Staffordshire bull terriers were bred by English coal miners who were looking for a quick, small dog to keep them company. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1975. Today, the Staffordshire bull terrier is between 14 and 16 inches tall at the shoulder and between 24 and 38 pounds.
The Staffordshire bull terrier is not a working breed, but he still requires daily exercise. Daily walks or play sessions should be enough to keep your dog content, but if you notice bad behavior developing, increase his exercise. Boredom and excess energy can lead to your dog looking for ways to burn off that excess energy. Staffordshire bull terriers have strong jaws and many enjoy tug-of-war games. If you play tug-of-war with your dog, make sure to invest in a tough, quality chew toy. If your dog has dominance issues, avoid playing tug-of-war entirely.
The Staffordshire bull terrier, as well as other breeds, are often grouped together as "bully breeds" and branded as dangerous. There is no escaping the history of the Staffordshire bull terrier, which has been used in dog fighting, but that has no link to human aggression, and, although some of these dogs may show dog-on-dog or dog-on-cat aggression, training and socialization can create a trustworthy pet. Obedience training teaches your dog to come to you on command, walk quietly beside you and sit and lay down on command. Both you and your dog will be happier after investing in obedience training.
The Staffordshire bull terrier has a short, sleek coat. He doesn't have the grooming needs of a longer or double-coated breed, but he does look and feel best with regular grooming. Brush him once a week to remove any loose hairs. He will shed once a year, and you will notice an increase in loose hairs around the house at this time, otherwise a well groomed Staffordshire bull terrier sheds little.
The Staffordshire bull terrier does have a challenged reputation to overcome in many areas. While these dogs are not inherently aggressive, because of their reputation, it is important to socialize them early and often. The breed can have a tendency to chase smaller animals, a trait that is common in other terrier breeds as well. You can overcome this impulse with regular, supervised exposure to cats, other dogs and children from a young age. Obedience classes, trips to the dog park and walks in public areas all help your dog learn what type of behavior you expect from him.
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