In 1835 England, The Cruelty to Animals Act, which was also known as the Humane Act came about with the intention of putting an end to animal mistreatments and banning all bait-fighting and gambling as with Bear and Bull fighting. Because Bear and Bull fighting could not be concealed easily, their disappearance was immediate. Not so with dog fighting. And in order to be even less conspicuous, the impoverished Staffordshire potters bred the Bull and Terrier with smaller Terriers to produce the dog we know today. Unfortunately, that means that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier history has been one of cruelties and financial gain at their expense.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier APPEARANCE
Both male and female Staffordshire Bull Terriers are usually between 14-16 inches tall, but the males weigh between 28-38 inches while the females weigh between 24-34 inches. Their many coats colors range from Black; Black and White; Blue; Blue and White; Brindle; Brindle and White; Fawn; Fawn and White; Red; Red and White; White; White and Brindle; White and Fawn; White and Red; Black and Tan; or Liver.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a dog that physically mirrors its own personality. It’s no wonder they look to be as strong as tanks, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has to fits a great and towering personality into a small body that looks bursting at the seems. Possessing traits envied by many a human, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s broad and strong shoulders mimic its “indomitable courage, high intelligence and tenacity”. But it is their people loving personality that displays itself most beautifully with their hard-to-miss heart-shaped heads and wide, happy grins.
TEMPERAMENT AND PERSONALITY
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are highly affectionate, loyal, trustworthy, but also “a vibrating, dancing, chortling love machine in the body of a warrior”. Some even yodel for their owners to show how happy they are—or, when they want some food or affection.
While Staffordshire Bull Terriers have been bred to be great, extremely affectionate family dogs and are gentle and tolerant of children, however it is recommended that young children not be left unsupervised with any dog, not even the family pet. Though loving and warm with family, children and strangers, the Staffordshire Bull Terriers are generally not friendly around other dogs, cats or other domesticated animals. They have an instinctively high terrier drive that makes them want to dig and chase!
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is more sensitive and loving than tough, more happy than unhappy, which makes for a less than ideal guard dog. They will definitely bark to let you know someone new is around, but they will probably lick them rather than growl at them.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a life expectancy of 12-14 reasonably healthy years. Because they form a great bond with their owners, this also means that they can develop some severe anxiety. Early techniques like leaving, then returning to let them know you will indeed come back is important to help prevent behavioral issues. If you notice they have bloody paws when you return home, or that they become unusually and highly depressed right before you leave, you will want to consider how to help them through the anxiety.
CARING FOR Staffordshire Bull Terrier:
Now we’ll show you how to properly care for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
A high quality diet based on their age, weight and size would benefit the Staffordshire Bull Terrier greatly. As they are prone to obesity, free feeding is not an optimal choice. So, one equal morning and one evening meal are best. Treats are a great way of aiding the training process, but too many treats can contribute an unhealthy weight. More, certain boutique or fad diets (like kangaroo, alligator, ostrich or boar meat) might do more harm than good. So, regular check-ups with their veterinarian will give you a better understanding of their nutritional needs, and how well their diet is affecting them.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are energetic dogs that need solid, daily activities for up to an hour for both their mental and physical health. A well-conditioned dog can easily keep pace if you are running, biking or hiking, yet they will find a spot in which to snuggle into once they get back home. Be careful about those hot days, as the Staffordshire Bull Terriers do not fare well in extreme heat. Some other dog activities you may want to consider are:
- Food Scavenger Hunts (an interactive dog toy or puzzle dog toy is a good alternative to this!)
- Doggie Stair Climbs
- Doggie Treadmills
- Throw a Ball, and then Race them to get it
Strong dogs are as trainable as any dog, but may require some different equipment, like harnesses—because they are strong. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are very eager to please, too, so training them is going to be easier than you think! Strong dogs do require leash training as sometimes they simply don’t know their own strength and you both have to get accustomed to that. Using positive reinforcement is always better than yelling. And treats are a great way to echo that positivity. Starting early and young means your Staffordshire Bull Terrier will have a much easier time learning their commands and training.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is generally a healthy dog, and with few health problems in general, but there are a few things to look out for:
- Hip/Elbow Dysplasia (a malformation of the hip or elbow that causes arthritis)
- Juvenile Cataracts (degenerative eye condition that can cause reduced, blurry vision)
- Patellar Luxation (dislocated kneecap)
Monthly nail trims, weekly ear care, occasional brushing and monthly bathing sum up the grooming needs of this low-maintenance breed. More, regular nail trims keep their paws, pads and legs happy and pain-free. Because Staffordshire Bull Terriers can have allergy problems, grooming takes on a greater role in their health and happiness, especially if doing so helps alleviate any itchiness and stay abreast of any secondary infections as a result. Not only that, regular dental hygiene and care helps promote clean, healthy teeth and gums. Any loss of teeth can mean damage to internal organs, but also the potential for a shorter lifespan! So, a steady regimen of hair and teeth brushing can only be helpful to the health and happiness of your Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Because obesity can become a major problem for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, certain new technologies, like activity trackers might help you and your veterinarian better understand their needs, especially if you are “doing everything right”.