Staffies: the nation’s favourite dogs – but most likely to be abused


To the delight to many of us, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was named the nation’s favourite dog on Tuesday 29 January. The result was revealed on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Top 100 Dogs Live’, hosted by Ben Fogle and Sara Cox. Although the beloved breed made it to top dog, there is a sad reality facing the thousands of these dogs in rescue centres. 

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an extremely affectionate and loyal breed, full to the brim of love and character. But the unfair reputation that has overshadowed the breed for a number of years also means that they are most likely to end up being abused or in a rescue centre; just last year, PETA went as far as suggesting Staffies should be added to the current list of breeds banned in the UK.

The RSPCA – which took part in filming for the ITV show – has revealed that the Staffie is the dog most likely to come into the charity’s care. In 2017, the RSPCA’s 17 nationally-run animal centres took in 5,208 dogs – 10.5% of which were Staffies or Staffie crosses (409 and 136 respectively).

An RSPCA spokesperson said, “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.” 

Here are a few of the charities long-stay Staffies who are in need of loving homes:


Nine-year-old Staffie cross, Link, is an intelligent and active boy who is also a little sensitive. He’s very frightened of loud noises and is looking for new owners who can continue his training to build his confidence. He’s currently at RSPCA Woodchurch Animal Centre in Kent. He loves fuss and attention, and could live with children but would be best as the only pet. For more information visit his online profile.

Rocky and Ruby

This golden oldie pair are hoping to find a loving new home together. Rocky, 14, and Ruby, 11, are being looked after by staff at RSPCA Bath Cats & Dogs Home. They love people and are extremely affectionate but struggle around other dogs. They love fuss and attention, live snoozing on the sofa, and can be left alone for short periods. For more information please visit their online profile.


Stella is a lovely girl who is looking for a home with patient and experienced owners. The five-year-old is very shy around new people and needs help gaining confidence. She absolutely loves playing games with staff at RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre in Surrey, and her favourite toy is her football. She needs a home with owners who will continue with her training and socialisation work. For more information see her online profile.


Six-year-old Roxy was rescued by RSPCA officers investigating animal cruelty and was extremely nervous. She’s much more confident now but can be a little wary around new people so needs time to come of her shell. She’s very playful and affectionate, once she knows you. Roxy is patiently waiting at RSPCA Sheffield Animal Centre and staff would like her to go to owners with lots of time to help her settle in. For more information check out her online profile. 


Two-year-old Trevor is always on the go and is looking for an active home to call his own. He’s a bouncy boy who is very affectionate and loyal. He can be quite strong on the lead and would benefit from some further training so would be best in a new home with owners who have time to invest in him. He’s currently at RSPCA Westmorland Branch in Cumbria. For more information visit his online profile.

For more information about adopting an RSPCA dog please visit

Images of long-stay rescue dogs by RSPCA


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