Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Origin: Great Britain
AKC Group: Terrier
14 - 16 inches (Male)
25 - 45 pounds (Male)
Staff Bulls are hardy and docile. They're usually friendly with strangers and other pets. However, like AmStaffs, Staff Bulls used to be bred as dogfighters, so they'll often attack other Staff Bulls.
Staff Bulls are part of the Terrier group. In general, terriers have a very distinctive personality that's unlike any other breed. They're feisty and energetic. Originally bred to hunt and kill vermin, terriers love the chase-don't let your terrier off its leash unless it's in an enclosed area.
Terriers make excellent pets. These tough little canines have an attitude, however, so they usually adapt better to quiet households. Most terriers are usually jealous and snippy around other pets, especially dogs.
While some terriers are good with children, most will snap if provoked. If you want your terrier to be friendly with strangers, you need to accustom it to people at an early age. Terriers are also barkers and diggers.
In terms of health, terriers are very hardy dogs with few health problems. Most live a long time, usually around 15 years. Terriers need to be brushed twice a week and professionally groomed about every three months. While pet terriers are usually clipped, show dogs are stripped, which means the dead hairs are plucked out one by one so the coat color doesn't fade.
Short and hard. Tail hangs down; ears prick up halfway.
Black, blue, red, fawn or brindle - and any of these colors with white. Eyes are brown; nose is black.
This is a strong breed. As with the AmStaff, you need to be careful. A poorly bred Staff Bull might be very aggressive.
Initially bred for bullbaiting and dogfighting, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier ("Staffy") still looks very much like his original bull-terrier ancestor, who resulted from crosses of the 19th-century Bulldog with the English black and tan terrier. Selective breeding established a compact, nimble dog with very strong jaws. Although he would gamely take on canine opponents, he was not aggressive toward people. When these cruel so-called "entertainments" were finally outlawed, the breed survived long enough to find the role he excels in today, as an amiable, fun-loving family pet. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier figures strongly in the heritage of the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, as both breeds were developed by American breeders seeking to produce a similar but larger and taller dog.
Well known for his gentle, stable, playful temperament, it is hard for fanciers to believe that he was originally bred as a fighter. Although his reputation as a fearsome tough guy might linger, a well-bred Staffy is trustworthy and loyal to a fault. He can be quite animated and clever, and he enjoys a good game. The Staffy is devoted to his family, and while not usually territorial, can be protective of those he loves.
A Staffy can get along well in the city or country, provided his exercise needs are met. He is sociable and needs to be with his family - this is not a breed to be relegated to the backyard. A secured yard is necessary - you might be surprised how quickly this intelligent dog can become bored and figure out how to get over or under a fence to say hello to a passing stranger. The short-coated Staffy cannot withstand extremes in weather, and severe cold and heat are a danger to him.
Staffies love the physical and mental stimulation that organized sports provide. The breed can do well at agility, rally and weight pulling. He loves tennis balls, so flyball is right up his alley, and he can also make a wonderful obedience prospect.
The Staffy's motto seems to be "full speed ahead." His energy reserve and great stamina mean that he requires quite a bit of exercise to maintain his muscular body. The Staffy's owner should be willing to find time for lots of long walks, as well as be able to supply him with a safely fenced area in which to run free.
The ever-ready Staffy Bull is a hearty eater who requires a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. Feeding twice a day as an adult is recommended.
The Staffy's intelligence is remarkable, and you'll need to be one step ahead of him at all times. He responds well when given gentle but firm, consistent training as a pup. Proper socialization at an early age is essential for the breed.
Staffies are wonderful with children. Although they can be quarrelsome with other dogs, a properly bred and socialized Staffy quite happily accepts other pets.
The average life span of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is 10 to 16 years. Health problems may include several eye problems, including entropion, hereditary cataracts (HC), and persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV); hip dysplasia; and thyroid problems.
Staffordshires and their owners are a common sight on the streets of London, and the breed has a special place in the hearts of the British dog-owning public.
The smooth, short hair of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is easily maintained with a daily rubdown with toweling, a chamois or a grooming mitt.
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