The stocky Staffordshire Bull Terriers stand out in a crowd because of their striking build and enthusiastic personalities. Their round faces and wide jaws give them an almost bear-like appearance, and their amiable temperament make them an ideal companion for any adventure. Though these dogs are less popular than other breeds (because they are sometimes mistaken for controversial Pit Bulls), they deserve the right to be valued independently from similar dogs, as Staffies bring many redeeming qualities to the table.
Facts About Staffordshire Bull Terriers
- The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was originally developed in England during the 19th century when bloody competitions like bull-baiting, rat-baiting and dog-fighting were popular betting sports. Black-and-Tan Terriers (and other working dogs) were mixed with Bulldogs to create the ideal competitor. Staffies were bred to possess the fighting skills required to survive in the pit, while staying responsive and submissive to human commands when riled up. The breed became recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1935, and the American Kennel Club in 1974.
- Though the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is often mistaken for the muscular Pit Bull Terriers, Staffies are much smaller in comparison. This breed is much less aggressively inclined than the Pit Bull, and is more of a companion than a guard dog.
- Staffies are extremely affectionate dogs. They love to cuddle on the couch with their owners, jump up on them, nuzzle, lick, and paw at them, seeking any attention they can get. They are known for their loving and demonstrative regard more than any other trait.
- The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed is referred to as the “nanny dog” in the UK because these dogs are known for being consistently patient and reliable with children.
- Adopting a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an easier transition than other dog breeds generally experience. Though they are very loyal, and get attached to their handlers, the Staffies’ eagerness to adore and be adored can make them easily adaptable to new owners. Because of this, adjusting to a new family tends to be a seamless process for most adopted Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
- Staffies have an abundance of energy and need plenty of exercise and positive ways to express it. A large yard or running space, daily jogs, hikes or long walks are a necessary part of this breed’s existence.
- They detest being left alone, and may bark excessively or resort to negative activities (such as foraging, chewing and digging, etc.) if left solitary for too long. Staffies are social dogs who thrive when they have the company of humans. In regard to other animals, Staffordshire Bull Terriers must ideally be exposed to them from an early age, or living amicably with other in-house pets may be difficult to achieve.
- Staffordshire Bull Terriers are relatively easy to train. Like Labradors, they are highly motived people-pleasers that want their handler to be proud of them. This can be negatively directed however, for pet-owners who aim to train the dogs to be more aggressive. Though it is not naturally their inclination to attack, defend or act as a guard dog, when Staffies are heavily trained in these skills, their desire to please can result in harmful or dangerous behaviors. Staffordshire Bull Terrier owners should be aware of the privilege and responsibility it is to care for these exuberant animals.