BREED INFORMATION

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BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER
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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an intense, energetic dog with exceptional strength and stamina.
He has been described as: .
  • Versatile
  • Highly Intelligent
  • Determined
  • Fearless
  • Confident
  • Tenacious
  • Loyal
  • Affectionate with family especially children
  • Devoted
  • Dependable
  • Tolerant
  • Adaptable
  • Demanding
  • Totally Reliable

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THE ORIGIN, DEVELOPMENT AND PURPOSE OF THE STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER
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The first two champions of the breed. Ch Gentleman Jim (left) and Ch Lady Eve. Both titled 4th May 1939

 A typical working foundry scene

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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the smallest and most compact of the bull breeds, breathed life in the early 1800s and is a cross between the bulldog of that day and the old English Terrier, a now extinct breed. Impoverished miners and ironworkers of Staffordshire, then a poor industrious county famous for its rich coal and iron deposits, cultivated the breed and the core character traits of the Stafford - boldness, fearlessness and reliability emerged. In contrast to the Black Country landscapes (a legacy due to the smoke from the many thousands of iron working foundries and forges) Staffordshire boasts pottery giants Royal Doulton and Wedgewood and whilst Josiah Wedgewood was slaving away at his kiln in the 1700s, just down the road the Staffords' forebears were probably being readied for another round of bull-baiting. It was thought beef would be tough unless the beast was 'hot' before slaughter and so Staffordshire Bull Terriers were developed to tease cattle. Whether an honest belief or an excuse for cruelty, bull-baiting was a popular pastime, later replaced by dog fights. Today's dog, however, is literally centuries away.
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With the introduction of the Humane Act in 1835 thankfully these horrific bloodsports were officially outlawed. Since dogfights were cheaper to organize and far easier to conceal from the law than bull or bear baits, bloodsport proponents turned to pitting their dogs one against another instead. Dog fighting was used as both a bloodsport (often involving gambling) and as an effort to continue to test the quality of their stock. It is this exceedingly cruel history that gives the Staffordshire Bull Terrier his celebrated temperament, as in the words of the American Kennel Club: "from the past history of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the modern dog draws its character of indomitable courage, high intelligence, and tenacity. This, coupled with its affection for its friends, and children in particular, its off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability, makes it a foremost all-purpose dog''.

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AUSTRALIAN HISTORY

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In 1951 Mr and Mrs W Stevens emigrated from England, bringing with them a pair of Staffordshire Bull Terriers named “Tinkers China” and “Bills Hope”. Both were “J” line. Intending to settle in Queensland, they sailed first into Melbourne then Sydney and contacted the Controls and registered the pair as the first of the breed to be recorded. In Queensland their prefix “Westaff” was the first to be recorded. A litter from the pair was born in quarantine. Early fanciers of prominence were Mr J Johnson (Raijoh), Mr R Orpin from Bundaberg (Nipro) who imported a bitch named Loggerheads Jeannie from NZ in the late fifties, and Dr I Lamb (Rettendon) who bought her pet bitch, Brindle Babs of Bandits, with her when emigrating in 1958. Another fancier Mrs A Knight (Kumbari) who made up the first Australian champion of the breed called Ch Westaff Red Devil (Tinkers China x Bills Hope). In 1961 Rettendon imported another bitch from NZ named Redheads Gigi. In 1966 the breed was given a much needed boost by the arrival of a pet dog owned by Mr R Pavey named Constones Cadet Again. In 1967 Dr L Davidson (Olmoday) imported Linksbury Modesty Blaize (UK) and Lydes Jaguar of Linksbury (UK) as puppies. In 1969 Olmoday imported another bitch, Linksbury Isola of Olmoday (UK). The combination of these dogs improved the breed enormously in Queensland and filtered interstate during the early ‘70s where they also made their mark. Other imports during the early ‘70’s included Loggerheads Jickory (NZ), Ramlyn Tomahawk of Linksbury (UK) and Loggerheads Gewalt (NZ) was acquired by Olmoday between 1970 and 1974. During the later ‘70s fanciers bought stock from interstate, these included Crossguns Justice by Mrs M Murry (Boyendale), Crossguns Deputy Winks for the Mackay area by R and D Jenks (Pitstaff), and for the Cairns area Crossguns Newman Noggs by R and R Bowen (Safbown).
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The ‘80s have seen many imports, 1981 Red Ruby (UK), owned by M Douglas (Headstart), 1985 Pitstaff imported Eastaff Bruiser (UK), both these dogs are making their mark throughout Australia. In 1986 T Sinn introduced Crossguns Mr Cobbs and Havildar of Tarlair (NZ) and a bitch, Aanjuli of Tarlair (NZ). In 1988 R and D Jenks (Pitstaff) brought in Eastaff Likey Lad. These can only contribute to the advancement of our chosen breed. The popularity of the Staffordshire has reached huge proportions resulting in large entries at most shows where they usually have the highest entry in the terrier group. They have come a long way from their humble beginnings, and are now a force to be reckoned with in competition with other breeds.

Courtesy Queensland Dog World September 1988

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TEMPERAMENT
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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented of all the terrier breeds, without doubt one of the most stereotyped in regards to exaggerated temperaments. Ironically, this frequent tabloid targeted and assassinated breed is Australia’s most popular terrier as well as one of the countries most loved breeds.

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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a breed that has many supporters and perhaps just as many cynics. Over the generations the Stafford has put his fighting history behind him and his other famous trait, as a loving family member, has earned him a place in the hearts of many. Stafford owners recommend their dogs as confident, people-loving dogs. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is intelligent, energetic and courageous, and is renowned for being exceptionally good with children. Highly affectionate and loyal to their owners, Staffords are also welcoming to new people.
Often held responsible for many of the unpleasant attacks reported on humans and other animals, the Stafford can polarize public opinion. When spoken of, people will generally fall into one of two camps, those strongly for the breed and those strongly against. Personally you have nothing to fear from a Stafford (except maybe personal ignorance and prejudice) as his fighting past was purely as a combatant towards other dogs and not as an aggressor to man. It should be noted that whilst generally not the aggressor of a quarrel he will respond if challenged. They were, after all, a man made gladiatorial breed developed at a time when man was less than humane to man and definitely less accommodating towards their animals.
  Staffords will do anything to please their human friends and can be relied upon to uphold their Breed Standard at all times. They are highly intelligent and affectionate especially with children. One concern for existing and potential owners of this breed is the negative media hysteria that arises from time to time. As advocates of this wonderful breed it is essential that ALL owners diffuse this hysteria and educate the detractors of the breed to the correct and wonderful Stafford temperament. The greatest disservice we can do to the breed is tolerate dogs with bad temperaments towards people. It should be noted the cross breeds generally have the market of this offence.
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A Stafford will generally not be an effective guard dog simply because the breed assumes human intentions are honest intentions, regretfully sometimes to their detriment. The Stafford will passionately defend its family from physical harm, conversely, uninterested in worldly possessions, he will gladly show any burglar your best silver with the distinct Stafford grin and the jaunty air of self confidence the breed is renowned for.
Staffords are a breed that very much needs family interaction. They are not a dog that can be left alone in the backyard to amuse themselves. Being an active breed they love to have a regular walk (a long walk once a day is sufficient though of course they will welcome more), a ride in the car and in general be included in your family's day to day routine activities. We will never come into contact with another breed of dog that will show as much faithfulness, companionship and loyalty as the Stafford. 
As part of Responsible Dog Ownership it is imperative to train them to behave in public and respect other dogs. Puppies can be easily trained to obey house rules and obedience training can be an excellent avenue to provide socialisation with other animals. A Stafford that has been raised with other pets will foster an eternal friendship. Nurturing responsibility with discipline and avoid abusing the Staffords potential for aggression is pivotal to achieve the correct disposition. Inevitably when the vandals of the world come into possession of the breed, inflicting misery and menace, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier's temperament is a reflection of its owner, treated correctly he is bold, fearless and totally reliable, treated callously, he will mirror his owners malicious intent towards society.

Are you bold, fearless and totally reliable?

Written by Brookshire Staffords (updated June 2007)

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APPEARANCE
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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium sized stocky (not fat), muscular dog that exudes character, strength and athletic ability. You can find a description of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Standard on the ANKC website.

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HEALTH ISSUES
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Staffordshire Bull Terriers are generally considered very healthy dogs. As we can see from their past history, it really has been the survival of the fittest and toughest and the responsible breeder attempts to maintain this high standard. However the breed is not immune to harmful genetic diseases. Responsible breeders with the support of the ANKC and other breeders are attempting to selectively breed out these hereditary afflictions. When purchasing a Staffordshire Bull Terrier from registered breeders (unfortunately not all breeders are registered with the ANKC and these breeders generally refrain from health testing breeding stock) do not be afraid to ask the breeder about their stock, their breeding practices nor be afraid on insisting to see health certificates.
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bullet L2HGA - L2HGA affects the central nervous system, with clinical signs usually apparent between 6 months and one year (although they can appear later). Symptoms include epileptic seizures, "wobbly" gait, tremors, muscle stiffness as a result of exercise or excitement and altered behaviour. Genetic Testing available.
bullet Hereditary Cataracts (also called Juvenile Cataracts) - Hereditary Cataract in Staffordshire Bull Terriers has been recognised as an inherited condition since the late 1970’s. Affected dogs develop cataracts in both eyes at an early age. The condition is not congenital, so the lenses are normal at birth but cataracts appear at a few weeks to months in age, progressing to total cataract (and resulting blindness) by 2 to 3 years of age. Genetic Testing available.
bullet Distichiasis - Sometimes the condition is referred to as a double row of eyelashes, for extra hairs arise from the edge of the eyelid to rub against the corneal surface. The effects are variable and mild irritation to corneal ulceration will be seen. Normally corrected through surgical procedure.
bullet Entropian - Primarily an inherited condition. It is due to an excess of eyelid tissue, or a small eye, or both, the result being that a varying amount of hair-covered eyelid can turn in to rub directly against the cornea or conjunctiva, or both. It is usually extremely painful, and the damage caused to the cornea can render the eye blind. Most dogs are affected by six months of age and in some the signs of the problem (excessive blinking and a wet face) may be seen within the first month of life. Occasionally the condition is self-correcting as the puppy grows, but in the vast majority of affect dogs surgery is necessary to turn the eyelid away from the surface of the eye. Usually such surgery is successful, but it is much better that, as with the other inherited eyelid defects, breeders try to avoid producing this condition in their stock.
bullet Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous (PHPV) - This is a congenital condition (present from birth) in which there is a developmental defect in the normal regression of some of the intraocular structures of the eye. PHPV can range from being very mild to severe abnormalities which may lead to blindness. Genetic testing currently being developed.
bullet Hip Dysplasia - Hip Dysplasia is a genetic disease because of the various degrees of arthritis (also called degenerative joint disease, arthrosis, osteoarthrosis) it can eventually produce leading to pain and debilitation. No one can predict when or even if a dysplastic dog will start showing clinical signs of lameness due to pain. There are multiple environmental factors such as caloric intake, level of exercise, and weather that can affect the severity of clinical signs and phenotypic expression (radiographic changes). There is no rhyme or reason to the severity of radiographic changes correlated with the clinical findings. There are a number of dysplastic dogs with severe arthritis that run, jump, and play as if nothing is wrong and some dogs with barely any arthritic radiographic changes that are severely lame. No genetic testing available.

IS THE STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER THE CORRECT DOG FOR YOU?
Before you buy a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy it is wise to ensure that this is the correct dog for you and your family. The Stafford is renowned for its affinity with humans and is particularly good with children. He is therefore a dog who is more comfortable sharing your home or indeed your lap, than spending long periods of time on his own in a kennel. It should be borne in mind that the cute little puppy you first brought home will mature into a powerful and muscular animal and the males particularly, require a strong arm to control the lead. Staffords love human contact and will often be boisterous with visitors - you have to be prepared for the fact that not all your friends will appreciate this. Having a dog is a lot of extra work and responsibility and you need to be sure that you wish to commit yourself to your dog's welfare for its lifespan, which on average is between 10 -12 years.

Because of its close relationship with humans the Stafford does not make a good guard dog and is not suited to being left for long periods without outside stimulation. The Stafford has a colourful history and it is to be remembered that whilst they love people, they will react if challenged by another dog. For this reason you must always be a responsible owner and never take your dog into a public place unless he is on a collar and lead. Always ensure the collar and lead is of sufficient strength to withstand the wear and tear to which it will be subjected (leather or nylon webbing are ideal). The collar should be of sufficient width so as not to cut into your dogs neck, and neither uncomfortably tight nor so loose as to pull over his head in one of those 'stubborn' moments. In addition, you must you must ensure that your garden is secure and 'dog-proof; Staffords have no fear of traffic and all to often become road accident victims. Puppies require a lot of time and patience and two to raise will require double the effort and twice the patience. It is recommended that where there are two or more Staffords in a household, that they are separated if left unattended for any length of time.

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Of course there are many positive virtues owning a Stafford - he is a dog with special qualities which makes him an ideal family dog. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is well suited to a close living relationship with its human companions - he is highly intelligent and thrives on a one-to-one basis, being ever eager to please and he will give you a lifetime of devotion.
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Where Can I Buy a Puppy ?
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Now that you have decided that a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the dog for you, where is the best place to obtain a puppy? A good first point of contact is to refer to the enclosed list of SBT Breed Club Secretaries and speak to someone in your area who will be able to advise on available litters from bona - fide breeders. Take time to meet other owners by attending shows and the local Breed Club handling class where you can see other dogs and formulate an idea of the colour and type you prefer. Look at as many litters as you can, where possible try to see the parents and satisfy yourself that the type and temperament is consistent with the Breed Standard and ensure both parents are KC Registered. Perhaps the best time to see a puppy is at around 6 weeks of age when they should be fully weaned and typically boisterous and outgoing. ( It may be helpful to take someone along with you who is familiar with the breed, but the final choice should be yours ). A puppy is best left with his mother until between 7 and 8 weeks of age, following which he will be ready to go out into the big wide world and that is when the work begins in earnest for the new 'parents'.
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Collecting your Puppy / Settling into the New Home
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At the time of collecting your new puppy the responsible breeder will have wormed the litter and be able to provide you with the date/type of wormer used and details of follow up treatment and a copy of the Pedigree. Try to collect your puppy as early as possible in the day (preferably before a feed ) so that you have the longest possible time to settle him into his new home. It is advisable to take a small cardboard box lined with newspaper or a piece of 'vetbed' to keep your puppy warm and secure on the journey home. Make sure you have checked his diet and have purchased food and a suitable bed/bedding in advance. Do remember to contact your local veterinary practice to make an appointment for puppy's inoculations and check up (the inoculations are administered in two parts at around 9 and 12 weeks). During this time your puppy cannot come into contact with other dogs or during the week following the last injection. The first night away from mum and his brothers and sisters can be quite traumatic but don't be tempted to let him sleep in your bed or get up to him in the night; these are patterns that are hard to break in the future, and he will quickly settle down and adjust to his new way of life. You will find it helpful to maintain a good relationship with the breeders through photographs and regular updates and they, in turn, will be able to provide you with help and advice as your puppy grows.
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Feeding / Teething / Training / Exercise
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You should take advice from your puppy's breeder but the following is a guide to some aspects of looking after your puppy:-
A young puppy will initially be on four meals a day, comprising: milk / meat/ meat / milk to coincide with breakfast / lunch / dinner / supper, with a puppy complete added to the meat mixture to ensure a balanced diet. As a guide you can reduce your puppy's meals by omitting lunch at around 4 months, then supper at 6 months until by 9 months he is on one main meal, usually fed in the evening. In addition, fresh drinking water should be available at all times.

When puppy is teething he will want something to chew and if left unattended for any length of time he will become bored and your skirting board or chair leg will become the object of his attentions. This can be minimised by providing toys ( not too small and not containing metal pieces that could be swallowed as the toy breaks up ), and of course by giving him time and attention. In addition, when used properly, dog cages can be helpful at this time, as the confine the puppy whilst you are out and until you can be there to supervise him. Dogs are not meant to be kept cooped up in cages for long periods of time, or in cages that are not sufficiently large enough to allow free movement. Therefore if you do use a cage - please don't abuse it.

The breeder may have already begun basic training of your puppy by allowing him to differentiate between the 'vetbed' for sleeping and the newspaper placed in the run for his toilet. Patience is required when toilet training your puppy - always take him to the door following feeding and allow him to go into the garden, praise him when he has done well and he will soon get the idea. During the night it is best to place newspaper near to the back door which minimises the mess and encourages him to go to the door when he wants to do his business.
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Your puppy will thrive on play time but don't give him anything too hard to chew whilst he has milk teeth as this could cause damage, and don't allow him to hang off a rubber ring when young, as his bones are still very flexible. If you have children please ensure that they realise that this is a living animal with feeling and not a toy; they should be taught to respect the dog. Don't let them wake him when he is sleeping or constantly handle him when he is awake. It is unwise to leave Children of any age unsupervised with a young puppy. A puppy's milk teeth are razor sharp and he should be discourage from biting as it can be very painful. Staffords are very sensitive and if chastisement is necessary a very effective method is a rolled up newspaper - usually the sight is sufficient to act as a deterrent. Otherwise let them know by the firm tone of your voice; that is all that should be required.
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Don't be tempted to subject your puppy to too much rigorous exercise. Prior to six months of age he will only require light exercise with free running and light lead work and no intensive roadwork. During this time a puppy's bones are soft and 'too much too young' can result in malformed limbs. Exercise should gradually be increased so that by around 12 months he will be able to accompany you on long walks without distress.
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In Conclusion
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The information contained in these notes is not meant to be exhaustive, but we hope they provide helpful guidance on the purchasing and early stages of raising your new Stafford. Congratulations on selecting this wonderful breed of dog. I am sure you will find in him a true companion and life-long friend, you will have lots of fun together and your life will undoubtedly never be quite the same again. Remember : You're never alone with a Stafford !

Written by Jenny Smith. Edited from an article courtesy SBT Breed Council of GB and Northern Ireland 

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THE A - Z OF THE STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER

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A - Australia’s favourite terrier. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (SBT) is renowned for his reliable temperament and affection for both his family and friends. He has been a popular choice of Australian families for many, many years.
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B - Bold, fearless and totally reliable especially with children. This very important phrase is used in the SBT Breed Standard. (The Breed Standard is a set of guidelines used to ensure that the animals produced by breeders conform to the specifics of the breed).
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C - Registered colours of SBT include red, fawn, white, black or blue or any one of these colours with white and any shade of brindle or any shade of brindle with white. Potential owners of the breed should be aware coat colour has no bearing on price and that there are no rare colours in Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
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D - Dog Shows are a great way to learn about any breed. They are held most weekends at Erskine Park (Western Sydney) as well as at Hillsborough (Newcastle). Come along, chat to breeders, meet the dogs, learn about the SBT and have a great family day out at the same time.

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E - Exercise, Energy and Early socialisation. The SBT requires moderate exercise for their overall wellbeing. This doesn’t mean marathon runs although they can easily keep up with their human counterparts in that department! A gentle walk/stroll for up to an hour will suffice and will relieve boredom (boredom quickly leads to destructive behaviour). Puppies younger than 12 months should never be exposed to this much exercise. Early socialisation (puppy pre-school) is also a benefit to the breed. Teaching young pups correct manners from early puppyhood assists in making them good canine citizens.

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F - Fenced yards is most definitely a necessity with the breed. Because of his popularity the SBT makes a potentially easy target for thieves. These dogs are then sold on to unsuspecting families. Some SBTs have also been known to be stolen by criminal gangs who use these poor dogs for illegal purposes.

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G - What Gender should I get? Is one better then the other? What we have noticed is that whatever gender you have been raised with in your childhood tends to predetermine your personal preference. Both the male and female SBT have equal qualities and one isn’t superior to the other. What we do recommend is early desexing. Entire males can roam neighbourhoods and cause disturbances whilst the females (when in season) can attract a constant flow of unwelcome doggie suitors to your backyard.

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H - The SBT is a robust and Healthy breed however he can suffer from some genetic diseases. Responsible breeders with the support of the ANKC and other breeders are attempting to selectively breed out these hereditary diseases. When purchasing a SBT from registered breeders (unfortunately not all breeders are registered with the ANKC and generally refrain from health testing breeding stock) do not be afraid to ask the breeder about their stock, their breeding practices nor be afraid to ask to see health certificates.

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I - Irresponsible owners. Unfortunately due to the popularity of the breed he is not immune to the undesirable owner and unfortunately this minority stereotypes the entire SBT fraternity. It is also this minority who typecasts the apparent savagery of the breed. See Responsible Dog Ownership. 
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J - A Jovial breed. The SBT rarely has a day off or an off day. The breed possess a magical quality that yearns for human companionship. He is happy to go for a walk, ride in the car or snuggle on the couch with his owner/s. It is often said that when this happy-go-lucky soul is around you are never really alone.
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K - Kids. This is where the breed really comes into its element. As has been said before the SBT has always been a popular choice for Australian families and this tradition looks set to continue. A reliable all purpose family breed, the SBT has an affinity with children and he is their protector and confidant. A SBT yearns for affection from his family and friends and to be frank needs this interaction for his well-being. The SBT is very much child-proof and can handle the punishment young children often inflict. It is highly recommended, as with all breeds, that supervision is always practiced. In a nutshell no child should be left unattended with any animal.
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L - Learn about the breed. The breed has a truly interesting history. He is a man-made breed and was a cross between the bulldog of the day (not the current Bulldog) and the now extinct Old English Terrier. He was developed in an era when man was less than humane to man and definitely less accommodating towards animals. The breed was originally bred to maul bulls (somehow it was thought of a way to tenderise the meat) at the marketplace. Unfortunately the breed was also gambled on by poverty stricken commoners (as well as royalty) on the then popular ‘sport’ of dogfighting – these barbaric acts were thankfully outlawed in 1835. The breed was recognised by The Kennel Club (UK) in 1935.   
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M The Media reports portray the SBT as a savage, people biting menace. With their current popularity as Australia’s number 1 terrier, it seems quite illogical that these sensational and incorrect media reports targets this popular dog breed as a threat to society. Newspaper reports fail to advise the reader of their statistics, how the results are obtained nor does it mention the fantastic work that SBTs are involved in eg Pets As Therapy Dogs in nursing homes, retirement homes and hospitals. Sensational journalism – most definitely. Accurate journalism – not a chance!

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N - Naughtiness. The SBT, whilst a clown, will become destructive if bored. Many innocent pot plants, garden lawns, garden ornaments (including the happy-go-lucky gnome) etc have fallen foul to a bored dog. We recommend that puppies as well as adult dogs have distractions that they can focus their attention and energy on. A sturdy ‘indestructible’ toy can be his best friend (or a bad enemy that has to be dealt with).  
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O - Old Wives Tales. There are many, many media generated fallacies in regards to the SBT. Some of the classics that spring to mind are: - once a SBT bites the dog will never let go, hate other dogs, will always start a fight, will hate other pets in the household, are the most dangerous dog around toddlers, will bite if they are patted, always affected by skin conditions, can turn on and attack their owners, the scent of blood drives them into a frenzy. Total nonsense – you betcha!
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P - Is a Stafford a Pitbull? The American Pit Bull Terrier or APBT can range from 14" to 19" in height. The ancestry of the Amstaff and the APBT have one breed in common, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. From the time the Pit Bull Terrier was introduced to America, it was crossed with various fighting dogs. Their breeders, following the tradition of secrecy, kept no written records, such as pedigrees, and refused to sell to the general public. In effect the term Pitbull refers to an unidentifiable cross breed that was built for purpose rather than following a particular Breed Standard.   
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Q - A Quizzical soul. The breed has a unique ability to rush in where angels fear to tread. His confidence of life and his determination to explore the unexplored can often see his poor owner end up looking very pale! These wandering souls have been found in drains, neighbours yards, schoolyards (where he is petted and the centre of attention) in the middle of roads and on your front step waiting for your return! Hence the fully fenced and inescapable backyard is a necessity.
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R - Responsible Pet Ownership is easily achievable and it relies on good old fashioned commonsense.
 The 10 commandments of RPO: -
  • Feed an adequate and well balanced diet
  • Supply clean cool water at all times
  • Provide a cosy dry sleeping area
  • Provide your dog with regular exercise and allow the pet regular family contact
  • Protect the health of your dog particularly vaccinations, regular worm control including heartworm for dogs and control of fleas and ticks
  • Register your dog with the local council and ensure the registration tag and your name and address are on the collar. Registration with your local Council is required by law and also provides the best form of identification should your pet be lost
  • Confine your dog to your property at all times (and always on a lead when in public)
  • Train your dog so that it is not a nuisance to neighbours eg barking
  • Desex your dog
  • Ensure someone is able to look after your dog when you are on holidays
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S - Suitability. Not all people are suitable to own a SBT. Do you have sufficient time to devote to a dog? Do you enjoy a dog that actively seeks human companionship? Do you enjoy physical activities with a dog with high energy levels? Are you able to devote time to training and socialization on a daily basis? Will you be content with a dog that may not be able to interact with other dogs? Will you be content if your dog must always be on leash when in public places? Are you willing to help educate the public about the true nature of the breed? Are you aware of and willing to help combat breed specific legislation in your area? If you can’t fulfil any of these basic requirement the SBT may not be your ideal breed.

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T - A Talkative breed. The breed is (for lack of a better word!) quite talkative. He has a wide range of vocal utterances that are used frequently that display his emotions. SBT owners know only too well the language that is sometimes used by this humorous breed.
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U - Have you considered Undertaking dog sports with the SBT? The SBT is well represented in Flyball, Agility and Obedience. A smart, no nonsense attitude has seen the SBT compete successfully against the traditionalists of these sports eg Border Collies. A breed that is happy to please his human friends sees the SBT, week in and week out, gain the respect of his sporting rivals.

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V - A Versatile and adaptable breed. The SBT can adapt to almost any situation with ease. Whilst a yard is ideal for the SBT, he will cope well in smaller living conditions provided he is given plenty of exercise and attention.

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W - Why not visit a SBT club Website in every state? Some sites are regularly updated with doggy going ons and have loads of information in regards to the SBT.
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X - X Breeds (now also known as Designer Dogs) unfortunately cause the majority of reported attacks and hospitalisations. While the cross breed fraternity forms a large percentage of family pets and the majority of these are cherished companions, care does need to be taken with dogs of unknown temperaments and origins.
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Y - You may have noticed SBT puppies are regular fixtures in the For Sale section of the classifieds. Were you aware that breeders recognised by Dogs NSW Ltd (the NSW governing dog affiliate) are bound by strict Code of Ethics that can protect puppy purchasers. The majority of registered breeders health test to eradicate hereditary diseases. Responsible registered breeders are always available to discuss any ongoing enquiries you may have. For piece of mind consider buying your next dog from a Registered Breeder – they have the breed at heart and genuinely care for the welfare of their puppies.
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Z - ZZZZZZ. A SBT loves to sleep with his owner, on his owner, on his bed, on your bed, on you in your bed. It is important that the SBT have regular naps to recover his energy reserves. It’s a big world out there, and as such, he needs to recharge his batteries so he can live life to the fullest with his family and friends.  

Written by Brookshire Staffords

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BSL (BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION)
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BSL affects dogs based on APPEARANCE ONLY. It has NOTHING to do with temperament. The alleged purpose of BSL is to increase public safety, but it can not do that because it completely overlooks temperament.
Reread the above statement.
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Breed-specific legislation (BSL) comes in many forms, from extra insurance policies and special licenses, to outright bans of particular breeds. It usually comes about after a critical or fatal dog attack. It generally targets a small set of dog breeds. It attempts to curb dog bites and dog attacks by implementing policies focused specifically on those breeds. And it is always a complete failure - technically and morally..
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It's astonishing that BSL continues to spread even after studies have proven its fatal flaws. BSL is ruinously expensive to implement and enforce. Determining a dog's breed or mix is extremely difficult, often resulting in mistaken identities and ensuing lawsuits. BSL does not stop dog attacks or bites. It increases the financial burden on taxpayers, animal shelters, and animal control agencies. It doesn't stop irresponsible owners or dissuade criminals. It doesn't educate anyone about proper dog care. In the end, the punishment is doled out solely on responsible owners and good dogs. Good dogs are confined to their homes, unable to gain valuable social skills and training opportunities - or they are simply killed. Law-abiding owners are the only ones who end up shelling out money to pay for special licenses or souped-up fences, and they are the ones whose hearts are ripped out when their sweet dog is arbitrarily deemed "dangerous" and euthanized.
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BSL exists because people are looking for an easy way out. It's easy to point fingers at a group of voiceless dogs and call them "dangerous". It makes for great sound bites on the evening news, and it gives politicians a way to distract people from real worries. It saves us from having to address the core problems - irresponsible, ignorant dog owners, bad breeders, criminals, and an uneducated public.
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Some people mistakenly believe that owners of these so-called "dangerous" breeds do not care about public safety because they object so strongly to BSL. On the contrary, these owners are acutely aware of the need for strong non-breed-specific dangerous/vicious dog laws, and they fully support efforts to strengthen and enforce those laws. However, these owners also realize that the problem of dog bites and dog attacks does not lie within a single breed or group of breeds. The problem ultimately lies with the individual owner, and that is where the focus of dangerous dog laws should be.

EXERCISE
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The Stafford is a very agile and powerful animal that will ideally benefit from plenty of hard exercise. However, there are also many Staffords that live quietly with elderly or infirm owners and the breed will basically adjust to most conditions. This is a truly flexible breed happy to fit in with most lifestyles.
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  • Why Keep Your Dog Fit? - Exercise is a key factor in the health and well-being of the breed. Fit dogs are more alert and content. They sleep better, have more energy, and experience fewer socialization problems. Active dogs also tend to live longer, with fewer health problems. Regular exercise helps dogs build strong bones, improves cardiovascular systems, and tones muscles. Exercising your dog also benefits you at the same time!
  • Establish A Routine - Dogs like routines. Your exercise program should be tailored to your schedule and you should try to stick to it. If the weather is bad, make the walk short but do make the effort. Your dog will miss the ritual.
  • How Long Should A Dog Walk Be? - A half hour walk twice a day should be sufficient for most dogs. Never push your pet beyond his or her capabilities. Remember to tailor your exercise program to your dog's breed - small dogs with short legs require less walking distance than larger breeds. Also note that some breeds with short noses, such as Bulldogs, Boxers and Pekingese, may experience breathing difficulties while exercising and, therefore, will require a program of shorter walks more often. Avoid exercising dogs right after they have eaten.
  • Dogs should always be walked on a leash - In most cities it is the law and for good reason - there are dangers to other people and to your dog. A dog off-leash is susceptible to injuries from cars, can wander into another dog's territory which could provoke a dog fight, or your dog could knock over and injure (or bite) a child or an elderly person. Be aware that people from some cultures perceive dogs in ways that may differ from your own perspective. They may be afraid of dogs or have negative sensibilities to dogs because of cultural expectations. A dog on a leash shows that you are in control of your dog and that you respect that those that want to keep their distance from your dog. Dogs off- leash are also a nuisance to neighbours, getting into gardens and flower beds. Responsible dog guardians care about the safety and well-being of both their dogs and the community.
  • Starting Out - Be aware that dogs, like people, need time to get into shape and that weather conditions impact greatly on a dog's abilities. Before starting an exercise program take your dog for a veterinary checkup. Also, pay close attention to your dog's footpads. Care needs to be taken when walking on certain surfaces which can irritate, damage or be painful to your dog's feet (for example, sharp-stoned gravel or hot pavement). Regularly check your dog's footpads for excessive wear from walking on pavement and for cracking. In snowy conditions check for ice buildup between the toes. Remember to start your exercise program slowly, and gradually build up the stamina of your dog. This is especially important if your dog is overweight, an older dog, or a puppy. Dogs, by nature, will loyally try to keep up with you even when their health is in danger. After walks be sure to provide shade and cool water on hot days, and warm, draft free housing in winter,
  • Jogging With Dogs - If you want to jog with your dog you need to select a breed of dog suited for distance running. Most dogs are "stop-start" runners, meaning they are suited to run for short bursts followed by stretches of walking. For most dogs, a long walk is more appropriate exercise than a run.For those with running breeds, schedule the duration and the rigour of each outing over several weeks to gradually build up the dog's stamina. For a 30 minute work-out, be sure to include a 5 minute warm up, a 20 minute run, and a 5 minute cool down period of walking. An over-exerted dog pants heavily. Breathing may become irregular and the dog's gait may become uneven - staggering. Breathing may suddenly become quiet and the dog might faint.
  • Heat Exhaustion - Exercising your dog on very hot or humid days is foolish and can cause heat exhaustion. Dogs cool themselves by panting. If panting does not reduce the body temperature the dog will develop heatstroke. Heatstroke occurs when a dog is subjected to prolonged exposure to high temperature or humidity to a point where the animal is unable to maintain normal body temperature. Heatstroke can be fatal if not treated immediately. Early signs of heat exhaustion include rapid breathing, heavy panting, and salivation. Other signs are fatigue, muscle tremors, and staggered walking. As heatstroke progresses the dog may also exhibit vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, or collapse.
  • Treating An Over-Heated Dog - Carry the dog to a cool, shady place. Apply water to the head, neck, and chest and fan the dog vigorously using cardboard or a blanket to speed evaporation. The evaporation process cools the blood. Do not apply ice as this constricts blood flow and does not effectively lower the animal’s core temperature. Give some cool water - but restrict the amount. The dog may vomit the water if consumed too quickly. Alternatively, let the dog lick ice cubes or even ice cream. Take the dog to a veterinarian immediately for further treatment.
  • What All Dog Guardians Should Know - While walking your dog remember to "stoop and scoop" - it's the law in most cities (and part of proper pet etiquette). Keep your dog on leash during walks, unless you are in a designated area that allows dogs to run free. Remember to make sure your dog has identification and is licensed. You are responsible for the actions of your dog. Most dog bites occur to children under the age of 10 years old. A well socialized, neutered dog is less likely to bite.
  • Teach children to approach your dog safely. Follow these simple rules:
  • Make sure children ask permission to pet the dog - let them know that not all dogs are friendly!
  • Children should allow the dog to sniff their hand first. This prepares the dog (and the child) for contact.
  • Have the child pet the dog under the chin first. If the dog is comfortable the child can pet the dog along its back.

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PUREBRED DOGS VERSUS CROSSBREED DOGS
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History tells us that man has endeavoured, since the beginning of time, to produce animals of desired characteristics and features. The pedigreed dog is an historic success story, a tribute to man’s creativity. If you want a crossbred, please, visit your local humane society or rescue. You will find many dogs needing homes - many of them will be crosses. Please remember when looking for a companion it most definitely isn't a spur of the moment decision. You should never purchase a breed without properly exploring the breed and the breeder carefully first. Selecting a dog without consideration for its virtues and its faults is the first step towards disaster in dog ownership.  

  • With the acquisition of a pedigree dog you can know more about the dogs character, which helps when selecting the right temperament of dog for the right home.
  • Information is available on all pure-bred dogs and breeders can provide invaluable advise and ongoing support
  • When considering a pure-bred dog, it is possible to narrow down the choices to those with attributes which most clearly fit into your personal lifestyle and interests. For example, whether the dog will be good with your children or whether you will have time to groom and exercise the dog properly.
  • Responsible breeders will answer your questions and share their experiences and knowledge with you. They can provide background on the breed and discuss the characteristics of the adult dog.
  • Breeders have experience to give puppies the care and nurturing they need at critical early stages. This not only ensures you’ll have a healthy puppy, but that the puppy is much less likely to develop into a difficult adult. Breeders will guide you in proper care and feeding, health issues and training. Breeders are there to help you and will continue to provide information and support as your puppy grows.
  • Eradication of hereditary diseases through selective breeding programmes.
  • Cross bred dogs display more genetic faults and inherited disease traits than any one breed. There are endless sets of statistics to prove this idea is a myth, but they never seem to convince anyone.

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DIETS
There are many strategies for feeding and what constitutes "good" or "healthy" is going to vary from person to person. A regime that works well for one may be absolutely horrid for another. Therefore we won't reinvent the wheel on the topic but if you do have any enquiries on nutrition we would be more than happy to answer them to the best of our ability (or source the answers for you). Prior to emailing us please google “nutrition and dogs” and you will find a plethora of information on the subject.
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Health problems in both humans and pets are caused by poor nutrition and the inaccurate use of supplements. We support the theory that all diets that are thoroughly researched and correctly put into practice can be complete and balanced.

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Everyone has a reason to feed the way they do, and we’re sure nearly everyone would love to try to convince you that their way is the "best" way. However it’s never a good idea to become emotionally attached to any method of feeding. Trust us on the last point!
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What you will need to do is weed through the propaganda and scare tactics and decide for yourself what you are comfortable with and what works well for your dog. We did try BARF. We were in fact advocates of the practise. BARF could do no wrong. However in the end it just didn’t reap the rewards we expected. For our dogs, and unfortunately for us, it was a case of too many claims and lack of results.
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Our personal method (and again, this is just the way we do it not necessarily the way it "should" be done) is to read the labels. Anything with "by-product" is thrown out as an option. We like to have at least two meat ingredients within the first 4 or 5 ingredients listed. We prefer rice as a grain choice, not corn. We also have some "non-nutritional" aspects that we look for. They may seem like pretty basic rules but if you go through the ingredient lists following that method you will probably narrow down your choices to 2 or 3 options!

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We still support the ideology that raw diets that are done correctly can be complete and balanced (for some dogs) but to say they are suitable for all dogs is incorrect, foolish and harmful. We also deem that premium high quality kibbles can be and are beneficial, nevertheless remember – kibbles are not created equal. Research the different ingredients. Find out what those words in the ingredients mean and decide whether you are comfortable feeding them to your dog.
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With a broad understanding of canine nutrition and experience with individual dogs, you see that there are pros and cons to all methods of feeding. Our advice to anyone seeking guidance with a transition from commercial food to home made - raw or cooked - is to seek information from someone both trained in nutrition (not a breeder, for example, who has had personal success with raw diet) and steer clear of anyone who informs you one diet fits all dogs.

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Don’t assume because it is natural it is the best. Please ensure optimum health for yourself and your pet by educating yourself about proper nutrition.
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Raw vs Cooked Raw Food Advantages:
  • Fresh – no preservatives however do your homework on this one!
  • Easily digested, means that more nutrients are absorbed. Raw food only takes three to six hours to digest
  • Enzymes – Raw food contains 75% of the enzymes needed for digestion
  • Health Benefits – most owners witness physical and emotional improvement in their pets. Most frequently seen changes are cleaner ears, brighter eyes and healthier skin and coat
  • Clean teeth – why risk unnecessary anesthesia for your pet? No more expensive cleaning bills!
  • Reducing body fat, and increasing muscle tone can rid your dog of a lethargic attitude
  • Happy Dogs!
The Health Benefits of a BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food ) Diet claim to:
  • Improve your pet both physically and emotionally
  • Healthier skin and coat
  • Brighter eyes and cleaner ears
  • Reduced body fat, increases muscle tone, more energy
  • No extra enzymes needed for food digestion
  • Your pet's liver does not have to process unnecessary toxins
  • Stop expensive vet bills to clean your pet’s teeth
  • No expensive trips to your vet for your pet’s health problems related to diet

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KEEPING YOUR DOG HEALTHY
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Taking care of your dog's health is not something everyone thinks about on a regular basis, but it is vitally important to ensure a long, happy life for your canine buddy. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding on the best way to care for your dog.
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There's dog food, and then there's dog food. There is absolutely a huge difference in a low-grade, cheap dog food and a high-quality, healthy food. What can a high-quality food do for your dog? Well, for starters, it can help keep your dog's weight at a safe level, his heart healthy, his lifespan longer, his breath liveable and will usually cause him to have smaller, firmer, and less odorous stools. That's right. His business will be compact, easier to pick up, and one less reason for the kids to complain, I can't pick that up, IT STINKS!

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High-quality food will also contribute to a shinier, healthy coat and all-around energy levels. There are numerous comparison charts available, so you can see for yourself what the differences are in regards to by-products, fillers, and main ingredients in multiple types of foods. Investigate supermarket-brand foods versus premium-brand foods available at pet supply stores. If you are looking even further, check into feeding a raw diet known as B.A.R.F., which stands for Bones And Raw Foods. Many dog fanciers swear by the health rewards in feeding this particular diet, which involves feeding only raw, natural food such as raw meat and bones along with fresh vegetables, certain herbs, enzyme supplements and some dairy items.

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This Won't Hurt A Bit
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Regular veterinary care is essential to a dog's health. Don't wait until your dog is ill to make a trip to the office, make a yearly appointment and keep it. From the time your puppy comes home, obtain regular preventative care such as vaccines, de-worming, teeth maintenance and flea/tick prevention. Many a dog owner is devastated to find a disease that could have easily been avoided with proper and early vet care. To obtain a good vet, ask around. Word of mouth is your best bet to finding a great vet and beginning a rewarding relationship with.
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Give Me A Home, Where I Don't Dare Roam
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Never, ever let your dog roam. Many folks think a dog needs to get out and run, and while they are partially right as far as healthy exercise goes, no dog ever needs to be running around unsupervised. Not only is it unfair to other homeowners to have a strange dog trampling through their flowerbeds or using their lawn as a porta-potty, your dog runs the risk of being struck by a car, attacked by another dog, injured by wildlife or contracting a disease. Supervised walks on leash are essential to good health. Roaming is taking a chance on early death.
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One, And Two, And Lift, And Bend
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Here's where the healthy exercise comes in. A couch-potato dog is as healthy as a couch-potato person, which isn't saying much. Boost your health status along with Fido and get outside for some fresh air. Play Frisbee or fetch, go for a long walk along the beach, or just play a rousing game of run-around-the-yard. Exercise will help the heart, lungs and muscles to assist in overall good health. By the way, those benefits help you, too.
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I'm Too Young To Be A Mother!
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Frankly, dogs don't care one bit about parenthood. If you aren't a breeder who is working to better the breed and continue qualified, titled and tested bloodlines, then make an appointment for that surgery now. Your dog will statistically live a longer life if spayed or neutered, with zero chance of getting uterine cancer, testicular cancer, or pyometra, which is an often-fatal situation in which the uterus becomes abscessed and filled with pus. Without even mentioning the dangers of giving birth, spaying or neutering will greatly increase your odds of maintaining the health of your dog. Most communities even have spay/neuter assistance funds available to help defray the costs of surgery.
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Baby Its Cold Outside
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Outside dogs are generally much happier inside with the family. An outside dog is exposed to the elements: cold, heat, snow, ice, rain, tornados and other natural disasters including the neighbor's pesky cat who likes to tease from the top of the fence. Outside dogs tend to be lonely, prone to barking, digging and exhibiting other unwanted behaviors. Fleas, ticks and other parasites such as worms are easily picked up, and you are less likely to notice illness or injury in a timely manner if your dog is outside 24/7. Let your dog come on in and lay at your feet by the fireplace while you read a good book. Besides, it makes for a beautiful Christmas card image.
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Got A Whole Lotta Love
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Love your dog. Dogs know when they aren't cared for. Dogs can and do get depressed, which can lower their immune systems. Spend some time each and every day with your dog, whether it is outside playing ball, or simply resting your hand on his head while you watch TV. Keeping him happy provides an added benefit to you: studies have indicated that owning a pet can possibly increase your lifespan as well, by lowering blood pressure and keeping the blues at bay. Stay healthy together.
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Courtesy Donna Gunnels

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FIREWORKS AND YOUR DOG
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Precautions to take
  • Keep all pets indoors during firework 'season', and try to walk dogs earlier in the evening to avoid running into any displays
  • Once fireworks have started, keep your pet in a dark, quiet room, preferably at the furthest point from the fireworks. Block up cat-flaps and close doors and windows to prevent your stressed pet from running away during fireworks
  • If your pet becomes stressed do not comfort him, as this will only reinforce his fear. Instead try and block out any noises. Turn on a radio or the television to distract or muffle any outside noises, and close the curtains. Act as normally as possible so that the animal does not pick up on your anxieties
  • If your pet is extremely sensitive, consider consulting your veterinary surgeon for a mild sedative or tranquilliser to help keep him calm. There are also herbal remedies available that can assist with this problem
  • Make sure that your pet is properly identified in case he does run off during fireworks
  • It's best for your pets if you go to an organised display and don't let off fireworks in your garden. And NEVER take your pet to a fireworks display!
Possible Pet Behaviour
As you get to know your dog or cat, you will notice changes in his or her behaviour in various situations. During the firework season, which can stretch from the end of October right into January, many pets suffer from adverse reactions to the unusual and sudden sights and sounds associated with fireworks.
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Commonly Seen Signs May Include:
  • shaking and trembling
  • excessive drooling
  • barking and howling
  • trying to hide
  • trying to get either into or out of the house or garden
  • temporary loss of appetite
  • temporary loss of bladder or bowel control, with diarrhoea from  prolonged stress
(Of course, if any of these symptoms become excessive or persist after the fireworks have stopped, you should seek veterinary advice as they may be related to a medical condition)
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Unfortunately, it can be difficult to treat a fear if the event that causes it is infrequent or unpredictable. This is also the case with thunder. Dogs and cats have very good hearing and can be very sensitive to loud noises, even from afar. In panic or confusion, they can go to great lengths to escape such as digging under fences, jumping out of open windows or doors, and chewing through leads.
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What Can I Do To Help My Nervous Pet?
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You should follow all the precautions above during fireworks season. If you know in advance your pet gets stressed and before the firework season really gets going, try desensitising your pet. Desensitisation requires sound effect tapes, audiotapes or videos impersonating the sounds of fireworks. This may not work for every pet, especially if the behaviour has been established over a period of years. If using this method, you will gradually need to play your tapes over a period of months, starting with the volume on very low in the background of your home. After a week or so you can then start to increase the volume, although this should be done gradually in order to avoid increased stress levels in your pet. It is also recommended that you do not comfort your pet if he shows signs of anxiety, as this will only reinforce the feeling.
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If necessary, get a responsible friend or relative that lives in a more rural environment to take care of your pet for a while, but always remember to update your pets ID tag with the relevant contact details if he's is staying away from home. Alternatively, you may want to book your pets into a rural boarding kennels to ensure complete safety.
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Be gentle and try to avoid unnecessary stressful situations where possible.

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What Do I Do If My Pet Goes Missing?
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If your pet does go missing, search the local area immediately, as he may be hiding nearby. Contact your local dog warden or police station to record your pet's details and call all the local rescue centres to see if your pet has been found and taken into their care. Advertise the loss of your pet by putting up posters in your area, local shops and veterinary surgeries.

Courtesy Battersea Dogs and Cat Home

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RECOMMENDED READING
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The following books are wonderful introductions (some are more detailed than others) to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They provide not only conformational information but also histories of the breed, how to care, train and what types of activities are enjoyed by Staffords and their owners.
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Staffordshire Bull Terrier by C V Hollender ISBN-10: 1857361237 Paperback: 88 pages

Staffordshire Bull Terrier by H N Bielby ISBN-10: 1857360834 Paperback: 106 pages
Staffordshire Bull Terrier: The History and Sport by Mike Homan ISBN-10: 1852590785 Hardcover: 184 pages
Staffordshire Bull Terriers: An Owner's Companion by Vic Pounds and Lilian Rant ISBN-10: 1852233656
The Complete Staffordshire Bull Terrier by Danny Gilmour ISBN-10: 0948955694 Hardcover: 160 pages
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier by John F Gordon ISBN-10: 0091527716 Paperback: 200 pages
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier by Dieter Flagg ISBN-10: 1860541496 Hardcover: 144 pages
Your Staffordshire Bull Terrier by Steve Bradder ISBN-10: 1852791381 Hardcover: 136 pages
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No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich - Louis Sabin

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Disclaimer: Information provided is not intended to replace or override any advice from your veterinarian.

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