What Is a Staffy?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

The American Kennel Club recognizes 195 dog breeds, with tens of others in line to be recognized. It is challenging to know all of them, their looks, and other characteristics that separate them from the next breed. Your interest can be because you are looking to adopt or are interested in dog breeds and their history.

In this article, I look at what is a Staffy.

What Is a Staffy?

A Staffy is a common name for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It can also be called a Staffie or a Stafford. It is a small to medium-sized dog with a muscular body and a tough appearance. However, despite this look, it is quite gentle and loves playing, especially with children.

A black Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a black harness perched on a tree log in the ground

Staffies were developed in the 19th century in England, and they were bred for dogfighting. Before they got named Staffordshire Bull terriers, they were called bull-and-terrier, old pitbull terriers, and bulldog terriers. The AKC officially recognized them in 1974; however, they had been introduced to the United States much earlier.


Staffords have a broad skull with pronounced cheeks and a black nose. Their ears can be half-pricked; however, they should not be full-prick or full-drop as this is considered a severe fault. The eyes are dark and may resemble the dog’s coat color. They have short neck that gradually widens towards the shoulders.

Males Staffies weigh between 28 to 38 pounds, while females range between 24 to 34 pounds. The height of Staffies ranges from 14 to 16 inches. They tend to be longer than tall; when you consider how relatively wide they are, you realize they have a low center of gravity. This should be fine with you as they are agile.

They have a short, smooth-coated coat that comes in several colors. They include the following:

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Black
  • White

The coat colors can come in all the above colors or with a combination of white. Those with liver or black-and-tan coats do not meet the standards set by AKC.

Personality and Temperament

Staffies to be very alert and energetic. They also love to be around people, especially children. If you have a playful and adventurous toddler, they will get along well with a Staffy. This, however, only makes them somewhat suitable for people who do not like playing or are never at home. The dog is going to end up developing anxiety and other behavioral problems.

You must be in a position to ensure it gets exercise daily, such as a walk. You can also take it to the park and let it run around with other dogs. Before you do this, ensure that Staffies has obedience training and socialization. You can engage with a professional to provide both obedience training and socialization. Some of the benefits that come with training and socialization include the following:

A close-up black and white Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a pink collar on a grass field
  • It helps avoid behavior problems
  • It will be able to interact with other dogs and humans well
  • It becomes well-behaved
  • It will obey commands and cues given
  • It learns how to react to its environment without aggression

Ensure that it also gets mental stimulation to be relaxed and excited. Boredom may lead to destructive behavior, such as chewing on furniture. When you do all these things for your dog from when it is a puppy, it is easier than an adult dog as it does not have to unlearn behavior.


Staffords are generally healthy dogs; however, they are genetically predisposed to some conditions. While it is not certain that it will contact the disease, it is vital that you know what to expect, especially if you are considering adopting one. You should also do due diligence to ensure you end up with a dog that’s as healthy as it can be.

You can do this by ensuring you get your Staffie from a breeder who can show you health clearances for the dog’s parents with clearances from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals to certify and the hips and elbows, and eyes are good. The dog should also have its vaccinations up to date and clear records of its parentage.

Some of the health conditions that Staffies are predisposed to include the following:

  • Patellar luxation
  • Skin allergies
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Juvenile cataracts
  • Demodectic mange

When you adopt a Staffy, ensure that you take it to the vet for regular check-ups. When some of these conditions are detected early, the prognosis can be slowed down, and treatment can be administered.

Food and Nutrition Needs

The amount of food you give your Stafford will depend on several factors, including age, size, metabolism, and activity level. The quality of food that you give will also make a difference. This is why you must ensure you find out what works for your dog and what does not.

Ensure that you also give it plenty of water to drink. Sometimes, you may have to add supplements to the food you are giving it. You may also have to consult a vet to come up with the best guide for you.

A tri-color Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a colorful collar standing in a rocky river


Staffies experience minimal hair loss throughout the year. This means that you will not have a hard time cleaning their hair, and brushing their coat will also be easy. When you are grooming them, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Use a mild dog shampoo when giving it baths
  • Brush its teeth at least once a week using a dog toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Check its ears for debris and clean them at least once a month
  • Its nails should be trimmed monthly using a dog nail clipper

If you cannot groom it on your own, take it to a professional.

Related Questions

Other questions you may have are answered below.

What Is the Lifespan of a Staffy?

The Staffy’s lifespan is between 12 to 14 years. If it is healthy, has plenty of exercise, and eats a healthy diet, it can live longer.

Can I Live With a Staffy in an Apartment?

You can live with a Staffy in an apartment as long as you ensure it gets the daily exercise. You should also take it to an area with lots of space, such as the park, to run around and play.


A Staffy is a great dog to have, whether you have kids or not. Ensure you research what it needs and prefers before you adopt one. This will help you prepare adequately for it.