Staffordshire Bull Terrier is medium-sized dog generally standing between 13-16in and weighing 25-38 lbs, short and muscular
with a medium sized square head and short muzzle. Ears are normally rose or half-pricked. Eyes are round, of medium-size set
Staffie loves to play work and give love back. It is a very good family dog, known for its affection, tolerance and protection
of children. This helped the breed become known as the Nanny Dog for its excellent nature with children.
The breed is generally very good with other
animals, however as with every dog appropriate training in the form of good, early socialising is essential to avoid any potential
for problems later.
need to be stimulated particular in play and things to chew – otherwise they will chew something you might not want
them to. They are very responsive to training at this young age and are intelligent enough to learn quickly through reward
should be strong and well made and must not contain any small items – such as squeakies that the dog could swallow.
Being robust, energetic, intelligent and
fearless the dog may well find itself attempting things it is not capable of doing – jumping down from a high point, walking through glass, diving into scrub. So
you need to be careful that you do not inadvertently allow your dog to injure themselves.
Every member of the family needs to know
how to handle the Staffie, and that means that the dog should only be in households where every member of
the family is able to be firm and confident in leading the dog correctly. Very small children while normally
safe with a Staffie will not be able to correct a naughty dog.
Training as with every dog is important, however with a Staffie if you do
not set rules early on your dog may become difficult to handle and even stubborn! All responsible owners of any dog need to
ensure their dogs are well trained to avoid problems later on.
If you think a Staffie has a problem -you’re
looking at the wrong end of the lead
There are several things to consider. First, as with any dog, irresponsible ownership will
lead to problems. This can affect any breed. This leads directly to the second issue, the status of the dog among certain
groups who wrongly consider the Staffie as an aggressive, fighting dog. This generation of owners have purchased puppies often
from unscrupulous breeders and discarded them once they have lost interest. They purchased their puppy as a status symbol,
part of a fad, an accessory to their macho image. They often do not train their dogs, or incite behaviour which is unacceptable
for any dog.
of the most troubling issues is that many breeders of other types of dog, notably the American Pit Bull are
passing their dogs off as Staffies. The two breeds are completely different but not too dissimilar in appearance. They may
breed Staffies with mastiffs, pit bulls and other dog types to try and get around the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Happy Staffie Rescue are committed to working
hard to redress the imbalance that has seen many Staffies portrayed as nasty fighting dogs. We agree with the RSPCA who have
recently launched a campaign to rehome Staffies because of the growing numbers coming into rescue centres across the country.
The RSPCA rightly points out that the breed has had a bad press, not of their own making.
How do I tell the
difference between a Staffie and something else
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is very similar in appearance
to many bull breeds. The English Bull Terrier the traditional “Bully” is easily distinguished by its head, which
viewed from the side looks like an upside down egg. The “Bully” also has distinctive small, triangle-shaped eyes.
There are however several other breeds that
can cause confusion. The fact that these dogs are often the cause of many so-called “Staffie” problems is that
they are often similar in appearance to the Staffie, or the media in their ignorance simply show images of Staffies in place
of the correct breed. Only recently a news report on television cited an increase in dog-fighting with American Pit Bull
Terriers but showed images of Staffies.
So how can you tell the difference from a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and its distant American cousins
– the American Pit Bull and the American Staffordshire Terrier? This can be
tricky to the untrained eye. The following basic information gives an idea of what you can look for.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull
American Staffordshire Terrier
From the information above you can see that
the Staffie is shorter and broader. If all three dogs sat next to each other the Staffie would look short and squat when compared
to the others. The American Pit Bull will be taller and leaner. The American Staffordshire Terrier will also be taller but
generally much heavier.
should be noted that many people in America regard both the American Pit Bull and American Staffordshire Terrier as the same
shape of the head is different between the three breeds, but again it is not always simple to see.
The Staffie generally has more pronounced
cheek muscle that the AmStaff or Pit Bull and the head is deeper through. This means the Staffie will have a wider face compared
to the other two breeds.
The front legs of both the Staffie and the AmStaff are more
robust, while in the Pit Bull the hind legs are more pronounced for the extra driving power they have been breed for.
In North American breeders and owners are
prone to the awful practice of clipping the ears of their American Staffordshire’s and their Pit Bulls. This practice
is not generally done on the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. However the practice is not common in the UK so the shape of the ears is difficult to discern between the three breeds.
reading can be found by clicking on the links below
The Kennel Club
Staffy Bull Terriers