The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was bred from the old-fashioned Bulldog and the English White Terrier (now extinct). Originally bred for bull and bear baiting in the 1800s, this fearless breed is now one of Australia’s most popular breeds, ranking second in the top 10 Australian dog breeds. It is a wonderful all-purpose companion dog, especially for families with children.
Traditionally of indomitable courage and tenacity, the Staﬀordshire Bull Terrier is highly intelligent and aﬀectionate, especially with children. It has proven its ability in the show ring, the Obedience and Utility rings as well as ﬂyball. They also make great therapy dogs.
The Staﬀordshire Bull Terrier is known for its independent mind, which is one of its greatest charms. It is a ‘gentleman’, unless set upon; however, it is also one of the most aﬀectionate, trustworthy and gentle creatures with humans, with a legendary love of children.
The Staﬀordshire Bull Terrier must be sound physically, as well as in mind. It is bold, fearless, trustworthy, dependable, friendly, tolerant and totally reliable, in particular with children. The breed is well known for its love of people, and would not be as popular as it is without this. The Staﬀord’s population is the largest in Australia with registrations of over 4000, not including the unregistered population.
The Staﬀordshire Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, well-balanced dog with a short, close coat with a natural gleam. It is active and agile with great strength for its size. It is an athlete with long and resilient muscles; when in good condition it will give the appearance of being smooth and hard. It is clean in outline, free from ﬂeshiness and should never be fat.
A ﬁt, healthy Staﬀord will always be easy to maintain. They are easily cared for, with a natural diet of meat and biscuit, and the occasional bone. A weekly brush and a bath once a month will suﬃce. It requires a daily walk or run in the park or beach with a ball to maintain physical and mental ﬁtness.
Staﬀordshire Bull Terriers have very few health problems. Most breeders test their breeding stock, for hereditary diseases, such as L2-HGA (a metabolic disorder) and Hereditary Cataracts (HC). It has been documented recently that Staﬀords are no longer on the HC list in the UK and have never been here in Australia.
Skin problems may be an issue, but with the correct diet and environment this problem is avoidable. If fed correctly and exercised Staﬀords will have fewer problems. There have been some instances where their heads are far too short, causing breathing problems. It is against breed standard for a Staﬀordshire Bull Terrier to have this problem.
This tough but lovable breed is suitable for urban or rural environments. A bored Staﬀord will often bring the washing in from the clothes line or even assist you with the gardening if left alone for too long. The Staﬀordshire Bull Terrier is ideally suited to family situations, but is also a great companion for individuals. This breed must be well trained otherwise it may become unruly.
Now you know a little about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, you may think that this is the dog for you. Before you make a decision, please make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and its needs, and whether this breed would suit your lifestyle.