UPDATED! Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Breed of the Week
Are Staffordshire Bull Terriers Good City Dogs?
We used to live next door to one of the happiest little spitfires of a dog ever, Wednesday. The first thing you notice about Wednesday is her smile. Whenever she greets you, she stands up on her hind legs, front paws out stretched, smiles a huge smile and does the “Wednesday Happy Dance.” Wednesday is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a medium-sized dog, much smaller but similar in appearance to their cousins, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. According to the American Kennel Club, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier had its beginnings when the Bulldog and Mastiff were crossbred many many years ago. The result of that cross was then later bred with the Manchester Terrier, resulting into today’s little wonder dog.
During our visit to a AKC’s Meet the Breeds event, we paid a visit to the Staffordshire booth where we ran into our former neighbors Matt, Hanni and my favorite Staffordshire, Wednesday, doing her ‘Happy Dance.”
There were several Staffordshires there, all small muscular dogs about 14 to 16 inches tall. They have short easily groomed coats that come in several colors: red, fawn, black, white, blue or any combination and white, and even brindle with whit.
When I discussed with Matt and Hanni how they ended up with the breed, they told me that had been looking for a bulldog when they learned about the Staffordshire, once they met the breed, they were sold. It’s hard not to be fall in love with these dogs, as it seems one of the common characteristics of the breed is exuberance and unbridled joy.
They are powerful dogs, but they are also, gentle, attentive and easily trained. According to Dogtime.com, they are also nicknamed the “nanny dog” because of their patience and love of children.
Do Staffordshire Bull Terriers Bark?
Staffordshire Bull Terriers just might be a good Urban Dog for you. A friend of Sean’s mother who has bred several breeds of dogs has a caution: “She thinks they can be great family dogs. But the Am Staffs and Am-Staff-like mutts in the shelters are potentially dangerous for the wrong owner. Some shelter dogs were raised by fighting breeders. She tells people to get them from reputable hobby breeders, especially the ones who breed dogs with the original Am Staff temperament, which is very stable.” Seems like good advice to us.
It is important to train your city dog. You don’t want your pooch to misbehave in your building’s common areas. Staffordshire Bull Terriers score about “Average” on a list of dogs when it comes to understanding new commands. They obey first commands about 50% of the time according to Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who studies dog behavior. That means it takes 25 to 40 repetitions for them to learn new commands.
We did a little research and the consensus is that Staffordshire Bull Terriers are not considered excessive barkers. Here is Urban Dog’s take on barking.
For tips on how to find a pet-friendly apartment in New York and other cities read Urban Dog’s guide.