A dog expert has revealed which breed is most ignored due to the unfair stigma surrounding it.
Will Atherton is a canine behaviorist and has saved thousands of dogs from shelters and from the euthanasia table.
The 32-year-old man’s mission is to educate people to choose the appropriate dog breeds that they can care for properly.
There is one in particular that Will called “so adorable”, yet many rehoming centers report seeing more of the breed than any other.
And it’s the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Will explained that the stigma attached to the breed is because they were once bred as fighting dogs due to their stocky stature.
He said: “They definitely still suffer from the bad reputation they got ten, 15 and 20 years ago.
“I think they went through their popularity boom and got a bad stigma and reputation in the past because of it.
“And I still think there’s a level of disrepute and it’s very, very unfounded, particularly with the Staffies.
“I have a real heart for them.
“They are often very sweet, gentle and loving dogs.
“But unfortunately there is a stigma around these being potentially aggressive dogs or the type of people who get them.
“I think that deters potential owners from getting them.”
“As a behaviourist, what I love about Staffies is that they are so easy to train.
“Not only in terms of obedience, but if they suffer from any kind of behavior problem, they are a joy to work with.
“They have a very high success rate with behavior moderation and intervention plans.”
Will added that because they are in the terrier family, Staffies are compared to Pit Bull Terriers, which are banned in the UK.
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the UK’s largest pet rehoming and rescue shelter, claimed that up to 80% of the dogs in their care can be Staffies at times.
However, most Staffy owners boast about their dog’s cute and sweet personality.
Will volunteers at rescue centers and believes that adult Staffies make the perfect companion.
He said: “If you find one that is nearing the end of its life, that is six, seven or eight years old, there is still plenty of time to enjoy it.
“But those energy levels are down and they make wonderful bonds and make amazing pets.”
According to Will, they are easy to train throughout their lives.
RSPCA Scientific Director Esme Wheeler said: “Adopt, don’t buy has been our motto for a long time, and we would encourage those thinking of getting a dog to adopt.
“We are currently seeing a 73 percent increase in abandoned puppies and our centers are overflowing with dogs looking for a loving new home.
“Potential owners can search the RSPCA’s rehoming database to find a dog near you in need of a happy home.”