Top Dog Breeds in South Africa: Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier makes up position number 8 on Animal Talks Top 10 Most Popular Breeds in South Africa.  This is a medium-sized and short-coated breed of dog. It is an English dog, and related to the bull terrier. Descended from dog-fighting ancestors, it is muscular and loyal.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

This is an energetic dog breed that needs lots of attention and loves to play.  Their extremely strong jaws demand lots of chewing, and training is imperative for enjoying this lively breed.

Life span: 12 to 14 years
Origin: England
Temperament: Bold, Fearless, Reliable, Courageous, Affectionate, Intelligent
Weight: Female: 10–16 kg, Male: 11–17 kg
Height: Male: 36–41 cm, Female: 33–38 cm
Colors: Brindle, Black & White, Fawn, Red, Black

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier does not like to be left at home alone, if you are not able to give it constant attention, you are going to come stuck with a 'naughty' doggie.  Every puppy owner should be prepared for some form of Puppy Damages in the first 2 years of owning a puppy, but this breed is at the top of the list when it comes to chewing.  It will take time and money to prepare this dog to make it comfortable to live with.  Do you have both? They are very active doggies and need regular exercise and adequate space to run in at home.


The Staffordshire Bull Terriers should never be given bones, but do give them hoofies or strong lasting toys to chew, and the best toy to buy a for your staffie is a Kong.  Its entertaining and very difficult to break.  The Kong will avoid running the risk of them swallowing the pieces which could cause health problems and could cost you even more money.  They will chew everything they can if you do not give them a supply of things to chew.

The Staffordshire Bull Terriers do not like swimming because they are bad swimmers.  Owners with pools should be extra careful as they will struggle or drown if they fall in.

Two dogs or two bitches are a bad combination and will more likely end up in fights that will grow with intensity the longer they are together.
The sooner you teach your staffie puppy to walk on a leash, the easier your life will be.  People who walk their staffies with heavy metal chains generally only do that to make the dog stronger for dog fighting.  Please report such persons to your local SPCA to place them on a database for further investigation.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier South Africa


Another important fact about owning a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the cost of owning one, especially if it gets ill.   Can you afford this doggie if it gets ill? 

Here are some common ailments vets are exposed to with The Staffordshire Bull Terriers:

  1. Staffordshire bull terrier is a very courageous dog and if poorly socialised can show inter-dog aggression. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier often presents with dog fight wounds.
  2. The Staffordshire Bull Terriers are often noisy breathers due to narrow airways and elongated soft palates. The narrow airways make them less efficient to cool themselves down and increase the risk for heat stroke which can be fatal within a short period of time (minutes to hours).
  3. Cruciate ligament rupture can occur especially in Staffies with very upright back legs. Their active natures and strong muscle definition can also increase the risk.
  4. Mast cell tumours are often diagnosed in Staffies especially when older than 5 years. This is a malignant cancerous lump which usually occurs on the body with a high risk of recurrence and internal spread.
  5. Skin allergies and sensitive skin. Allergens can be food related, caused by flea bites or environmental factors.


Article by:  Dr Adel Ferreira


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