Staffordshire Bull Terrier

As a breed, the "Staffie" is a comparative newcomer, but its antecedents probably go back 6,000 years as it belongs to an exclusive club of Mastiff-style dogs, which were bred game enough to fight against all odds on the bidding of their masters.


The ancestors of the modem Staffie once fought in battles shoulder to shoulder with soldiers: they fought wild animals in Roman times; and later bulls, bears, rats and, finally, each other. The Duke of Hamilton, a spoiling rake of around 1770, set out to develop a lighter fighting dog - the big Bulldogs not being fast enough - which is claimed to be the forerunner of the breed today. At the end of the eighteenth century, it was simply the best fighting dog around. However, it was not until the 1930s that a Breed Standard was created and the Staffie became a show dog and companion.

Even though it is very muscular and powerfully built, the Staffie is an energetic and agile dog.


Fearless, people-friendly and intelligent, Staffies must be disciplined and trained. This is relatively easy but patience is needed. Despite its bloody history, it is. today, one of the most faithful, affectionate, family-loving pets. A Staffie will fiercely guard babies and is good with older children when they show respect.

must know

Generally a healthy breed but buy from eye-tested parents and have your puppy tested.


This chunky, well-muscled, medium-small dog has a wide head, a pump handle tail and walks with a jaunty air. The smooth coat is red. fawn, white, black or blue. Height is related to weight and most dogs are 35.5-40.5cm (14-16in) tall.

The Staffie has a wide, deep chest and straight forelegs.

Affectionate and extremely loyal, Staffordshire Bull Terriers make good family pets.

Strangers 5/5

A forceful deterrent

Temperament 4/5

Easy-going, happy clown

Exercise 4/5

Walking, running and play essential

Grooming 1/5

Very little; use a hound glove to polish

Other dogs 5/5

Not confrontational but will never back down


A wonderful family dog; not for the novice owner

General care

Grooming is minimal; all that is needed is a brush and polish weekly to get rid of dead hairs. Staffies need both physical and mental stimulation, with plenty of exercise, including free running and play.

Gallery of Staffordshire Bull Terrier