Jambo – The Story So Far.

Jambo’s Story so far:  Dog Tricks, Positive Reinforcement Training and how B.S.L. impacts on his life.

 

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Jambo is our second Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Our first beautiful    Staffy was called Samson – he was the most loveable boy ever, calm, good natured, playful… He died at the age of 11. He was able to spend his life in freedom without the restrictions of BSL.  His best friend was our Dobie/German Shepherd, Bess, who was a couple of years older than him.  We would go for long walks in the countryside and on the beach where they were able to run around and have fun and freedom.
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A couple of years after Bess passed away we added Tessa, our beautiful German Shepherd to our family. She and Sam became best buddies but she only had his company for a couple of years as he was already 9 when Tessa joined us. Tessa was nearly 5 years old when Jambo came into our lives.  We knew we would like another Staffordshire Bull Terrier but we could never have guessed the impact this little puppy was to have on our lives!
Jambo was born in May of 2012. His pedigree name is “Warrior For Life” but I wanted a name that would reflect his personality and not be too “hard”.  I also wanted to name him after our first Staffy boy, Sam.  Jam rhymes with Sam and Jambo is the Swahili (think “warrior”) word for “hello” – Jambo just loves to say hello to everyone he meets.
Jambo proved to be extremely loving, very mischievous, inquisitive, energetic and quite a handful!  I started teaching him the basics straight away but as he got a little bit older I also wanted to do something fun to use up some of his boundless energy.  Hence began our journey into doing Dog Tricks, which we were introduced at a Trick Dog Seminar given by Nando Brown.  Breed Specific Legislation was also now in force in Spain (it entered in vigour in 1999) and I wanted Jambo to be an absolute example of how amazing the “Bullies” are.  I think that if you have a breed affected by legislation in this way then you should do your utmost to show everyone how wrong it is.  We were out to smash the stereotype!
Jambo got his first Dog Trick Title at just 7 months old and by 14 months old already had 7 Trick Dog Titles including “Expert”.  We also worked on general obedience and agility… We train everything using Positive Reinforcement and love to point out to people that it is a total myth that you need to have a “stronger” hand with this “type” of dog!  I am not Jambo’s leader and I don’t command him to do anything. We work together as a team and he gets rewarded with food and play and cuddles and fun.  I firmly believe that we would never have achieved what we have if I had tried to train him in any other way.  The main thing Jambo and I do is enjoy ourselves!
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At only 16 months old Jambo achieved what no Staffordshire Bull Terrier had done before – he became a Trick Dog Champion!  We immediately launched his Facebook page, Jambo – Staffy Bull Terrier Trick Dog, to celebrate his Trick Dog Champion Title and to promote doing Dog Tricks and Positive Reinforcement Training.  We hoped to inspire others to do more with their dogs.  We also wanted to do our best to help break the stereotype of the “Bullies” and show the injustice of B.S.L.!
In 2013 he was featured as Dog Of The Week for Your Pit Bull & You.                                                                               Picture
 
He has won rosettes and trophies for Obedience, Agility, Tricks, Best Dog, Best of Breed.  He loves people and loves playing with other dogs.  His photos and videos have been shared by DDA Watch UK who work tirelessly to help dogs and families affected by B.S.L., as well as by many other groups fighting against breed stereotypes and Breed Specific Legislation.  Picture
 
At the end of the year he was honoured to be named as “Dog Of The Year 2013” by In The Doghouse DTC in recognition of all we had achieved and for his work as a Bully Breed Ambassador. Picture 
 
His name has become synonymous with Force-free Training and helping to break the “Bully” breed stereotype.
He is one of the dogs being featured in StubbyDog Project’s spay/neuter campaign and his photo will be on posters and flyers distributed in vets’ offices across the U.S.A.
His story has been shared across the Web and some of his trick videos have recently been airing on “Talent Hounds” a T.V. show on The Pet Network in Canada.
Despite all of Jambo’s accomplishments, his training and his good character he is classified by the authorities as a “Potentially Dangerous Dog”!   Jambo was born into B.S.L. and although there is no outright ban on his breed in Spain, B.S.L. affects everything we can and cannot do.  Jambo had to be registered as a Potentially Dangerous Dog.  He has to be kept on leash (1m) and muzzled when in public. We have to get an annual veterinary health report stating the inexistence of illnesses that could make him “especially dangerous”.  He has a microchip – the number of which is registered as that of a potentially dangerous dog.  He has to be enclosed by walls of at least 2m high (or kept on a chain – which we would never do as life on a chain is no life at all) and put in a secure location should visitors come to our home.  He has to be registered with the local town hall.  He cannot go near any area designated for children (play ground, park, school).  I have to have a Potentially Dangerous Dog handler’s licence; a psychiatric report; no criminal record; a physical report stating I am able to “handle” him; public liability insurance for at least 175.000 euros. I cannot walk or transport more than one “dangerous dog” at a time…. Fines for infractions are up to 115.000 euros and the authorities have the right to seize and destroy if they see fit!  The following breeds come under BSL here in Spain:  American Pit Bull Terrier; Staffordshire Bull Terrier; American Staffordshire Terrier; Rottweiler; Dogo Argentino; Fila Brasileiro; Tosa Inu; Akita Inu.  Different states/regions also include other breeds eg. some areas include the Doberman, others all Mastiff types and others the German Shepherd Dog.  Legislation also includes any crosses of the above breeds and any dogs with the “right measurements” – width of chest, head, mouth; length of leg; weight; short hair….a bsl muzzle blue
There’s to be no running free in the countryside or on the beach for Jambo…. 
By sharing Jambo’s photos and videos we hope to show everyone how awesome the “Bullies” are; To show how Positive Reinforcement Training is the ONLY way to train; To show that you don’t need to be a “Pack Leader” or bully your dog just because he happens to be a “Bully”;  To show the fun you can have doing Dog Tricks and finally, to spread the word about the injustice of Breed Specific Legislation.  Whatever breed is targeted, B.S.L. is, at its best, “racism” and at its worst genocide…..
 
 

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