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Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Dog Breed


Staffordshire Bull Terriers are tough, stocky and boisterous and the clear winners as one of Australia’s favourite dogs. Once used as bull-baiters, modern Staffies are friendly to a fault, well behaved if trained early and adored by their owners.


Staffordshire in England is the birthplace of fine china (Wedgwood and Spode), and one of Australia’s most popular dogs, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

While Josiah Wedgwood was slaving away at his kiln in the 1700s, just down the road the Staffies’ forebears were probably being readied for another round of bull-baiting.

It was thought beef would be tough unless the beast was ‘hot’ before slaughter and so Staffordshire Bull Terriers were developed to tease cattle. Bull-baiting was a popular pastime, later replaced by dog fights. Today’s dog, however, is literally centuries away, and is proving to be a faithful, attractive and surprisingly popular choice for pet owners.

Surprising because it is not a breed immediately recognisable from other bull terriers. Yet owners are besotted by these strong, stocky dogs, with their broad skulls and short snout.


Staffords are well muscled in the hindquarters with a strong tail. Coat colours are red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colours with white. Any shade of brindle or brindle with white is also acceptable.
  • Height: 36-41cm
  • Weight: Males 13-17kg, Females 11-15kg

For the full breed standard, visit the ANKC website


The breed is very human-oriented and loyal, although they can be aggressive to other dogs. It is essential that pups between 8-18 weeks are well socialised, especially with children and other dogs. Breeders warn, too, that the friendly nature of most Staffords means they go to strangers readily and risk being stolen for use in illegal dog fights.


Some Staffords can suffer from a few hereditary diseases that can be tested by DNA as a puppy, such as Hip Dysplasia (degenerative bone disease), Luxating Patellas (slipping kneecaps) and Entropion (an eye disease), but none are common in the breed. Staffies is known to be at a higher risk from mastocytoma (mast cell tumours) than the general population of dogs.


Staffords are happiest indoors with the family; they shed little hair and are easily house-trained. Fortnightly bathing is adequate if the dog spends most of its time indoors. 


As with any dog breed, proper training is a must for the Staffie. This is a very intelligent dog breed that can be stubborn, following his own will if permitted. Therefore, obedience training is essential in order to manage your Staffie.

The Stafford is an athletic dog breed with plenty of energy, so routine exercise is very important. W
hilst they enjoy a walk (20 minutes is ideal), be cautious not to overdo it in warmer weather, as this breed is sensitive to heat. 

Staffies will especially benefit from dog sports that challenge them mentally and physically. Regardless of the type of exercise you give your Stafford, be sure it is provided about twice daily or more.


Staffordshire Bull Terriers are suited to families and they are said to be good watchdogs.

Commonly known as the "Nanny Dog", the Stafford is prized for his patience with and love of children, although it goes without saying that no dog should ever be left unsupervised with children. They are strong, enthusiastic dogs and may bump over smaller children.

  • Temperament: tenacious and playful 
  • Lifespan: 12 years 
  • Maintenance: medium 
  • Recommended for: families with older children

For more details on the breed, please contact:

The Stafforshire Bull Terrier Club of QLD Inc.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of SA
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Victoria Inc.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of WA Inc.

If you're interested in adopting a Staffy, please visit

Staffy Rescue

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