Staffordshire Bull Terrier
When you think Staffordshire Bull Terries, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is a stocky and muscular brute of a dog whose speed, strength and agility are hallmarks of a breed whose original and unfortunate purpose had been as a fighting dog. While all of this breed’s physical attributes are impressive and might seem a little bit intimidating, this misunderstood canine can be a loyal and loving companion to you and your family.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or Staffy, is often likened to the American Pit Bull Terrier. While the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are very closely related, the American Staffy tends to have a broader face. By comparison, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is different still, in that they are typically quite a bit shorter than both the Pit Pull and American Staffy. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier also has a broader face than a Pit Bull and its ears tend to be rose-shaped.
The History of Staffies:
The Staffy first came to be in Northern England and was the product of breeding the Bulldog with the Manchester Terrier. Staffies were first recognized as a breed by the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom in 1935 and by the American Kennel Club in 1974. Today, Staffies are the third most popular dog in the United Kingdom
Throughout the breed’s history, Staffies had a very different reputation that the controversy that surrounds the breed today. The Staffy was previously described as the perfect “Nanny Dog” thanks to the breed’s intrinsic instinct to remain loyal and to protect its family. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals notes that Staffies and their close relative, pit bulls, were once considered to be non-aggressive to people.
The Hallmarks of the Staffy:
Staffies can make great additions to your family. They tend to be good with children though it is important to note that
Staffies can play a little bit rough and no dog should be left unattended with a younger child. They have a very short coat so grooming your Staffy will be a breeze. A weekly bath should suffice.
Staffies bond very strongly with their owners and can be quite needy when it comes to their owner’s attention and affection. It is not uncommon for Staffies to experience separation anxiety when they are away from their owners for even a short period of time.
Caring for Staffies:
The Staffy is typically a healthy, resilient and robust dog. Unfortunately, Staffies can develop cataracts in later life. Other known health issues include: mast cell tumors and a susceptibility to a metabolic disorder called L2HGA which can result in symptoms that are similar to dementia in humans.
When it comes to training your Staffy, they are extremely intelligent dogs, however socializing your Staffy is extremely important. While Staffies are loving and loyal with their humans, they can be rough with other dogs. From the time that your Staffy is a puppy, be sure to introduce him to a variety of people and dogs
Things to Note When Thinking About a Staffy:
Additionally, contrary to popular belief, the Staffy does not make the best guard dog. While this breed can be loyal and protective of you, this loyalty does not extend to your belongings. Should an intruder enter your home and try taking your things, your Staffy will likely be greet the burglar and not deter them from taking your stuff.
When it comes to Australian summer, the Staffy tends to have breathing difficulties in extreme heat. If you decide to adopt a Staffy into your family, it is important to note that when it is hot outside, you must limit your Staffy’s time outdoors to a few minutes at a time.
All-in-all, the Staffy is a great dog who makes a loving and loyal family member. Training and socializing is especially important for this breed, however. If you’re willing to put in the time when your Staffy is very young, and if you remain consistent in your efforts, you will end up with a loving and wonderful pet.