Breed Type: Terrier
Country of Origin: England
Also known as: Staff, Staffy, SBT, Stafford
Males: Height: 38-42 cm Weight: 31-40 kg
Females: Height: 35-40 cm Weight: 26-35 kg
Exercise Requirements: Medium
Care Requirements: Low
Lifespan: 10-16 Years
Best Suited as: Family Pets
The Stafford Bull Terrier is a medium sized breed with a strong personality. While some countries have considered them to dangerous and have compared them to the Pitt Bull, you should check out your own areas laws before you adopt this guy. Many Stafford Bull advocates say that the Stafford has been given bad press and has been unfairly judged. They continue to be popular pets in most of Australia, despite these negative reports.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a muscular dog with a stocky build and a tough guy appearance. His coat is smooth and short and comes in a variety of colors. These include black, blue, brindle, red, fawn and white or a blend of these colors with white markings.
They have wide heads, dark round eyes, small ears and dark noses. They have short forefaces and strong cheek muscles. They have thick necks and compact bodies. Some Staffys may show their ribs, but they should not be too pronounced or they will appear malnourished. Their legs are equally strong, although moderately short. Their tails are set low and mostly straight, but with a hint of curl. Staffys stand with an alert posture, ready for action at any moment.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an athletic dog that does everything with gusto. They have been described as fearless, courageous, curious, loving, protective, and intelligent. Although their strength and protective tendencies have given them a bad name, most owners have found them to be loving and affectionate pets that are rarely aggressive except with their own chew toys.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers can be difficult to train and housebreak but with strong leadership, they can become extremely obedient. They are said to be excellent with children if properly trained and socialized. They can be extremely loving and loyal pets. Unfortunately, they have been given bad press in New South Wales and have been given the reputation as a dog likely to bite humans.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s origin is most likely sometime in the early 1800’s. They were developed as fearless English fighting dogs, as they possessed great strength and agility but were also known to be gentle companions to humans and good family dogs. While some of the upper class in the Staffordshire region of England owned the dog, they were primarily the pets of miners. The mix of Bull Dog and Black and Tan Terrier produced several dogs including the Staffordshire Bull Dog and the Pit Bull. In 1835, dog fighting became illegal in England and the breed was forced to adapt to a much gentler role, a show dog. It was at this time that the breed standard was written for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and they were separated from their close cousin, the English Bull Terrier. A hundred years later, in 1935, the breed was registered in the English Kennel Club.
The popularity of the breed spread to many different parts of the world including Australia, other parts of Europe, and the United States where there are established clubs dedicated to the breed. They are still popular show dogs.
Care and Grooming
The Staffy is a breeze in the grooming department. Because of their short, sleek coat, they need minimal brushing and only an occasional bath. Their coat should remain shiny and if it looks dull, this is a good reminder to send your dog to the tub.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a born athlete, needs a daily walk or jog to keep him in good condition. As puppies, they are strong chewers and they need the right toys to help them successfully through teething. Balls or other soft toys with squeakers are not a good choice – they can easily chew through them in a matter of minutes and the squeakers can easily become chocking hazards. Staffy’s love playing games in the yard, especially if the games involve your children. Do not expect your Staffy to be a good swimmer, however, as the breed is known to sink, not swim.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, while fairly healthy, is prone to several known health concerns. One area of particular concern is their eyes. They may develop cataracts, HC and PHPV and it is best to have eye clearances on your puppy’s parents before you adopt. Some Staffy’s will develop digestive problems. Less rare are problems with hip dysplasia, tumors and elongated soft palates.
Suitability as a Pet
Despite their history as fighting dogs and some recent bad press, most Staffordshire Bull Terrier are gentle, fun loving, and friendly. Some may be strong-willed and rambunctious but they also have a special gift with children. Because of this special affinity towards children, they have received the nickname of the “nanny dog” in England. Most are very friendly with strangers and therefore do not make ideal watchdogs. Bred to fight other dogs, some may not do well with strange dogs and should be kept on a tight leash. The Staffy is best as an only child but may do well in households where they are introduced as puppies to other family pets.
Staffy’s need to be adopted by an owner who is experienced in dog training. Although they are loyal and can be very obedient, they need a strong leader to show them the ropes. They tend to be tenacious and fearless and are sometimes reckless without abandon. Due to their intelligence and strong jaws, many can make mischievous if bored. This is a dog best for owners who have lots of time and attention to devote to their pet. Besides good family pets, Staffy’s do well in the show ring and at agility contests.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Organisations in Australia
ACT & Districts Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club
Staffordshire Bull Terrie rOrganisations in the UK
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Organisations in the US
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club Of America
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Western Australia
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