The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is not suited for most families, as it is a very demanding breed to take care of, and difficult to housebreak. It will need a strong, dominant owner. They are courageous to the point of recklessness, and can hurt themselves by biting through fences, or jumping from great heights. They are obedient when properly trained, affectionate with their owners and excellent with older children. They do well with other dogs and pets as long as they are well socialized. As a puppy they tend to chew a great deal so they must be provided with plenty of chew toys. Their powerful jaws can tear through wooden fences. They must not be allowed off the leash unless they are in very tall, fenced in areas. (This terrier can jump extremely high.) They can be trained for agility, competitive obedience, weight pulling and jumping, and indeed, competes in agility, obedience, weight pulling and jumping in the UK at the highest level.
No hereditary diseases are known for this breed. Well cared for, they can live up to 16 years.
The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is susceptible to mange (Sarcoptic / Demodectic / Notoedric). When treated early, treatment is usually successful.
The average lifespan for this breed is 10-16 years on average.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier originated in the 19th century in Staffordshire, England, from crosses between Bulldogs and various Terriers. They were developed for the sport of bull-baiting, and when that sport waned, so did this breed. Then Irish breeders decided to use them for dog fighting, and when dog fighting was banned, interest in the breed waned again. Today the breed is kept as a pet, although they can be used for jumping and weight pulling competitions.
The Irish Staff will be content in an apartment as long as they are sufficiently exercised, but if they are bored they will become destructive. They must be kept on a leash in public, and even in fenced-in areas should not be unleashed unless those fences are over seven feet high.
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