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British Charity Sees Massive Rise In Adoption Of Misunderstood Breed

bull 3Creativecommons.org/Tom Espen Pedersen

Often mislabelled, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier always seems to get a rough ride.

The public perception of these loving dogs is fueled by the fact that the breed originated in the 17th century when it was exploited for dog-fighting.

However, when dog-fighting was outlawed in 1835, Staffies evolved into reliable family pets, and the Kennel Club acknowledged the breed in 1935.

bull 3Creativecommons.org/Sids1

However, the loving Staffordshire Bull Terrier continues to receive a rough ride, despite the fact that this is an issue all about responsible ownership and media-fuelled public perception. After all, even the cutest little Yorkshire Terrier or Chihuahua can be an absolute terror when it’s in the wrong hands.

Any dog that is bullied into aggression is a dangerous dog.

With the right home, the Staffy’s nature is loyal and loving. In fact, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada’s website reads: “The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the friendliest and silliest breeds in the dog world. They are highly intelligent and extremely submissive to people.”bull 2Creativecommons.org/Ped Saunders

Thankfully, there are signs that things could be turning around for the Staffy, especially in the UK, where a staggering 43 per cent of all dogs that arrive in animal sanctuaries are Staffordshire Bull Terrier-types.

The country’s Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA) has witnessed a huge rise in the number of adoptions of Staffies – an incredible 48 per cent increase in the number of adoptions of bull breed dogs in the first three months of 2014 when compared with the same time last year.
 
Between January and March the charity re-homed 134 Staffies, compared to just 89 Staffies over the same time period in 2013.

“I think Staffies make wonderful pets because they are so adaptable; they fit into almost every environment,” said Anna White of the charity’s Southridge Centre. “It is easy for animal centres to just take on the most popular breeds of dogs, but we try to give everything a chance and take on the most battered, bruised and abused dogs – work with them and then give them another chance in life.

“We adopt Staffies out to adults, to families with children, to households who work and to households where there is someone at home most of the time.

“On top of their flexibility there is their enormous sense of fun, their loyalty and their dedication. When you have a Staffy in your home you never have to look to hard to find it, just turn around and they are so often glued to your heels.

“Their mouths laugh, their eyes laugh and their hearts are full of love for you as their owner. It should not be a ‘man for all seasons’, but a Staffy for all homes.’

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