Did you know?
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s stocky build and short legs have led to his nickname the “keg on legs”!
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware, Of giving your heart to a dog to tear. – Rudyard Kipling, The Power of the Dog
Developed in the British Isles by crossing the Old English Bulldog and a terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was originally bred for bull and bear-baiting and, once these blood sports were outlawed in the early 1800s, the dogs were used in the equally illegal, but easier to conceal, “sport” of dog fighting.Today, the dog is bred for its qualities of courage, high intelligence and tenacity.
In the United Kingdom, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is very popular and in 1996 it appeared in the top 10 breeds most suitable for families and especially children in a report researched and published by Southampton University.
Renowned for his loyalty and stability of temperament, the modern Staffordshire Bull Terrier (or Staffie) has become a family pet and watchdog.
Potential owners should be aware that many countries, including Canada, have enacted breed specific legislation which imposes limitations and condition on ownership of these dogs.
Photos displayed courtesy of Jacob and Krymsen Suelzle, Gamestaff Staffords, Alberta
Standing 14 to 16 inches (36 to 41 cm) at the shoulder, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier weighs in at up to 38 pounds (17 kg). He has a short, dense, and smooth coat that comes in red, fawn, white, black, blue, or brindle. Any one of these colours with white is also common.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is very strong for his size. He is naturally muscular and powerful looking and in fact may appear quite intimidating. Appearances are deceptive though. The Staffie has a natural fondness for people and will often jump up in greeting if not properly trained by his owners.
This breed is very attached to his people and is especially fond of children. He needs lots of human company and will want to be with his owners all the time. It has been said that “no breed is more loving with his family”. Though he is not a good guardian of possessions, he will defend his family.
This is a strong-willed animal who can be stubborn. He needs firm handling and constant training as he has a strong instinct to fight with other dogs. With proper socialization from a young age, Staffies will live peaceably with dogs and cats in their own homes and can be friendly to other dogs outside the family. However, they will not back down from a fight if challenged by another dog.
Fortunately he is also a quick learner so early socialization to other animals, particularly other dogs, and consistent, firm obedience training by a confident owner can began at a very young age and go a long way towards alleviating this aggression. Because they are quick learners, Staffie puppies are easy to housebreak.
This breed has a high energy level. He is active and agile and requires a good daily run to ward off destructiveness caused by boredom. This is an athlete who can jump a six foot wall with ease or dig his way out if he wants. He needs supervision and control by an owner who can match wits with him.