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Second to none

By Alan Greenwood

All Stafford owners who take a serious interest in our beloved breed will know the Stafford breed standard backwards. Like most breed standards it starts of with charicteristics. The illuustrious body of people who compiled this introduction to our breed in 47 words did an excellent job and one to be commmended on the wording. I myself could probably shorten it by saying- charicter (second to none !). But what does that tell the potential owner of a Stafford obviously he finds out by expierience and if a breeder sold him a puppy he keeps in touch with him, which he should always do and listens patiently to all things that his new family get up to.

He lies across my legs when I am sitting,follows me every were I go. If I go out even for a very short time the welcome I get on my return would make me think I had been away for a year.or to China and back. He does not like the rain and lies stretched out in front of the fire as near to it as he possibly can with his legs stretched out-my froggy dog

We have all heard this so often,but how much more could we add?. Well that depends how long we have been associated with breed and how long and how many we have actually run on to maturity,each an individual in his or herís own right.

I belive it is our duty to educate the owners by ellaborating all the charicteristics as laid down in the breed standard and prepare him for every eventuality that may occur. Obviously I am talking about the dogs or more than likelt the bitches ability to do battle. I can hear you saying my pet will never get into a fight. Lets hope you are right but if so it may be up to you to prevent it. You see our breed was initialy bred for this one purpose, to do battle and do it well. He was programed to do this and in so doing his propagation left nothing to chance. Everything about him inside and out was developed for the sole purpose of destroying his apponent

I have at hand an excellent book on dogís in general, published in 1980-A dog of your own. In the profile section however the author has not compiled the kc standard word for word. Instead of the paragraph on charicter- and this goes for all the breeds coverd in the book - she lays it out as in the Which magazine, referring to the advantages and disadvantages of domestic appliances. For the Staffords good points she writes ďExcellent guard, fearless, first class ratter, and take heed needs discipline in youth.

My first reaction was to say no comment but I must say a few words on the excellent guard bit. I know that Staffords can be trained to guard. We have excellent Staffords learning obedience and in the past there were dogs that made CD Excellent- CH Pal of Aveth, a northern counties dog did so. So if they can be trained to reach perfection in obiedience then surely they can be trained as a guard, but be aware by doing so I would say it would be less hazardous to booby trap your home and itís surrounds, or lay a mine feild.

One classic example was related in the press in the early fifties. A Stafford was commended for apprehending a theif in his attempt to escape from the grounds of the house that he had just burgeld. He was stopped scaling the wall of the house by the dog seizing by his calf, the outcome being the theif lost his calf, itís just as well the dog did not jump a little higher.The point Im trying to make is if you have ever seen an average sized Stafford can aflict on an animate or inaminate object, the thought of o Stafford attacking you is too frightening to compenplate