Staffies are not dangerous dogs. No more so than any other breed of dog, despite the bad press they frequently receive. The Brentwood Gazette reported on Staffie Cassie who has passed the test to become a Cynophobia Assistance Dog, helping children and adults overcome their fear of dogs. Cassie’s test included being brushed by a stranger, left alone with a stranger, being nudged and grabbed. This is a lot to ask any breed of dog to put up with from someone it doesn’t know (how many people reading this could tolerate a stranger brushing their hair, nudging and grabbing them?) and Cassie passed with flying colours.
So why do Staffies get a bad name? Two reasons:
1. They are physically capable of doing more damage, so if they did bite it would be a lot more serious, than if say a soft mouthed spaniel bit you. The same is true of all muscular, strong dogs.
2. Sadly some do still use the breed for fighting, so those who have been trained to behave in an aggressive manner by their owners will do so. Most other breeds are not trained for fighting, so the association in our minds isn’t there.
These are the only two reasons that this breed would ever be considered a dangerous dog. Any dog is capable of being dangerous. According to the article about Cassie, the main fear people associated with dogs is jumping up. The vast majority of dogs that I go to help will jump up as I go into their home, and this is something that I will work with their owners on improving. And I find this with any breed of dog, staffies included. It’s quite rare to go into someone’s house and not be jumped up at. If your dog has a problem with jumping up at people I can help. The staffies pictured are Arthur, Mavis, Bell and Fred, proving they can be very good dogs.