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Despite a fierce appearance, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a lover, not a fighter. It is gentle, docile, easy to care for and always seeking fun.

     Staffordshire Bull Terrier At a glance


Weight Range:

Male: 35-40 lbs.
Female: 30-35 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 19 in.

Female: 18 in.


Exercise Requirements: Average
Energy Level: 12-14 yrs
Daily Average Caloric Intake: Low
Tendency to Drool: Low Tendency to Snore: Medium
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: High Social/Attention Needs: Dog fighting

Bred For:

Dog Fighting


Length: Short
Characteristics: Flat
Colors: Red, fawn, black, white, blue, brindle with or without white
Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Terrier
UKC Classification: Terrier
Prevalence: So-so

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dog Breed

In England, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is nicknamed the "nanny dog" because of its reputation as a child's playmate and guardian.

There is no mistaking this dog. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a tough-looking character.

The dog is relatively wide and slightly longer than tall, giving it a low center of gravity. Most striking of all, however, are the huge muscles and wide jaws. This dog is the picture of power, yet it is surprisingly agile and quick on its feet.

These dogs pack a lot of weight on a fairly short body. They range in weight from 30 to 40 pounds (13 to 18 kilograms) and in height from 17 to 19 inches. They give the impression of being much larger than they really are.

The tail is of medium length and carried low. The ears are never cropped; they are small and wither rose-shaped or half prick. The short, sleek coat comes in a wide variety of colors.


In its home country of England, the Staffordshire bull terrier is nicknamed the "nanny dog," such is its reputation as a child's playmate and guardian. Despite his fierce appearance, this dog is a lover, not a fighter. The breed is gentle, docile, and always on the look out for fun. Although not looking for trouble, the Staffordshire will not back down to a challenge and is not always agreeable with other dogs.

Obedience training is possible, although it is not the Staffordshire's strong point. Force training methods will lead nowhere, but if training is made into a game, then the Stafford is more than willing to play.

Living With:

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a dog that needs two things in life — close human contact and a chance to play. He is far too much a people dog to be exiled to the yard, and far too much an athlete to be stuck inside all day. Living with a Stafford means sharing time both inside and out. Given proper exercise of body and mind, the Stafford is a well-behaved house dog.

Because some Staffordshires are not good around strange dogs, precautions should be made that they not encounter dogs while loose. A Stafford may not start a fight, but he will not run away from one. As a member of the family of bull breeds, the Stafford is eyed by many people as public enemy number one. Do not give them any reason to support that impression.

This is an easy upkeep dog, needing no special grooming.


Like all the bull breeds, the Staffordshire bull terrier can trace its heritage back to the ancient Molossian war dogs of the Greeks. The Mollossians in turn gave rise to the great Mastiffs of Europe, and then to the family of dogs bred to bait bulls and other animals. In an era in which entertainment often centered on gambling and blood sports, these dogs were held in the highest esteem. When blood sports were banned in England in 1835, breed aficionados turned to clandestine dog fights to test their dogs' gameness.

In the late 1800s, dog shows offered another, more civilized venue in which to challenge these dogs against each other, but the street-tough dog with the ignoble background was not exactly what the show elite had in mind. Concerted efforts by breeders to prove their dogs to be as well suited as pets and show dogs as they were as fighting dogs won over the English Kennel Club in 1935 and the American Kennel Club in 1974. In the meantime, the breed had won over many families who found its courageousness matched only by its faithfulness.