Breeds

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

GROUP 2 - TERRIERS

History

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was bred from the old-fashioned Bulldog and the English White Terrier (now extinct). Originally bred for bull and bear baiting in the 1800s, this fearless breed is now one of Australia’s most popular breeds, ranking second in the top 10 Australian dog breeds. It is a wonderful all-purpose companion dog, especially for families with children.

Characteristics

Traditionally of indomitable courage and tenacity, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is highly intelligent and affectionate, especially with children. It has proven its ability in the show ring, the Obedience and Utility rings as well as flyball. They also make great therapy dogs.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is known for its independent mind, which is one of its greatest charms. It is a ‘gentleman’, unless set upon; however, it is also one of the most affectionate, trustworthy and gentle creatures with humans, with a legendary love of children.

Temperament

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier must be sound physically, as well as in mind. It is bold, fearless, trustworthy, dependable, friendly, tolerant and totally reliable, in particular with children. The breed is well known for its love of people, and would not be as popular as it is without this. The Stafford’s population is the largest in Australia with registrations of over 4000, not including the unregistered population.

Appearance

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, well-balanced dog with a short, close coat with a natural gleam. It is active and agile with great strength for its size. It is an athlete with long and resilient muscles; when in good condition it will give the appearance of being smooth and hard. It is clean in outline, free from fleshiness and should never be fat.

Maintenance

A fit, healthy Stafford will always be easy to maintain. They are easily cared for, with a natural diet of meat and biscuit, and the occasional bone. A weekly brush and  a bath once a month will suffice. It requires a daily walk or run in the park or beach with a ball to maintain physical and mental fitness. 

Health Issues

Staffordshire Bull Terriers have very few health problems. Most breeders test their breeding stock, for hereditary diseases, such as L2-HGA (a metabolic disorder) and Hereditary Cataracts (HC). It has been documented recently that Staffords are no longer on the HC list in the UK and have never been here in Australia.

Skin problems may be an issue, but with the correct diet and environment this problem is avoidable. If fed correctly and exercised Staffords will have fewer problems. There have been some instances where their heads are far too short, causing breathing problems. It is against breed standard for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier to have this problem.

Suitability

This tough but lovable breed is suitable for urban or rural environments. A bored Stafford will often bring the washing in from the clothes line or even assist you with the gardening if left alone for too long. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is ideally suited to family situations, but is also a great companion for individuals. This breed must be well trained otherwise it may become unruly.

Words: Kim Reeder on behalf of The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Society of NSW Inc

Image: Cabal Canine Candids
 

In Conclusion

Now you know a little about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, you may think that this is the dog for you. Before you make a decision, please make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and its needs, and whether this breed would suit your lifestyle.

 

 

 

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