How to Train a Staffy

Updated March 23, 2017

The Staffordshire bull terrier is affectionately called a staffy. The staffy is known for its intelligence, muscular build and high energy level. Since the staffy has bulldog characteristics, it is also known for its stubborn, headstrong and authoritative nature. As a result, your staffy may become quite aggressive. If your staffy is a family pet that spends time around infants or children, for instance, that aggression may pose a problem. However, there are training methods that will turn your staffy into a well-mannered companion.

To ensure proper canine socialisation, your staffy must stay with its mother for at least 8 weeks. As your staffy gets older, make sure it continues interacting with other dogs. This socialisation reduces the staffy’s aggression toward other dogs.

Employ clicker training. Purchase a clicker from your local pet store. The clicker gives off a strong, sharp sound at up to a 20-foot distance. Give your staffy a task such sitting or rolling over. Sound off the clicker when the task is performed and immediately give your staffy a dog treat. Repeat this 2 to 3 times with each task. Soon your staffy will associate the clicker sound with a specific command and reward.

Introduce verbal commands. You can transition from clicker training to verbal commands. Say a command such as “sit.” By this point, your staffy will sit because it knows a click and a reward will follow. Instead of using the clicker give your staffy a reward. Repeat this 2 to 3 times for each command.

Exercise your staffy on a regular basis. While walking or jogging keep your staffy on a leash. Make sure the staffy walks beside you. Don’t let your staffy do anything without your permission, such as sniff objects. Keeping the staffy on a leash shows the staffy you’re in control.


Avoid guard dog training. Although the staffy is a natural born fighter, it is also a people-oriented breed. Therefore, your staffy will not be an effective guard dog. You may use rewards other than dog treats, such as petting and praise. Clicker training may be used for a variety of tasks, ranging from housebreaking to reducing aggressive behaviour.

Things You'll Need

  • Clicker
  • Dog treats
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About the Author

Based in Little Rock, Rachel Moore began her freelance writing career in 1993. Her articles have appeared in the Arkansas "Democrat Gazette," Little Rock "Free Press" and the "Arkansas Times." Moore holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science/pre-law from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.