The Staffordshire Bull Terrier resembles other “tough” breeds like the American Staffordshire and Pit Bull Terrier, but these sturdy dogs look a lot tougher than they really are. The motto of many Stafford owners is, “He's a lover, not a fighter.” Staffords would much rather romp around and play all day than grouse or fight or even stand around looking imposing. They have a zest for life and eat up new experiences with the zeal of a puppy. They love to be with people and they don't particularly care what the activity is: watching TV reading a book in the sun, waking, running, going for a ride in the car – the Stafford just wants to be with the people he loves. They also don't like to make their own choices about what to do, and therefore don't like being left alone, so Staffordshire Bull Terriers are best suited for active families where someone is always home with them. Despite their imposing look and tendency toward dog aggression, Staffords are actually very good with children. Toddlers are not recommended, but older kids who understand a dog's boundaries will find that a Stafford will gladly accept the role of best friend, playmate, and evening pillow during TV time.
Though Staffords are happy to lounge around all day if you let them, these dogs need plenty of good running exercise every day to maintain their health and muscle tone. They enjoy walks, hikes, jogs or simple games of catch in the backyard. Enrolling them in organized activities like agility or flyball keeps their minds as sharp as their bodies.
Staffords are adaptable to just about any living situation be it apartment or estate, city or country. No matter what his living arrangements, a commitment should be made to properly exercise a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Staffords can be a handful to train. They are stubborn and willful and though they love you to pieces, don't particularly care about doing what they are told. Novice dog owners should consult with a professional trainer who understands the nuances of the Stafford personality. Experienced dog owners should be able to handle this breed just fine. They need confident leadership, a bit of firmness (they can handle the criticism), and 100% consistency. Some trainers recommend letting your Stafford run for a bit before conducting training sessions to help calm his mind and keep him focused.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers have very strong jaws and they love to chew, especially as puppies. It is essential to the life of your furniture that you keep plenty of bones and chew toys around to satisfy your Stafford's urge to chew.
Dog aggression is very common in adult Staffords. If they think another dog is challenging them, they will not hesitate to engage. Socializing your puppy to understand canine manners can help, but it's best to keep your Stafford on a leash at all times, and at home his yard should be fenced. The leash and fence will also help keep your Stafford from taking off after birds, squirrels, rabbits and cats, which they love to chase.