Staffies typically don’t know their strength and can be boisterous, especially for the first few years. Some Staffy owners say their Staffy was over ten years old before they began to calm down. So, we need to look at Staffy behaviour problems and 5 common issues to keep an eye on.
Although they love their human companions, Staffies require more experienced owners due to their independent nature and tendency to act before thinking.
On the positive side of their temperament, they are loving, kind-hearted, and eager to please their humans.
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While they aren’t overly possessive, Staffies will “guard” their family and bark at any unfamiliar visitors. Staffies are friendly dogs that don’t do well when left alone for long periods.
Although Staffordshire Bull Terriers are renowned as the “nanny dog” due to their friendliness with kids, it is essential to keep them under close supervision at all times.
Are Staffies Difficult Dogs?
Staffies are not difficult dogs to take care of and train; they are like most dogs and will benefit from owners who know and understand the breed and Staffy behaviour.
Intelligent and quick to pick up new skills, Staffordshire Bull Terriers benefit significantly from early socialisation, handling, and training. When appropriately bred and placed in the right home, Staffies become confident, stable companions that are also easy to train.
The flip side of their intelligence is that they are known to be a little stubborn and like pushing the limits. To mature into manageable adults that are comfortable among other canines and family pets, Staffordshire bull terriers require early and consistent socialisation.
Common Staffy Problem Behaviours
1. Pulling On The Lead
Dogs that love to pull on the lead are an age-old problem with most dog breeds. Even toy breeds like the Shih Tzu often pull their owners along. Walking your dog should be one of the most pleasurable experiences of dog ownership; however, it’s no fun if you need therapy on your shoulder after every walk.
The problem is far worse with a dog like a Staffy because they are so powerful and can pull you off your feet if you’re not careful.
Fortunately, there are training techniques that you can employ to curb your Staffy. Training strategies include:
- Turning aside as soon as they start to pull.
- Stopping cold when they pull.
- Not starting again until they are calm and listening.
You must be dedicated to this type of training and be on top of it for every walk. If you only do it on some walks, your Staffy won’t get the message.
2. Destructive Behaviour
Because Staffordshire Bull Terriers are powerful dogs with strong jaws, they can cause a lot of destructive damage in a short period. Anyone who has owned or lived close to a Staffy knows how much they love to chew. Staffies are born with a predisposition for chewing, possibly more so than other breeds; it’s typical Staffy behaviour.
For the sake of your home furnishings and personal belongings, it makes perfect sense to provide your Staffy with a wide variety of tough toys that can withstand this breed’s constant, severe chewing characteristic. Staffies have an insatiable desire to chew on things, and it’s not only to kill time; doing so can also be therapeutic.
3. Staffy Digging
Due to their terrier heritage, Staffies have earned a reputation as avid diggers. To be fair, many dog breeds love to get into the garden and have a good dig. If you own a Dachshund, you know what I mean.
Staffies do this for several reasons, including relieving boredom, burying bones, and finding a cool area to lay in the sun when the temperature soars outside.
If digging is an issue with your Staffy, they could need more exercise. As mentioned, digging can be a boredom release. The adage goes, “a tired dog is a good dog.” I’m not suggesting you do this, but if a Staffy is left alone in the garden for any length, they will find something to entertain themselves. Destroying your flowerbeds and perfectly manicured lawn might be on their list of possible activities.
4. Staffy Jumping
While we’re on the subject of your Staffy’s garden adventures, beware of the jumping Staffy. We know they are smallish dogs, but they are so muscular that they can climb to some serious heights. Staffies are known to clear seven and eight-foot fences. I’ve read of one Staffy trained by the owner to jump five metres.
If your Staffy prefers abandoning the garden rather than destroying it, you must build a high fence.
5. Staffy Barking
Socialised, exercised, and trained Staffies typically don’t bark excessively. You can usually trace any Staffy barking issues back to lack of training. As with all dog breeds, some Staffies will bark more than others.
One cause of nuisance barking is separation anxiety. Staffies love their family’s company and believe they should go wherever the family goes. Most don’t appreciate being left alone, certainly not for long periods.