One look at a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and people would start thinking all sorts of things about the dog’s breed. ‘Tough’, ‘Aggressive’, ‘Angry’. These are just a few of the terms people would use when describing the breed of dog.
And they wouldn’t be wrong. The dog breed has a strong stance and a muscular body. That is precisely why people often mistake the dog for having a hostile Staffordshire Bull Terrier temperament. However, that is not true. There is another side to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. One that many people have grown to love.
Once people purchase this dog and get to know the breed, they will find out that the dog loves playing more than anything else in the world. Whether people are taking the dog to a walk outside or just chilling with him watching something on TV- they will find plenty of reasons to love about the dog. Of course, they have to follow some tips for living with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. But beneath all that ‘tough as nail’ demeanor is a friendly dog that has nothing but love to give to its owners.
Facts About Staffordshire Bull Terrier:
|Dog Breed Group||Terrier dogs|
|Height Range||Male: 19 inches Female: 18 inches|
|Weight Range||Male: 30-45 lbs. Female: 30-35 lbs.|
|Life Span||12-14 years|
|Club Recognition||AKC and UKC classified the dog as a terrier|
|Tendency to Drool, Snore, Bark, and Dig||Medium|
|Social Attention Needs||High|
History of Staffordshire Bull Terrier:
Up until the 19th century, making animals fight each other was a common sport. Although in some parts of the world, it still is, the sport’s popularity has long declined since then. Owners used to make their dogs fight with bulls, bears, and other animals. It was provided as a source of entertainment for the people back then. Back then, breeders did not breed Terriers and Bulls because they breed them these days. Breeders had only one characteristic they were looking for in their dogs. They should be good at fighting. Breeders used to test this characteristic by making them fight with other animals. That is how the breeders thought of breeding a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the Bull Terrier have one thing. All of them are related to Bulldog. The history of Staffordshire Bull Terrier goes back to as early as the 19th century. The breeders wanted a dog breed that was fearsome in a fighting ring but friendly with people. When people bred a Bulldog with Manchester Terrier, the result was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. This breed of dog joined the English Kennel Club in 1935 and the American Kennel Club, much later, in 1975.
Official Standard of Staffordshire Bull Terriers:
- Overall appearance:
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a smooth coat. It is a muscular dog that is quite strong. Hence, the dog needs the right amount of exercise to maintain his muscular build.
The dog has a broad but short skull. It has a black nose. Any person who intends to buy the breed of dog should know one thing. If the dog has a pink nose, he should immediately take it to a veterinarian. The color of the eyes may vary but are usually dark. They sometimes match the color of the coat of the dog. They are round and are neither very large nor very small. If the dog has light-colored eyes or sometimes pink eyes, there may be something wrong with him. However, if the coat surrounding the eyes is also pink, it is nothing to worry about. The ears are also of average size, neither too big nor too small. They are neither pointy nor are they completely dropped.
The neck of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is short and muscular. The neck area, as it goes from the head to the body, is broad. The tail is of medium size. A long-tail or a curled up tail is a red flag. It means there is something wrong with the dog.
- The front legs:
The front legs of this breed of dog are straight and very far from each other. When the dog is standing on all four legs, it has a composed and firm stance. The feet should be healthy and medium. They help the dog run faster when running with other dogs or playing with human beings.
- The back legs:
The back feet of the dog is also the same as the front feet except for one difference. The middle part of the back legs is slightly bent outwards.
The dog has a smooth coat that is close to the skin of the dog. Hence, experts recommend that people not trim the dog’s coat as they may end up hurting the dog.
Personality and temperament:
Staffordshire Bull Terriers develop friendly feelings towards the owners very early. Once they get to know that the people around them are kind to them, they start playing with them. They do not shy away from showing their affection towards people. Even though these dogs can get very friendly, they are very attentive towards any hostile engagement. Apart from being tough and loving, these dogs are also curious beings. The dogs do an excellent job of protecting people against those who intend to harm them. However, owners cannot trust them to guard their property. The reason is that they are more interested in being around people.
When left alone, they are not sure what to do. They may not always be welcoming, but there are a few reasons behind it. Sometimes it may be hereditary, while other times could be because of how owners had brought them up. Before purchasing a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, people should meet the parents. Especially the mother of the dog. The behavior of the mother will tell potential buyers whether they should purchase her puppy or not. Meeting the siblings might also do the trick. If owners choose to get a puppy, they should make sure they experience different things. Things such as sounds, sights, and experiences. It would help in the proper growth of the dog. Socialization plays a critical role in shaping the dog’s nature. Taking him to walks to meet with other puppies or children will positively impact the dog’s mental well-being.
As long as a Staffordshire Bull Terrier gets the right amount of exercise, he wouldn’t have a problem adjusting. He is okay with living indoors, provided that the owners have a back yard or something where the dog can play. The owners should secure the back yard with a fence in case the dog tries to escape. People should also keep in mind that these dogs love digging. Hence, securing the place from the ground up wouldn’t be enough. They would need to do something to keep the dog from getting out from below the ground. But never use an electronic fence to keep the dog from getting out. These dogs can be vigilant and responsive. As soon as they see someone hostile approaching, they will ignore the fence.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a quick learning dog breed. As soon as owners bring a puppy home, they should start training them. However, they can also be stubborn. Owners shouldn’t act sternly with them or make them follow strict rules. It would only make the dog more distant. Instead, owners should be patient and firm with the dogs. And they should remember to be consistent. If owners pay attention to their dogs for a few days and then let them be, it may yield unfavorable results.
Reward the dog if he does something nice. Punishing this breed of dog would impact their ability to socialize appropriately. If owners leave a Staffordshire Bull Terrier be, he would think of ways to entertain himself. And not all of them are going to be pretty. Another important thing about training owners should note here is leash training. When properly grown up, these dogs can be powerful. Hence, for the dogs, the owners’ and other dogs’ safety, training him with a leash is the best course of action.
Just like most of the dog breeds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are usually healthy. However, they can face specific health issues, depending on several factors. People who intend to own one should look out for the following health issues in this breed of dogs:
- Canine Hip Dysplasia:
Sometimes, the thighbone of a dog doesn’t meet well with the hip joint. This condition is known as Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). Due to this irregular bone structure, the dog may get arthritis. Owners can find if their dogs are suffering from this disease by conducting an X-Ray. Unfortunately, if they find any such case, experts recommend that they don’t breed them. If the case is severe, doctors may have to perform surgery on the dogs to treat the condition.
- Elbow Dysplasia:
A dog’s elbow consists of three different bones. Usually, these bones grow at an average rate. However, in some cases, the growth of these bones may be irregular. One of the three bones might grow faster or slower than the other two bones. This irregular condition causes joint laxity. As a result, the dog may feel immense pain. Luckily, doctors can treat this condition by either recommending some medicine. Or weight control. If, however, the case is beyond that, they may have to perform surgery.
- Patellar Luxation:
Patellar Luxation is one of the most common health problems Staffordshire Bull Terriers face. The patella consists of three parts: thigh bone, knee cap, and calf. When one of these three parts does not form properly, it causes irregularity in the dog’s patella. Due to this reason, the dog has difficulty walking or running. This problem is hereditary. Hence, it requires a surgery where doctors repair the patella of the dog.
Owners should feed these dogs twice a day. Using two cups of high-quality dog food should be enough. The general amount can range from 1 5/8 to 2 1/4. But it may vary, depending on the dog’s metabolism, size, and age. The dog may be of one breed. But that doesn’t mean all Staffordshire Bull Terriers like to eat the same food type. Owners should refrain from feeding the dog for at least an hour after the dog has exercised. More so if the training session was intense. Feeding the dog right after an intense training session is not right for its health.
Interesting Facts About Staffordshire Bull Terriers:
Not many people know this, but there are many things to learn about the breed of dog. Things that make them quite interesting:
- These dogs do not like to live outside alone. They are indoor dogs and prefer living around other human beings.
- These dogs can be hostile towards other dogs, regardless of the other dog’s intentions. Therefore, owners should avoid walking them without a leash.
- These dogs are quick learners and like to follow the rules set by their owners. However, they can also be free-willed and sometimes may do things their way.
- These dogs love comfort so much that they would want to join the owners when they are relaxing.
- As these dogs need consistent but firm training, people who haven’t owned any dogs before shouldn’t own them. They are going to have a hard time managing them.
- Is Staffordshire Bull Terrier good around children?
Staffordshire dogs love being around people and children. But that doesn’t mean owners should leave them alone with the dogs.
- Does a Staffordshire Bull Terrier need a lot of grooming?
No. This breed of dog does not require a lot of grooming. They shed very little hair throughout the year. These dogs don’t produce a lot of odor, either.
- Is it easy living with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier?
Yes, they make for a great and loving companion who prefers indoor life more to outdoor life. They can act a little defensive around other dogs. Hence, owners should make a proper introduction beforehand.
People all around the world say negative things about Staffordshire Bull Terriers. But when given proper care and love, they can grow up to be excellent companion dogs. It all depends on how owners choose to nurture these dogs.