Staffordshire Bull Terrier temperament has been a hot topic, wrongfully giving this breed a negative image over the years. Whereas, in truth, they are affectionate, clever, and have a kind, gentle demeanour. This breed is a natural people pleaser, making them relatively easy to train. However, they require a strong leader because of their intelligence, stubbornness, and competitive nature.
What Is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier?
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, also known as Staffy, Staffies or Staffords, are medium-sized dogs with robust, muscular and athletic bodies, but short stature.
Their renowned “Nanny-like” qualities make the Staffy an excellent companion for children, providing the owner socialises and trains the Staffy properly.
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Staffies also get along well with other dogs and cats in their own families, providing they have been socialised or have grown up together. However, outside of the home, if another dog challenges a Staffy, they are more than happy to stand up for themselves.
Smaller, faster, friendly and gentle to people were some criteria for developing this breed in England during the early nineteenth century. The Bulldog and Manchester Terriers are the likely ancestors of the Staffy we now see today.
The UK Kennel Club only recognised the breed in the 1930s directly due to its early links with dogfighting; this history made it incredibly difficult for the Staffy to gain recognition.
Staffies are so-called because breeders developed them in the Staffordshire region of the Black Country, an area just north of Birmingham.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Characteristics
Staffy Characteristics at a Glance
|14 to 16 inches
|24 to 38 lbs
|12 to 14 years
|Affectionate with family
Even though Staffies may not be tall dogs, with a maximum height of only sixteen inches, they can weigh up to thirty-eight pounds. They’re also robust, muscular dogs with short, broad heads, which can look plenty imposing.
Their coats are short and smooth and come in various colours such as black, black and tan, black and white, blue, fawn, red, liver and brindle. Often you’ll see solid colours mixed with white markings. Staffies are below average shedders and one good brush down each week is all they need.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Temperament
Friendship and trustworthiness are the hallmarks of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. These admiral traits don’t often extend to other dogs, though. Some Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a solid aversion to other dogs.
Even when a Staffy has been appropriately socialised and brought up with other dogs, you should never take things for granted, and assume that things can go wrong quickly. A strong prey drive means that they could be a danger to pets such as cats and other tiny creatures.
Staffies literally buzz with excitement and are always up for a new adventure. To prevent them from getting into any mischief, keep a strong fence around your garden to keep them safely inside.
Another thing to note is that chewing is a favourite pastime for these dogs, and their jaws are strong to go along with it. Therefore, always have a ready source of indestructible toys and chews on hand for a Staffy; if not, they will chew on whatever they can get their teeth into, including your table legs.
When it comes to protecting their families, Staffies will go to great lengths, but they don’t have the same protection concerns for property. Staffies are affectionate towards even strangers, so they don’t make the best guard dogs. However, on the whole, they are good watchdogs. Anyone choosing your home to break into will be very unhappy when they come face to face with your Staffy.
Staffies want to be right there with you, wherever you go at all times. So, don’t get a Staffy if you don’t want a dog that’s into everything you’re doing and will never leave your side. It doesn’t matter if you’re working in the garage, going somewhere in the car or sitting on the sofa watching TV; Staffies will be right beside you, looking for their next cuddle.
Finally, Staffies enjoy long walks and hikes, and their agility skills make them excellent candidates for various dog sports.
It’s important to remember that personality traits, such as temperament, are harder to pass down from one generation to another, unlike physical characteristics like height or musculature. A dog’s character and conduct are influenced by how you raise, socialise and train them.