Despite their robust stature and muscular build, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are more inclined to want a cuddle than fight these days. In fact, because of its kid-friendly nature, this former dogfighting breed is an exceptional family dog, even though the Staffy’s combative nature has been known to come to the fore with strange dogs.
Over the years, people have subjected Staffordshire Bull Terriers to a negative image. In reality, they are affectionate, clever, and have a kind, gentle demeanour. Because of their intelligence, this breed is reasonably easy to teach. However, they also tend to be stubborn and competitive, requiring an experienced owner to guide them.
You would be well advised to walk a Staffy on a lead at all times and socialise them with other dogs from an early age.
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What Is a “Staffy”?
Fans of this breed have lovingly bestowed the name ” Staffy ” on the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. However, you might also read about other specific Staffy dogs.
You may have heard of these Staffy breeds:
- Australian Staffy
- Irish Staffy
- Scottish Staffy
- Old-Type Staffordshire Bull Terriers
- Miniature Staffy
- King Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- King Staffords
- Long-Legged Staffy
But, to be clear, other than the American Staffordshire Terrier, every other Staffy dog is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
What Do Staffies Look Like?
|Height||14 to 16 inches|
|Weight||24 to 34lbs females / 28 to 38lbs male|
|Lifespan||12 to 14 years|
|Coat Type||Smooth & Short|
|Coat Colours||Black, Black & Tan, Black & White, Blue, Blue & White, Brindle, Brindle & White, Fawn, Fawn & White, Liver, Red, Red & White, White, White & Brindle, White & Fawn, and White & Red|
In terms of strength and athleticism, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a well-balanced dog having a short, smooth coat with a natural sheen. They have large, powerful heads and strong jaws.
Their muzzle is short, and their cheek muscles are clearly defined. You will see a wide range of colours in the Staffy breed (see table above).
The coat is naturally smooth in texture and tight to the dog’s skin. Coat colours tend to affect eye colours but are generally dark and round.
How Popular Are Staffies?
Staffies are renowned as one of the most popular dogs in the UK and have been for many years. In fact, in April 2021, 4Paws pet insurance held a survey of the most popular and expensive dog breeds. The most common household pet was the crossbreed dog. However, of the pedigree dogs the company surveyed, the Staffy was number five on the list.
In addition, in August 2021, the BBC reported that TeamDogs, an online dog owners group, surveyed dog owners throughout the UK and asked them to name their favourite dog breed from a list of 52 pedigree dogs. In this survey, the Staffy beat out the country’s perennial favourite, the Black Labrador, to capture the Number One position.
One or five, the Staffy is a massive favourite amongst UK dog owners.
What Are Staffies Known For?
Staffies are perhaps best known for their heart of gold and are highly dependable companion dogs. Staffies love spending time with their human family doing whatever, as long as the family involves the dog.
Staffies particularly love participating in agility, flyball, obedience, or therapy.
Staffies are not just excellent family dogs; they have an outstanding reputation with children. Staffies are one of the most caring and affectionate breeds, and children of all ages can enjoy the company of a well-behaved Staffy as a playmate and protector.
Are Staffies Dangerous?
In 1935, the UK Kennel Club recognised the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as a distinct breed. Their reputation as a nasty and aggressive breed was born from their history of dogfighting and baiting larger animals, such as bulls and bears. Dog breeders created the Staffy for terrible sports such as these, but this was so long ago that you will not see this type of aggression in Staffy breeding lines today.
However, in recent times certain sections of society see the Staffy as a macho status symbol and choose to use the Staffy in that way. But in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Most Staffies are exceptionally laid-back dogs. However, one or two might take exception to strange dogs when they are out walking. So owners should understand this, and to avoid issues, keep Staffies on a lead at all times when outside.
Are Staffies Banned?
The government has not banned Staffies in the UK. As mentioned, they are one of this country’s most popular breeds, regularly topping the polls of the UK’s most popular dog breeds.
One thing to remember is how the government has worded the law; it states that Pit Bull Terriers are banned in the UK. However, it also says that a banned type depends on what it looks like, rather than its breed or name.
There are certain myths about the Staffy that need dispelling.
Staffies have locking jaws: Not true. While Staffies are heavy chewers and can shred toys in seconds, they do not have locking jaws.
Staffies hate other dogs: Because of their inherited reputation with dogfighting, people tend to think all Staffies have problems with other dogs. This is not true! All breeds can indeed have issues with other dogs; it’s a question of socialising them properly from a young age.
Staffies are fighting dogs: Staffies are no more a fighting dog than any other dog breed. Once more, this goes back to the dog’s history. Breeders today are careful not to breed aggression into their lines.
Staffies are Pit Bulls: Staffies are not a Pit Bull as in the American Pit Bull Terrier. However, they are of the Pit Bull type.
What Are Staffies Really Like?
|Energy Level||Above Average|
|Mental Stimulation Needs||High|
|Exercise Needs||Above Average|