Written on: 20/03/2013
Well I was surprised to see my mother come home one day with a Staffy puppy snuggled up in her arms, especially after all the rumours and news articles about the breed (admittedly I was a bit cautious about them). He was about seven weeks old when he came to us and still crying for his litter mates that he had to leave behind.
We've had him for four years now and he is exactly what I have wanted in a dog. He is very affectionate, he knows his place in the family and knows that he is the lowest in the ranking order (next to the youngest family member who is 6 now) so he is generally well behaved (I say generally because all dogs have their moments and he certainly does too, he does not like having strangers in the house and he'll make as much noise as he can to make this obvious).
He is very playful and was rather easy to train actually (they are very intelligent dogs) and within the first month or two that we had him he was house trained.
He knows how to sit, shake hands (or paws - working on teaching him which paw to give when asked; left or right), beg for treats (if you have one in your hand), he walks well off his lead (unless he encounters another dog, and he only runs up to them to get them to play with him), he knows how to shut a door when asked (usually with brute force), he comes to you when you call him or click your fingers and he loves to cuddle up to members of the family and be fussed.
Unfortunately this breed needs constant training and correcting so yes, they are hard work and yes they will misbehave if you neglect them or neglect their training. I am currently still working on his barking issue; I would appreciate a bit of advice for it. When does he bark? He often sits on the armchair so that he can see out of the window and if he does not like the look of someone (or a car), he will bark and growl as they go past the window. He also does not like the postman or couriers and will bark if they are at the door. I am not sure how to deal with his dislike for strangers either.
Overall a loving, protective and rewarding breed of dog, they do not deserve the bad reputation that they have been given and those who purchase an individual of this breed should be prepared for their needs and training; you cannot just buy one of these and expect it to behave. It won't.
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