Over the past few days I’ve been seeing a lot across social media talking about PETA pushing to get the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed banned. Why? Because they think it’s a dangerous breed. It’s not down to negligent owners or owners training their dog to be vicious. It’s a breed just born that way. They couldn’t be more wrong though.
I really think that unless you’ve owned a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or you’ve had one in your life, you really don’t know the true nature of the breed. They’re good around kids, they’re loving and they’re incredibly hyperactive. My family has owned two staffies, and even though they both have had completely different personalities, the similarities are there.
With Misty you could do anything with her, she wasn’t bothered. She was an affectionate pooch who always came for kisses and a fuss, and she was my little Eeyore, lazy and sleepy. She ate a lot of food and as a pup, loved to play. Effie is boisterous and playful, affectionate and full of life. She’ll get the “zoomies” and run around like crazy, she’s always up for play time and she loves my niece and sits by her high chair keeping her company whenever she’s with us. Just like Effie, Misty had the experience of having a baby around her too, Mia was only a toddler when we introduced her into the family and typically Mia would climb all over her, play with her and never left her alone. They grew to have a special bond and Mia misses her dearly.
So lets talk about bad owners
I really believe that any breed of dog can become vicious. It’s not just limited to the pitty category. A bad owner, who only bought the dog with the intention of raising it to be vicious and to look “bad ass” being walked by their dog (because that happens), is the problem, no dog comes out vicious. No dog wants to hurt their owner and definitely not someone else. If a dog were to bite someone because they were protecting their owner, they wouldn’t even be deemed vicious because of the context, so why is an entire breed being scrutinized because of a few cases here and there, which is most likely due to bad owners and negligence?
I’ve seen bad owners. I’ve seen people who stick a dog in it’s crate just so they’re out of the way, and I’ve seen owners who smack their dog with sticks and poles as punishment. I spoke about what to bare in mind when you’re thinking of getting a dog a while ago, and I spoke about not taking punishment too far, and do you honestly think you’re not sending a dog a bit loopy smacking it around and keeping it confined in a tiny cage? Dogs are affectionate beings, they love to be shown affection and especially staffys, all I have to do is give Effie a belly rub and she has the biggest smile on her face for ages afterwards!
A quick Google tells you that a Labrador is more vicious than a staffy too, where’s the call to ban those? Oh right, they’re skinny none muscly attractive dogs blessed with tiny heads and friendly faces, stereotyped as the family dog – not the muscle builders with intimidating faces like Staffys are. Even then though, have you seen a smiling staffy? It’s so damn cute.
As with any breed of dog. This varies from pet to pet. Misty and Effie are both very similar in the sense that they’re both incredibly laid back dogs. Both of them have been quite happy to lie on the sofa all day or lay sunbathing outside. I’ve even had Effie share a bed with me because she’s so cuddly and just wants to be close to us. Staffies are loyal and brave, if I were to cry or show pain in front of Effie she’d come to my aid immediately (as she has done), and even Misty did too with worry in her eyes.
Even though I disagree with banning the breed
I do agree with doing an owner assessment. When you adopt a dog this is always done, however when you’re buying from a breeder it doesn’t tend to happen. I believe there should be a law in which a breeder needs a license to breed, and also when selling a dog, they must conduct the same assessments performed for when you adopt a dog. As in: Will they be living in a suitable environment, is the owner mentally ready to own a dog and can they afford to look after this pet properly?
This in my opinion, would cut down on a lot of dog mistreatment as well as dodgy breeding. I do think that you should adopt, but obviously not everyone is going to do things that way, it’s an impossible ask, so we should at least limit irresponsible breeding and selling.
Any dog can be trained to be vicious. This is a fact. If someone is buying a dog or adopting with the intention of muscling them up and making them as intimidating and scary as possible, they’re going to train them to go for other dogs and be threatening to other humans, it happens and it’s common but it’s also not limited to Staffies.
Frankly, the point I’m getting at here is that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed is not the problem. Their tempermant and personalities are not the problem. It’s dodgy owners, a silly stigma and lies that has built this wrong reputation.