Staffordshire Bull Terrier illustration
Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Highly intelligent and affectionate especially with children

Breed characteristics

Size
Small
Exercise
Up to 1 hour per day
Size of home
Small house
Grooming
Once a week
Coat length
Short
Sheds
Yes
Lifespan
Over 12 years
Vulnerable native breed
No
Town or country
Either
Size of garden
Small/ medium garden

About this breed

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier shares the same ancestry as the Bull Terrier, i.e. Bulldog crossed with the Black and Tan terrier, and was developed as a fighting dog. When the founder of the Bull Terrier James Hinks added other breeds like the Collie to change the head shape of that breed, devotees of the original type of bull terrier cross remained loyal to their preferred type. Because of its early association with fighting it was, for some time, difficult to get recognition for the breed and it was not until the 1930s that The Kennel Club recognised the breed. It carried the name Staffordshire as the breed was developed in the “black country” of Staffordshire and northern parts of Birmingham.

Unlike other breeds it is shown traditionally in a broad leather collar ornamented with brass emblems, containing the Staffordshire Knot – as a tribute to its origins.

Despite its early function, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is known as a wonderful family pet.

Read the breed standard

Images for this breed

The Terrier breed group

Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.

Breed standard colours

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Breed standard colours in this breed include:

  • Black
  • Black & Tan
  • Black & White
  • Black Brindle
  • Black Brindle & White
  • Blue
  • Blue & White
  • Blue Brindle
  • Blue Brindle & White
  • Brindle
  • Brindle & White
  • Dark Brindle
  • Dark Brindle & White
  • Fawn Brindle & White
  • Fawn
  • Fawn & White
  • Liver
  • Red
  • Red & White 
  • Red Brindle 
  • Red Brindle & White 
  • White
  • White & Black Pied 
  • White & Blue Pied 
  • White & Brindle Pied
  • White & Fawn Pied
  • White & Red Pied

Other colour/s

'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.

Non-breed-standard colours

Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.

Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.

Health

Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

More about health

Priority health schemes and tests

The Kennel Club's Assured Breeders must use the following schemes, tests and advice. All other breeders are strongly advised to also use these.

Important health schemes and tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following schemes, tests and advice.

*CombiBreed - simple to use and easy to organise all-in-one DNA tests for breeders

The DNA tests listed above marked with an * are included in our CombiBreed health test package. This includes:

  • HC-HSF4 (Hereditary cataract)
  • L2-HGA (L2-Hydroxyglutaric aciduria)

As part of this package, all four tests are carried out from a single swab for a total of £135 (incl. VAT). Assured breeders receive a 10% discount (£121.50 incl. VAT).

Find out more about our CombiBreed health packages.

Find out about a particular dog's results

Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.

You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have any questions about health in your breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.

Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

Contact the breed health co-ordinator for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Breed watch

Category 2

Particular points of concern for individual breeds may include features not specifically highlighted in the breed standard including current issues. In some breeds, features may be listed which, if exaggerated, might potentially affect the breed in the future.

Read more

Breeding restrictions

There are a number of The Kennel Club's rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.

More about breeding

With effect from 5th January 2010, merle puppies whelped from a mating on or after this date will not be registered. This is due to associated health risks of impaired vision and hearing associated with the merle gene in this breed.

With effect from 1st January 2013, The Kennel Club will not register puppies whelped from a merle to merle mating born on or after this date. This is due to associated health risks of impaired vision and hearing associated with the merle gene in this breed.

More information

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