The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or Staffie, shares its heritage with the Bull Terrier, being a Bulldog crossed with the Black and Tan Terrier. In the early 1800’s the “sports” of rat killing and dog fighting popular with the city-dwelling working classes, and they were originally bred for this.
Selective breeding resulted in a nimble dog with incredibly strong jaws. In addition, as the dog had to be easily handled, and further selective breeding also produced a dog that was non-aggressive towards people, which is why they make such good family pets these days.
They were bred in the working class, industrial areas of The Black Country and Birmingham, which gave its name of The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Staffordshire is the English county that covers much of this area)
By the time dog fighting was at last banned in Britain the breed has so enamored itself to its fans the Staffordshire Bull Terrier continued to have a loyal following. However, their unsavoury past meant they were not recognised as a breed until the early part of the twentieth century.
By the 1930s they gained respectability and were accepted into the Kennel Club of England as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier – not to be confused with the Bull Terrier.
The American Staffordshire Terrier or Pit Bull
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an English breed of dog and should not be confused with their larger cousin the American Staffordshire Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terrier.
The Staffie as a dog breed has as many supporters and perhaps just as many detractors. Over the generations, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has put its fighting history behind it and his other famous trait, as a loving family member, has earned him a place in the hearts of many.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, like many dog breeds is a fun loving character that loves to play with family and friends. Staffies are generally responsive to their owner’s wishes, are companionable, amiable and docile. A typical Staffie is energetic, devoted to his families, and normally loves meeting strangers.
As with most dog breeds the Staffordshire Bull Terrier needs a good walk on leash everyday, and also enjoys a good game in the yard or a run in a safe area. Staffies are capable of living outdoors in mild climates, however they are affected by the cold and they crave human contact. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are therefore better suited to being house dogs.
- Group: Terrier
- Size: Medium
- Height: male: 36-41cm, female: 33-38cm
- Color(s): Black, blue, fawn or brindle, often with white markings
- Lifespan: 12+ years (13 years is their average but some live well beyond this)
- Exercise: Flexible
- Grooming: Low
- Trainability: Excellent
- Watchdog ability: Low
- Protection ability: Moderate
- Area of Origin: England – Midlands
- Date of Origin: 1935
- Other Names: Staffie
- Original Function: Vermin hunting