An Owner’s Guide to Staffordshire Puppies
Staffordshire puppies can make wonderful pets provided that they are bred responsibly and chosen carefully. The Staffordshire bull terrier has received a blemished reputation in some countries as being an overly aggressive breed, typically with other dogs. This reputation is based off of this breed’s popularity in dog fighting, an illegal practice which also tarnished the reputations of the American pit bull and Doberman pinscher. The truth is that a dog will ultimately be whatever its surroundings shape it to be. A responsible breeder can produce great Staffordshire puppies that can make many families happy and complete. Let’s take a look at what a prospective owner should know about the Staffordshire terrier.
Just one look at the Staffordshire terrier and there is no denying that this breed was built for power and athleticism. The “staffy” has an extremely masculine build and is very strong for its size. It is quite short, averaging about sixteen inches in height and anywhere from 25 to 40 pounds in weight. That may not sound very intimidating, but the dense bone structure and thick muscles of this breed make it an excellent watch dog by appearance alone! All of that muscle isn’t for show, however. This breed is built for endurance, agility, and brute force. Their short, wide-set jaw can lock into place while biting, which is another reason why this breed has been used in dog fighting. Their strong jaw can be a bit of a hazard when it comes to playing with toys because they can easily shred through toys and choke on debris or a squeaker in no time.
This breed of dog doesn’t do anything half way. Love, affection, protection, and loyalty are all traits that this dog can pull off to the max! They are fierce protectors of their family members, although they are not particularly territorial of property. The Staffordshire terrier has earned its nickname “the nanny dog” because of its unparalleled gentle and protective nature around children. This dog absolutely has to be around people. When it comes to family members, the Staffordshire terrier is a social butterfly and must have regular play time and affection. If they are not given the attention they need or if they are left too long on their own, they can suffer from separation anxiety and become destructive.
Staffies are also very sweet but determined dogs. Any potential owner must be ready and capable of being the boss and using a firm but fair approach to training. This breed is not particularly difficult to train but due to their stubbornness they are not exactly easy to train, either. Aesthetically this breed makes a terrific guard dog; however their temperament is not that of a guard dog. Staffordshire terriers love people and will typically only be suspicious of strangers if they sense harm to their family. This breed must be socialized with other dogs and cats from a young age as they have a very strong instinct to hunt or chase. For this reason they should also be kept in a home with a fenced yard, as the terrier in this breed will send it chasing after a squirrel or bird without having any care about cars.
Health Problems to Know About
Before you resume your hunt for Staffordshire puppies, it is important to consider the health issues that this breed is prone to. The most prominent condition that a Staffy is at particular risk for is cataracts. This condition results when proteins build up on the lens of the eye, making one’s vision cloudy. It can eventually result in severe vision impairment and even blindness. The Staffordshire terrier is also more likely to suffer from gas problems. This typically does not escalate further than stinky wind and the occasional stomach upset, but it is definitely good to know about in advance!
The decision to get a puppy should not be taken lightly no matter what breed of dog you intend to get. Do sufficient research about the breed to ensure that you know what you are getting yourself into and to prepare yourself for puppy ownership. Best of luck in your search!