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Diesel was born October 1995 and was bred by my old friend JT Ellison from his Sinbad dog bred to a female called Elsa. At that time my sister had moved into a new place and was looking for a new Stafford, and with me living in a one bedroom flat with my girlfriend, knew just the place to find her one!
My friend at the time KK and I went over to pick up the pups (he was having one too). We met JT and then drove onto a little estate, knocked on the door and were greeted by a pleasant women who was very nice but you could see had lived a bit.
We went in to find Elsa with her pups under the stairs. Else was a strongly built female, rather low to the ground and long in the body. This is a common body type in this family, I saw this body style in others too. She jumped out the bed and made a fuss of everyone. I remember asking JT which one he would pick and he said “Any, they are all bred the same”. KK picked his, a rather small male and I picked my sisters male, we paid the lady our money and we were on our way.
JT never sold dogs, but was happy for others to sell his dogs. This happened again when I bought Hank from his nephew.
I went home to the flat first and my girlfriend at the time, my wife now, thought he was really cute. The next day I dropped him off at my sisters who lived about a mile away from me. He had the whole house and the run of the huge garden. He grew up into a lovely young dog who, typical of this family, would run all day, swim, hang on tree branches and would play tug of war all day long! A proper Stafford!
Most days I would cycle to my sisters to take Diesel (My sister named him this) out by the bike. We would go for miles. On a hot day in about June, when Diesel was about a year old, on returning from a good 4/5 mile ride, we were cooling down and walking home, we were nearly there, only to be confronted by a huge German Shepherd!
You see, along the street lived ‘Metal Mickey’ the scrap metal man. For those who are not familiar with this term, a ‘scrap man’ is a guy that owns a truck who drives around all day picking up any metal object from folk to load his truck with and weigh it in for money. The guys I know who are into this are lets say, colourful characters to say the least, and Mickey was one of these. He owned one of the old red staffords, bred from the dog Red, who I wrote about in a previous article. When his Stafford was getting on, he then brought the GSD and reared him with the Stafford… and this could plainly be seen in this encounter!
As we rounded the corner, Mickey’s dog (who was not on the lead) just launched into Diesel, I saw this and dropped Diesel’s lead so he could take on this huge brute! The GSD grabbed him by the ear and proceeded to shake him like a used shammy! Knowing how Diesel was bred, I being confident , slowly laid my bike down, and slowly asked Mickey to take his dog when I told him the time was right. The problem was, the GSD was shaking him around like he was an 80lbs Stafford, not a snapping snarling GSD as you would expect. It was clear that the GSD had been raised by another Stafford.
I have to admit I was disappointed in Diesel’s response. Not an ounce of fight in him. It wasn’t that he was scared or was trying to get away, moreover, a little curious and shell shocked. We got the GSD off him and as I walked away with Diesel, I must admit to feeling a little disappointed as by then I had been around staffords for 13yrs or more and none of those who I had, even the little ones, would ever take that kind of ragging from any dog without a response!
Soon after this, I went to live about 40 miles away for 6 months and my sister allowed me to take Diesel with me as a companion. He was a joy to own, and I would look forward to coming home every night and getting out in the fresh air with him. He would chase rabbits unendingly, but if I remember correctly, had to put him on the lead for horses and cattle.
His brother also grew into a lovely little dog, built like his mother, he was very bouncy and proved himself to be a good example of the breed. I have footage of both dogs on video, deep red with black masks.
Well after my six months away, I returned Diesel home to my sisters where he matured into a fine dog with quite a serious look about him. Diesel lived the good life and I did tried to breed him a couple of times with the female Jody. One such time I ended up being held up at gunpoint by gamekeepers as they thought all my messing about, was me poaching pheasants, but that;s another story.
Suffice to say there were never any pups from these brothers.
When Diesel was about 3 yrs old I got a call from my sister to say that there had been an ‘accident’ with him. At first I thought he may have been run over or choked on a bone or something, y’know the usual emergency type of things that crop up when owning staffords! But to my surprise my sister began to tell me the story.
Apparently, since his return, Diesel took an instant dislike to Metal Mickey’s GSD! He was constantly looking to push past legs, get out of the gate to get to him. When on walks past his house, the GSD, who had a kennel and lived mostly outdoors there, would invariably bark and Diesel would become very excited to get to him!
Well, this day he managed to get out and the gate to Mickey’s yard was open! Diesel wasted no time in running down the street, into the yard and flying straight into the GSD. They could hear the GSD from their house and on realising there was no Diesel, knew what was going on. My sister reported that he shook the unfortunate animal very hard and after about 10mins dragged him into his own kennel. Try as they might, Mickey or my sister could not get Diesel as he had dragged the GSD to the rear of the large kennel and proceeded to try to finish him. In fact, the GSD did go very quiet in there and my sister reported that they both thought he had killed it? Fortunately, Mickey was able to reach Diesel, pull him out and choke him of the now very limp and almost unconscious dog. The whole thing lasted 20mins as my sister kept an eye on the time.
The GSD was taken to the vets and over the coming weeks recovered from the ordeal. Diesel, hardly had a mark on him and continued to strain to get back at the GSD whenever possible! He lived until he was 10 and had to be PTS due to cancer. He was a grand old dog whom I think of fondly when I reminisce.
For readers reading this rather gruesome tale of canine revenge, I’m sure there will be many of you with such tales? But for me, the biggest lesson it taught me was patience with your dog, especially if they are family bred which he definitely was! You see, the purer that you breed them, often, not always but often, they take much longer to mature. Never write off a young dog for his temperament, when he has not yet fully developed his character into maturity. It’s a wise lesson!
Another lesson is to keep your dog’s secure! This story may bring a wry smile to some, but for the GSD this was no laughing matter. No-one in their right mind would wish something like that on an animal. One of these dogs has the ability to get someone into a lot of trouble should they not keep them secure on their property and so on both counts, I would urge anyone to do this. This breed has had its fair share of bad publicity, let’s not add to it. This family of staffords I am describing will, in the main, take on anything ( as I am sure many staffords would too) so you have to be very responsible in how you rear and keep them.
Accompanying this article will be a couple of pictures of Diesel, along with his pedigree that was written by JT himself.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article.
The following article was written by Ian Jensen for the Stafford Review magazine in 1996. This is a remarkable story about his old dog Barney and I felt needed to be recirculated again for those who may of missed the article 1st time round.
Many thanks goes out to Ian Jensen for allowing me to publish this for all my Stafford enthusiasts around the world to read.
When thinking of a breed of dog for the job of following a scent the Stafford is not the obvious choice. This article by Ian Jensen goes to show that what a Stafford wants Stafford usually gets....
Thought I would drop a line to tell you of an incident involving my eight year old Staff Barney. Under Ed Reids I.K.C Barney was a weight pull champion, the most weight he ever shifted was 2,495lbs to beat all comers. He came second in a high jump competition clearing 6ft 3.. and best of all won a tug of war taking on all comers including Pit Bulls weighing 15lb's more than him. with all this behind him I felt he could not surprise me and he certainly had nothing more to prove, but on Monday the 9th September 1996 he did.
A friend had rescued a Jack Russell Terrier about six months ago, a real working type who took every opportunity to go to ground and seek out rabbits and on Saturday the 7th September he did just that, whilst being walked at 8.00am he ran into some brambles and never came out, the owner obviously scared searched all she could but after 4 hours of searching decided to come back at night when it would be quieter and she would know which hole Buster had run down, despite extensive searches he could not be located. Everyone in the village took their mutts to the area but none would mark his location, come Monday morning I decided I would give Barney a try, I was not confident, he'd had a tussle with the lost dog and Barney did not have much hunting instinct but Buster had been in the hole for three days and things were getting desperate.
After we had been in the area for about twenty minutes Barney began to show great interest in one rabbit hole in particular, he began to dig and bark and gradually started to disappear into the hole, when all I could see was his tail I decided to pull him out and have a listen, I could hear the faint yapping of a terrier emanating from the hole, Barney had marked his location for definite. It was getting dark so I ran to the pub for reinforcements, spades and torches were collected and digging commenced, after two hours we had dug down about six feet and along about eight feet the sound of Buster's barking was getting louder but as the warren branched out in three directions we could not tell which one to follow, momentarily halting our progress, I decided Barney should be able to indicate which tunnel to follow and lifted into the hole we had excavated, as his feet touched the ground his hackles went up obviously sensing his old enemy, he dived for one hole and began digging and growling furiously, I grabbed his tail just as we were about to lose sight of him, from Barney's reaction we knew Buster was close, we followed the tunnel Barney had marked and within five feet found Buster lying on his side exhausted, dehydrated and very weak, Barney was hailed a hero and Buster is recovering, he may lose the sight in one eye but he is eternally grateful to the dog who once almost tore off his ear during a Staff type difference of opinion.
The whole village hailed Barney as the hero of the moment, the local landlord inviting him down to the pub for as much ham as he could eat, this incident has led me to believe that after my dog showing his ''search and recue'' skills the Bull Terrier is truly the greatest all round dog.
''I,K,C'' Ch ''Iron Head Barney'' in his younger years.
Displaying the classic Staffy smile.
Powerhouse weight pulling Champion.
"Iron Head Barney".
Barney was also Kennel Club Registered
Polar Mick The Gladiator.
Risky's Royal Albert (Jim) has just passed his 1st birthday, he is from a mating combination between Rivergreens Captain Barclay x Risky's Roxy Miss.
Jim is owned by my good friend Andrew from Sunderland who keeps me regularly updated on his progress, he informs me that Jim is a well rounded dog that loves his exercise and takes everything in his stride. He is a great family dog who loves Andrews young grandson George, apparently never to far away from baby George looking for food that he drops.. Jim gets along fine with all his other family members dogs, Molly another Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Oscar the Patterdale.
In my opinion Jim is a fantastic representation of the Riskys Staffords bloodline and I look forward to seeing him at full maturity..
I would like to thank Andrew and his wife Pam for giving Jim a wonderful caring home.
Please see below a selection of pictures.
Regards Gary B
Fast approaching the prestigious Staffordtimes dog show/ sports events
in the Netherlands.
Online booking forms are now open for entries to both days.
Please click on links below.
Keurmeesters / Judges:
Staffordshire Bull Terriers: Kevin Titley (Garwstaff)
American Staffordshire Terriers: Claudia van Essen Dufornee (House of Ancients)
Athletic Staffords: Yorgos Kakamanoli
Please complete the form to enter for the conformation show at StaffordTimes 2019.
Online show entry form link
Please complete the form to enter for the sportsday at StaffordTimes 2019.
Online sports entry form link
For more information please click on the Facebook page link below.
Where do I start? I suppose with my first introduction to staffs. Growing up in the 70’s were innocent times a far cry from today’s society. No mobile phones or computers just ferrets and pigeons on my estate. Days were spent walking the fields in search of rabbits or round the local tips and streams ratting with the ferrets. I soon began to realise that I needed a new addition to the team. I was sick of seeing rats escaping, I needed a dog! This wasn’t going to be easy. My mum wasn’t keen on dogs in the slightest. I decided I would have to work on it and wait for the right moment. In the meantime I decided I would get a book on ratting and hunting etc and see what dog would best suit my needs. After what seemed an age of saving pocket money I went into town and purchased my first book. I couldn’t wait to get home, I was so excited. Chapters on rabbiting, ratting and the dog used for hunting.
Jack Russell's seemed to be the choice of many. Just when I thought Jack Russell’s it is I flipped the page and my eyes lit up. The rat pits of London!! A chapter on the record number of rats killed by a single dog in the least time. The various bull and terriers crosses to produce these dogs. It went on to explain that these dogs became the ancestral foundation stock for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. From that day on I knew I had to have one. I tried to find out as much as I could about the breed. These dogs were ticking all the boxes for me. Their looks, temperament and willingness to please. They had it all!! It was time to start working on my mum.
I think I drove her mad and eventually she finally cracked. I had to act quick before she changed her mind. Back then the local paper had a pets for sale section, no internet in those days. Every day I was off to the newsagents to buy the paper, praying a litter would be advertised but nothing. I was getting despondent. Then out of the blue my wife to be rang me all excited. There is a litter of staffs in the paper. I couldn’t ring them quick enough.
All sounded good. Even champion sired by Scarthwaite Coachman. We were soon on our way. Luckily they were only in the next town. A little brindle bitch with white markings caught my eye. I handed over my £100 and we set off back with my little girl Penny.
After a couple of sleepless nights she soon settled down. From the word go she was a
confident little girl and nothing phased her. I took her everywhere with me. We were inseparable. As she approach the six months stage I thought it was time to take her out with the ferrets (I had already broken her to stock). We headed to the tip for a bit of sport. Let’s see what she has got, I thought. From the word go she was tossing rats in the air, shaking them all over the place. She loved it. And so did I. Proud wasn’t the word. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone. As she got older anything with fur was fair game to her. She had no reverse.
I had a good few years hunting with her and many fond memories. A twist of fate after a mornings hunting resulted in her developing blood poisoning. Devastatingly, she had to be put to sleep at the tender age of 5. She left a massive gap in our lives. She has never been forgotten. Not only an excellent hunter but also a loyal family member.
I still carry out vermin control to this today for farmers and gamekeepers with lurchers and terriers. The wife still has show line staffords but as you know todays watered down Staffords are a million miles away from the old tyme dogs. I always knew that at some stage when the time was right I would want what I would call a ‘proper staff’ again.
About a year ago I started browsing the internet. I came across a site Riskys staffords. As soon as I saw the type of animal Riskys had, studied their pedigrees and noted the years of breeding that had gone into creating the family I knew these were the dogs for me.
Unfortunately my circumstances changed and I had to put the idea on the backburner. Over the following months I must have looked at the site a hundred times or more.
In July of last year I bit the bullet and contacted Gary. It must have been fate because a litter had just been born. After a few phone calls and texts I secured a little white bitch, out of Captain Barclay and Riskys Roxy Miss mating. Gary kept me updated with her progress sending videos etc. The date was set to pick her up. My wife and I drove down from Lancashire staying in a hotel overnight with arrangements made to pick her up the following morning.
We arrived at Gary’s to a warm welcome and a brew. It wasn’t long before the conversation turned to the creation of the Riskys family. I could tell that Gary lived and breathed for the Stafford and was extremely passionate about his family. Brew finished we were off into the garden to the kennels to meet some of the dogs. All I can say they are superb examples of the breed and I could have quite happily taken any of them home with me.
Back to the house and my long wait was about to be over. Gary disappeared and a door opened and in ran four little beauties. Instantly hanging off anything they could get hold of.
Sassy was the chosen name and it seemed quite fitting for our lovely little white bitch whose tail never stopped wagging. As it was a long drive home it was time to thank Gary and say our goodbyes. I was dreading the first 2-3 nights but to our surprise not a sound from her.
That’s how she has gone through life up to now. Took everything in her stride, nothing a big deal to her. As you would expect from Riskys breeding she has a lovely temperament and nature and tackles everything you throw at her. She is a very driven bitch and always finds that extra gear when needed. What brought the biggest smile to my face was when she was around 7 months she caught herself a big old rat on one of the allotments. No hesitation, killing it instantly. At the time of writing she is coming up to 11 months, maturing very nicely.
A pleasure to own. As promised I have kept in touch with Gary and send him photos and
videos of her progress.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gary for letting me take Sassy a true gent.
Many thanks to Tony for taking the time to write and send in his story for this months blog. Thank you for providing Sassy with a fantastic home and for all your support and friendship.
I look forward to seeing and hearing about her continued progress for the many years to come.
Please see a selection of pictures of Sassy below.
Regards Gary B..
The pups from last years mating between Rivergreens Captain Barclay x Riskys Maggie have just passed their 1st birthday. Here's a selection from some of my favourite pictures sent to me.
All great types and a good variation can be seen. Very pleased with how all of them are progressing. Many thanks to the owners for keeping in touch with the constant updates and pictures.
Thanks for looking. Regards Gary B..
Well what can i say about my little terrier that is Willie, hes' courageous, brave, full of guile, silly, spontaneous but above all a gentleman of a dog. He seems to know when he's aloud to go mental! which is a new one on me.
My names Benny (birth name James) I've been around dog's most of my life, I love all dogs big and small they've all got something to give, there is only one exception and that is a dogs that has no soul and there seems to be more and more Staffords about just like that but not at Gary's kennels though, every time I go to see Gary he's dog's are always full of spirit and ready to say hello I especially like Manny (Risky's Pacman) he's my kinda Stafford.
I've personally had Stafford's now for nearly 20 years my first I named Mayhem (Brindle) ped name Crackin thunder boy an he lived up to both ped and pet, he was a grand dog that also had plenty of the Stafford way about him,he could nose touch my hand at about 1.9m and he was about 16 at the withers. I sadly lost him last year at the grand old age of 16 and a half. I Shall always have a Stafford till the day I can't, most glorious of all breeds, I must admit I'm a tad bias but I stick to it, no other bred thus far I've had the pleasure of time and company has compared yet..
Enough of my ramblings back to Willie the kid! He comes with me everywhere he's aloud and I don't go many places were dog's are not, if he's not coming he just looks at me with he's ears pricked as if to say "your leaving me here" but no bother he just waits for my return. Even if I've just popped to the shop it's like I've been out for 6 hours! He's barely chewed anything he's not meant to and he learns real quick and I'm not going to say what a lot of other Stafford owners seem to say "real quick for a Stafford!" as I'm of a very different opinion to some misinformed people. I believe Staffordshire bull terriers to be pretty smart dogs given the time/Patience and direction. You cant be great at fighting which is inherently in their blood without being smart and given a chance their pretty good at that!
Willie loves he's balls, loves ragging hes rope but above all he loves running he's older pal Tony (my other bull bred dog 5 years) into the ground hes weighs around 35kg so willie can just run circles around him which you can see to he's joy he loves doing. Willie is smarter and plenty more guile but if Tone's got anything he doesn't want Willie to have he's definitely not having it! So far fingers crossed I've had no issues with them bonding they've always eaten (raw) together even swap bowls mid scoffing and you can at the risk of humanising them truly do care/love for one another. I don't think big Tone would let much happen to young Willie, he's got a very protective side having mastiff in him also. They sleep under the stairs together in their Den all huddled up.
As i said he comes everywhere he can with me, Willie's favourite place apart from the fields/woods is the pub, before we get near he's tail go's more erect and ears are proudly up, he knows what coming and what comes is people saying hello to him, young Will loves nothing more than meeting and greeting and i most say I'm actually learning of him to some extent as it's been said that I'm sometimes not the most approachable, not to different to how Staffords are sometimes portrayed! I'm friendly really just know who I like.. He's a great ambassador of the bred and get compliments all the time on he's behaviour it's almost like he's got a Jekyll and Hyde personality as he's lovely and calm while out and about town
walking/pubs/cafes and such but when i let him know its game time he really does put all he's energy/spirit into it, an talking of energy if you want a couch potato Stafford I'd say stay well clear of Gary's dogs as you be in for a shock, they need plenty of stimulus and not just running it of, mind games as well.
I did plan on doing dog sports with Willie but alas it wasn't to be in any great measure as he injured he's knee at 8/9 months no single event just purely Willie going truly mental if you could see the way he jumps about (no training) twisting in the air you'd realise why, he's on the mend and I'm waiting to see how it stabilises and I shall go from there.
I'll never forget when we were sitting in the garden in that hot spell last Autumn and my other half Jenny turned to me after watching Willie chasing he's own tail going mental saying something along the lines of " what is he doing? he's bloody mental" and that about sums him up "bloody mental" but calm with it.
I would like to say if anyone near me wants to hook up with the dogs or even just meet Willie I live in Buckinghamshire, and I know a real nice farm cafe in Buckingham (larder cafe) that is very dog friendly. I'd also like to big up to all the dog men and ladies that are trying to keep this bred true to the original ethos as its pretty hard with the fur mummy brigade/breeding for looks doing everything they can to destroy it!
Big thanks to Gary as well as I went through three litters over nearly two years waiting for a male and he was a man of he's word and ended up pick of the boys so many thanks for all dealings we had, he's a gent as much as Risky's Madman Holden..
Many thanks to our good friend James for taking the time to send in this months fantastic blog post, who owns Riskys Madman Holden ''aka'' Willie The Kid..from a mating between Rivergreens's Captain Barclay x Riskys Maggie.
We will look forwards to seeing and hearing more about Willie's progress over the years to come.
Hank was born in 2006 and was bred by my good friend JT Ellison. His sire was a red pied male named Victor by his own daughter, making Hank a double bred Victor dog. His pedigree included dogs such as Jim, Joe, Warrior, Sinbad, Jess, Red and also Blue Wolf. There were two males in the litter and I picked Hank because he was a little more outgoing than his brother. My only regret on the pick was that I only picked one as there were some outstanding bitches in this litter, but I had promised my wife to only come back with the one!
Hank matured into a big dog of some 19 inches and weighed well into the 40lbs. He was a very easy going dog whom I thought if I had not had him could have been a little on the shy side, but because I had him out every day, experiencing different sounds, sights and smells he became a really well rounded dog. He too was a red pied dog. I sent my friend S McNutt pictures of him and he said he was a super looking dog, which made me right proud of him.
I share this story with the readers as a warning as to how seemingly simple situations can get quickly out of hand. The dogs of this line make super pets but at the same time they have, in the main, a strong prey drive and if roused then something bad, very bad is going to happen. There is a level of responsibility in owning one of these dogs that an owner must be aware of. Yes these dogs will be friendly with all dogs, animals who come peacefully but if challenged, they will, like the dogs of old seek to defend their master with every once of their being!
Hank would exercise in any way I wanted him to and he would do it well. He really loved running by the bike and we would do 6 miles 3 or 4 times per week no problem. I loved doing this and he was in great shape, rippling in muscle and really looking healthy.
One mid summers day we were out in the country on a private lane away from the crowds and it was lovely. The scent in the air was fragrant and the larks were singing over head. I was on the bike and Hank was in front, about 10-15 metres away, off the lead just trotting on and sniffing around here and there. To be honest I was alone with my thoughts and as I was daydreaming, miles away, you might say.I thought nothing of the small herd of young bullocks who were in the field we were passing. The bullocks got up together and began trotting in parallel to myself and Hank but on the far side of the field. Still, I was miles away and although I saw them, being a div, I did not link what they were doing had anything to do with us passing. That soon changed as the small herd of perhaps 10-15 bullocks turned right angles and galloped towards Hank who by now had spotted them, stood to attention, ears pricked, on his toes leaning in their direction!
I knew then trouble was afoot and began to call Hank back. This had absolutely had no effect as by now the herd were galloping straight at him. Still, he just stared at them. I thought they were going to crash through the barbed wire fence but as they closed in they stopped dead- almost nose to nose with Hank. There was a moments pause and that was it, Hank grabbed one of them by the nose and all hell broke loose!
The bullocks scattered, and the one with Hank on it's nose retreated back into the field and began to thrash about wildly. Hank hung on for a time before being launched into the air. It looked like one of those old Henry Alken engravings where the dog is flying through the air at a height of about 10 feet; that was Hank. He span off like a frisbee, landed and scratched straight back into the bullock who by now was galloping along with the rest towards one side of the field. I rode around to this side as fast as I could, dropped the bike and looked to get Hank out of there. When I looked, Hank had the poor beast by the throat now and had positioned himself between its front legs! The bullock was stamping on his body with it's front legs and I cringed as I felt sure it would be breaking his ribs. Again it thrashed and Hank lost his grip and span through the air like a shammy in the wind. Again he landed and I could see he had 'lost it' and was after finishing this young bull off! As the herd ran away he caught the beast by the nose and actually pinned it's nose to the floor, whereupon he began to shake his hold as hard as he could. This hurt the bull and it let out a moan and jumped like a cat off all four feet at the same time. I remember being impressed at the height it jumped? Again Hank was thrown through the air and by this time I was in the field and thought this was my chance, but disaster struck as one by one the bulls jumped the fence and ran off down the lane! My heart sank as the situation escalated. How on earth had this happened? Hank chased his bull down the lane who for some reason went in the opposite direction to the rest? As he closed in the bloodied bull suddenly turned about 180 degrees and came running back towards me! At this point I was past caring and just wanted to stop this carnage. Hank fortunately slipped on his turn and this allowed the bull a head start. I ran towards my dog and as he came racing past me I put in a rugby tackle worthy of the Six Nations! I had him! His body was trembling and he was going wild to get back at the bull once I had him back on the lead. I have no doubt in my mind this dog would have stayed at this bull for as long as it took to finish him.
I got up off the floor and ran towards my bike and as I did I saw the farmer driving along the lane towards his bulls who were now trotting as though to meet him. My heart sank again as I realised just what a mess this situation was. I now faced the dilemma of either explaining what had happened to the farmer and risk having my dog put to sleep, which he was by law entitled to do, or making a run for it?
I paused for a moment, looked down at my dog and rather cowardly decided to run for it. I'm not proud of this and felt badly as now the farmer would have to get his herd back in the field and no doubt have vets fees to pay- that bull was in a bit of a mess around the head. But I just couldn't risk losing my dog for something that was really my fault for not reading the situation as I should and getting the dog on the lead.
Hank and I raced away, across a country park and home, which was 3 miles away. He was a fit dog, but by the time we got home he was knackered. That whole battle lasted a good 10 minutes at least. I washed him down and bathed his wounds, and let him rest.
The next day he looked like he had done rounds with Tyson as he had bumps and swelling all over him. In saying that though, his spirits were fine and he was as perky as ever! What a dog?
On reflection, although it was a most unfortunate situation and one which I am not proud of, the pluck that Hank showed told me that he was quite some dog and one which I admired. With his breeding, I felt strongly that this was something I wanted to keep going. Fortunately for me, my friend Gary and I did some dealing and I was able to breed Hank to bitches carrying the same genes.
My old friend JT has passed away now and I still at times miss him terribly. He was for sure a gregarious character but he taught me many things about the dogs and enabled me to own some of the best examples of the breed. However, I am reconciled by the fact that the dogs he bred are continuing on through Barclay and his offspring.
I will enclose a picture or two of my old dog and hopefully the reader will have enjoyed the story and the pictures too. One is of Hank tied with Peppi and this mating produced Barclay. The other is Hank with my old Lurcher female Lilly. She was Greyhound x Wheaton- by the Horace dog, and was a superb hunter. She taught Hank how to hunt!
I will also enclose a link that makes me laugh and kind of captures the mood of the incident described above. Enjoy!
I would like to thank our good friend Rivergreen for sharing once again another great story for the blog page with all our Stafford enthusiasts in the UK and around the world about his great dog Hank.
Regards Gary B
Hank & Lily
Hank & Peppi
This months Blog has been sent in by my great friend Aurelien Milon who owns the magnificent
Riskys Opie in France!
I remember very well the day I first saw you in a picture, Gary was holding you in one hand and your sister in the other... i fell for you right away !
We exchanged a few messages with Gary and it was okay! I'll pick you up in January.
Couldn't wait for you to come !
"Risky's Staffords" was not an unknown kennel to me, I was always a fan of their work, and followed the breeders on the forums and the website. I was also a big fan of Riskys Red Rocco and MJ that I had been following since he was very young and so on... But I never thought I'd have my own Risky's at home !
Opie, You've been here for 7 years now. You’ve been an easy puppy, a complicated teenager who always wanted to scrap with others, and a impulsive young adult. Saying that it has always been easy between us would be lying. It took us a long time to understand and trust each other, but back now i know it was worth it.
Today you are in my eyes a very good dog, an excellent Stafford, my mate with whom I practice Weight Pulling and i'm very pleased to see that you give me back all the trust i've put into you along the years. You have a potential that many owners would like to see in their dogs. Plus, you still manage to surprise me by accepting the last one as if he had always been there, you who usually don't accept puppies and even less males !
Thank you Gary for giving me such a beautiful gift !
I would like to thank Aurelien for taking the time to write about about his dog Opie and for giving us a insight into their Journey together. Please follow Opie's progress on the link below for updates.
Regards Gary B...
Opie Weight Pull Challenge FaceBook Page
Welcome to the new Riskys Staffordshire Bull Terrier Blog page.. Owners/ Founders/ Breeders Gary Bater & Chris Brand..