Your Pet - 18th Aug 2017

Loveable Rogues? The Breed Challenging Misconceptions

Loveable Rogues? The Breed Challenging Misconceptions

Analysis of data from pet insurance provider helpucover reveals Staffordshire Bull Terriers are defying their undeserved reputations, and rightly so!

Staffordshire Bull Terriers average as the fourth most popular quoted breed despite common misconceptions about their personalities, according to data from pet insurance provider helpucover. The breed is quoted significantly more than others, such as English Springer Spaniels and Jack Russells, which are typically considered the most popular breeds for ‘family’ pets.

Staffies’ less than perfect reputations are often linked to sharing physical attributes with the Pit Bull Terrier breed, which is currently banned in the UK by the Dangerous Dogs Act. This is one of the more controversial pieces of public safety legislation due to labelling entire breeds as too dangerous to own. It’s also likely to account for why Staffies are the most unwanted breed of dog to rehome according to the Blue Cross animal charity.

Whilst attacks by Staffordshire Bull Terriers have been recorded in the past, this is partly down to coincidence according to research by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home; breed is largely irrelevant when determining dogs’ aggression levels.

With correct breeding, socialisation, handling and training, Staffordshire Bull Terriers can make loyal and loving pets and the benefits of owning the breed include some of the following:

  • Their short coats mean they do not shed much hair and are therefore great for owners with allergies or asthma
  • The Staffie is one of only three breeds whose suitability for households with young children is mentioned in its breed characteristics by the Kennel Club. Due to  its affectionate nature,  it has earned the nickname  the Nanny Dog over the years
  • They are very eager to please their human owners making them highly trainable, and love learning commands, especially when treats are involved!

helpucover’s 2017 data also highlights, crossbreeds and ‘designer dogs’ such as the Cockerpoo (Cocker Spaniel & Poodle), Labradoodle (Labrador & Poodle) and Puggle (Pug & Beagle) are making up over a third of quotes received (37% in total overall).

The rising interest in these breeds could be in part due to pet health considerations. Many families want a breed that is considered healthy and these types of dog tend to experience fewer health concerns than other popular breeds.

When it comes to cockerpoos and labradoodles, both breeds featured in helpucover’s top ten breeds having lower than a 20 percent claims frequency, which implies fewer health problems. helpucover has also seen a significant increase in the popularity of French Bulldogs over the past two years, up by nearly 70 percent since 2015.

Speaking about its latest findings, Rachel Mulheron, Director of Pet Insurance at helpucover commented: “It is unfortunate that some dog breeds are still being wrongly stereotyped as dangerous and unfit as family pets. It is these misconceptions that create damaging impacts on how these animals are treated by society. However, it is positive to see, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are defying these wrongful misconceptions and starting to become a popular choice amongst pet owners.”

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