Will My Staffy Ever Calm Down (and When)?

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or Staffy, as most owners call them, is an incredibly high-energy dog with plenty of stamina to spare.

When young, they can run all day and still seem as though they can keep going through the night. It’s crucial to ensure Staffies get all the exercise they need; on top of the physical activity, you will also have to engage their minds.

In addition, bored and unexercised Staffies will entertain themselves with digging, attempting to escape your backyard or destructive behavior; Staffies have strong teeth and jaws and will cause a considerable amount of damage if they get to this stage.

Staffies steadily grow until they reach their adult height between twelve and fifteen months old, but they won’t get to their adult weight for another few months. Staffy’s reach mental maturity between eighteen months and two years old.

Why Are Staffies So Excitable? 

Staffies possess masses of drive and enthusiasm for everything they do, and some Staffies go nuts with happiness every time they meet another person or dog. You wouldn’t believe how high a Staffy can jump until you see this level of excitement come over a Staffy. I’ve seen young Staffies pee themselves with happiness and excitement.

The downside to all this over-the-top hyperactive behavior is that it becomes stressful to take a Staffy out or have family and guests around your home. Your Staffy needs to stop dashing everywhere at warp speed and use his impulse engines. 

For this to happen, a Staffy needs obedience training and socialization urgently. In fact, Staffies are one dog breed that needs this from a very young age until they are fully grown and mature adults.

Yes, you can run a Staffy all day long until they drop with exhaustion, but unfortunately, that isn’t going to calm them down necessarily. When a Staffy behaves this way, it’s a lack of impulse control, and this is a training and socialisation issue, not a lack of exercise.

Do Staffies Ever Calm Down? 

It’s hardly fair to say every Staffy is hyperactive; by the time they reach 12 months old, some Staffies are very laid-back. Sometimes it can be a symptom of their breeding. If the breeder you’ve chosen mates two dogs they know are hyperactive, it’s probable any offspring will also tend towards hyperactivity.

This problem can be alleviated somewhat by potential owners being very selective about their choice of breeders. Researching breeders thoroughly should be right at the very top of the list of every family looking to buy any breed of puppy.

A professional breeder who cares about the puppies they sell will have begun socialising their puppies well before you take home your puppy. If you don’t want a Staffy with a Porsche brain and bicycle brakes, be extra vigilant about the Staffy breeders you choose.

Staffies are intelligent dogs, and an excellent way to tire them out and teach them good behaviour is to make them think. Thinking training is best done over a 5 to 10 minute period, several times through each day. Numerous short lessons are better than a few longer training sessions. As I say, Staffies are intelligent, but they’re no Border Collie, so making them think and work at training will tire them out faster than a long walk.

It might even pay you, in the long run, to take your Staffy to obedience classes. Obedience classes serve two purposes; meeting other people and dogs will help socialise him, and you’ll have professional help guiding you every step.

Toffee (Amstaff) and Runa (Staffordshire Bull Terrier) playing together

When Do Staffies Calm Down?

If you speak to a range of Staffy owners, you’ll find some say their Staffy is calm by the time they reach maturity; others will say he’s still got plenty left in the tank and he’s turned 10; which for a Staffy means we’re talking about a senior dog. I only hope I’ve got as much stamina left in me when I get to my old age pension.

Truth be told, you’ll find more Staffy owners than not telling you their Staffies still run around like kids even as they get into their senior years. I do believe a lot of this is a Staffies joy of life that makes them this way.

At What Age Do Staffordshire Bull Terriers Calm Down?

While Staffies are powerful and boisterous, they calm down, but it takes a combination of obedience training and socialisation. Sometimes a Staffy calms down by themselves once they reach maturity. Indeed, many don’t, and this why you need to early socialise until they reach adulthood. In addition, if you don’t take your Staffy to obedience classes to learn essential commands and teach them how to walk on a lead, in my opinion, you’ll never stop the behavior.

At What Age Do American Staffordshire Terriers Calm Down?

The sooner you begin socialisation and obedience classes, the younger your Amstaff will be when they calm down. All dogs can be boisterous and playful when young; after all, they are children. But the best behavioral training, for an owner just as much the dog, will result in a calmer and more obedient dog by the time the dog reaches maturity.

Add in exercise that tires them out, not you. Ball launchers are great for this. If you have a backyard, buy one of those bungee rope toys that hook over a tree and let them pull on that. Burning off their excess energy will help calm them.

How to Calm a Staffy Down Quickly

A quick way to calm a Staffy is to take them out and exercise them; it can be anything both you and your Staffy enjoy. For example, running, jogging, playing catch or fetch. A tired dog is typically a calmer dog.

 Provide plenty of toys your Staffy can get his teeth into. If you’re out of the house longer than usual, buy an interactive toy that dispenses treats or one with an app that allows you to communicate with the dog via your smartphone.  

However, if the behavior is continuous and occurs even when the dog is exhausted, obedience classes and socialisation are the only long-term solution. 

Brad Davenport

Brad has spent his entire life surrounded by dogs and has owned all sorts of breeds, including Dachshunds, Great Danes, French Bulldogs and he currently has a little Hasanese called Biscuit. Brad is an experienced dog writer who is obsessed by canine health, care and psychology and has completed several courses on dog care and training.

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