All about your Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Clever and attentive, going about everything at full throttle.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers – also known as Staffies – are kind and affectionate. Discover this loyal and courageous breed, and get tips on a range of topics from exercise, grooming and behaviour, to what you can do to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Energetic Staffordshire Bull Terrier Sprinting On Sand

Breed information & advice

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is athletic and muscular, with a lot of strength for his size. A cross between the Bulldog and a Terrier, he enjoys being around people and thrives under the guidance of an experienced owner.

  • Belonging to the terrier dog group, he is energetic with incredible stamina, so needs plenty of exercise.
  • His short-haired coat is easy to groom.
  • He typically weighs between 10kg and 17kg when fully grown.
  • A healthy dog will usually live up to 12-14 years.

Typical size of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Medium: 33cm-41cm

Staffordshire Bull Terriers need plenty of exercise every day to maintain their health and muscle tone. Your dog will appreciate a run outdoors or a game of catch in the park, but even several walks around the block will please him. It’s a good idea to introduce training when your dog is a puppy and he’ll need your full attention when out and about, if you’re to get the best out of him and keep him focused.

Feed your Staffordshire Bull Terrier high-quality dog food, served over two meals each day. Exact amounts will vary depending on his size and age, and the guidance given on the food packet. To avoid bloating, give him at least one hour to recover after exercise before feeding him.

Up to one hour of exercise per day

When at home your dog will enjoy the opportunity to lounge around, but make sure you keep him active every day with up to an hour’s exercise.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Puppy Strolls Through Field
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Side On View

Common health problems & illnesses

Staffordshire Bull Terriers need all of the usual vaccinations, flea and tick control, and dental checks to go on to lead a healthy life, but it’s worth being aware of some of the more specific ailments which can affect this breed, so you can look out for any symptoms.

1. Joint problems

Staffordshire Bull Terriers can be prone to arthritis – an inflammation of the joints which is typically seen in older dogs – so keep an eye out for any signs of pain, stiffness and discomfort. Your vet will suggest further tests to diagnose arthritis and any underlying causes of it, but exercise and weight management may be advised, as well as anti-inflammatory therapy and painkillers.

2. Corneal ulcers

Certain breeds, such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, are more prone to corneal ulcers, caused by damage to the eye. You can spot early signs of the condition if your dog is blinking a lot, seems sensitive to light, or develops a discolouration to the surface of the eye. Treatment may include ointment or eye drops, but it's always advisable to check with your vet.

3. Mast cell tumours

Mast cell tumours (MCTs) are a cancer of the immune system and one of the most common forms of growths in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Check your dog regularly for any growths, redness or swelling - it's always wise to have lumps and bumps investigated by your vet, so they can be diagnosed. Treatment for MCTs may include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

4. Cruciate ligament

The cruciate ligament is found in the knee joint – there are actually two in each knee. If it's ruptured, while not life-threatening, it can be very painful, leading to lameness, swelling and arthritis of the joint. Cruciate ligament damage can be caused by a range of underlying factors, such as the shape of the bones around the joint, your dog's breed, and weight. It can also be caused by a traumatic event. There are many ways to manage affected joints so it's best to visit your vet to discuss the problem at the earliest opportunity to minimize ongoing issues.

5. Skin conditions

Staffordshire Bull Terriers can develop skin problems such as atopic dermatitis, sometimes caused by an allergy to pollen or dust. Watch to see if your dog is scratching the same body part over and over, and as a result he may suffer hair loss or develop sore spots. Your vet will be able to advise on the best course of action, but it may involve some dietary changes or treatment with steroids, for example.

Dog name popularity

If you’re struggling to think of a name for your Staffordshire Bull Terrier, take a look at the most popular ones at Tesco Pet Insurance for inspiration.

Dog name popularity

Average treatment costs

Wondering whether pet insurance for your Staffordshire Bull Terrier is worth it? We’ve put together the top five conditions claimed for by Tesco Pet Insurance customers in 2018, and the average cost of treatment.

Average Treatment Costs table
ConditionAverage treatment cost
Cruciate rupture£1,287.44
Skin allergy£215.17
Arthritis/Degenerative joint disease£179.60
Mast cell tumour£792.26

Tesco Pet Insurance claims data from paid treatments including excesses from 01/01/18 to 31/12/18.

Considering Staffordshire Bull Terrier insurance?

We know your dog is an important member of the family, so give them the protection they deserve with Tesco Pet Insurance.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

Grooming advice

Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a relatively low-maintenance, short-haired coat that will shed annually, so you’re unlikely to notice much hair loss at other times of the year. Brushing your dog’s coat once a week will remove any dead or loose hair and he doesn’t require frequent baths – once every three months should do it.

It’s a good idea to brush his teeth every day, but at least two or three times a week, to prevent tartar build-up and any resulting bacteria.

Trim your dog’s nails regularly to keep them from catching on the carpet and other furnishings. If you can hear a clicking sound as your dog moves about, this may be an indication that his nails are too long.

Also make sure you take care of his ears, which are prone to collecting debris and can become red or inflamed. Simply clean them with a cotton ball and a cleanser recommended by your vet – only wipe around the outer edge of the ear canal and if using cotton buds, don’t go any further than the first knuckle of your finger.

Fun & interesting facts

  • Despite being bred in 19th Century Britain to be a small, fast fighting dog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of today is known as a loving companion.
  • Truly man’s best friend, he is known for his intelligence and loyalty.
  • The Staffie’s coat comes in various colour combinations including black, white, brown, blue, brindle, red and fawn.
  • The breed has appeared on the big screen, starring in the film Snatch.
  • Celebrity owners include Vin Diesel, who has a Staffie called Winston.

Important information


The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to pet breeds, but does not constitute expert veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance has a partnership with vetfone™ which means that as a customer, you can benefit from their advice as part of your policy.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by VetsDirect Ltd.

All facts and figures were correct at date of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.


vetfone™ is a 24/7 helpline that provides expert advice from nurses qualified with the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). If your pet has a medical emergency, or you need reassurance on grooming, feeding or general advice, vetfone™ is there to help.

As a Tesco Pet Insurance customer, you can access expert veterinary advice provided by RCVS registered vet nurses as a standard benefit with your policy, and the service is provided at no additional cost. A quick call could answer any questions you have about your pet, give you peace of mind and could even save you a trip to the vet.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by VetsDirect Ltd.

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