The Staffordshire Bull Terrier gets a bad rap.
Before I adopted Lola, I went in with an open mind but wasn’t particularly looking for a staffy until I met a couple in rescue centres and fell in love with the breed.
I was surprised to hear that the breed that has a reputation for producing fighting dogs, is actually recommended for families with young children and is commonly known as ‘The Nanny Dog’.
Want to know what staffies are really like as a breed? Here are just 7 ways my little bundle of wrinkly faced joy has surprised me since we brought her home
7 Things I’ve Learned From My Staffordshire Bull Terrier
1. She goes in the huff.
Never have I met an animal with such human tendencies. She’s cute, sweet and adorable as can be, but tell her off and she’ll go in a major cream puff. The first time I raised my voice to her, she’d been lying on the couch (!!!) and I’d told her to get off. Next thing she’s back up there, so I told her firmly ‘no!’ and she glared at me from behind the couch like a spoiled child from the naughty step. It’s become a regular source of amusement anytime she’s told not to eat our shoes, pee in the house or visit the neighbour’s washing line.
2. She’s the nanny dog.
It goes without saying, that you should keep a close eye on any animal when they’re around children. But Lola is absolutely fantastic with them. The first time she met a little person, she was a bit timid. I think she was confused more than anything else. What is this tiny bean and why is it peering at me? But since then, she’s come to love children. She’s amazingly sweet and gentle, more so the younger they are. The older kids love to play with her and she seems to sense that she’s not to be as rough with them as she is with us. She was the same with my four-foot-something eighty-two-year-old granny, too – not jumping up or rushing around her. She just seems to know.
3. You have to play with her.
No matter how much you walk Lola, she needs mental stimulation. I take her for a big walk first thing then settle down to write for a few hours and she goes out again late afternoon, on an average day. But she loves to play and I’m sure this must be integral to her development.
We were initially wary because the rescue centre had said she was too full on with other dogs, but since being with us Lola has met upwards of 30 other dogs and thoroughly enjoyed herself playing with them. There aren’t many toys that will keep her occupied for long, she prefers to have a playmate – human or canine – than entertain herself.
There aren’t many toys that will keep her occupied for long, she prefers to have a playmate – human or canine – than entertain herself.
4. She doesn’t like the rain.
Or puddles, or mud, or water in general. She’s a big woose when it comes to water! She will be desperate to go out, take one look out the back door, and moonwalk all the way back in. Once she’s out, she’s fine, aside from the occasional steely look thrown in your direction. She will now cross a burn, but if it’s too high she will stand on the other side and bark at me until I come back and find a more suitable route.
5. She’s a yoga enthusiast.
Apparently, it’s a staffy thing.
Lola likes to relax in the ‘frog pose’ at any opportunity, almost anywhere with a warm floor or in a sunny patch in the garden. It’s amazing how quickly she will make herself at home in a new place.
6. She likes watching T.V.
Specifically programming which includes birds, horses and giant CGI predators. Recently she has enjoyed several episodes of Vikings and the feature-length film King Kong. If you’ve never seen a dog watching T.V. this alone is reason enough to welcome a four-legged friend into your living room.
7. She couldn’t fight sleep.
For a breed known for producing fighting dogs, she couldn’t be further from that stereotype. It regularly surprises me how gentle she is. Even when she’s rough-housing with a willing adversary, she’ll mouth around your hands in a puppy way, but never hold on or squeeze too hard. The second you say ‘Ouch!’ she backs off and gives you the puppy dog eyes. Melts my wee heart! She also likes to sleep, a lot.
So there you go, 7 things you might not have known about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. My advice to anyone thinking of rehoming a staffy is to be prepared to do the work, but you’ve got a fighting chance of having a fantastic friend for life at the end of it.
For more about rehoming a rescue dog, my experience with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and other unrelated musings – check out my previous posts. If you’re thinking about rehoming a dog, this post is a must read!
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Have you rehomed a staffy or adopted any other rescue dog? I’d love to hear from you and about the funny little things they do. Leave your comments below!