Bull Breeds are not Bullies

Some of you might know that I’m fostering a dog for Greyhound Rescue Wales. He’s a bull lurcher, which means he’s a greyhound crossed with some kind of bull breed – most probably a Staffy.

Keith sunbathing

Bull breeds get a bad press because they’re often kept by stupid people who use them for fighting. They are well-muscled with powerful jaws, which can make them look intimidating, so some people think they’re nasty dogs. But in reality they’re no more nasty than any other dog – it’s bad owners who are nasty and train them to be aggressive.

Keith wasn’t used for fighting but for hunting. He has a high prey drive when it comes to rabbits, and he can sometimes be over-enthusiastic when greeting other dogs, bouncing and barking around them. For this reason he has to wear a muzzle when we go for a walk. All GRW foster dogs have to be muzzled in public anyway, because GRW would be liable if one of their dogs did bite someone.

The muzzle can make people think Keith is aggressive, but he’s actually the softest, gentlest, most affectionate dog I’ve ever known. He doesn’t look intimidating to me at all; he has the most beautiful eyes, a mixture of brown and blue, like moonlit rock pools.

Keith in front garden (3)

Keith loves people and just wants to cuddle everyone he meets. He’s a perfect companion for anyone working at home, because once he’s had his walk he just sleeps all day. And once he’s been introduced to another dog, he just wants to be friends.

Keith in Castle (3)

Keith is full of energy and hurls himself into life with great enthusiasm. Recently we went out with his friends Snip the lurcher and Frieda the greyhound, and when he found a dog-free spot, we took off his muzzle so they could all chase sticks and balls. Keith was so excited, he tried to jump over Snip to get the ball and landed half on top of him. Snip, understandably, wasn’t happy about this; they had a bit of a spat, and Snip’s human had to separate them. Keith had a cut behind his ear which required stitches. Snip didn’t mean to hurt him – these things happen sometimes – but I found it reassuring that Keith didn’t bite Snip. If he’d been an aggressive dog, things might have been very different.

Keith and friends

There are people coming to see Keith on Saturday with a view to adopting him. I’ve got my fingers crossed for him; at the same time, I’m going to miss him. I’ve loved fostering him, and it’ll be hard parting with him when he finally leaves for his forever home.

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20 Responses to Bull Breeds are not Bullies

  1. Does the extra weight mean they have arthritic problems later?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many sighthounds seem to develop arthritis in later life. This is why I’m not adopting Keith myself. When Pearly Greyhound got arthritis she needed a lot of lifting and I had to get help with her; if I hadn’t had that help, I wouldn’t have been able to manage and she would have had to be put to sleep before her time. i wouldn’t want to end up in that position. Keith weighs 30kg so he will be hard for me to lift when he gets older. I’m looking to adopt a smaller sighthound – maybe a whippet or whippet lurcher – so I can manage the dog myself even when he or she gets old.

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      • I did wonder about that. Finbar is hefty for a galgo, and even now that he’s lost a lot of muscle mass because he doesn’t run nearly so much (he’s thirteen now) he still weighs 30kilos and is getting doddery. He has a tendency to fall over when he takes a steep curve running which is probably why he’s less keen. A heavier body I’d have thought would put even more stress on a sighthound’s slender legs.

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        • Yes. Between you and me, I wish they wouldn’t mix greyhounds and bull breeds – it’s usually men who want hunting dogs who do this, and quite often they abandon them if they’re not performing. But since they’re here, I wanted to promote understanding of them so it’s easier for the abandoned ones to find good forever homes.

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          • My feelings too. There was a galgo/dogo Argentino cross up for adoption in Spain for years. He had the physique of the dogo except a bit slimmer and faster, but he had the anarchic behaviour of a galgo, disobedient and the eternal puppy. He was considered too dangerous to be adopted by anyone who didn’t know the ropes, didn’t have a huge enclosed garden, who had children, cats, chickens or another dog…

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  2. It’s so lovely to see Keith doing so well and you’ve done a marvellous job fostering him. We shall keep our paws crossed that all will go well on Saturday and please give him a big pat from us all 🤗💖🐕 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Vincent says:

    Keith has a very intelligent face… and he looks a lovely boy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma Cownie says:

    Good Luck, Keith!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahh…Keith is such a gentle dog and a very handsome one too! I’ll miss him too if he goes to a new home. ฅ(≚ᄌ≚)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Willow Croft says:

    Here’s hoping he finds his forever home!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. natswans says:

    Hope Keith finds his forever home . You are doing a wonderful job with him. My Lurcher Lucy is 25kg and couldn’t pick her up at all. x

    Liked by 1 person

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