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Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terriers (or ‘Staffy’ as they’re more commonly known) originated in Birmingham, England in the 1800’s. The “bull and terrier” ancestors were bred for bull baiting, a blood sport involving pitting a bull against a dog. When bull-baiting was banned in 1835, they were used in dogfighting. 

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a medium-sized Terrier. Their height can range from 36 to 41 cm to the shoulder. Their muscular build means they are quite heavy for their size and may weigh from 11 to 17 kgs. Females tend to be smaller than males. Colours include red, fawn, black, white, blue, brindle and any of these colours with white. Their life expectancy is around 11 to 14 years. 

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Dog Breed Facts & Characteristics

Origin

Birmingham, United Kingdom mid 1800’s

Bred for

Bull baiting, dog fighting

Size 

Medium 36 to 41 cm (to the shoulder), 11 to 17kgs

Weight Range

11 to 17kgs

Colours

Brindle, Red, fawn, white, black or blue and any of the colours with white e.g. brindle and white

Life expectancy

11 to 14 years 

Coat

Short and flat; sheds hair 

Temperament & Exercise requirements

Energetic, playful, tenacious, loyal, friendly. May not always be friendly with other dogs. Needs a lot of socialisation from an early age

Exercise requirements

High. Needs at least 40 minutes a day 

Best suited for 

Experienced dog people with active lifestyles and time to spend with their dog 

Apartment Friendly

Yes, if they receive plenty of exercise

Personality 

The athletic origins of the Staffy influence the breed today. They are strong and muscular, with high energy levels. This translates to a companion who is playful, agile and has a lot of stamina. Staffys thrive in households that have an active family that are experienced with dogs. Channelling the Staffy's abundant energy is important. Daily walks, runs and lots of playing will help keep your Staffy’s body and mind healthy. 

As with all dogs, socialisation with other dogs and animals from a young age is vital. A dog who isn't socialised is often fearful and may be aggressive towards other dogs and animals. Staffys adore people and are happiest when spending time with the family and children. Leaving your Staffy alone in the backyard all day is likely to result in a bored, lonely and agitated dog. Plenty of exercise and company helps to prevent destructive behaviour like digging, chewing and barking.

Grooming

The coat is short and smooth. It only requires minimal grooming. A kong Zoomgroom is a great choice for a weekly brush and bonding session with your Staffy. By removing loose hairs and stimulating blood flow to the skin, this will help keep the coat in top condition. It also gives you a great opportunity to check your Staffy’s skin for any signs of redness or infection.  Prevent nasty parasites by ensuring your Staffy is on flea and tick control all year round. Cleaning your Staffy’s ears with ear cleaner should also be a part of your regular grooming schedule with your as they are prone to ear problems.

Feeding

When choosing a food for your Staffordshire Bull Terrier, select a premium dog food appropriate to your dog’s age and life stage. A good choice for your Staffy may be sensitive skin food as these diets often contain additional fatty acid supplements to support healthy skin function. Make sure your dog always has a supply of fresh, clean water available. 

Common health concerns 

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are prone to allergic skin disease. Like many athletes, Staffys are also prone to Cruciate Ligament injuries and Arthritis.

The five most common reasons for a Staffy to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data (from 2017-2019) include:

Rank

Condition

Average cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)

Highest cost for single treatment
(highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)

1

Skin condition (infection or allergy)

$191

$4,384

2

Ear conditions (infections, allergies)

$156

$3,826

3

Tumours

$441

$9,519

4

Gastrointestinal tract (tummy) problems

$346

$3,953

5

Accidental injuries (broken claws, dog bites, broken bones)

$391

$7,250

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

Most popular Staffy names

According to PetSure data the most popular Staffy names in 2019 were:

Most popular names

  1. Luna
  2. Bella
  3. Ruby
  4. Daisy
  5. Harley
  6. Bonnie
  7. Buddy
  8. Diesel
  9. Koda
  10. Rocky

Most popular female names  

  1. Luna
  2. Bella
  3. Ruby
  4. Daisy
  5. Bonnie
  6. Nala
  7. Molly
  8. Coco
  9. Lola
  10. Willow

Most popular male names

  1. Buddy
  2. Diesel
  3. Rocky
  4. Zeus
  5. Archie
  6. Blue
  7. Koda
  8. Harley
  9. Ace
  10. Duke

Did you know? 

The late Steve Irwin described his brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Sui, as a “loyal friend, protector” and the love of his life. Sui was The Crocodile Hunter’s faithful sidekick from 1988 to 20041.

Where can I get a Staffordshire Bull Terrier?

If you’re looking for a Staffy, check out your local breed specific rescue organisation. Also be sure to visit your local pet rescue shelters where you might just find your new best friend! 

References 

  1. Wikipedia, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Accessed on 29 April 2020
  2. American Kennel Club, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Accessed on 29 April 2020 
  3. Crocodile Hunter Blog, “Sui A Man’s Best Friend” Accessed on 29 April 2020 

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Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie's pets

Noah
Noah
Bei Bei
Bei Bei
Meeka
Meeka