The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Information and Pictures

A white with grey Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is standing on a sidewalk with a person and a building behind it.

Dolly the Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier at 2 years old—"Dolly is a two-year-old rescue. I have had her just over 6 months. She was found in an awful state but after a lot of hard work has gone on to win Best Female Staffie at the IPBTA conformation show in 2012."

Other Names
  • Irish Staff
  • Irish Staffie

ahy-rish staf-erd-sheer bool ter-ee-er


The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a powerful and muscular dog, very strong for his size with a broad head and very strong jaws. The muzzle is short and the cheek muscles distinct. The stop is clearly defined. The round eyes are brown and the nose black. The teeth should form a scissors bite. The ears are either rose or half-pricked. The neck is short and muscular. The front legs are spaced wide apart. If it has rear dewclaws they are generally removed; front dewclaw removal is optional. The short coat is soft, sleek and close. Comes in black, blue, fawn, red, white or brindle, often with markings.


The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is intelligent and does everything full throttle: play, work and love. It is extremely courageous and obedient, affectionate with a sense of humor. One owner of this breed says, "Staffordshire Bull Terriers are very people-friendly. They are not particularly wary of strangers in almost all circumstances, although I've heard a few anecdotes about some being wary of particular people. My dogs are always happy to meet new people!"  The breed’s reputation with children is second to none. Adored and adoring within its own family circle. Excellent with other dogs and always ready to play. If they sense their owners are meek or passive they can become stubborn and persistent as they believe they need to run things since their humans are not strong minded enough. The Irish Staffordshire needs firm and consistent training. They are an active breed for the active family. Without enough mental and physical exercise they can become destructive and hard to handle, even going as far as tearing down fencing to get to the other side. Staffordshire Bulls that are hyperactive or high strung are not getting adequate exercise. Dogs have an instinct to migrate and therefore going for daily pack walks is a must. As a puppy they tend to chew a great deal so make sure you provide them with plenty of chew toys. Be sure to only give your Staffie strong toys. Do not allow it to be off its leash unless it is safe to do so. They can be trained for agility, competitive obedience, weight pulling and jumping. The breed competes in the UK at the highest level. It holds the world record for jumping 7 feet. Irish Staffies love a challenge and variety. Owners need to protect these dogs from injuring themselves. Totally fearless and curious, they're liable to jump off of a deck or walk through broken glass. These dogs are not recommended for most families because they need consistent, firm, experienced handling and training. They do best with children who know how to be little pack leaders. Good with other pets if raised with them from puppyhood and/or properly socialized, they will bark at wild animals such as birds, rabbits and hedgehogs and must be corrected if this is an unwanted behavior. Generally very friendly by nature, however it depends on the stranger, if the stranger seems scared or frightened of the dog then the dog seems to pick this up and take advantage. With experienced dog handling the breed is very friendly. They can be difficult to housebreak.

Height, Weight

Height: 17 - 24 inches (44 - 60 cm)
Weight: 55 - 77 pounds (25 - 35 kg)

Health Problems


Living conditions

The Irish Staff will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is very active indoors and will do okay with a small yard.


The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier possesses tremendous stamina and must have plenty of exercise. It needs a daily long, brisk walk or it will become restless and difficult to manage. While out on the walk make sure the dog heels beside or behind the person holding the lead, never in front, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human.

Life Expectancy

10-16 Years

Litter Size

About 6 to 8 puppies


The smooth, shorthaired coat is easy to groom. Brush every day with a firm bristle brush, and bathe or dry shampoo as necessary. The coat will gleam if rubbed with a piece of toweling or chamois.


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was developed in the region of Staffordshire, England in the nineteenth century from crosses between bulldogs and various terriers. The Staffordshire Bull was developed for the then-popular sport of bull baiting. The breed's popularity waned as interest in the sport waned. Irish breeders then attempted to create a taller and leaner type of dog that could be used primarily for dog fighting. When dog fighting was banned the breed became rare, although it is becoming more and more popular now. These days the breed is used mainly as a pet, however there are some owners who use the breed for jumping and weight pulling competition, as athletics is where this breed excels. The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is not a dog for every family, but in the hands of a dominant, experienced owner it can be a successful pet and family guardian.

  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • IKC - Intercontinental Kennel Club
  • ISF = Irish Staffordshire Federation
  • UNKC = United National Kennel Club
Side view of a dark brown brindle and white lartge breed dog standing in grass with his pink tongue showing

Micky the Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier at 14 months old.—"Micky is from Phyco Stormer lines. He is a lovely dog, great with other dogs and my cat."

A black with white Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is standing on a sidewalk in a tough-dog pose.

A blue Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier shown here at 1 ½ years old.

A grey with white Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is standing in grass looking to the left

Boston Blue, a 2-year-old Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier—his owner says he has an excellent temperament, adores other dogs and loves people, especially children.

Close Up - The face of an Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier that is laying on a white tiled floor.

A blue Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier shown here at 1 ½ years old.

A black with white Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is standing on a black top surface.

3-year-old pedigree Irish Staff

A black with white Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is standing in a doorway in front of a red door. Its ears are down and it is squinting

4-year-old Irish Staffie has a fantastic temperament with other dogs, as well as cats and children.

A white with black Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is standing on a tan stone floor

Dolly the Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier at 2 years old

A white with black Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is standing on its hind legs and biting a toy on a stick

Dolly the Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier at 2 years old

See more examples of the Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier