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Staffies – an officer and a gentleman

Everyone has heard of Jock of the Bushveld… but what about Sergeant Stubby?

The only dog in history to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant through combat, he was the most decorated war dog of WW1. Stubby served with American soldiers in France for 18 months, and was involved in 17 battles.

A dog of humble beginnings, he was a stray who wandered through an army training session and stole the heart of a soldier. So smitten was Corporal Conroy that he sneaked Stubby onto the ship bound for France so the two would not be separated.

On the battlefield, Stubby survived numerous injuries – including injuries caused by shrapnel and gas attacks. After surviving the gas attack, he became attuned to the smell of gas and was able to detect its presence much quicker than any human nose could. Warning his fellow soldiers saved many lives.

Stubby’s warnings were not limited to imminent gas attacks, though. His excellent hearing could detect approaching enemy troops and he proved a master at quietly alerting his comrades when the enemy drew near. A story he is well-remembered for is when he managed to hear and immobilise a spy who tried to sneak into the camp one night.

Typical of his breed, Stubby loved his humans and even comforted dying soldiers. He would also alert the medics if he found an injured comrade on the battlefield.

Fun facts about the Staffordshire TerrierGirl playing with staffie

Staffie fact 1: They love people

Nicknamed the “Nanny Dog” in England, Staffies adore people – especially children. Your Staffie will spend as much time as he can around the humans of the family, be it playing with his two-legged siblings, going for joyrides, or snuggling up while munching biltong as you watch your soapies.

Staffie fact 2: They hate being left alone

This is not the pup to have if you plan on spending lots of time away from home. Staffies crave and adore attention and do not do well being left by themselves.

Staffie fact 3: They make good guard dogs… kinda

Because they usually only bark for good reason, they will alert you to the presence of any intruders. However, because they adore people so much, the barks are probably an excited “hello” to welcome new friends! That said, Staffies are extremely protective of their families.

Staffie fact 4: They are very trainable

Though not ranking among the top-performing breeds for trainability, the Staffie is moderately easy to train. Staffies can be stubborn – for best results, be patient, be firm and be consistent, but do not have a training schedule that is too formal. If your Staffie wants to play, let him play! Always reward him for good behaviour (rather than punishing him for “bad” behaviour).

Staffie fact 5: They love being active

Staffies are enthusiastic ball players and runners, making them an excellent breed for people who lead an active lifestyle and want a jogging companion.

If you are interested in adopting a Staffie of your own contact Staffordshire Terrier Rescue South Africa 

Who is Caro Robson?
Caro Robson

Caro Robson is the owner and manager of Student.co, a pet sitting company operating across Gauteng. The daughter of a vet, she grew up surrounded by animals and now dedicates herself to providing the best at-home pet care possible.

“StudentCo has a strict selection policy – and even stricter rules. Our sitters take care of all your home and pet care needs as per your unique, specific instructions. Visit our website for detailed sitter profiles, client reviews and to tell us more about your furkids!”



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