The popular Staffie is much misunderstood and often unfairly maligned by the media. They are (according to Kennel Club statistics at the time of writing) Britain’s 5th most popular dog, yet they also top the list of breeds in rescue centres and shelters in the UK. The truth is that while the Staffie might look like a tough dog, they are actually big softies - a loving, reliable and affectionate family dog, devoted to their human companions.
The Kennel Club recommends the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as being particularly suitable for families with children - one of only 2 breeds to deserve such a high accolade - and they describe the Staffy as “extremely reliable, highly intelligent and affectionate, especially with children."
Created in England in the late 18th and early 19th century, Staffies were a cross between Bulldogs and Terriers, bred for the ‘sport’ of dogfighting by working class men. Staffies were expected to live harmoniously with their families, often in small spaces with lots of children. No aggression towards humans was tolerated and it is said that any dogs showing even the slightest signs of ill will towards their family members were ruthlessly weeded out.
Their reliable, loving nature and affinity for children is the reason that Staffords have earned the nickname “The Children’s Nursemaid” or “Nanny Dog”