How to Identify a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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Staffordshire bull terriers are one of the popular breeds. But with popularity, some scams also take place. Some local unregistered breeders follow inappropriate breeding techniques to produce Staffy puppies. The puppies do look like the actual Staffordshire bull terriers but are not purebred.

As a result, such a dog will live an unhealthy life and get an untimely death. Therefore, such scammers should be reported. Also, people should have an idea of identifying the purebred Staffordshire bull terriers.

How to Identify a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

If you wish to get Staffordshire bull terriers, you need to get an idea of how to identify them. Most puppies look different, but they have some characteristics that prove their breed uniqueness. Even if you bring home an adult Staffy, you still need some signs to identify the purebred.

Cute Staffordshire Bull Terrier on the floor

Therefore, follow this guide to learn the proper techniques of how to identify a Staffordshire bull terrier .

Method 1: Checking the Structure of an Adult Staffy

The first identification aspect lies with the structure of your dog. The Staffordshire bull terrier has a recognizable structure, whether a puppy or an adult. 

Step 1: Consider the Size of Staffordshire Bull Terrier

  • The Staffordshire bull terriers are usually small but are heavy.
  • The height should be around 14 to 16 inches.
  • The males should weigh approximately 28 to 38 pounds, while the females should be about 24 to 34 pounds.

Step 2: Look For the Muzzle and Head

  • The head of Staffordshire bull terrier is often short in length.
  • But the face is deep and broad.
  • The mouth of your Staffordshire bull terrier has lower incisors outside and upper incisors inside.
  • These dogs have tight lips and black noses that are their prime signs of purity.

Step 3: Check the Eyes of Your Staffordshire Bull Terrier

  • The eyes of an adult Staffordshire bull terrier should be round and medium-sized.
  • The eyes should be looking directly forward.
  • The color of the eyes should correspond with the coat of Staffy. It is mostly dark!
  • The rims around the eyes are also dark if the white fur is not around the eye region.

Step 4: Inspect the Ears

  • Purebred Staffordshire bull terriers possess small ears.
  • The ears generally have partial pricks and might fold to look like a rose ear.

Step 5: Do Not Miss the Paws

  • The paws of a Staffy should be medium in size.
  • They should look strong and must have good and firm pads.
  • The front paws should slightly deviate in an outward direction.

Step 6: Check for the Tail

  • The tail should be of medium length without being docked.
  • There should not be any curl over the purebred Staffordshire bull terrier.
  • The shape of its tail should resemble a pump handle.

So, make sure you check it out on priority!

Step 7: Inspect the Overall Build of Your Dog

  • Staffordshire bull terriers should have a muscular appeal.
  • Their structure is generally strong, with broad shoulders and well-sprung ribs.
  • The forelegs should be straight with parallel-hind legs.
  • They have a wide neck at the point where it connects to the shoulders.
Close-Up shot of dog showing mouth

Method 2: Inspecting the Purity of Staffies by Their Coats

This mode of identification is liable for both puppies as well as adult Staffies. So, you must ensure not to miss out on this method if you intend to bring in a purebred and healthy Staffy. The steps include:

Step 1: Understand the Color Variety for Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Staffordshire bull terriers are available in quite a few colors. They can be either black, fawn, solid white, red, or blue. Some dogs also have brindle and white patches or marks that make them look even more appealing.

Step 2: Check for the Coat Quality

The Staffordshire bull terriers or puppies have short-length coats that have a smooth feeling. And the fur of a purebred should always be close to the dog’s skin.

So, if you are not feeling such smoothness and short length of the coat, that is definitely not the purebred Staffy. Question the breeders and report them for the fraud.

Method 3: DNA Testing for Identifying Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The best way to identify whether the Staffordshire bull terrier puppy or adult is purebred or not is to get a DNA test. The vets around your town will definitely help you get in touch with the dog’s DNA testing lab to help you identify the purity of your breed.

But you can also get a ready-made DNA testing kit to carry out the test all by yourself.

Here are the steps to help you with the right process of approach. The steps include:

  1. You need to get the DNA testing kit from an online store.
  2. Please read the instructions over the kit, and open it up.
  3. Take the cotton stick that you get with the pack.
  4. Swab it around your dog’s cheek from the inside.
  5. Now, go online to the brand’s official site that is providing you the DNA testing kit. And then you should activate your kit over it.
  6. Once your kit is activated, you will have to send the kit again with the DNA sample to the brand’s lab. There is a pre-paid shipping label available with the pack for you to ship it.
  7. The technicians working in the lab assure that they can tell the actual breed of your dog with up to 97% accuracy.
  8. Hence, this is the best way to identify whether a Staffordshire bull terrier is a purebred dog or not.

Method 4: Check for the Pedigree Papers

If you are heading to a breeder to buy a Staffordshire bull terrier puppy, then you should demand the pedigree papers. The reputable and genuine breeders will provide you with these papers that will have the signature of the Kennel Club.

Also, these papers will give clarity of lineage for the Staffy puppy and will have details of around five generations. The pedigree paper is to help you get an idea of the family tree of Staffordshire bull terrier.

Verifying the Pedigree Papers

If there are papers for a puppy, you can consider them purebred because a breeder cannot give out fake documents for selling a puppy. They can face a lawsuit if they ever do that! Check the papers well, but do not entirely rely upon them.

If you are not convinced by the information given in the pedigree papers, you can always try out other measures.

Method 5: Mark the Characteristic Traits of the Staffies

The last and final method to try and identify whether your Staffordshire bull terrier is purebred or not is to take note of its characteristics. Here is the list of few things that your Staffy would do if they are a purebred:

  • With sufficient socialization, your Staffy puppy or adult should like to be around people without resisting. It should replicate a friendly nature.
  • Staffordshire bull terriers are not guarding dogs but can be good watchdogs. They have that alerting mindset to alert their family about anything that is unfamiliar to them.
  • Stubbornness is their prime sign of purity. Staffordshire bull terriers have a powerful will, especially during their training sessions. If they show resistance and stubbornness, you can ensure that they are the purebred ones.
  • Staffordshire bull terrier is well-acquaint with all types of environmental conditions.
Cute dog playing in grassland

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Expect From a Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dog?

You can expect courageousness, boldness, loyalty, and intelligence from your Staffordshire bull terrier. They are loving and blend well with the environment. Also, they love their family members and are on the front line at all times to ensure the safety of their house and the members.

A Staffordshire bull terrier shares a strong bond with one family member in the house, even though it loves all of them. And due to abandonment cases, Staffordshire bull terriers tend to suffer from separation stress and anxiety.

Do Staffordshire Bull Terriers Bark a Lot?

The Staffordshire bull terriers do bark a lot when they get bored. For instance, if you are leaving them alone at home for some emergency reason, they will start to bark after a certain point of waiting time. It is due to separation anxiety, as your dog feels like you have left them behind.


You need to keep in mind that identifying Staffy is not a big task. But, most dog lovers head out to buy the cheapest puppy among all without considering the breed factors.

However, it should not be the case! You should do your research, inspection and get the assurance of purity before bringing home a Staffy.