The Staffordshire Terrier is slightly longer than it is tall. stocky and muscular in a compact body. The head is broad with strong, wide jaws. The muzzle is short and has a distinctive stop between the nose and the forehead. The cheek muscles are prominent. The ears are rose or half pricked. The neck is muscular. The chest is wide and deep. The legs are straight and strong with the front paws turning out slightly. The topline is level. The tail is set low. The hind legs are muscular. The coat is short and sleek and available in red, fawn, black, blue and brindle. White markings are often present.
The Staffordshire Terrier originated in Staffordshire, England. This dog was developed by crossing the bulldog of the time with the black and tan terrier to create a dog suited for the sport of killing rats, and dog fighting. This breed was specifically bred to be docile with people so that they could be handled by humans even in the fight ring. When dog fighting became outlawed, they continued to have a loyal following as companions and eventually the show ring. The breed was recognized in England in 1935 where it continues to be one of the most popular terriers. The Staffordshire Terrier was not recognized in the U.S. until 1975. The breed is not nearly as common here and is frequently confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier.
The Staffordshire Terrier is a well-kept secret: intelligent, playful, sturdy, loyal and friendly when properly socialized and trained. This dog can be stubborn if they do not know their proper place in the family. Train with calm, consistent confidence and you'll reap the rewards with a great all-purpose dog.
Breed Club Links: Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America
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Photo courtesy of Tim Simpson.