Country of Origin: England
Height: 14 to 16 inches
Weight: Males 28 to 38 pounds, females 24 to 34 pounds
Coat: Short, smooth, close
Colors: Red, fawn, white, black, blue, or any of these colors with white; any shade of brindle; any shade of brindle with white
Registries (With Group): AKC (Terrier); UKC (Terrier)
Origin and History
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (“Staffy Bull”) descends from early Greek mastiff-type dogs called Molossians, who found their way into fighting arenas throughout the Roman Empire, entertaining the people by fighting every kind of creature, from human to elephant. Developed from bull-and-terrier types, the Staffy Bull’s ancestors were originally used by butchers to manage bulls and by hunters to help catch and hold wild boars and other game. In England, these tasks evolved to become the sports of bull- and bearbaiting, the act of pitting dogs against bulls or bears, until these blood sports were outlawed in 1835. Dogfighting sprang up in its place and preserved a role for a dog who possessed sheer strength, stamina, and the biting and wrestling ability to take on another animal to its death.
By the 1930s, dogfighting had been outlawed. Rather than see his beloved dogs vanish with their profession, fancier Joseph Dunn organized a club and worked to have the breed recognized by England’s Kennel Club (KC). The name “Staffordshire Bull Terrier” was chosen in place of “Bull-and-Terrier” to distinguish him from the Bull Terrier.
After official acceptance in 1935, the breed’s good qualities elevated it to a position of popularity in its homeland, and it has retained that favor. The breed was recognized in the United States in 1974.
This breed is well known for its gentle, playful temperament. He loves his family, especially children, and has even been nicknamed the “Nanny Dog” because of his devotion to them. The Staffy Bull can be aggressive toward other dogs and animals.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s energy reserve and great stamina mean that he requires quite a bit of exercise to maintain his muscular body. His owner should be willing to find time for lots of long walks, as well as be able to supply him with a safely fenced area for running free.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s smooth, short hair is easily maintained a few times a week with a grooming mitt. This will remove dead hair and help distribute the natural oils in his coat.
The average life span of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is 12 to 14 years.
The Staffy Bull is highly intelligent, although he has a tendency toward stubbornness and independence, traits that can prove challenging to his trainer. However, he is quick to pick up commands and responds well when trained gently but firmly. Proper socialization at an early age is essential for the breed.
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