Breed Focus: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Forget the unkind stereotypes: the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the kindest, cuddliest breeds going.

We are delighted to be joined again this year by The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club to showcase the wonders of the Staffie and share with visitors why they are one of the best breeds around and so much more than the stereotype. 

Throughout the day you will be able to visit the club on their stand to find out more, discover the history and get up close to Staffordshire Bull Terriers. 

More about the breed

Even standing still, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier bristles with action. Their front legs stand wide and squat, building to rippling shoulders and a prominent chest that’s balanced by the muscular, sharply-angled hindquarters further back. Take a glance at their characteristically wide face and most Staffords will meet you with a brilliant smile: an SBT can run for miles but they live to make everyone around them happy.

Plenty of people sadly believe otherwise, associating the breed with violence and the ‘status dog’ culture that sees inappropriate owners encourage aggressive behaviour in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The ‘Staffie’ stigma has been hard to shake, and similar fears have surrounded these dogs for centuries.  

See past this inaccurate reputation and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier can make a wonderful family pet. Patient and gentle, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier loves making new friends but always places their people first. Physical affection is another guarantee. Staffordshire Bull Terriers might thunder their way through the day but they’re the first to cuddle up when it’s time to wind down, loving to burrow under blankets and snuggle against their owners.

There’s more good news: breed-specific health issues are relatively rare and some of the most serious offenders can now be screened with DNA tests.  

Staffordshire Bull Terriers exhibit a remarkable range of colours and coat patterns, with solid shades, bi-colour and brindle patterns all appearing in the breed standard. Black, blue, red and fawn all appear, and all of these colours can be joined by white patches that vary widely in their size and position. Dogs with the stripy Brindle pattern appear in any colour, sometimes also with white sections, and pure white Staffordshire Bull Terriers adhere to the breed standard too. Alongside such dazzling variety, the breed enjoys an extra dose of visual glitz in show ring: SBTs are often shown with a brass-studded leather collar that references their Midlands heritage with a Stafford knot.

Their intelligence is matched only by their excitability, so early training should centre around socialisation both inside and outside the home. The outside world is one big playground for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Expect to spend at least an hour exercising an adult each day, though many are happy to take longer hikes or run alongside their owner. Off-lead time is also important for the breed, especially when people or other dogs can get involved for increased mental stimulation, though owners must be prepared for garden escape attempts. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are terriers, after all, and they can jump and dig with remarkable zeal… 

Strong muscles and bundles of energy. That’s the Staffordshire Bull Terrier everyone knows, yet there’s so much more to this stocky terrier. A bubbly clown who can also be a calming presence. A snuggle-bug who’s still the life and soul of the party. A brainbox who knows their own mind but never wavers in their family loyalty. And – above all – an affectionate softy who just wants to be friends. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are far more than their reputation.