What Is an Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier?

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Bull Terriers are such a big family of dog breeds. There are different varieties of Bull Terrier that are usually originated from England and one of which is an Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier. What is an Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier?

What are its temperament and personality? Let’s find out!

What Is an Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier? 

An Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium to a large-sized dog with a muscular build. It has:

Graphic image of an Irish Staffy with a text that describes what Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier looks like
  • a very broad head
  • strong jaws
  • a short muzzle
  • round eyes that are brown
  • a black nose
  • erect or half-pricked ears
  • a short, muscular neck
  • and its legs are wide apart

Irish Staffordshire Bull Terriers have sleek, soft, and short coats that can either be blue, black, brindle, fawn, red, or white. Some of them often come with markings on their coats.

An Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is also called Irish Staff, Irish Staffie, or ISBT.

General Information About Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Height 17 to 24 inches
Weight 55 to 75 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 15 years
Litter Size 6 to 8 puppies
Color Black, blue, fawn, red, white, or brindle
Compatibility Great for families with yards and who want a guard, low-shedding dog
Temperament Loyal, playful, protective, powerful, friendly, docile
Recognition DRA – Dog Registry of America, Inc.
IKC – Intercontinental Kennel Club
ISF – Irish Staffordshire Federation
UNKC – United National Kennel Club
Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Origin of an Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier was originally bred in England in the 19th century for bull baiting. In England, they only call it Staffordshire. Later on, it was further developed in Ireland and change its name to an Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier or Irish Staffie.

Breeders in Ireland modified them to have longer and leaner legs. These Irish Staffies were used by Irish breeders for dogfighting. When dogfighting was deemed inappropriate, they banned it.

The breed became popular as a pet and for dog shows and competitions. Irish Staffies can still have some aggressive behavior that they got from the past.

However, a lot about Irish Staffies’ personalities have changed already. They are now accepted in some countries or states as pets or companions. If you are an experienced dog owner, an Irish Staffie can be added to your family.

Temperament and Personality of an Irish Staffie

An Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier may be considered an aggressive dog breed by some because of its previous way of life. However, they have a lot of other personalities and temperaments that most people don’t know about. Here are they:

Active and Playful 

An Irish Staffie is a very energetic, playful, and active dog. This means that it needs a lot of activities throughout the day or it will get bored. Their boredom can turn into chewing, biting, whining, or barking habits which can be worse.

If you own an Irish Staffie, you should be willing to give him time.

Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy

Their being active and agile are also some of the reasons why they do well in shows and dog sports competitions. They can also be friendly with other pets and dogs if they are socialized early and properly. You should give them proper exercise as well so that they can use their energy in the right way.

Fearless and Protective

An Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is also strong and fearless. They can sense if they or you are in danger. They can also be unwelcoming to strangers and tend to protect the house which makes them good guard dogs. 

However, they will not show any aggression unless they are triggered or they sense real danger. They can also be aggressive to other dogs if they are not raised properly. Because of their fearlessness, they tend to wander and investigate things around them. 

They may sometimes get hurt or lost. So it is necessary to keep an eye on your Irish Staffie especially when outside.

Loving and Loyal Companions

An Irish Staffie is a loyal family member and will join any family activity if he’s allowed to. They love to snuggle, rest with you, and play with you. They are known to be good with children.

However, since they are big and sturdy, you should not leave them playing alone because accidents may still happen.

They can be good to other people, too, as long as they are properly introduced. To do this, you can have a daily walk around the neighborhood and introduce him little by little to your friends and even strangers in the park. 

There is a downside to being so friendly and affectionate to the family. Your Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier can develop separation anxiety. It means that they can be so stressed when someone leaves the house.

Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier and a Pit Bull

They are not also the kind of dog that can be left alone for too long. 

Trainable, Yet a Bit Stubborn

The best way to have an obedient Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is to train them. By training them properly, you can minimize or completely eliminate accidents inside the house.

You can also make sure that he will not create his own rules. Training them can also minimize their aggression towards other dogs and people.

They can be a little stubborn, but you just have to be firm and make sure that you also follow your own rules.

Positive training and reinforcement, like giving treats, can make the training more exciting and interesting for your Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Be consistent in what you’re doing and you will see the result with your dog.

Related Questions

Is an Irish Blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier a Pit Bull?

No. An Irish Blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a blue coat color, longs legs, and a muscular body. However, they are not necessarily Pit Bulls. The name Pit Bull is just a term used to describe certain breeds of dogs like Bull Terriers, including the Irish Blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Are Irish Staffordshire Bull Terriers Banned in the UK?

In the updated UK dog law, The Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991, Irish Staffordshire Bull Terriers are included in the list of banned breeds in the UK. This law says that it is illegal to breed, sell, own, or abandon an Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

What Is the Difference Between a Staffy and an Irish Staffy?

The Irish Staffy isn’t a breed compared to the Staffy. It’s only a breed type. The Irish Staffy is not recognized by the AKC.



An Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is originally bred in England as a fighting dog. It was later developed and trained in Ireland and change the name from just Staffordshire to an Irish Staffordshire Terrier. They can be very nice pets to children, other people, and other animals if trained and socialized properly.