The Staffordshire Temperament

Of all the dog breeds the Staffordshire has a very misunderstood temperament. The classical traits of the dog are loyalty, affection and friendliness. They are considered to be a good all around choice for a family dog, particularly because they are so good with children.  

The Staffy is a very bold dog that is known for its agility and courage. It also has quick reflexes, which allow it move swiftly. This is because its ancestors were bred as fighting dogs.   Unfortunately this is what has led people to misinterpret this breed as being a violent breed or an alpha breed.

 The media and other informed sources sometimes raise issues about a Staffy because it looks like a pit bull terrier or because of its ancestry as a fighting dog. There is one issue to keep clear here ,Staffordshire Terriers are not any more likely to become aggressive or ,alpha, dogs than any other dog breed.  However, like people some Staffy are protective while others are shy.

Like people they can have different personality types.   Like other individual dogs, some Taffies do develop behavioral problems such as aggression, territorialism and jealousy.   These less social Taffies are usually reserved with strangers.  Be sure to socialize your Stuffy as a pup to avoid excessive aggressiveness with other dogs and strangers.   Staffords generally recognize their own breed, but sometimes act hostile to other breeds.   They are naturally territorial and think of the household as being their personal domain.  

However, a “very” well-socialized Staffordshire can be friendly with strangers and other dogs. For some, they may be slightly difficult to train, but they are intelligent, learn quickly, and respond well to proper, gentle (positive reinforcement) training.  Staffies are superb watchdogs. When strangers are present, it follows its owner’s every move, keeping as close to his or her heels as possible. However some high-strung Staffordshire terriers may express their initiation by practicing submissive urination, biting, mouthing and obsessive barking when strangers are around.  

The Staffy needs a great deal of human contact: touching, petting, and attention. If the Staffy puppy does not get this, she or he will use various attention-getting tricks until you give in. Sometimes this is defiant behavior such as chewing upholstery  Like people, some Staffies can also be very “high-strung., A high-strung dog can be defined as one that barks easily, do not adapt easily to change in environment and growls at strangers.  Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about owning a Staffordshire can be their tendency to display their worst characteristics just as you are trying to convince someone that he or she is actually a very lovable creature.

 Staffordshires are fantastic with children. They are protective but not over protective. However like any animal they do not like to be teased too much.  If you socialize your Staffy at an early age, they will be less stressed when new environments and people are introduced to them in adulthood. Proper socialization is critical, then, and at the earliest age possible.