The South African
Bull Terrier

Thorax (4 March 2007)

In the Whelping box (24 September 2006)

Puppy Socialising - fad or fundamental?
The New Puppy Owner
Planning and breeding a litter
Superpuppy - Fact or Fiction

Visit the Archives (18 September 2004)
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Staffords love to play and wrestle, especially with other Staffords! Magenta (Thorax Fly By Thyme) and Audrey (Thorax Thyme Bomb) can look pretty fierce when they play, but it is all in fun and their "off" button works very well, all it takes is a word from one of us.

The History of Thorax is still available on the "old" Thorax web page. Pedigrees and photos of dogs no longer with us, previous show results and puppy photos of previous litters.

Special Announcements (26 february 2007)
In the Whelping box (24 September 2006)
Staffords Rough-Housing! (28 November 2004)
Thorax Photo Gallery (23 April 2003)
The New Puppy Owner (1 September 2004)
Dog Show Terms Explained! (10 January 2003)
Audrey and the Dummy (a picture story) (26 December 2002)

Stafford Message Board (Started December 2002) Post your questions and comments!

Planning and breeding a litter (18 September 2004)
Visit the Archives (18 September 2004)

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Notes for New Stafford Puppy Owners

  1. No cooked bones, only large raw shin bones. Ask butcher to saw the bones length-wise, to protect the canine teeth from getting snapped inside the bone.
  2. Cool, fresh water, left in the shade, must always be available.
  3. Beware of swimming pools.
  4. Beware of electrical wiring.
  5. Keep Puppy in the garden, behind fence or walls, with gates closed (preferably locked, especially when no-one is home). Take Puppy outside garden on a leash and collar. Never allow Puppy (or grown dog either!) to roam unattended outside your garden.
  6. Make sure Puppy cannot squeeze behind fridge etc.
  7. No whole-wheat bread in food until Puppy is 6-9 months old. Use brown bread, pasta or brown rice.
  8. Do not allow small children to pick up Puppy and carry it around. Make children sit down when petting Puppy. Teach children how to socialize properly and safely with Puppy - No chasing, grabbing at legs, etc. and No Sticks! See also: Preventing Behaviour Problems.
  9. Do not allow Puppy to jump from beds and other furniture, rather lift Puppy down.
  10. Do not offer human food as snacks and sweets. Dog biscuits/treats during training is allowed. Suitable Puppy Chews, like the ones offered by Pedigree, Puppy Nyla Bones etc. are best.
  11. Puppy socialization from an early age is important. Attend Puppy Socialising Classes with reputable trainer from age 9 weeks or arrange "Puppy Parties" with other puppy owners if classes are not available. Informal training starts as early as possible!
  12. Inoculations and booster shots are essential, as is regular deworming. Insist on a rabies vaccine every 12 months. Rabies vaccine is law in South Africa.
  13. A puppy should not be bathed, unless he absolutely needs to. Consult your vet as to a suitable puppy shampoo.
  14. Ticks and fleas: Tick fever can kill and prevention is better than cure. Fleas cause incessant scratching and carry tapeworm. Use a veterinary spray to prevent and combat Ticks and Fleas, for example Frontline, which can be used on puppies and kittens.
  15. Some spiders can kill a puppy, a spider-bite can cause serious illness at the very least.
  16. Remember that Puppy is an enthusiastic and avid amateur Gardener. Some plant are poisonous, try to persuade Puppy not to trim your shrubs, hedges, trees, flowers himself - invest in cows-hooves and suitable chew toys. (NO fluffy toys!) An unexpected squirt with a water pistol will often persuade puppy that digging / eating plants / biting clothes etc is undesirable behaviour. Do NOT allow a child to use a water pistol on the puppy and only use the water pistol as an unexpected deterrent - do not make a game out of it. Don't say anything as you squirt, put the pistol away and get on with whatever you were doing. Suitable toys: I recommend the "King Kong," Large size, a black bouncy toy which is virtually indestructible. Be careful of ordinary rubber-, plastic- and cowhide chews and toys, use under supervision only. No golf balls and other small toys.
  17. Do not let Puppy sleep outside, especially not in winter-time. A dog which grows up as part of the family and, being a part of the family, sleeps inside at night, will be a loyal and rewarding companion.

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