Staffordshire Bull Terrier
A Courageous And Loyal Companion!

It is generally believed that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier resulted from the cross breeding of Mastiffs, Bulldogs and various other terriers, and traces its history back to around the 17th century.

Although historically connected with bull and bear baiting and dog fighting, some 150 years ago, both its size and demeanor have significantly changed over this many years.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog lying in the grassCourtesy L.Bublitz

While the SBT may still be a bit more dog-aggressive, which should be balanced by early socialization, it should not be misconstrued that this trait is directed towards humans.

Quite the contrary - fighting dogs of old were culled if they showed any aggression toward people to ensure that this trait would not be carried over to the next generation.

Today's SBT, not to be confused with the American Staffordshire Terrier, is frequently seen competing in dog shows, where he is a popular and able contender in agility, obedience, flyball, and conformation.

Appearance of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier illustration

Height: 14-16 inches
Weight: 24-38 lbs
Color variations: Red, Fawn, White, Black, Blue, and Brindle

The Staffie gives every appearance of the very strong and solid-looking dog that he is. He is well muscled and powerful with a broad head and an expression conveying intelligence and character.


The Staffie has a smooth short coat that lies close to the body.

It is easy care as far as maintenance, requiring only a weekly  brushing. The Ionic Brass Boar Brush is the ideal brush to smooth the coat, distribute the natural oils and keep it shiny while removing dander and debris.

Shedding is minimal except during times of seasonal coat changes when it will be heavier.

Inspect and give attention to the nails and ears regularly.

ionic brass brush for dog

Characteristics of the SBT

Staffordshire Bull Terrier chewing on a stickCourtesy Myriams-Fotos

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a dog that is exuberant about everything he does. He plays, works, loves and lives life to the max, and he does it with a sense of humor.

Long gone is the fierceness this breed needed for fighting. He has, however, retained the best of his early attributes - those of courage, loyalty and devotion, affection and reliability.

He has an endearing personality and is treasured by many as a trustworthy and obedient companion.

On the flip side, there's a wee bit of terrier stubbornness when it comes to training. What works best with SBTs is patience and persistence - never harshness. They respond best to friendly persuasion!

But make no mistake about it, they are intelligent and owners will be delighted with how much they can learn.

Puppy classes with seasoned instructors are recommended, as is early socialization with other dogs to balance out any sign of dog aggressiveness.

Health Issues Associated With The Breed

While the SBT is considered a generally healthy breed, there are incidents of the following diseases that may affect them:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Patella Luxation
  • Hereditary juvenile cataracts and other eye conditions
  • L-2 Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria (brain related )

Responsible breeders will survey these areas and have the available tests carried out to evaluate potential breeding stock as part of a health evaluation and to prevent hereditary conditions being passed along. 

Activity Level of the Breed

This breed is very energetic and needs to be thoroughly exercised on a daily basis and always on a leash. Outdoor activities are excellent for both mental an physical stimulation.

Runners and joggers will find the SBT very able to keep the pace when they have been gradually accustomed to the activity.

Ideal Living Space

Provided sufficient exercise is given, the SBT is adaptable to apartment life as well as a house.

A secure outdoor area for play, training and necessary breaks, is always the ideal.

The Staffie With Children?

Has an excellent reputation with children, being especially affectionate with them.

Best with children, who have been taught how to handle pets with respect while establishing leadership with them. Smaller children might find the Staffie too exhuberant.

As with any breed of dog, we recommend that owners always have an adult present when pets and children are interacting.


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, although extremely loving and devoted, is most likely too active for seniors or families that prefer a more sedentary life style.

Further Reading

Staffordshire Bull Terriers guide book
The Complete Guide to Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Detailed well-written Guide to Staffordshire Bull Terriers including how to choose a puppy and what it's like to own the breed, training and avoiding mistakes, grooming, health care, and senior care.  This book will answer all your questions and includes much history about the breed.

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For more information on the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or to find a rescue:  Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America

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