Breed Review: Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Posted by Cyril. April 12th 2014.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is possibly one of the most misunderstood dogs. Owing to its muscular, robust and stocky appearance, people who aren’t familiar with this breed often feel intimidated by it. This is a shame as, when handled properly, this type of dog is a very affectionate and loyal animal.

A point worth noting before learning more about this steadfast dog is that The Staffordshire Bull Terrier should not be confused with the Pit Bull Terrier! Although they are very similar dogs, they are categorised differently depending on the country of registration.

Even experts sometimes have problems distinguishing them but all that matters for any dog lover is that their Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a stable, loving temperament.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Appearance

Considering its relatively small size, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a very strong dog owing to its powerful muscles. Its short, broad skull has strong jaws with scissor-like teeth. Generally, this dog’s nose is black, its eyes are small and dark, and its ears petite. Its alert stance can be put down to its straight front legs and sturdy medium-sized paws. The tail is low-set and tapers to a point but doesn’t curl as it does with other breeds. A short and smooth coat can be entirely red, white, fawn, black or blue or blended together in a striking variety of combinations. Males can reach 16 inches in height while females are a maximum of 15 inches. In terms of weight, males are up to 28 pounds and bitches weigh in at up to 35.

Temperament

With very firm ‘pack’ leadership, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an excellent companion. However, it only does well in families if one person dominates and the remaining members each take on a role of having higher ‘pack status’ than the dog. Without this leadership, the terrier could become stubborn and difficult to manage but if well trained, they are lovely dogs with children. Puppies will chew through just about everything, so make sure that you provide strong toys to avoid them swallowing anything which may cause damage to their health. Obedience training for effective socialisation outside the home is also recommended. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are very energetic dogs so you need to be prepared for this too.

Exercise and health

Staffordshire Bull Terriers can live 10-16 years on average, if well cared for. To look after your dog, you need to ensure it has a good, regular exercise regime. Staffordshire Bull Terriers need a good walk or jog each day but they’re not particularly good swimmers so owners should avoid taking them to areas of water. If well-exercised, these dogs will be happy enough to live in a flat although access to even a small garden will help it burn off the considerable amount of energy it has. This breed is prone to health conditions such as cataracts so it’s important you watch for any signs of this developing.

Grooming

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier looks fabulous when groomed well. Being shorthaired, daily grooming with a firm bristle brush is relatively easy while bathing can be done as necessary. For a shiny coat, rub with a piece of towelling.

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