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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the most popular of all the terriers. With the human race, he is kindness itself, and his genuine love of children is well known. He is descended from a cross between the Bulldog and a terrier, and thus combines the temperaments of the two breeds.
Despite his historical connection with fighting, he has become a great favourite in the show ring, but this has not been allowed to affect his traditional rugged looks.
Although individual differences in personality exist, common traits exist throughout the Staffords. Due to its breeding, and history, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is known for its character of fearlessness and loyalty. 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.
Affinity with people
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are friendly, enthusiastic and usually extremely affectionate towards humans. They express their affection through jumping up, nuzzling, licking and pawing, and even when trained can still be ‘fussy’ with owners and others. Staffords are perhaps not suitable pets for those who prefer more reserved dogs. Staffords are notably adaptable in terms of changing home or even owners, and unfortunately this can make them easy prey for dognappers.
RSPCA chief vet Mark Evans said: “Staffords have had a terrible press, but this is not of their own making—in fact they’re wonderful dogs. If people think that Staffords 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 Staffords desire to please by training them to show aggression.”