Thirty Thousand Streets

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Today I saw a waterlogged sign sellotaped to a poop bin in Camberwell Green, that advertised a 'Staffie neutering service'.

"Staffie neutering?"

I mused

"why not just say 'dog neutering".

Then I remembered – in South London Staffordshire Bull Terriers pretty much are dogs, and if you were to present your average home grown South London teen with an Alsation (or even common or garden mongrel) they'd probably think it was a wolf.

But Staffordshire Bull Terriers are pretty ubiquitous round here – everywhere you turn there's another of these squat muscular canines straining at a leash with a tracksuit in tow. I can't quite understand how they have become the status symbol that they are, but I'm guessing it has something to do with them looking 'a bit like Pit Bulls' – hard and 'street' – the pet equivalent of a New Era baseball cap with the 59/Fifty circular gold sticker left attached (to a peak as flat as the Netherlands).

As my esteemed colleague Zeno Cosini once surmised, the only way Staffordshire Bull Terriers could possibly become more desirable to rudeboys was if they came with a built-in MP3 Player and mobile phone, sort of like a mobile cyborg entertainment system with an attack function, purpose built 'for da streetz'.

I find it slightly depressing that people buy these animals as a sort of auxillary snarl – to orbit their heels like one of the modular weapons from R-Type and I guess I feel pretty sorry for the dogs. A friend was recently looking after a Staffordhire-cross pup, and it had a lovely temperament, so it's sad that many of them are probably reared to act as a fierce-looking accessory. Slightly depressing, and, like any fad (e.g. cabbage patch dolls) slightly odd... You wonder why more people don't think, hang on, do I really want a hard looking dog? Boring! I'll never get on any Flickr 'Loldogs' group that way – I'll get a Shnauser instead, or a wet-eyed Spaniel mayhap.

Anyway. As far as I'm concerned, it's all about the English Bull Terrier. Now that's a dog – and you don't look like a wannabe DMX if you go for a stroll with one of those...


ade said...

Full marks for getting an R-Type reference in there.

Zeno Cosini said...

It's wall-to-wall SBTs in Shepherd's Bush too. The snooker club on the corner of Goldhawk Road and Hammersmith Grove actually has a "staffie creche" at the entrance, where you're obliged to check in your hound, rather in the way a frontier saloon might have had a cupboard where you leave your six-gun.
West Hampstead is more chocolate lab territory.

The Eyechild said...

@ Ade

I do try...

@ Zeno

Yeah Dulwich is a bit like that.