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Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed Information

Staffordshire Bull Terrier: The Ultimate Breed Guide 2020



Are you lonely and looking for a furry companion? Or do you want a playmate for your children? Look no further as this fun-loving tenacious dog breed will ensure your life never gets boring! Let's dive into the vast pool of Staffordshire Bull Characteristics.

Characteristics of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier


'Short and sweet' is an overall description of this breed. Though they look ferocious, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are playful and adorable. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are not fighters back will certainly not back down when challenged.

Without further due, let's take a tour of their characteristics.



Staffordshire Bull Terriers are not only ideal playful darlings but also impressively adaptable. They therefore get 2 out of 5 stars for adaptability



  • Due to their reserved nature, Staffies are often glad wherever you place them, whether in an apartment or mansion thus they get 3 stars for adapting to apartment space. However, like any other dog breed, constant activity is essential- without daily trots and romps in an outdoor space, this highly energetic pup may pile up frustration, thus becoming destructive.


  • If you live in a suburban or rural home, this is a plus for you, as your Staffordshire Bull can run around the backyard every day and have a proper socialization routine. However, you need to secure your yard by fencing as the Staffie can turn into a menace when not mentally stimulated. 


  • Another point to note: go through the housing specification in your neighbourhood before renting or purchasing. It’s a bummer that some landlords still continue to ban these bull breed sweethearts. 


  • If you are a novice dog owner, we recommend an hour of daily exercise for your muscular Stafford. But despite their colossal stamina, they adore snuggle sessions as well, when the occasion calls for it, which gives them 1-star rating for suiting new dog owners. Additionally, extra outdoor time and one-on-one play sessions will genuinely be welcomed with open paws!


  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers are naturally social. They enjoy people as well as animal company and have a low tolerance level for solitude, which gives them 2 stars for tolerating being alone. Therefore, keep your outdoor conquests short or have a dog sitter available when you travel. 


  • Staffies can tolerate cold weather on condition they are active. During winter seasons your pup will relish a play snow-ball session. Furthermore, sprinting in deep snow helps to build its muscles. However, don't prolong outdoor activities when the temperature drops below 5ᵒF because your pooch can catch the sniffles. Therefore, Staffies get 3 stars for enduring cold weather.


  • Because Staffordshire Bull Terriers lack an undercoat, you must consider purchasing a suitable dog sweater or coat for your pet to wear in cold seasons.


  • Staffies have a low tolerance to heat- their muscular physique makes their body temperature high, especially when they exercise outdoors. Thus they are prone to heatstroke on a hot day. Therefore, when walking your pup on a hot summer day, make sure to carry an umbrella and lots of bottled water with you. Stafford definitely get 1 star-rating for tolerating hot weather


  • Your outdoor pet will also love a splash in the kiddie pool. Another tip: leave your Staffordshire at home rather than driving with it particularly on hot days. You wouldn’t want your beloved pooch to become a victim of heatstroke. 



  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers get 4 stars for sensitivity because they are a little more emotional than other dog breeds. They take punishments to heart, even soft ones, and they cannot withstand an inconsistent daily routine.


  • They also don’t like a noisy environment and regular house visits. Staffies will pick up on your emotion, and thus if you are sad, you will probably have a moody pup as well.  



Overall Friendliness


With proper training and socialization, Staffordshire Bulls are great children companions and beautiful family pups and get 4 out 5 stars for all-round friendliness.



  • They are highly liberal of touchy toddlers and enjoy gambolling around the yard with young children and will also follow the older children on their adventures around the block. Staffies therefore get 5 stars for being family and child-friendly. They also get 5 stars for being stranger-friendly.


  •  Most Staffordshire Bull Terriers are peaceful with other cats and dogs in their family but will absolutely not back down from a fight challenge, which gives them 1-star for being dog and cat-friendly


  • Therefore, before adding a Staffie as a member of your multi-pet home, you might want to evaluate the other pets. If you already have a supreme alpha dog; it might not be a good idea having a Staffie pup- it will be like having two big fish in one small pond. When in a park, closely supervise your Stafford’s’ interaction with other dogs and ensure they are not challenging yours. 


  • Stubborn and sometimes strong-willed, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is prone to demand a high-ranking in the family hierarchy. You must exercise confident leadership, particularly during obedience training and show the pup whose boss! Because if it's not you, it's him.



Health and Grooming Needs


  • Lucky for you if you hardly get free time for grooming as these stocky breeds are low-maintenance. Staffordshire Bull Terriers get 3 out of 5 scores for health and grooming needs because of their smooth short coats. They however need regular baths and brushing. Ensure you inspect and clean their ears especially is they’ve been frolicking in the bushes or the woods. 


  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers shed very minimally to nil fur and for that reason they get 1-star. Therefore, you don't have to fear for your furniture or clothes being covered by dog fur. Stafford is the best breed if you or your children have fur allergies.


  • The Stafford is an occasional drool, which gives them 3 stars; however, if you notice a more frequent drooling habit, it may be an indication of a health issue and would be best to consult your veterinarian.  


  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a sturdy breed, but there are some health problems you should look into and consult your vet if you notice any abnormalities with your pup. They include Distichiasis, Persistent Hyperactive Primary Vitreous, Cataracts and Mastocytoma. Stafford therefore gets 3 stars for general health.


  • Staffies have a high potential for weight gain and very deserving of 4 star-rating in this department. If you don't regulate your pooch's diet, it can quickly become overweight. If you observe your Stafford's weight beginning to tilt towards the plump side, you should schedule more than one daily walk or run and feed it quality dry food to avoid obesity and health issues associated with it. Furthermore, it is crucial to talk with your vet about a solid diet plan for your pet that regulates or eliminates unhealthy treats and incorporates regular weight checks. 

  • The Staffordshire is a medium-sized perfectly fit dog and gets 2-stars. A fully grown male weighs 13-17 kg while the female weighs 11-15 kg. 




These humorous little jalopies are intelligent and relatively easy to train, which allocates them 3 out of 5 stars for trainability. Stafford has an in-born tendency to please their human companions, meaning they react promptly and always seek for cues. Being calm and positive will bring out the best of this breed. 



  • The Staffie is quite strong-minded. Because of their high prey drive, insufficient training can make your pup ill-behaved. Stafford thus gets 2 stars for prey drive. 
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier has standard obedience intelligence. You need to be very patient with teaching this dog new commands and tricks, but you'll find it is worth the hustle. Staffords comprehend new orders after about 25-40 repetitions. They yield to the first command half of the time or more frequently.  Stafford thus gets 2 stars for training ease and intelligence.


  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers have lower than average tendency to bite, chew or nip. They often bite in a non-aggressive manner when playing, which gives them 2 stars for mouthiness.


  • Offer your pup the toughest chew toys you can buy to occupy its strong jaws-this is an excellent alternative to furniture or shoes! Tug toys and Fetch Toys are great start-up options. Plush Toys are not suitable as they can be torn to shreds within minutes. They can be pleasurable for Staffies but be ready to pick up the pieces.
  • If you like a serene and quiet environment, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is your dog because its tendency to bark is minimal- a 3-star level


  • An athletic Stafford is mischievous for scoping even a six-foot wall, and when pushed over the edge, it can dig a tunnel under the wall or fence. Stafford therefore gets 4 stars for wanderlust potential. Therefore, this overconfident small buster needs constant supervision and dominance from an equally aggressive and intelligent owner.



Physical Needs


  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is craggy, vibrant and spontaneous. “Why stay on the ground when you can fly?” is their motto. This spry breed gets 4 out 5 stars for physical requirements.
  • The Staffie gets 3 stars for energy level. The dog needs vigorous exercise as a valve for its energy and the upkeep of its spectacular muscle tone. 
  • Remember that Staffordshire Bull Terriers are tenacious go-getters! If you don't provide them with constructive activities, they will preoccupy themselves with chewing and barking, which is often a nuisance and destructive. For this reason, Staffies get 4 stars for exercise needs coupled with 5 stars for playfulness


Vital Stats About the Staffordshire Bull Terrier




Dog Breed Group

Terrier Dogs


Male: 14-16 inches (36-41 cm)

Female: 29 pounds (13 kg)


Male: 31.5 pounds (14 kg)

Female: 29 pounds (13 kg)

Life Span

12-14 years

Coat Length 


Grooming Needs


Litter Size

5-7 puppies

Sleeping Demand

12-14 hours a day












Other Fun Facts About the Staffordshire Bull Terrier 

Here are more captivating delicacies about the Stafford:

  • They love playing and being bouncy more than being tough. They view life as adventurous and cherish it to the fullest.
  • Though they are cousins of the American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers, Stafford curves out their niche through unique physical characteristics such as its broad skull and pronounced cheekbones. 

  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier's nickname is 'nanny dog' because of its love and tenderness with kids. However, that does not mean that the dog can make a good babysitter. If anything, it is unadvisable to leave your children and the pup unsupervised as things can get messy quick.


Points to note:

  • Don’t build a kennel and leave your SBT to survive on its own. It is an affectionate dog and flourishes in the company of its human companions. 
  • Don’t walk with the Stafford off-leash as it tends to be aggressive toward stranger dogs and has a high-prey lust. 
  • A common phenomenon with the Terrier breed is they are diggers. Fortify the bottom of your fence with chicken wire or concrete, so they are unable to dig an escape hole.
  • SBTs have a high tolerance for pain and can get hurt without any indication like whimpering. 
  • Though Staffordshire Bull Terriers are custodial of your family members, they may not care must about your property. It is quite natural for them to welcome burglars into your home with open arms.
  • Never purchase a Stafford from a breeder who doesn’t offer health clearances. You need to buy from a reputable breeder who conducts medical assessments for their breeding dogs to ensure they’re free of genetic disorders, which they might transfer to their puppies. 

History of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was bred in the 1700s in Australia to aid in bull baiting. It was perceived that beef would be sturdy unless cattle was fiery just before slaughter and so Staffies were developed to rile up these beasts. Bull baiting was later replaced by dog ring fighting. 


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a shared ancestry with the American Staffordshire, the Bull Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier- they all descended from the Bulldog. The SBT was bred in the early 19th century in England to be a smaller and brisker ring fighting champion yet friendlier and more submissive towards people. Some experts claim that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a crossbreed of the Bulldog and the Manchester Terrier. 


In England, the first Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club was founded in 1835, and the breed's standard was outlined immediately after.

The Stafford continued to prosper as a family compatriot in the U.S.A. and in 1975, it was recognized by the American Kennel Club. The pioneer SBT to be enrolled by the AKC was called Tinkinswood Imperial. In 1974, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier America was formed.  




Currently, the Stafford positions 85th among the 157 breed varieties registered by the AKC. They are the perfect embodiment representation of "man's best friend", and numerous Stafford fanciers are aware that they own one of the most innate secrets of the pup world.


What Is The Average Size of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier?






14-16 inches (36-41cm)

31.5 pounds (14 kg)


13-15 inches (33-38 cm)

29 pounds (13 kg)





The Personality of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Right from 2 weeks of age, you can easily observe a Stafford’s sanguine nature. Stafford is nothing close to shy but rather enthusiastic, outgoing and very energetic. The breed's temperament can be summarized as curious, bold, sturdy and stubborn.


Being a people dog makes it ideal for a family, plus it will always bark to alert you of an unknown presence in the neighbourhood. 


A Staffie’s personality is influenced by factors such as socialization, heredity and training. A puppy with a desirable temperament is curious and playful, loves to approach people and be carried by them. When selecting a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy go for the friendly or neutral one- don't choose the apparent bully or the extra-shy pup, especially if you are a first-time dog parent.   


Enrolling your Pug into puppy kindergarten class is a great way to start. Other socialization tactics include taking the pup to busy parks, or leisure walks, having guests over frequently, and going to restaurants and stores that allow dogs to enhance their social skills.

To bring out the best of in your Stafford, early socialization is advisable to expose your pup to various sounds, sights, experiences and people.


Major Health Concerns of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dog Breed


Staffordshire Bull Terriers are healthy breeds; however, similar to humans; they're vulnerable to certain health constraints. Watch out for any of these diseases and their symptoms and consult your veterinarian immediately if you notice any unusual health status with your SBT pup.



If you are getting a puppy from a breeder, ensure they provide you with health clearances for both parents from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation to certify the eyes and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals to certify the elbows and hips. Because some health issues are non-detectable until the dog is fully grown, health clearances aren’t provided to pups younger than 2 years old.

Demodectic Mange/ demodicosis 


All dogs are carriers of Demodex mite. The mother transfers this mite to her puppies in the first days after birth; however, this mite cannot be passed to other dogs or humans.

Demodex mites establish their habitat within follicles and are often harmless, except when the dog has a low immune system; it may cause demodectic mange. 

Localized demodectic psoriasis is characterized by scaly skin, red patches, and hair loss on the head, neck, and front legs. 

The generalized demodectic disease is more severe and covers the whole body-commonly affects adult Pugs and older puppies. The dog gets skin disease, bald spots and patches all over its body. If your dog develops this condition, you might want to spay or neuter it because it is a genetic condition.  


Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHP) 


This condition that causes deformity of the hip joint can be aggravated by several factors such as diet, genetics, and the environment. It causes lameness and arthritis, but with proper veterinary care, your pup can lead a happy and healthy life.


X-ray scanning for CHD is performed by the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP) or the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. 


Patellar Luxation 


This means dislocation of the kneecap often of the hind leg. Though it is crippling, many Pups still usually live.

The friction of the limb caused by patellar luxation can cause arthritis. There are four ranges of the condition based on their severity: grade 1 causes temporary lameness of the joint. In contrast, grade 4 is very severe, with the complete turning of the tibia, and the patella cannot be repositioned manually. The dog gets a bow-legged physique with extreme patellar luxation and may need surgical rectification. 


Hereditary Juvenile Cataracts 


According to the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF), a cataract is the obscurity of the lens of a canine's eye, and it is the leading cause of blindness. This condition advances significantly, and the pup can lose sight from as early as 3 years of age.  

The best treatment for cataracts is surgery; however, in less severe cases, the vet may recommend rectifying nutritional deficiencies that led to cataracts or treating an inflammation caused by an eye injury.  


Elbow Dysplasia


This is a genetic disorder perceived to be caused by mistimed growth rates of the three bones that comprise a dog's elbow, thus leading to joint laxity. The outcome is often gut-wrenching lameness.

Depending on the severity of the condition, your veterinarian may recommend medication, weight regulation or surgery to manage the pain.



Atopic Dermatitis/ Skin Allergies


This skin disease is characterized on scratchiness, itchiness, hair loss and sore spots on the skin and is often aggravated by a bacterial infestation.

You can control this condition through intensive flea management treatment and supplementing your Stafford’s diet with fish oil to provide omega-3 fatty acids.  


L-2 Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria


Dogs with this condition lack a specific enzyme to digest the above indicated chemical compound. The compound then accumulates in the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid, leading to outcomes such as muscle tremors, poor coordination, seizures and slow learning ability. The symptoms can be treated, but there is no cure for the condition.


How to Take Care of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier


The SBT is a family mate who get accustomed to any living space you offer it as long as it gets adequate exercise. Remember to fence your yard as Stafford are diggers securely. However, it is not advisable to use an electric fence.


SBTs are extremely territorial coupled with high pain tolerance; they can ignore the shock caused by an electric fence in pursuit of a fight with a stranger dog who enters the yard, and things can easily take downward spiral!


Depending on Stafford's personality, some love to play with water; others just shun wet stuff. If your pup loves to make a splash, it will appreciate a kiddie pool lounge, especially on hot summer days. However, take note that Staffies are not skinny-dippers, so take precautionary measures to prevent them from jumping into a swimming pool.  


  • Begin training your Staffie puppy as soon as you take it home. They are smart and quick learners but also stubborn and impulsive at times. Don't be too strict and formal with your obedience training, but patience, consistency and firmness produce the most effective results plus fosters a stronger bond with your dog.  


Always seeks to reward your Staffie for behaviour rather than reprimand it for infractions. Remember that Stafford is very sensitive and harsh corrections can quickly tarnish their self-esteem and confidence.  


Here’s a humorous fact- Stafford can sing! They will entertain you with yodels in addition to grunts, snorts, groans and grunts. 


If you have a consistent timetable for housetraining, your SBT will quickly adapt. Additionally, crate training helps to prevent destructive behaviour such as unwanted chewing and getting into fights with other dogs. A crate also offers a serene place where your Stafford can relax and unwind. Never use the crate for punishment as it will deter the relevance of practical training.


Because Stafford is known to be strong pullers while on the leash, work hard on that leash training as well, proper leash manners are suitable for the sake of your Staffie’s safety and your happiness as well.



As essential as it may be, puppy socialization should be reinforced with visits to the park, gatherings and pet-friendly stores. 


Overall, with sufficient training, regularity and interaction, your SBT will become a well-rounded, productive member of your family who loves you immensely.


Ideal Diet for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier


Because they are muscular-bodies and energetic, Stafford requires a diet composed of 30% protein. You may wish to select a protein source like Salmon that is full of fatty acids, EPA, DHA that help cumber inflammatory conditions like skin allergies.


SBTs also benefit significantly from fish oil supplements because they do not acquire adequate Omega Fatty Acids from their regular diet.


How Regularly Should You Feed Your Staffordshire Bull Terrier




Puppy: 8-12 weeks 

4 meals a day

Puppy: 3-6 months

3 meals a day

Puppy: 6 months- 1 year

2 meals a day

Mature pup

2 small servings a day 







Best Dog Foods for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier 




The following are top recommendations for adult SBTS:

For Stafford puppies, you can purchase any of the following recommended dog foods:

High-grade dry food is enough to nourish a mature Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and you can also mix with canned food, broth or water. Your Staffie may also enjoy cooked eggs, vegetables, cottage cheese and fruits; however, these extras should not occupy more than 10% of its daily recommended diet.  


As tempting as it may seem, please avoid feeding your Staffie table food as it can lead to severe vitamin and mineral malnourishment, obesity and create a picky eater. Also, clean the pup's water and food bowl frequently.  



Coat Color and Grooming Needs


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier coat is short, soft and thin. It comes in a variety of colours ranging from white, black, red, blue, fawn, brindle or any of these colours with white. 


The Stafford hardly sheds-however this is not a go-ahead not to groom them. The breed still needs weekly baths and brushes to remove loose or dead fur. Fortunately, its coat dries fast after a wash.


Other sectors you should not overlook include nail and dental hygiene. Brush your Staffie’s teeth twice every day to eliminate bacteria and buildup of tartar. Trim its nails either twice or once a month depending on how fast the dog wears it out. Short claws are neat and don’t cling to the carpet or tear.    


Conduct weekly checks to make sure your Stafford’s ears are free of any debris, inflammation or redness and wipe its ears with cotton wool soaked in a cleanser. Do not shove cotton balls into the ear canal as this might damage the ears. Wipe the exterior of the ear canal and don’t insert the cotton wool further than the first knuckle of your finger. 


Look out for possible symptoms of ear infection such as bad smell emitting from the ear, redness and tenderness, ear scratching or consistent shaking of the head.  


Once you adopt your Stafford pup, make it accustomed to regular brushing and examination. Make the exercise fun for both you and your furry friend by offering praises and rewards. Weekly inspections also simplify your veterinarian's medical and other handling exercises when the dog is mature.


How do Staffordshire Bull Terriers Relate with Children and Other Pets?

Despite their ‘nanny’ nature around toddlers, the Staffie should always be kept on close watch in the presence of young children as it can be boisterous and may unintentionally knock them to the ground. 


It is essential to train your children how to touch and carry a Stafford and always supervise their interactions to protect against biting, ear or tail pulling. Children should not disturb the dog while its eating or napping or try to snatch their food away.



Stafford puppies get along splendidly with other dogs and cats when brought up together. A fully grown Staffie takes time to adjust and embrace the company of other house pets. To foster the best dog interaction, choose a Stafford of the opposite sex from the one at home and introduce them in another impartial place away from your home.  


Australian Based Breed Organizations for Staffordshire Bull Terrier


The following is a list of the most dependable Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Organizations in Australia you can look into if you would like to purchase a purebred SBT pup. 


Rescue Groups for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in Australia


Several owners purchase a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy without proper knowledge of how to raise and care for one. Often such pups are abandoned and end up in the care of dog shelter homes in need of a loving family. Other Stafford winds up in rescue homes after their owners die or get divorced.


If you are considering adopting a fully grown SBT who’s already been trained but sadly went through a traumatic puppy stage, clicking on the rescue group links below is a great way to start! 



Are you riled up to adopt this breed of joyful abundance yet? Make the desirable choice now, and you will live to testify of its eminence!

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Photo Gallery

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