KNOWING & UNDERSTANDING STAFFORDS & AMSTAFFS
“To know the breed is to love the breed”
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Characteristics
Staffords will steal your sofa and your bed! Beware – before you know it they will have crept right inside your heart!
Bull breeds are famed for their soft loving natures towards humans and especially children. Staffordshire Bull Terriers have an emotionality all of their own. If you are looking for a devoted loyal and connected dog, this breed is famous for all these special traits.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is caring, loving, and will try to talk to you and join in with your conversation. They really identify closely with humans and try to communicate with their loved ones. This is called ‘Staffie speak’, they can be snuffly and snorty, and will snore the night through, they are comical and unbelievably charming in their need to offer you what they have and are very trainable.
Like the British bulldog they are very well muscled which, when you own one and know their kindness, you tend to ‘forget’. Others seeing their muscular cheeks are shocked of the power behind them. You however soon translate that into the smile and laughter of the Stafford as their personality shines through. The smiling Stafford with their huge cheek muscles are like laughing clowns and yes, they do laugh a lot!
There are always busy and love big raw bones, sticks, and a large tough ‘Kong’ satisfies them as their non-destructive toys! But their tongue muscles are famous for tons of kisses and wash downs.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Sociability
Their sociability with other dogs is broadly based, like all dogs, ideally should be highly socialised with dogs from an early age. Most families tend to attach their dogs to their family unit and under socialise their dogs. Many dogs will come to believe themselves to be human rather than canine. Most of our Staffords’ are highly social. We have a few who won’t want to meet other dogs but on the whole as a breed you could say the Stafford doesn’t like a dog to be in their face or making a beeline for their sticks or toys. If you can manage your dog so they are kept moving on their walks. We don’t encourage ‘off lead’ walks unless they are in a safe, controlled and fenced off area.
The Health of your Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Stafford’s are considered fairly healthy, low maintenance dog, they do however suffer from a few health issues.
Staffords carry the gene for Hereditary Cataracts, more commonly known as HC. Puppies born HC have inherited it from both parents. The condition cannot be seen from birth, but manifests itself at about 8 weeks, it is progressive and you will eventually end up with a blind dog. The good news is that this can be prevented, as parents can be tested for the gene responsible and blind pups can be avoided.
Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous
Known as PHPV is another eye condition that causes impaired vision in puppies. Pups can be tested as early as four weeks for the condition, it is not progressive. At this stage there is no clear indication what causes the condition and research is ongoing.
L2 – Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria
Most commonly known as L2HGA, this is a condition that causes seizures, muscle spams in the hind legs, disorientation and dizziness. It is a neurometabolic disorder that affects the nervous system of the dog. This condition can appear as early as 6 months and can take as long as two years to show symptoms. Puppies born with L2HGA have inherited it from both their parents, again the good news is it can be prevented by testing the parents to ensure they do not pass it on to their puppies. There is no cure for this heart breaking disease, dogs have to be put down who suffer from it.
Unfortunately Staffords are prone to skin allergies, this is characterised by scratching, itchiness of the skin, hair loss and hot spots. The most common causes are fleas, food and environmental allergies.
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tears
Commonly known as CCL, this is when the ligament which holds the knee in place above and below the knee tears. When your dog has an ongoing limp on his hind quarters it is usually this tear, caused by the dog turning and running suddenly. Surgery is a common fix for this condition, with the dog requiring complete rest for six weeks.
You will see a cherry red lump in the corner of your dogs eye. This is when the dogs third eyelid prolapses or protrudes from the eye. It can be corrected with minor surgery.
American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier, known to their fans as AmStaffs, are smart, confident, good-natured companions. Their courage is proverbial. A responsibly bred, well-socialized AmStaff is a loyal, trustworthy friend to the end.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a loving, loyal, playful dog that loves to spend time with their human family members. They are quite muscular for their size, which can make them a handful on walks if they aren’t trained properly. They also have strong jaws, which they will use to chew out of boredom. The American Staffordshire Terrier shares much in common with the American Pit Bull Terrier. Both have been used in illegal dog fighting rings, which makes them the targets of Breed Specific Legislation that bans them. But when brought up in a home with love that gives them proper training and socialization, American Staffordshire Terriers are docile, affectionate animals that are very loyal and obedient.
The Amstaff is celebrated as a family dog that loves to be around humans. American Staffordshire Terriers are never happier than when they’re spending time with their families, whether its during a vigorous play session, a long walk, or just cuddling up on the couch. In fact, although they have a reputation as being guard dogs, they are likely to greet strangers with lots of licks and affection. American Staffordshire Terriers are intense dogs that will pull, chew, dig, and bark if they’re bored. As strong, athletic dogs,They need a confident, assertive owner who will set boundaries, and give them proper mental and physical stimulation. They also require early socialization with humans and other animals. While the breed is naturally friendly to people, they can be confrontational with other dogs when they aren’t socialized. American Staffordshire Terriers are intelligent, eager to please, and generally take well to training. They enjoy having a job to do, whether that’s acting as a jogging buddy, doing nose work, running agility courses, or performing in other dog sports.
Other conditions related to coat colour are deafness mainly affecting white dogs, and Alopecia, total hair loss which affects dogs with a blue coat.