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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

A muscular, smooth-coated dog, the ever-popular Staffordshire Bull Terrier combines both 'bull' and 'terrier' in his physical appearance and gives the impression of strength and agility.

  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–14 years
Weight: Adult males weigh 13–17kg and females 11–15.4kg
Height: 36–41cm
Colours: Red, fawn, white, black or blue, brindle, or any of these with white
Size: Small/Medium
Kennel Club group: Terrier


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 2/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 1/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 3/5
Staffordshire Bull Terrier sitting on the grass


A well-bred, well-socialised Staffordshire Bull Terrier should have an impeccable temperament and be especially good-natured (if not somewhat boisterous!) with people. With other dogs or animals, however, Staffordshire Bull Terriers can be less than friendly, though a great deal depends on his early socialisation and training. Some Staffordshire Terriers live perfectly happily with other dogs and cats; others cannot be walked off-lead in areas where they might meet another dog. Early and ongoing socialisation is essential.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier with tongue out

History and Origins

The origins of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier can be traced back to the 1800s when bull and bear baiting was outlawed. A new 'sport' was devised – dog fighting – and so Bulldogs and Terriers were bred together to produce the Bull and Terrier, from which the Staffordshire Bull Terrier descends. Popular with all classes, including the Victorian working class, the 'Stafford' was often raised in small, cramped conditions with large families – to which his traditionally good temperament with people of all ages can be attributed.

Ideal Owner

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier will suit an owner or a family who want a full-on, enthusiastic, friendly dog that may well not have an off-switch! This is a dog who needs to be involved in everything and is always up for a game. But be aware they may not get on with other dogs, so owners will have to be prepared to socialise them and keep them on lead most of the time.

Living with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier - an owner’s perspective


“They are funny, intelligent and easy to train. They absolutely adore their human families and love a game with children. They are also adaptable and are just as happy to spend the whole day cuddled on the sofa as they are to go on a 10-mile hike. They do like a job to do though and if not given one, they will find one! Chewing is top of their list so you need to make sure they have lots of appropriate things to chew. They are also stubborn, strong and do not always enjoy the company of other dogs. If you want a dog to take to the park and mingle with others, they are probably not the breed for you.”


Health and Common Issues

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog breed is generally a very hardy breed, with few breed specific related problems. As with many breeds, they can suffer some hereditary eye disorders and so eye testing is recommended.

Exercise Needs

At least an hour of exercise is needed daily for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, along with plenty of play and games. Given the chance, Staffordshire Bull Terriers can excel in dog sports such as agility. Many are fine with other dogs, but some are dog-aggressive. If your dog is less friendly, do ensure he is suitably restrained and does not make a nuisance of himself.

Space requirements

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can live in virtually every home. But they do need plenty of daily exercise, so make sure they have access to good walking areas that aren’t too busy with other dogs.

Nutrition and Feeding

The diet for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming Staffordshire Bull Terriers

A low-maintenance breed, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier's short, smooth coat needs very little attention, with a weekly brush being more than sufficient.

Training Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a clever active breed and they can make fabulous students, learning everything from obedience exercises, to tricks to dog sports like agility. They excel at interactive toys and love playing games with their owners. While they may not enjoy training classes because of the proximity of other dogs, if you find a trainer who understands this surprisingly sensitive breed, you will be amazing at just how much these dogs love training.

They must be taught to walk on a lead and hardness, and early and ongoing socialisation is important. This socialisation should focus on teaching them to pay attention to their owner in the presence of other dogs - not to go and play with them.

Best Family Dog Breeds

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are one of the only breeds of dog whose breed standard says ‘good with children’. Most seem to have endless patience with children and enjoy being involved in their games. They may be too boisterous for smaller children however who can easily get bowled over by a bit too much Stafford enthusiasm!

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Developed originally by James Hinks of Birmingham, this breed was appearing at dog shows as early as 1862. But it wasn’t until the 1930s when it was recognised as being a separate breed from the Bull Terrier and had a name change to distinguish the two, adding the county name where it had become so popular.
  • One of the most popular events in the main ring at Crufts over the past few years has been the East Anglia Staffordshire Bull Terrier Display Team, who show their dogs doing everything from competitive agility, to tricks to working with children.

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