About SBTDate: 12.05.2015 Category: About Breed
Staffordshire bull terrier is an english breed coming from crosses between bulldogs and terriers, in past using to dog fighting. In his appereance and character we can find lot of both these breeds. Staffie is a true terrier, but with some points typical for molossoid breeds. It’s wonderful family pet – but for active people. In some countries staffies work as dogotherapist, rescue dogs and in hunting; they are great in many dog sports.
Staffie’s standard size is 35-41 cm and 11-17 kg, but in practice we can see many bigger, heavier dogs – especially males. Their exterior is very differential – from big, heavy, lymphatic dogs in bulldog type, with very strong bones, large skull, short muzzle, to more terrier type dogs – not so big, but more agile, with slighter skull, longer muzzle and legs, often with half-pricked ears. We can see many middle form between these two types.
Staffie is very lively, active, tireless dog – he can run and play all day long. He can be hyperactive and easy exciting. As every terrier, staffie sometimes is stubborn, willful and unruly – he often tries to be smarter than his owner. My dog hearing “go to your place” was going there of course – but in the same second he goes out with face full of innocence: “You say I have to go there, not stay in”! Master of making in people mercy, his moods are always fully visible on his face. Staffie is very emotional, and his love to owner is limitless. If we raise him wisely, it’s not possible to lose staffie on the walk. He don’t have predispositions to escaping, always wants to be with his owner, and the owner is for staffie centre of the universe and source of play. Playing is all staffie life. He can take for joking even reprimend – angry mummy is so funny! People needing a dog obedient like a soldier will be disapointed with this breed. It’s great pet for person with big sense of humor and distance to the world, who can be assertive without emotional rejection – the worst thing for every stafford. This dog needs to be close with his family and takes part of home life. He’s very intelligent, but in the terrier way – focused on having good fun, not performing orders.
Raising a staffie pup puts before us a few special challenges. They are very impulsive and excitable. Bull type terriers are often rude during his play; typical problem with staffordshire bull terrier is pulling on the leash and hyperactivity at home. From early age, very important is to teach our dog calming down in the house and holding back his emotions. The same with sensibility during play – especially when we have kids. Young staffie should have clearly defined time for playing and going crazy, and time for rest & sleep. Great help with that is a dog crate – we put there our pup always when is tired and sleepy. We build that way a coupling: crate = nap time, and in the future we can use this crate as the way to calm down our pet very quickly. Staffie pups often have problem with too strong biting their human family – my experience shows that the best way for this is manipulating thing that staffie wants the most in the world – having fun. When dog starts to bite too strong, we say one command eg, “enough!”, and if dog wouldn’t calm down, we stop playing immediately, hide toys and stop to give a dog any attention. If puppy is very excited, we can isolate him in other room for a few minutes. Staffy starts to understand very quickly what is profitable for him and what isn’t. Sometimes a few situations like that can teach our puppy reacting for our words and calming down; they gonna trying to avoid stopping play or isolating from family .
Staffordshire bull terrier is very friendly for people, especially children. He can act a little like a guard dog eg, barking on knocking on the door or people who acting strange, but in most cases that’s all. We can’t count on throwing a thief on the ground in our garden at night – it’s a job for other dog breeds. Some staffords looking for contact with everyone they can see around and love to give kisses and hugs for people they see for the first time a minute ago; other of them are morecautious, interested only in their owners, treating other people like a ball throwing machine or totally ignoring them. It’s very individual feature. Staffie is a terrier and often chase cats and little animals outside, but he can accept our other pets, especially living in the house before him. Staffordshire bull terrier and child are the great team – these dogs have never enough to play, they’re not so fragile and delicate like lot of miniature breeds. A little careless children can’t make staffie harm so easily like yorkshire terrier or chihuahua. Staffordshire bull terrier is not eager to defend himself with teeth. When kid push him or overwhelm him unwittingly, he just goes away or thinks it’s a part of the play.
As all bull type terriers, staffords have opinion difficult in relations with other dogs. It’s partly true – after trying a real fight, staffie usually starts to like it and looking for provocation. Other dogs can easily provoke staffie to agressive reaction; staffie starts remember and hate very quickly a type of dogs or the dog that in his youth attacked him. Socialization is very important for this breed – but wisely, with even-tempered dogs; not with all animals we see on the walk. Bad experience in this area will be remembered very long. Socializating staffie in bad way can result contrary effects – agression to other dogs. Anyway, it’s very individual – I met staffies friendly to all dogs and thinking only about a play, and ruffians that didn’t accept any other dog in the same sex, or other dogs generally (not including those living with them). Partly it depends on training, but partly on genetic and character of the dog. If we want a friend for walks in urban park, playing with all dogs with no troubles, staffie is not the best choice for us, especially when grown up. Staffordshire bull terrier mental maturity comes after 2-3 years. One year old staffie loving all dogs is nothing uncommon, but most of them after some time is not so tolerant like in young age.
Staffordshire bull terrier needs a lot of activity – walking on leash in the city is not enough. They love retrieving ball, tug of war, jumping, play with boomer ball, flirt pole. Adult staffie can go with us jogging or bikejoring (in not very fast pace). Lot of staffies likes to swim. In the world they take part in lot of dog games – agility, flyball, obedience, and in sports typical for bull type terriers – weight pulling, high jump and many more. In some countries, there are organised sport events especially for staffordshire bull terrier with competitions like sprint. In Czech Republic staffies are admitted to hunting and working trials. Some staffies work as dogotherapists. If we think about stafford for sport activity, we should looking for puppy from not too heavy parents, with comparatively long legs and muzzle – they are more agile, faster and more resistant to high temperature and long efforts than very heavy, bulldog type dogs. Always remember staffie is a breed with short muzzle (brachycephalic); maybe not so much as boxer or pekingese, but enough to make worse his resistance to heat, compared to other breeds. Never invite staffie to sport activity in heat; in summer we should train with the dog early morning or late evening.
Staffie doesn’t need a house with a big garden; will be happy in a little flat, if we provide him a lot of activity. Hair doesn’t need special care; bath or cleaning with a wet cloth if necessary, is enough. Moulting is not intensive too, if dog is healthy of course. Appetite of staffordshire bull terrier can be surprise – he often eats more than his bigger cousin amstaff, beacouse of his high activity and excitability. Some staffies have tendence to put on weight, especcialy older. Many staffies don’t like cold and rainy weather; in cold season they need intensive activity for all walk.