Two Staffies sitting on the doormatStaffies have a very bad press – mostly to do with (dare I say it) stupid humans. I try not to generalise too much about any breed because there are so may exceptions, but I would say that Staffies by and large are friendly and gentle – with humans. To other dogs may be another matter. The problem of dogs bred for the wrong reasons from unreliable stock, parents who are chosen for their aggression towards other dogs for instance, has resulted in the rescue centres being inundated with Staffordshire Bull Terriers. I love them. Just look at the photo of these two. They are so wanting to please!

Candy is laid back and would be very happy were it not for severe allergy problems. Alfie is friendly, gentle, biddable, a bit pushy with his persistent jumping up and also quite easily scared.

However, unlike Candy, he has the so-called Staffie trait of being ‘aggressive’ to other dogs. In Alfie’s case I am sure this is fear. As a three-month old puppy he came already with scars, and he is fearful of quite a lot of things.

The owners would like to be able to walk Alfie as nicely as they do Candy – on a loose lead and ignoring other dogs, especially as in some months’ time they are expecting a new baby and want to be able to walk both dogs together beside the buggy. Alfie’s jumping up needs to stop along with jumping on the furniture. Loose lead walking needs to be established and his reactivity to other dogs sorted; ignoring them altogether may be the best we will achieve.

This all needs to be well in place before the baby arrives. Both dogs are good with young children so I don’t foresee any problems, particularly if they make sure people associate being around the baby with pleasant things, no scolding or anxiety whilst of course playing safe (see my previous post about Benjie the Westie and their cat). Naturally, dogs and young children and babies should never be left alone together.

From a lovely email five years later! “I just wanted to say a massive thank you. We still pull your guidelines put from time to time and make sure we are doing things correctly. Thanks to your help, Alf is a different dog. Nothing like the little puppy called Tyson we picked up.”
I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.