The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, lovingly referred to as the ‘Staffy’, originated in Staffordshire, England. Their history dates back to the 1700s when they were used in bull baiting and later dog fights, barbaric and cruel practices that have unfairly tainted their name.
Today, the breed has become one of Australia’s most popular dogs to have as a family pet.
The courageous and obedient Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an affectionate dog for the family.
An intelligent, persistent and active breed, the Staffy is human-oriented and is kind-hearted. They are also good with children but can be aggressive towards other dogs, which is why it is very important to train and socialize them from a very early age.
Although Staffies are muscular in appearance and strong, they are happiest when indoors relaxing with the family. They enjoy and need regular exercise, such as daily 30-minute walk. They love to play so if you can get them to a park for a wrestle, a game or fetch, they’ll be happier.
Staffies can be good guard dogs. They are also curious and fearless. Being intelligent making them great to train however they are the class clowns in puppy preschool so firm, patient and consistent training is needed from a very young age.
This is the ideal pet for those with little time for excessive grooming as Staffies shed very little and their short, smooth coat means they need a brush every second day to every week and need bathing about fortnightly, depending on their activities. Pale-colored Staffies or those with pale noses are susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer.
Being that Staffies love the company of humans they do not need intensive exercise; just a stroll around the neighborhood will keep your Staffy happy and stimulated. They love children and don’t realize their strength so it’s advisable to keep your Staffie on a leash when around small children. They love being with their humans so be prepared to let your dog be an indoor dog; being left to their own devices outdoors all day can make them destructive.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are best-suited to families with children aged over eight years as they are quite strong and can topple over small children. Given this they will still need training around older children. So long as the family, single or couple is willing to bring the Staffie into their home as a family member, the dog will be quite happy to take part.
Backyard size not an issue as they spend most of their time indoors with their family. If you do live in a unit or apartment, make sure you are willing to devote a walk or two a day to your Staffy.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, whilst a robust and generally healthy breed but they can suffer from detrimental genetic diseases, which responsible breeders are attempting to selectively breed out. When purchasing a Staffy, do not be afraid to ask about their stock and breeding practices, and ask to see health certificates.
Breed classification Terriers
Size Medium to large
Lifespan 12 years
Colors Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any one of these colors with white
Common hereditary problems Hip dysplasia, luxating patella, entropion, juvenile cataracts, distichiasis, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV) and L2-HGA (neurometabolic disorder).