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English Staffordshire Terrier Puppies
Are you considering an English Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy? This information will help you decide whether or not the English Staffordshire Terrier is right for your home and family. We are in the process of welcoming a young English Staffy into our family, and this article arises as a result of careful research and experience with the breed.
First, the basics (and the sort-of bad news). The English Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a powerful, though compact breed of dog that largely through no fault of its own has managed to get itself caught up in the bad press associated with related breeds like the the Pitbull terrier and the American Staffordshire terrier.
Although no breed is perfect (even the most adorable Bichon Frise is capable of behaving in neurotic and feral ways if not properly raised and socialized), the English Staffordshire terrier was bred as a hardy companion dog and family pet, so in spite of the fact that these dogs are essentially big grinning jaws on legs, they actually make very good pets for the majority of owners.
Of course, one would be remiss if one did not at least address the dog fighting history associated with the Staffordshire terrier. Were they originally bred to fight? In some cases, yes. This is why they must be socialized well as puppies. Puppy pre-school classes are an excellent idea for English Staffordshire terrier puppies, as they allow the puppy to interact with a range of other puppies of various breeds in a fun and positive manner. When puppy has had its shots and is protected from parvovirus and other such diseases, it is an excellent idea to take him or her along to dog parks where they can continue their socialization.
It is also important that you spend time observing the litter and, if possible, the parents, before making a decision. Well raised staffies are affectionate, enthusiastic dogs that welcome people into their homes. Poorly raised and poorly socialized staffies are a danger to all concerned, so it is wise to insist on meeting the parents and see how the parents interact. It is also wise to visit the puppies and see which one suits you temperamentally. As we already have a small dog and cats, we chose one of the most laid back males in the litter. As a general rule of thumb, males are more relaxed and friendly than females.
Which brings me to the next aspect of owning a Staffordshire Bull Terrier - protection. Though Staffordshire Terriers are often regarded as intimidating dogs, for the most part, they do not make good guard dogs. Their history of breeding had made them incredibly friendly towards humans,and whilst they will not tolerate aggression being shown towards their owners (a trait common to most dogs, even a chihuahua will often try to stand up for its owner) they will not guard your possessions in the manner that other protection breeds like the German Shepard, Doberman or Rottweiler will. A burglar is more likely to be met with a frantically wagging tail and face licking than snarls and growls.
The Staffordshire Terrier is not a large dog and does not need extensive amounts of exercise (at least, not compared with working breeds like Huskies and the aforementioned Shepherds, or Border Collies.) Daily exercise is still a necessity however, not only for the sake of keeping the dog in shape, but for keeping his or her mental state healthy.
So, if you are looking for an intensely loyal dog that does not grow too large and whose protection abilities are largely relegated to looking more imposing than they actually are, an English Staffordshire Terrier is an excellent choice.