True Love: Owning & Training Amstaffs

True Love: Owning & Training Amstaffs 3Have you ever wondered what people who work with animals all day do in their off hours? If you’re Brenda Tatro, owner of Happy Tails Pet Resort, the answer is simple . . . it involves more dogs!

Brenda owns, trains and shows six American Staffordshire Terriers (Amstaffs), each having gained distinction on the national show dog circuit. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but Brenda loves this breed, after her first love, horses. For her, it was a natural progression to go from competing in horse shows as a teen to training and showing dogs in her adult life. In fact, it was her love for horses, especially Arabians, that caused her to choose the Amstaff breed.

Brenda says that Amstaffs remind her of Arabians because, like Arabians, they are strong for their size, muscular and well put together with sculpted lines, yet they are agile and graceful.  Beyond that, Amstaffs are great companions and family dogs, they are loyal, and they love to please.  The breed is easy to train and they are versatile, often used as therapy dogs and for tracking and rescue work with police K-9 units.  Brenda likes their sweet personality, she says, “but they can also be a little goofy, in a fun, good way.  They can be couch potatoes one minute and the stars of the show ring the next.”

House of Champions

Four of Brenda’s Amstaffs are retired from the show circuit:  Champion Memphis; Grand Champion Sway; Grand Champion Ellie, who finished her show career ranked #7 Amstaff nationally; and Grand Champion Harley, who ranked #16 Amstaff nationally and holds a Canine Good Citizen Advanced Certificate.  But don’t let the good citizen award fool you.  Harley is the master-mind at his house—having taught himself how to escape the fenced back yard by opening the door to the den, walking through the house and opening the door to the attached garage, resulting in a successful effort to join his surprised family outside on the driveway!

The youngsters, Dice and LeeLoo, are just beginning their show careers.  Two-year old Dice has reached Grand Champion status and finished 2018 ranked #12 Amstaff in Owner/Handler.  At only 19 months old, LeeLoo achieved Bronze Level Grand Champion.  She finished 2018 nationally ranked #1 Amstaff in Owner/Handler and she received an Award of Excellence at the 2018 Royal Canin AKC National Championship.

Sharing the Love

Brenda shares her love and knowledge of Amstaffs by serving on the board of directors for the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America and the Texas Gulf Coast American Staffordshire Terrier Club.  The mission of these organizations is to maintain and improve uniform breed type, protect the interests of the breed, sponsor specialty shows, support breed rescue efforts, and provide educational opportunities.

If you want to learn more about the breed, or if you just want to start a conversation with Brenda, ask her about her Amstaffs!