Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The roots of Staffordshire Bull Terrier dogs rest in 17th century England. Popular events during this period of time included the blood sports of bull and bear baiting in which different breeds of pit bulls were used to antagonize these larger animals. Dog fighting started to increase as the baiting sports declined in popularity. In 1835, baiting sports became illegal in England with the passage of the Human Act 1835.

These early fighting dogs, which were likely Mastiffs or Bulldogs, were larger than today”s Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The Mastiffs or Bulldogs were most likely crossed with Terriers with the ultimate result being a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a dog smaller in stature with a longer head.

While Staffordshire Bull Terriers were accepted into the Kennel Club of England in 1935, the American Kennel Club (AKC) did not register the breed until 1974.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dogs: Appearance

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are from 14 to 16 inches in height at the shoulder and have short, smooth hair. Males typically range from 28 to 38 pounds, while females run from 24 to 34 pounds. These dogs tend to be strong, muscular and stocky.

While a Staffordshire Bull Terrier can be bred to be any color (or combination of colors), the AKC won”t allow black and tan or liver-colored terriers to compete as show dogs due to the fact that they aren”t accepted as part of the breed standard.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Temperament

Staffordshire Bull Terriers can be:

  • active
  • affectionate
  • agile
  • curious
  • energetic
  • good with children
  • impulsive
  • intelligent
  • protective
  • quiet
  • stubborn.

These dogs love people and can be good family dogs. Female dogs tend to be better watchdogs than males. As with other types of pit bull breeds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers can be aggressive toward other dogs.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers: Training

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a handful and are not for everyone. These puppies should be entered into dog obedience training at the least, if not more advanced dog-training classes. As you start training Staffordshire Bull Terriers, remember that these dogs need consistent, patient and positive training. Keep in mind that, while Staffordshire Bull Terriers are intelligent and can learn, these dogs are also stubborn and impulsive.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies, as well as older dogs, are chewers. If not given something on which to chew, these dogs might go after furniture. Avoid stuffed or vinyl toys because your dog will destroy the toys quickly and may end up eating toy parts.

By properly training and socializing your Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy, you can ensure that it will peacefully interact with people, as well as with other family pets.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Collars and Leads

Having a dog become accustomed to collars and leads is an important part of training any dog. Your Staffordshire Bull Terrier should always be kept on a collar and a lead when walking because its curiosity, impulsive nature and likely aggression toward other animals can quickly turn bad if this dog isn”t kept in check.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Health

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are prone to both breathing problems and cataracts. Another possible health problem is that this breed can overheat easily during the summer months. Staffordshire Bull Terriers also do not do well in cold weather. If you live in areas with extreme weather, you might consider keeping your dog inside your house.

Expect your Staffordshire Bull Terrier to live anywhere between 12 to 14 years.


American Kennel Club (2008). Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Standard. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from the American Kennel Club Web site:


American Kennel Club (2008). Staffordshire Bull Terrier History. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from the American Kennel Club Web site:


Bull Dog Breeds (n.d.) Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from the Web site:

McGovern, Becky Taylor (1996). Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from the Web site: