Exmouth staffie owner defends a 'much maligned breed'

PUBLISHED: 14:47 21 November 2014 | UPDATED: 14:47 21 November 2014

Rolo and Indi

Rolo and Indi

Archant

The owner of a ‘placid and well-behaved’ Staffordshire bull terrier has defended the breed after they were singled out as the main culprits for ‘aggressive dog’ incidents in Exmouth.

Earlier this month, one of the district council’s environmental health officers told town councillors that a third of all incidents were caused by the breed.

Catherine Langston, who lives off Hulham Road, has owned Staffies for more than 25 years.“I feel it is necessary to defend this much maligned breed,” she said.

“The continuing vilification of Staffies in the press is frustrating and does not acknowledge the majority of responsible owners and well-behaved dogs of this excellent breed.”

She said there would always be dogs, of all breeds, that attacked people or other animals, either through encouragement of bad owners or because they were frightened and mistreated themselves.

She said: “I am interested to know the breeds that make up the other two-thirds of dogs that have caused incidents over the same period.

“My own Staffie, Rolo, was badly injured last year when subjected to an unprovoked attack by a collie in a local park. However, I do not think all collies or their owners are irresponsible.

“It is the deed, not the breed that causes problems.”

She said that Staffies often accounted for the highest number of dogs awaiting re-homing in animal rescue centres, and most became fabulous family pets in the right hands. “Their nickname is the ‘nanny dog’,” she said.

“But they have often been abandoned by owners who are unable to cope with their energetic behaviour or cannot be bothered to train them properly. Any badly trained or mistreated dog will always be a potential problem and this cannot be distinguished by breed alone.”

Rolo is the second Staffie she has owned, and she hopes by continuing to give a good home to this breed of dog, she can promote good ownership.

She said: “I have 10 nieces and nephews and my family has dogs and they mix without a problem.”

Rolo is one of two rescue dogs in the household and Catherine added: “Both of them live very happily alongside our three rescue cats. Rolo is the lowest in the pecking order.

“He is actually scared of the cats.”

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