best way possible!

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