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Now, here is a dog breed topic after my own heart – the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. As you would know if you are a regular reader of HealthierDogs.com or the HealthyHappyDogs.com newsletter, one of my dogs is a Staffie.
It always astounds me when I hear about people being afraid of these dogs. That criminal, unscrupulous, people use them in dog fighting, I suppose, doesn’t surprise me. My Jet always hated other dogs outside of our home (she’s getting a little mellower now in her old age – but just a little!) – and she would take on a dog of ANY size.
But as a family dog – a child’s dog – she is perfect. I have never, ever, seen her lose her cool with my son who could, if the mood took him, tease her quite mercilessly -unacceptable, I know, but he really loves her to bits and is nice to her the majority of the time. Anyway, Jet took it all. She was as hyperactive as they come, but she is always happy and loves nothing better than to play games with her family (other dog and humans alike).
In fact, a Staffie breeder recommended Staffies to me as being a superb children’s dog before I got Jet. And if Jet’s temperament is anything to go by, I would agree with this one hundred percent.
Anyway, I’m getting away from myself!
Here is an article written by a Staffie breeder about the history of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed, and all sorts of other interesting information:
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier – the Facts
Does the mention of bull terrier brings shiver down your spine? This is an unfair justification of the breed but one cannot be blamed, however, for indeed the history of the bull terrier is factually cruel, bloody and violent. However, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, although a descendant of the viscous bull-fighting breed, is none but a loving, docile and well-loved companion of people all over the world.
Who wouldn’t be aware of the notorious bloody history of the bull terrier? In England, during the 18th century, a game called bull-fighting is a well-loved past time and it is in this game that vicious dogs are used to attack and kill different large creatures such as bull, bears and other dogs. This trend caused the breeding of several bull-fighting dogs such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier.
To create a dog that is a fighter inside the pit and a loving friend outside of it, is the main purpose for the development of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in the regions of Staffordshire England. The breed brilliantly possessed a fearless, biddable, intelligent, loyal and loving disposition that it became popular in the bull fighting circuit. When the animal welfare law was approved in England, the bull fighting became illegal and was ultimately put to an end.
Now being popular as a companion dog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier became popular as a household pet and was enjoyed by many people in England. In May 25, 1935 it became officially part of the UK Kennel Club and, at the same time, was introduced to the US. It never became as popular in the US and it was only in 1976 that it was officially registered by the US kennel clubs.
This breed is also known as Staffie, Stafford, Staffros or Staff and is next of kin to the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Outwardly, this breed definitely looks intimidating but it is actually a loving and docile dog that loves to hang out with people especially children. When it comes to family love and loyalty, the Staff comes second to none.
The Staffie is hailed as a great all purpose dog because of its unfailing intelligence, trainability, gentleness and eagerness to abide. Because of these traits, although it was once a fighting dog, it is an undesirable guard or attack-dog. In a 1996 Southampton University study, the Staffie is one of the top ten breeds that are most suitable for families especially children.
This creature is a natural athlete because of its medium-sized, muscular and agile body. It possesses great strength, stamina and agility that plenty of activities and exercise are needed. This dog, however, is suitable for apartment living so long as it is taken outdoors for a daily walk.
Generally, the Staffordshire bull terrier stands 14 to 16 inches in height and weighs 24 to 32 pounds. Its coat is short, smooth and body-hugging and it gives the breed a polished and sinewy look. The breed may come in colors of black, red, fawn, blue, white, brindle or any combination of these solid colors with white.
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