Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium sized, short coated, old time breed of dog, originally bred for bull and bear fighting. Dogs proven in the pit were bred with others of like skill and ability and over time the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was produced. In the early part of the twentieth century they gained respectability and were accepted into the Kennel Club of England as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier - not to be confused with the Bull Terrier. This dog is an English breed and should not be confused with their larger cousin the American Staffordshire Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terrier.
Lovingly referred to as a "keg on legs", this dog is a stocky, muscular dog that exudes character, strength and athletic ability. Their expressive countenances indicate their mood and intelligence.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a broad head, defined occipital muscles, a relatively short foreface, half prick ears, dark round eyes and a wide mouth with a clean scissor-like bite. The ears are small and either rose or half-prick. The cheek muscles of this dog are usually pronounced and give the impression of strength. Their lips show no looseness, and they rarely drool. The Staffie is a dog with extreme strength for its size with unbeatable bravery. The head of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier tapers down to a strong well muscled neck and shoulders placed on squarely spaced forelimbs. Their rib cage is well sprung and is topped by a level top line. They are tucked up in their loins and the last rib of their cage should be visible. Their tail is carried like an old fashioned pump handle and should be neither too long nor too short. Their hind quarters are well muscled and are the drive in the Staffie's gait, being well let down in the hock.
These dogs may be colored black, brindle, red, blue, white, or any blending of these colors with white. White with any color over an eye is known as piebald or pied. Liver-colored and black and tan dogs sometimes occur but these are considered an unacceptable color for the showring or any reputable breeding program. The coat is smooth and short. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier stand 35-40 cm (14-16 in) at the withers and weigh 13-22 kg (29-48 lb) with female dogs on the lighter side and male dogs on the heavier side.
As with many breeds with show determined characteristics, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier can suffer from several health problems including cataracts, breathing and 'gas' problems. Animal welfarists often campaign to highlight the problems with set breed characteristics on this and other dogs' health.