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Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Bulldog Breeds

 

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium sized, short coated, old time breed of dog, originally bred for bull and bear fighting. Dogs proven in the pit were bred with others of like skill and ability and over time the Staffie was produced. In the early part of the twentieth century they gained respectablity and were accepted into the Kennel Club of England as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier - not to be confused with the Bull Terrier. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an English breed of dog and should not be confused with their larger cousin the American Staffordshire Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terrier.

The Staffie is a breed that has many supporters and perhaps just as many detractors. Over the generations the Staffie has put his fighting history behind him and his other famous trait, as a loving family member, has earned him a place in the hearts of many. Staffie owners recommend their dogs as confident, people-loving dogs. A typical staffie is energetic, devoted to his families, and normally loves meeting strangers. Famed animal conservationist Steve Irwin incorporated Sui, his Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, into many episodes of his documentary television show, The Crocodile Hunter.

Often held responsible for many of the unpleasant attacks reported on humans and other animals, the Staffie can polarise public opinion. When spoken of, people will generally fall into one of two camps, those strongly for the breed and those strongly against.

In cases of reported attacks, there is often little distinction made between the bull terrier breeds, such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Pit-Bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier and the Staffie. Perhaps because of its comparative high numbers and poor recognition by the public, the Staffie wears much of the blame for reported attacks that may have been perpetrated by any member of the bull terrier breeds.

Staffies are regularly the fourth most popular breed in Australia, behind German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, according to the numbers of puppies bred each year.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The first impression of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is that of strength, intelligence and tenacity. The alert stance, big smile and wagging tail with which he welcomes all human visitors confirm the breed standard's call to show its "...affection for its friends and children in particular, its off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability." Although originally bred for the pit many years ago, the Staffordshire is best known today as a foremost all-purpose family dog with a steady and dependable nature, outstanding athletic ability in the performance sports of agility and flyball, and the intelligence to be successful in the obedience ring.

Breeding a Litter

Is your bitch Kennel Club registered, if not it is not really advisable to breed from her, having registration at least ensures that you have a recorded history of her parentage. Without any papers it is not possible to ensure that her ancestors were pure bred Staffords. Any KC registered dog should not be mated to an unregistered bitch. Is your bitch healthy enough to be bred from. How old is she, is she clear from hereditary defects? Please read the (Health Issues Page) Have you had her checked by the vet to see if she is suitable to breed from, or will she need a Caesarian? The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Council is totally in support of the guidelines as laid down by the Kennels club on age and frequency criteria for registering litter from a bitch. In addition the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Council do not recommend breeding from any bitch before she is 18 months old or on her 3rd season. You are advised to have any your bitch eye tested to see she is free from PHPV/HC/PPSC. All bitches should have an up to date eye test. DNA testing to identify carriers of the HC gene is now available and is strongly recommended if you are going to breed from your bitch Please read the (Health Issues Page). Do you understand the risks involved. If everything goes well then no problems. However, you could loose some if not all of the puppies, although thankfully this does not happen very often, or you could loose your bitch. If you do loose your bitch and the puppies survive, they will need to be hand reared, this involves feeding every three hours, DAY AND NIGHT. Can you afford a litter. Lots of people think of breeding as a way of making money, this is not usually the case, and if things do go wrong you could incur a lot of expenses along the way. The stud fee for the dog, extra food for the bitch during pregnancy and lactation, weaning the puppies, their food this is all normal. What if your bitch needs a call out from the vet at 2am, or a Caesarian in the middle of the night, this can be very costly. Are you aware of the work involved, lots of lovely puppies making lots of mess as they get older, all very time consuming to keep them clean and preparing 4 to 5 meals a day, watching over them when they are fed, is every puppy getting enough to eat. Weaning them from Mum at the right time. Finding suitable homes can be a nightmare, all calls needs to be carefully vetted as they are people out there to whom you wouldn’t want to sell your puppies too. This can be very time consuming. Every one needs to be carefully vetted, is someone at home most if not all of the day, do the children seem frightened of the dogs, is this a commitment the whole family want to make. If you have any doubts about your prospective homes them don’t sell to these people, it is worth hanging one to a puppy until the right family come along. Are you prepared to take any puppies back that you have bred and re home them if necessary.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

If you have never heard of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier before the government announced that they were to be banned that is no accident. Staffordshire Bull Terrier owners are fiercely protective of our wonderful breed, because we have seen the damage done to other breeds like the Golden Retriever, Labradors and Dalmatians when they become popular. We have made an effort to ensure that our breed is not popularized in the same way as these and other breeds have been.

With Bill 132 threatening the very existence of our breed, we have decided that it is time to share its many virtues with Canadians. The 'masses' often make unilateral opinions with little knowledge and this is certainly the case for those who support the banning of our Staffords. Before you judge our breed, we would ask you to consider its virtues.

Temperament

When we say that Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a breed apart this is not just the biased opinion of dog owners; it is actually true! There are only 2 out of 164 registered CKC breeds that by their very breed standard must be good with children: Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Schipperkes. When university researchers in the UK were asked to rate the best 10 breeds for children they selected the Staffordshire Bull Terrier for their list based on its "bomb-proof" nature. Most importantly, when researchers in Germany studied inappropriate aggression in several breeds they found the same level of inappropriate displays of aggression across all the dogs in the studies with one "notable" exception. None of the Staffordshire Bull Terriers displayed any types of aggression disorders. (The same could not be said for the test group of Golden Retrievers.)

Character

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a one of the friendliest and silliest breeds in the dog world. They are highly intelligent and extremely submissive to people. It is this submission to their families and their intelligence that has earned them the title of the "nanny dog". The breed's wonderful character is also the thing that caused Brits to select the Stafford as the "favourite pedigree pooch" in a census of 118,000 dog owners. It is not uncommon for someone meeting an older Stafford to ask if the dog is a puppy, when the dog might be 7-10 years of age (after that the gray starts to show!) The reason is that this breed keeps its joyful love for life and people throughout its entire life. Like a good wine Staffies get better as they mature. (We even know one owner whose 7 year old Stafford is so popular with her friends that they schedule appointments for people to come over and play with the dog!) But what really sets the breed apart is their instinctive love for children. They have earned the title of "nanny dog".

Size

One of the most convenient things about the Stafford is that you get a big dog in a little package. The breed is quite small, with the average dog standing just below the knee at 15" inches and weighing 36 pounds. Picture a standard size milk crate. Now imagine a dog sitting in that crate with room to spare and the head coming up a bit past the top of the crate. Add to that the zest for life that you often find in a larger breed and you have your Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Coat

One advantage of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is its short coat. The breed does shed, but caring for a Stafford requires little more than an occassional bath (and of course lots of love and attention!).

Health

At a time when serious health problems are affecting dogs of other breeds at very young ages the Staffordshire Bull Terrier remains an incredibly healthy breed. Occassionally problems do occur, but not nearly at the rates that are being reported for other breeds. Common issues like hip dysplasia are rarely seen as a problem in this breed. The best way to judge the health of the breed is by the way it ages; the vast majority of Staffords enjoy a healthy life until they reach their final years (typically around age 11-13). Allergies are the one thing that sometimes can be a problem in the breed.

History

The history of this breed does go back to dog fighting in the 1800s. However, this does not make them fundamentally different from other breeds. In fact, 88 of the 164 recognized CKC breeds were originally bred to something of equal severity, from hunting and killing fierce predators (including bears, badgers and lions) to biting or attacking people. Few realize that all of the "bully" breeds were killed without hesitation (culled) if they showed any sign of human aggression. These dogs lived in the family homes of poor people; because of this they had to be excellent around families and children in particular. This resulted in a dog of exceptional intelligence and temperament.

Bulldog Types