Staffies are as good as any working dog

Martin Young and Millie

MILLIE, a five year old Staffordshire bull terrier and her owner, Martin Young, who live in Boambee East, near Coffs Harbour, clock up thousands of kilometres a year, training dogs and competing locally and interstate.

Last weekend, they were in Durack, Queensland, where DOGS Qld hosted the National titles in rally and obedience and the state titles in agility, jumping, games, obedience and trick dog tests.

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It is rare to see another Staffy at trials and Martin told News of the Area, “we are trying to break the mould and show how capable this breed really is in multiple areas”.

He said, “they are more than a family pet as they prove to be good all rounders in dog sports.”

The typical characteristics of the breed are that they are intelligent, loyal, have indomitable spirit, are courageous, very capable and equally affectionate.

They can do more than people think, as this breed has been stereotyped as aggressive, stubborn and not easily trainable.

“They are an absolutely fantastic breed and as good as any working dog.” he said.

After reading “Jock of the Bushveld” by Percy Fitzpatrick as a child, he was determined to get a “Stafford”.

In order to compete, one must firstly join a dog club, do a basic obedience class to make sure the dog is socialised and trained in the basics and then one can branch into dog sports.

Puppies should be trained from day one.

It’s often the handlers who need the most training.

“I didn’t know how much this passion would take over my life,” Martin said.

“It’s sheer joy to build a bond and relationship, develop a language and partnership and jointly solve problems.”

Martin is a member of the Coffs Harbour and Grafton dog training clubs and as well as competing, he organises the Coffs obedience, rally and tricks trials and also helps out with teaching and obedience classes.


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