Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: Previous owner
Posted January 28, 2016
I've always been a fan of how gentle natured Staffordshire Terriers are. My previous boss actually kept one as the 'office dog'. When we went to adopt a dog that would be great for our family, the only requirement was that she needed to be good with cats. We adopted an adult dog from the shelter because we fell in love with how sweet she was. In fact, the first time we met her, she crawled into our lap and gave us kisses. To this day, that's how she greets everyone.
Crate training a shelter dog was really tough. She had a lot of anxiety in the beginning, which resulted in a few unhappy neighbors. Fast forward two years later, her crate is her safe space and we know she's ok when we leave. She is great with our cat, and great with babies and small children. It's clear why they call this breed a 'nanny' dog!
The biggest challenges we faced with this breed is that she has sensitive skin, which we learned is fairly common. We have to avoid certain foods or she will break out. The other, and perhaps biggest drawback, is that a lot of people think this is a viscous breed. People will go out of their way to walk in the street, or find another sidewalk when they see us coming. I understand, but it also makes me feel a little sad, she's so sweet and gentle I know people would love her if they tried.
Overall, I very much enjoy having this breed of dog. I've owned German Shepard's, Collies, and Labs, but this breed is by far my favorite. They are smaller dogs (35-45lbs), which is great for an apartment setting. They are nice, and also calm and relaxed - they love to be couch potatoes but will play as soon as you're ready. Minimal grooming in the way of an occasional bath is required, which is a huge plus! They also make great running buddies.