The Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s lineage stretches back to the ancient Greek Molossian war dogs and Mastiffs of Europe, with its Bulldog predecessors used in England a few centuries ago for bull baiting, fighting and other blood sports. At the time it was commonly believed that teasing a bull with a dog prior to slaughter would improve the quality of the meat, however it seems many also found this to be a source of entertainment. Blood sports were outlawed in 1835 in England however illicit dog fighting continued, with the now out of work Bulldogs being bred with wiley Terrier types to create a powerful, fiesty fighting breed.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed as we know it today was developed by James Hinks of Birmingham England in the mid 19th Centuruy. Over the next few hundred years the Staffy has come to be widely appreciated for its value as a loyal, courageous and sociable family pet rather than a formidable fighting machine. The Kennel Club of England first recognised the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed in 1935.
3. Staffy Personality
A common misconception of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is that they have an innate predisposition towards aggression. Rather the contrary, staffies have a supremely gentle and loving nature. Staffies love people and crave social interaction, whether it is with their beloved family members or complete strangers!
While the average Staffy may not actively seek out trouble, their fearless, couragenous nature and reluctance to stand down can result in agressive behaviour if they are challenged by other dogs. Socialisation of Staffy puppies during the peak socialisation window at around 8 to 16 weeks of age is essential.
Aside from spending every waking minute by their human’s side, Staffies absolutely love to play. Without plenty of exercise and playtime to stimulate both their body and mind these dogs can rapidly find other, less desirable ways to fill their time such as destructive chewing, digging and escaping.
While not the most low maintenance of breeds, Staffies make excellent companions and family dogs when their needs are met. Their preference for play and tendency to be food motivated makes these dogs good candidates for positive behavioural training techniques.
Staffies don’t have any specific nutritional requirements, however bearing in mind their tendency for allergic skin disease I’d recommend a diet high in omega fatty acids to support healthy skin barrier function. As Staffies are a medium sized breed, a medium or all breed formula is your best option.