The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a short-chested and broad-chested companion dog, the end product of mating Bulldog and English Terrier. The breed was originally used for baiting rats and participating in dog fights.
Description of the Breed
Staffordshire Bull Terrier – (international name Staffordshire Bull Terrier) is an English breed of dog. It was originally bred as a fighting dog, first, it participated in bull-baiting, then in dog fights. Modern staff is excellent companion dogs. Many people are often mistaken when they think that fighting dogs are dangerous. However, this is absolutely not the case, developing fighting qualities in dogs of the breed, simultaneously instill unlimited love and devotion to people. The aggressiveness and danger of such dogs are usually directed at other dogs or some type of animal, therefore, with proper education and training, never a single fighting dog will harm a person at will.
And yet the old instincts sometimes make themselves felt, which is why Staffordshire Bull Terriers are often called “the most adorable mischievous canine world”. Most Stafford owners are convinced that their pets are the most ideal dogs: very gentle and affectionate with family members, friendly to children, and loyal to the owner.
It is not advisable to start a Staffordshire Bull Terrier as the first dog, despite the fact that it is now a popular companion dog. Staffa is best characterized by the following saying: “I am looking for a patient and kind owner, with experience in training strong dogs, a special approach is desirable.”
Most researchers consider the Old English Bulldog and various English Terriers to be the ancestors of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. And the founder of the new breed is called the Duke of Hamilton, since 1770 he began to breed English fighting dogs – bulldogs. He subsequently created his own breed of Old English Bulldogs. In the paintings of those years, you can clearly see the dogs of Lord Hamilton, they have certain common features with the modern Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
After the ban on bull-baiting in 1835, dog fighting became a popular spectacle. The ancestors of the staff began to interbreed with terriers so that their offspring would receive the strength of a bulldog and the agility of a terrier. And it is no longer possible to say exactly which bulldogs and which terriers became the founders of the new breed. In the first half of the 19th century, bulldogs were called any dogs intended for baiting bears and bulls, and terriers were any hunting dogs intended for burrowing, herding animals, and fighting rats.
As a result, there were dogs called “Bull and Terrier”. In the second half of the 19th century, this breed spread widely across the UK and was very close to the modern Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
In 1862, bull terriers were divided into two species. James Hinks – introduced a new breed of bull terrier, based on Old English Bulldogs, White English Terrier, and Dalmatian. The main difference between white bull terriers and staff was the absence of a frontal protrusion. Then the differences only increased every year. Both species participated in exhibitions separately.
In the late 19th century, Staffordshire Bull Terriers began to be imported en masse into the United States and other former British colonies. Since the ban on dogfighting was introduced in the States later than anyone else, the staff became very popular there. The Americans added their vision of the breed to the dogs and the English Bull Terriers became one of the ancestors of the American Pit Bulls and American Staffordshire Terriers.
After the ban and dogfighting, the popularity of the breed began to wane. A resurgence in popularity came in 1935 when a group of enthusiasts led by Joe Mullen founded a club that developed a breed standard and officially named it the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The dogs in the club are already bred as companions and pets.
In 1936, the first club show took place in Cradle, 60 staffs took part in it. In 1939, the first purebred champions of the new standard emerged, and the English Kennel Club counted 310 Staffordshire Bull Terriers. By 1970, their number in England had increased to two thousand. In the United States, the descendants of the Staff developed as a separate species, and the Americans called them the Staffordshire Terriers.
Since 1972, the species of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier that existed in America received the official name “American Staffordshire Terrier” and was registered by the ICF, and in 1974 the species of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier bred in Great Britain was entered in the English herd book and recognized as the only one. The mixing of different types ceased, and the breeds began to develop independently of each other.
The first representatives of the Staffordshire Bull Terriers came to Russia in 1990, and in 1991 they began to take part in exhibitions.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier – looks more like a bulldog than a terrier. A kind of small Hercules with a powerful torso and a massive wide head. This is a strong, strong dog, very active and agile.
The muzzle is short, the skull is wide, the muscles of the cheeks are strongly developed, the transition from the forehead to the muzzle is well pronounced. The eyes are round and dark. The ears are half-closed. The neck is short and muscular. The chest is deep. The tail is of medium length, set low, never curled. Legs are straight, wide apart. Staffbull’s ears are not cropped.
He has a bright personality and the ability to stand up for himself, absolutely not corresponding to his size. Its American relative, the staff, is smaller in size and weight.
The desired height at the withers is 14-16 inches (35.5-40.5 cm) and is related to weight. Weight: Males 28-38 lbs (12.7-17.3 kg), females 24-34 lbs (10.9-15.4 kg). It is about 8 – 13 cm lower and 6 – 13 kg lighter than the staff.
The coat is short, smooth, soft, and dense, close to the body. Color: red, beige, white, black, blue, or any of these colors combined with white.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is traditionally distinguished by indomitable courage and resilience. As well as courage, fearlessness, and absolute reliability. At the same time, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are intelligent, balanced, rather obedient dogs with great dignity and a cheerful outlook on life.
In life, they are acting like to play, but they can be too noisy and “explosive”. These dogs notice everything that is happening around them and bark if they sense the approach of danger. They easily adapt to any lifestyle and feel great both on the farm and in the city apartment.
As a rule, Staffordshire Bull Terriers get along well with children, playing various outdoor games with them. Well-bred dogs do not cause problems when keeping them together with pets. Young Stuffbulls love to frolic with other puppies, but as they get older, their temper becomes more severe. This is especially true for males who may even fight. Sensing danger, dogs may bark, but the rest of the time they are friendly to everyone around them.
Education and Training
Dogs of this breed are very intelligent and easy to train. Classes should take place in a calm, peaceful atmosphere and be characterized by as many exercises as possible. Special attention should be paid to the early socialization of the puppy, as this is very important for the development of character.
The first command to teach the puppy is “to me”. The golden rule that you should always keep in mind is that you cannot scold a dog if it comes up to you on command (even if you have a good reason). The dog will decide that now you will scold him every time he fulfills your request and may ignore it the next time.
Train your dog to walk on a leash. Don’t let your dog pull on the leash – periodically pull back and change direction. It is best to master the command “with your own hands” with the help of a professional coach.
In a relationship with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, you must immediately assign the roles correctly. He should feel that you are the leader of his pack. The slightest attempts of the dog to take a dominant position should be nipped in the bud.
In order for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy to grow up strong and healthy, it needs proper care and proper feeding. A small Staffordshire Bull Terrier should be fed in a specially designated area.
Puppies from 1.5 to 3 months are fed 5-6 times a day. Puppies from 3 to 6 months are fed 4 times a day. Puppies from 6 months to a year are fed 3 times a day. After 1 year, they feed like an adult dog – 2 times a day, morning and evening.
It is better to give puppies from 3 months natural food: cottage cheese, kefir, boiled sea fish (river fish is not allowed), raw beef (out of caution, the meat can be scalded with boiling water), boiled chicken, fruits, vegetables – raw and boiled. Later, you can enter eggs and cereals – rice and buckwheat.
It is advisable to give dry food the same as given by the breeders from whom you acquired the dog to their dogs in the kennel.
Do not give your dog long bones, that is, chicken bones – they can seriously damage the dog’s intestines. Do not give raw pork, chicken, and river fish. Sweets and all products containing cocoa are also highly undesirable.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier should not be given pearl barley and legumes, white bread and pasta, potatoes, smoked meats, spices and salt, sausages and sausages. Give raw meat with care – it awakens predators in puppies.
Care and Maintenance
Caring for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is easy enough as the breed is shorthaired. Woolsheds, shedding seasonal spring-autumn. If the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is kept in a dry and warm indoor environment, molting can continue all year round. If you notice strong bald spots on the skin, dandruff, dry and brittle hair, it is recommended to change the shampoo, and be sure to pay attention to the diet. If the changes have not occurred, it is better to consult your veterinarian.
It is recommended to comb once a week with a natural bristle brush or a rubber glove or brush during the shedding period or after bathing. Brushing is necessary even for short-haired breeds as it will improve blood circulation and stimulate growth and remove dead hair.
Bathe once a month or as needed with a conditioner shampoo for short-haired breeds. The coat is thoroughly moistened with warm water (make sure that the water is not hot since the dog’s body temperature is much higher than the human body temperature), the shampoo is pre-diluted with water 1: 1. Then lather and wash off with copious amounts of warm water.
Shampoo for dogs is not recommended to be applied undiluted directly to the coat, and in no case should it be kept on the body for a long time.
After bathing, blot the coat with a towel and brush in the direction of hair growth with a rubber brush. It is recommended to insert cotton wool into the ears in order to quickly remove excess moisture. Do not walk for at least 2 hours, so that the coat and skin dry thoroughly. In winter, bathing is recommended after the last walk. During this period, the frequency of bathing is reduced to 1 every 2 months or as needed.
Inspect the eyes regularly, small lumps in the corners of the eyes are permissible and can be easily removed with a clean, lint-free cloth dipped in warm boiled water or chamomile broth. Rub each eye with a separate piece of cloth. If you notice redness, swelling of the eyelids, profuse watery eyes, or sour eyes, seek immediate veterinarian help.
Ears should be examined once a week. Sulfur and dust are removed with a damp disc soaked in warm water. If you find excess sulfur, bad ear odor, skin redness, or a rash, be sure to take your bull terrier to your veterinarian and do not self-medicate.
Teeth: The puppy’s milk teeth erupt on days 20-30. By the age of six months, milk teeth will change to molars. An adult Staffordshire Bull Terrier has 42 teeth: 12 incisors, 4 canines, 26 molars. The bite is a scissor bite. It is recommended to brush your teeth 3-4 times a week with a special dog toothpaste using a toothbrush or a fingertip. Avoid experimenting with human pastes as they foam and dogs hate foam in their mouths.
Cut the claws with a nail clipper once every 2 weeks in winter, and once a month in summer, as an active dog living in the city easily grinds them on the asphalt. Smooth sharp ends with a nail file. Too hard claws of a bull terrier are sometimes difficult to cut, so hold the paws in warm water for a few minutes, and they will become more pliable.
Paws after the street wipe with a damp towel or rinse off under the shower. After walking in nature, always inspect the legs for wounds, if you find them, be sure to treat them with an antiseptic. To prevent cracking, include vegetable oil in the diet (1 tsp per day).
In winter, in order to protect the paws of your beloved Staffie, it is recommended to rub protective wax or paw cream into the paw pads before walking. After walking, the product must be washed off. It is better to do this procedure on a rubber mat before walking. Another way to keep salt and reagents away from your bull terrier’s paws is with boots (silicone or rubber-soled). True, too active pets often lose them right on the street.
Treat your Staffordshire Bull Terrier regularly with ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, lice). These small insects can be very harmful to health, and fleas cause itching, allergies, and anxiety.
The breed is distinguished by its strength and endurance. On average, they live 13-15 years. However, these dogs develop specific diseases throughout their lives. The most common are:
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- Eye diseases (cataracts);
- The appearance of bald patches on the tip of the tail or head;
- Urolithiasis disease.