My first ever dog was a brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Umber. I loved her dearly and she was always THAT dog that would come running into the primary school classroom trying to find me to say hello. She used to pick me up from school every day so when one day she didn’t wasn’t there, I knew something was wrong and my heart broke into a million tiny pieces. She was an absolute belter of a dog and my parents haven’t had another Staffy because it would never be able to hold a candle to Umber.
Me on the other hand? I’ve spent the last 16 years or so dreaming of the day that I can have a Staffy to call my own so when it came to my attention that a male Staffy called Bruce needed a home, it was a no brainer.
Obviously you have heard all about Bruce (and if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen him plenty of times too) so I won’t waffle on about him too much but we have had him now for just over six months so I thought I would create a blog post to celebrate the occasion.
Instead of me blathering on about how much I love him and how much he has improved my life, I thought I would share ten things you should know before getting a staffy.
DISCLAIMER – I know I don’t really have to say this cos you are an intelligent bunch but obviously I’m not a vet, an animal behaviourist or anything like that so I am by no means an expert. I’ve grown up around dogs sure but that’s it. This post is just for fun and to show some love for my little guy <3
Honest to God, you should see Bruce’s muscle definition – I’m this > < close to taking a photo of him to my personal trainer and saying that’s what I want to look like. Unfortunately all of that muscle and a bad lead manner means he’s a big of a bugger to walk so I have to really brace myself when I take him out. This superhero strength also means that Staffies can jump real high – Bruce has jumped on to various walls, on to his Nannie’s dining room table and he could easily clear our garden gate if he wanted too. There have been a couple of occasions where he has clipped my lip jumping up to say welcome home aswell so that gives you an idea of just how high they can jump!
Unlike other small-medium dogs Staffies have a lot of energy they need to burn off. They need a couple of decent walks a day aswell as plenty of playtime and enrichment. In one day Bruce gets a walk on a dinnertime and a walk after work, we play ball in the garden and we also play tug of war with a rope toy. He also spends a decent amount of time chewing on plastic toys or bones too. Basically, they need a lot of activity to keep them sane (seriously Bruce, is a nightmare if he doesn’t go out!) so you need to have – or be able to make – a lot of time for them.
Despite them being constantly on the go, once they settle down Staffies really do love a cuddle. When Jody and I are sat together on the sofa he likes to burrow in between us – it’s very much a ‘if I fits, I sits’ kind of situation. He also loves a good tummy rub and likes it when you stroke the bit inbetween his eyes as he goes to sleep. My god he’s such a babe.
Even though staffies are my favourite dogs and Bruce is a lovely soul, I would never leave him alone with kids – But I don’t think I would leave any dog alone with kids because you never know if the dogs having a bad day or if the kid is going to pet it too hard or yank on it’s tail thinking it’s only playing. Staffies are actually known as Nanny dogs (Umber used to sit under my crib and would only go on a walk if my pram was there) so they have a history of being fab with children – Bruce loves playing with my niece Ivy and if she offers him treats he takes them out of her hand ever so delicately (unlike when I give him them and he practically bites my hand off).
Most dogs like food but man Staffies take the biscuit (quit literally). Bruce will eat anything whether it’s human food, dog food, stuff out of the bin, plastic bottles…Basically if he can see it, smell it or if it’s in your hands – He wants it. We are trying to train him not to beg as much but he still sits a foot away looking at you with his sad, puppy dog eyes when you eat. As I’ve had a few Staffies over the years (and know a lot of people with one), it’s definitely a Staffy thing, not just a Bruce thing.
Bruce is always letting out gas and he can easily clear a room. After a quick Google it’s pretty clear that most Staffie owners agree with me and they have little stinky fart machines too. It’s okay though cos Staffies are cute as hell.
If Bruce is doing something naughty and you catch him out, that little pooper is gunna pretend he hasn’t heard you and just carry on doing what he’s doing. Whilst it’s funny when he’s trying to steal your socks without you noticing, it’s not quite as funny when he’s racing across the park to sniff another dogs bum or steal a kid’s ball. As we haven’t had Bruce from a puppy his training isn’t as good as it could be, but we are trying, we really are.
I can’t even mimic the strange growls and groans that Bruce makes, they are THAT strange. Some people take his growling as threatening but people who know him (or Staffies) well know that he’s just talking to you. He ‘talks’ a lot when you stop stroking him so if you don’t like his weird language, you have to carry on with the tickles! He also makes really weird noises in his sleep and snores like a jackhammer. Just something to bare in mind…
Honestly, if I had a quid for every ball we had bought Bruce, only for him to destroy it within days, I would have a lot of pounds. He just likes to wreck everything we give him – He chews up weak plastic balls, plucks the yellow fuzz off tennis balls and rips teddy bears open and pulls out the stuffing. He’s a little savage. Staffies have super strong jaws so their toys need to be super strong too. The only things that have lasted are Kong balls and treat dispenser thingys, thick rope toys (although they normally have a few more threads hanging off them after every play time) and durable plastic sticks (we have a cheap one from the Factory shop but I think Kong do them too). Antlers usually last a while aswell. Everything else isn’t worth a carrot but you will keep trying anyway in the hope that something will last longer than a few weeks.
Staffies are constantly in the news for attacking humans but in reality they are very soppy puppies with lovely, gentle natures. Yeah Bruce might be a bit hyper but he wouldn’t hurt a fly (unless said fly threatened me then oh boy would that fly be in trouble). I am very much a believer in the saying that the large majority of the time it is the owner that’s the problem, not the dog. If you have a bad owner who isn’t willing to invest their time or energy then chances are you will have a bad dog. I’ve had a few Staffies and they have all had lovely temperaments and love/loved BIG cuddles.