AKC Dog Breeds: Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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Terrier Group
Height:14-16 inches   Weight: 27-45 pounds  Color: brindle, blue, black, red, fawn, and white

Originating in England, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was bred for bull, bear, and lion baiting. The aforementioned "blood-sports" were officially eliminated in 1835 when Britain introduced animal welfare laws. However, "blood-sport" proponents began using this breed for organized dog fighting. Today, with their "blood-sport" history behind them, this breed has become a stable and popular family pet. Often referred to as the Staffie, this muscular and stocky breed exudes strength, courage, and athletic ability. They are bold, tenacious, and alert. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a fearless, protective, and determined nature and is extremely agile. Their most distinguishing and striking features are their broad head and expressive face. These dogs were registered with the AKC in 1974.

General Appearance
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a powerful and muscular dog, very strong for his size with a broad head and very strong jaws. Dark preferable, but may bear some relation to coat color. Round, of medium size, and set to look straight ahead. Light eyes or pink eye rims to be considered a fault, except that where the coat surrounding the eye is white the eye rim may be pink. Ears--Rose or half-pricked and not large. Full drop or full prick to be considered a serious fault. Mouth--A bite in which the outer side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors. The lips should be tight and clean. The coat is smooth, short and close to the skin, not to be trimmed or de-whiskered. Colors include red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colors with white. Any shade of brindle or any shade of brindle with white. Black-and-tan or liver color to be disqualified. The tail is medium length, low set, tapering to a point and carried rather low. Should not curl much and may be likened to an old fashioned pump handle. Lips tight and clean. Jaws strong, teeth large, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Rose or half pricked ears, not large or heavy. Full, drop or pricked ears highly undesirable.

Strong willed, spirited, and energetic, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a dog that loves the attention and companionship of his family. These little yet sturdy dogs have plenty of devotion, love, and loyalty to give to their owners. Although the Staffordshire Bull Terrier does not tend to bark a lot, he is an alert dog - and although he may not necessarily try and chase away an intruder he would defend his loved ones fiercely if anyone tried to harm them. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier loves spending time with his family, and could be construed as a little clingy - he is certainly not the right choice for those with little time to devote to a pet. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has strong impulses and can be headstrong, so he is best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. Consistent, firm, and positive training from a confident, assertive owner is important. Early socialization is necessary to promote a stable, even temperament in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. You will need to provide these dogs with a good amount of exercise, as he does have bags of energy. He is a very good digger and jumper, so a securely fenced, safe area is essential when he is not on a leash. These dogs love to chew, so you should invest in appropriate toys in order to save your belongings. Bred for dog fighting, the fighting instinct in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is strong, and he may challenge other dogs. However, with proper socialization he will get along okay with other household dogs and cats. These dogs get along well with strangers, and are very good with children who are older and gentle.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a short coat and minimal grooming is needed. A soft bristle brush or a hound mitt used weekly will keep shedding down and keep the coat soft and healthy looking. Bathing is only required when the dog is dirty. Bathing too often will strip the coat of its essential oils and may cause the skin to become dry and flaky. If the dog has an odor, a quick rub down with baby wipes or puppy wipes will be enough.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is prone to cataracts. Other eye problems can be common, but can be avoided by testing the parents before breeding. Hip dysplasia is seen occasionally, but can be prevented by limiting the amount of stress on the joints as the puppy grows. You can limit the stress on the joints by not pushing the dog to run, and by not allowing the dog to frequent stairs. They are also prone to gas, but with a healthy diet this can be brought down to a minimum. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a life expectancy of around 12-14 years.

Activity Level
Staffordshire Bull Terrier dogs need to be exercised daily. They have a lot of energy and need to be kept busy. Without proper exercise, Staffies can become rambunctious, destructive and get themselves into trouble. A tired dog is a happy dog. If the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is exercised properly, they will be quiet and calm in the home. Other activities that Staffies excel in are agility, advanced obedience, tracking, and weight pulling.


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