Staffies Are Britain’s Favourite Dog But Also Most Likely To Be Abused

by : Julia Banim on : 31 Jan 2019 15:57
staffordshire bull terriers, a black one running in a field with its tongue out, a brown and white one lying on a beach looking very happystaffordshire bull terriers, a black one running in a field with its tongue out, a brown and white one lying on a beach looking very happyDeposit Photos

With their ear to ear grins and and affectionate nature, it’s no wonder Staffordshire Bull Terriers have been given the ultimate good boy treat of being Britain’s Favourite Dog.


Staffies topped the list of Britain’s Top Dog 2019, a beyond tense programme where ITV viewers voted for their favourite furry friend.

And Staffies leapt ahead of some pretty tough competition. The adorable Cockapoo marked second place as their territory, with the classically beautiful Labrador a tail’s-breadth behind in third.

Hosted by Ben Fogle and Sara Cox, this two-and-a-half hour live show created more suspense than the X Factor final, and absolutely all the contenders deserved to win.

As a West Highland Terrier owner, I was a little disappointed to see my precious baby lagging behind at 35. But he does appear quite happy with the unofficial title of ‘Most Perfect Angel Of My Heart Two Thousand And Always’.


Staffie owners and rescue centres alike were – of course – delighted by this win, happy to see the all-too-often stereotyped dogs receiving some well-deserved positive press.

Many proud-as-punch Staffie owners took to Twitter to share photographs of their very own Staffies enjoying some very well-deserved cuddles.

Actor Gemma Atkinson tweeted:

SO happy the Staffordshire bull terrier made it to number 1 in #BritainsTop100Dogs Wonderful breed, wonderful family dog & I’m so glad shows like this are helping to break the stereotype these breeds have just because of how they look. Thank you! @ITV #EndBSL

Pet friendly holiday accommodation directory, We Accept Pets, tweeted:

Congratulations to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the very worthy winner of #BritainsTop100Dogs! Often misunderstood & sadly overlooked, we [love] Staffies & think they’re great dogs who make fab pets!


However, despite this woof-ly news, Staffies are still facing a very sad plight indeed. Their popularity and unjust reputation has resulted in these beautiful dogs being the most likely breed to end up being abused or at a rescue centre.

According to the RSPCA, Staffies are the dogs most likely to enter into their care. In 2017, 5,208 dogs were taken into to the RSPCA’s 17 nationally-run animal centres. Out of this number, 10.5 per cent of these dogs were either Staffies or Staffie crosses (409 and 136 respectively).

According to an RSPCA spokesperson:

Unfortunately, Staffies have suffered a great deal from overbreeding and bad press recently and many end up in our care due to irresponsible ownership. We currently have 67 Staffordshire bull terriers in our kennels who are waiting for new homes.

However, given the right home and care, Staffies can make absolutely wonderful family pets. Many of the Staffies in our care are loving, playful, fun-loving dogs who would thrive in family homes.

We’re thrilled that Staffies have been recognised as Britain’s top dogs and we hope that this will be the start of a change in attitude towards these super pooches.


Staffies are profoundly intelligent, with an eternally puppy-like curiosity about the world around them. They love being around their people, and can make a fun yet gentle companion for older children.

With the right humans around them, a Staffie can flourish and become your most loyal friend in the world. They in no way deserve to be abused and unfairly labelled as ‘scary’ on account of bad owners.

You can watch Britain’s Top Dog 2019 on the ITV Hub now.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Animals