My very first dog as an adult living on my own was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I brought Ruby home back in 2010 as a fresh and somewhat naive dog owner. The Staffy had been my favorite breed for years, but I had spent little time with the breed. The time commitment to care for my Staffy soon became apparent.
Are Staffies high maintenance or low maintenance? As a general rule Staffies are high maintenance dogs with regards to exercise and attention. They are very active and people focused dogs. They are however low maintenance when it comes to grooming, health care, and basic training.
In my personal experience, and from many other Staffy owners stories, I can honestly say overall Staffies are on the high maintenance side of the spectrum for some things, and low for others. I have gone through the entire raising of a puppy, to adulthood and now living with a senior Staffy.
My experience has changed over time with regards to care giving in each stage. I have learned with my Staffy that each phase of her life presents a different challenge, but generally an enjoyable experience. In this post I will cover all these areas of both high and low maintenance aspects of Staffies. Let’s dig in!
How Staffies Are High Maintenance And Low Maintenance
Depending on which aspect of a Staffy’s care we are discussing they can be both high and low maintenance. I find the balance works great for me. When I brought home my Staffordshire Bull Terrier I found the high maintenance parts to be time consuming, but enjoyable. The low maintenance aspects were just added perks to being a Staffy owner.
Exercise Needs Of Staffies
Staffies need a lot of exercise. When it comes to the exercise needs of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier they are definitely in the high maintenance end of the spectrum. For an active and engaged owner this is the perfect companion to have in your home. A Staffy will keep you off the couch and out for adventure for many years.
Many people say that Staffies have no off switch when it comes to their energy. I can attest to this statement personally. My Staffy Ruby was always ready to go from 9 weeks old well into her late adulthood years. Only recently as she turns 11 has she slowed down. But only slightly compared to other dogs her age.
Daily walks, mental stimulation, hiking, and games should be a part of any Staffy owner’s routine. Staffies thrive on exercise and spending time with their owners. Where behavior problems begin to arise is almost always from a lack of proper exercise, interaction, and mental stimulation.
To learn a lot more in depth about the exercise needs of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier check out my full post below. I cover in great details the requirements and some great tips on exercising a Staffy.
Related Article – Do Staffies Need Lots Of Exercise? – 10 Staffy Activities
Training A Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Hard Or Easy?
Training a Staffy can be a fairly low maintenance activity in the grand scheme of things. This will require consistent work on the owner’s part, but a Staffy’s ability to learn is very high. These are some of the most clever dogs you will ever meet, and they are very eager to please.
All training of any breed of dog will be a time consuming activity if you are responsible. The reason the Staffy falls on the low maintenance side of the spectrum is because of their high level of intelligence.
When training my Staffordshire Bull Terrier I found she picked up basic commands right away, or after only a few sessions. She had a full grasp of all the basics and a few more advanced commands by the time she was 6 months old. After that it was just consistency to reinforce the good behavior and learn new skills.
Even things like potty training went relatively fast. I had my Staffy using the potty outside and signalling to me when she needed to go relieve herself by the age of 6 months as well.
Related Article – Are Staffies Easy To Train? – 10 Simple Training Tips
Bathing And Grooming The Staffy
Bathing and grooming of a Staffy is by far the most low maintenance aspect of the breed. Staffies do not require haircuts and a weekly brushing is typically all they need to remove loose hair, dirt, and allergens.
Staffies should have a bath around every 2-3 months depending on how dirty or oily their coats might become. The Staffy is prone to sensitive skin so over bathing your dog can lead to skin problems due to dry, itchy and irritated skin. Using the right shampoos and brushes will make all the difference in their skin and coat care.
When it comes to nail trimming, depending on how your Staffy reacts to this, it can be very straightforward and low maintenance. I personally have only had to trim my Staffy’s nails a few times over the winter months when we are not walking on pavement as much.
Regular exercise on sidewalks will tend to keep your Staffy dogs nails filed down to a good level and will only require the occasional trim. Some dogs will require more of a routine, and so long as you have introduced nail clipping as a positive experience, this grooming activity is very easy.
Related Article – How Often Should You Bathe A Staffy? – 10 Grooming Tips
Temperament Of A Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can be both a high maintenance and low maintenance dog when it comes to temperament, depending on the situation. As a family pet they are amazing. When it comes to other dogs and animals, they will require some extra work.
Staffies are best described as clever, tenacious, brave, and undyingly loyal family companions. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is very sweet natured and always up for an adventure with their family.
The old days of pit fighting are a distant memory and breeders now look for qualities suitable for loving family pets. The Staffy is however still a very powerful and courageous dog. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are not always looking for a problem with other dogs, but are not ones to back down from a challenge.
Early socialization and training are a must for Staffies. Having your dog interact with as many other dogs, people, sounds, smells and environments is crucial in raising a well balanced and friendly dog.
Staffies can even get along with cats. Typically a Staffy raised in the same home as a cat will fare very well and either become best buds, or at the very least tolerate a cat. Staffies do have a high prey drive however, so dogs that have not been socialized with cats can be aggressive or give chase.
The Family Friendly Staffy Dog
When it comes to family friendly and kid friendly dogs, few compare to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I have experienced this first hand and can tell you that no breed is as loyal, loving, and gentle with family and children as the Staffy.
I have witnessed my Staffy play alongside children both in the family and as complete strangers. She is an absolute sweetheart with children. Loving, gentle, and very tolerant of loud noises and occasional rough play.
As a member of the family my Staffy is always curling up next to someone or trying to get some attention. She adores people and loves going to visit friends and family as well as meeting new friends while out on adventures. Staffies are very people focused dogs.
Health Problems And Care Of Staffies
The Staffy as a whole is a fairly robust and low maintenance dog when it comes to their health and health care. Staffies are generally strong, sturdy, and easy to care for when following simple routines and dietary requirements.
Some Staffies can suffer from skin problems such as food allergies, atopy, and just general dry skin. Proper diet and supplementation of essential fatty acids can make a world of difference in preventative care. Grooming and bathing practices are also key to maintaining proper skin and coat health.
Related Article – Why Are Staffies So Anxious? – 7 Tips For Calming Anxiety
Staffies can be prone to separation anxiety. This would be one of the more high maintenance aspects of the breed. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a very people focused dog and loves to be around their humans. Being left alone can create stress and anxiety that will need to be addressed.
When it comes to genetic disorders, like any breed of dog, Staffies are prone to a few. Things like hip dysplasia, eye and skin conditions and certain types of cancers are things a Staffy can suffer from. Always work with your vet to prevent or treat any conditions that may present themselves.
Related Article – What Problems Do Staffies Have? 7 Health Issues To Know
Whether you consider Staffies to be a high or low maintenance dog generally depends on your lifestyle. A Staffy will require a lot of exercise and attention from their owner. Setting aside the proper amount of time to meet their needs is important.
Grooming, training and health care are all low maintenance aspects of the Staffy. Time is still needed to keep them clean, keep them well behaved, and keep them healthy, but compared to other breeds, they are very easy.
Deciding whether the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the right dog for your family will come down to many of these factors. Weigh the pros and cons of owning a Staffy and the time and energy you are willing to commit.
For me every minute of everyday spent with my Staffy has been absolutely worth it. I have never for a minute regretted bringing home my Staffy girl. Even when we were out for our fourth walk of the day in the rain. These dogs are simply amazing and worth the maintenance.