Staffordshire Bull Terrier 17

Staffordshire Bull TerrierThe Staffordshire Bull Terrier originates from the region of Staffordshire, England in the 19th century and is genetically related to the Mastiff and the Bull Terrier. When bear- and bull-baiting were banned, people who’d made a living off that bloodsport started mixing the Elizabethan bear-baiting, bull-baiting mastiff type ‘Bulldogs’ with terriers to reduce their size.  The goal was to get a smaller, more agile dog that would be fit for dogfighting instead of attacking larger animals. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a local version of the various fighting dogs that resulted, originating in the coal mining areas of Staffordshire, England. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, like all breeds, retains the traits its forebears were bred for – in this case, the trait referred to as “gameness”. “Gameness” is an eagerness to engage in fighting activities and willingness to continue despite injury or pain to the attacking dog.  Originally no more than 16” at the shoulder, these Mastiff / ‘molosser’ descendants were classified as terriers by the British Kennel Club in 1935, partly to disguise their fighting history. The breed wasn’t recognized by the AKC until 1975. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is nowadays often much larger, thus losing the main difference that distinguished them from the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. The Staffordshire is a Pit Bull type breed.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can be a difficult and challenging breed to own. They can be very affectionate with their families and may be friendly to most strangers, but they are often wary of certain people and this is often unforeseeable. Despite being bonded to their families, there are cases where they have been aggressive or attacked Staffordshire Bull Terrier 3a family member. At times, they can display unpredictable behaviors such as hostility and fear. They are happy dogs with an enthusiastic nature. They can be very energetic, and can lack boundaries, by jumping up, over licking, or pawing people. They have a tendency to chew and enjoy playing with chew toys. They are not recommended for owners who would like an even tempered dog. The breed is known to be fearless and often will hurt themselves by doing things such as jumping through windows or breaking through fences. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can do well with children, but extreme caution should be taken due to their breed history and strength. Despite the often cited myth that this dog was a “nanny dog”, there is no evidence in history that they were ever bred to do well with or “babysit” children. One of the largest Pit Bull advocacy groups, Bad Rap, recently retracted the “nanny dog” myth and does not recommend Pit Bull types breeds around children.

This canine can do well with other animals if raised with them, but it is advised never to leave a Staffordshire Bull Terrier with other pets unsupervised. Staffordshire Bull Terriers often can be aggressive with unfamiliar animals and have been known to attack animals such as cats, dogs, horses and other livestock. There have been instances where they have been aggressive suddenly with animals they were raised with. Caution and careful observation should always be taken when introducing them to unfamiliar animals. They are not suitable for off leash dogs parks.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier needs proper socialization and training at an early age. They are high energy and can be a challenge to manage. They require a firm and consistent owner. They are very strong and handlers need to be in control at all times. Even with proper training and socialization, they can be difficult to control, displaying unwanted behaviors, including spontaneous outbursts of aggression. Also, we are talking about socialization to humans here. No Staffordshire Bull Terrier 2amount of socialization will make a Staffordshire Bull Terrier less unpredictably aggressive towards other animals.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers need regular vigorous daily exercise. They are active indoors and outdoors. Long daily walks and play time can be ideal. If they do not receive enough exercise, they can become bored and destructive. Due to their energy and stamina, they can make great jogging partners.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers have minimal grooming requirements. They are prone to medical issues such as eye issues, hip dysplasia, and mast cell tumors. Common behavioral issues include OCDs and rage syndrome. They weigh between 23-40 lbs and can live 11-13 years.

In North America, from 1982-2015, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 4,008 humans that resulted in 2,567 maimings and 328 deaths

In the United Kingdom, where the breed originated, from June 2013 to February 2014 Staffordshire Bull Terriers and other Pit Bull breeds have maimed 13 people and killed 4.


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17 thoughts on “Staffordshire Bull Terrier

  • Deb

    Hi all.
    I have had staffies for the passed 11 years. My old boy grew up with my cat (then a kitten) and were best pals. My staffie was also a great companion for my autistic son. Very loving and caring and i would have trusted him with anyone.
    Sadly he was put to sleep in February due to cancer. Leaving such a big gap in all our lives we now have another staffie pup. Who is socializing really well. I belive background and the owners are partly to blame for unpredictability. And as Tia says they are very misunderstood.
    I would never have any other breed now.
    My pup is 21 weeks old and is a member of the kennel club. He is like having a happy toddler around the house again.
    My heart goes out to all who have lost a child or loved one in a dog attack. And i couldn’t even begin to understand the lasting effects on you and your families.
    But as it has been said there is good and bad in the human race to. And we are taught and teach our kids never to judge someone by others mistakes. The same applies to animals to.
    My old boy was attacked by another staffie 6 months before he died and yet he never even thought of fighting back.


    • Richard Prince

      You are comparing the judgement of humans to the judgement of dogs. The two judgements do not even relate. Dogs are much more instinctual and will act on what feels good for them. Your philosophy is seriously twisted and exposes extreme ignorance on your part. I will assume it was innocent ignorance up to this point, but after reading these facts about these dogs, you have now shown willful ignorance. You have no excuses to hide behind if your pit bull mauls someone.

  • Sheila Barnley

    We have a French bull dog/staffie cross, she weighs 14.7 and is affectionate and loves every body, but we are looking to take her to Spain with us for 2 months and am worried that we will have a problem, as have read they do not allow Stafforshire Bull Terriers in Spain now, her passport reads crossbreed, what would happen if we took her to Spain and they think she is a staffie. Am really worried about this. Look forward to your reply. Many thanks. Sheila Barnley.

  • Lynn

    Wow…I’ve been in the breed for 10 years and have never seen such a poorly written article. Not factual at all. Seems like parts from all different breeds here are being written to make up some new breed the writer conjured up. Do real research people and you will find the SBT is not a Pitt Bull and in fact became a family dog as opposed to a fighting dog because if their love and devotion for people over fighting. They are not as big as the story states but are still in line with all standards published.

    • Toni P.


      I write the dog biographies as well as the dog related content. They are primarily based on my 15 years of professionally working in the animal field. Each biography is submitted to my fellow colleagues, who each have 20-40 years of professional animal experience, for review and discussion. My intent is not to make dog breed enthusiasts happy, but to convey honest information for the public to consider before acquiring a breed of dog. Each biography describes the positive and negative aspects of the breed. There is not a perfect breed, but different breeds are suitable for the needs and wants of different people.

      We understand that owners of breeds can become upset when the negative traits of their favorite breeds are discussed truthfully. You are not the first person to tell me that the biography is wrong. I always ask for legitimate sources that prove the information is incorrect and after that information is thoroughly reviewed, I would be willing to make the appropriate changes. I have yet to have someone submit the sources that back up their view point. I suspect that is because it is very difficult to prove your emotional response to your favorite breed.

      You can submit any of your sources for review, but please keep in mind that I do not accept the NCRC or Animal Farm Foundation as “legitimate” sources. Just so it is clear, I do not have a favorite breed and do not base my information on any sort of personal bias. I do personally own a dog that is list on the “Potentially Dangerous” list. I do not receive any compensation for the content I write for Daxton’s Friends. Victims do not participate in the production of the dog related content.

      Thank you!

      • Meg Scott

        This is correct information not the inaccurate weights in the description.
        Average height to withers: Males between 14-16 inches with females from 13-15 inches.

        Average weight: 11kg-17kg for males with females between 10kg-16kg.

        Stocky, muscular and athletic, this dog has great strength for its size and is surprisingly agile. The head should be broad and deep with a short fore face and a black nose. The round eyes are generally dark but can also be lighter in relation to the colour of the coat and the ears are usually half pricked up. The stocky and short neck generally widens out towards the shoulders and to a smooth level body, tapering to a thin pointed tail which is carried quite low. The coat is short and smooth and can be a multitude of colours including red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colours combined with white and/or brindle.

      • Don H.

        A breed standard Stafford is no where near the size of the American Staffordshire Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terriers. That is where the confusion lies. The breed has been bastardized because of humans and their treatment of the breed, not because they are bad dogs. Animal racism in a nut shell. Everyone I have been exposed to were raised in a loving house and were sweethearts. The ones that were aggressive had owners who were idiots and made them that way.

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      Pit Bull ordinance back under the microscope

      The City of Camdenton could see a change in animal ordinances dealing with dangerous dogs and Pit Bull breeds. The Board of Aldermen is taking a serious look at its animal ordinance. During the board’s most recent meeting, the city’s attorney presented the board with a new sample ordinance.

      A Pit Bull is defined as a Staffordshire bull terrier breed of dog, the American pit bull terrier breed of dog, the American Staffordshire terrier breed of dog; any mixed breed of dog which contains as an element of its breeding the breed of Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, or American pit bull terrier as to be identifiable as partially of the breed Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, or American pit bull terrier, or any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominantly of the breeds of Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier; and other breeds commonly known as pit bulls, pit bull dogs, or pit bull terriers, or a combination of any of these breeds.

      Read more:

  • Meg Scott

    Jeff whoever did your information on Stafford bull terriers is totally biased and feel you could have written it more positively . I would agree that there is irresponsible owners of this breed in the uk . I have owned them for 30 years fully socialised with dogs and people and no issues whatsoever .Bull breeds I will always love these particular breed for their fun loving and eager- to- please characters . Like many dog lovers I’m always upset to hear the latest piece of anti staffy news or gossip. It seems that the media in general really has it in for these breeds . It makes me mad that journalists are all too keen to slate the Staffy while failing to look at the dimwitted owner who didn’t have their dog under control.

    Here are my top reasons to love a Stafford:
    Wide smile – so entertaining
    Fat butt / whippy tail combination
    Always delighted to see you
    Very energetic – except when asleep
    Can shimmy from to of head to tip of tail when happy
    Welcoming eyes
    They look especially fetching when grey around the muzzle
    Extremely affectionate
    They have SUCH a big character and loving.
    All mine are so glad to see all visitors .

    Thank you


    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      In the United Kingdom, where the breed originated, from June 2013 to February 2014 Staffordshire Bull Terriers and other Pit Bull breeds have maimed 13 people and killed 4.

      • Meg Scott

        The dogs, affectionately known as “Staffies”, are not on the government’s banned list and never will be as the breed posed no threat to humans, according to Jim Paice, the agriculture minister also responsible owners.
        Mr Paice told MPs that he had grown up with bull terriers as a child and backed a campaign to “reclaim the breed’s good name”.
        However, he said ministers were considering reforms to the law, expected to be announced early next year, in order to make sure dog owners face up to their responsibilities to control potentially dangerous animals.The minister, Mr Paice, said he was “happy to endorse that campaign, having been brought up as a child with bull terriers”.
        The Parliamentary praise for “Staffies” came as MPs debated calls from animal welfare charities and victims of dog attacks for reforms to the DDA again will never feature Staffys.

        The minister said negotiations were on reforming the law, and suggested that details would be announced early in the new year. Which does not include Staffordshire bull terriers .

        A Defra spokesman said: “We are working hard to reduce the problems of irresponsible dog ownership which will make our homes, streets and public spaces safer.
        There’s no easy solution. We will be announcing new measures early in the new year that will better protect the public, allow the police and councils to better enforce the law and ensure dog owners take responsibility for their animals.

      • Genny

        In the U.K. In that same period approx 600 people were murdered by people. Also in that period over 1200 pet owners were prosecuted for cruelty to puts it in perspective that dog attacks by staffies is rare. In my experience it’s the small dogs that are snappy and bite but thankfully can’t do much damage as they are small. In fact I have been bitten, scratched by cats only. Some animals are aggressive but the amount of dog attacks versus the amount of people who attack and mistreat dogs is minute.. in that period you quote people attacking dogs and prosecuted for it was 86 to 1 dog attack. For every death of a person killed by a dog, approx 150 people are killed by cold blooded murder by other people intentionally! There is far too much propaganda and bad press about so called dangerous dogs who are animals after all and humans who should know better and are inflicting greater levels of cruelty on people and animals should look to fix this before demonising dogs who on the whole are loving, loyal and less aggressive than people.

        • Richard Prince

          Ypur statement does not even qualify as a counterpoint. Should we negate your stats on murders because of the rate of death by Cancer? Automobile crashes? Heroin overdoses?

          To put things into perspective that are actually relevant to canine ownership I would point out that 90% of maulings, maimings and human deaths caused by canine attacks are inflicted by the pit bull type of dog. Pit bulls are only about 6 or 7% of the total canine population, but cause 90% of the carnage.

    • Daxtons Friends Post author


      We appreciate your comment. The dog biographies and other animal related content are written by a team of animal experts with extensive backgrounds in the animal welfare field. Victims/advocates are not involved in writing process of the content featured on our website, with the exception of the “Victim”s Stories” section. Therefore, the biography for Stafford Bull Terrier is not based on bias information, but what our team of experts considers a true representation of the breed. While some of your reasons to “love a Stafford”, such as “welcoming eyes”, “fat butt”, “wide smile” are cute, they are based on emotional preferences, personal interpretations, and physical characteristics. The goal of the dog biographies is the present potential owners with the most important and necessary information to ensure a successful dog match. We are thrilled that you are happy with your breed choice and have had 30 years of success with the dogs. We wish you the best!

      Daxton’s Friends