Is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier right for your family?

Are you considering a popular Staffy as a new member of your family? They’re considered a truly loyal and family-friendly dog. We’re here to give you the facts and help you decide if this affectionate breed is the perfect fit for you. Book in a consultation with your local Greencross Vets if you’d like to know more.

History of the Staffy

Formally, this breed is known as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but most Australians know this playful dog as the Staffy. It’s thought that these dogs were originally bred in England from the ‘Bull and Terrier’ that is an extinct type of dog (the progenitor of the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier) or possibly from the old fashioned Bulldog and English White Terrier, which is also extinct. In the early 1800s, they were bred for bear baiting, but by 1835, the Cruelty to Animals Act had shut that practice down. The name ‘Staffordshire Bull Terrier’ didn’t appear until 1930 when it began to appear in advertisements for dogs of this type. Today, it’s no secret that the Staffy is a beloved Aussie breed. They actually ranked second in the top 10 Australian dog breeds – right behind the Labrador!

Trustworthy and dependable

In terms of temperament, this breed of dog is fearless, friendly, tolerant and totally reliable, in particular with children. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are well known for their love of people. Indeed, they have a zest for life, and are happy to partake in just about any activity. As long as they’re with their loved ones, they’re easygoing, however, they can be a little stubborn when it comes to training. So if you’re a first time Staffy parent, it may be best to consult a professional trainer. Keep in mind, they need a confident leader and 100% consistency. They also love to chew, so give them plenty of chew toys (and hopefully they’ll leave your furniture alone!). Despite them being gentle creatures, they will stand up for themselves if another dog is challenging them. This is especially common in adults. Most of the time, however, they are lovers not fighters. See your local Greencross Vets if you’d like to know more about a Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s temperament.

Appearance

Strong and athletic, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, well-balanced dog with a short, close coat with a natural gleam. Their head is broad and the jaw is strong. They have a short muzzle and very distinct cheek muscles. Their coat can come in a variety of colours, including red, fawn, white, black or blue that’s smooth in texture and lies close to the skin. They usually have dark round eyes but this can vary a little depending on the colour of their coat.

Suitability

Suitability

There’s really no better companion than a Staffy, especially for families with kids. They’re known for their caring, affectionate and trustworthy nature. Staffys do require lots of attention, so it’s important that you have the time to spoil them with love. They’ll be sure to return the favour! If they get too bored they might get a little cheeky and take it upon themselves to do a little gardening or help with the washing. Make sure you get them into puppy school and teach them good habits from the get go! This is a breed that must be well trained. Ask your local Greencross Vets if this breed would suit your family’s lifestyle.

Health & Wellbeing

As a breed, Staffys do have some potential health problems.There are of course some hereditary diseases to be aware of, but most reputable breeders will test for these. These include L2-HGA (a metabolic disorder) and Hereditary Cataracts (HC) – there is actually no record of Hereditary Cataracts ever being in Australia in this breed. Other health issues may include skin allergies, Mast Cell Tumours, Inverted Canines, Tibial Crest Avulsion and Epilepsy. Skin allergies are probably the biggest issue. Talk to your local Greencross Vets for more health information.

Grooming

Staffys don’t require too much maintenance. A complete and balanced diet should keep their coat healthy. Chew toys are good for their health! A regular bath and a brush once a week is enough. Just like humans, they need their teeth brushed daily. If they’re not wearing their toenails down naturally in nature, a little Mani Pedi doesn’t go astray!

At Greencross Vets, nothing is more important than the health and wellbeing of your four-legged friend. If you have any more questions, please reach out to your local Greencross Vets. You can find your local Greencross Vets here. We’re more than happy to help!