"You can't buy LOVE but you can ADOPT a Staffie, which is the same thing!"
When Battersea Dogs Home contacted us in 2014 to see if we would be willing to join their campaign promoting Staffies, we could not have been more delighted!
There are many reasons why Staffordshire Bull Terriers, affectionately known as Staffies, make great family companions; a fact recognised as far back as the 1800's where Bull Terriers were valued protection for the wives and children of soldiers that went to the Crimean War (1853–1856). Chosen for their intimidating looks, they were trusted because of their loyal and loving family orientated nature, particularly towards children and earned the nickname, the “Nanny Dog”.
Staffies are also incredibly intelligent and, due to their desire to please humans, very easy to train and willing to learn. In the right hands, their loyalty makes the Staffie a very loving and fun pet which, like any other dog, when socialised correctly from an early age will get on with any other dog or animal. We love our Staffies, knowing them (to quote the Kennel Club) to be "kindness itself", "extremely reliable, highly intelligent and affectionate, especially with children." We also know them to be fabulous fun, with a great sense of humour and a seriously silly streak!
In the wrong hands however this is, tragically, exploited by people who want to use them to fight; a behaviour that is not natural and has to be intensively trained into them from a young age. It is also worth remembering that, even when seriously injured, fighting dogs will not react aggressively to their handlers because of their devotion to humans; another important trait that is exploited by their abusers.
This exploitation of the breed has led to the Staffie is one of the UK's most overbred and abused dogs and accounts for the majority of the 8,000 rehomeable 'death row' dogs that are estimated to be put to sleep every year. More and more Staffies are, very sadly, becoming the victims of this rise in popularity, finding themselves abandoned or surrendered to pounds, through no fault of their own, and frequently losing out on a rescue kennel space to breeds that are, ironically, seen as easier to rehome.
For those people who do believe the bad publicity, please think for one minute about this: our pounds and rescues are full of Staffies because they have been so overbred; at the moment one in every four dogs in the UK is a Staffie, yet how often do you hear in the news that this breed has bitten someone?
If Staffies were really as bad as they are made out to be, an attack would be reported in the papers every day of the week; the truth is that in the official records of reported dog bites by breed, Staffordshire Bull Terriers come 22nd!
Battersea's "Staffies. They're softer than you think." aimed to change the misconceptions about this wonderful breed. Standing Up for Staffies and promoting them as the loyal and loving pets that we at AADR, and so many of our wider AADR family, know them to be. Just look at the photos of some of our rehomed Staffies, loving their new lives and families!
So please if you are considering adopting a rescue dog, don't dismiss a Staffie. We will never turn a Staffie away so you will always find plenty to get to know here at AADR. Why not pay us a visit and spend some time with our Staffies? Even if you do not adopt one, we guarantee your opinion will be different!
is the UK's 11th most popular breed (according to Kennel Club statistics)
lives 10 - 16 years
stands up to 41 cm tall (males) and can weight up to 17 kg (males)
is a member of the Terrier breeds and was recognised by the Kennel Club on 25 May 1935 and by the American Kennel Club in 1975
Breed Club was formed a month later in June 1935 and the breed standard drawn up in a meeting of 30 breeders at the Old Cross Guns pub
the first breed Champions, in 1939, were Gentleman Jim and Lady Eve, both owned by Joseph Dunn
as we know it today was bred to be a stylish "Gentlemen's Dog", combining strength and ruggedness with the devoted, loyal temperament that the breed is known for
was listed as one of the top 10 most family friendly breeds in a study by Southampton University in 1996
is, contrary to media hype, is one of only two breeds recommended by the Kennel Club as being suitable to live with young children, an opinion shared by the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs Home
Jock of the Bushveld is a novel by South African author Sir James Percy FitzPatrick, which tells the story of FitzPatrick's travels with his dog, Jock, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, during the 1880s. The book chronicles the time when FitzPatrick worked as a storeman, prospector's assistant, journalist and ox-wagon transport-rider in the Bushveldregion of the Transvaal (then the South African Republic).
Jock was the runt of his litter and due to be drowned before FitzPatrick adopted him. He was a brave and loyal dog and FitzPatrick told his chidren the stories of their adventures together for many years, until his friend Rudyard Kipling suggest he write a book... the rest, as they say is history! It's also interesting, looking at the portrait of Jock, to see the differences between the earlier Staffies of the 1880s and the dog we know and love today.
Sergeant Stubby (1916 or 1917 – March 16, 1926), was the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to Sergeant through combat. He was a brindle American Staffie and served with the 102nd Infantry in the trenches in France for 18 months. Stubby participated in four offensives and 17 battles. Stubby's beginnings were humble, he was a stray who he found himself wandering through an army training session at Yale Field in Connecticut where he befriended a Corporal named Robert Conroy. Llegend has it that Corporal Conroy was so smitten with Stubby that when it came time to ship out to the Western Front, he smuggled the dog onto the vessel bound for France. Even when he was discovered, he was allowed to remain with Conroy and so found himself on the Western Front in the thick of combat
Stubby survived a number of injuries, including those from shrapnel and gas attacks. Having survived the gas attacks, Stubby became very sensitive to the smell of gas, and was able to detect gas much earlier than his human comrades and alert them in time. His acute hearing meant that he could hear even the quietest sounds from advancing enemy and Stubby proved excellent at silently alerting his comrades when he could hear the enemy was near. His major triumph was hearing and immobilsing a German spy who had tried to sneak into Conroy's camp one night. He also asserted himself as a 'mercy' dog, scanning the battle fields for injured soldiers and comforting them whilst they lay dying or alerting paramedics to the wounded.
Stubby was made a life member of the American Legion, the Red Cross, and the YMCA. In 1921 the Humane Education Society awarded him a special gold medal for service to his country.
Pete the Pup (January 22, 1929 – January 28, 1946) was an American Staffordshire Terrier character in Hal Roach's Our Gang comedies (later known as The Little Rascals) during the 1930s. Registered with the American Kennel Club as a Staffordshire Terrier in 1935, Pete is widey considered to be one of the first dogs to be registered under this "new" breed. At the time Bull Terriers were enjoying their popularity in America as the "Nanny Dog" and whether Petey was paired with Wheezer, Stymie, Spanky or another kid, he was there to help them, protect them, entertain them and slather them with affection.
Otherwise known as "Pete, the Dog With the Ring Around His Eye", or simply "Petey", he was well known for having a circled eye that was added on by Hollywood make-up artist Max Factor and credited as an oddity in Ripley's Believe It or Not. Pete lived to be 18 years old and when his owner and trainer, Harry Lucenay, was asked about him after his death in 1946 he said, “He was a gentle, playful and warm dog. He would sleep at the foot of my bed. He was just the regular family dog. I really miss him.”
Sui (Christmas Day 1988 - 23rd June 2004) . Famed conservationist, animal handler, and TV personality Steve Irwin raised his Stafford from a pup and rarely went on an adventure without her by his side. He trained Sui to help him wrangle crocodiles, wild pigs, and snakes and she was seen in many episodes of Irwin’s show The Crocodile Hunter.
Sui was, according to the page dedicated to her on Steve's website, the love of his life and his “loyal friend, protector and wildlife warrior.” Irwin loved Sui enough to name his daughter, Bindi Sue, after her, and Sui and Bindi shared a special bond. “Sui protected Bindi for six years,” wrote Irwin. “It was so funny—no-one was allowed to muck with Bindi whilst Sui was guarding her. Then Bindi would put bows in her hair and play Barbies with her, we lost count how many times Bindi fell asleep on top of a very, very patient Sui.”
Diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1998, Sui went on to enjoy another 6 years with her family, before finally passing away in the arms of Steve and his best friend Wes, who had shared many adventures with Steve and Sui in the 16 years of her life.