Joined Apr 26 2012
The Burning Magazine
Shakka-Staffs Athletic Staffords
I have always loved dogs, but I have a particularly soft spot for bull-blooded dogs. As a young man I owned a number of different breeds of mastiff that I mated with bull terriers of various descriptions in an attempt to create the perfect dog, but the perfect dog proved much more elusive than I thought it would be, and I eventually came to the conclusion that bigger is nearly always constitutionally unsound rather than better.....
My early experiments led to my main canine project, the creation of the Dave dog, which took place over a number of years before the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act. I bred a strain of dog weighing between fifty and ninety pounds (though a few were considerably larger). They generally comprised of approximately fifty percent Pit bull, twenty five percent Staffs and twenty five percent Rottweiler - those percentages varied depending on the bitches I used, but the above formula seemed about right to me. My breeding programme ground to a halt not because of the law but because I was plagued by dog fighters determined to try out my dogs in the pit, and it would have broken my heart to condemn my lovingly raised puppies to an agonising death because I intended them to be fit, protective family dogs rather than to be tortured as an extension of the questionable courage of dog fighters.
I have never owned a pedigree Staffie - I detest the tubby, porcine monstrosities with three inch legs that I see would-be bad boys parading around with, though I like the more athletic strains very much. The dog on my profile picture is Monkey, my ten month old pup, and he's of indeterminate pedigree like the bull blooded dogs bred in many a back yard. He's obviously mostly Staffie, but judging by his heavy flews, hirsute tail and the fact that there were two black and tans in the same litter he's probably carrying a dose of Rottweiler blood - and the cast of his eyes leads me to suspect that he may also have a dash of English bull terrier blood. He was very fat and clumsy as a young puppy but now he's starting to shape up, and for a heavy dog (he's probably over seventy pounds now) he can move faster and more nimbly than most people expect.
I also have a six year old blue merle Bull terrier Great Dane crossbreed with clear blue eyes called Moonpie (I'll post pictures soon). I had her neutered after breeding a litter out of her with my sadly missed stud dog Muttley who died last summer - as far as I know he was the last surviving member of my strain, and in my opinion he was the king of dogs. When my kids were little he saved us from a crazy horse that attacked us on a local canal towpath, grabbing it by the nose, wrestling it to the ground and holding it until we were a safe distance away, and he came straight to me as soon as I called him. Despite the fact that Moonpie is swift, super fit and one of the most sensible guard dogs I've ever owned (though curiously most people mistake her for a Border collie/ Greyhound lurcher) she throws umbilical hernias in about twenty five percent of her pups. I would like a bitch in the near future to mate to Monkey. I'm thinking of putting him to a terrier of some description rather than a bull terrier, or maybe a half and half (terrier/bullterrier), but I haven't made my mind up yet.