The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, (more commonly known as a staffie, staffy or staff), is a medium sized, muscular dog that is very strong for its size and is similar in appearance to the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit-bull Terrier. Currently they are the 5th most popular dog in the UK.
The staffy was originally bred in Staffordshire in the 19th century from crosses between bulldogs and various terriers. At the time the dogs were used for bull and bear baiting. However, as people lost interest in the sport the breed became less common. It wasn’t until the 1930’s when staffys became popular again.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are intelligent, fearless and loyal dogs. They have the nickname of “the nanny dog” because of the affection they show for children and the loyalty and willingness to protect the family. Staffys love the company of people and do not like to be left alone for long periods.
If you get a staffy as a puppy, make sure you have plenty of tough items for them to chew on. They have very strong jaws so a cheap toy with a squeaker won’t last very long. If you do get a squeaky toy that is getting ripped apart make sure you take it off them as the squeaker could end up choking the dog.
Generally, staffys do not mix well with other dogs unless they are socialised from a very young age so it is important to get them interacting with other dogs as soon as possible. If you are out and about with a staffy, make sure you keep a strong lead on them as they do like to go off and have their own adventures. Also, as these dogs are fearless, they are not afraid of roads and can go running out. We have seen many staffys over the years come into the clinic due to car accidents.
This breed is generally healthy. However, like all breeds, there may be certain hereditary problems. Some issues that staffys may have include Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, Hereditary Juvenile Cataracts, L-2 Hydroxglutaric Aciduria, Skin Allergies and Demodectic Mange. There will be staffys that will not suffer with any of these problems and will lead long and healthy lives. However, it’s always useful to know what potentially could occur. We will add a few links at the bottom of the blog regarding some of these issues.
Overall these dogs are very loving, energetic and enthusiastic and will be a good addition to your family. With the correct upbringing, training and socialisation you will have a brilliant pet.
Here are a few hints and tips:
Firstly, if you are looking to buy one don’t go to a puppy farm, a pet store or a breeder who cannot show you any documentation on breeding tests or vet checks. Make sure the breeder you choose is reputable.
These dogs love people and are companion dogs. They are not the sort of dog to leave outside
To be safe and to keep them under control, keep them on a lead. They can be aggressive to other dogs. Even after proper training and socialisation, some staffys will not get along with other animals.
Staffys are energetic and will need lots of vigorous exercise each day.
Staffys love to chew things especially as pups. Make sure you get them strong toys to play with.
Staffys like to dig so make sure your fences are reinforced or else they will dig underneath and escape.
They are not good in the heat so if it’s a hot day keep an eye on them. You can read our blog about keeping pets cool by clicking HERE.
As we have mentioned, these dogs love people and will be very protective of the family. However, they do not feel the same about property and possessions. They are not natural guard dogs.
If you have any questions about this please call us at the clinic or leave a comment on our Facebook page (click HERE) and someone will respond