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Nurture or nature

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Jdee13, May 20, 2020.


  1. Jdee13

    Jdee13 PetForums Newbie

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    Dedicated staffy lover here btw. So last night took my beautiful,well behaved, 2 yr old staffy Dixie for a walk and she got attacked by another staffy. The aggression in this dog was unbelivable and really scared me luckily Dixie came away unharmed thanks to my calm hubbie. This is is my THIRD staffy and yes I know their traits but I've never met a bad one till last night. I'm soon to get a little boy staffy as a second dog and am now just worried about the aggression I saw last night. My dogs have always been shown nothing but love and my little girl is a big softie who wouldnt harm a fly. Is this the way this staffy has been brought up? My previous dog Marley didnt like other dogs our fault probably because he wasnt as well socialised as Dixie but he most certainly wouldnt have acted with so much aggression any answers ?
     
    stephen obrien likes this.
  2. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    Hi there, sorry to hear of your experience yesterday - that must have been scary for you.

    In terns of your question, there are so many things that can cause one dog to be aggressive towards another. It is not as simple as it being all about how you raise them, although that plays a part. However, aggression or reactivity can be found in any breed, so I would not fixate on the fact that this particular dog was a staffy. Some breeds are generally more tolerant of other dogs than others. Terriers can be fiesty things and it is true that some staffies are not terribly tolerant of other dogs, but if you choose wisely from a reputable breeder who breeds from dogs with sound health and temperaments (or go through a reputable rescue who will match you with a suitable dog) then you will be off to a good start. From there on it is about careful socialisation and management on your part. Make sure the new pup/dog is carefully introduced to your existing girl and that they are respectful towards each other. Do not allow one to annoy the other and ensure that resources such as food and toys are managed well to avoid them being a catalyst for a spat.
     
  3. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Good temperament is something that is inherited, also the mother of the puppies has a big influence on the pups even though they are only with her for 8 weeks. A good tempered well rounded dog of any breed can be treated badly but still manage to have a good character.
    There is so much random breeding of staffies going on with the breeders caring little for temperament just how much they can sell the puppies for, so it's not surprising that that some dogs will attack other dogs for no more then the fact they are there. It is up to the owner to control the dog, but some people just don't care and put little effort into training.

    My last GR had a very poor temperament. Her mother and an 18 month old dog with the same parents both showed signs of poor character. I hadn't realised that temperament was an inheritable trait and was greatly saddened that my young dog began to react in the same way as her mother and older sibling. It wasn't until I met up with other people who owned GR's from the same breeder and were related to my dog and found that they had dogs behaving in a similar way that I fully appreciated the inherited link.
    When I was looking for my current GR I spent a lot of time researching pedigrees and went to meet not only the mother of the puppies but any related dog to assess their temperament. She has grown to be a very friendly dog with a great temperament and even though she has been attacked a couple of times she remains confident and friendly.

    When you look for your next staffi make sure you spend time with the puppies mother to try and assess her and ask lots of questions about her temperament especially with other dogs
     
  4. Jdee13

    Jdee13 PetForums Newbie

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    I have unfortunately not been yet to meet my puppy or the mother due to lockdown. I will pick him up when hes 8 weeks old and now have some concerns . He will be very young and I hope to bring him up to be a loving friendly dog like my other staffs. I am a total ambassador for the breed and am saddened to see first hand the typical, mainstream view most uneducated people have of the breed The owner admitted his dog was out of control just disappointed really.
     
  5. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Im sorry to hear of your experience. Its nature and nurture . Could be a variety of reasons. What exactly did the dog do? If Dixie or your hubby werent injured , is it possible that the dog was all mouth and no trousers so to speak?
     
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  6. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I think it’s probably a bit of both even the best breed dog could be aggressive if not socialised and cared for properly. However as @Siskin said parents temperament can really make a difference. I would be very cautious if you have not met the mother. Where did you find the breeder?
     
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  7. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Yes but OP should meet her when collecting the pup, and be prepared to walk away pupless if the mother's temperament is less than good.
    A friend of mine has always had Staffies, but one (male, had from a pup) was aggressive towards other dogs (had to be muzzled) and it certainly wasn't anything the owners had done(professional couple, churchgoers, all round good sorts); all their others, including a male rescue, have been total sweethearts.
     
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  8. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    I agree that temperament is inherited. That said, management and good training goes a long way too.
    I have a dog who is intolerant of most dogs. Since I have owned him, it's honestly been a mostly non-issue. He's extremely biddable (staffies are known for this too), so he's happy to defer to me instead of poking holes in rude dogs. This does mean I have to be on my toes in situations where there are other dogs, and head things off at the pass, but as long as I'm paying attention, it's all good.

    I would also really urge you to use socialization to teach your new pup to ignore other dogs. One of the issues with dogs like staffies is that they start out as gregarious little things but then mature in to less tolerant dogs and if they have learned to be magnetized to other dogs this can present problems.

    This is also a great article about arousal and aggression that may give you some insight:
    https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/bonnie-and-porter/
     
    Burrowzig, kimthecat, Sarah H and 2 others like this.
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