You won't have to look far for a loyal, friendly, family pet when it comes to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier or Staffie as they are more commonly known. This short, stocky little fellow loves his people truly, they are one of those breeds that just adores kids. They are gentle and sweet with them.
Staffies have a terrible reputation, they are one of the current "Devil Dogs", as portrayed by the media along with Pit Bull types. There is massive hysteria around them. But they are not the first and they won't be the last, the Rottie and Doberman came before them. The problem is that certain types of people are drawn to these breeds are only drawn because they think having such a breed makes them look "hard". These are the type would encourage their dog to be aggressive. They don't seem to choose to purposefully not socialise their dog. It's all a recipe for the disaster and gives the breed a terrible name. It's not that other breeds don't attack and cause serious injuries it's just that a pitbull or staffie attack sells better. Labs are regularly at the top of lists when it comes to reported bitings but that doesn't sell papers. (This is not a slight against labs, remember they are also at the top of registered puppies each year, its just a fact).
So instead of judging the breed, judge the deed, meet some Staffies yourself and check out their disposition, I think that most people would be pleasantly surprised to see how sweet, loving and gentle they are, contrary to popular media coverage. A well socialised Staffie, who is well trained and well treated is pretty rock steady in my opinion and I would feel safer leaving my child around one than a Chihuahua or a Jack Russell.
I never considered owning a dog of my own. We had a Springer spaniel as children because my sister nagged our parents into submission, and although I was fond of him and occasionally took him for a walk in the park, I never felt the need to have a dog as an adult. My daughter, however, had other ideas and from the moment she could make herself understood she begged us for a puppy. For her sixteenth birthday, we surprised her with a tiny Jack Russell puppy. The whole family quickly became smitten with this cheeky chappy, and after a while I couldn't imagine what I did with my time before we had Milo. When I gave up my part time job last year I decided that Milo needed a playmate. We deliberated for a long time about whether getting a puppy was the right thing to do. I was worried that it would put Milo's nose out of joint, or that he wouldn't tolerate another dog. I was keen to adopt a rescue dog but my husband and the kids wanted a puppy that they could all get involved in caring for. Eventually we agreed that a female puppy would be the best option but we needed to choose a breed with a similar energy to Milo's, one that could keep up with him and match his tenacious personality. I knew a few people with Staffies and a few friends in America who worked with pitbulls so I researched the breed and found lots of conflicting advice. All the information suggested that Staffies adore their humans and are excellent with children but many sources advised that some are not tolerant of other dogs, so I began to talk to people who owned these dogs and met as many of them as I could and I was reassured that, in the right hands, Staffies make great family pets. I also fell in love with their smiling faces and affectionate personalities. What I wasn't prepared for was the reaction of other people when I told them I was planning to get a Staffie pup. The overiding response was "what on earth do you want to do that for?"
Now, I'm pretty stubborn once I have my mind set on something so I began to search in earnest for the perfect puppy to join our pack. After a few false starts I spotted an ad for a Staffie pup and it leapt out at me. There was no cute picture to catch my eye but something just seemed right. I emailed a response immediately and waited all day until finally I got a call from the owner who had been inundated with replies to his ad but was seemingly picky about who got their hands on his puppy! He seemed satisfied that I knew what to expect from the breed but confessed that another person had promised to get back to him before he had spoken to me so he wanted to give them first refusal. After a nerve wracking wait he finally called back and said that they had called back but had wanted the pup for their eighteen year old son and he had not been happy with that scenario so, if we were still interested, we could come and visit her.
She was just four weeks old and little more than a black and white ball of fluff but I knew from that first visit that she was the one for me. Both her parents were family pets and had lovely temperaments and seeing them all interact was very special. After that we visited Dotty, as the owners had nicknamed her, every few weeks and they sent pictures in between so we could see how she was getting on. By the time she was ready to leave her parents, Elsie, as we had decided to call her, was paper trained, weaned and had been vaccinated and had grown into a pretty little lady with her mums small frame and her dads black and white/brindle colouring.
Once she got over her initial nervousness at being in unfamiliar surroundings, Elsie quickly found her feet and was delighted to find Milo in the garden playing with his toys. She approached him respectfully and backed off when he warned her not to take his toy but after an hour or so they were playing tug of war with a rope and later that evening Elsie climbed into Milos bed and lay beside him. We could not have asked for a better outcome. She is fearless and loves to be the centre of attention while he is unbelievably tolerant but will not let her get away with too much!
I, on the other hand, find it easy to overlook her less desirable puppy behaviour because she is so sweet and loyal. The biggest problem is her chewing. Most puppies love to chew things but Elsie will chew seemingly inedible things like garden brooms, keys, mobile phones and tissues, in fact nothing is safe and the family have quickly learned to hide any possessions they value for fear of their total destruction.
Luckily Elsie is a greedy piggy and training her has been relatively easy with the help of tasty treats. She is almost a year old now and incredibly strong. She can pick up half a tree without breaking a sweat and outrun Milo with it in her jaws, in fact she once swept me off my feet when she ran into the back of my legs and literally "bowled me over". It's like being hit by a bulldozer, she has no concept of her own strength, but she hates it if I disapprove of something naughty she has done and will sulk under the table until I give her a cuddle. My husband is away from home often with his job and she assumes the role of our protector in his absence, standing guard at the window in case of uninvited guests, and at night she curls up at the foot of my bed, watching me sleep. Then when I wake up she will express her joy by licking me mercilessly.
We were careful to socialise her with as many other dogs as possible from the time she was fully vaccinated but I do find that some people are reluctant to let their dogs play when they see a Staffie. Unfortunately, this breed is still seen by many as agressive due to media hysteria and their history of being used for fighting. Sadly, this barbaric practise still goes on but Staffies remain loyal to their humans, even when they are being subjected to terrible cruelty. A recent case in America saw the police entering a property where three people had been murdered and discovering seventy Pitbulls which had been used for fighting. Some had been bait, whilst others had long standing injuries from past fights. All were underfed and neglected but not one of them showed any agressive behaviour towards the police officers and became positively affectionate towards the veterinary staff who tended their wounds. Thankfully, a rescue charity came forward to offer them shelter and they are positive that they will all be suitable for rehoming. I can see why some people are wary of bull breeds but in most cases these dogs are sweet and loving family pets. Now that people are begining to realise Elsie will not hurt their dogs they are warming to her but I am still very cautious when out in public, especially around children in case she was to jump up and hurt someone accidentally, and I never let her approach a dog if that dog is on a lead but this is just common sense with any dog really.
So, owning a Staffie has been a positive experience overall. Yes she is stubborn, she will take a mile if you offer her an inch and she is capable of creating a truly unholy, face-meltingly awful stink when you least expect it, but I wouldn't have her any other way. :)
I love staffi dogs (I'm going to say staffi to save myself typing it out everytime!), they often get a bad reputation from the media for being aggressive and being linked a lot to dog fighting. Two of my neighbours own staffies and they are both absolutely lovely though!
One I have known since they were a puppy and she is so ditsy and cute and wouldn't even know how to hurt a fly, she doesn't chase my cats either but is an extremely excitable dog and this makes the cats scared of her. She's slightly smaller than the average staffi but is still very strong. At some point my neighbours want to get her to have some puppies with my other neighbours dog, Mason.
Mason, who I walk everyday is male and much bigger and stronger, he has a stripy tiger coat which my neighbour gives him cod liver oil capsules to keep it glossy and well conditioned. He has a lovely personality and is always trying to sit on me, he only jumps at people when you let him too, he's very good around small children and does what he is told. He is a very butch looking dog as he wears a chain collar and the harness I walk him with is studded (this is the neighbours choice to make him look tough!) but almost every time I walk him I have kids come and talk to me and stroke him and Mason loves all the attention he gets. I am weary of walking by other dogs but that's just me, Mason pulls a little but mainly because he's interested in the other dog but if the other dog seems aggressive I'm sure Mason would react but he never has. I did have a very scary moment when someone else staffi wasn't on a lead and ran growling over to Mason however all they did was sniff each others bums! He has unfortunately once killed a rabbit on a farm but as never gone for another animal and never ever a human.
Mason gets on very well with my cats too, one he play fights with (which is quite scary to see the first time!) and another lived him for the first weeks of her life and likes to rub herself up against him and give him kisses! My neighbour currently has a tiny kitten and Mason gets on fine with him, often curling up with each other in his basket, which he did with five kittens at one point too! Mason is one of the loveliest and friendliest dogs I have ever met.
Overall I think staffis are very lovable, loyal and friendly companions as long as they end up with the right owner who will properly look after them so it's probably best to have them since puppies. I am not an expert in looking after staffies but nearly am as I see my neighbours dog atleast once a day, usually more. They require a lot of attention, especially as puppies (Masons owner has looked after two lots of puppies and had another two that she got rid of) and need walking like most dogs as they are naturally very muscley dogs. They should be walked with a harness as this takes pressure off their throats as staffies have sensitive throats and if they just have a collar, pulling on the lead can damage their throats.
The only reason dogs are bad is down to the owner, so as long as you are a good dog owner you'll have a lovely dog no matter what type it is.
Falsely pigeonholed as an aggressive, fighting dog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has had some seriously bad reputation as of late. With many countries banning them due to confusion over the appearance with Pitbull-Staff Cross, and a fashion trend for uneducated youths to abuse and train them to show defiance and anger, many Staffies are being dumped in shelters and largely ignored by the public when choosing a pet dog. While they were originally bred for the purposes of fighting, the tradition is old and the temperament is not in grained but altered by owners, to be up for the scrap. The term 'There is no such thing as bad dog, just a bad owner' certainly applies here. No doubt many have seen hooded teens being dragged along the pavement by over eager Staffs, looking to cause trouble and scare people. This analogy of the breed has certainly made an impact as people often cross the street to avoid me and mine. I recall one women holding up her two daughters in absolute fear of my then 6 month old Staff. People have shouted at me, gesturing to keep 'that thing' on a leash in the wide open areas of local parks. Its clear that people are fed this nonsense by the media and get it into their heads that the breed is vicious and bound to cause harm. From my so far, short experience, I can see clearly that the breed is fantastic in many senses. My nan used to be terrified of all dogs until she got used to mine. I wasn't particularly fond of dogs either, but when you make the commitment of finding one and looking after it, the bond grows and your opinions change rapidly.
Staff's are well known due to their strong, hulking (often intimidating) frame. With a massive head, thick neck and bulging chest, these dogs show their history as fighting animals. They can come in a variety of colours with black or brindle being the most common example but also white, blue, brown, grey or a mix of the colours mentioned (mine is white with bits of black). Their fur is short and smooth, often staying wet for a while but without being too prone to clinging items like sand, dirt or faeces. The teeth are quite large and the bite is described as a 'scissor bite' due to the teeth slightly overlapping. The legs are average in length with equally average sized paws with sharp little claws best cut. Medium sized eyes mostly brown, average sized half hanging ears, with a medium to short snout, making the head a triangular shape. The tail is dubbed a 'pump handle' and is again medium in size. When tired, excited, panting or a combination of the 3, opens the mouth, producing that classic charismatic smile, often with little lip flaps which I like to call 'Bacon Bits'. Weight is often at the 15KG mark but can be slightly under or over that depending on gender and breeding (mine is large for the breed and over 20KG)
All dogs have their own personalities and temperaments, but one that is a common trait in the SBT is the friendly nature that is often forgotten with recent events making them seem like feral beasts. They just want to say hello to everyone they see, give their affection by licking, jumping and sometimes a little nip should you let them get away with it. They are people dogs - hate being alone unless knackered and just wanting to sleep (even so they don't mind company aka someone to sleep on like a hot water bottle). Personally, my Staffy is rather laid back, only riled up by the doorbell, car doors and when asked "wanna go for a walk?". They are very vocal dogs too, squealing and squeaking for attention, treats and walks. My dog rarely barks, only out in the garden when he sees someone wandering around the neighbours yard or hearing next doors bark. The bark itself is strange as they can produce a high pitch yappy one as well as a strong brutish bark. My dog has NEVER growled at another dog or a person... just inanimate objects like my iron gym, mops and brooms. Sleeps often, adapting to work schedules very well, napping in the middle of the day and in the evening. Almost always up for food, aren't fussy eaters and don't mind getting the same every day. Meeting strangers is a doddle too, as the person can signify whether they want to greet your dog or avoid it - either way, that's cool with a Staffy. Mine loves meeting new dogs, to say hi then run around for a bit or play wrestle. He does however know when someone's not up for games, backing off and getting on with it. My dog has never barked, growled, scratched or bit another dog, nor has he properly bit me or others, at least he's never drawn blood. Keen of tugs of war and pulling toys, thrown balls and sticks, squeakers.
I've had Archie since he was a puppy at the age of 3 months. The house training was unexpectedly easy. Setting up newspaper and ushering him on them for the first few times, only to hurry him towards the garden door and heavily praise him for doing his business outside. Of course there are bound to be the odd accident, Archie used to do 'excitement wees' when guests arrived, all over their shoes.. poor postman. Archie even decided to leave me a steaming present right outside my bedroom door, nice. Tricks aren't exactly necessary, but the 'Sit' command is always useful as well as stay. Sit, seemed like it was built into him from the start, while he eventually learned to stay, heel, offer his paw, "no not that one!" and jump up on command. All this but he rarely drops a tennis ball or Frisbee. Puppy training classes are recommended if it is your first dog, as they offer good advice and training, unless of course you have experience. Will always be up for a treat too as they tend to not know when they are full. They can also go through agility training, though they aren't the fastest of dogs with all that muscle, nor the most graceful, clumsily miscuing jumps and overshooting thrown objects. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, they are average in terms of animal intellect but are loyal and courageous regardless. Best walked 2-3 times a day, getting at least an hour of exercise, loves being off the lead and roaming rural areas.
Faults & Problems
The first thing I noticed about Archie was that he likes to chew things. Not really a problem because he has be taught that he may only chew and or destroy, his own toys. He also likes to roll in disgusting things, like most dogs - dead frogs, rats, animal excrement and other foul smelling atrocities. This is being a less recurring habit as he knows he is in for a bath afterwards. Which brings me onto bathing - which must not be too excessive as Staffs can get skin problems and start to itch. They shed hair quickly too but its not too bad. They can have mucky eyes too, with what look like bogeys - this can phase out or be sorted with drops. Urine burns the lawn! Starts off pulling on the lead until trained not too, along with ignoring calls when spotting another dog, however they like to stay within distance of the owner, looking around to see and running back soon enough. Archie likes to nick things too, like socks and toilet rolls. FARTING! Even with all these little issues and soon to be resolved habits, I wouldn't change a thing.
Easily getting my recommendation, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is a loving source of entertainment and barrel of laughs too. Perhaps best left to people who have spare time to spend with them as they love attention and being made a fuss of. So many are in dog shelters and deserve a second chance with a new family habits can die fast and new bonds be made sharpish. Even families with young children shouldn't have much to worry about as its dubbed as a 'nanny dog', plus the clumsiness of a child is not met with hostility but forgiveness, or even confusion as they are so damn tough. As long as someone is home during the day to look after them, they are conversation starters, confidence builders, caring companions.
My Staffordshire Bull Terrier Coco who is black, white and brindle, is just the most lovely girl. She is 1 year old and rippling with muscle. She is an athlete and so agile, showing new capabilities almost daily. She is so comical to be with, in the house or on the field. We have just had a puppy male who is 8 weeks old and she is looking after him as if he was her own. At first we were wary about putting the puppy down to meet her but within 5 minutes the puppy was jumping on her head, play biting and thoroughly enjoying himself. Bear who is pure white, who although is only 8 weeks, barks when Coco does and follows her around like a shadow. He is very independent though for 8 weeks old and like a lot of staffies, enjoys his food. I call them my little piggy puddings because they enjoy their food just like me and my husband!
I have to say, I could not imagine not having Staffordshire Bull Terriers in my life as they bring so much joy and fun and they are the most loyal and loving breed I have come across.
I've heard so many horror stories about these dogs over the years, about them mauling people and young children so I've never been interested in owning one for this reason. When I've visited dogs homes in the past I've always seen lots of staffies in there and assumed thier aggressive behavious was probably the reason why.
A friend of mine had a staffordshire bullterrier and said I could have her as she didn't want her. She said she'd put her outside and forget, leaving her out for hours and couldn't even be bothered to stroke her. I felt really sorry for her, I'd met her a couple of times and she seemed a nice enough dog so I said I'd have her.
She's four years old and has had several previous owners. The owner who had her before my friend used to hit and kick her and she was neglected. I worried that this might mean she'd be vicious or aggressive, but I couldn't be more wrong. When I got her she had a bald, dry patch on her back and you could see that she hadn't been groomed or looked after at all. She was also really obese and had a thick ring around her neck where a tight collar had obviously been for years.
When I first brought her home, she was wary and sniffed everything a dozen times, but she soon settled in. She happily lets you stroke her and rolls onto her back for a tummy rub. She loves attention and sits near you with her head on your lap until you stroke her.
She's a lovely dog, really lazy though! When I walk her she gets to the top of my road and needs a sit down. After I'd had her for a week, I introduced heto my grandson and other family and she loves them. She was never brought up with children as far know, so I was careful and never leave them alone just in case. She loves to sit there and be fussed and stroked.
She's great in the car, I like to take her everywhere with me when I can, so if I'm going to fetch my grandson, she's on the back seat. I think it is good for her to get out the house a bit although if I go out without her now, she pines and moans at me. She's also really good with my other dog, Jess. Jess is bouncy and boisturous and a bit mad compared to Pip, our staffie. Pip is laid back and lazy and the two dogs don't really interact much, there's never been any nastiness though which I'm really glad about.
Pip is fantastic to bath, she just stands there and let you do anything to her really, the only thing she doesn't like are loud noises, she hides when I put the hoover on. She's a really strong dog, she's only small but she's much stronger than my collie who's much bigger, although she doesn't pull on the lead nearly as much as my other dog.
I've had Pip for 5 months now and she's a much loved part of the family. She's slowly losing weight and I've been using moisturiser on the patch on her back so it's nearly gone now and there is some fur starting to grow there. She's got a lovely temperament and half the time I don't even know I've got her. I can't believe that someone abused her in the past as she's a really lovely dog.
I'm tempted to get another staffordshire bullterrier in the near future as I know both of my dogs are good with other dogs. I'd like to rescue one from a dog's home but I'm still worried as I have young grandchildren. I'm thinking about it though.
It's hard to believe that she's the same breed as some of the dogs I've read about in the news for hurting people. I don't think Pip has a nasty bone in her body, so she's really changed my opinion on this breed. Of course, I know any breed of dog can be nasty and they aren't all like Pip, but she goes to show they're not all these vicious nasty animals they're made out to be on the news.
Hi i hear stories everyday about staffies and rotties being nasty but i have one of each the rottie from a pup and staffie i got from a rescue when it was 3 and they are the most loyal loving dogs i have ever had. the only thing that's makes them dangerous is people well some people that is. if you bring them the right way they are great just the same with kids any dog can be nasty if you train it to be that way
Staffordshire Bull Terriers have received alot of negative publicity of late, and DEFRA are even considering adding them to the list of 'Dangerous Dogs', which I think is really sad.
Once upon a time, the humble Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or the Staffie as it is affectionately known, was noted for its good nature around people and especially children for which some called them 'nanny dogs', and it is so terribly sad now that we might well lose this fantastic breed through no fault of its own.
I find it so irritating that undesirable people are taking these dogs and treating them so badly as to encourage them to be vicious to other dogs and people. I have no first hand experience of this, but there are endless reports about this breed being used as status dogs, and dogs for protection for people such as drug dealers, and still people arrange dogfights in this country, with which this breed above all others is now most associated.
Of course any breed of dog can attack, but a dog's temprement must depend an awful lot on how it is raised and so it is most definitly the owners at fault in most cases rather than the dog.
Now, the Staffie has lost its good reputation and many people just associate this dog with child attacks and fear has obviously driven many owners to abandon their Staffies as rescues are now literally over-flowing with them :(
It also means that some Staffie owners are subject to abuse while out on walks with their dogs, people shouting at them for letting 'dangerous' dogs out in public, etc.
Having had a lovely Staffordshire Bull Terrier in our family, I think it's sad that they have been reduced to their current state, and some people even think that Staffies and Pit Bulls are one and the same: While walking my dog the other day, a lady in the street was kind enough to warn me that there was a stray dog on the canal which had got loose from next door. She told me it was a Pit Bull sort, and I said, doubting that it would be the rarer Pit Bull and assuming there was some confusion, "a Staffie?" to which she replied, "yes I think".
Our Staffie Marvin was fantastic. My sister bought him when I was only about three and as a puppy, he used to chase me round the coffee table trying to bite my nappy (one of my earliest memories, after our trip to visit him at his breeders!). But as he grew older, it became apparent that Marvin certainly was no fighter. Naughty? Well, yes, somewhat! Mischievous? Definitly! But aggressive? No way.
Marvin was so intelligent and used this to his best advantage, manipulating people and our other dog, Otis, in order to get what he wanted, which was basically food! He once licked all the topping off my brother's 18th birthday cake, haha! And had a side sweep for maximum in put; he would cause a distraction, often encouraging our other dog to bark at the door as though he had heard something, and while everyone was otherwise engaged, he would clear the table by sweeping his open mouth across it! Sometimes, he would just pinch food straight out of your hand too... He also quite often went toilet in bedrooms too. Usually mine actually! And I had so many toys with Marvin teeth marks in them, but now I keep them for sentimental reasons.
He was a definite people dog though, despite his naughtiness; he liked an ear massage, loved being at home with his people, being stroked on the couch or sitting on the windowsill taking in the view and barking at people who walked past and were cheeky enough to stare and point! I always had to put a book under his back leg so that it didn't burn on the radiator when it slipped from the windowsill. He wouldn't go out in the rain; he would sit in the street and refuse point blank to go any further.
He was a big softie, and when I was growing up, I was never at all scared of Marvin. I remember my dad's friend coming round once (he loved Marvin and Marvin loved visitors and would make a fuss of them and even nibble their ears affectionately!) and I was lying on the floor with Marvin, and Tom remarked how soft he was and that he'd let me do anything without batting an eye, not that I was ever rough with Marvin, that I remember anyway, but he dealt in the same relaxed way with all my neices and nephews too from them being babies and upwards.
Marvin really did love children and would change his approach when he was dealing with children, genuinly, visibly becoming much gentler and less hyper around them. And other Staffies I've known have had these exact same great qualities with regards to children; they will let themselves be messed about and patted roughly and will still be gentle around the child, seeming to sense that children are different to adults. We also saw a beautiful little Staffie at our local pound, and her little face actually lit up when she saw my little nephew, bless her.
Neither was Marvin confrontational with other dogs; he was strong, like a little tank on the end of a lead, but he definitly used his brain far more than his brawn. He was really a bit of a scardy cat unless he had to be brave. He was scared of loud bangs (so fireworks and balloons) and didn't like the cold (probably because they have such short hair). He'd shake when cold or scared.
He was great fun though, a proper little character, really did seem to think he was a human (dog food was a big no no for Marvin, he wanted what everyone else was eating!) and he was a lovely, gentle soul (one time, as a young dog, he went for a ball my brother was throwing and accidently caught his finger and looked guilt stricken when he realised he's hurt my brother; he always seemed to be able to sense when people were hurt or upset and would come to comfort you).
He loved chasing bubbles, which was really funny to watch, and he loved playing tug of war with his rope (he was particularly good at this) as well as getting under the duvet at night time and walking up the bed til his head was on the pillow too.
Unfortunately, he only lived til 9 years as he got a cancer and the Vet operated but couldn't remove all of the cancer as it was surrounding his Jugular vein. But he was so brave at the end and had real grace in his later years; we miss him terribly and his antics are legendary around here, we still find ourselves talking about him all the time.
If it hadn't been for the great experience of growing up with Marvin and Otis, I wouldn't have got my current dog; they turned me into a dog person :)
In my experience of this breed, they are fantastic, loving pets who really have a great affinity with people, especially children. They are real intelligent, but use this differently, some to their own ends and some to the ends of their owners and others (we met a Staffie guide dog and thought how terrible it would be having Marvin as a guide dog and being dragged all over the street on the trail of rogue doughnuts and kebabs!) You also seem to get some Staffies that will walk nice on a lead and come back to you on cue, where as others, like Marvin, really are just almost untrainable (Marvin could of course sit, lie and shake hands...for food...only...)
So they are a breed that I would recommend. Some say they can sometimes be tempremental with other dogs, and I have met a few who've had a go at my dog, but Marvin was never any trouble in this respect. He was just a fantastic friend, who loved his home comforts and being with his family.
I usually write the advantages first and then the disadavantages, but this time I am going to reverse it. I hope you dont think I am staffy bashing. I love the breed. But it is also one of the two most likely breeds to be destroyed in a shelter so perspective buyers really do need to be aware of the downsides too.
Hereditary: cataracts and L-2-HGA (L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria), the first causing blindness and the second being an absolutely horrific disease that is still too raw for me to write about. Thankfully genetic screening is now availablle for it, not the case when my dog was born. All breeding dogs should be screened for these and I would not buy a pup without seeing proof of such. As they usually show up young especially the L-2-HGA, adopting an adult dog greatly reduces risks.
Destructiveness: A properly excercised staffy with enough chew toys and plenty of human interaction usually isnt too bad, but one left alone and unexcercised can destroy everything in your home! if you live in a flat and work all day, dont buy a pup!
Fighting: Whether we like to admit it or not, staffies are more likely to fight. I'm not saying they all will fight, but many will be prone to it even with teh best handling. Two males in a house is asking for problems, but two females, or even a male and female can have serious dominance disputes. Also they are more likely then other breeds to respond to any aggression offered by the off leash cocky dog snapping or growling at them. They need to be well trained from an early age and always under the owners control. Regardless of who starts the fight, the staffy gets the blame. Neutering males early does help and I would reccomend all but the very best examples of the breed, with clear genetics screening and excellent pedigrees be spayed or neutered. I know the fellows hate the idea, but an intact dog has so much frustrated energy unless he used for breeding, it often comes out in less then desirable ways.
Now the good stuff:
Contrary to public opinion, a normal staffy is probaley the least aggressive dog you can find where people are concerned. They love everyone, but especially children. You absolutely couldnt findd a more tolerant dog for children. They are also one of the least likely dogs to inflame allergies.
My sons are ages 23 months and age 5. Our staffy, who was adopted 3 months ago has been a perfect companion for them, in spite coming from a rough background. Our older dog was also a saint where the boys were concerned, even as he lost his faculties due to his illness. The childrens grief was one of the things that drove us to find another staffy. There is no other breed I would trust so much with small children.
Finally if you do choose a staffy - spare a few minutes to consider all the ones in rescue. I can understand wanting a pup, but if you think an adult dog might be suitable, check the rescues and pounds and see if you might offer one a second chance. You wont regret it.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, small stocky muscular intelligant dogs. Dont read al the media hype in regards to these fine animals. They are also under the dangerous dog tag which i think is stupid. The media only show the pictures of chavs who have trained the dog to fight in the street with the dogs going crazy. The saying is true, Staffys are hugable, cute and excellent with kiddies know as the nanny dog. There as recently been a group created on facebook name "Hug a bull Staffys" in which there are thousands of photographs with the dogs sat around kids playing nicely. Also the creator has sent emails to BBC, ITV etc to explain our group and from what I understand we have had a response from the One Show on BBC 1.
I feel that no one should judge a dog by the breed and should start judging the owners as there are no bad dogs just bad owners. I have had my staffy now for 18 months and he is brilliant in regards to other dogs and kids, gets a bit giddy at times but eh what can you do? I wouldnt go back on getting my staff as he is a tog dog, lovable and loves everything (except cats and the post man) :)
I live with my mother in law and was a little worried when she got an early christmas present just gone. A staffordshire bull terrier. My mother in law is 84 years old and has always had dogs but never a staff.
I have only had 2 dogs (both labrador's) which I still have and left with my Mum when I moved out 4 years ago. S o I started to do some heavy research.
Staffordshire bull terriers are old time breed of dog, originally bred for bull baiting. In the early part of the twentieth century, this breed gained respectability and is accepted by The Kennel Club of United Kingdom!
Staffs are an english breed, however they are related to bull terriers and are cousins to American staffordshire terriers and American pit bull terriers.
Staffordshire bull terriers are meduim size, stocky, muscular dogs with a athlectic ability.
Staffs may suffer from health problems such as cataracts, hip dysplasia and breathing problems. Overall they are a very healthy breed.
Their common temperament are very trustworthy, indomitable courage, high intelligence and friendly. They are actually known as the "nanny dogs" because of there affinity for children.
A lot of people may get this breed for protection as they look quite intimadating with their muscular build. They do not make good guard dogs and are usually ill-suited to this and even attack dog training as they have natural fondness for people.
They come in all colours black, red, white..... And have short, smooth coats. They can live anywhere between 10-15 years old.
As I've read the papers and watched the news over the years I have learnt that these were vile dogs.
However a friend of mine has one and shes soppier than my lab's! Just before we got our's I started getting close to a member of a family's staff but still in the back of my mind i was thinking what the dog is known off.
It is really sad that these dogs have such a bad reputation and I think you'll find the more research you do the more you get to understand that these are a beautiful dogs who are miss-understood and are actually recommened to have in families!
I still now feel when I am out and about with my daughter who is 4, when she brings up Sandy dog I feel a little under pressure to talk about her as I am scared of what people think?
She is 6 months old and has beautiful red and white colour coat and I cannot see any anger, or violence within her. When we take her for walks she runs like mad and with my daughter they play so well.
She gets on with our cat and our rabbits. She is so affectionate, loving and doesn't bark!
My daughter is so important to me and would never allow anything to hurt or harm her in any way, I feel that these dogs have been let down. Thank you too everyone else's reviews with this one as its helped a lot!
I personally believe that it's all upto the dog owner and is there responsibilty. You can choose the breed, the breeder, the dog. You train the dog and I now believe my new dog is perfect as long as she is cared for well.
See member picture! This is Miss B a 6 year old pedigree Staffordshire bull terrier.
Don't believe the tabloids and the shock stories they write about Staffords being devil dogs. They're one of the most loyal, soppy, eager to please, giving breeds of dog I've ever owned. I think that once you've owned a Stafford, you'll always want one in your life as they're so loving.
If correctly socialised to children, and with children who know how to behave around dogs, then Staffords simply adore them. The kennel club lists them as the only breed known to be good with children, and they're affectionately known as the nanny dog. Due to their build and shape they're quite bomb-proof and not a dog that you have to be extremely delicate with.
Historically Staffordshire Bull terriers were bred as baiting dogs, their strong powerful jaws were used in the fighting pits against other animals such as bulls, and later on other dogs. Thankfully this barbaric sport is now outlawed and has been made illegal. Although illegal dog fighting still goes on sadly, efforts are being made to stop this underground activity.
Staffords should be short, muscular, with a large head, they aren't meant to be big, and I often get asked if mine is a miniature! They have a short coat which requires minimal grooming (I use a zoom groom, see my other reviews!) and bathing only when they've done the fox poo rolling, or are generally a bit smelly. I bathe mine about once every other month, or when she starts stinking.
They're courageous and tenacious little dogs, the crossing of a terrier into bull breed lines I suppose! Bursts of energy interspersed with being extremely lazy are usual character traits of the Stafford.
They're good if you like walking a lot, as their fitness levels will just increase or reduce as to what amount of exercise you give them, although not giving any dog enough exercise and stimulation can make them destructive and Staffords aren't alone in being destructive when they're bored, under stimulated, and under exercised.
Generally, they're happiest running around (most staffords love balls) or cuddling up on a sofa with their owner.
Get along to your local rescue and give one of the thousands of homeless staffies a new home!
*** My Staffy Background ***
We had our first Staffy 13 years ago, he was all black and we had him from a puppy, his name was Luigi, a year later we got another, this time a female called Pepa who was light brown in colour. I can't tell you how different they were, Luigi was playful, loveable and very funny! Pepa was a trouble maker and would only have hugs and kisses when SHE wanted them.
When Pepa was just over 1, she got pregnant (totally by accident - we tried to keep them apart!) She had 8 puppies in total, they all went to family or friends, we kept one - we called him Pookie! When I moved out, I took Pookie & Pepa with me.
Unfortunately Pepa died this year aged 12 and Luigi died the day after aged 13, we still have Pookie, who still acts as though he is a puppy!
*** My Opinion **
Staffy get such a bad reputation because they are so closely linked to pit bulls, I think its nonsense that ALL staffs' are dangerous, because they are not, I believe it is they way they are brought up. If a dog is locked outside and has no love, attention, no exercise then your putting yourself in the situation of having a dangerous dog. Staffs get board so easily so they are no good cooped up inside all day on their own.
However I am not saying that you can trust a Staffy 100%, because I'm not. You cannot trust any dog 100%, and staffs are no different. I recently read about a Staffy that attacked a 3 year old, family dog, seen the child before - it just snapped. Unfortunately this can happen with any dogs, its just that the likes of Staffys have a locking mechanism in their jaw, and when they bite, they clamp down so its going to be very difficult to get it off.
I'm not saying this to scare anyone, its just you have to be aware if these things before you buy one! In saying that, staffys are one of the most lovable dogs in my opinions, they are fantastic with kids, other pets, other dogs - if you bring it up right, you will reap the rewards of a fantastic dog
To me, they are like humans, all of our staffs have had different personalities from being nosey, to cheeky to being a TV bug!
Like I said before I think staffys are great with children, we had our dog 10 years before we had a baby, when introducing his to her, at first we put her blanket in his basket so he got the smell of her, then introduced slowly, now, he adores her. She will sit playing with him all day long, and he loves it because staffys like to play, he's not at all boisterous and follows her around like well, like a dog! I would say though, that I have never, and would never leave her alone with him, but then even if we had a small dog, I would never leave her alone with it, as I don't think you can trust any dog 100%.
Staffy are quite muscular dogs and need lots of space and exercise, they love to run and love the water! They are pretty easy to care for, they don't require special food, but if your not careful that muscle can turn onto fat.
On the flip side, they love nothing more than jumping onto your lap and cuddling up in front of the TV with you, they are very loveable animals and become part of the family.
Our dog likes hot water bottle, blankets and duvets, he is a real softy. As regards to other animals, our have always got on fine with cats, dogs, rabbits if you introduce them in the right way, he only ever chased the birds outside (but never caught them)
Be careful with your fences, you may not believe it but they are excellent jumpers, so make sure your fence is high enough!
*** Conclusion ***
I love everything about staffys, I can understand why people are wary of them, but they really are family dogs, its all in the way a dog is treated to how it behaves. I hope I am aloud to post links, but this video on You Tube says it all (staffy lovers will love this video!)
If a had to give a warning (no a negative, just a warning) don't buy a staffy if you want him for the scare factor, that's not what they are for at all! They are family dogs, and if treated right, will give you a best friend for life. The amount of staffys you see on RSPCA adverts who have bought them and then decide they don't want them, do your research before you buy, I know this is a bit cliché, but the are a lifetime commitment, one I will never regret.
I have a staffy recure dog, who is now 7yrs old - recused when she was approximately 8months old.
She was my first ever staffy, and we fell in love with each other instantly
I have found that the staffy bread will offer a family nothing but love and affection, to both adults and children.
mine would honestly not harm a fly, in fact i've seen her sharing her bowl of food with a mouse?!
I have found that this breed needs a lot of exercise, and stimulation, as they do get bored very easy. Mine is on the go 24/7, and i just wish i had the engery she has
i truely dont understand why people are affraid of these dogs, as in the hands of the right owner, they are soo loveable and sad that they have become a status dogs for a few people in our society
i have to add that my staffy and me are the best of friends, where she loves to make new people friends where ever she goes - just she isnt too fond of other dogs (which is just the staffy breed)
Let me tell you a love story...
There was a girl called Claire who was scared of all dogs, she would run away from them in the park, friends would have to keep dogs out of the living room when she visited and stroking a dog was completely out of the question. Then Claire met Steven and Steven had a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Tara. Claire had read the bad press these dogs had and she began to panic. How will she be able to cope having a dog in her life? ...Now lets fast forward twelve months. Claire has now fallen in love with Tara, because she is so affectionate, clever and loving. Tara protects Claire and loves cuddling up to her on the sofa, they enjoy walks together and Claire often dog sits for Tara when Steven is working.
I suppose you've realised I'm the Claire in question! I can't believe how much my opinion of dogs has changed. I know this particular breed has a bad reputation but I think that's probably because their intelligence works against them when they have a cruel, violent owner. These dogs are so receptive and they do emulate your behaviour, so if you allow idiots to have them no wonder some Staffies turn violent. Tara is soft and loving because that's how my boyfriend has brought her up, she loves children, she loves playing and she is very obedient. She is the perfect pooch!
Staffies are medium-sized and they need plenty of exercise because they are energetic. I have discovered the fun you can have with a dog and I love walking Tara.
Staffies have short coats so you don't find too many hairs around the house and you don't need to comb their coats often.
I think Staffordshire Bull Terriers are great dogs and I would love to bring one up from a puppy!