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Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a powerful looking Pitbull-type of dog under the terrier breed group. In contrast to its look, this terrier dog is sweet and loving. Medium in size, it has a short and easy-to-maintain coat that every dog owner loves. It is also adventurous, playful and energetic with a strong desire to be with its family. It is very patient with kids, thus earning the name “nanny dog.”
Are you thinking of getting a Staffordshire Bull Terrier? Here is a brief background of the child-loving dog.
The early Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a far cry from the ones today. Like most bull and terrier types, the SBT was bred for game mainly in dog, bull and bear fighting. Sharing the same ancestry as the Bull Terrier, it was developed in the 19th century in Britain. After the brutal sports were eradicated in 1835, it was bred as a loving and courageous companion.
It took a while for the breed to be recognised by breeding associations because of its history as a fighter. In 1935, it was recognised by The Kennel Club and the first Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club was formed in England. The American Kennel Club only recognised the breed in 1975.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium-sized burly, muscular and agile breed. It is often compared to the American Staffordshire Terrier and American Pitbull Terrier. It stands 36 to 41 centimetres at the withers and weighs 24 to 37 pounds. It has a short head with a broad skull, pronounced cheek muscles, short nose, strong jaws, and large cheeks.
It has a short, smooth coat that is easy to maintain. It comes in white, red, fawn, black or blue, brindle, or any one of these colours combined with white. Black combined with tan or liver colour is considered undesirable. Grooming an SBT is a breeze since dirt can be brushed out easily. It is generally a clean and odourless dog so brushing can be done weekly and baths as needed. Shedding is also very minimal.
During bath, make sure to remove any foreign matter in the eyes. Ear care is recommended monthly, making sure to watch out for redness or any signs of infection. Other grooming tasks include nail care and ensuring that teeth are brushed, and coat and skin are healthy without fleas and ticks.
Because of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s tough-looking appearance, some people feel afraid or threatened by it. They are often surprised to learn how loving and playful than tough it is. It loves being in the presence of family and it specifically enjoys being with children. It has been dubbed as the nanny dog because of its patience with kids. However, although it has no intention to harm, always supervise interactions with young children to avoid injury caused by its heavy body. It can live in any type of home as long as it has access to a fenced yard. It is warm towards people but can be unfriendly towards other dogs. Since it longs for human interaction, it cannot be left along for long periods as it can get destructive when bored or lonely.
Staffies are very intelligent and quick learners but tend to be impulsive and stubborn. Owners should be firm and consistent, and take on the alpha role in order to establish the strongest bond. The best way to train this dog is rewarding good behaviours instead of punishment for faults. Stingy formal obedience training doesn’t usually work so focus on practical lessons it can use every day. Important lessons are crate training and socialisation so it can learn how to behave appropriately around new people and dogs.
The breed doesn’t bark much, making it suitable for apartment living. However, you have to check your area or landlord for any restrictions. It is quite vocal in different ways like snoring, grunting, groaning and even yodelling.
A typical serving for an adult is cups of 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 cups excellent quality dry dog food per day. Its high energy needs are paired with high nutrient requirements. However, like in every breed, the amount of food depends on its age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism. Breeds have certain nutrition needs but you also have to consider your dog’s individual requirements.
Typical calorie needs of adult Staffordshire Bull Terrier per day:
Since it is prone to skin allergies, a grain-free diet is the best choice, whether home-cooked or commercial dog food. Always opt for high-quality, well-balanced food that contains no preservatives and colourings. The breed thrives on lean proteins like chicken and turkey (meat and liver), venison, eggs, and fish. Fruits and vegetables can provide important nutrients and fibres.
The average lifespan of Staffies is between 12 and 14 years. It is generally healthy but predisposed to certain medical conditions such as cataracts, Hip and Dysplasia, Patellar and Luxation. It can also have skin allergies, Demodectic Mange and L-2 Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria.
Regular exercise is needed for this high-energy canine to release its energy and avoid becoming overweight. Daily walks coupled with play times at a fenced backyard for at least an hour and 30 minutes a day. The SBT has a short face so it should not be left outside for too long as it cannot tolerate hot weather. Always make sure it has access to shade and clean water.
Dog ownership is a commitment that entails a level of financial stability. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, luckily, is not an expensive breed when it comes to food and grooming. Since it is a medium-size dog, it does not cost much to feed. Shedding is minimal to none because of its short and shiny coat, which means going to a professional groomer will not beggar you. However, it gets tricky if it gets sick. Staffies are known to have expensive vet bills (over £350) due to predisposed health issues. A Staffie’s estimated cost over a lifetime is around £23,300 - £27,000.
Are you sure the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
If you are not sure if you want to get a Staffie, you can check out our Pet Finder to see which breed is best for you.
4th Feb 2019
Reading Time: 4 minutes
What is the UK’s most popular dog breed? Staffordshire bull terrier, one of the most eminent terrier breeds is now the most popular dog in the UK. It has been a seemingly endless
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