Staffies are a fun, friendly and bold breed 🐶
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, aka Staffies may look tough, but they have the nickname ‘nanny dog’ for good reason. They are good with children, often mix well with other dogs and are a fairly social breed.
Staffies are clever, loving and generally have distinct personalities. Part of the Terrier group, they were originally bred for blood sports such as cockfighting and bull-baiting until its ban in 1835. Following this, they were used in illegal dog fights, but a lot has changed since then.
What do Staffordshire Bull Terriers look like?
Staffies are small to medium, stocky dogs. They have a muscular appearance and a broad head with pronounced cheeks. There are 27 standard breed colours currently classified by the UK Kennel Club.
They have short coats and will typically have dark eyes and a black nose. Their ears are typically what’s known as a ‘rose type’ which means they aren’t entirely floppy or erect.
How Big are Staffordshire Bull Terriers?
Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed standards state that staffies should be between 14-16 inches (36-41cm) tall and weigh around 28 to 38 pounds (12-18kg), females don’t differ too much in height, but will often be around 24 to 34 pounds (10.8-15.4kg).
They should be well proportioned, and not overly muscular. Staffies are quite agile, active dogs. However, this will differ and they do come in various shapes and sizes.
Did you know?
Staffordshire Police adopted Cooper (the first Staffordshire Bull Terrier on their force) who worked as a sniffer dog for four years before retiring.
What is a Staffies' temperament like?
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are highly affectionate, protective and loving. They had a bad reputation in the past, but like any breed, they tend to learn from their owners. Each dog will have their own personality and ways, but generally staffies are very sweet dogs.
Due to their size, many people might not consider their energy needs. But they are quite an energetic breed. This doesn’t mean they require lots of walking, but will need to have their enrichment and socialisation needs met to be well-balanced and happy. Doing so will prevent any unwanted behaviours and leave you with a happy, satisfied dog.
Staffies are known to have a high prey drive. This means you should be cautious with them around smaller animals and where you allow them to be off lead. They can also be rough in play, so this will need to be monitored when your dog is socialising or engaging in play. Although friendly with other dogs, like any breed and individual dog, Staffies can sometimes be averse to other dogs, so keep your eye open for signs they aren’t happy when socialising.
Training is essential, especially from an early age. Besides the basics, there will be other areas of training that might need more focus, such as working on and managing prey drive.
Who Should own a Staffordshire Bull Terrier?
Due to their intelligence, they are easy to train but are known to test the limits to see what they can get away with. Although Staffies are nicknamed ‘nanny dogs’ they should always be supervised when they are with young children (mostly due to their boisterous nature).
Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a typical life expectancy of between 12-14 years. They don’t require a lot of grooming and they are sometimes known to be quite a fan of chewing - so make sure you keep those socks out of reach and provide them with plenty of things safe for them to chew!
Staffies are versatile, if you want a dog that enjoys being more active but will happily relax with you when their needs have been met, they are generally happy as long as it includes being with you.
Staffies require good socialisation and consistent training (more so when they are young). If you’re willing to look past their reputation and put the time in, Staffies make wonderful pets. They can be quite needy dogs. They also need to blow off steam and stay occupied. If you are around often, won’t need to leave your dog for hours at a time and want a companion who will relish your attention, a Staffie would be a good option.
See our guide on dog breeds that are great for first time owners
Looking for a Forever Friend?
Always do your research about a breed you’re interested in to make sure you are a good match.