American Molosser Association
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Standard
Recognized by the AMA in 2015
Background: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can be traced back to the renaissance period Bulldog which, when crossed with British terriers, produced the first "Bull and Terriers." The renaissance period Bulldog was a fierce, courageous animal used in the sport of bull-baiting. When the sport fell from public favor and was outlawed, their supporters turned to dog fighting and sought to create a sporting dog that, while retaining the legendary courage and ferocity of the Bulldog, would incorporate the greater agility of the terrier. Although the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was bred to fight other dogs it must be remembered that these dogs were owned by the hard working family man. The dogs were treated with a lot of care as a good fighting dog could earn money for the family. They associated with all the family including the children. It is from these beginnings that the disposition of a tenacious dog with indomitable courage is also able to show affection for friends, children and have a trustworthy steadiness. Due to the attentions of different groups of English fanciers, two distinct types of Bull and Terrier arose and, by 1900, they were easily distinguished. Fanciers of the "working class dog" met in England in 1935 to form a club for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and drew up the first standard for the breed.
General Appearance: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth coated dog that possess great strength for its size. Although muscular, it is active and agile.
Disqualifications: unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism
Disposition: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has 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. They are alert, outgoing and friendly with a self-assured attitude.
Disqualifications: viciousness or extreme shyness
Size: The weight depends on the overall height of the dog.
Male: An ideal male should be 14-16 inches at the withers with a weight of 28-38lbs.
Female: An ideal female should be 14-16 inches tall at the withers with the weight of 24-34lbs.
Head: The head is short, deep throughout, broad, very pronounced cheeks, distinct stop, and a short foreface.
Eyes: Dark preferred, medium in size, and round in shape. The eyes should be set on as too look straight ahead. Full pigmented eye rims preferred.
Cosmetic faults: pink eye rims, light colored eyes
Disqualifications: crossed eyes, divergent strabismus (wall-eyed)
Muzzle/Bite: The foreface is short, with strong jaws and clean, tight lips. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has full dentition with 42-44 teeth that meet in a scissor bite; the outer side of the lower incisors touching the inner side of the upper incisors.
Serious faults: serious overshot, serious undershot
Disqualifications: wry mouth
Nose: The nares are open and the color is black or blue with black being preferred.
Cosmetic faults: lack of pigmentation
Serious fault: pinched nares
Disqualifications: liver colored nose
Ears: The ears are not large and either rose or half-pricked.
Serious faults: full drop ear, full prick ear
Disqualifications: unilateral or bilateral deafness
Neck: The neck is muscular, rather short, clean in outline and gradually widening toward the shoulders.
Shoulders: Muscular and well laid back.
Serious faults: shoulders that are too steep without a lay back
Chest, Back, Loin and Body: The body is close coupled, with a level topline, wide chest, deep brisket, and well sprung ribs. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are rather light in the loins.
Hindquarters: The hindquarters are well-muscled.
Legs: Strong, straight, and well boned. Front legs should be set rather far apart, without looseness at the shoulders and showing no weakness at the pasterns. The rear leg stifles are well-bent. The hocks are well let down and when viewed from the rear should be parallel.
Feet: The strong, medium-sized feet are well padded. The front feet turn out a slightly.
Tail: The preferred tail is commonly referred to as a pump handle tail. The tail is set low and of medium length. The tail should not curl over back.
Serious faults: too long of a tail, badly curled tail
Coat: Smooth, short and close to the skin.
Color: Red, fawn, white, black, blue, or any of these colors with white. All shades of brindle or any shade of brindle with white.
Disqualifications: black and tan, liver, albinism
Movement: The gait is free, powerful and agile with economy of effort. When viewed from the front or the rear, the legs move parallel. There is a noticeable drive from the hind legs.
-Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism
-Viciousness or extreme shyness
-Divergent Strabismus (Wall-Eyed)
-Liver colored nose
-Unilateral or bilateral deafness
-Black and tan
A cosmetic fault is one of a minor nature. A fault not specified as cosmetic has to do with structure as it relates to a dog that is able to compete in performance/working venues. In a show or other evaluation, the dog is to be penalized in direct proportion to the degree of the fault. Any fault, which is extreme, should be considered a serious fault and should be penalized appropriately.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
American Molosser Association © 2013