The Boys

When I talk about ‘The Boys’ this is who I’m referring to:
(they are actually cousins-their moms are sisters!)

Registered American Staffordshires

Can you say….Awwwwww!




Dog Toys

In having English Bull Terriers (past 10 years) and more recent American Staffordshires we have always found it difficult to purchase toys that would hold up more than a few minutes!

You can’t buy cute stuffed or rubber toys as they are shredded in mere seconds.

I will show you some of the toys we have that have held up.

You can get most of them at your local pet store or you can check out Indestructible Dog Toy.

Dura Chew Textured Tug
Dura Chew Bacon Bone
Dura Chew Textured Bone
Jolly Egg
Double Action Chew
Dura Chew Bacon S
Paw-zzle Ball
Double Action Revolving Chew
Dura Chew Airscrew

And just this week…
Moose Antlers!

Because the ‘boys’ (Brodie & Jasper) are 70 lbs. and 64 lbs. respectively I bought the biggest antlers they had and I can tell you the boys love them!

I wasn’t sure if antlers would be considered a fight-over toy by the boys so they only get them under closer supervision and I never allow one to take it from the other. They each get one and unless it is dropped or left unattended they must respect the other dog and leave him alone.

The ends have been cut flat so there are no sharp points and this also allows the dogs to get at the bone marrow…and in case you are wondering….the antlers are naturally shed.

These are expensive ($25.99 each) so I only let them have the antlers for a couple of hours then they are put up keeping this particular ‘toy’ a special treat item!

I will tell you once these wear out and get chewed down I will be getting more. I think it is money well spent!



Coolin’ Off

Not excitingly hot here but that doesn’t stop Swamp Boy (Brodie) or Pig Pen (Jasper) from enjoying their pool!

Brodie aka Swamp Boy

Jasper aka Pig Pen

‘The Boys’



Dog Biscuits

One of my favorites apps for the Ipad is Key Ingredient.
I can browse recipes (with pictures!) and email them right from my livingroom couch!

Jasper (our 3 month old AmStaff) got his booster shots which in turn gave him extremely runny poop! So off to the store I go and get a big can of pumpkin and several yogurt. After a about a day and a half he was back to normal…however I still had LOTS of pumpkin left over.

As luck would have it I came across a recipe for Peanut Butter and Pumpkin dog bisuits! Now my biscuits are not uniform nor are they cute….I simply cut them into squares and baked them.

All three dogs LOVE these so I will be keeping these on hand!

I will post the recipe as it’s posted on Key Ingredient.

My notes:
I doubled the recipe.
I added an extra cup of pumpkin than what was called for.
I rolled out the dough LESS than 1/2″ thick. The thicker you go the longer it takes to bake!
It really does take 25 min. or so to bake one batch.
Water: Just enough to make it stiff
I keep these in an OPEN ziplock bag. I’m afraid if I zip up the bag the biscuits will start go to soft

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats

½ cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
½ cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a ½-inch-thick roll. Cut into ½-inch pieces.

Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 25 minutes.

Authors note: I added about a ½ cup of extra pumpkin to make it workable and my pup really loves pumpkin ***



Do You Know What You Are Feeding Your Dog?

We needed more dog food the other day and as luck would have it one of my Facebook friends posted a link rating all the different dog foods out there.

We have never purchased cheap grocery store dog food as I know that stuff is at the bottom of the food chain..filled with by-products and fillers…

However I did think that what we had been using was not too bad…

I made a list of premium dog foods from the website and headed off to the pet store.

At the top of my list was Blue Buffalo and wouldn’t ya know it…
There was a Blue Buffalo rep right in the store!!!!

We chatted for a few minutes and I re-read the ingredient list on the dry food and was sold! The ingredients they put into this stuff is amazingly wholesome!!

I also asked if dogs get bored eating the same thing over and over and over again…..
He said yes they do and that’s where canned food comes in.
Couple times a week give them a spoon or two of canned food mixed in with the dry food. With so many flavors available this is a good way to mix it up a bit!

The premium food does cost more as the bag is smaller however the rep said, and I’ve noticed too, the dogs eat less because they are eating better!

He also said that pit-type dogs are more prone to allergies and to NOT feed them beef or chicken (I didn’t know that!). So Maggie, Brodie and soon Tucker (heh heh) are eating lamb and brown rice!

Dog Food Ratings

And don’t forget to read the Ingredient Glossary!

Here are the ingredients to Blue Buffalo..can’t get anymore wholesome than this!

(edited to add: I bought the lamb and rice formula not the chicken formula below!)

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Potato Starch, Turkey Meal, Whitefish Meal, Salmon Meal, Tomato Pomace (natural source of Lycopene), Chicken Fat (preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Oatmeal, Natural Chicken Flavor, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Flaxseed (natural source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Alfalfa Meal, Kelp Meal, Taurine, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Yucca Shidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Turmeric, Herring Oil (natural source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Fructooligosaccharides, Monooligosaccharides, Dried Chicory Root, Black Malted Barley, Oil of Rosemary, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin C, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Zinc), Iron Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Iron), Copper Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Copper), Manganese Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Manganese), Potassium Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Potassium), Cobalt Proteinate (source of Chelated Cobalt), Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Selenite, Salt, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacterium thermophilum, Bifidobacterium longum, Enterococcus faecium.




Before getting our first English Bull Terrier (10 years ago) I did A LOT of research on the breed so we knew what we were in for.

Before we got Brodie (American Staffordshire) I again did a lot of research and I am still fascinated by the history of the ‘bull’ breeds!

Here is a link that compares each ‘bull’ breed (excluding bull dogs) and I will post here about both the American Staffordshire and the English Bull Terrier since those are the two that we have.

I like this comparison because it has pictures of each breed so you can see the differences in body styles!

Pit Bull (wikipedia)

Pit Bull is a term commonly used to describe several breeds of dog in the molosser family. Many breed-specific laws use the term “pit bull” to refer to the modern American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and English Bull Terrier. However, a few jurisdictions also classify the modern American Bulldog as a “pit bull-type dog”. All three breeds share similar history, with origins rooted from the bulldog and a variety of terriers. The term can also refer to dogs that were known as “bull terriers” prior to the development of the modern Bull Terrier in the early 20th century.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Although the early ancestors of this breed came from England, the development of the American Staffordshire Terrier is the story of a truly American breed. This type of dog was instrumental in the success of farmers and settlers who developed this country. They were used for general farm work, guarding the homestead, and general companionship.

A number of the early ancestors were also developed for the “sport” of dog fighting. The extraordinary vitality of this breed is a direct result of breeding for successful fighting dogs.

Until the early part of the 19th century the Bulldog was bred with great care in England for the purpose of baiting bulls. Pictures from as late as 1870 represent the Bulldog of that day more like the present-day American Staffordshire Terrier than like the present-day Bulldog. Some writers contend it was the White English Terrier, or the Black and Tan Terrier, that was used as a cross with the Bulldog to perfect the Staffordshire Terrier. It seems easier to believe that any game terrier, such as the Fox Terrier of the early 1800s, was used in this cross, since some of the foremost authorities on dogs of that time state that the Black-and-Tan and the white English Terrier were none too game, but these same authorities go on to stress the gameness of the Fox Terrier. In analyzing the three above-mentioned terriers at that time, we find that there was not a great deal of difference in body conformation, the greatest differences being in color, aggressiveness, and spirit. In any event, it was the cross between the Bulldog and the terrier that resulted in the Staffordshire Terrier, which was originally called the Bull-and-Terrier Dog, Half and Half, and at times Pit Dog or Pit Bullterrier. Later, it assumed the name in England of Staffordshire Bull Terrier. These dogs began to find their way into America as early as 1870 where they became known as Pit Dog, Pit Bull Terrier, later American Bull Terrier, and still later as Yankee Terrier.

English Bull Terrier

About 1850, James Hinks started breeding “Bull and Terriers” with “English White Terriers” (now extinct), looking for a cleaner appearance with better legs and nicer head. In 1862, Hinks entered a bitch called “Puss” sired by his white Bulldog called “Madman” into the Bull Terrier Class at the dog show held at the Cremorne Gardens in Chelsea. Originally known as the “Hinks Breed” and “The White Cavalier”, these dogs did not yet have the now-familiar “egg face”, but kept the stop in the skull profile.

The dog was immediately popular and breeding continued, using Dalmatian, Greyhound, Spanish Pointer, Foxhound and Whippet to increase elegance and agility; and Borzoi and Collie to reduce the stop. Hinks wanted his dogs white, and bred specifically for this. Generally, however, breeding was aimed at increasing sturdiness: three “subtypes” were recognised by judges, Bulldog, Terrier and Dalmatian, each with its specific conformation, and a balance is now sought between the three. The first modern Bull Terrier is now recognised as “Lord Gladiator”, from 1917, being the first dog with no stop at all.

Due to medical problems associated with all-white breeding, Ted Lyon among others began introducing colour, using Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the early 20th century. Coloured Bull Terriers were recognised as a separate variety (at least by the AKC) in 1936. Brindle is the preferred colour, but other colours are welcome.

Along with conformation, specific behaviour traits were sought. The epithet “White Cavalier”, harking back to an age of chivalry, was bestowed on a breed which while never seeking to start a fight was well able to finish one, while socialising well with its “pack”, including children and pups. Hinks himself had always aimed at a “gentleman’s companion” dog rather than a pit-fighter—though Bullies were often entered in the pits, with some success. Today the Bullie is valued as a comical, mischievous, imaginative and intelligent (problem-solving) but stubborn house pet suitable for experienced owners.

Here is Brodies dad!
He was in the United States for most of the last year so he could further his amazing career. Just look at all his awards!
We were lucky enough to come across the local breeder who just happened to be hosting Dragon (and subsequent puppies!) during his stay.
(Dragon is back home now in Croatia)

Playmakers ‘Cotton Dragon’

We are curious on just how big Brodie will be once he is full grown!
He seems to think he needs to sit in hub’s chair while I’m working on the computer!

Brodie in hubs' chair

Brodie in hubs’ chair



Bully Obsessed

Speaking of Bulls….

As with most families we love dogs and have had several over the years.

My favorites have always been the ‘bully’ breeds which include:
English Bull Terriers
Bull Dogs (any and all)
American Pit Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
(just to name a few)

For the last ten years we had two English Bull Terriers and I can honestly tell you it was like living with a ten year tornado (everything you read about the English Bull Terrier is true!). Sadly we lost our male a few months ago to chronic kidney disease.

We now have a new member of the family and he is an American Staffordshire Terrier. He is absolutely adorable ( and VERY smart!).

I know there are some (ok, maybe ALOT!) of you out there who the minute you hear the word ‘pit bull’ a negative wall goes up with visions of vicious dogs attacking small children or maiming and killing livestock.

A dog is NOT born to attack or kill.
There is no inherent gene they posses which magically turns on making these dogs vicious.

Vicious ‘pit bulls’ are a people problem.
More to the point….
Uneducated people and gang-bang wanna-be’s have taken a perfectly good, loyal breed and ruined their reputation. (Years ago it was the German Shephard getting a bad rap…now it’s the ‘pit’).

Nothing pisses me off more than seeing a young (mid-teens – 20’s) male walking down the street with his pants down past his ass and a ‘pit’ (with a huge chain collar) straining at the end of the leash. It is obvious that this poor dog has had no socialization or training and is merely being used as a scare tactic with his ‘homies’.


Thanks to the home-boys above many cities are implementing BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) banning specific dogs….pit-type breeds being one of them.

Again, this is no fault of the dog and BSL WON’T work!

I could go on and on and on about this subject but I won’t.
Instead I have joined a few Meetup groups and will work with them to educate the public regarding the ‘pit’ breeds.

I could also say angry things about Michael Vick/Bad Newz Kennel but I won’t. I think you all feel the same way I do. I will say this….most of his ‘killer’ dogs have been rehabilitated to the point where they can live out the rest of their lives with loving familes in peace.

We are also in an ongoing process of professional obedience training and socialization which ALL dog owner should go through regardless of breed!

Here is just one of many wonderful websites I found with ‘pit bull’ information.

I will warn you now…
There are links at the bottom of the website, one of them being Sad Reality. Do NOT click on that link unless you are prepared to see abused ‘pits’. I did and had to quickly click off as I sit here crying.

Pet Pitbull

Excerpts from the above site:

Old Time Pit Gallery
THE PITBULL TERRIER, poor fellow, is now almost obsolete, and what a shame! Will no one endeavour bring him back to his rightful own? Not to his former, much abused–pitifully abused–state, which was actually the cause of his downfall, but to the position of a true dog among dogs. Never was there a more noble, well -meaning, loyal, or courageous dog on the face of the earth. While perhaps some of the inferior types of this class were nothing much to look upon, yet those of the better specimens were really splendid-appearing animals and worthy of a place in any home or show ring. This terrier did not lose his reputation, and with it his popularity, because of any fault of his own.

Those who handled him, those who made him fight to maim and even kill other dogs, always at the grave risk of his own life, ultimately caused his decent down the grade rapidly toward oblivion. Left to himself, he was no more of a fighter than many of our other dogs which are held in the highest respect, and under the right supervision he was one of the most peaceful creatures living. Of course, it must be admitted that he could not really boast of blue blood, nor could he exactly claim a true-to-type strain, but, nevertheless, if other breeds could be carefully developed and raised to a standard recognized by the American Kennel Club, why could he not have enjoyed this honour? Surely, he well deserved it. So let us sincerely hope that some sympathetic person, or group of persons, may sooner or later take up his cause and carry it through until he has a fitting place in canine history.

John Lynn Leonard, DVM 1928

BSL (Breed Specific Legislation)
Banning Pit Bulls would be like banning cars because people get killed in car accidents! Who’s responsible, the car or the driver/manufacturer? Any car can be deadly in the wrong hands or if built with defective parts. Same thing with dogs… Any dog. Pit Bulls are no more responsible for the way they are bred, raised and trained, than cars are responsible for the way they are designed, built and driven.

Simply put, the best argument against breed bans is that they are costly and ineffective. Breed bans are often a knee-jerk reaction from politicians who want to say they are “doing something”, after a highly publicized dog attack (of any breed). This is a useless exercise.

Criminals habitually break laws, so having an “illegal breed” may indeed be attractive to them and might make them want to breed and sell more “illegal dogs”. If their dog is confiscated and killed, they really don’t care. They will just get another one because breed bans punish the dog, not the owner.

On the other hand, law abiding responsible owners, whose dogs love people and have never done anything wrong, can see their homes invaded, often without a search warrant, and their beloved family members dragged away (in front of their children) to be killed. Not because the dogs are unstable or mean, but simply because of their breed. Meanwhile, the owners of truly dangerous dogs (of any breed) escape punishment because their breed is not targeted by legislation and therefor is believed “safe”.

A 10 Lbs Pomeranian killed a baby a few years ago… Obviously a problem with that particular dog, not the breed. “The baby’s uncle left the infant and the dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby, who died shortly afterwards. (“Baby Girl Killed by Family Dog,” Los Angeles Times, Monday, October 9, 2000, Home Edition, Metro Section, Page B-5.)”

Because of a serious lack of regulation in dog breeding, too many dogs inherit defective genes and are sold to irresponsible owners. A breed ban will not resolve the problem. This nonsense will continue with the next macho breed and will become an endless race between breed specific legislators and unscrupulous breeders.

A Pit Bull breeder was shut down last year because Pit Bulls were banned in Topeka, Kansas. All his dogs were seized and destroyed, just for being the wrong breed at the wrong place. The man now breeds and sells African Boerboels, a rare breed from the Mastiff family, completely unknown to legislators. Unlike American Pit Bull Terriers, however, who are known for their love of people, Boerboels are serious guard dogs bred specifically as protectors. An irresponsibly bred and owned Boerboel might actually be more dangerous than an irresponsibly bred and owned Pit Bull. This is what a breed ban has accomplished in Topeka…

So in light of this, what kind of message are we telling abusive and irresponsible individuals when we make the dogs pay the price for their actions?

Here are some things to consider:

“Pit bull” is not a breed, but a “type” that encompasses several registered breeds and crossbreeds. Therefore, statistics that claim “Pit bulls” are responsible for some percentage of attacks are lumping many separate breeds together, then comparing that to other dogs that are counted as individual breeds.

Breed identification is left up to victim and witness testimony, and is often wrong. Due to negative press, biting dogs of almost ANY breed have been called “Pit bulls”. Try this little quiz for fun: Find the Pit Bull See how many people you know can pick out a pit bull from pictures, let alone in the middle of an attack.

Search the Center for Disease Control site. Even the CDC supports the position that irresponsible owners, not breed, are the chief cause of dog bites. They have done studies that indicate that the most “dangerous breed” of dog changes with popularity and reputation.

Search the American Temperament Test Society. Pit bulls have an average score that beats even the “ultimate family dog”, the Golden Retriever.

Positive pit bull press – This site shows not only what the breed is about, but the difference responsible ownership makes. Many of these pages are “Pit bull rescue makes good” stories. This site features, among other great stuff, rescue pits that are saving human lives in Search and Rescue and US Customs Service.

The Diane Whipple case. One of the first times the owner has been held responsible for the actions of their dog. Note that the breed involved was the Perro de Presa Canario (Canary Dog) from Spain, yet the brunt of the negative press again targeted the pit bull, an all but unrelated breed. Clearly the message is lets stop targeting the dogs! Pit Bulls are no more dangerous than any other strong and large dog. They just happen to attract more irresponsible and abusive owners than any other breed… Ironically, by portraying them in a negative way, the media and breed legislators only make them irresistibly attractive to individuals with bad intentions. Do Pit Bull haters really think that after banning the breed all the criminals who use these dogs as weapons will own Basset Hounds? And if they did, how long do you think it would take before Basset Hounds start making the news?

A breed ban will only remove Pit Bulls from the good people’s homes and leave them in the hands of animal abusers who couldn’t care less about the law… Better think twice before supporting such measure…

And lastly I will leave you with this little test.
People tend to mislabel a dog as a ‘pit’ when in fact they are not.
See if you can pick out the ‘pit’ in this test