If you are looking to get a four-legged friend for your outdoor-loving and playful family, then a Staffador would be a fantastic choice. This Staffy X Labrador mix dog breed is loaded with energy and never fails to show loyalty to the family, including children.
A Staffador, also known as a Staffy Lab, is developed by crossing a Labrador and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The Labrador Retriever (Lab) is among the most popular and top-ranking dog breeds in the world. They are adored for their gentleness, kind nature, intelligence, and even temper. Another popular breed is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is characterized by a kind, energetic, and playful personality. Both of these dog breeds make perfect family pets.
So what do you expect a mixed breed of the Lab and the Staffordshire to be? Let’s take an in-depth look at the Staffador, learning about their parent breeds, their nature, temperament, and all other details that you should know before adding one to your family.
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Staffy X Labrador: Parent Breeds
Let’s discuss briefly about these two dog breeds:
1. The Labrador
The Labrador Retriever, also known as a Lab, was ranked first in the United Kingdom and the United States in 2015. This worldwide popular dog breed wins people’s hearts with their kind and gentle nature, intelligence, and even temper, besides being devoted to their family. They even mesh amazingly with children and other pets, making them the perfect family dog.
The Labrador Retriever is known to have originated in the Newfoundland area of North America as the St. John’s Dog. They were typically used by the English fishermen of the 16th century to retrieve fish from the lines. Their webbed feet and dense coats make them excellent swimmers, helping them to endure extremely cold water for a long time.
More fascinatingly, Labs have excellent retrieving abilities and a gentle mouth, so they can catch a fish easily without harming it. Their mouth is so gentle that they can even carry an egg without breaking it.
The Earl of Malmesbury was the first to mention the name “Labrador” in a letter where they were described as “Labrador Dogs.” Their praisable qualities made Labradors popular in England, where they were imported over the years. Breeders started to breed them into other retriever lines, like the Curly Coated Retriever. However, Labradors got recognition in 1903.
2. The Staffordshire Bull Terriers
Another very popular breed in the UK is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They are often considered the joker of the four-legged world, as they never stop wagging their tail. A Staffy is happiest when with his family and kids. While they are kind and energetic, they also make excellent family pets.
History says that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was initially bred for bear or bull-baiting and eventually dog-fighting in the mid-1800s. Even soldiers of the Crimean War used to keep a Staffy to protect their families and wives. They earned the moniker “Nanny Dog” because of their gentle, protective, and loyal personalities.
In 1935, the Kennel Club recognized this breed, recommending it for families with even small children. The Staffordshire Bull Terriers bear an excellent physique with a wide mouth that appears to give a smiling expression. When not playing, you can find them digging and burrowing beneath a fence. These days, a Staffy is more often used as a working dog because of its strong prey drive and smelling sense.
Staffy X Labrador: Key Characteristics
Considering the features and nature of both parent breeds, their cross is likely to be a medium-sized dog with a powerful physique and a playful nature. They will have a wide head and a long tail that is always wagging. While both Labs and Staffies are highly energetic dogs, their cross will be loaded with a dash of energy. They will always be ready to go on walks, plays, hikes, and other activities instead of lying all day by the fire with a low level of energy.
|Coat Type||Thick, dense, to short, smooth|
|Life Expectancy||10–14 years|
|Common Names||Staffadors, Staffy Labs, Labrastaff, Staffy Cross Labrador, and Labrador Cross Staffy.|
Very few dog breeds will be as good of a playmate for your kids as a Staffador. Like their parent breeds, Staffadors can mesh well with children and keep them entertained with their gentle, playful, and tolerant nature. In addition, this crossbreed can endure the noise and tumbling of an average family pleasantly.
Staffador will love to be with their families by being loyal and devoted. They would want to be involved in every family activity rather than taking rest in their bed alone. Although they are fantastic with children, you must keep an eye on them as their size is, after all, quite big for a small kid.
Considering their high energy levels and over-excited nature, you will need a Staffador to exercise a lot. Sufficient exercise can keep them less rowdy and calmer inside the home. Moreover, they tend to overeat and can suffer from several health issues like obesity, diabetes, and arthritis.
So make sure to take your loving Staffador for regular walks of 1 to 2 hours to burn the calories. Note that this is definitely not a dog for couch potatoes.
One of the best things about this Labrador and Staffordshire mix is that they are easy to train. The Staffador dogs inherit their parent breeds’ innate intelligence and eagerness to satisfy their owners. So new owners will find their Staffador to be super easy and quick to train, making them well-mannered.
However, you need to be conscious of their boisterous, mouthy nature and work on it quickly from an early age. Otherwise, they can damage your ornaments or utensils and even unintentionally harm people with their sharp teeth when playing or so.
Apart from these, make sure to invest in a strong harness, as your Staffador can be a good puller of a leash like their parent breeds. So socialization, positive reinforcement, and consistency are the key requisites for a Staffador.
Grooming is an essential activity as it helps to improve circulation and intensify the bond between you and your dog while they get used to it.
Well, a Staffador coat is likely to be short and a bit thicker, so it will require regular brushing. You can do it yourself at home. Moreover, this crossbreed is an average to high shedder, so regular brushing can control it.
Another thing to remember is that your Staffador can engage in digging or burrowing whenever possible. So if you don’t prefer them to bathe too much, you must keep an eye on them.
In general, the Staffadors who inherited the coat genes of the Labrador parent will need a little bit more attention and care as they are likely to have a relatively long, thick coat. On the contrary, those with short coats, like their Staffy parents, will need low maintenance. However, it’s better to groom them regularly as they can be prone to several skin problems, like their parent, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
5. Health Problems
Like any other crossbreed, a Staffador can also inherit the health problems of their parents.
For instance, the Staffies commonly suffer from cataracts, even at an early age. In addition, they are vulnerable to several skin issues and secondary infections because of their coarse, short coats.
On the other hand, Labradors commonly suffer from ear infections, obesity, and heart diseases.
Interestingly, both Labradors and Staffordshires tend to suffer from joint issues such as luxating patella and hip dysplasia. So their mix Staffadors are likely to suffer from these health conditions. Common symptoms include:
- Reduced motion
- Decreased activity
- Looseness in the joint
- Difficulty in jumping, rising, climbing, or running
- Narrow stance
- Lameness in the hind end
If you see any of these symptoms, take your buddy to the vet right away.
6. Dietary Needs
The Staffadors tend to be much greedier, as both their parent breeds, Labradors and Staffordshires, love eating. But since a Staffador is a medium-sized dog, you won’t need to feed them too much.
However, the exact amount of food will vary from one dog to another. In general, two meals a day are enough to keep them full and satisfied. You can feed them once in the morning and again in the early evening.
However, it’s better to maintain a complex carbohydrate and protein-rich diet to keep your buddy healthy and energetic. While they are susceptible to hip and joint issues, you can add fish oils, chondroitin, and glucosamine to their diet to ensure healthy bones and joints. You must always consult your vet before adding or changing anything to your canine’s diet.
7. Life Expectancy
The medium-sized Staffador mix will be a strong and robust dog with a wide head and a wagging tail. Like the parent breeds, a Staffador will be energetic and boisterous.
However, you can expect this crossbreed to have a life expectancy of 10 to 16 years. Although they can inherit the common health issues of Labradors and Staffordshire, the Staffadors are generally healthy. You ensure that you offer them a well-balanced diet and sufficient exercise to keep them in their happiest and healthiest forms.
The Staffy X Labrador: Pros & Cons of Owning
It’s always essential to get a dog that suits your lifestyle or family aspects. So before deciding on a Staffador, quickly examine the pros and cons.
Below are the benefits and challenges of owning a Staffador that will help you decide whether or not to choose this breed for your family.
- Loyal and people-pleasers
- Fantastic with children
- Easy to train
- Requires comparatively low maintenance
- Not too expensive to own
- Comparatively healthy, with a life expectancy of 10–16 years
- Tends to be boisterous
- Prone to overeating
- Susceptible to certain skin and health issues that can be more costly to treat
How big can a Staffador become?
It usually depends on which parent breed they inherit the traits from. However, a Staffador is generally a medium-sized dog that won’t be as large as a Lab or bigger than a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Can Staffadors mesh with other pets or cats?
This Labrador X Staffordshire dog breed can easily cohabit with other pets or cats. But they can be a bit aggressive with other dogs in certain situations that you can resolve with proper socialization from an early age.
Are Staffies good with kids?
These gentle, affectionate, and loyal dogs love being a part of a family and staying close to children. Their proven love for children got them the moniker “nanny dogs.”
A Staffador will be a perfect fit for those who are looking for a playful, low-shedding, low-maintenance, and affectionate canine companion. They would prefer homes with a lawn or garden, as they are never low on energy to play around the whole day. This crossbreed loves to be around people and children.
So note that if they are left alone for a long time, a Staffador can suffer from anxiety issues. However, you can deal with this aspect with proper and early training. Early socialization will also help you deal with their aggressive nature, which may develop with time. Nevertheless, their playful, loyal, and even-tempered nature will always make you smile, making them an excellent family dog.