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Thread: Adopting 2 yr old male staffy

  1. #1

    Default Adopting 2 yr old male staffy

    Hi all,

    So I've been thinking about getting a dog for a while now. I have a friend who runs a dog rescue and she had a beautiful 2-3 yr old male staffy that was due to be put down within the next 4 hrs, so long story short I decided to rescue him.

    All I know about him is that he's 2-3 yrs old, male, desexed and good with other dogs, that's it. I have no other pets at home and one 11 yr old son. I'm looking for some tips on what I can do to welcome him into our family and earn his trust. I can only imagine he's had a rough life up to this point. I'm hoping he's had some toilet traing etc. any tips on training, food etc would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014


    Hi Tui. From the start, your friend at the dog rescue has left you in the lurch. Impulse buying of staffys is one of the main reasons that so many end up in rescue as they can be quite a handful at times. I know the little guy was due to be PTS but you don't know his history, why he was given up and whether he has been tested with children. This is not a criticism, just an observation. If anything the dog rescue people should have taken the time to supply you with the information you needed to make an informed decision.

    I really hope that it all works out for you. For the record, I feed my staffs Advance biscuits in the morning and cooked BBQ roo and beef at night. They also get a large marrow bone each every week or so. They also like chickens necks.

    I walk them at least one a day and they spend most their time in the house with us. It might be useful to find a trainer to come to your house and assess your pooch and then go from there in regards to further training.

    I can't stress enough that staffs thrive on human affection but need a firm hand as they can be tenacious and headstrong.

    Also please be aware that, through no fault of their own, staffs are sometimes regarded with fear and seen as an aggressive breed that is dangerous and should not be kept as a pet. Whilst this is an absurd notion, it is up to us, as responsible staffy owners, to train our dogs so that they are well behaved and sociable. This is not too hard to do if you put in the training and show them the love that they need.

    Sorry if my post seems critical, it wasn't meant that way. I just love my staffs and would hate to see the little guy go back to the pound.

    Again, I wish you luck and please continue to ask questions here. there are some extensively knowledgeable people here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Rescues do not put dogs to sleep unless they are a danger to other animals or humans or so unwell there is no hope to improve their quality of life.

    Pounds and Shelters (RSPCA and AWL) put excess animals to sleep - especially staffy x dogs because they are so common, so often dog aggressive and nobody wants them - that's why they're in the shelters.

    Please tell me this was not "pou nd ro u nds". (PR)

    They lie about dogs being good with children and other dogs, and people have had their pets killed by these "rescues" that are taken directly from a pound and put into a new home with no experienced foster carer in between.

    PR bully people who don't know anything about caring for dogs into going to the pounds and adopting dogs off death row to "save them". PR do not know anything at all about the temperament of these dogs.

    I can only imagine he's had a rough life up to this point.
    This is a common myth about Shelter dogs. Most dogs end up in shelters because they escaped from home and the owners cannot be found - because either the dog had no microchip or the address details for it were not kept up to date.

    I'm hoping he's had some toilet traing etc. any tips on training, food etc would be greatly appreciated.
    Given he's in a new home now - you will need to start toilet training from scratch. You could assume he's been an in home adored pet, or that he's been a back yard garden ornament (complete neglect) and he escaped last time there was a thunderstorm near his home.

    After that a dog can travel 30km per day.... and not necessarily towards home. Especially if it has never been walked outside of its yard in its life.

    So now you have a dog. What to do? To be continued....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    The first thing I would do with this dog is take him to visit a vet.

    You need to make sure he's vaccinated. And you need to make sure he's microchipped and get the microchip details updated with your contact details. The vet should be able to help with this.

    he probably needs a heart worm test and then you can start heart worm prevention.

    And you will also want to investigate flea prevention. And tick prevention if you live in a paralysis tick area. Tick areas are roughly the entire East coast of Australia ie if you live East of the Mountains...

    Theoretically your "friend in rescue" should be helping you with any questions you have especially stuff like what your dog was eating before you got it. Because you want to keep feeding the same.

    If your new dog is prone to skin problems (many Staffies are) then you might want to look into feeding something as natural as possible ie make your own up, or a dry food that contains as few cereals (corn, wheat) as possible and as many recognisable ingredients as possible - less preservative numbers.

    So now what you do depends on whether you plan to keep the dog outside all the time (probably not the best idea with an SBT) or in the home with you. How much time do you have available for training and walking and generally making life good for the dog.

    If you don't have time for a 30 minute walk - five minutes of training something is a good idea.

    For at least the first month - you want to keep the dog on lead any time you're out in public, including off lead spaces - but you probably want to avoid those for the first month. It takes about a month for a dog to settle in and recognise you as the new source of all good things (food, shelter, affection, ear rubs etc). If you let the dog off before he has a reasonable recall and knows his name, there is a good chance he will clear off in a straight line to anywhere.

    For the first month, ideally you get a book called Ruff Love by Susan Garrett and follow the instructions in that. You can get it here (Chuwar, QLD) Ruff Love

    You might think crate training is cruel but if you train a dog to love being in a crate or its own safe place - you will be grateful if you need to put him somewhere safe and out of trouble during thunderstorms or if he does get injured and needs to spend time at the vet in one of their crates and some more crate time at home while he recovers.

    And a dog happy in a crate really handy if you have to visit somewhere that doesn't allow dogs and you can't leave him in the car.

    Like my Aunt's place.

    Fundamental games...
    charge up the word "yes"
    and your dog's name.
    ie get about five to ten bits of really yummy food eg bits of roast chicken or cheddar cheese - about the size of your thumbnail or smaller...

    Say "yes", give a treat, count to three - repeat.
    repeat this for five treats and then give your dog an ear rub or if he likes - a quick game of tug (but you might want to train "geddit" and "give" first.

    Say your dog's name, give a treat, count to three, repeat.
    Same as the "say yes" game.

    Now do it and touch the dog's collar before you give the treat. If you can actually get hold of the dog's collar that's better. What you're aiming for is your dog to look forward to a collar grab that you do when you're in a panic. Eg it's about to piss down with rain and you need to get everyone in the car right now. But start off gentle and only increase the difficulty a tiny bit each session and you only need to do one session a day or maybe three a week on this one.

    Its yer choice is the next game, but you want to be sure the dog will not chew your hand off for this one.

    Put several treats in the palm of your hand, Let the dog see, then close your hand, put your closed hand at nose level of the dog but not right under his nose. Wedge your elbow against your knee so you can keep your hand still (helps to be sitting on a low chair for this one).

    Wait for your dog to figure out by himself to back off your hand and stop stealing the treat. No verbal clues for this one. When he stops mauling your hand and backs off - open your hand. If he comes back in to steal the treats, close your hand. So it's usually flash the treat to start with. Sight of the treat is rewarding...

    If he can hold off for a bit longer, try to pick up one treat from your hand and give it to him. But if he moves to meet your hand or steal the treats, put the treat back in your hand and close it... and start over.

    Play this one for about 3 minutes and then stop and play a different fun game. Don't worry if he's got it right or not. Just stop and do something else to give you both a mental rest.

    So that's three or four games (there's lots more in Ruff love) to help build your relationship with the dog.

    You also want to be working on trading stuff for treats so he doesn't guard what he has from you but looks forward to giving it up - which builds up to the geddit - give tug games. Which can be used to reward a dog when you're training...

    If you say roughly which capital city you are nearest - we can recommend some trainers who may be able to help with the basics. The RSPCA and the AWL can also help put you in touch with trainers that will help you train your dog.

    Never be tempted to hand the dog over to someone else to "fix him" for you. You need to learn as much as the dog does.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Toilet training

    Stuff on puppies - you use the same training methods for any dog that's new to your home...

    Sorry if I've been a bit blunt but I do tend to be direct about what I think. Hope your new family member works out great. And do ask lots and lots of questions here and everywhere.

    Have a list when you go to the vet... read the list to the person making the booking so they book enough time.
    heart worm test
    microchip check and details update and new microchip if you need (they're around $30 or less)
    flea and tick management plan (I use sentinel this year (covers fleas, and worms including heart worm and tape worm, last year I used revolution and canex (tummy worms) but I don't think any of those do ticks...)

    And if you want to get pet insurance (about $400 per year maybe more) - ask the vet to check teeth and joints etc so you can prove - no pre-existing conditions.

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