We had always greatly admired the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed ~ a strong, smallish, short haired beautiful looking dog. Having decided we wanted one, we contacted the Scottish Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue ~ they were and still are, very helpful and gave us really good advice.

The Rescue organisation had dogs and bitches of all sizes and ages and at the time we rang, they had a pregnant bitch coming into the Rescue. Because of our existing livestock (chickens, ducks and cat) we asked if we could have one of the new puppies, female if possible. After answering a few questions and a simple homecheck, they accepted us as prospective owners of the new pup. When the pups were born, it materialised that they were in fact a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross. It didn't matter to us whether the pup was purebred or cross ~ we still wanted her!

Polly is my first ever dog and it was with slight trepidation I took her on, not knowing exactly what to expect, despite reading all the books and literature beforehand and watching doggie programmes on the television. We had a few issues, simply related to puppy behaviour and with help and advice from the Scottish Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue organisation and other dog owners, we dealt with problems as they arose and overcame them. One of the main issues to deal with was the toilet training and another one, which surprised us, was a once off initial aggression display that most puppies demonstrate. There was nothing, with a bit of perseverance and commonsense that could not be overcome.

We started obedience training with her within the week of taking her home, basic stuff like sit, down, stand and recall ~ just to get her attention on us and give her a bit of first obedience. When she was 16 weeks old I took her to Obedience Training classes, where she learnt more advanced commands, like recall, down, sit, wait and stay ~ all from a distance of 25 metres or more and sit and down while on the move.

Polly has grown into a lovely natured, friendly, very lively little dog. She likes most animals but does get carried away sometimes when helping to put the livestock away at night when the hens and ducks just will not go away quick enough for her! She loves her walks and climbed her first Munro (mountain over 3000') Ben Whyvis, when she was 9 months old. Now at over 11 years old, she is slowing down a little bit, except when there is a squirrel to chase after or a ball to catch and she has recently started to get tired on longer walks over 6 miles. She has also started to limp a little bit occasionally, which we think is a bit of arthritis and to help with it, she gets a couple of drops of salmon oil put in her dinner.

With good training and firm and consistent boundaries she has matured into a very obedient and well balanced dog and we do not for a minute regret taking on this wonderful Staffordshire Bull Terrier X. Walking her every day is an absolute delight and never a chore ~ there is always something for her to find, dig, smell or chase and she loves going in the sea, in fact she loves any water, sea, river or puddle. The main problem she used to cause when she was younger, was when she spied a rabbit or hare and instinct took over ~ her ears folded to the back of her head, her head went back and she took off ... completely oblivious to anything including calls from us for her to come back. Even on one occasion, when she was a puppy, getting lost when on the chase and finding her own way home!

She is obsessed with the ball and would play for hours on end, just retrieving the ball to be thrown again. She enjoys the long walks we take her on and she loves travelling, either in the car, train or on a boat ~ she just settles down, knowing that at the other end of the journey there is probably some nice long walk or adventure for her. Whatever we do with her or wherever we take her, she just accepts it and and trusts that we will take care of her.

Amber actually belongs to our youngest son. She is a pedigree Staffordshire Bull Terrier ~ her pedigree includes Crufts entrants. Like Polly, she is a lovely natured, friendly and very lively little dog. I have trained her well and she is an obedient and well balanced little dog, just like Polly. Also like Polly, Amber climbed her first Mountain Mount Keen, at 9 month old and she loved it ~ rushing about all over, chasing rabbits, hiding in the heather and jumping about in the snow.

Both dogs love people and children, but unfortunately because they are that 'type' of dog, people are often scared of them, which is a shame, because when they go to greet people and they get ignored or shouted at, neither dog can understand what they have done wrong.