Breed Spotlight: Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terriers (commonly referred to as Staffys) date back to the mid-1800’s originating from Birmingham in the UK. They are incredibly affectionate, courageous, highly intelligent, and are known to be great family dogs. Sadly, they still have a bad reputation in this country - despite remaining in the nation’s top 10 dog breeds. So let’s learn more about this breed often known as the ‘Nanny dog’.
Staffys stand at 14 to 16 inches tall, males can weigh between 13-17kgs, and bitches 11-15kg. They are generally a healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12-14 years.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are prone to certain health conditions; it’s worth noting here the first step to a healthy puppy is choosing a reputable breeder. Some Staffys can have the genetic condition Hip Dysplasia, an abnormal development of their hip joint resulting in inflammation and pain. Patella Luxation is another condition that Staffys may encounter, this is a dislocation of their kneecap - the treatment of this will depend on how severe the condition is, but surgery may be required.
Eye disorders are also common in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Congential hereditary cataracts is an inherited condition that can lead to vision loss early on in dogs. A DNA test can detect this gene, so it’s important to ask the breeder if they either the father or mother of your future puppy is carrying the gene.
Coat and Grooming
A Staffy coat is smooth, short and coarse. Because of this, they are fairly low maintenance only needing to be brushed weekly and do not need to be bathed regularly. They do shed on an ongoing basis, so expect to find will lot of their hairs around your home!
Unlike long-haired dogs, it’s a lot easier to keep a Staffy clean (unless they love jumping in muddy puddles or rolling in anything they shouldn’t!). Therefore you won’t have to worry about washing them every single week. By brushing them with a brush that gets’s right into their fur and down to the skin, will help keep them clean - reducing the number of baths they may need.
Whilst brushing your Staffy, it’s a great opportunity to check for anything unusual; such as fleas, ticks and lice that may be hiding. It’s also important to look for any potential skin conditions that may occur; infections allergies and dermatitis.
History and Reputation
Staffordshire Bull Terriers were originally bred for the purpose of bull-baiting; a blood sport involving putting a bull against dogs. When the UK parliament passed the ‘Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835’, bull baiting was renounced and Staffys started to become a popular companion dog. By 1935, the interest of Staffys was still incredibly high and they were recognised by the Kennel Club in 1935.
Despite their popularity and affectionate, loving nature, they are still known to have a bad reputation due to their history and their tough exterior. The most common misconception is that Staffys are still are vicious and unpredictable breed, however, they no longer display this aggression. With correct training and socialisation from the very start, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a loyal, docile companion.
Training and Socialisation
Staffys are incredibly smart and thus are able to learn new things quickly but also pick up bad habits. Early training and socialisation is therefore, necessary to give them the best start to life as possible.
Staffys may like testing your boundaries so consistency is key, especially when starting out with training. Positive reinforcement is a great way to begin; food treats, praise and toys can be used when they display behaviour you wanted. They will associate the two and be more likely to display this behaviour in the future. A firm but fair attitude is also key when it comes to training a Staffy due to their strong-willed nature.
How Paws in Work can help.
As mentioned, early training and socialisation is key when bringing up a Staffy. Socialisation from a young age forms puppies into confident social adult dogs who are less likely to show aggression or anxious behaviours.
So how can Paws in Work help? We are on a mission to create a better life for people and pups and can help with early socialisation. Our socialisation programme gives litters of puppies the best start to life as possible by allowing them to meet new people, explore new environments and begin to learn how to behave around humans in the future.
This is all whilst being constantly monitored by trained and experienced staff in a safe controlled environment. By socialising them from as early as 5 weeks old, we are helping them grow up to be confident, happy dogs that are less likely to have temperament issues that lead to unwanted behaviour.
We love working with all breeds of dogs at Paws in Work and are certainly not breed-bias. However, we only work with ethical reputable breeders who also have the wellbeing of the pups at heart as much as we do. Our Staffy breeders' main focus is to change their reputation, and on perfecting their breeding lines.
Get in Touch
We believe that early socialisation for Staffys is vital for their development and to help alleviate the negative reputation they may have. We are always looking for reputable breeders to add to our network for future socialisation.
Have you got a litter of Staffys you would like to socialise with Paws in Work? Get in touch today with our breeder team to find out more!