I'm a dog expert – the unpopular breed that's actually really lovable but rescue shelters are full of them | The Sun

A DOG expert has revealed what the most overlooked breed is due to an unfair stigma attached to them.

Will Atherton is a Canine Behaviourist and has saved thousands of dogs from shelters and the euthanasia table.

The 32-year-old’s mission is to educate people so that they choose appropriate dog breeds they are able to care for appropriately. 

There is one breed that Will dubbed “so lovable” but many rehoming centres report that they see more of the breed than any other. 

And it is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Will explained that the stigma attached to the breed is from them once being bred as fighting dogs due to their stocky stature. 

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He said: “They definitely still suffer from the bad reputation that they got ten, 15 and 20 years ago.

"I think they went through their boom in popularity and got a bad stigma and reputation in the past from that.

"And I still think there's a level of that bad reputation and it's very, very unfounded in particular with Staffies.

"I've got a real heart for them.

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"They're often very sweet-natured, gentle and loving dogs.

"But unfortunately there's a stigma around them being potentially aggressive dogs or the kinds of people who get them.

"I think that puts off potential owners off from getting them."

"As a behaviourist, what I love about Staffies is that they're very trainable .

"Not just in terms of obedience but if they are suffering with any kind of behaviour problems they are a joy to work with.

"They have a very high success rate with behaviour moderation and intervention plans."

Will added that due to being in the terrier family, Staffies are likened to Pit Bull Terriers who are banned in the UK.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home – the UK’s largest pet rescue and rehoming shelter- claimed that up to 80% of the pooches in their care can be Staffies at times. 

However, most Staffy owners boast about their pooch’s cuddly and sweet personality.

Will volunteers at rescue centres and believes adult Staffies make the perfect companion.

He said: “If you find one that’s going towards the end of its life – that’s six, seven or eight years old – there’s still plenty of time to enjoy them.

“But those energy levels are down and they form wonderful bonds and make incredible pets."

According to Will, they're easy to train throughout their lives.

RSPCA scientific officer Esme Wheeler said: “Adopt don’t shop has long been our motto, and we would encourage those thinking of getting a dog to adopt. 

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“We are currently seeing a 73 percent rise in abandoned puppies and our centres are bursting at the seams with dogs looking for a loving new home. 

“Prospective owners can search the RSPCA rehoming database to find a dog near you who needs a happy home.”

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