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Breed Profile: Staffordshire Bull Terriers

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Intro Text
Learn more about the strapping Staffordshire bull terrier, from their breed origins to their exercise levels and activity needs.
Standing Staffordshire Bull Terrier looking to the side

The Staffordshire bull terrier is a muscular dog, very strong for its size. Although they can be quite active indoors, they are usually fine living in a house with a small yard or in an apartment, though they also have great stamina and need at least a daily walk.

In brief, a “Staffy”:

  • Is great with children and ‘people friendly’ in general
  • May be combative with dogs outside the family
  • Loves a challenge and needs variety to avoid boredom

Breed origins

The Staffordshire bull terrier was developed for bull baiting in Staffordshire, England in the 1800s. They were bred from crosses between bulldogs and various local terriers. In the 20th century, interest in the breed grew again after a decline, and this popular dog is now well bred in a slightly larger size.

Staffordshire bull terrier coats, colours and sizes

Usually weighing between 11 and 18 kg and standing around 38 cm tall, Staffies are short in stature but packed with muscle.

Their smooth coats need once-a-week brushing and shed year round. Staffies come in a variety of colours, including white, black, blue, red, fawn or any of these colours combined with white.

Group of Staffordshire Bull Terriers outside

Staffordshire bull terrier personality, characteristics and temperament

Staffies do everything at full speed and power. They are extremely courageous and excellent around children, and do well with a strong pack leader who implements clear household rules. They are an affectionate breed with a great sense of humour and a fun personality.

Breed Characteristics

Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a moderate to high temperament and are naturally friendly with people. Gentle, patient and trustworthy, they are great with children. When it comes to trainability they are eager to please but need a strong leader. These dogs require little grooming, needing to be brushed just once a week. Staffordshire Bull Terriers shed all year round. Highly active dogs, they require thirty minutes of exercise per day and bark occasionally at alerts.

Health and care of Staffordshire bull terriers

The Staffy will generally live 10 to 16 years, though this breed can be prone to cataracts and joint problems.

It is not a dog for every family, as it needs every family member to be firm, confident and consistent as a pack leader. If strict rules are not established, this dog can become unruly and disobedient. The Staffy also has a tendency to chew whatever it can get hold of, so curbing this behavior early is an important aspect of the training process.

If they get enough exercise (30 minutes every day), Staffordshire bull terriers will be fine with apartment living, but they tend to be very active indoors. As a family-oriented and friendly dog, the Staffy makes an ideal companion for families large or small.

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