The Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Staffie, Stafford, Staffy, or Staff) is a short-coated, medium-sized breed of dog of English lineage, and is one of several breeds considered to be within the pit bull type. The early Bull and Terriers were not bred to look like the companion animals of today. They were bred for the characteristic known as gameness. The pitting of the dogs with bears or bulls and exotic animals would test this attribute along with the dog’s strength and skill. Bulldogs crossbred with Landrace working dogs gave rise to the ancestral foundation stock for the Staffordshire Terrier, as well as the Bull Terrier, The American Pit Bull Terrier, and American Staffordshire Terrier. The ancestor, traditionally known as a “Bull Terrier” is believed to be around 200 years old in the early 21st century, and is a class of races rather than a particular breed.
This is a medium- sized, very muscular, and stocky dog. He is similar in appearance to the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier. The dog stands 14-16 inches at the withers and weighs 29-37 pounds for the males. The females weigh between 24-34 pounds. The head of the Staffie has a brad wedge shape, with defined occipital muscles. It has a relatively short fore-face, and has dark round eyes. The head tapers down to its strong and well-muscled neck and shoulders, that are placed on squarely spaced forelimbs. He has a wide mouth with a clean scissor bite. The ears are small in size, and the check muscles are very pronounced. The tail resembles an old fashioned pump handle, and the hind quarters are well-muscled. The coat is smooth and is tight to the body. The typical colors of the Staffie are black, red, fawn, brindle, blue, white, or any blending of these colors with white.
The Staffie is known for its character of fearlessness and loyalty due to its breeding and history. Those characteristics combined with its affection for friends, its trustworthy stability, and off-duty quietness, makes it an all-around good all-purpose dog. While the dog appears intimidating because of its muscular build, they are temperamentally not well suited for guard or attack-dog training. This breed is friendly, extremely affectionate, and enthusiastic towards humans. They often express their affection by jumping up, licking, pawing, and nuzzling their owners and others. For the owner looking for a more reserved dog, the Staffie may not be suitable.
The median lifespan of the Satffie is 12.75 years. This breed is known to suffer from hereditary cataracts and L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria. Distichiasis and Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Viterous are also common in the breed. This breed is at a higher risk for mastocytoma as well.