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Trouble was my first staffy and wow what a lot of dog! Huge energy, mad drive for the chase.

She taught me so much about building a great reward system for a dog and breaking away from the old school methods of compulsion being the go to solution.

She ignored corrections, even wagging her tail and continuing with the behaviour!

Her true love in life was the Aussiedog Frisbee, she was totally mad for it. It took some fancy footwork and even quicker hands but we worked out a system of command, action and then release on the toy. I got bitten on the legs if I dropped the damn thing and bitten on the hands if I was not quick enough to throw it. There was bleeding and swearing on my part and plenty of frustrated staffy barking and screaming on hers.

Eventually we got through it all and became a team, one with mutual respect and better impulse control on Troubles side. She became our best demo dog for obedience, yes a Staffy actually enjoying instead of just enduring, obedience!

Sitdropsitdropsitdrop....and that girl would throw herself into position, alert, tail wagging, mouth wide and happy. She would do that all day, totally focussed on me...well on the frisbee in my hand that she would get when I released her anyway!

Her daughter Gromit was about as crazy as her mother and had similar drive. She was prone to sulking as only a staffy can and went through the stages of dog aggression as well. All ten kilo's of runt attitude that got her through open heart surgery at the age of 8 weeks as well as multiple surgeries through her 11 years of life. She had a condition that needed to be managed but that never stopped her for long.

Those girls threw themselves into training and loved to show off in demo's and parades. Born clowns and so social you could take them through packed crowds of thousands and they never batted an eye. They were much better with crowds then I ever was!

We had a demo team for Aussie dog and both my girls were a part of it. They were also quality control and destruction supervisers for Joe's products. If Gromit couldn't kill it then it was safe to sell as Staffy proof! The next pic is of Joe with Mitch (bastard of a dog! but we all loved the grumpy prick anyway) Vinny with Snake and me with Trouble.

All these dogs are gone now and the humans are a lot older but we will never forget our mates and the times we had together. What they taught us and the paths they led us down. Joe is still Aussiedog all these years later and Mitch started all of that off with his chewing ways.

I still have Staffies, 5 purebreds, two litters and one cross bred later. I always swear that I will nver get another staffy, too mad, too needy...then another one comes into my life!


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