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Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Breed Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Breed Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an amazing dog with a long history. Their medium size makes them well-suited to various living environments, and they are friendly and intelligent. However, many people would like to know more about them before bringing one home. If this sounds like you, keep reading as we discuss their appearance, temperament, grooming requirements, and common health problems to help you decide if this breed is right for your lifestyle.

Breed Overview


14–16 inches


24–38 pounds


12–14 years


White, blue, silver, red, brown, gray, black

Suitable for:

Families or those looking for a loyal, protective companion


Affectionate, courageous, energetic

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed got their start in England. They were developed by breeders who mixed Bulldogs with various terrier breeds. The idea was to have a dog with a strong bite and plenty of agility and courage. Sadly, people then used these canines for bull baiting and later pit fighting. Fortunately, after the banning of both practices, breeders started focusing on creating better companions, and today, most pet owners describe the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as friendly and affectionate.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Staffordshire Bull Terrier Puppies

Staffordshire Bull Terrier courtesy Shutterstock
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Like most puppies, Staffordshire Bull Terriers have plenty of energy when they are small and will spend most of their time exploring their environment, which can get them into trouble if you don’t watch them closely. You’ll also need to socialize them with as many people, places, and other animals as possible to help them feel more comfortable around those things when they become adults. Start training early, and get them into a grooming routine so they are more likely to allow you to clip their nails and brush their teeth when they get older.

Finding a breeder shouldn’t be too difficult because these are popular dogs. However, ensure that any breeder that you choose follows breed standards and has the paperwork to go with your new dog so you can get them registered with the American Kennel Club or other organizations.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The temperament of your dog can vary because each has a unique personality, but most Staffordshire Bull Terriers are affectionate dogs that get along especially well with children. They form strong bonds with family members and have a non-stop desire for fun and games. They are also alert and fast, which makes them excellent guard dogs and protectors. They are incredibly smart canines that you can train easily to perform many tricks, and this breed is also a good choice as a service or rescue dog.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier comes in a wide variety of colors. @Robert Daly/Getty Images

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can make a wonderful family dog. They form strong bonds with family members, get along great with children, and enjoy participating in family activities, whether inside or out. They often stay close to other family members and can suffer separation anxiety if their owners are gone too long. High intelligence contributes to their good behavior, and many owners refer to them as “nanny dogs” due to their helpful nature, especially with small kids.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can get along well with other pets, especially if you socialize them with other animals as a puppy. Consistent training and positive reinforcement can also be useful. However, remember that each dog has a unique personality, and this breed has a strong prey drive that may cause them to chase other animals, especially smaller ones.

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Things to Know When Owning a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

You should feed your Staffordshire Bull Terrier a high-quality diet appropriate for their age and health. It should list chicken, beef, or another meat as the first ingredient, and there shouldn’t be any artificial colors or preservatives. Follow the portioning recommendations on the package closely to avoid weight gain, and limit treats to no more than 10% of their daily calorie intake. Contact your vet if you are having trouble deciding which food is best for your pet.

Exercise 🐕

Staffordshire Bull Terriers will need at least 1 hour of exercise per day, split up into two or more sessions, to stay happy and healthy. Agility training, walking, running, fetching, and social activities are all great ways that your pet can get their daily activity, and you can adjust the length of time depending on their age and health.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier by Shutterstock.

Training 🦮

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are incredibly intelligent and can pick up new tricks quickly, which makes them ideal for children whom they need to protect and older adults whom they need to help. Starting training sessions while they are still a puppy and keeping them short and on schedule will help your dog get into a routine that they come to expect and even look forward to, especially if you keep them interested with positive reinforcement in the form of treats, petting, and praise.

Grooming ✂️

A great part of owning a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is that they are relatively low maintenance. You will only need to occasionally brush them to remove loose fur and distribute natural oils, clip their nails if you hear them clicking on the floor, and check their ears frequently for signs of parasites and infection. You will also want to brush their teeth manually with pet-friendly toothpaste to help slow the progression of dental disease, which affects many dogs.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Minor Conditions
  • L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria is a rare metabolic disorder specific to the breed, leading to a range of neurological signs. Selecting breeders who test for it might help reduce the risk of your dog having it.
  • Demodectic mange is a skin issue caused by mites. It usually affects small puppies and older dogs with health problems and usually clears up without treatment if the area is small. However, larger infestations may require treatment.
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia is common in many breeds, and it means the hip joint doesn’t fit together properly, which can lead to premature deterioration, especially in large and active dogs like the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
  • Patellar luxation is a condition that causes the kneecap to slip out of place as your dog walks or plays, and the clinical signs can include weakness in the legs or hobbling, an inability to jump, and a reluctance to run. It can get worse as the dog ages, and treatment can include weight management, medication, and surgery.
  • Cataracts are a cloudy area in the lens of your dog’s eye that can make it difficult for them to see clearly. If only a small area is cloudy, it might not affect their vision, but if it gets worse, it can lead to blindness.

Male vs. Female

Males are usually larger and more muscular than female Staffordshire Bull Terriers and can be more territorial. Females are usually easier to train but are not as outgoing.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

1. The Kennel Club of England recognized the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in 1935.

To debut their recognition by the Kennel Club of England, in August of 1935, they had their first club show with 60 Staffordshire Bull Terriers displayed.

2. The American Kennel Club recognized the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in 1974.

Almost 40 years after the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was recognized by the KCE, the AKC added them to its prestigious list.

3. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America is the official AKC Parent Club for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Northwark Becky Sharp was imported from Australia, and she became the first U.S. Staffie AKC Champion.

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Final Thoughts

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a wonderful medium-sized dog that is perfect for most living arrangements. They form strong bonds with family members and get along especially well with children. They are also extremely intelligent and can learn new tricks quickly, making them suitable for jobs in search and rescue and as service animals. They often have a strong prey drive that can cause them to chase after other animals, but plenty of early socialization can help them get along with other pets quite well.

Featured Image Credit: 6591713, Pexels

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