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Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Our guide to the breed

My ideal owner | Exercise | Temperament | Health | Appearance | Cost | History

Key facts

Height: 36cm – 41cm

Weight: 11 – 17kg

Life Expectancy: 11 – 12 years

Exercise Needs: High

About Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Hey there! I’m a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I’m a confident, playful, and friendly pup making me the perfect choice for families and first-time owners. Whilst I was originally bred to be a fighting dog, these days I’m renowned for being gentle, loving, and great with children earning me my nickname ‘Nanny Dog’.

My ideal owner

I’m the pawfect companion for all sorts of people because I’ve got so much love to give. This makes me particularly good for first-time owners and families, even those with young children. I don’t like being left alone for long periods of time so I’d prefer a family who can be with me most of the time. You’ll need to be committed to my training as I can be stubborn but make it a game and I’ll show you all my best tricks!

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Families with kids

First time owners

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Constant companionship

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Committed to training

Temperament

There’s all sorts of personalities amongst Staffordshire Bull Terriers – some of us are friendly, whilst others are more shy, some of us are independent whilst others are reliant. It all comes down to our experiences, especially in our early years.

With good early socialisation, we are a breed with bucketfuls of love to give. We’re gentle, even-tempered and relaxed enough to adapt to all sorts of societies. We love to spend time with our owners, whether that’s chasing a ball or getting belly rubs on the sofa, and we really don’t like being seperated.

Health

On the whole, I’m a pretty healthy dog, thanks to my diverse gene pool. However, I can be prone to some conditions that you should be aware of, especially if you are buying a puppy.

What is hip dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition affecting many different dog breeds, including Staffordshire Bull Terriers. It’s described as a genetic malformation and occurs when a dog’s thigh bone doesn’t fit into a hip socket.

In mild cases hip dysplasia can cause inflammation, eventually leading to arthritis. In the most severe cases, a dog could lose all use of their rear legs.

How is it diagnosed?

Hip dysplasia cannot be evaluated by a vet until a dog is two years of age. Even then, the dog will need x rays to determine whether they have inherited the condition. If you buy a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy, check that the breeder has had both parents tested, which should reduce the risk of the condition.

What are the treatments for hip dysplasia?

The only absolute treatment for hip dysplasia is a total hip replacement. This would usually only be used in the most serious of cases. Otherwise, vets may recommend a range of treatments to give relief, including physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, weight management, painkillers, supplements and brace supports.

*This information should not be considered to be veterinary advice. Please always consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

What is demodex?

Demodex mites are microscopic creatures that live on your dog in small numbers. They are non-contagious, and usually won’t affect your dog in any way. 

However, occasionally they are able to breed rapidly, such as if your dog is already ill, which can cause skin issues.

It is particularly prevalent in dogs under a year old.

How is it diagnosed?

Dogs suffering from demodex might display the following symptons:

  • Hair loss
  • Dry, scaly or wrinkly skin (especially around the eyes and feet)
  • Greasy coat
  • Pus filled spots
  • A mild itch
  • Skin infections

If your dog displays any symptoms, it’s time for a visit to the vet. They will confirm a diagnosis by taking a skin scraping to view under a microscope.

What are the treatments for demodex?

The main treatment for demodex is an insecticide treatment, administered as a spot on treatment, tablet or a shampoo. 

If your dog develops a skin infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. 

*This information should not be considered to be veterinary advice. Please always consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

Exercise needs

High

I’m a high energy pup – I love nothing more than getting out on my daily walkies or playing with my favourite toys in the garden. If you make sure I’m getting enough exercise, I’ll be a happy, healthy dog who is content to cuddle up on your lap in the evening. If you’re looking for creative ways to help me get my exercise, I love agility and flyball.

Get your dog’s tailored exercise goal by downloading the free PitPat app

Appearance

We’re well known for our muscular bodies, broad heads and wide smile. We’re a smooth coated breed, meaning we’re easy to groom and keep looking great – all you need to do is give us a brush on a weekly basis, the odd bath and make sure we get plenty of exercise to keep us in shape.

We come in a variety of colours, so you’ll have plenty of choice. Most commonly you’ll see us in one colour all over, in a shade of brindle, or with the occasional patch of white. Whatever colour you choose, we can be sure that we all have the same affectionate and playful personalities!

Colours

Red

Fawn

White

Black

Blue

Brindle

Grooming needs

Weekly brush

Bath as necessary

Hypoallergenic?

No. We shed our coats.

Costs

One off costs

£1656

This includes the average cost of a puppy, and all the gear they will need, like their collar, bed and grooming tools.

Ongoing costs

£26 per week | £112 per month | £1334 per year

This includes your ongoing costs such as insurance, food, toys, and standard veterinary care, but not dog sitting, training or veterinary costs not covered by insurance.

History

Us Staffordshire Bull Terriers originated in Staffordshire back in the 19th century. Our breed was created by crossbreeding between a Bulldog and the now extinct English White Terrier. We were bred for fighting at a time when blood sports were still popular and legal. Whether badger baiting, ratting, bull-baiting or dog fighting, our sturdy muscular physique made us firm favourites for the sports.

However, when blood sports were banned in 1835, people continued to breed us as companion pets, favouring our big personalities and gentle nature.

Staffordshire Bull terrier

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