a gentle somewhat nervous dog

Stonker

Stonker on the left is a seven year old Staffie. Up until a couple of years ago before coming to his new home he was used as a stud dog. Bella, now six months, joined them as a puppy. Since then poor Stonker’s life has not been plagued by her.

He is a very gentle and somewhat nervous dog. He doesn’t like lots of people, noise or commotion. He can get very anxious and was panting for a lot of the time I was there.

Bella hasn’t a care in the world. She is a typical rather pushy pup. In the house she will not leave poor Stonker alone, jumping on him and trying to play fight. He is severely stressed with this, so he goes and hides. Much of the time now he’s in hiding.

Lying down at last

Bella

When I arrived Bella was flying all over the place and trying to jump all over me. It was impossible to stop her and I don’t believe in any shouting or pointless ignored commands, so I put a light lead on her collar. It is surprising how some dogs calm down immediately even if the lead isn’t being held. Bella stopped jumping about, she left Stonker alone and very soon she gave a long sigh and lay down – as you see in the picture – something that never happens when they have visitors.  I’m sure she was relieved to know where the boundaries lay.

Consequently Stonker joined us. His panting stopped and he relaxed – that is until the gentleman walked out of the room when he started panting and looking distressed again. You can see anxiety in those eyes. By their own actions and behaviour towards Stonker, his humans can help him.

Staffies have a reputation that in my mind is completely undeserved. I have been to thousands of dogs. In spite of being nervous, shy or scared, few have been aggressive – probably fewer than dogs of many other breeds. Because they are stocky, biddable and strong, and resembling fighting dogs to look at, they have been abused by idiots.

About a month later: Stonker is slowly becoming a new dog he is spending more time on the sofa and out the crate when we home bit by bit now and if he does go to hide he doesn’t stay in it like he normally would he will come in and out of it and he is panting less now. They are slowly starting to interact more the other night I was outside with them and Bella had the ball in her mouth…he got hold of the other end of the ball and they played tug of war with it both tail wagging and then after they had a little game of chase where they just ran round the garden both looked very happy. There was one night when Stonker was on the sofa Bella came up and Stonker did not run away and they both settled next to each other for about 10 mins before Bella went to pester…I see the progress they have both made. We are relaxing more ourselves now and coming home from work is more pleasurable as it not as hectic as it used to be.
I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.