24th May 2016

Staffordshire Bull Terriers - The Facts

"Bold, fearless and totally reliable" is how the UK Kennel Club Breed Standard describes this wonderful little dog.

Staffords are one of the most popular of all terriers originally bred for fighting, ratting and badger baiting.  However the dogs renowned courage, patience and tolerance with people and children soon earned him the nickname of the ‘nanny dog’ and enabled him to become one of the most popular breeds across the world.

As with any dog, given good training, positive socialisation and a caring home Staffords can make exceedingly lovely, loyal and devoted family pets.

Staffords are considered to be generally a very healthy and robust breed.

Staffords are extremely intelligent and love being trained.  They excel in many disciplines, such as agility, obedience and fly-ball to name a few.  They love to please their owners and will do anything they ask of them, which can often be their downfall.  If they are well socialised from a young age they can be mixed with other dogs and family pets.  Socialisation, as with any dog is the key.

Staffords are strong, agile and active dogs and require regular exercise. They will spend hours playing games; including tug and chasing balls.  Owners will need to ensure that there is a constant supply of toys as even non destructive toys are soon chewed up.

In return for your love and affection the Stafford will return it two fold.  Staffords are surprisingly sensitive and will crave your love and attention.  They want nothing more than to be your friend and constant companion.  Do not expect your Stafford to make a good guard dog - these dogs would greet a burglar the same way the greet their owners, with love and affection.

With their muscular appearance they are often mistaken for Pit Bulls and therefore people are wrongfully frightened by them.  Some Staffords sadly are mistreated and used as status symbols and trained to fight other dogs or trained to attack people. These dogs are for the street-cred of their owner who dress them up with studded collars and harnesses in order to make them look ‘tough’.

The demand for this has far exceeded supply and therefore the price has now made it profitable for anyone to breed Staffords and sell the puppies for £600+ per puppy. Kennel Club Registered puppies which are bred from registered and responsible breeders will only breed from a sire/dam who have been health tested for the following hereditary diseases found within the breed; L2HGA, HC, PHPV and PPSC.  Unfortunately unscrupulous breeding has resulted in an explosion of Staffords and rescue centres up and down the country are unable to cope with the quantity, resulting in a lot of them being put to sleep.

The press has sensationalised dog attacks and this has caused many people to fear this wonderful, loving and caring breed.

The Stafford has been given a bad reputation because of what it looks like and not what it acts like. They make wonderful family pets, are loyal, loving and brilliant with people.

Unfortunately as earlier stated the rescue centres are full of unwanted Staffords, for the very reason that they make good pets, they are not aggressive towards us and therefore they are useless for the people who want them as weapons of intimidation. As with any breed or type of dog differences in temperament, personality and behaviour are wide ranging across the breed and of course more or less any dog can be bullied and trained to be aggressive.  However; despite some people’s bad intentions to create their own compact four legged weapons out of otherwise personable pets, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is still rightly renowned for its loyalty, bravery and intelligence. They are generally calm dogs, if exercised properly, easygoing and trustworthy.  The Stafford is much lauded as potentially the most loyal and loving family dog.