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

The Purebred Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Information and Pictures

Front view - A thick, wide-chested, blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog laying on a stone surface looking forward. Its mouth is open, its tongue is out and it looks like it is smiling.

Broxi at 8 months old—he is a blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier, KC registered. He's a great natured dog, very friendly, and doing very well in obedience school. Photo courtesy of SKEG

Other Names
  • English Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Staffie
  • Staffy
  • Stafford
  • Staffordshire
Pronunciation

STA-fuhrd-shy-ur bull TAIR-ee-uhr speaker

Description

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a muscular dog, very strong for its size. The head is short and deep with a broad skull, short foreface, distinct stop and strong jaws. The nose is black. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The lips should be tight and clean. The round eyes are dark in color, in relation to the coat. The somewhat small ears are either rose or half pricked. The front legs are straight. Dewclaws are sometimes removed and the paws are medium sized and well padded. The low-set tail is thicker at the base, tapering to a point and carried low. The tail should not curl much and may be likened to an old-fashioned pump handle. The smooth, short coat comes in red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colors with white and in any shade of brindle with or without white markings.

Temperament

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier 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 family circle. It is usually good with other pets in the household, but without a stern, human pack leader giving timely corrections when needed, it may be combative with dogs outside the family. Socialize them well. This breed is intelligent, persistent and active. Not a good swimmer. As a puppy these dogs tend to chew a great deal so make sure you provide them with plenty of chew toys. Their powerful jaws will tear though vinyl toys to get to the squeaker in no time. This can be dangerous if the dog swallows the plastic. Be sure to only give your Staffie strong toys. Do not let puppies chew on human hands. Do not allow your dog to be off its leash unless it is safe to do so. They can be trained for agility and competitive obedience. The breed competes in agility and obedience in the UK at the highest level. 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. They can be difficult to housebreak. These dogs are not recommended for most families, because they need every member of their family to be a firm, confident, consistent pack leader, providing rules they must follow and placing limits on what they can and cannot do. Without this, they will become stubborn and hard to handle. The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success.

Height, weight

Height: Males 14 - 16 inches (36 - 41cm) Females 13 - 15 inches (33 - 38 cm)
Weight: Males 25 - 38 pounds (11 - 17 kg) Females 23 - 35 pounds (10 - 16 kg)

Health Problems

Prone to cataracts, HC and PHPV (both eye complaints), although through screening of both parents this can be avoided. DNA work in the UK is very nearly complete as to cure this (people should ensure they buy from eye tested parents, and that puppies are screened at a few weeks old). Hip dysplasia is occasionally seen. Prone to mast cell tumors. Puppies are prone to having an elongated soft palate. Like all the bully type breeds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers often have gas problems.

Living Conditions

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

Exercise

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier possesses tremendous stamina and must have plenty of exercise, which needs to include a daily walk or jog.

Life Expectancy

About 12-14 years

Litter Size

About 5 to 7 puppies

Grooming

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.

Origin

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was developed in the region of Staffordshire, England, in the nineteenth century from crosses between Bulldogs and various local terriers that were similar to the Manchester Terrier. The Staffordshire Bull was developed for the then-popular sport of bull baiting. The breed's popularity waned as interest in the sport waned. Then, in the twentieth century, interest in the breed grew again, especially in the United States. It returned to the show ring in 1935. In the U.S. it is now well bred in a size slightly larger than that called for in the European standard. The 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. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1975.

Group

Mastiff, AKC Terrier

Recognition
  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
Front view - A wide, muscular, dark brown, brindle with white Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy sitting in grass looking forward with its head slightly tilted to the left.

Rumble the Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy at about 2½ months old

The right side of a brown with white Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy is standing across a grass surface, it is looking forward and its head is slightly tilted to the right.

Cinnamon the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as a puppy at 4 months old

The front right side of a brindlw English Staffordshire Bull Terrier that is sitting in a tub of water and it is looking to the right.

Bossy the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier at 2 years old from Australia

Two dogs, a tan Staffordshire Bull Terrier is laying across a dirt surface under a tree and to the right of it is a sitting red Staffordshire Bull Terrier that is looking to the left. Both dogs are wide with a lot of muscles.

The blonde Staffy in the foreground is Tedi, and on the right is Nitro, Tedi’s brown Staffy father.

A thick white with black Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy is laying across a carpet and under a window, it is looking forward and its head is slightly tilted to the right.

Oscar the Staffordshire Bull Terrier at 4 months old

Front view - A brindle with white Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy standing on a grass surface looking forward with its mouth open and tongue out. It is holding its long tail low and relaxed.

Cali the Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy at 4 months old— "Cali is a happy, very hyper Staffordshire Bull Terrier that loves to play fetch and go on long runs in the afternoon."

Close up front view - A brindle with white Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog laying half way off of a dog bed with its front paws on a carpet looking forward. There is a brick wall behind it. The dog has brown eyes and a black nose.

Tyra the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier at 2 years old

Front view - a wide chested, black and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog sitting across a concrete surface looking forward. There is a wooden door behind the do.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier pup registered as "Always Wanted Samson" with The Kennel Club U.K., owned by Steve Lewis

The front right side of a black and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog standing across grass in a field and there is a wooden fence behind it. The dog is holding his tail low.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier adult registered as "Always Wanted Samson" with The Kennel Club U.K., owned by Steve Lewis

Thefront left side of a wide brown and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog sitting across a gray couch on top of a purple blanket.

Eric Thunderpaws the 2nd the Staffordshire Bull Terrier at 12 years old on the sofa—"He was intelligent, kind and a gentle soul loved by everyone who ever met him. I got him from a rescue centre when he was 18 months old and he had suffered awful abuse, he always seemed so grateful."

See more examples of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier