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Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog breed

Staffy dogs are playful bundles of joy. Learn about Staffy temperament, lifespan and more with our breed guide.

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Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog breed information and advice

Staffordshire Bull Terriers, also affectionally known as Staffies, are famed for their strength, courage and intelligence. With a smooth coat and muscular build, they’re beloved family pets due to their affectionate and loyal nature. 

Discover everything you need to know about the Staffy breed, from temperament and exercise to common health problems.

Staffy facts

Lifespan 12 - 14 years
How much £400 - £1,000
Size 36 - 41 cm
Weight 10 - 17 kg

red, fawn, black, brindle or any of these with white

Staffordshire Bull Terrier insurance

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are prone to several health conditions, including:

Health problems can happen at any age or when you least expect it. Whether it’s a red, black or blue Staffy puppy, get your pooch protected from day one with puppy insurance. Staffy insurance can help with the cost of consultations, treatment, nursing care, medication or surgery.

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance

With Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance, you can take out a dog insurance policy for your Staffordshire Bull Terrier from eight weeks old. New policies can be taken out up to your Staffy dog’s fifth birthday. Cover can be continued up to any age, as long as you renew your policy every year without a break in cover. 

How to care for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Feeding, grooming, exercising and training all play a part in your Staffy’s health care needs.

Feeding and nutrition

Proper nutrition and care can contribute to the lifespan of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Puppies have small stomachs and should be fed small amounts up to four times a day. But this should be reduced to once or twice a day for adult dogs. 

Staffy dogs can easily become overweight, so make sure they have the right balance of all the main nutrients. The amount you should feed your dog will be on the food packaging. If you’re ever unsure of the best food for your Staffy, speak to your vet. 


Thanks to their short, smooth coat, Staffy Bull Terriers are a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Although they shed a bit, it only takes weekly brushings with a horsehair mitt or hound glove to keep their coat in beautiful condition. 

Long nails can be painful for Staffy dogs, so avoid letting them grow out too long. Clean their ears regularly to remove excess wax and debris, and give them occasional baths. Given the Staffordshire Bull Terrier size, the grooming process shouldn’t take much time.


Staffy dogs are energetic and require regular exercise to stay fit – at least an hour a day. If you can implement plenty of play and games in their exercise, even better! Whether it’s playing catch, running alongside you or hiking through the woods, Staffies are bound to enjoy their outdoor time.

While Staffy Bull Terriers are in good physical condition, they usually want to relax after an exercise session. Be careful not to overwork them in warm or humid weather, as the Staffy breed can be intolerant to heat. 


Staffordshire Bull Terriers are intelligent, learn quickly and are calmly protective. That means they can easily comply with their owners’ requests and have an inherent desire to please. 

However, Staffy Terriers were originally bred to fight other dogs and must be trained to control their temperament traits. Staffy puppies should have clear and consistent training, including obedience exercises.

With a tendency to show aggression towards other dogs, Staffies must be taught to walk on a lead. Ongoing socialisation is also important, with a focus on teaching them to pay attention to their owner in the presence of other dogs. 

Temperament and behaviour

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are good-natured, courageous and boisterous  with humans. They’re also affectionate and warm, especially to children, helping to provide emotional support to any family. 

But depending on their socialisation and training, Staffy dogs can be a little less friendly with other dogs or animals. This lovable breed can live just fine with cats and other dogs. It’s a good idea to avoid walking Staffy dogs without a lead where they might meet another dog. 

Common Staffordshire Bull Terrier health problems

Like all breeds, Staffies can unfortunately suffer from several health issues. Here are some common health problems with Staffies.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic  condition that affects a dog’s hip joint. The ball and socket joints rub together, causing swelling and inflammation. Affected dogs will experience lameness in their hip and weakness in their back leg. Hip dysplasia can occur from a young age when the bones are not fully developed. However, growth rate, diet and exercise can also cause this condition, putting Staffy dogs at risk.

Dogs with hip dysplasia are likely to develop arthritis when they’re older. But this can be controlled with pain relief. In severe cases, hip replacement surgery is optional, but this can be complex and expensive. However, dog insurance can help with the cost of treatment.

Luxating patella

A luxating patella is when the kneecap moves out of place from the femoral groove where the knee flexes, causing dislocation. This usually occurs in dogs that have a shallower femoral groove, such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Signs of luxating patella in dogs include occasional limping, a skipping gait and an abnormal sitting posture.

Luxating patella can also be a result of an accident or injury. A vet will rate a dog’s condition from mild to severe, with treatment depending on the timeframe of the condition. It’s recommended to not breed dogs with this condition, to prevent it from being passed onto their pups.


Staffy dogs have very sensitive skin and are more prone to suffer from allergies resulting in inflammation, irritation and itchiness. This is usually caused by environmental factors like dust, pollen, mould or plants. Your vet can help you and your dog find the trigger and provide medicine to manage the allergy.

Staffies can also be affected by a skin condition triggered by the demodex mite. These mites live on all dogs and don’t normally cause any issues. However, they can multiply and invade the skin if a dog is unable to fight off parasites and infections.


Like all dog breeds, Staffy dogs can also develop cancer. Some cancers are more common than others in this breed, such as mast cell tumours and tumours of the spleen and liver. The breed can also be susceptible to skin cancer too .

Symptoms of cancer in Staffies include unusual tiredness or lethargy, weight loss or swelling in their abdomen. If you notice any of these, you should contact your vet immediately.

Are Staffordshire Bull Terriers dangerous?

Staffy dogs are sociable, loyal and affectionate. However, they’re also powerful dogs, with compact muscular bodies once bred for fighting. They can sometimes show aggression towards other dogs. It is up to responsible owners to enforce the right sociability and training to prevent potentially aggressive situations with their Staffy.

What’s a Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s life span?

The average Staffordshire Bull Terrier lifespan is 12-14 years. They’re statistically healthy dogs, but are prone to several health issues, such as hip dysplasia and skin allergies. Staffies are also averse to heat. Pet parents must limit outdoor exercise in warm weather and make sure they have plenty of water and shade.

Do Staffordshire Bull Terriers shed?

Staffy Bull Terriers have a short and smooth coat that is easy to maintain, so their grooming needs are very minimal. While they shed throughout the year, the amount is reasonably low compared to other breeds. Regular bathing and brushing will remove the dead hair, helping to save your furniture.

Is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier right for you?

If you’re looking for a loyal companion who loves exercising, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier could be the perfect dog for you. They’re loveable balls of energy with occasional stubborn traits, but their loyal and affectionate temperament means they will bond with the family and keep the kids entertained.

As Staffies require regular exercise, you’ll need to dedicate some time to walking them and providing them with ways to release their energy. But they’re quite low-maintenance pets, with a short coat that requires less grooming than other dogs. 

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Frequently asked questions

Is a Staffy a good family dog?

Yes, Staffy Terriers are good family dogs. Their loyal and affectionate nature means they are gentle, calm and obedient. Staffies are also very playful and adore people, making them the perfect addition to a family.

Are Staffies good with kids?

Staffy dogs are the perfect companion for kids. When socialised from an early age, they enjoy playing with children and dogs and are extremely protective.

Do Staffies have health issues?

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but their genetics put them at risk of certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, luxating patella and skin allergies.

Terms and conditions

Important information

* Guaranteed discount for Nectar members: The discount is based on information related to you and the transactions you've made with Sainsbury's supermarkets and Sainsbury's Bank using your Nectar card. For more information go to

† Multi-pet discount is a minimum of £24 when insuring more than one pet as this is worked out at £1 per pet per month for each pet on a policy. Pets can have different cover levels. Discount deducted separately from any other offer.

Sainsbury's Bank plc, Registered Office, 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT (registered in England and Wales, no. 3279730) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514). Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd is an appointed representative of Sainsbury's Bank plc.
Sainsbury's Bank plc acts as an introducer to Pinnacle Insurance plc who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register number 110866). Registered Office: Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 2XX. Sainsbury’s Bank plc and Pinnacle Insurance plc are not part of the same corporate group.