Staffordshire Bull Terrier

This Smart, Miniature Pitbull Loves Children

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

This Smart, Miniature Pitbull Loves Children but Requires a Skilled Owner to Provide Kind but Forceful Leadership

In the United Kingdom, people call the Staffordshire Bull Terrier a "children's nursemaid." Small in stature, this miniature pitbull loves people – especially children – but not necessarily other dogs. This dog is also an independent thinker, so be careful to set adequate boundaries without squelching the natural joie de vivre of its personality.


So-called "bully breeds" have been around for many centuries, dating back to at least the 15th century when bull baiting was a common sport. The resulting pit bull type dogs were bred to be smaller and faster than the traditional Bulldog, and as tenacious as the Terrier.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier evolved from these first crossings with Bulldogs and Terriers. Popular with the working class, especially coal miners, in Staffordshire, England, this is where the Staffordshire Bull Terrier gets its name. At that time, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was still used specifically as a fighting breed, with owners pitting dogs against each other for sport. Because they were associated with fighting, Staffordshire Bull Terriers did not get breed recognition for many years, even after fighting was outlawed in 1835. It took a century for the Kennel Club in England to recognize it, and it didn't gain recognition from the American Kennel Club until 1975. Today it is a member of the AKC’s Terrier Group.


Small, strong, and exceedingly muscular, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier looks like a typical "pitbull" in miniature. This dog has a short, deep head, broad skull, and strong jaws; the coat is short and smooth and comes in black, white, blue, fawn, or red; it can also be any of these colors with white or can be brindle with or without white markings.

In adulthood, Staffordshire Bull Terriers stand 13 to 16 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 23 and 38 pounds.


You'd better be ready to keep up with your very energetic, exuberant pet! "Full throttle" describes this breed's one setting for everything – whether it's working, playing, or loving. Obedient, courageous, and affectionate, this dog also has a great sense of humor. It loves people (even strangers) and is exceedingly gentle and devoted to children.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is so courageous and uninhibited that it will jump through glass or off tall structures to rescue someone that it senses is in danger – or simply because it looks like fun. Therefore, you must be careful to protect your pet from such inclinations. Make sure it is on a leash at all times unless you are in a truly safe environment.

Your Staffordshire Bull Terrier is highly reliable as a pet and stable in personality. Cheerful and positive, very self-confident and brave, this is a dog that wants to be "perfect," and in addition to a naturally playful and even goofy nature, is intensely devoted to detail. Your Staffordshire Bull Terrier notices everything and will bark if it senses something is wrong; should you choose to show your dog in competition, it will probably be an excellent candidate for obedience and agility trials.

Even if not shown in competition, this dog loves mental and physical challenges especially new things to accomplish whenever possible. Exceptionally obedient in the right hands, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a fast learner and is remarkably smart.

Other Pets

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier "can" get along with other pets provided it is socialized early, but take care to make sure pets get along before you leave them alone together.

In addition, you MUST be firm and consistent with your naturally very obedient and amiable pet; this is not a pet you can give “free rein” despite its predominantly agreeable nature. Unless you stand firm in your role as pack leader, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier will most definitely take over, and this may make for a rather unhappy household. With firm boundaries and plenty of love and affection, however, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a joy to be around, and an endless source of devotion, love and entertainment. You name it, this dog has it all.

Proper Environment

This little dog can tolerate life in an apartment perfectly well, although it will need lots of exercise to exhaust its relentless level of energy. If you give your pet plenty of opportunities for exercise outside, that boundless energy is quite well contained inside – although still very much present. This dog responds well to crate training, which is an excellent way to keep your pet both safe and happy if you're going to be away for a short period of time.

Proper Toys

Toys deserve their own little section here because this dog has very strong jaws. You might not be surprised at that, given the breed's history, but it means that the toys you give your dog, too, must be very strong. Avoid small toys or plastic toys that can be broken so that small pieces can be swallowed. Puppies, too, should not be allowed to chew on human hands or on anything other than toys even during the "cute" stage, to avoid unintentional injury and property damage.


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can be prone to genetic health problems like hip and elbow dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, and patellar luxation. Your breeder should be able to give you written documentation from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the University Of Pennsylvania that shows your puppy's parents have hips that are rated fair to excellent. The OFA certification should show that the parents of your puppy do not have hip or elbow dysplasia and that their knees do not luxate or slip out of place. Mast cell tumors can also be a problem. Average life expectancy for this sturdy breed is 10 to 16 years.


It's easy to groom your pet; smooth and shorthaired, your pet's coat simply needs a regular brushing with a slicker brush or firm bristle brush; bathe only as necessary. Rub coat with a piece of chamois for a gleaming finish.


Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Retrieved May 10, 2015.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier (English Staffordshire Bull Terrier) (Staffie) (Staffy) (Stafford) (Staffordshire).

Retrieved May 10, 2015.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Retrieved May 10, 2015.

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