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Old 02-24-2013, 01:13 AM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 910
Default Choosing breeds/changing preferences = confusion

Pondering my next dog which will be quite some time away, but I keep coming back to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. What I love about them -

They are such fun loving dogs. Grace is basically my dream dog. She is confident, a complete social butterfly (even with other dogs, but I chose her playmates wisely and I'm not into dog parks), her temperament around humans is faultless and she takes 'strange' situations completely within her stride.

She is so much fun to train with. She isn't always quick and I have to really make it worth her while (which to me is completely normal lol) but she is such a confident and joyful dog that my mistakes don't set us back all that much. And I make plenty! She is not overly sensitive. This can make training hard at times because she doesn't pick up on subtle cues like Abby does, but Abby will also shut down if she feels me getting even slightly frustrated. Usually it's with myself and my inability to make things clearer but it definitely doesn't make things easy when I have to be so careful. On the other hand, Grace can be pig headed. She certainly has a sense of humour and I'm sure she loves to mess with me. I can see the twinkling in her eyes lol!

I dabble in obedience, rally-o and agility with my dogs - neither of them compete - but I'd like to with a future dog. My main focus is obedience/trick training. I love the agility, but it probably wouldn't be my main focus, it would remain just the fun we have in the back yard most likely.

My main concern with getting an SBT as my next dog is that I always said that I wanted to stack the odds against getting an aggressive dog (human or dog aggression) as high as possible. Abby being the way she is - fear aggressive - I just wanted an uncomplicated dog. But I don't want a dog to take to the dog park either. I'm not the kind of dog owner that thinks all dogs should like all other dogs and that's that. I'm careful with my dogs' interactions with others and that even with Grace who has a very stable temperament and is a social butterfly.

The other things I like about Staffordshire Bull Terriers include their activity levels, their affectionate natures, their gorgeous physique and the fact that they seem a relatively healthy breed.

Grace just makes me so happy and she has this calm, confident nature that balances out my slightly anxious tendencies. I figure that I don't compete with any of my dogs now and I don't feel like I'm lacking in my enjoyment of them - we still train and have fun and I'm just learning really. If I was to get an SBT and the dog was dog aggressive to the point where I could not compete, would it really be the end of the world? I've always thought that you get a dog you can live with first and foremost. The rest is just a bonus.

Sure, I'd love to compete in obedience one day and possibly some other sports, but my dogs are companions first.

So - do I strongly consider an SBT despite the propensity to dog aggression because I love the other attributes that the breed is renowned for so much?

Or do I choose a breed with less inclination toward dog aggression?

I feel that my priorities have changed. When I was going through the worst of Abby's behaviourial issues, it was very challenging and I swore off getting a dog with a high odds of aggression. But now that I'm at the stage of managing her behaviour, I'm a lot more accepting and my priorities have seemed to have changed over time.

It's just so confusing lol. Abby is not an SBT, by the way, she is the dog in my avatar. To my knowledge she is a Chi x. I'd love to start a what breed is Abby thread actually, just for fun.

She is a wonderful dog in many ways, but my personality is not the best for her temperament. We make the most of it and we've certainly come a long way in understanding each other. She is probably the single best teacher I've had in all things dog. I adore her, but I'm probably not the best owner for her. Bless her though, she loves me regardless.
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