History of the Staffy
Formally, this breed is known as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (that’s right, they are a Terrier breed!) but most Australians know them as the familiar Staffy. It’s thought that these dogs were originally bred in England from a now extinct breed type, the ‘Bull and Terrier’. The Staffy’s ancestors weren’t always afforded the comfortable and civilised lifestyle Staffy’s enjoy today; the ‘Bull and Terrier’ was bred in the early 1800s for bull fighting and bear baiting. Fortunately, these two dangerous sports were banned by 1835 with the introduction of animal welfare laws. The popular Staffy we know today shares this ancestry with several other breeds including the Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, the latter also sometimes referred to as a ‘Staffy’. These breeds do differ in size, appearance, and behaviour, so it’s worth learning more about each before deciding if a strong and active Terrier is for you.
Temperament (Do you want a furry bulldozer?)
Despite their compact frame, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are energetic and muscular dogs who love to wrestle, tug, and chew, usually with great enthusiasm! Being somewhat intolerant of heat, Staffies are not the most suitable running companions, but they do show moderate stamina and are most appropriate for people with an active lifestyle. To keep a Staffy truly happy, owners need to provide plenty of mental stimulation and training, as well as physical activity. A Staffy that has plenty of opportunity to chew on appropriate toys, play interactively with their owners, and practice obedience skills using force-free training techniques will make a happier and more well-mannered family member. Staffies can be over-excitable and impulsive and have the tendency to throw their weight around and use their mouths in play. After all, these dogs are descended from bull fighters! This boisterous and bouncy behaviour can put children at risk of being knocked over so, as with any dog, a Staffy should always be supervised and managed with children. When given appropriate avenues to express their natural play styles and taught how to be calm around children and in the home, Staffies make fun and friendly family members. If you are keen to add a Staffy to your family, plan to start positive reinforcement training early to help your Staffy become a confident and polite dog around people and other dogs.
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.
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!