The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (aka Staffy, Staffie, Staff, Stafford or STB) is a medium-sized, short-coated breed of dog. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s Lineage is from England and is regarded as one of the Pit Bull type dogs
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed are generous, fun loving and intelligent dogs that have a lot to give. Sadly, their reputation is somewhat tarnished due to irresponsible dog ownership by some owners.
Lack of appropriate training and care from owners wanting ‘status dogs’ can lead to behavioural problems which ends with Staffies often being sent to rescue homes once they go beyond the cute puppy stage.
Staffies sometimes get (unfair) bad press. Who hasn’t seen a picture of a snarling Staffie to complement a poorly researched newspaper article about dangerous dogs?
Let’s get things straight. A dog, any dog, is only as dangerous as its owner. A well trained and socialised Staffordshire Bull Terrier is just as friendly and well behaved as any other dog breed.
Now that’s out of the way, it’s time to learn about how amazing this breed can be. A fabulous family dog who loves people who love them back, the Staffie is a loyal companion dog who can make anyone laugh with their joyful exuberance!
Avg Weight: 24 – 37 lbs
Avg Height: 13 – 16 inches at the shoulder
Avg Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Apartment living: Yes
Level of exercise: High
A lover, not a fighter
Headstrong & courageous
Staffies adore people and are real family pets and so should not be left to live outside. They often get separation anxiety when left alone and really do flourish when with the family. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are definitely indoor pets!
Staffies are great with kids and make fantastic family dogs. For years they have been known as the “nanny dog” and fully deserve that title.
Staffies are strong, brave and will stand up for themselves if attacked by another dog. So it is wise to be careful around other dogs whilst walking especially if they are off leash. Sadly as Staffies are often misunderstood they can be blamed for be aggressive even if they were the one that was attacked by another dog.
Like other Terrier breeds, Staffies have a high prey drive for small animals so you may see your Staffy scamper off suddenly if it gets a whiff of something whilst walking.
Staffords are highly intelligent but also can be fairly stubborn and so training staffies can be a little tricky. However their high intelligence usually comes through with a little patience.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier dogs are not that good in high temperatures so always keep an eye out for them when it gets really hot.
Staffies adore cuddles and their favourite thing of all is snuggling up on the sofa!
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are energetic and will need a vigorous walk every day and if that is not possible every day then a active play session can make up for it. Although an 1 hours walk each day will always be appreciated by your Staff and will ensure they are nice and tired for the remainder of the day.
Staffies are tough and have a high pain threshold and so may not show any outward sign of injury such as whining when injured.
Like any breed, Staffies will need early socialisation with both people and other dogs when they are puppies.
Staffies like to chew, especially when they are cute lovely little Staffy puppies. To avoid chewing on furniture or your belongings you should always have plenty of dog toys and dog chews available. You find some great options available in the UK at our article indestructible dog toys for staffies.
Never buy Staffy or Staffy puppy. Instead go down to your local dog shelter and rescue one!
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Temperament:
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the ultimate devoted pet. Given lots of love and attention, they will be your loyal guardian and friend.
Intelligent, agile and tough little cookies, they learn swiftly and love nothing more than running playing and having fun with their beloved family.
They are great around older kids that can respect boundaries and are a cheerful companion to adults who love cuddling up on the sofa with a big ball of soppiness in dog form.
Staffies are fearless and curious which can sadly lead to accidents – these are not dogs to let of the lead in the park or around traffic.
Suitable Environment For Staffies:
Staffies have an inherent talent for making friends with humans, making them easy targets for ‘dog napping’. Wherever you live, make sure it has secure entrances and exits and a dog proof garden, as they are great diggers and jumpers!
A natural fearlessness also makes living on main roads a bit tricky as Staffordshire Bull Terriers haven’t yet worked out that busy traffic is something to be a little scared of.
Wonderfully loving and adoring, these dogs do well in ‘one dog, one family’ situations, as they can often be a little unpredictable around other dogs and cats.
Otherwise, Staffies thrive in both houses and apartments, as long as they receive adequate exercise of between 30 – 60 minutes per day.
Ideal Owners For Staffs:
A Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s wilfulness can make them want to be the leader of the pack on occasion, so they need an owner who is confident enough to put him in his place with effective training and will keep them on the lead in public places.
The behaviour of this breed is directly linked to their exercise levels; owners able to provide longer periods of exercise will see a positive correlation regarding their Staffie’s behaviour and calmness levels.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Appearance
Stocky in appearance, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a lean, mean cuddling machine. With powerful jaws that always seem to be smiling, a short, sleek coat and coming in a variety of colours, they are beautiful dogs.
They have a muscular body, with a short neck and muzzle and widely set front legs, giving them a touch of a ‘waddle’ about their walk. They aren’t the most graceful of dogs, but who needs elegance when chasing balls and running after sticks?
Staffordshire Bull Terrier History
With roots in the 17th century, Staffies are a cross between a Bulldog and a Terrier, bred to fight in Bull and Bear baiting pits.
Despite their ferocity in the pit, and excellent ability as ratters and badger hunters, they were also noted for being gentle family pets.
In the 1930s, following abolition of fighting dog activities, Staffordshire Bull terriers started to be bred as domesticated pets and were recognised as a breed by the Kennel Club in 1935.