AKC Conformation Standard
STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier had its beginnings in England many centuries
ago when the Bulldog and Mastiff were closely linked.
James Hinks, in about 1860, crossed the Old Pit Bull Terrier, now known
as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in, and produced the all-white English
Bullbaiting and bearbaiting in the Elizabethan era produced large dogs
for these sports and later on the 100-120 pound animal gave way to a
small, more agile breed of up to 90 pounds. The Bull Terrier obtained
recognition by The Kennel Club in England in the last quarter of the
19th century, but the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, due to its reputation
as a fighting dog, did not receive this blessing. Early in the 19th
century the sport of dogfighting gained popularity and a smaller, faster
dog was developed. It was called by names such as "Bulldog Terrier"
and "Bull and Terrier." The Bulldog bred then was a larger
dog than we know today and weighed about 60 pounds. In 1935 the Staffordshire
Bull Terrier was recognized by the Kennel Club in England and enthusiasts
were able to conduct conformation matches. The sport of dogfighting
had long been made illegal and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier had evolved
into a dog of such temperament as to make him a fine pet and companion
and a worthy show dog. This dog was crossed with a small native terrier
which appears in the history of the present-day Manchester Terrier.
Bull and Terrier breeds were believed to have arrived in North America
sometime in the 1880's. Here they developed along different lines with
a heavier, taller dog being the end result. Today's American Staffordshire
Terrier represents that breeding. The dog which this produced, averaging
between 30 and 45 pounds, became the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The
Staffordshire Bull Terrier was admitted to registration in the American
Kennel Club Stud Book effective October 1, 1974, with regular show classification
in the Terrier Group at AKC shows available on and after March 5, 1975
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was recognized by the Kennel
Club of England in 1935. First club show for the breed took place in
August 1935 at Cradley Heath in the West Midlands where 60 dogs and
bitches were entered. The first two members of their sex to claim championships
in England were the bitch, Lady Eve and the dog, Gentleman Jim in 1939.
Authorities generally agree that the breed can be traced back to the
Mastiff-like dogs through the old Bulldog which, when crossed with British
terriers, produced the first "Bull and Terriers." The old-fashioned
Bulldog was a fierce, courageous animal used in the sports of bear-
and bull-baiting as early as the mid-sixteenth century.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth-coated dog.
It should be of great strength for its size and, although muscular,
should be active and agile
Official Standard of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier
General Appearance: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth-coated
dog. It should be of great strength for its size and,
although muscular, should be active and agile.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Height at shoulder -
14 to 16 inches. Weight - Dogs, 28 to 38 pounds; bitches, 24 to 34
pounds, these heights being related to weights. Non-conformity
with these limits is a fault. In proportion, the length of back, from
withers to tail set, is equal to the distance from withers to ground.
Short, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct
stop, short foreface, black nose. Pink (Dudley) nose to be considered
a serious fault.
Dark preferable, but may bear some relation to coat color.
Round, of medium size, and set to look straight ahead. Light eyes
or pink eye rims to be considered a fault, except that where the coat
surrounding the eye is white the eye rim may be pink. Ears
- Rose or half-pricked and not large. Full drop or full prick
to be considered a serious fault.
A bite in which the outer side of the lower incisors touches the inner
side of the upper incisors.
should be tight and clean. The badly undershot or overshot bite is
a serious fault.
Neck, Topline, Body:
The neck is muscular, rather short, clean in outline and
gradually widening toward the shoulders. The body is close coupled,
with a level topline, wide front, deep brisket and well sprung ribs
being rather light in the loins. The tail is undocked, of medium length,
low set, tapering to a point and carried rather low. It should not
curl much and may be likened to an old-fashioned pump handle. A tail
that is too long or badly curled is a fault.
Legs straight and well boned, set rather far apart, without looseness
at the shoulders and showing no weakness at the pasterns, from which
point the feet turn out a little. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be
removed. The feet should be well padded, strong and of medium size.
The hindquarters should be well muscled, hocks let down with stifles
well bent. Legs should be parallel when viewed from behind. Dewclaws,
if any, on the hind legs are generally removed. Feet as in front.
Smooth, short and close to the skin, not to be trimmed or de-whiskered.
Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colors
with white. Any shade of brindle or any shade of brindle with white.
Black-and-tan or liver color to be disqualified.
Free, powerful and agile with economy of effort. Legs moving parallel
when viewed from front or rear.
Discernible drive from hind legs.
From the past history of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier,
the modern dog draws its character of indomitable courage, high intelligence,
and tenacity. This, coupled with its affection for its friends, and
children in particular, its off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability,
makes it a foremost all-purpose dog.
Black-and-tan or liver color.
Staffies still resemble the powerful, pugnacious brawlers who ruled
British fighting pits of the 19th century. But, happily, their appearance
is deceiving. Today’s responsible breeders are producing sweet-natured,
family-oriented Staffies so trustworthy that they’ve earned
a reputation as a “nanny dog”: a child’s patient
playmate and steady guardian. These affectionate companions bond closely
and completely with their humans, but the old fighting instinct still
lurks within—making it vital that Staffies be socialized with
other dogs from puppyhood to learn good canine manners
UKC Conformation Standard
STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER
The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines
for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to
improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout
the world; and to act as a guide for judges.
Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions
or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence
and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see
that these are not perpetuated.
Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the
seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact
proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare
of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional
UKC HISTORY of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a descendant of the Bull and Terrier
crosses made in Great Britain in the late 1700's. It was given the
name "Staffordshire" in reference to an area where it was
very popular, to differentiate it from the other Bull and Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel
Club in 1975.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth coated dog that possesses
great strength for its size. Although muscular, it is active and agile.
This breed has indomitable courage, high intelligence and tenacity.
Coupled with its affection for its friends, and children in particular,
its quietness and trustworthy stability make it an all-purpose dog.
The head is short and deep throughout with a distinct stop.
SKULL - The skull is broad and the cheek muscles are very pronounced.
MUZZLE - the foreface is short, with strong jaws and clean, tight
TEETH - A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors
bite; the outer side of the lower incisors touching the inner side
of the upper incisors.
Serious Faults: Badly overshot or undershot bites.
EYES - Dark eyes are preferred, but may bear some relation to coat
color. The round, medium size eyes are set on to look straight ahead.
Dark eye rims are preferred.
The nose is black.
The rose or half-pricked ears are not large.
Serious Faults: Full drop ear. Full prick ear.
The muscular, rather short neck is clean in outline and widens gradually
toward the shoulders.
The shoulders are well laid back.
FORELEGS - The straight, well-boned forelegs are set rather far apart
at the shoulders, but show no looseness at the elbow. The pasterns
are strong, and the feet turn out slightly.
The body is close-coupled with a broad, deep chest and well-sprung
ribs. The loins are fairly light and the topline is level.
The hindquarters are well-muscled.
HIND LEGS - The stifles are well-bent. The hocks are well let down.
The legs are parallel when viewed from behind. Dewclaws are generally
removed from the hind legs.
The strong, medium-sized feet are well padded.
The medium-length tail is not docked. It is low-set, carried rather
low and tapers to a point. It does not curl much, and may be likened
to an old-fashioned pump handle.
Faults: Too long or badly curled tail.
The short, smooth coat is close to the skin. Neither the coat nor
the whiskers are to be trimmed.
Acceptable colors include red, fawn, white, black, any shade of brindle,
and blue, with or without white.
Serious Faults: Black and tan or liver.
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
Height, measured at the shoulders, ranges from 14 to 16 inches. Weight
ranges are as follows: dogs, 28 to 38 pounds; bitches, 24 to 34 pounds.
Weight depends on the height of the individual dog.
The free, powerful, agile movement is accomplished with an economy
of effort. When viewed from the front or the rear, the legs move parallel.
There is a noticeable drive from the hind legs.
(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement
in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness.