The Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Solid Dogs with Solid Gold Hearts
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or Staffy, are one of the most recognisable breeds across Australia and beyond. Beneath their muscular frames, you will find big hearts, humble attitudes, and dogs that make excellent companions. As family dogs, these bold terriers do need a bit of training to learn the dos and don’ts of life with their humans, but they repay the effort their owners put in tenfold.
Whether you’re the proud pawrent of a Staffy or considering adding one to your household, we will help you better understand this bold breed’s needs and personality.
Is the Staffy a Good Fit for Your Family?
Don’t let their tough exterior fool you. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a marshmallow beneath all those muscles. They are happy to snuggle during downtime or keep up with the kids during playtime.
Staffies form strong bonds with their human families and are very patient when it comes to kids. They’re tough enough to hold their own on hikes and a bit of rough-housing, but not too big that they will overpower their owner on the other end of the lead, should their prey drive kick in.
While Staffies love a good walk, they do adapt well to living in the city.
Training a Staffy
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are very bright. They’re known to be quick learners and enjoy regular training. Because of the history of the breed, it’s important to start training during puppyhood and establish clear expectations and rules. This will help your Staffy build its confidence while providing them with the structure they need for a life with your family.
Their deep bond with their owners is demonstrated in their desire to please. It also makes positive reinforcement vital to a Staffy’s training success.
Once a Staffy learns a command, they will comply easily. Training sessions with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a great way to keep them calm, content, and confident.
What Are a Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s Exercise Needs?
Staffies often maintain a strong prey drive. They also love to exercise. While Staffies are happy to relax after a long day, they live for stretching their legs and getting their hearts pumping. To keep your Staffy happy and healthy, you will want to provide them with ample opportunities for getting their energy out. This can include activities like:
- A jog with you
- Running as you bike
- A hike
- Agility training
Common Health Conditions for Staffies
One of the most important factors every owner should consider when getting a Staffy is how reputable their breeder is. Check reviews and ask about how they screen their dogs for health conditions. You can ask for references.
While responsible breeding can help reduce the risk of health conditions, it is never a guarantee. Additionally, if you’re adopting your Staffy, you will want to look out for these common conditions this breed faces:
- Skin allergies
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Patellar luxation
- Posterior polar subcapsular cataracts
- Hyperplastic primary vitreous
- Breathing issues related to brachycephaly
The Best Diet for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffies thrive on a high-quality diet with high protein to support their active dispositions. When not given the exercise they need, they can be prone to weight gain. So, monitor their body condition and adjust their portion to reflect their activity level.
Because Staffies can be quite food-motivated and love to train, you will want to be mindful of the number of treats they receive throughout the day.
If your Staffy struggles with skin allergies, consider an Omega-rich dog food with a novel protein.
Common Complaints and Praises for the Breed
One of the biggest complaints from Staffy owners is that they’re quite drooly. They can also be a handful for novice dog owners since they require structured and consistent training.
One of the biggest praises from Staffy owners is how well-tempered these dogs are. They truly love their owners and will be teddy bears given early socialisation. They are also considered some of the happiest dogs.
Get to Know a Staffy!
If you’re looking for a family dog or a dog to keep you company in the city, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an excellent choice! These dogs are perpetually cheerful and happy to keep up with an active owner. They are passionate about giving their owners affection, so prepare yourself for puppy kisses with some drool to spare!