Unfortunately Staffordshire Bull Terriers have gained a bad reputation that will be hard to shift. They often get mistaken for Pit Bull Terriers which are banned in the U.K. I recently visited Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, as my mum was looking to rehome a rescue dog. Sadly the majority of dogs we saw were Staffs or Staffordshire crosses. Their name has now been blackened by the gangs and yobs using them for fighting weapons and gang credibility. The truth is very different from the image they have, as generally they are big softies. This is one of the main reasons they end up being dumped because they don't always become the fighters that their owners have bred them to be. Many are extremely child friendly and very protective of little ones, they love to be part of families. Their boisterous nature and bulky physique often confuse and threaten would be owners. As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. Don't judge a breed of dog because of stupid human behaviour.
Below are some points on rehoming a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Firstly prepare your home and garden. Secure fencing and gates are a must. They love to play and can get carried away when they're having fun. Obviously a strong built dog will carry a lot of power and weight behind them if they go running and jumping around. Don't think you're housing a delicate little Chihuahua, these dogs will give you so much love, loyalty and affection but do need to be secured in their home. They are by nature impulsive and enthusiastic, therefore keep in mind that some obedience training is advisable. They are usually quick learners and aim to please their owners.
They won't have road or car sense due to their spontaneous characteristics and leaving your front door open is a no no. Also don't expect them to walk off the lead on the street, they love to chase and seeing a smaller animal to run after will be too difficult to resist.
Always keep them on a strong lead when out walking and invest in a good dog collar. Usually leather or nylon collars are best as they are much more durable than material collars. The Staffordshire Bull Terriers basic instinct is to investigate and explore, so it's a good idea to have him wearing something that will withstand his foraging.
They are a breed that tends to prefer human company to other dogs so make sure you spend time playing with them and have plenty of toys to keep them occupied. Chew toys are a must. Buying a range like the Extreme Kong toys will be fun yet durable for even the toughest chewers. They make a variety of balls, bones and throw toys to keep them occupied.
They can suffer badly from separation anxiety so it's best to think carefully about your home life and if there's enough company for them in the daytime. Give them lots of attention and love when you are with them, they are big softies that will crave for your affection and give you it back ten times over.
As soon as possible get them to interact with other dogs in a calm, controlled environment. They don't naturally get on that well with other dogs and definitely feel more in tune with humans. If you get a Staff as a puppy it's a great idea to start them off socialising with other dogs immediately, maybe enrol them in puppy obedience classes.
And lastly, never forget that if you are taking on a rescue dog you won't know their full history or the suffering they may have gone through. Obviously the rescue centre will have some knowledge but the dog will never be able to tell you what life they've truly experienced before you.