The Staffordshire bull terrier is a fun-loving character that loves playing with its family and friends. He is typically playful, companionable, amiable, docile and generally responsive to his family's wishes. his love of a good game is rivaled only by his need for human companionship. He is also characteristically friendly toward strangers. Some can be strong-willed. Although he doesn't usually look for a fight, he is fearless and tenacious. He may not do well around strange dogs. He is generally very good with children; although usually gentle, some can be rambunctious. In the United Kingdom the Stafford is known as the Nanny Dog, in reference to its eagerness and ability to assume the role of a child's nursemaid.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dog Care
This is an athletic breed that needs a good walk on leash every day. He also enjoys a good game in the yard or a run in a safe area. The Stafford is a dog that craves human contact; thus, he is far better suited as a house dog. Coat care is minimal.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dog Health
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: cataract, CHD
Suggested tests: (CERF), (OFA)
Life span: 12-14 years
Note: The high pain threshold may mask problems.
Interested in the history of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog breed?
In the early 1800s, the sport of rat killing had become quite popular among the working classes. Bull-baiting, which had been popular in earlier times, did not lend itself to the cities, and fanciers of the rat pit became increasingly enamored of dog fighting as a more exciting alternative to rat killing. In their efforts to produce a fearless, quick, strong contender for the dog pit, they crossed the bulldog of the time with the black and tan terrier, thus producing the "bull and terrier." Selective breeding resulted in a small nimble dog with incredibly strong jaws. It also produced a dog that was specifically not aggressive toward people because he had to be handled safely when he was at his most aroused state. By the time dog fighting was banned in England, these dogs had so endeared themselves to their fans that they continued to have a loyal following. Although some fanciers continued to fight them in clandestine gatherings, True aficionados sought a legal venue of competition and found their answer in the show ring. Concerted efforts to produce a dog more amenable to the ring and attractive as a pet finally resulted in the breed's recognition by the English Kennel Club in 1935, but it was not until 1974 that the AKC confirmed similar status. Although the breed's reputation as a combatant may have dogged him into the present, those who live with one know Staffies as wonderful family pets.