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Intelligent, affectionate and athletic

About the Staffy

The Staffy or Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a tough appearance, but on the inside they’re all sweethearts – they love kids and are loyal and devoted to their family members. Most Staffies are bursting with affection for their owners, and want nothing more than to spend time with them.

A Staffy is athletic and powerful, but is completely fine with loafing around the house so long as their owner is there.

While the breed does have a legacy of being a fighting dog, modern Staffordshire Bull Terriers are no more aggressive than any other breed. Well-bred and well-socialised Staffies from ethical breeders are some of the most affectionate, friendly dogs you’ll ever meet.

smiling staffy on a sandy beach

Staffy Breed Characteristics

33 to 41 cm at the shoulder

24 to 38 pounds

Life Expectancy
12 to 14 years

Coat Colours
Fawn, brindle, black, white, red, blue

Here are some of the qualities you can expect from the Staffy, rated from one to five stars. However, all dogs are individuals, and your dog may not display exactly the same characteristics.

Family Life
Friendly with Kids
Friendly with Dogs
Ease of Grooming
Exercise Needs
Prey Drive
Tendency to Bark or Howl
Good for Novice Owners
Apartment Living

Staffy Breed History

During the 19th century, dogs were used for blood sports such as bull baiting. Thankfully, these cruel displays were eventually outlawed, but that only meant that the sports continued in underground matches. 

The larger mastiff-type dogs and bulldogs that were used to fight bulls and bears were simply too large for these illegal matches, so breeders wanted a smaller, more agile dog to fight in the ring. The bloodsports also transitioned to dog-versus-dog combat. 

This resulted in the creation of a number of pit-fighting dogs, including the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is likely the product of crossing a Bulldog with an ancestor of the Manchester Terrier.

These days the Staffy no longer spends its time in the fighting pits, but there remains the stigma of their history. This is a shame, because modern Staffies are loving family pets first and foremost.

Caring For a Staffy

How to Choose a Responsible Staffy Breeder

As with any breed, buying a Staffy puppy begins with looking for a responsible breeder. Registered Staffy breeders will be accountable for the treatment of their dogs and will have the best knowledge of how to care for and raise them. Look for breeders who are able to demonstrate that they have a solid breeding program and the utmost love and respect for their animals.

If possible, visit your breeder so that you can meet the parents of the puppy you’re looking to buy. The health and temperament of the dam and stud will give you some indication of your puppy’s personality. You can also check whether the breeding animals are well-treated and healthy.

Staffy FAQ

No, Staffordshire Bull Terriers do not do well when left alone for long periods. They are extremely close to their family and can become sad and lonely if they receive no human contact.

Almost all dogs can naturally swim, but Staffies are not well suited for swimming. They’re densely-packed with muscle and are naturally front-heavy. This makes it more difficult for them to keep their heads above water. Always supervise your Staffy if they’ll be playing in the water.

Dog Breeds Similar to the Staffy

The information is for general use only. For any specific advice or queries, please consult with your veterinarian.

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