The Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog breed has changed a lot over the years. They were first bred in Britain during the 19th century to compete in dog fighting and bear baiting events.
But they’ve left all their aggressive nature in the past. Today, they’re great family dogs who love being around children. There’s a reason why they’re nicknamed “nanny dog“! Read on to learn more about the Staffy!
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What is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier?
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (or Staffie or Staffy as it’s most known) is a medium-sized dog with a tough exterior but a warm heart.
They may look imposing and like they should be feared, but Staffies are just goofballs on the inside. They love being part of a family and are loyal beyond belief. A Staffy loves to play with children, making it a great family dog.
History of the Staffy Dog
In 19th-century Britain, blood sports were very popular and there were already several breeds of dogs who competed in those events.
Sports such as bull baiting and bear baiting were popular among some classes. For this reason, British dog breeders developed fighting dogs to be fearless and courageous on the rink but calm towards their owners. This is how the English Staffie came to be.
The Staffy was developed to be smaller than other bully breeds of dogs. They have the Bulldog as an ancestor and they were bred to be smaller and more powerful. It wasn’t until 1835 that the first Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club was founded. They established a breed standard and in 1975 the American Kennel Club recognized it as a breed.
Now, the English Staffy puppy is a companion dog who should live with the family. They don’t like being apart from their family members as they are very loving and loyal to humans.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs. Pitbull: Is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier the Same as the American Pitbull?
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Pitbull are two completely different breeds. Each has their own characteristics, both physical and temperamental. But they do share an ancestor: the English Bulldog.
In fact, the American Pitbull is also known as American Pit Bull Terrier. The Bull and Terrier in the name indicate its proximity to the Staffy.
The American Staffordshire Terrier (or American Staffie) is also not the same as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (or English Staffy). The former is basically the same breed as the Pitbull, but with a few differences in appearance.
5 Fun Facts You Need to Know About the Staffordshire Bull Terrier
There are a lot of misconceptions about this pup. Here are five things you might not know about this breed.
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies should not be left alone for long. Their place is inside the home with their family. Because they’re so loyal and dependent on humans, separating the two should never be done.
- They love to chew and will destroy any object in their way if they can. The best way to avoid a broken home is by giving them lots of chew toys to play with.
- Staffies are huge fans of digging. Owners who have yards should make sure the Staffy won’t dig under the fences and leave. It’s happened before!
- Don’t leave your Staffy in a hot environment. They don’t do well with the heat. Never leave them in cars or outside during the really hot summer days.
- They have a strong prey drive, so they should never be walked without a leash. If they see a neighborhood cat or a squirrel, they’ll chase after them.
Appearance and Personality of the Mighty Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed seems menacing and violent. After all, they’re very strong and their muscles are very protruding. The neck is muscular, the body close coupled, and they have a wide front and deep brisket. The legs are straight and well-defined, and the hindquarters are especially strong and muscular.
Staffies have a broad skull, salient cheek muscles, and dark eyes that are medium sized. Their strong jaws are one of the things that stand out the most. The ears droop slightly and are not large.
The coat is short and smooth and very close to the skin. It can be red, fawn, white, black, or blue. It could also be a mixture of those colors with white or brindle. They have little odor as well.
How Big Do They Get?
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are usually between 14 and 16 inches tall at the shoulder. They’re medium-sized dogs, so it’s not common for them to be larger than that. On average, they weigh between 24 and 38 pounds. Females are usually smaller and lighter than males.
Temperament of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffy is a people-loving dog. They will never be happier than when they get to spend quality time with their favorite family members.
From the moment they are born, they’re drawn to people and loyal to those who raise them well. It’s surprisingly easy to make the Staffy a dog who loves to be pet, unlike other breeds that prefer their independence.
They’re also very playful and goofy. Staffies love to be the center of attention and will do anything to get everyone looking at them. They love to play catch and other games with humans and children in particular.
This is a very energetic breed as well. You won’t see a Staffy still for most of the day, as they love to run and to play. For this reason, you should always go with them on walks every day.
But this pupper can also be very stubborn. They’re freethinkers who love doing what they please, regardless of whether or not their owner wants them to obey a command.
A Smart and Loyal Friend: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Is A Quick Learner
Staffies are incredibly smart. They are great at picking up commands and tricks you teach them. The hardest part of training them is the obeying part.
Even though they know every command you’ve taught them, they’ll only perform them if they feel like it. They’re real stubborn and independent-thinking dogs.
But this isn’t to say that training isn’t important or it can’t be done. Staffies need to be trained if you want to have a healthy and caring pup, not a shy or aggressive one. If you can’t train them yourself, enroll them in a dog obedience training school.
Staffies need a firm and determined trainer who doesn’t get frustrated easily.
Staffy Dogs Make Great Family Pets
When socialized from a young age and trained correctly, the Staffy dog is the perfect companion animal. They’re very dedicated to their favorite humans and will protect them in whatever way they can.
A Staffy is a loyal, loving and caring puppy.
They do well with living in an apartment provided that they get some exercise in. They’re brilliant with kids, which makes them all the more appealing to families.
They’ve been nicknamed “nanny dogs” because they’re so patient and caring with them. But don’t leave a baby or a child alone with a Staffy, they can both be unpredictable in their behavior.
if you have cats or other dogs at home, you’ll need to introduce them to your Staffy really carefully. This breed isn’t usually very affectionate towards other animals, especially smaller ones that look like prey.
Forget About Those Vet Bills! Staffordshire Bull Terrier Health
Staffies are generally very healthy dogs. But like all other breeds, they’re somewhat more at risk of developing certain conditions. This isn’t to say your Staffordshire pup will be sick, but you should be prepared to deal with these illnesses.
Patellar Luxation is something that plagues Staffies. It’s the dislocation of the kneecap and knee joint that makes walking very painful. Fortunately, dogs who have it usually live relatively normal lives.
Hip dysplasia is also common with this breed. It happens when the thigh bone and the hip socket aren’t lined up perfectly and don’t fit snuggly. Again, it affects walking and dogs who have it tend to avoid moving due to how painful it is.
Finally, demodectic mange is another condition that affects Staffies. It appears when the dog has a compromised immune system and the Demodex mites (something that all dogs have) attack. This causes the skin to flare up, get rashy and leads to hair loss. Luckily, the mites aren’t passed on from dog to people or from dog to dog.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Puppies for Sale
Have you decided to take the lead and get a Staffordshire for your family? If so, the next step is finding the perfect Staffy for you.
It’s important to only get a Staffy from a reputable breeder. This is the only way to guarantee your dog won’t be riddled with diseases and genetic conditions. Pick a breeder that has good reviews and who is recommended by one of the many Staffy-dedicated clubs.
Adopt Don’t Shop! Check Out Some Rescues!
If you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a Staffy, you can always adopt. There are always dozens of shelters looking to rehouse dogs. You could get lucky and find a Staffy purebred or mix in there.
5 Tips for Pet Owners Who Love Staffordshire Bull Terrier Puppies
If you’re thinking about getting a Staffy puppy, here are some tips we have for you on how to care for them.
- Staffies love water. You can fill up a kiddie pool with fresh water so they can swim and bathe in the hottest of days.
- This breed needs plenty of exercise. Three forty-five to one-hour walks is the perfect amount.
- Start teaching them and socializing them from a young age.
- Feed them a healthy and nutritious diet. This way they won’t become diabetic or overweight.
- Never walk them off a leash. They can be less than friendly to neighborhood dogs and may take off running after a small animal that looks like prey.
Getting a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a great idea for families looking for a loving dog. They love children and spending time with their owners.
But they need someone who is firm and determined to train them and to socialize them. Only then can they really show their true colors as goofy, caring, and loyal dogs!