Staffordshire Bull Terriers have small, well-built and muscular frames covered in short, close-fitting coats. They have square, medium-sized heads with defined muscles, dark noses and half-pricked, rose-shaped ears. Their powerful necks slope down to level backs, strong legs and low-hanging, tapered tails. Their smooth coats can come in brindle, red, fawn, blue or black—some have white markings on the chest, neck and elsewhere. Overall, Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a compact, strong and active look.
Essentially bred to be solid watchdogs and loving pets, Staffordshire Bull Terriers combine toughness with a gentle sense of fun. They are friendly companions with an excellent sense of humor, always ready to play or goof around. They have lots of energy but can adapt to mellow situations and smaller spaces. Apartment living is perfectly fine for them.
Staffordshires are called “nanny dogs” in England because they have a gentle and benevolent way with children. They are easygoing and relaxed with their families, but can be fiercely protective around other people. Fearless and determined, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier delivers “big watchdog” power in a small package.
Though gentle and kind with friends and family, Staffordshire Bull Terriers can be fearless around other dogs. Always keep them on a leash in public to prevent them from injuring themselves.
Be warned: Staffordshire Bull Terriers are big-time chewers. To keep them from gnawing on your favorite things, get them lots of durable dog toys—their teeth can tear just about anything.
A healthy Staffordshire Bull Terrier can live as long as 16 years. Common health issues include cataracts, hip dysplasia and epilepsy. Sensitive to extreme temperatures, they can get heat exhaustion on hot days and hypothermia on cold ones.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers were developed in 18th-century England as an inexpensive watchdog for the working class. Bred from a mix of bulldog and terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier delivered toughness and gentleness in a neat little package. In the late 19th century, Staffordshire Bull Terriers were brought to the U.S., where they were used to develop the much bigger American Staffordshire Terrier. Today, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is cherished around the world as a beloved friend and protector.