Have you heard things about bull terriers? Things like . . .
- They’re not a good family pet!
- You can’t hug them!
- You shouldn’t have one if you have kids!
You’d be surprised how much joy and affection this breed can bring to your life, which is why I’ve written this article with 10 things you just have to know about the often-misunderstood Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
In this article you will learn:
- What led this breed to have a bad reputation
- What you should do to avoid socialization problems in adulthood
- What advantages this breed has over many other breeds
- Why obesity is rare
And a lot more. So let’s get started!
1. They Are Very Sensitive
The Staffie, as they’re commonly known to those of us who love them, is a very sensitive breed that responds greatly to your emotions.
Are you ill?
He’ll want to curl up beside you until you get better!
Are you happy?
He’ll get all excited with you!
What if you reprimand him? He will feel sad and quickly learn what you don’t want him to do.
2. They Are Easy to Groom
Due to their short, wiry hair, the Staffie is easy to groom and shedding won’t be a problem for you. You won’t have to cut his hair often and you’ll only have to bathe him when he’s dirty.
3. They May Not Get Along With Other Dogs
The Staffie’s dog-fighting heritage may influence the way he behaves around other dogs.
For that reason, they may not get along well with a strange dog at the park.
But, do you know how you can overcome this challenge?
If done properly, early socialization can teach your dog to get along just fine with other dogs and animals. Remember to always associate his social interactions with positive things, such as his favorite treats or toy.
Important: If you have a tiny dog in your household, like a Chihuahua, you might want to think twice before getting a Staffie. Staffies have a strong build and might unintentionally hurt your little Chihuahua.
4. They Are Very Affectionate
A Staffie puppy is so cute. Sure, they might have a “mean” looking face when they’re all grown up, but Staffies are very loving, affectionate creatures.
They love when you play with them, love to spend time with kids, to be petted, and will love to spend time with you.
Don’t be surprised if when you come home from work you find your Staffie waiting for you at the door, ready to greet you with kisses.
5. They Are Good With Children
Staffies are great kid companions.
What makes them good with kids is that they are playful, yet gentle.
Fun fact: In Britain, Staffies are nicknamed “Nanny Dog.”
6. They Need a Lot of Exercise
If you’re planning to get a Staffie, you better be (or be prepared to get) active.
These dogs need a lot of exercise, or else they’ll get destructive and direct their powerful jaws to your furniture.
Buy him some good chew toys and have fun with him while jogging, cycling or just playing a good game of fetch.
Good News: Staffies are not prone to obesity. Obesity is rare in this breed because they are muscular, strong dogs, which makes it difficult for them to pack on some pounds. So, as long as you don’t under exercise and overfeed him, he shouldn’t have any weight problems.
7. They Are Prone to Hip Dysplasia
Most, if not all, pure-bred dogs are prone to one health problem or another and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are no different . . .
They are prone to elbow and hip dysplasia, due to their strong build.
8. They Have Changed Over The Last Century
Staffies were first bred in the 19th century in Britain. They were then designed to be smaller, yet fighting dogs.
Although today training dogs to fight is not only illegal, but UNETHICAL, many people have exploited these dog’s instincts. That’s the reason why Staffies, unfortunately, have a bad reputation.
9. Their Curiosity Might Get Them Into Trouble
Get ready to keep your Staffie on a leash or in an enclosed area at all times.
Only let him off-leash if he has an excellent recall. (And make sure you’re in a safe, legal area).
Staffies are curious creatures, and if they spot a squirrel across the street they will chase it. If they see a stranger walk by, they’ll follow them to get to know them better. Their curiosity can get them into trouble, which is why you should always supervise them.
10. They Need Your Help
Amongst all the other breeds, Staffies are one of the least popular dogs. They are the 82nd most popular breed, which means few people look to adopt them.
There are a couple of reasons for that:
- The AKC has only officially recognized the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as a breed in 1974, which is pretty recent.
- They have a bad reputation due to the people who’ve exploited them in fight rings.
For those reasons they spend a lot of time in shelters looking for a family to adopt them.
So, if you think the Staffie is right for you, definitely adopt one. You won’t regret their loving and loyal personality.
Bonus – General Info About The Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Knowing the ten things above, you might be interested in some general information about the breed. Things like height, average weight and life expectancy.
The Staffie is a Terrier breed dog, with the average size of 1 foot 2 inches to 1 foot 4 inches at the shoulder. They typically weight between 24 and 38 pounds and, if healthy, they can be expected to live 12 to 14 years.
How can you keep him healthy?
Here are some tips:
Food: Food is perhaps the most important element to keep your dog healthy. Food can influence your dog’s weight, bones, fur, teeth and even mood.
So what types of food are the best?
If you go for commercial food, stay away from the ones with preservatives and choose brands that are transparent about their ingredients. A great option is raw food because they are nutritious and well balanced.
Also, avoid the temptation to feed your dog human food, and if he ate something and is experiencing unusual symptoms call your vet immediately.
Exercise: After food, the most important element to keep your dog healthy is exercise.
Exercise is both good for you and your Staffie, and will prevent many health problems, including obesity and heart problems.
Training: Training is very important because it’s what allows you to communicate with your pooch, set boundaries and live in harmony.
Dogs aren’t born knowing what we expect from them so it’s ups to us to teach them.
Besides teaching him basic manners such as sit, stay and come. Teach him some tricks. Tricks will stimulate him mentally and will prevent boredom problems.
Fun Fact: A trick like “jump through a hoop” for example, stimulates your dog mentally and physically.
Always make sure to train him using positive reinforcement methods and avoid harsh training tools such a shock collar.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier offers a lot of advantages over many other breeds. They are not prone to obesity, are loyal to their owners, don’t offer shedding problems, are easy to groom, and great with kids. What else could an owner want in a dog?
Not only that, their loving and affectionate personality debunks the myth that they can’t be family dogs. In fact, Staffies make excellent family dogs.
By adopting a Staffie, you will be contributing to a good cause that fights the stigma and misconceptions people have about this breed.
Have you ever had a Staffordshire Bull Terrier? Or are you thinking about getting one?
Share your thoughts or experiences with us in the comments!
And don’t forget to share this post with friends on social media. You’ll be helping break the stigma people have about Staffordshire Bull Terriers by educating them.
Thank you for reading!