Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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24-34 lbs
14-16"
England
Stafford; Staffie

Not to be confused with its colonial cousin, the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is slightly shorter but just as heavily muscles and solid.  The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Stafford for short, is fun-loving and playful and though this breed will not look for a fight, it will not back down if challenged.  The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was originally bred for dog fighting and ratting in the pits but found itself somewhat unemployed when the cruel practices were banned in England.  Though always loyal and protective of its people, early breeding programs helped add more gentle qualities to this tenacious breed.  Today, this loveable breed is an excellent companion for the family with high energy and a personality ready to have fun.

Purpose
ratting, dog fighting
Date of Origin
1800s
Ancestry
terrier, mastiff

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Health

Sketch of Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Average Size
Male Staffordshire Bull Terrier size stats
Height: 16-19 inches Weight: 28-38 lbs
Female Staffordshire Bull Terrier size stats
Height: 14-16 inches Weight: 24-34 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Bone And Joint Problems
  • Cataracts
  • Bladder Stones
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Elbow
  • Hips
  • Blood And Urine Protein Screens
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed History

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier arose from the Old English Bulldog and the ancestor of the Manchester Terrier for blood sporting in 19th century England.  Urban areas lacked the space to display bull and bear baiting; thus, larger Bull breeds were crossed with smaller Terrier breeds to produce a smaller, faster pit fighting dog for ratting and dog fighting in the pits.  The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, like its name indicates, was developed in Staffordshire for this purpose and shares a close cousinly connection with the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who is slightly larger. Eventually, the cruel blood sport of pit fighting was banned in England and while some breeders continued clandestine dog fighting operations, fanciers worked to breed more gentle traits into the tenacious Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  The selective breeding program was successful in developing a breed standard that maintained the tenacious, high energy and loyalty of the breed yet introduced the traits of being docile and gentle.  So sweet and so protective of its people, this breed is nicknamed “The Nanny Dog.”  However gentle, for both the safety of the children and the dog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier should never double as a babysitter.  The Staffordshire Bull Terrier left its native land for the Americas where it too became a popular pit fighter.  The desire for a large dog in the Americas resulted in the American Staffie, which is considered a separate breed by the American Kennel Club.  The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in 1974, and this breed continues to show well and is a wonderful family companion.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Appearance

Muscular and powerful are the first noticeable characteristics of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  For all its bulk and short stature, this breed is highly agile and full of energy.  The head of a Stafford is short and broad with very pronounced cheek muscles and a short foreface.  The nose is black and eyes are dark, round, and medium-sized.  The Stafford’s ears are medium-sized and stand half erect.  The lips on a Stafford are tight and cover a bite where the outer side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s forelegs are straight and set far apart with feet that turn out a little.  The feet are of medium-size and thickly padded.  The hind legs are heavily muscled with well-bent stifles and set parallel to each other.  The rear feet match the front and convey strength and agility.  The Staffordshire’s tail is straight, undocked, and set low.  The coat on a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is smooth, short, and the skin is close-fitting.  While a range of colors is seen, dual colors always use white as the secondary color, even with brindle.

Appearance of Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Staffordshire Bull Terrier eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Staffordshire Bull Terrier nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
black Staffordshire Bull Terrier coat
Black
red Staffordshire Bull Terrier coat
Red
fawn Staffordshire Bull Terrier coat
Fawn
blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier coat
Blue
white Staffordshire Bull Terrier coat
White
pied Staffordshire Bull Terrier coat
Pied
brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier coat
Brindle
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Staffordshire Bull Terrier straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Maintenance

Caring for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s coat is low maintenance.  The short, glossy coat just needs a quick once a week brushing.  Brushing your Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s coat will also help keep him clean of dirt and debris though his coat prevents most dirt from adhering to it.  The smooth, short coat also means the hair will not absorb unpleasant odors and this dog is a clean, odor-free breed. When brushing the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, you should check and clean his ears of debris and wax buildup to prevent ear infections.  The Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s nails grow fast so toenail clipping should be done regularly and regular teeth cleaning will help reduce the amount of bacteria and potential for gum and tooth disease. The Staffordshire is a very active dog that needs time to run around and play.  However, be careful with rough play, especially when they are younger as they do have an increased risk of tibial fractures.  A yard or dog park to run around in will keep this breed from bouncing off your furniture inside, though the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is very docile while indoors. If given enough time to exercise, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier will do well in an apartment and with urban living.  To a Stafford, it doesn’t matter where he lives but that he’s with his people.  As a people dog, this breed must have a lot of attention and doesn’t do well left alone or outside.  The Staffordshire Bull Terrier will tolerate cold slightly better than it will heat and may overheat from exhaustive exercising on hot summer days.  Be sure to always provide fresh, clean water for your Stafford. When it comes to feeding your Staffordshire Bull Terrier, this high energy dog needs 1.5 to 2.25 cups of food divided into two meals daily.  The amount of food you feed your Stafford will depend on his activity level, age, and metabolism.  Keep an eye on your Stafford’s nutritional needs and weight to prevent over or under feeding him. 

Brushes for Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Staffordshire Bull Terrier requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Temperament

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a people dog.  He is loyal and loves to be a part of the family.  Considered “the Nanny Dog,” this breed is extremely fond and protective of children.  They love to play but are unaware of their strength.  Always supervise children around any dog, including the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  As a people dog, this breed is also very friendly towards strangers, so it doesn’t make for a good guard dog.  However, if threatened or challenged, this breed will not back down.  Having a bloody past, some instinctual behaviors towards other dogs and small animals may manifest.  It is best to socialize the Staffordshire Bull Terrier with other dogs and pets early to properly train them how to interact.  Training a Stafford can be moderately difficult since this breed is somewhat stubborn.  Novice dog owners and people who are not able to devote time and effort to training are advised from owning a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  This breed requires a firm pack leader to train him but do not use harsh methods to train the Stafford.  The Staffordshire Bull Terrier must recognize its owner is the master and bond with him for success.  

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2 cups
Daily Cost
$1.8 - $2
Monthly Cost
$52.5 - $60

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Staffordshire Bull Terrier at six months
Male Staffordshire Bull Terrier size stats at six months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 23 lbs
Female Staffordshire Bull Terrier size stats at six months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 19 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Staffordshire Bull Terrier at 12 months
Male Staffordshire Bull Terrier size stats at 12 months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 28 lbs
Female Staffordshire Bull Terrier size stats at 12 months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 24 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Staffordshire Bull Terrier at 18 months
Male Staffordshire Bull Terrier size stats at 18 months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 33 lbs
Female Staffordshire Bull Terrier size stats at 18 months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 29 lbs

Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeders of 2018.
Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder Aran Isle Staffords
Aran Isle Staffords
Ocala, Florida
Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder Daisy Duke Kennels
Daisy Duke Kennels
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder Cornerstone Staffords
Cornerstone Staffords
Columbiana, Alabama
Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder Camelot Staffords
Camelot Staffords
Fair Oaks, California
Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder Redwood Coast Staffords
Redwood Coast Staffords
Forestville, California
Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder Sonshine Staffords
Sonshine Staffords
San Diego, California
Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder Ecostaffords
Ecostaffords
Grand Junction, Colorado
Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder Rockstaff Kennels
Rockstaff Kennels
Hawthorne, Florida
Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder Wavemaker Staffords
Wavemaker Staffords
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder Stein Staff
Stein Staff
Michigan City, Indiana

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Owner Experiences

3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
fighting
Staffies are a controversial breed. Many people will defend this breed from the bad reputation it holds, but I am one to continue to be cautious around it. I will continue to be adamant that their bad reputation holds some truth to it, regardless of what the defenders think. Many of these dogs end up being put up for adoption because people just cannot handle them properly. They are still illegally bred for pit fighting, like it or not, and many of the puppies from these illegal breeders end up in shelters, bad traits and all. When people are adopting these dogs, they may not be aware of their ancestry and their full history is not always knowable. It is a fact that they were originally bred to fight other dogs so they do have aggressive instincts and a propensity for being stubborn. Coupled with their muscular, stocky, broad chested bodies and big heads with strong jaws and you have a potential ultimate killing machine. If one of these dogs decides to snap, and it is a very real possibility that they will, it could end in disaster. While many other breeds will have negative traits that skew towards aggression, *most* are not built like Staffies where they can cause major major damage and fatalities. That being said, they are not by any means horrible dogs. At the end of the day, they are just that, a DOG, and can be trained and taught. They are loyal to their "pack" and can be sweet tempered around their own. But problems arise when the owners are in denial over their history or totally inexperienced in owning dogs in the first place. Their bloody past MUST be addressed and considered when raising this breed. While many people will say that their particular dog would never harm a fly, this is a naive notion to hold. Staffies definitely have a lot of energy and since they were bred to be fighting dogs, they have a lot of strength that could be put to good use. Getting them a doggie backpack and having them carry some weights like water bottles is a great way to exercise them. A tired dog is a happy and well balanced dog I say! They are definitely stubborn when learning commands, and a lot of the staffies I have walked were completely hopeless in obedience which shows their owners were not properly suited for raising such a breed. They would not be well suited around small children or animals without supervision, and I would challenge anyone that says otherwise. Even against dogs their own size, I would have my guard up if the Staffie was not properly socialized or trained. As an example, I just recently walked two dogs, one of them being a Staffordshire mix. He started getting nippy with his sister right in front of me while I was putting her leash on, even though she was not bothering him at all. It seemed he was possessive or had jealousy issues. Once he started growling and pushing into her, I had to step in, VERY assertively, before the situation escalated into something bad. I would caution against owning this breed unless seriously considering and researching them fully.
4 months, 3 weeks ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walks
snuggling
chewing
I had a wonderful experience walking this breed! I was greeted sweetly, but not with too much excitement. This dog is fairly large and incredibly muscular, but could not be more affectionate. In my experience, they are patient and gentle with children and other dogs. We could have walked all day long, and he loved to run too. He was great on a leash and did very little pulling. He was curious, adventurous, and confident. They have lots of energy and do not tire easily, but when they finally do they love to cuddle up with you for a nap! It breaks my heart that these dogs have not had a good reputation in the past because I have nothing but good things to say about every Bull Terrier I’ve met!
4 months, 3 weeks ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playing fetch
All of the Staffordshire bull terriers I have walked are the sweetest dogs. They are always very friendly, affectionate, and kind! They have all been very well trained and hardly ever pull on a leash or are agresive towards any other moving creatures. My favorite walk is Gracie. She is such a sweet girl who stretches as she sees you and then places her face in your hands. She wants all the pets and belly rubs. Sweetest girl ever. By far my favorite breed because they are so sweet and loving
4 months, 4 weeks ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Meeting friends
pulling the leash
Walk
Run
sniff
I believe these dogs get a bad reputation that is very uncalled for. These dogs are not aggressive unless raised by terrible people that teach them this behavior. Their appearance and strong body type can be intimidating however they are sweethearts within. I love walking sweet pitties. They are excited and just want to be friends and explore nature with you. I was not scared to pet this dog, or bend down and get on this dogs level. When I bent down to put the collar and leash on this pup, he smiled and was very excited to meet me and come on a walk. If he tugged at the leash, he was strong, yes, however if I tugged back and said "No pull" he would stop, turn around and smile at me. I highly recommend giving this breed a second chance from your first opinion, as they are sweethearts.
4 months, 4 weeks ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Chasing eachother
Playing in the grass
Running
Petting/Cuddling
In my opinion, Grace was a perfect dog breed to enjoy a long walk with. Clearly very much a people loving dog breed, she was quick to great me happily at the door; not seeming scared, intimidated, or shy towards me. Out for an hour long walk experience that we had together, she was eager to explore, run, and play with me. Because she was quite young (not a puppy but under five years of age), this breed seems to be over-energentic and over-hyper for exercise. Being such a muscular and strongly built dog, she didn’t seem to realize the type of pull and strain that was being used when learning how to be leash trained, walked on a leash, or during play with a human companion. However, after a few quick commands, she quickly learned to stick close by and not act spastically. She put together that if she ran, the leash would pull at her throat, which made her very uncomfortable. This observation tells me that the bread in question is intelligent and easy to train, if done correctly and humanely. From the time I had to study and get to know the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, I found that they are not stranger wary. Maybe because of their people loving qualities, she was eager and desired to meet every stranger that walked past us or were in her line of sight. If raised and trained in a loving environment, such as Grace was, she will not act like as much as a guard dog towards strangers. However, if not raised correctly, the pitbull breed will never back down from a fight, which is what gives them a bad rep. I have personally seen this behavior before. It is very sad and should be avoided, for the sake of the dog and the owner. Proper training may be hard with this breed, but the earlier to start the better when considering dog trainings. But this characteristic of harshness and aggression was never seen during my numerous experiences with different ages and genders of this dog breed. It was clear that she was raised in the company of other dogs, as she was calm and collected when passing by another. Personally, I have loved every experience with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I wouldn’t hesitate in adopting this breed for my own home. In my opinion, the more exposure to the breed, and other big dog breeds, the better! Therefore, you will be more comfortable and have more control over the dog. Take any chance you can with walking and caring for a bull!
4 months, 4 weeks ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Hide & Seek
Everybody welcome Summer to DC! Summer's mom says that she is a country girl and you could definitely tell as she was hesitant of everyone and everything on the streets! When I arrived, I found small plastic pieces on the floor by the front door but didn't think anything of it and threw them away. Summer was very shy and timid and shaking in the corner so I fed her some treats to earn her trust but something wasn't adding up! Her notes say she is super affectionate and loveable. When I started putting her leash on, I found the reason why Summer was acting this way - she had chewed through her harness buckles! Luckily she has a good dog mom who guided me where to find the many back up harnesses hidden in the home. Today was Summer's first day alone in a new apartment in the new city so I'm confident she will get used to the city life!
4 months, 4 weeks ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Meet Alfie, a male pitbull mix! Alfie was super affectionate when I arrived. He almost came for me as if he was giving me a hug - Sat on his hind legs and lifted his front paws off the floor as if to say, "pick me up and hold me like a toddler"! I couldn't find the leash when I entered the front door and asked Alfie where his leash was (I talk out loud to animals all the time). Alfie was so smart and led me straight to the backdoor entrance where his leash was hanging! Alfie is one smart dog and very affectionate. It really started snowing and sleeting on our walk and Alfie wasn't bothered at all despite what his sweet, and somewhat sad looking face suggests! This is one happy boy! Alfie should be showcased to promote that Pitbulls aren’t aggressive unless they are trained that way. I honestly don’t think Alfie would even hurt a fly!
4 months, 4 weeks ago
12 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Play
Walk
Dog Parks
My recurring walks with Buddy the senior, deaf Staffie have been some of the most rewarding! Despite his disability, he is the sweetest dog. He is very large, comparable to a tank, but could be better characterized as a "gentle giant" or "teddy bear." He's extremely patient and gentle despite his excitement when i grab his leash, and his tail wags the entire time we're together! He loves interacting with other dogs, some owners seem to be nervous when they seem him approaching but quickly relax when they realize he means no harm. He loves visits to the nearby dog park, an activity his owner explicitly asked for knowing wag's insurance does not cover off leash or dog park activities, and i understand why his owner trusts me with this activity because Buddy is the most well behaved dog out of the bunch! He approaches other dogs with gentleness, tail wagging, and just says hi! Maybe when he was younger he might have wanted to roughhouse a bit but this old guy just minds his own! When we return home he patiently waits in front of the cabinet where his treats are! He cries when I leave, none of my other regular dogs are so sad to see me go! I'm so glad he enjoys our time together!
4 months, 4 weeks ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Love Walks they pull little bit on the leash but that's okay they're so entertaining and so much fun to walk and will stand right next to me during the walk and we have so much fun together
4 months, 4 weeks ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Eating Snacks
Tracking
Nose work
Nap
Tug-of-war
Frisbee
Therapy Training
The Staffy is my favorite dog of all time. These itty bitty pitties are the sweetest most snuggliest little things in the world. They love meeting people. They love to run. They have such high energy it’s tough to wear them out. They’ll fetch, tug, run and play with friends. They are also professional snugglers. You haven’t properly snugged unless you’ve snugged a Staffy.
5 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
This breed is a wonderful breed that enjoys being around people. They tend to get a bad rap but are great family dogs that are trainable. My experience has always been a positive one with this breed. The only thing i do notice is that a few i have walked, have been a bit leash aggressive towards other dogs.
5 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd