Looking for a Stafford?

I have noticed an increase in people reaching out for help after buying a puppy and realizing they might not have gotten exactly what they were hoping for. There is a real need for more education on this breed. A number of ‘pop up’ breeders are literally cashing in on the upsurge of popularity in Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

In an effort to educate we are working on marketing ideas to try to reach people BEFORE they purchase a Stafford puppy so we can make sure they are well equipped with all the information they need to make a good purchase from a breeder who will support and mentor them, a breeder who is involved in more than ‘making puppies’, a breeder who does (and can prove) all breed appropriate health testing, a breeder who will take back a dog they have produced for any reason at any time, a breeder who is involved in breed rescue, a breeder who is well educated on the breed – an honest preservation breeder.

You deserve to bring home a puppy who has been enriched and raised in a loving home environment for the first 8-12 weeks of its life. You deserve the correct temperament. You deserve a happy and healthy, well adjusted puppy. A Stafford puppy should be confident, eager to learn and energetic. Whether or not your breeder feeds raw, naturally rears or not – they should be a well respected active member of the Stafford community. Help us help you!

The new marketing campaign will be designed to target regular people looking for a puppy so they have this information in hand! Tell us what you search for when looking online – tell us what you expect to find – tell us your thoughts on what you are finding when searching. Send an email to wavemakerstaffords @gmail.com with the subject: Stafford Search Study so that we can put together a helpful education campaign.

Why the intense interview?

Our application is very lengthy. Our interviews are quite in depth. We do home checks. We talk on the phone with people interested in buying a dog from us. We meet potential buyers in person and ask they visit us or we meet them at their home or a show or event. We have a very detailed contract and we discuss this contract with our buyers, negotiating it and altering it until both parties are in total agreement. We are interested in the well being of the dog we are selling – we have to trust the home it goes to – we have to know for certain the dog will be fairly treated, well cared for, loved and kept in a healthy environment. Our interest stems from a responsibility we accepted when we decided to breed a litter or do rescue.

We are very open on this website, in person, in writing and on the phone about the types of homes we seek out. There is no hidden or shady agenda. We answer emails, phone calls and PMs and will also tell a person if they are not a good match for us.

Sometimes we make errors in our judgement and we have to live with that. We have blogged about one huge mistake we made in our first litter. Scroll back in the blog and you can read the details for yourself – but let’s just say – we won’t make this mistake again. So if you contact us and you feel we are being a bit too ‘intense’ please know the reason for that is our history of being scammed and our dedication to protect the animals we are responsible for.

If all you want is to PayPal your money for your 1st, 2nd, 3rd pick puppy and be on your way ….well we are not your breeder.

Purebred Pride

We receive a LOT of interest in our Staffords. We might receive half dozen plus emails, PM’s, calls and yes even texts from strangers asking to purchase a puppy weekly. Here’s some advice. Don’t send a text asking for a puppy. Further, how about an introduction?

We ALWAYS ask everyone to please read this huge website prior to filling out the application to see if we are a good fit before wasting either of our time. There is a reason we have such a detailed website instead of how most breeders have – just pages showcasing their dogs accolades (or perhaps not) with an application, non refundable deposits and a wait list.

We do not pay our bills on the uterus’ of our Staffords.

We do not have a litter of puppies so that you can have one anytime you ask. There isn’t a kennel full of puppies out back for you to select any color you want. Far from that! Our dogs are our pets first. They live with us and enjoy being spoiled daily. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

We do not promote breeding for those who do not really truly understand this breed, are dedicated students of this breed, fully health test this breed, are active in breed clubs, help with rescue, live with your dogs inside your home, train using positive methods and extensively screen potential buyers including keeping in contact with them for the lifetime of the dogs you sell (to the best of your ability). We are not here to populate the world with Staffords. We have been actively involved in rescue for so long that we KNOW those who do not do the above will sell to people not prepared to be Stafford owners and we end up cleaning up after them.

We also do not sell to people looking to produce ‘sport mixes’. Why on earth would we dedicate 15 years to this breed and turn around and sell to someone we barely know who has zero knowledge of our breed approve of them breeding our fully health tested, carefully bred, Puppy Culture raised purebred Stafford with a fantastic pedigree to be used to make mutts? No way. So don’t even ask.

Too many ignorant people are breeding dogs without a care in the world what becomes of them down the road. We are not in that category. Not even close. So stop. Ask someone else if you can have their puppy. We want to sell to carefully screened, loving, dedicated people who become family. It doesn’t always work out this way but this is what we strive for. We may not be your breeder and that’s fine with us.

May the future of the Stafford be protected and may they enjoy the luxury of not becoming any more popular….for their sakes.

Who would ever know?

In the days prior to Facebook we had Bullbreeds Online. Before that Yahoo groups. Prior to that there was Compuserve chat rooms. Even before that, before the internet, people actually called on the telephone to speak to one another. The phones usually were attached to walls or at least a base unit was. Those who did rescue could have ‘telephone tree’ calls to arrange assistance to the dogs, the breeders, the owners. People actually SPOKE, in real works, out loud or sometimes even in person. HORRORS! You mean people actually looked one another in the eye and had conversations? Yes, my young readers. This is how it was ‘in the old days’ before FB.

When you have to look a person in the eye to speak it makes it more difficult to tell lies. Don’t get me wrong – there are those who are especially talented in this area who can still do this. Well seasoned at bending the truth, some people can make the world sound like just about anything they desire. Sometimes people lie for the sport of lying and sometimes they are ashamed of their actions and guilt makes them lie. Sometimes they feel no shame, and lie because its what they feel is expected of them. Lies simply flow easily out of their mouths any time they speak.

In dogs, here is the problem with being dishonest. There is always somebody paying attention who knows you are not truthful. Today’s blog entry is about breeders who routinely tell lies and think they get away with it. I want to begin by telling you that I have never in my life been associated with so many wonderful people who are passionate about a hobby they spend 24/7 living/breathing/enjoying. In contrast to that, I also have never met so many cold hearted fake egotistical sociopaths either. How can these opposing groups continue in harmony doing the same hobby? Well, my theory is that many of the passionate happy positive people aren’t aware of the other type – mainly because why would you seek that out? Sometimes it is best/easier to ignore those miserable, cold hearted, selfish, controlling, shit stirrers. Sometimes that’s all you can do. Today I am blogging because I am sick to death of those types and I feel strongly they are why breeders and dog show folk have such a negative reputation with the rest of the population and also why the few doing purebreed rescue get so burned out and disgusted. The loudest people get the attention. The angry loud few are what people remember most. And on top of that, when a person who normally is NOT like that gets fed up and becomes angry, loud and attention seeking – that’s what they will be remembered for as well. Thats a shame. What should be remembered – what SHOULD be spoken about are the others – those who ruin it for everyone. It’s those people who make us ALL look bad. I can totally understand why so many people, especially in rescue, HATE breeders. I get that!

Here is what I know as someone who has been devoted to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in both rescue, re-home, fundraising, volunteer work, breeding, mentoring and educating – people tell me things. I listen. Now I will speak.

  • I know of a breeder who left a dog she bred knowingly in a kill shelter.
  • I know of a breeder who has had dogs they bred returned to them and chose to¬† euthanized rather than take the time to train/socialize/rehome the dogs.
  • I know of a breeder who euthanized a dog that was returned and then lied and told people it was placed in a wonderful home.
  • I know of this same breeder who has done this routinely.
  • I know of breeders who import so many dogs then sell them on like one might buy shoes.
  • I know of breeders who are pyramid sales type breeders – you buy a puppy and sign a contract stating the Stafford must be shown (maybe even by them, maybe for a handling fee), bred from and puppies given back to the breeder and that then you must carry on in the same manner…and on and on and on.
  • I know of breeders who would just as well breed on the 1st heat just as easily as taking 7 litters from a bitch.
  • I know of breeders whose dogs live in kennel runs on abandoned properties not where anyone lives and the dogs are visited once daily for a scoop of kibble and some water.
  • I know breeders who routinely keep non refundable deposits no matter why the puppy didn’t go to that home – even when its the breeder who turns the buyers down.
  • I know a breeder who makes their buyers use their stud dogs and charge the stud fees anyway.
  • I know a breeder who charged the breeder of their stud dog a stud fee even after being given free Staffords from the same breeder in the past.
  • I know breeders who lie about health testing.
  • I know breeders who lie about puppy enrichment protocols they claim to use but don’t.
  • I know breeders who care more about ribbons, specialty wins or how many champions they have bred than they care about the lives those dogs lead.
  • I know breeders who think they are the center of the universe and that all others are below them and must respect anything they say no matter how absurd their words are.
  • Sadly, I also know breeders who are hoarders and get in over their heads and cannot find a way out but are not able to ask for help.
  • I know breeders who lack so much confidence that they need a pat on the back for anything they say or do in order to feel okay and accepted.
  • I know breeders who collect semen like some collect coupons.
  • I know breeders who collect dogs like some collect coupons.
  • I know breeders who pay their bills by selling puppies but wouldn’t ever admit that they need the money and the puppies are how they earn it.
  • I know breeders whose actual self worth is based upon dog show wins.
  • I know breeders whose puppies are born and raised in stalls or basements, mostly unattended.
  • I know some breeders who may read this list and not see themselves on it.

I know a lot of things and I also know that for the most part, nobody really cares. Knowing all these things makes me sad if I think about them. In today’s world of having all your ‘friends’ made by a click of a button on FB, telling lies seems to be much easier. After all, who would ever know?

How Did That Happen?

Here it is almost ten weeks later and the first puppy leaves tomorrow. Ordinarily I prefer for them to remain a while longer but this puppy is going to an experienced home with a Stafford bitch they bought from us 4 years ago. They also do Puppy Culture so I feel confident he will be enriched after leaving us. How in the world did ten weeks go by? I feel as though I didn’t get enough completed yet. I missed things. I mean, I followed the videos, workbook and all my usual exercises and adventures with the puppies but somehow I am not ready. I won’t cry, in fact it will be easier. Boy litters are far more wild than mixed litters. They are needing more ‘time out’ to learn CER than past litters did. So this morning we did a session of The Box Game and I realized I had neglected to do this game until now. Here is a video of how it went. WOW Puppy Culture amazed us again! Thank you Jane (Mad Cap BT).

 

We couldn’t believe it really. Each puppy learned what we were asking of him so quickly that the entire session was over in no time. I can’t wait for what’s in store for these special boys! Their lives will be amazing I am sure – and I have the first few weeks to thank.