Understanding Temperament Written by: John Cocchiola 

I read, and responded to a thread on a Staffordshire Bull Terrier forum.  Someone who was researching the breed was concerned with their potential dog aggression.  

Yeah, I have an opinion on that.  What attracted me to the breed, what still attracts me to the breed is the spirit.  Yeah, I love the way they look and their goofy expressions, but it’s really those precious intangibles that I fell in love with…it’s what’s buried inside the dogs; it’s something that can’t be seen, it needs to be experienced. It’s the “yeah, I’m ready…let’s go” attitude that every Stafford should have, and “yeah, I’m ready…let’s go” includes a proper response when they’re challenged by another dog.  

These dogs are fantastic companions, but they weren’t originally bred to be companions.  No true terrier was originally bred to be a companion.  Every terrier breed was created by human beings; they were selectively bred to do a job…to kill.   So anyone that gets a Terrier (a cute little Cairn or a Scotty or a Bedlington), and sets it loose in their backyard and is horrified to see it ripping a bunny rabbit apart is completely naive and living in a pretend fantasy world.  That dog was bred to rip bunny rabbits apart.  There’s a spark inside that dog that fires up when it sees critters.  No, it’s not “how they’re raised”…it’s called “instinct”.  Dogs aren’t blank slates that can be molded and shaped to suit your lifestyle.  They come already programmed.  Some of their wiring can be overridden with our conditioning, but the instincts don’t get erased.  They’re still there and can pop back up.  Don’t be surprised.      

No dog breed is perfect, no individual dog is perfect and not every breed is suitable for everyone.

Before you choose a breed, educate yourselves on what it was bred for.  What its traits are, what it’s capable of.  Ask yourselves “can I live with that?”  Be honest.  Sometimes the easiest person to lie to is looking at us in the mirror.    

If you choose a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the worst thing you can do is underestimate them.  They’re faster than you think, they’re stronger than you think, they can jump higher than you think and they’re more determined than you think.  They can look like they’re asleep, then dart off at full speed if there’s something out there.  Ten seconds later they’re a mile and a half down the road chasing squirrel.    

If you’re honest with yourselves and still choose the SBT and it’s a good match, they will make you happier than you can imagine.  I can’t even think of living with a different breed, but I’d never try to talk someone into one unless they understood what they’re all about.  After that if they still have the “yeah, I’m ready…let’s go” attitude, it might be a good match.



The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an English dog breed and should not be confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier or the American Staffordshire Terrier. 

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a direct descendant of the old Bulldog and Terrier. 

The Stafford is renowned for loyalty to their owners and stability of temperament. When properly bred and socialized, they are fond of people, playful, energetic, and not naturally aggressive. They have extremely high energy, which makes them more than a handful for inexperienced owners.

The breed is naturally muscular and may appear intimidating; however, most Staffords are temperamentally ill-suited for guard or attack-dog training because of their natural fondness for people.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has arisen from centuries of careful breeding to develop a strong, placid dog towards people. Most Stafford owners refer to their dogs as Staffords. We are not fond of the term Staffy. 

Owning a Stafford is huge responsibility and not for everyone. Staffords are very powerful dogs, and we, as owners, are responsible for all of their actions. It is our job to protect and preserve this breed.













The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Today, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is known as a friendly, child-loving, fun-loving house pet though nevertheless a muscular, tough looking fellow who will defend hearth and home when called upon. English though and through, he was first bred from a cross of Bulldog and an English Terrier to be a fighting dog. That soon enough went out of fashion and he might have gone out with it had he not had such a good disposition. On his coat of arms he crests the shield emblazoned with old heraldic English lions supported by a pair of bulls.




“Solid in body, mind and spirit” Bullwark Staffords