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Our new Staffordshire bull terrier is a living cannonball!

We have had our imported Staffordshire bull terrier pup for only four months.

She was my wife and I’s Christmas gift to ourselves. They have definitely been the best four months ever, full of excitement and activity. Not only are we new restricted breed owners, but we are new dog owners as well.

We made sure to do plenty of research and preparation before we made our breed choice. We knew we had some hoops to jump through with Government, but we did everything that was required of us before we purchased her. We knew before she got here we had our work cut out for us with training and socialisation; we were up for the challenge.

Once she got here, she was everything we expected. A living cannonball (lol) but she was such a sweetheart. She lives for a snuggle and some affection, she lives to please. We took that drive she had and during the time we were off at Christmas vacation were able to get her potty-trained in a week. A smart thing she is.

She is an absolutely great companion for my wife and me and enjoys play time with the other puppy in the house, a miniature dachshund. Everyone in our family accepted her and encouraged us to do right by her, they were aware of the “pit-bull stigma”. I assured everyone that she would be going to training as soon as she was old enough.

Since having her, we have done 12 weeks of training at WindReach with the lovely ladies of Pawsitive Puppies. Since learning from them we have seen consistent progress in her training and obedience. She is still learning her manners and how to manage her excitement but we make steady progress. Patience, persistence and consistency is key. I remind myself everyday that I am the boss.

Since having her, she has not lived up to one bit of the negative stereotype; she is nothing but love and affection. The key to it is so simple training and socialisation. That goes for ALL dogs, not just restricted breeds.

I find it highly unfair and offensive with how restricted breeds are branded. If you take a Yorkie or Jack Russell terrier and chain it outside its entire life, never walk it, never socialise it, you will get the same result as a chained up mastiff or doberman — [an angry] dog ready to go after anything that imposes on its space. Anyone who wants to be a responsible owner should participate in socialisation and training.

It’s important to me that people change the way they look at restricted breeds. They need to look at how and why most dogs behave the way they do, it usually points back to the owners. It’s the owners who should be held responsible and to a higher standard, even start a restricted owner list or something. For new restricted breed owners, there should be a mandatory “Good Citizenship” class that way people can learn how to manage, control and socialise their dogs.

I found Our Misunderstood on Facebook; they had just set up the page that day. I joined because I was now a part of the “Restricted Breed” community. I liked how they are promoting through awareness, because people just simply don’t know. They promote the success stories, articles, information and facts about the breeds on their page. In the media, you only hear about the horror stories. The page is still growing and it would be great to see more support, even if you don’t own a dog or restricted breed or if you are against any form of animal abuse, show support and pass it on.

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Published April 25, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 24, 2013 at 4:50 pm)

Our new Staffordshire bull terrier is a living cannonball!

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