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My Dear Layla – on how I love my Amstaff & Pitt Bull breeds

Dear Layla,

You are one lucky pup! Because we love you, we understand you, we know your breed and we will always nurture and protect you. We will never chain you up, beat you, starve you, neglect you, use you to fight, mutilate your ears or withhold medical care from you.

And how sick that we live in a world where because of your breed, I can describe you as lucky because you won’t be subjected to the barbaric and cruel practices I described above.

Love you precious pup!


Layla is now 7 months old, she’s weighting in at 25kg’s and is going to be a big big girl. She already has incredibly powerful hind quarters and super strong jaw! She loves rope play, whether its trying to rip the rope out of our hands or simply hanging/swinging this girl loves it and can already hang from her jaws. Walter and I are talking about putting some kind of bracket up on the wall where we can hang a bicycle tyre for her because she loves to hand and swing.


She is an incredible pet. So soft and gentle with us and with our girls, all she wants is someone to play with and cuddle. She’s also really social and good with other dogs too. On Saturday I took her to the vet to have her stitches removed after she was spayed and I saw the looks of horror on people’s faces when we walked in because everyone believes the horrible stereotypes about these dogs. They immediately started throwing dirty looks my way, pulling their children and dogs away from her but she won them over with her incredible personality within minutes and it turned into a doggie party in reception with Layla leading the game among all the puppies and dogs.

It makes me really sad that the breed has such a bad reputation, perpetuated by cruel treatment. Because they are amazing animals. This is the 3rd Pitt Bull type dog we’ve had intimate exposure to and she’s just as amazing as the other two. Rocky & Mannie, both were rescued Pitt Bull’s and Mannie especially had been poorly treated, when his previous owners realized that he was never going to be a fighter, they chained him up and left him in their yard to die. They never fed him, they never gave him water and when my brother convinced them to surrender the dog to him, the vet recommended euthanasia as he was just so far gone. A sad, scarred, scared, pathetic, shivering, mangy mass of bones. But with love, care and food, he has flourished into the most incredible dog and Ava still begs everyday for Mannie to come and live with us.

Layla is not a Pitt Bull, she is an Amstaff (American Staffordshire Terrier) but depending on who you ask, for me, they are one and the same, the only difference is that an Amstaff is a recognized breed by Kusa and is bred to strict standards while a Pitt Bull is not. But they both originate from the blending of English Bull Dogs, Staffordshire Terriers and were originally used for pitt fighting. The Amstaff also has the nickname, the Nanny Dog, because of their incredible personalities and temperament and how amazing they are with children. Although I’d say that the same goes for a Pitt Bull too.



You only have to follow groups like Underdogs SA on Face Book to know how shockingly these poor dogs are treated and why so many of them are aggressive. It breaks my heart and I have developed a huge love and passion for the breed.

Just look at this beautiful face and tell me you don’t see those perfectly soft, gentle brown eyes that really are the windows to this dogs soul!




  • Emy Clarke

    March 17, 2015 at 10:59 am

    We grew up with Rottweilers. We always had one, and they were amazing pets, especially with us kids. It never occurred to me that they could be vicious animals. My mom was always judged for allowing such a violent animal in the house with us but they were so loving.

    I remember your brothers dog, think it was Rocky, he was a big teddy bear and he was so full of love!

  • catjuggles

    March 17, 2015 at 11:23 am

    We have friends with pitbulls and honestly I think there is something about individual personality and breeding too. The female is the most wonderful loving dog that literally follows my kids to make sure they are ok on their smallholding. A real life nanny dog. But the male is dangerous. He changes personality at the blink of an eye. They now had him castrated in the hope that will help but the two were brought up together in the same way – but originate from two breeders.

    • Sharon

      March 17, 2015 at 11:25 am

      But that happens in any breed and it really irks me that people make it a Pitt Bull thing when it simply isn’t breed specific.
      Like bad people, you just get bad dogs.

  • wobbly02

    March 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    What a lovely looking dog. No matter the breed you will always find a dog that can be tempramental my kids love all dogs and always want to play with them wherever they may see dogs although I have brought them up to always ask before they go over to touch a dog or puppy no matter the breed


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