Meet #Zaffythestaffie aka Staffordshire Bull Terrier. She was born on 18th February 2016 in Poland and arrived into our family two months later…. ever since we are deeply in LOVE.
What kind of a dog is that? And how did we end up with this breed? At first my boyfriend and I had different opinions which dog we want. He wanted a Newfoundland (you know this the big lifeguard bear) and I had always dreamt about Golden Retriever (a breed that everyone knows, I think). As both of us didn’t want to let go of our dream, we decided to make a compromise and choose totally new breed. Something new that we didn’t think of before.
We had also some criterias for the perfect dog we wanted:
- Medium size – so that the dog would live inside and can easily fit next to us on the sofa
- Easy to groom – wouldn’t want to deal with every day coat brushing
- Not barking – wasn’t sure it was possible
- Not having too strong dog smell (yeap, says a person who wanted a dog, right)
Not that long after this agreement I saw one of my friend posting a picture of her two dogs – a grey long hair Chihuahua and another grey cute dog that I had never seen. I was fascinated by this puppy face and I wrote to her asking more about this interesting breed. And guess what? It was a blue Staffy puppy.
After we met with my friend’s dog we knew that this dog would be a good fit for us but homework needed to be done. I started to look more about this breed, to know what kind of a dog it is. Got some good and some bad results. Bad ones were related to some attacks and I remember that even my mom asked if I am crazy to take a dog that “eats” people. I searched even more and read about the breed history and reason behind the attacks. Yes, it used to be a fighting dog, but this was looooooong time ago. Despite of its fighter look, this dog is a lover! I always make a joke to people who are asking me if Zaffy is an aggressive dog, that yes, she can lick and kiss people to death. Be aware!
What should you know about this breed?
- Medium sized muscular kiss machine. Yeap! If you have friends who don’t like dogs and especially when they lick, get ready to say goodbye to them! This dog LOVES to snuggle and give kisses French style.
- Staffy loves humans and doesn’t like to be left alone for too long. Not a breed that can live outside.
- Average life expectancy of 12–14 years.
- Energetic, smart, strong and playful.
- Doesn’t bark (yay, I thought it isn’t real, but it is!!)
- Some Staffies are not good around strange dogs or other animals, you should be careful and keep the dog on the leash. Training is important also!
- Easy to train but can be stubborn. They need firm, patient, consistent training.
- Needs early socialization, especially if you want your dog to be friendly towards other animals.
- Loves kids and has a nickname “nanny dog”.
- Friendly with people, even strangers. Not a good house guard!
- Staffords shed little, easy to wash as the coat dries fast.
- This breed has little odor, so usually doesn’t require frequent bathing.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier was a perfect match to ALL of our criterias and even more!
I don’t have enough good words about Zaffy, she is just THE RIGHT one! What a perfect choice we made by choosing this breed! We are so lucky and happy with her. Now this breed becomes more and more popular also in Estonia. In 2016 she was the 4th female blue Staffy here but now I have lost the count. It is cool to see that people are aware of this amazing breed and start to notice and take them to their families.
But despite the facts that these dogs are good family companions and love machines, they are still banned in some countries. If you are considering taking this dog, make sure before that you live in an area where they are tolerated. This goes also for traveling. You cannot travel with Staffordshire Bull Terrier in every country you wish. We haven’t travelled with our dog out of the country (except the time we took her home), so I don’t have any tips to give on this subject yet.
To sum up I would highly recommend to take a Staffy if you are active and willing to spend time with your dog. This breed needs training and commitment. I don’t tolerate or understand people who are taking a dog just to guard (read: bark) outside of their yard (even worse when they are chained) and don’t spend time with them. What a sad life for a dog. I consider our dog as a family member and try to interact with her as much as possible. This is what every person should do.