STAFFIE STIGMATISATION A GUEST POST STORY
Thank you to collectibulldogs for letting me muse my thoughts on staffie stigmatisation as an owner of two beautiful Staffordshire bull terrier is I’d like to tell you my story and why it’s not fair that there is stigmatisation towards any breeds let alone the Staffie when we all know it’s down to the owners
My staffie stigmatisation story
“hope you get mauled and die.” This is what many dog owners get told on a daily basis especially if you are an owner of certain breeds like staffordshire bull terriers.
My family home consists of myself, my partner a couple of fish, last but by no means least our two beautiful loving fur babies Kizzy and coby. Coby came to us April 2012 at eight months old he was a very scared puppy due to how he had been treated previously, he had been passed around from home to home locked in a crate. he is now 8 years old. He now is called King Coby as he is confident and knows what he wants.
2nd March 2014 our Kizzy was born. Kizzy is Coby’s daughter she is now 5 years old a very happy playful little girl.
When we walk down the street or go over the park to play football people shout abuse at us pull their children away from us due to what is shown in the media about their breed.
If as humans we spoke to and abused other human beings in this manner we would be reported to the police for threatening abusive behavour. So what makes it ok to do this to dogs.
discrimmination is a massive issue in todays society worldwide. in times where we are meant to be more accepting of others we seem to be less.
Staffordshire bull terriers were originally bred for rat baiting in the 19th century and stayed with the children while the farmers attended their farms due to their patient and calm demeanour. They would catch and kill the rats to protect children and livestock.
Due to their strength and physical appearance, late 19th century humans started to train them to fight against other dogs for sport and gambling. This continues in underground criminal rings today. This is cruel and inhumane treatment. To teach a dog to fight you have to praise and reward this behavour you also have to beat the dog to teach them how. What alot of people do not know is when a dog doesn’t make the fighting grade it is used as what is called a bait dog to train stronger dogs they are put in a ring and mauled to death. The winning dog is no better off they can also die from injuries sustained during these barbaric fights. If they do not die but are severely injured they will put them down anyway.
It is not only the Staffie that go through this. German shepherd/Alsationlooking breeds do due to their jobs. These are used by the police forces and security companies worldwide to catch criminals. Nine years ago I took part in a police german shepherd being trained using a bite suit believe me when i say you do not want a four legged police officer catching up with you it hurts. But this same dog sat and shared a bag of chips with me when he was off duty. i had asked the officer for the experience because I used to be afraid of police and their dogs because to this day I still have a scar on my right ankle from when I was three years old at a fair was bitten by a police dog. I was strapped in my buggy at the time this was an unprovoked bite. I was obviously fine as I am here today to share this with you just stitches.
Rottweilers are also used as guard dogs worldwide feared because of their job. We have also previously fostered a Rottweiler November 2012 to July 2014 his name was apollo. He was a great family dog he adored people from babies to adults. He was adopted by a man who suffered with depression and anxiety. We still hear from him now and they are both doing absolutly amazing.
All we see across Television, Film, Newspapers and Mainstream media is bull breeds and working dog breeds as vicious killers that will tare you limb from limb, owned by nasty vicious criminals. You never see the big gangster with a Rough collie guarding the mansion, police slam through the doors to the gangster shouting “Get them Fluffy”. The flip side of this coin is family movies you never see bull breeds as the puppy under the christmas tree, it is always the one that hurts the cute puppy. BrittishBulldogs are always shown as muscle with a cigar again criminal associates.
we as humans have cross bred dogs for hundreds of years, but still seem to call Mix breeds mongrels, which sounds derogatory cross breeds are still fround upon. It is known that mixed breeds live longer because alotof the known illnesses and diseases are removed through this process.
STAFFIE STIGMATISATION CONTINUED
I completely understand the fears and worry that people have surrounding dogs, it is a natural instinct to be scared of things in life this is what helps protect us from harm, commonly known as our fight or flight reflex. It is not the fear that I am concerend about its the way people react in situations concerning dogs when an adult shouts “get your vicious nasty dog away from me” whilst kicking your dog, quickly turn from fear to verbal somtimes physical abuse towards owners and dogs. I experience on a daily basis what is said and done to millions of dog owners.
There is good and bad in each and every species from humans to insects, this takes us to the age old question of nature versus nurture. Are we born or taught to be evil?
From my own personal experiences I believe fear and discrimination is taught to us. A human baby in the womb will automatically be afraid of something if their mother is afraid, due to the chemical reaction that happens in our bodies which in turn causes an emotional response.
Babies and young children are extremely similar to dogs in the way they behave and communicate others they use instincts and sounds. They dont judge on how you look they judge body language towards them if you show love and respect they will show the same in return. So why as adults do we teach to judge others on how they look, where they live or even how much money they have in the bank.
Dogs will act aggressive if they see a threat posed to them or their pack same as a human would they will also warn their hair will stand on end they will growl. They will say no I do not like this a using body language a long time before they will bite.
If you ask any dog owner they will tell you that the dog rules the house. This is not by aggression but down to routines that they have to have again the same as children they need love attention food and warmth, most vital is feeling safe.
An good owner knows their dog and how they react in situations, if their dog has a tendancy to react badly to people or other dogs you will more likely find the dog will be on a lead sometimes with a muzzle on this is not a bad thing this is an owner being responsible and minimising any issues that may occour when they are out. This doesn’t mean that the dog is going to maul someone, it simply means that they have had an encounter previously which has made the dog scared and it has reacted either to other dogs or humans or even livestock. There are many factors that will make an owner muzzle a dog it will have been thought thro. If you see a dog on a lead the owner will not mind if you ask if it is okay to stroke and play the dog they will always be honest and say if it is a good idea or not.
This brings me to a couple of stories i would like to tell you about some owners that experianced these fears first hand firstly is a young couple from Wales who was looking to grow their family a good place to start is with a pet so they begin the search for the perfect addition to their family. in 2017 after a long search Akeem came across a beautiful little girl she is a Husky cross Lurcher, just a few weeks old. Love at first sight so he takes her home to meet laura instantly Laura falls in love with her new Lysky princess. they named her Miska During the first couple of weeks of learning the walks of the world being a puppy she would often run over to other dogs, children and adults just to say hello and to maybe play with them. The only problem was not everyone was friendly and remark on her appearance inturn start making comments to and about Akeem and Laura. They know their Miska and they understand anxiety but when people are just cruel for the way someonesdog looks it hurts the owners.
My second story is about a Brittish bulldog named Wiggles. I only new her a short while. what i knew of her she was happy content sweet and cuddly. Her owners were pretty cool to. But not everyone seemed to think so thats fine we dont all like eachother but when you express these views and opinions its not always what you say its how you say things. I have personally seen and dealt with some of the horrific things that have been said to and about this wonderful family and how it affected them. Sadly wiggles passed due to cancer a short time ago. Even tho she crossed the rainbow bridge she is still shining her light and making people smile and will do for a long time.
Please can people respect others and remember not all dogs are evil same as not all humans are evil.