One of the most famous features of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is their smile. Also known as the Staffy smile. As much as I would like to think my Staffy smiling is directly correlated with her happiness, which to some degree it is, it is mostly an evolutionary adaptation with humans. There are however ways to make sure you are keeping your Staffy happy.
How do I keep my Staffy happy? There are several ways to make and keep your Staffy happy. Basic needs such as exercise, nutrition, and hygiene are important. Equally as important are some of the more social and mental aspects. Time with family, affection, games, and a robust social life.
In the 11 years I have been living with my Staffy I have found several ways to make sure I am keeping her happy. There are a wide variety of things that keep my Staffy happy, and for her it is important that we cover them all. When one or more are missing from her routine I notice she is bored, restless, and at times depressed.
This post will cover the various ways you can make, and keep, your Staffy happy. Consistently including these in your Staffy’s daily or weekly routine is sure to keep those tails wagging and faces smiling. Let’s dig in!
Source – PetMD: Do Dogs Smile? The Science Behind the Looks We Get From a Happy Dog
What Makes Staffies Happy?
Staffies are incredible dogs, and possibly my single most favorite breed. They are intelligent, loving, athletic, and silly dogs that provide any family with a loyal and entertaining companion.
Their zest for life is one of the reasons why Staffies get so excited. Whether it be from engaging in exercise, games and activities, or being around loved ones. Staffies are easy to please if you know what they love and crave.
Here are 9 ways you can keep your Staffy happy by making these a regular part of their life.
Exercise Your Staffy
I have said it maybe a thousand times before, and I will say it again. A tired dog is a happy dog. Staffies are highly energetic dogs that require a good amount of daily exercise to keep them happy, balanced, and well behaved.
Daily walks are an important part of my Staffy’s routine. Even as a senior dog she still needs a couple walks a day to keep her happy and relaxed at home. Walking your Staffy is a great way to give them exercise as well as work in additional training, and strengthen your bond.
Related Article - Do Staffies Need Lots Of Exercise? – 10 Staffy Activities
Play Games With Your Staffy
On top of regular exercise a Staffy needs some additional physical and mental stimulation with various games and activities. When my Staffy was younger we would supplement her daily walks with games like fetch, flirt poles, and tug-of-war.
These types of games are excellent ways to help burn off extra energy by providing your Staffy with the physical as well as mental stimulation these games require.
Not every game has to be overtly physical in nature however. People underestimate the value of mental exercise when it comes to burning off your Staffy’s energy. Obedience training, trick training, and games like sniff & search are all effective energy burners that will leave your Staffy happy and fulfilled. Not to mention more obedient.
Get creative and engage your Staffy in fun activities to keep them happy. Every Staffy is different and will have their favorite activities, so experiment, mix things up, and find ways to keep your Staffy happy in play.
Related Article - How Do You Play With A Staffy? 10 Games From Fetch To Tug
Challenge Your Staffy With Puzzles
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a very clever breed. Staffies love a good challenge, and puzzles are a perfect way to keep them engaged and happy. My Staffy thrives on challenging puzzles and this was one of my go to ways to make her happy consistently.
Food enrichment puzzles were what worked best for me and my Staffy. Kongs specifically provided her with a high valued prize and a challenge. I keep several frozen Kongs ready at all times for when she gets a little restless or bored. Kongs are an excellent tool to keep handy and I highly recommend you keep a few ready as well.
Food puzzles are also fantastic ways to enrich your Staffy’s daily life. Puzzles like the ones from Outward Hound offer a wide variety of challenge levels for your Staffy to explore and really work their brain to get those rewards.
A Staffy that is able to mentally work on a puzzle everyday lives a much more enriched life. As a result they are left far more content, confident, and most of all, happy. These are some of my favorite food puzzles I have used with my Staffy to keep her happy.
KONG – Extreme Dog Toy
Outward Hound – Interactive Puzzle Game Dog Toys
Spend Family Time With Your Staffy
The Staffy is one of the most family oriented breeds on the planet. You will be hard pressed to find another breed of dog that is more focused on spending time with their family. Keeping your Staffy happy can be as easy as making time each day to enjoy some family time.
Family time with your Staffy can range in activities. Walks, games, play time, and relaxed time on the couch are all acceptable to the Staffy. My Staffy doesn’t care how the time spent with me is happening, so long as it is happening each and every day. She craves being engaged with me and getting the one on one attention every Staffy needs to be happy.
Life can get busy, but it is important to carve out time to spend with your little buddy. After all you got a dog for companionship, and the Staffy is a perfect companion. Always willing to be next to you. Nothing makes a Staffy happier than being around you. Make the time and keep them happy.
Give Your Staffy Time With Friends
Spending time around humans is great fun for Staffies, but they still need time with their doggy buddies. Give your Staffy time to spend with other dog friends to play, interact and be social. A Staffy that can spend time with their friends is a sure way to make them happy.
This way of keeping your Staffy happy is why early socialization is so important with these dogs. Building friendships with other dogs and being able to meet new well balanced dogs is important for your Staffy.
I was fortunate enough to live in a highly populated area of the city when I first brought home may Staffy. There were neighborhood dogs at every turn in her early days as a puppy. This led to friends of all shapes and sizes and provided my Staffy with happy social times everyday.
Dog parks are not necessarily the best places to socialize your dog. They can be chaotic, dirty, and potential spots for unreliable dogs and owners. Simple playdates with neighbors in a backyard, or quiet off leash space can function just as well, if not better than a popular off leash park.
Regardless of how you socialize your Staffy just be sure it is in a positive, and controlled environment where they can play and be social. Spending time with other dogs is important in their development and in keeping them happy.
Go On Mini Adventures With Your Staffy
When I first got my Staffy puppy one of the first things I did was find out what stores in my area were pet friendly. Not just the pet stores but every kind of store. Corner stores, liquor stores, art supply stores, farmers markets, etc… These would be our new adventure spots.
My Staffy loves to meet new people and going on adventures to various markets, stores, and gathering places makes her happy. This provides a great venue for further socialization as well as mental stimulation. Our adventures were a thrill for my Staffy and she always needed a big nap once we came home.
Find the local spots in your area that will allow your Staffy. Bring them along as often as you can for these mini adventures. These seemingly normal trips to the store for us will make a world of difference in keeping your Staffy happy.
Don’t Forget The Belly Rubs
As energetic and active as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier can be, they are always down for a good belly rub. Staffies thrive on affection, cuddles, and general physical attention from their owners and human friends alike. A good belly rub is always going to make your Staffy happy.
Time spent on the couch or bed cuddling up, getting some good massages and belly rubs is heaven for a Staffy. Not only does this kind of affection help keep them calm and relaxed, it keeps them content and happy. Never skip the affection in your Staffies day to day. Get those belly rubs in.
Happy Staffy Health & Diet
All the exercise, puzzles, friends, and affection in the world won’t matter if your Staffy is not healthy. Proper nutrition and routine care is vital to keeping your dog happy and healthy for years to come.
Nutrition is going to be one of the most important parts of keeping your Staffy happy both short term and long term. Always seeking out a premium dog food rich in vitamins, minerals, quality proteins, and essential fatty acids. These may cost a little more per bag than the generic brand dog foods, but the return on health and happiness will be priceless.
Additional supplementation of an Omega essential oil is recommended. Especially for Staffies. I give my Staffy a few pumps of some Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil in her meals everyday to help her skin, coat, heart, joints and immune system.
Consult with your vet about optimizing your Staffy’s nutrition and supplementation. A Staffy that is getting everything they need in their diet is going to keep them happy well into their senior years.
Staffy Hygiene Is Happiness
If your Staffy is anything like mine then you will know that bath time does not equal happy time. My Staffy is not a fan of being bathed, but keeping her hygiene routine in place does make her happy in the long run. Healthy skin, healthy coat, healthy Staffy.
A Staffy with a regular grooming routine will lead a much healthier life and that will keep them happy. My Staffy gets a good brushing, nail grinding, and teeth brushing each and every week. This keeps her coat and skin healthy, teeth looking great, and nails free from breakage and snags.
Much like a proper diet, hygiene plays an important role in keeping your Staffy happy. The general care of bathing and grooming will keep their quality of life high, and risk for health issues lower. Make a weekly routine a part of your Staffy’s happiness plan.
Keeping your Staffy is as simple as following these basic tips. Cover every area of your Staffy’s life from physical to mental exercise, to social time and general care. Each of these tips is important to keeping your Staffy happy.
Make each of these a part of your Staffy’s life and you can be sure they lead a happy life. The proof will be evident right away and the return on your time will be priceless when you see that wiggly bum and big Staffy grin each and every day.