How to Identify a Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire bull terrier isn’t an American Staffordshire terrier, nor is he a pit bull. There is a resemblance to both of these canines, the former an actual breed and the latter a generic type. The Staffordshire bull terrier is also a breed, recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1974.
He’s far more common in the United Kingdom than the United States. In his native Britain, he’s among the top 10 most popular breeds.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire bull terrier’s ancestors include the ancient bulldog, which is not the wrinkly sweetheart we know today. Those dogs were used for bear-baiting, an activity outlawed in Great Britain in the mid-19th century. Some lines of bulldogs were crossed with terriers to become fighting dogs.
The Staffordshire Bull Club of America states that Manchester terriers were likely used in the cross, with other breeds including the pointer and Dalmatian possibly added to the mix.
The Staffordshire bull terrier resembles a smaller version of the American Staffordshire terrier. At maturity, this medium sized breed stands between 14 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder, weighing between 24 to 38 pounds.
Although not large, the Staffordshire bull terrier is quite muscular. He should appear strong and well-balanced. His head is broad, with prominent cheek muscles. His ears are either rose-shaped — the inner ear always apparent — or half-pricked, but not dropped down or fully standing.
Coat and Colors
The Staffordshire bull terrier sports a short, smooth coat and requires minimal grooming. Acceptable colors in the breed include white, black, red, blue or fawn, along with white.
Brindle, consisting of a lighter base coat with black striping, is also permitted. Solid white is allowed, but liver or black and tan coloration is undesirable in the breed, and such dogs can’t show in conformation classes.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Temperament
The Staffordshire bull terrier loves kids. In Britain, he’s called the nursemaid dog. While he’s an excellent family pet, that love doesn’t extend to other dogs, cats or other small animals. This is a dog who needs plenty of exercise, and a firm hand to guide him.
He’s a good watchdog, and, like any terrier, brave and stubborn. However, because he’s so people-oriented, his bark is definitely worse than his bite. Staffordshire bull terriers are smart dogs who require training.
Without it, these strong-minded dogs could end up running the show, without listening to you. Channeled properly, the dog’s enormous energy and skills make him a fine competitor in canine sports, such as agility.