7 Things I’ve Learned From My Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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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.

Staffordshire bull terrier acting as 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!

12 responses to “7 Things I’ve Learned From My Staffordshire Bull Terrier”

  1. Lesley avatar

    I have rescued a staff and 3 staff crosses over the years, they are so loving. Can be a handful on the end of the lead and boisterous. Just do everything full tilt including cuddles which usually involves lying on my chest and licking my face off. Very sensitive to the infirm and kids and empathetic to people’s emotions

    1. Suzanne Al-Gayaar avatar

      Hey Lesley,

      That is definitely one of Lola’s challenging points! She is great off the lead but when she sees other dogs or people off the lead still she can be strong. She’s getting better but good to know you’ve found the same.

      Haha if anyone asks ‘Is that not a fighting dog?’ I tell them ‘yes, if her skill is liking you to death!’

      On the subject of empathy, I notice on walks she will keep checking to see that everyone is there and okay. Great to hear about your staffs 🙂


  2. Bob avatar

    Our Staffie is rescue dog, she was abandoned we think because she suffers from epilepsy, and apart from these attacks she’s perfect, even letting us share a tiny bit of her King size bed. Hang on …………..! Fabulous dog and loves little children, we feed her two or three a day. Couldn’t ask for a better companion.

    1. Suzanne Al-Gayaar avatar

      Can you manage that with medication, Bob? Lovely to hear she’s been given a second chance. It’s really not fair… That she should have to share her bed at all, I mean!

      Suzanne 🙂

  3. […] my last blog post, lots of you lovely people have asked about Lola’s raspberry tweed collar in this photograph! […]

  4. Jolene avatar

    I found my Steffie Staffie at a shelter and she spoke to me when she thought I didn’t notice her. She has the most beautiful personallity. Can’t believe people let her end up in the shelter…twice. But if they didn’t gave her back to the shelter I would never have met her. She settled in perfectly with cats and another dog and showed her great maternal instincs when a foster cat had kittens.

    1. Suzanne Al-Gayaar avatar

      Hey Jolene,

      It breaks your heart. My girl was in the shelter twice too! I honestly can’t understand why, she’s just such a great dog. But yes I think some things are just meant to be!


  5. Esme upon the Cloud avatar

    I recognise so much of this, here’s my girl – Rosie,


    She too is a rescue and I’ve had her for almost a full year now, during which time she’s gone from being withdrawn and mistrustful most of the time, to waggy-tailed and content. The first photo says it all really, that was taken on the day I brought her home. I could go on for hours about staffys and staffy-mixes – they’re such incredibly sweet natured dogs!

    – Esme and Rosie waving upon the Cloud

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  7. […] my blog 7 Things I’ve Learned from My Staffordshire Bull Terrier – which has had nearly 2000 views already, yay! – Lola was pictured wearing her […]

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  9. Silky avatar

    Yes taken on my late uncle staff at first he was just waiting at the door four over a week or two.but after working him getting him built up again mind and body and most of all to no he is loved.one morning I woke up with him a sleep he was just laid on my head with his and my arm around him 🤣🤣 for a second I thought it was the wife … morning breathe lol .it’s like be a dad all over again.i had dogs all my childhood and adulthood but staffs are the one for me🌞