Staffordshire Bull Terrier Puppy Facts

Did you just bring home a new Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy and want to learn more about the breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you and your family?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Breed History

The breed was created in the early 19th century in the Staffordshire region of England from crosses between Bulldogs and various terriers. The Manchester Terrier and the now-extinct English White Terrier most likely played a role in the development of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The breed was created at a time when dogfighting was very popular. Because Bulldogs of that era were much bigger and heavier than they are today, there was a need for smaller and more agile dogs.

Early crosses were called by names such as Bull and Terrier and Bulldog Terrier. These names were not unique to this breed -- they were generic names used for all crosses developed from Bulldogs and terriers. The Staffordshire was also known as the Old Pit Bull Terrier.

The Staffordshire played a role in the expansion of another breed. One of the earlier Bull and Terriers crosses became known as the Bull Terrier. In the beginning, that breed was strictly white but later a colored version was developed by crossing it with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Of the two breeds, Bull Terriers were considered more refined and were preferred by the upper class. The Staffordshire Terrier was considered a dog for the common people and had to wait a lot longer before it was recognized as a distinct breed.

As the interest in dogfighting declined, so did the popularity of this breed. That began to change in 1935 after the first official breed standard was written and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was recognized by the Kennel Club in England. By that time, the breed became gentler than it was at the time when it was used for dogfighting.

The breed was imported into the United States in the mid to late 1800s. Here, it developed along different lines and the taller and heavier breed became known as the American Staffordshire Terrier.

The Staffordshire shares a common ancestor -- the Bulldog -- with the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Bull Terrier. It was also instrumental in the development of one new breed and refinement of another.

The breed was recognized by AKC in 1975. Today, it's kept mostly for companionship.

Physical Characteristics of Staffordshire Bull Terriers

The Staffordshire is a muscular dog with great strength, powerful stance, and intense stare. Their muscular appearance is so striking that it's easy to forget that they are smaller than most American Pit Bull Terriers.

The body is short and muscular, with a level topline, wide front, deep chest, and well sprung ribs. The neck is short, muscular, and gradually widening toward the shoulders. The tail is of medium length and undocked. It's carried low, wider at base and tapering to a point. A tail that curls too much is a fault.

The front legs are straight, well boned, and set wide apart. The back legs are well muscled, hocks let down with stifles well bent. They appear parallel when viewed from behind. The medium size feet are strong and well padded.

The head is short and broad, with short foreface, very pronounced cheek muscles, and distinct stop. The nose is black. Pink nose is a serious fault. The eye color may bear some resemblance to coat color but darker eyes are preferable. The ears are small and either rose or half pricked.

The smooth and short coat comes in white, fawn, red, black or blue, any of these colors with white, or any shade of brindle with or without white.

    Height Weight
  Male 14 - 16 inches 28 - 38 pounds
  Female 14 - 15 inches 24 - 34 pounds


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an extremely courageous, tenacious, intelligent, obedient, and active dog. He is also affectionate, loving toward people, and very good with children. A proper Staffordshire should exhibit confidence. Shyness or aggression towards humans is not normal.

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier craves for attention and desires to spend time with his family. He will enjoy hiking, car rides, playing tug-of-war, or just laying next to you while you are watching TV. If you spend too much time outside your home, this breed is not for you.

He is generally good with other family pets but, unless properly trained, can be combative with other dogs. It's better to introduce a Staffordshire to a home that already has pets than to introduce a new pet to a home with an adult Staffordshire. Like all breeds, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier will benefit from socialization training.

Like all Bull and Terrier breeds, the Staffordshire has strong jaws and needs very strong chew toys. Toys made from soft plastic will be destroyed in no time and can be dangerous if the dog swallows a small part. Always buy toys made specifically for strong chewers.

When it comes to training, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier needs every family member to be firm, consistent, confident, and act like a pack leader. If not handled properly, the Staffordshire may become stubborn and hard to handle. While the breed has many good qualities that would make it a perfect pet, it's still not recommended for most families because of the handling and training requirements.

Most Staffordshire Bull Terriers make good watchdogs but just so-so guard dogs. As Steve Eltinge in the book, The Staffordshire Bull Terrier in America says:

Most Staffordshire Bull Terriers are not good swimmers and should never be left alone near a swimming pool. Their bodies, made up of too much muscle, are just not made for swimming.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a very adaptable breed and, with sufficient exercise, will adjust to an apartment lifestyle.

It will do best with an experienced owner who is willing to spend time with his or her dog, be patient, assertive, and lead a relatively active lifestyle.

Some Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeders may interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

Like all breeds, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier needs regular exercise to stay physically and mentally fit.

He possesses great stamina and needs a lot of exercise, which can include daily walks and playtime. The playtime can consist of playing ball, tug-of-war, or just letting your pet run or play off leash. To protect your pet from escaping, never leave him off leash in an unfenced area.

Because the breed is very sensitive to heat, never leave him in direct sun for extended periods of time.

At a minimum, take your pet for several long walks every day.


The Staffie is an average shedder and is easy to groom. Brush at least 3 or 4 times per week with a firm bristle brush to remove loose hair. You may also want to do a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth or chamois to keep his coat shiny.

Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are susceptible to complications caused by internal and external parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms.

Additional health concerns include cataracts, heat intolerance, hip and elbow dysplasia, and patellar luxation (a condition in which the kneecap pops out of place). Visit dog health problems for more information about dog diseases and health.

Buy only from reputable Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeders to reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems become big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for healthy Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies is between 11 and 14 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Staffordshire Bull Terrier rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Staffordshire Bull Terrier Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.

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