It’s essential to alter people’s perceptions of this frequently misunderstood breed because the number of unwanted Staffordshire Bull Terriers is rising.
Unfortunately, the Staffy’s reputation has suffered over the last few years because of an increase in their breeding as status dogs. Because they are typically powerful and stocky, they became the preferred breed for people looking for a dog that can intimidate.
Before this, however, people often referred to them as “the nanny dog” because they were well-suited to families and how much they loved children. Most Staffies entering rescue organisations are human-loving, affectionate dogs that would be an excellent addition to any caring and responsible family.
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How a Staffy appears is the dilemma facing Staffies and why so many end up in shelters in the UK. They look intimidating but are not and, therefore, useless for people that need an aggressive or intimidating dog.
Why Do So Many Staffies Get Abandoned?
Sadly, most reasons for abandoning Staffies are not the dog’s fault.
Training: Many people don’t realise how much training goes into owning a Staffy.
Staffies need committed owners prepared to put in the necessary time to establish rules, limitations, and boundaries and to spend time training and socialising.
Housetraining puppies also takes a lot of time and patience. When an owner fails to satisfy these needs, the result is a Staffy with behavioural problems.
Changes in Circumstances: Other frequent causes for people surrendering their Staffies to shelters include losing their jobs, getting divorced, welcoming a new child, or experiencing health problems.
Costs: Pets can be pricey due to vet bills, boarding, food, toy, and grooming costs. Many owners underestimate how much money owning a Staffy will cost, mainly if there are special needs or health concerns.
Moving Home: Sometimes people have to move home, and there are numerous reasons for that. But it often impacts the situation with their pets. The new landlord might be unwilling to accept pets, and finding rentals that accept pets can be difficult.
Lack of Time: We all lead busy lives, and taking care of a Staffy requires setting aside lots of time.
One of the main reasons Staffies end up in shelters is because their owners find they have less time to take care of the dog’s needs.
Staffies in Shelters
It’s difficult to put an exact figure together of how many Staffies are in UK shelters at any one time. The latest estimate is that up to 80% of all dogs in UK shelters are either Staffies or Staffy crosses.
Here is an example of how bad things are for this dog breed. The Blue Cross, one of the UK’s best-known animal rescue organisations, takes in around 400 Staffies annually. They receive many more calls from Staffy owners wanting to put their dogs into the shelter. Blue Cross estimate it takes 23% longer to rehome Staffies than any other dog breed.
There are many more shelters throughout the UK that rescue Staffies, so you can see how terrible the situation is for these dogs.
How to Find Unwanted Staffordshire Bull Terriers
Undoubtedly, the best way to find unwanted Staffordshire Bull Terriers is to contact your local animal shelters. Ask if they are currently looking to rehome any Staffies. Based on the numbers of Staffies in shelters, the odds are that they will have several that need a loving home.
Our advice would be to avoid travelling too far when looking for a suitable shelter. You will need to spend as much time visiting the dog to ensure you are both a good fit for each other.
Before bringing home a Staffy, spend a lot of time with it. Ensure you have plenty of time to train, watch over, and nurture it.
Contact the shelter and discuss the rules they apply to the adoption and what you need to supply to them to prove you would make an excellent dog parent. The shelter will also fill you in on the cost of adopting a Staffy (it’s not free), the vaccinations, microchipping and neutering or spaying of the dog.
Even though there are hundreds of Staffies awaiting adoption, the shelters have a rigorous procedure. They want to ensure the dogs go to the best possible homes. The last thing shelters want is a new owner returning the Staffy to the shelter.