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Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed profile is sponsored by visit PetWear to custom design your Bull Terrier's next designer dog collar, leash or more and then let PetWear hand make it and then ship for free!

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier enjoys a dedicated following all over the world.  His history as a fighting dog is less an indication of his true nature than it is an indication of his tenacity, physical power and intelligence.  Today, the happiest Staffordshire is the one that enjoys the company of its family.  This is not to say that there has been a major shift in the temperament of the breed but rather that the owner of a Staffie does not seek to encourage such behavior.  All dogs are born with the innate ability to be aggressive to other dogs, in the case of the Staffie this was historically encouraged.  As it is not today, it is easy to see what a delightful dog has always been present.

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General Information
Group(s): Terrier Height: 14-16 inches
Weight: 20-38 pounds Longevity: midteens
Colors: red, fawn, black, blue, brindle, white or in combination with white; black and tan or liver is highly undesirable Coat type: smooth, short, flat, glossy
Recognized Registries: FCI, KC, CKC, AKC, ANKC, UKC, NCA and others
Overall Appearance: Compact, powerful closely coupled dog with smooth coat and exceptional balance and muscle. Alert, fairly intense expression.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: very high
General Nature: intelligent, powerful, confident, loyal, faithful, courageous to a fault, tenacious
  with Children: variable; typically exceptional when raised with proper supervision and well behaved children
  with other pets: generally unreliable since their purpose is to hunt smaller animals, this is not true of all if only because their original purpose is an all around farm dog
  with dogs: variable
Socialization requirements: rather high
Ideal home characteristics: One that recognizes the training and ongoing commitment to a dog of this atheleticism and intellect.
Temperament Notes: Intelligent, confident (even when poorly socialized), agile, fast, intense
Training requirement: high: socialization, basic manners and ongoing activities
Trainer notes: Bred originally from the all-around farm dogthe Bulldog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was later developed as a more powerful fighting dog.  Eventually his many skills and physical power brought him to the attention of those who found dogfighting to be a "sport".  This is not the fault of the dog and no one has destroyed the breed but plenty of people have destroyed individual dogs by this mentality.  With this said, a well reared Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an incredible companion and training partner.  Agile, fast, intelligent and confident with great devotion, loyalty and desire to please, they often make training look and seem easy in their adept learning.  Even so, this same keen ability means they are not well suited in novice homes that would inadvertantly traing undesirable behaviors as well as desirable ones.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: 1700s
Country of Origin: UK (England)
Original Function: fighting
History: Developed as a more successful fighting dog from the crosses of Bulldogs and other Terriers.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes: hypothyroidism, eye problems, hip/elbow dysplasia, heart disease, ataxia,
Health Testing: OFA, Thyroid Panel, heart evaluation, CERF
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Staffordshire Terriers?
  • Why do you have Staffordshire Terrier (show, performance, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Staffordshire Terrier?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • How do you avoid ataxia in your breeding program?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you send your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Staffordshire Terrier?
  • How would you describe the ideal Staffordshire Terrier home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Staffordshire Terrier?
  • How do you assist or help Staffordshire Terriers in need of rescue?
Web Sites:

Staffordshire Terrier Club of America Rescue Committee Chairperson
Joyce Martin
305 Vinyard Town Center Box 146
Morgan Hill, CA 95037 - Spindletop Bull Terrier Rescue

Other Resources
Breed standard: - The Kennel Club (UK) Standard of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Breeder Ethics: - Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada Code of Ethics - Staffordshire Terrier Club of America Code of Ethics

Other: Ataxia is a debilitating neurological disease with a genetic base.  Afflicted animals are usually symptomatic by the time they are two years of age.  This is the minimum age for screening of hip and elbow xrays by OFA so since there is no diagnostic test for ataxie (prior to its onset) at this time, it is highly irresponsible to breed an American Stafforshire Bull Terrier before this age.
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