Staffordshire Bull Terrier Temperament
Although individual differences in personality exist, common traits exist throughout the Staffords.
Due to its breeding, and history, the temperament of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is known for its character of intelligence, fearlessness & extreme loyalty towards its owners (family).
This, coupled with its affection for its friends, its off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability, make it a foremost all-purpose dog.
The breed is naturally muscular and may appear intimidating; however, because of their natural fondness for people, most Staffords are temperamentally ill-suited for guard or attack-dog training.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies are very easy to house train.
Press on Bad Behaviour
Since the British Dangerous Dogs Act made it illegal to own breeds such as the pit bull terrier, the press have reported many cases of attacks by Staffordshire Bull Terriers or dogs described as a “Staffordshire bull terrier cross” on children, adults and family pets.
The RSPCA fears that breeders are renaming pit bull terriers as Staffordshire bull terriers to avoid prosecution.
Also, the description “Staffordshire terrier cross” is frequently a euphemism for a dog such as the American Pit Bull Terrier. However, the Staffordshire bull terrier, like all dog breeds, is capable of dangerous behaviour.
Several New South Wales state government reports analysing dog attacks have identified the Staffordshire bull terrier as the leading breed of dog responsible for biting humans (ahead of the Australian Cattle Dog, German Shepherd and Jack Russell Terrier) in that state.
However, an earlier report into breed specific legislation observed the likely reason for breeds most popular in Australia, such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers and their crosses, being represented as having a higher involvement in aggressive behaviour towards humans is due to sheer number of them in the community, and that it is still only a small percentage of animals within these breeds that cause issues.
Staffies Affinity with People & Children
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are extremely friendly, enthusiastic and usually extremely affectionate towards humans especially children.
They express their affection to people through jumping up, nuzzling, licking and pawing, and even when trained can still be ‘fussy’ with owners and others.
Staffordshire’s are perhaps not suitable pets for those who prefer quiet, reserved dogs.
Staffordshire’s are notably adaptable in terms of changing home or even owners & unfortunately this can make them easy prey for dognappers.
RSPCA chief vet Mark Evans said: “Staffies have had a terrible press, but this is not of their own making – in fact they’re wonderful dogs.
If people think that Staffies have problems, they’re looking at the wrong end of the dog lead!
When well cared for and properly trained they can make brilliant companions.
Our experience suggests that problems occur when bad owners exploit the Staffie’s desire to please by training them to show aggression.”