Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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Species group:

Other name(s): Staffie; Staffy; SBT

The basics:
The rise of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is not an unmixed blessing to dog owners. This powerful dog, developed first for bear and bull baiting and later for dog fighting, can become a dangerous animal in the wrong hands. The strong jaws mean that this dog can maim and kill other pets and even vulnerable humans. Resembling a small Pit Bull and often mistaken for one, the Staffy is one of those breeds that can cause your insurer to cancel your homeowner's or your liability coverage. If you do not have the knowledge to properly train a powerful dog or the time to channel its energy in a positive direction, you would probably be wise to choose a different breed. This is a dog for experienced owners who know what they're doing.

Appearance / health:
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is powerful and muscular with a broad head and extremely strong jaws. Its muzzle is short with prominent cheek muscles. It has a clearly defined stop with round eyes that are brown. It has a black nose. The breed has a neck that is short and muscular. The Stafford’s front legs are spaced wide apart.

Staffords are low shedders, shedding once a year. The coat requires regular brushing to keep it in good condition. Brushing the dog's teeth with an appropriate toothpaste and brush helps to remove accumulated plaque and tartar and prevents cavities and periodontal disease. Toenails require regular clipping. These dogs are bathed occasionally as their coats lose dirt easily, dry quickly, and do not absorb odor.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has great stamina. Exercise, play sessions with the family, and sports are necessary to keep the dog healthy and happy.

The breed is prone to hip dysplasia (abnormal development of the hip joint).

Behavior / temperament:
Staffords possess a strong hunting drive, and cannot be trusted off leash. Chewing is a habit with many dogs of this breed. They are not suitable for the first-time owner, as they can be difficult to control, if not trained properly. Their tough appearance is enough to deter any potential intruder though their loving, friendly temperament does not make them the best of watchdogs or guard dogs.

Staffords respond well to firm, consistent, and patient training. They are sensitive dogs that require sensitive handling by a dominant trainer. Early basic obedience training and socialization is necessary for this breed.

Staffords are not persistent barkers and do not bark without reason.

Is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier right for you?

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What owners are saying about Staffordshire Bull Terrier health

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What owners are saying about Staffordshire Bull Terrier behavior and training

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Pitbull Review

I have owned 2 great Staffordshire bull terriers (Pitbulls) during my life. This dog does not have the greatest reputation due to high profile stories in the media in recent years. However, I have had nothing but the greatest experiences with my two dogs and I would recommend ...

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