The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Weight: 30 — 40 lbs
Height: 17” — 19”
AKC Rank 2008 #76
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group Terrier
Origin England

Dog Breed Info - Staffordshire Bull Terrier

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier emerges from
the lake with a small stick in his mouth.

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Breed Overview

Origin 1800’s. Original function: Ratting, dog fighting. Today, companion dog.

This dog has long been confused with the PIT BULL which it is NOT. This Staffordshire Bull Terrier does have dog fighting in its’ history. With some work, it can be turned into a fighting dog. This is a family dog and very much a companion animal.

In the early 1900’s, the sport of rat killing had become popular but did not lend itself to cities in England. Dog fighting was far more entertaining than rat killing amd proved a nice alternative. A Bulldog was crossed with the black and tan terrier. Thus, the “Bull Terrier.” The breeding resulted in a small, agile dog with strong jaws. It also arrived at a dog that was not aggressive toward humans, as it was people that had to handle the dogs before the fights when they were in their most aroused state. Dog fighting was finally banned in England. Fans had become attached to the dogs. The following reached the United States. By 1974, the AKC registered the Staffordshire Bull Terrier but not for the purpose of fighting.


Yes. The breed is trainable, but may be stubborn. Persist and be gentle. Use a clicker training and make the training lots of fun, and the sessions short but frequent. She is intelligent. This dog must be taught all basic obedience commands at an early age and the training needs to continue with reinforcement throughout her life. Always use positive reinforcement as we describe under "clicker training."

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies are usually pretty easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is loyal, energetic and lively but MUST be heavily socialized starting at a roughly 4 weeks. Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s are fun loving characters that love playing with their family and friends. This breed is a playful, friendly dog. It’s love of a good time is rivaled only by the need for human companionship. The dog is also characteristically friendly toward strangers. Some can be strong-willed, though. This dog does not look for fights, but if provoked, can become fearless and will not back away. It does not do well around strange dogs, including household dogs that challenge it. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is generally good with children and while usually gentle, some can be rambunctious. Young children should always be supervised around this breed.

If you happen to get a Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

No. Will pick and choose dog friends, but generally NOT dog friendly. Be very cautious out on the streets when walking. your Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Remember, the background of this dog includes fighting other dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Maybe. I personally would hesitate to tempt the breed, given their fighting background. Another dog or a cat in the house might provoke the dog, you never know.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes, But, if they perceive a threat, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is always ready to protect his family and property. This is a very loyal, protective dog.


Yes, Very playful! Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s love to play and romp so she needs plenty of your time to keep her occupied. They enjoy fetch, Frisbee, anything but swimming.


Yes. Very affectionate dog. A real family dog. Loves and needs human companionship.

Good with children?

Yes. Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s will tolerate quite a lot from kids, but should be supervised by an adult. Also, TEACH THE KIDS how to behave around a dog! No pulling, poking, pouring stuff into the ears, rubber bands around the muzzle… you know, the stuff kids get into. Teach them to show the dog affection and she’ll give it back.

This Staffy is looking for someone to play with her!
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Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes, the Staffy can do well with seniors as long as the owner can go out and walk twice a day or throw a ball in the yard. This dog will protect the lucky senior to the end and give plenty of affection and attention.

Living environment

Suburban, urban, farm. This is an indoors dog that needs lots and lots of human contact.

Try to give the Staffordshire Bull Terrier a medium to large fenced back yard where she can play fetch and chase balls and a Frisbee for exercise.

The dog is not suggested for apartment living because the owner will have to take the dog up and down either stairs or an elevator and will likely encounter other dogs at close quarters. Given the history of fighting, this is not wise.

Staffy runs the slalom poles
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Energy level

Moderate energy. Give her 6 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

Moderate. One or two good leash-walks or some good fetch with a ball in the yard is good. This is a fun-loving dog, so give her lots of play time.



Guard dog

Yes. Will protect her family and property to the end. Can easily be trained to be an excellent guard dog if needed.


Yes, some.


Not much. Brush her once a week with a stiff bristle brush to remove dear hair. She’ll like the attention.



Suggested Reading - Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Click on the cover photos for more book information.

3rd book from the left - "101 Dog Tricks" will teach your Staffy all sorts of mentally challenging things to keep his mind sharp. There is stuff in the book I had never thought of!

Last book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog health, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners.


Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue
Adopt A Pet You can go online and search for more of this breed to adopt at Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue, kennels, foster homes, etc.

Dog Health Issues For Staffordshire Bull Terriers
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog health and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Urolithiasis—Excessive crystals (urinary stones or bladder or kidney stones) can form in the urinary tract or kidney, bladder or urethra, blocking the flow of urine. The crystals or stones irritate the lining of the urinary tract. They cause blood in the urine and pain and in severe cases make urination impossible. Symptoms are frequent urination, urinating in odd places, blood in urine, dribbling, depression, weakness, straining, pain, vomiting and loss of appetite. Dogs can be treated by diet, medications and surgery, depending on the dog, severity and other circumstances of the individual case.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Cushing’s disease—(Hyperadrenocorticism) Too much glucocorticoid is produced by the adrenal or pituitary glands at which time symptoms occur such as hair loss, increased drinking and urination, increased appetite and enlarged abdomen. The disease progresses slowly and the dog can be sick 1 to 6 years without anyone noticing any symptoms. Some dogs may have just one symptom, usually hair loss and owners often contribute the dog's condition to “old age.”. This is not a young dog’s illness. There are several treatments available including surgery which might save the dog’s life depending on the existence of cancerous tumors.

  • Mast Cell Tumors—Mast cells are found throughout the body and help maintain the dog’s normal immune response, health and body functions. The tumors in question are CANCEROUS and spread through the body. There is no known cause for mast cell cancer and no cure, other than surgery for early-detected, low degree tumors that haven't spread too far. The best formula is to keep the dog as healthy as possible and be aware of any signs of tumors or poor health. Whether the dog survives or not depends on how advanced and fast moving the malignant tumor is.

  • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Dog Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem:
    Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

  • Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision similar to humans and can cause blindness if not treated.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is also quite prone to suffering from arthritis as she ages.

Other health problems could occur with your Staffordshire Bull Terrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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