Centuries ago, the British are into the cruel and bloody sports of bull baiting and bear baiting. These cruel sports are favored not only by the commoners but by the royalty as well. Agile and ferocious dogs are developed to have excellent fighting skills as they will be pitted against bigger animals. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier from where Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier was developed is one of these fighting dog breeds. Having a fighting dog breed for an ancestor, the Irish Staff also known as Irish Staffie is believed to have the ferocious temperament of its ancestor. Would this make the Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier an unsuitable choice for a pet?
An Irish Staff is a muscular dog that weighs from 55 to 77 lbs and measures about 24 inches at the withers. With its size, it would be hard to imagine that the dog would have formidable strength. The large head, the powerful jaws and strong teeth as well as the short but very muscular neck give this dog an intimidating appearance more so because most people know about its dog fighting ancestry. To mold this dog into a outstanding pet, it is necessary for a would-be owner to understand how the dog was developed.
Due to the popularity of bull and bear baiting, breeders have crossed bulldogs with terriers to create fighting dogs. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was developed, a breed made notable by its ability to defeat a bull in seconds. After bull and bear baiting was banned in 1835, dog fighting became popular. From the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a leggier but leaner dog breed was developed. The new breed was named Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier to distinguish it from is progenitor.
The dog has started as a dog fighting breed but these dogs have adapted to the life of a household pet. This breed though is not for a first time dog owner. An Irish Staff needs an authoritative owner as this dog has the inclination to be a destructive chewer and the stubbornness makes housebreaking difficult.
However, the dog would be an ideal house pet that is tolerant and affectionate of the children if the owner knows how to control the pet. An obedience trained and well socialized Staffie makes an outstanding family companion as the dog has a lively and friendly personality. This dog has to be provided with enough opportunities to exercise to prevent the development of destructive behavior.