The Final Stages  





The amateur breeder can obtain considerable satisfaction and no doubt a sense of some achievement as he watches the litter of home-bred Staffords romping in his pen. The fact that he planned the union of their parents, saw the dam through her ordeal, and built up the puppies through their weaning period into the ready-for going away stage is a matter for some pride. However, whereas it is not hard to sell well-bred stock, finding suitable homes for the youngsters may prove difficult. A lot will have to depend on your personal judgement of prospective buyers. Staffordshire Bull terriers are very good with children but sometimes are children  not so good towards Staffords. In fact, some families with a number of very small children are quite unsuitable as owners of a dog.










The parents will might well be dog-lovers but they cannot for ever be watching for and controlling the often unintentional cruelties of their young to a puppy in the family circle. Very old people too, will be ill-advised in buying a Stafford. The breed is to strong, too lusty for the frail to handle and the dog will not get the exercise he needs to thrive. Homes where the owners are businessfolk and out all day are no good either. A small puppy needs four meals a day, quite apart from the fact that he needs companionship  and some training at this early stage of his life. Husband and wife buyers, when it is obvious the latter especially lacks keenness, seldom adapt to puppy  ownership because the woman becomes responsible for its feeding and training, which either she does with resentment or not at all.












Never sell a puppy that is to be given to someone else for whom it is to be a "surprise" unless, of course, the person concerned can assure you dog is really wanted. Most people wanting a dog, however, go out and buy one, and an unexpected gift of a small puppy needing special attention, while appreciated at the time, soon loses its novelty, often to the puppy's disadvantage. It is usually worth putting a subtle form of questionnaire to intending buyers, this can be done in a respectful manner. Most people will be sensible enough to realise you have their interests at heart, as the puppies. Finally, make sure they want the dog because they have chosen it to join them in their family circle and because they are dog lovers.









A dog bought merely to guard the property from an outside shed or kennel has no worth-while life and becomes miserable. If you are one bitch owner and therefore but an occasional breeder, you will not worry overmuch about the commercial side of dog-breeding. Your odd litter or two will not be difficult to sell, provided they do not arrive and become ready for selling at an unfavourable time just before or during the peak holiday period between June and August, or coinciding with some national emergency. The best months for having young Staffords ready to go are January and February, followed by September to mid-December, then March to May, in that order. Of course, winter puppies are better raised in a warm, airy room in the house rather than in a kennel or shed where the temperature is liable to fluctuate, and produce less than perfect coats on the youngsters.









Apart from any puppy or puppies you intend for your own use, the litter should be off your hands by the time it reaches eight weeks of age. Once puppies exceed this age they begin to be a liability from an expense point of view. If kept up to the age of three months with no buyers in sight they can prove an embarrassment, and every day will add something to the cost of thier keep, apart from the time given to cleaning them up and settling their squabbles. Worse, the older they get, the more apparent become their faults and their chances of selling lessened. People like to buy a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy that, although a little "buccaneer" in its manner, is solid, blocky and snug. In effect, when a Stafford puppy has gone beyond the three Months stage it is rather too big to appeal to the average buyer.







Many first time breeders, daunted by the thought of seeing their puppies go, have run on the entire litter up to three months only to find they have what is virtually a hornets'nest on their hands. The tragedy can be that with no one to offer over-grown puppies new homes, the litter has to be put down. Fortunately, this result is rare, but not unknown.


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