Hulk Hogan has called for people to change their misconceptions about Staffordshire Bull Terriers during a visit to the UK.
Research by YouGov recently revealed that 18 to 24-year-olds are more likely to describe the breed as guard dogs or illegal dogs than family pets - even though they are actually friendly dogs.
During his visit, the wrestling champion met Marel, a ten-year-old Staffie who has become a favourite of staff at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home because of his comedic personality. Marcel’s favourite pastimes are playing with tennis balls and having lots of cuddles.
Hogan said: "It's not too often that I reveal my soft side, but I have to admit that I have a soft spot for dogs like Marcel. I hope that more people will get to know Staffies for the great dogs they really are. Staffies really are softer than you think and don’t deserve the tough fighting image they have been tarnished with."
Claire Horton, chief executive of the charity, said that she was pleased to get support from Hogan in their efforts to get people to realise what softies Staffies really are.
Around 40 per cent of the charity's dogs are Staffies, the majority of which have been given away once the novelty of having a pet has worn off.