Staffordshire bull terriers, also called staffies, have the ability to become well-behaved, respectable dogs when trained properly. Staffy puppies require owners who are dedicated to their training and willing to implement this training on a daily basis. Staffies can be headstrong, stubborn, and authoritative—which can make for an aggressive dog. Therefore, staffy puppies require strict training that can help them turn into well-mannered adults.
Show your staffy that you are in control. Staffordshire terriers are a strong breed that has a desire to be in charge. A staffy that thinks it is boss can become unruly and disobedient. Nip this behaviour in the bud by establishing your role as pack leader as soon as you meet your staffy puppy. Become the leader by walking through doors and up and down stairs ahead of the pup. Never let your staffy sleep in your bed until you have established your dominance, and do not let the staffy eat until you have given it permission. In addition, when playing with toys, always end the session when you want to and with the toy in your hand. If your staffy is in your way, make it step aside instead of you.
Socialise your staffy puppy with humans and other animals at an early age. Exposing your staffy to new people and situations will help it get used to— as opposed to afraid of—new experiences. If your staffy isn’t allowed to interact with other animals and humans, it may become fearfully aggressive. Therefore, enrol your staffy in puppy classes and take it to dog parks to experience interaction with others.
Exercise your staffy puppy on a daily basis. Staffordshire terriers are extremely fit and strong. They also have a fair amount of energy. If this energy is not given an outlet, the puppy can become frustrated and disobedient. Walk or jog with your staffy puppy daily while keeping it on a leash. Exercising with the puppy not only keeps it fit but provides a bonding experience as well. Doing so can also help you establish your dominance. Keep your staffy next to you on the leash and never allow it to walk ahead of you. Do not let your staffy walk off or sniff objects without your permission. Controlling your staffy on the leash shows it that you are in control.
Place your staffy in a crate when you cannot provide supervision. Staffy puppies are extremely curious, which can put them at risk for getting into dangerous places or objects. Keeping the staffy in a crate also helps in the housebreaking process. Staffies can be difficult to housebreak and crate training is often the best approach.
Staffy puppies don’t always make the best family pets because they require everyone in their lives to be firm and strong alpha leaders. If they are allowed to become dominant over a family member, they can be difficult to handle. Therefore, only place staffy puppies in families that have older children and members who can become alpha leaders.
Training your staffy puppy in an aggressive or bullying manner can lead to a dangerous dog. Mishandling your puppy may cause it to become fear-aggressive. Staffy puppies require firm training but should never be hit or abused in any way.