The English Stafford or Staffordshire bull terrier may look dangerous, but in fact this tough family dog prefers to crawl onto his owner’s lap. He doesn’t like to be alone and prefers to go out everywhere. Just like the American Stafford he really likes to be part of the family and will introduce himself extensively to every new visitor. After all, it is a true human friend. The English Stafford especially has a weakness for children, which he keeps a close eye on. This reliable dog is only too happy to protect them and is therefore sometimes called ‘Nanny Dog’ in England. Where you would instinctively ‘watch out’ for this dog, you can actually let him ‘watch out’ on your offspring, of course best under supervision. This babysitter may have more patience with your children than you.
Due to its love for people, this energetic breed is not the best for breeding guard dogs. But as soon as anyone in the family feels threatened, you can certainly count on the protection of the English Stafford. Most Staffords can live with other dogs without any problems if they are properly trained and socialized. Of course, a lot also depends on the behavior of the other dog and the specific character of your dog.
As a medium-sized dog with a short, smooth coat, the English Stafford is often confused with the pit bull terrier, perhaps due to their muscular appearance. It is, of course, also a well-proportioned, tough dog with a short, muscular neck and broad head with highly developed jaw muscles. The ears of this bull terrier are semi-erect and the eyes are round and usually dark. The short, straight back and broad chest are also characteristic of this breed. This Stafford’s coat can take on a variety of colors, but combinations of black (red), tan, blue, white (brindle) are the most popular. Its low set tail is medium long and pointed.
A Staffordshire bull terrier is usually between 35.6 and 40.6 cm high. A male easily weighs between 12.7 and 17.3 kg and one bitch between 10.9 and 15.4 kg.
The energetic English Stafford needs challenges as well as lots of exercise. For example, he likes fetching balls or sticks and rough tug of war with his boss. If the Staffordshire bull terrier can lose enough energy, then you have a quiet dog in the house. But this fit, spirited four-legged friend is certainly not a sporty stupid. It is an intelligent dog with a great learning ability. Not training them is actually a missed opportunity. Positive reinforcement works very well with this breed, while punishment is sometimes a waste of time. Rough sanctioning can lead to serious anxiety disorders in this gentle dog. The English Stafford therefore needs sufficient love and attention and his upbringing requires an experienced owner. But those who take good care of him will get a lot in return from this fantastic family dog and have a companion for life. On average, the Staffordshire terrier is 12 to 14 years old.
You may be surprised to learn that the English Stafford was originally bred for strength and fighting spirit with the aim of fighting with bulls. But in recent centuries this breed has mainly become a cozy house dog and no longer a bloody biter.