Breed Standard

Please view the New Zealand Kennel Club Breed Standard below:


Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Group:  Terrier
Size:  Medium
Lifespan:  13 years average expectancy
Exercise:  Flexible
Grooming:  Low
Trainability:  Excellent
Watchdog ability:  Low
Protection ability:  Moderate
Area of Origin:  England
Date of Origin:  1935
Other Names:  None
Original Function:  Family Pet & Show

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was developed in the United Kingdom from its ancestor the Bull and Terrier and created as a show breed in 1935. At that time the owners asked the Kennel Club to approve the name of "Original Bull Terrier" (the Bull Terrier having snaffled the name first by turning to the show ring many years earlier). This was turned down and so the breed was named after the public house in which the meetings to create the breed standard were taking place. Had they used the pub 200 yards down the road it would have been called the Worcestershire Bull Terrier. I.e. there is no particular relationship to Staffordshire although this was a popular area for the type of dog that became the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier appeared in the top 10 breeds MOST suitable for families and especially children in a report researched and published by Southampton University in 1996. This breed is highly intelligent, eager to please and very people friendly. It has a special empathy with children and it is for this it is best known. It adapts readily to most situations making it the foremost all purpose dog. Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies are very easy to house train.

Some members of this breed certainly have energy to burn. This energy can be satisfied by throwing a ball in the garden, walks in the fields or just whatever the owner chooses. Although the Stafford is capable of living outdoors in mild weather, it can be affected by cold and, more importantly, it is a dog that craves human contact: thus, it is far better suited as a housedog. Coat care is minimal.

Official Breed Standard

From the past history of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the modern dog draws his character of indomitable courage, high intelligence and tenacity. This coupled with his affection for his friends and children in particular; his off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability, makes him the foremost all-purpose dog.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth coated dog. He should be of great strength for his size and although muscular, should be active and agile.

Head and Skull:
Short, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop, short foreface, black nose.

Dark preferable but may bear some relation to coat colour. Round, of medium size and set to look straight ahead.

Rose or half-pricked and not large. Full drop or prick to be penalised.

The mouth should be level, i.e., the incisors of the bottom jaw should fit closely inside the incisors of the top jaw and the lips should be tight and clean. The badly undershot or overshot mouth to be heavily penalised.

Muscular, rather short, clean in outline and gradually widening towards the shoulders.

Legs straight and well-boned, set rather wide apart, without looseness at the shoulders and showing no weakness at the pasterns, from which point the feet turn out a little.

The body should be close-coupled, with a level topline, wide front, deep brisket, well-sprung ribs and rather light in the loins.

The hindquarters should be well-muscled, hocks let down with stifles well bent. Legs should be parallel when viewed from behind.

The feet should be well-padded, strong and of medium size.

The tail should be of medium length, low set, tapering to a point and carried rather low. It should not curl much and may be likened to an old-fashioned pump handle.

Free, powerful and agile with economy of effort. Legs moving parallel when viewed from front or rear. Discernable drive from hind legs.

Smooth, short and close to the skin.

Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colours with white. Any shade of brindle or any shade of brindle with white. Black and Tan or liver colour not to be encouraged.

Weight and Size:
Weight: Dogs 12.7 to 17.2 kg (28 to 38 lb). Bitches 11 to 15.4 kg (24 to 34 lb). Height (at shoulder), 35.5 to 40.6 cm (14 to 16 in), these heights being related to the weights.

To be penalised in accordance with the severity of the fault:
Light eyes or pink eye-rims.
Tail too long or badly curled.
Non-conformation to the limits of weight or height.
Full drop and prick ears.
Undershot or overshot mouths.
The following faults should debar a dog from winning any prize:-
Pink (Dudley) nose.
Badly undershot or overshot mouth. Badly undershot - where the lower jaw protrudes to such an extent that the incisors of the lower jaw do not touch those of the upper jaw. Badly overshot - where the upper jaw protrudes to such an extent that the incisors of the upper jaw do not touch those of the lower jaw.

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.



Contact Details

Contact Details:
Shannon & Paul Aldous
Waikato, New Zealand