Liz Hollis explains why senior Staffies make perfect pets, despite the breed’s fearsome and unfair reputation.
She’s 14, a little bit deaf, and let’s be honest, sometimes a tiny bit smelly too – but Goldie the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the perfect office dog.
Goldie spends most of the day in her comfy bed in our office at Simply Shutters, in Brandon, Suffolk, snoozing and stirring every now to find somebody to make a fuss of her.
“We just love having her around at work because she has such a calming effect on everybody and she is no trouble in the office,” says company boss and Goldie’s owner Paul Millar.
Most Staffies are as affectionate as Goldie. But unfortunately, these wonderful dogs often have a poor reputation with many people wrongly assuming their powerful frame and jaw means that they are aggressive.
This reputation makes them one of the most challenging dogs to rehome. So much so that a charity, called the Senior Staffy Club, was set up to help the huge number of older dogs who faced euthanasia because they couldn’t find a forever home.
“This bad image they have is unjust. Staffies make fantastic pets, especially the older ones – and they are just brilliant to have around in the workplace,” says Paul Millar, who brings her in to the Brandon office with him every day.”
He adds, “Whatever some people might think, it’s not in their nature to be fighting dogs, they are so loving and protective. Goldie is the most affectionate dog I’ve ever owned – and the biggest wimp.
“To be honest she’s scared of everything and couldn’t be further from an aggressive dog. If she hears a noise she scarpers, she’ll even sit in the corner if my wife and I have words with each other as we do from time to time!”
The Senior Staffy Club rescues and rehomes Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Staffie-cross dogs similar to Goldie, who are aged seven or older. The charity was founded in 2012 to deal with the growing trend of senior Staffies faced with being put to sleep because they couldn’t find a home.
“We wanted to let people know how lovable these dogs are and find them homes so they can enjoy the last part of their life,” says Julia Kaminski, spokesperson for the charity.
“Senior staffies aren’t the obvious first choice but we would just urge people to consider them because they make wonderful pets – and perfect office dogs if you want to take them into work with you or you just work from home.
“There are some benefits over younger Staffies or different breeds of dogs. They are just no trouble at all, loyal and good fun because they have a great character.”
Julia adds, “They are never boring and they are so people orientated and loving – they just adore company and just want to potter around a bit and sleep next to your desk while you work. They also don’t need a 10-mile hike every day – I had an older Staffie and it needed a 20-minute walk then it would happily sit near me for the rest of the day.”
“If you want a dog that doesn’t need huge amounts of exercise and will love you unconditionally – prioritising your company even over playing with other dogs – then choose a senior Staffie.”