Are Staffordshire bull terriers dangerous?

Staffordshire bull terriers are probably potentially more dangerous than mainstream domestic dogs because (1) “gameness” has been bred into many lines of this breed of dog and (2) the basic temperament is the same as for a pit bull and (3) they are very strong and (4) many dog owners do not have a sufficient appreciation of dog behaviour to ensure that such a dog is entirely safe. I think too that you have two look at the context. Is the Staffordshire bull terrier in the same room as a child or a baby? And is the dog unsupervised? Under these circumstances a Staffordshire bull terrier or any other dog for that matter might be considered dangerous to that child. As an aside, aesthetically speaking Staffordshire bull terriers look dangerous to a good percentage of people.

Staffordshire bull terrier
Staffordshire bull terrier. Photo: Pexels.

The word “gameness” refers to dogs that they are ready, willing and able to fight. It means that they are spirited and plucky. In the context of the potential for a dog to become aggressive this inherent, bred-in personality trait makes the dog more dangerous in my opinion.

The Staffordshire bull terrier is not banned in the UK despite being considered dangerous by some people. Therefore, you could argue, that the experts who are behind the drafting of UK law consider the dog not to be dangerous.

The five most common dog breeds involved in attacks on people in the UK does not include the Staffordshire bull terrier but does include pit bulls who are second at 8.4%. As mentioned, pit bulls have a similar character to Staffordshire bull terriers. And Staffordshire bull terriers attack more often than the average on my research.

Many people consider “Staffies”, as they are affectionately called, to be not inherently more dangerous than any other breed. Any dog can be dangerous depending upon how they were socialised and the environment in which they live and the circumstances under which they live. It is down to people ultimately.

Child and Staffie
Child and Staffie. Photo: Stella Waldvogel whose the parent of this child.

I have decided that they are “potentially” more dangerous but perhaps the difference between the Staffordshire bull terrier and any other dog breed is quite slight.

On 21 November 2018 The Sun reported that the dad of a baby boy who was fighting for his life after the family’s Staffie attacked him said that “these dogs are my babies to”. A neighbour had warned him that they were not safe around kids. Often when babies are attacked by family dogs the baby’s parents are considered to be neglectful. Sometimes they are. You would think that no parent would really allow a young child to be in the same area as a Staffordshire bull terrier or any other dog without the dog being supervised. I think that is the key. Once again it is down to people and not the dog per se but dogs are predators at heart.

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Post Category: Dogs > dog behaviour