Meet the Staffador: The Staffy cross Labrador
What do you get when you cross a Staffordshire bull terrier and a labrador? A Staffador of course! So let's take a closer look at the Staffy cross Labrador.
Updated on the 08/10/2020, 11:15
To understand this mix better, you must first learn about the two parent breeds.
Labrador Retrievers were being used as working dogs in Canada as far back as the 16th century! These happy-go-lucky dogs are extremely loyal and intelligent, which is why they are often used today as guide dogs for the blind, assistance dogs for the disabled, or even for search and rescue! Labradors have been in the UK's top ten favourite breeds for many consecutive years and it's no wonder why - they have fantastic personalities and hearts of gold!
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffies earned their keep as hunting and guarding dogs during the 1800s. Today, they are one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK! They have sadly suffered from a bad reputation in the past, but in truth, these pooches are extremely loving and affectionate! They love nothing more than being close to their owners. They are also very eager to please, so training should be easy, as long as you commit to the process. Socialisation from a very young age is a must!
Physical characteristics of the Staffy cross Labrador
Given the features of both parent breeds, a Staffy cross will be a medium-sized dog with broad, powerful shoulders. Depending on which characteristics they inherit, their coats will be short and neat like the Staffy's, or it might be thicker like the Labrador's.
Grooming a Labrador cross Staffy
Neither one of the parent breeds have particularly long coats, but Staffadors who follow the Labrador line will need a bit more care and attention. A quick daily brush will keep them looking fresh.
Dogs who are more influenced by the Staffy line will be very low maintenance. Their short coats won't need grooming very often, although it's still a good idea to check them on a regular basis. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are well known for suffering from skin problems. Keeping an eye on their coats will help prevent any infections.
Personality of the Staffy - Labrador cross
Both parent breeds are playful, energetic, and very friendly. Unsurprisingly, a Staffy Labrador mix is a great dog for families with young children (though interactions should always be supervised, as with any big, powerful dogs). Given their sprightly natures, they will need plenty of exercise and stimulation.
The Staffy - Labrador cross is also really easy to train. Both parent breeds are highly intelligent animals, and any Staff/Labrador is likely to pick things up very quickly.
Training a Staffy cross Labrador
Consistency and positive reinforcement are key! This cross is eager to please, so is trainable - but you'd do well to start early! If you don't focus this mix breed's energy, you may end up with a destructive pooch in your home! Socialisation at a very young age is also of the utmost importance for this cross.
Exercise requirements of the Labrador cross Staffy
Both of the parent breeds are high energy, so don't consider getting this dog unless you're prepared to give them the exercise they need! You're looking at a 1-2hr hour off-leash walk each day. If you're a couch potato, this is not the dog for you!
Common health problems of the Staffador
Any crossbreed can inherit the same health issues as either parent. For example, Staffies suffer from skin problems. This is because of the short, coarse coats, and any crossbreeds with the same fur are at risk of developing skin problems and secondary infections. Another common issue in Staffies is cataracts. Unlike most dogs, this tends to develop during their first few years.
Both breeds are prone to joint problems like luxating patella (a dislocated kneecap) and hip dysplasia, a genetic deformity of the hip joint. This means any Labrador/Staffy mix will be particularly susceptible to these conditions. Symptoms include:
- Decreased activity
- Decreased range of motion
- Difficulty or reluctance rising, jumping, running, or climbing stairs
- Lameness in the hind end
- Looseness in the joint
- Narrow stance
- Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait
All of these require medical attention. Staffadors usually live between 10-16 years.
Feeding a Staffador
Staffadors are a medium-sized dog so they won't need too much feeding. The exact amounts will vary from dog to dog, but two meals a day should keep them satisfied. Try feeding them once in the morning, and once again around early evening time. Like all dogs, a diet high in protein and complex carbohydrate is the best option. Due to their susceptibility to joint and hip problems, it might be worth supplementing the diet with fish oils, glucosamine and chondroitin; these help keep joints and bones healthy.
Benefits and challenges of owning a Staffador
- Great with children
- Easy to train
- Inexpensive to own
- Prone to overeating
- Can be boisterous
- Susceptible to medical issues which can be expensive to treat
It's always important to choose a dog that matches your lifestyle. If you're looking for a relatively low-maintenance dog that's great with kids, then a Staffador might the right choice for you. All you’ll need to do is feed them the right foods, encourage positive behaviours from an early age, and make sure they get plenty of exercise.
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