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Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier.jpg
Nicknames Irish Staff, Irish Staffie
Country of origin Ireland
Weight Male 55-77 pounds
Height Male 17-24 inches
Coat Thick, short, shiny hair
Color Black, Blue, Fawn, Red, White or Brindle
Life span 10-16 Years

The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a variation of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier registered by The Kennel Club ("KC") The breeders of this type feel that it is more in line with the original dogs that where first recognized by the Kennel Club in 1935. The Irish variation is more agile and lean than its relatives that are attending the conformation shows arranged by the kennel club in England see .

The Irish strains of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier originate mostly from Kennel Club stock sent to Ireland in the 1950s. Please note that this breed is not registered with the Irish Kennel Club. Any Irish KC Staffordshire Bull Terrier has the same breed standard as an English KC dog. These were kept as working and show dogs and took the best of both sides. They were tried out in the Badger-baiting trials that used to be held in Ireland.

Even though the origin is purely from English stock, the name Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier came about when the working strains were brought back to England in the 1980s. The name has been widely used and misused, often when it has been used to label dogs that appear to differ from the Kennel Club standard but have no relation with the Irish dogs.

Other names that has been used to label the working type Staffordshire Bull Terrier, including those that may not have any relationship with Ireland are old type Staffordshire Bull Terriers, true type and working type. Famous bloodlines of the Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier are known by names such as Psycho, Dublin Red Strain, Flynn.

Modern activities that these dogs are used for include hunting foxes and badgers and Weight pulling. They are also shown at specialized conformation shows aiming to preserve the look of the old type Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Irish Staffordshire Bull Terriers, like their English ancestors, are a European breed with an entirely different conformation standard than either the American Staffordshire Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terrier.



The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a powerful and muscular dog, very strong for his size with a broad head and well formed jaw. The muzzle is short(but longer than those of kc breeding) and the cheek muscles distinct. The stop is clearly defined. The round eyes are usually brown and the nose is usually black however "white" marked noses(unpigmented) and red noses along with golden/tawny eyes are common in some bloodlines some of the older irish lines also show blue eyes. The teeth should always form a scissor bite. The ears are either rose or half-pricked. The neck is short and muscular. The front legs are spaced wide apart. If they have rear dewclaws they are generally removed, front dewclaw removal is optional. The short coat is soft, sleek and close. Comes in black, blue, fawn, red, white,pied or any colour brindle, often with colour is a fault.certain bloodlines have a predominance of certain colours.


The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier does everything full throttle: play, work and love. It is extremely courageous and obedient, affectionate with a sense of humor. One owner of this breed says "Staffordshire Bull Terriers are very people friendly. They are not particularly wary of strangers in almost all circumstances - although I've heard a few anecdotes about some being wary of particular people. My dogs are always happy to meet new people!" The breeds reputation with children is second to none. Adored and adoring within its own family circle. Excellent with other dogs and always ready to play. They are intelligent and stubborn at times but this is the appeal of this 'human' in doggy fur! The Irish Staffordshire needs firm and consistent training. They are persistent and active. As a puppy they tend to chew a great deal so make sure you provide them with plenty of chew toys. Their powerful jaws will tear though wooden fences to get to the next door neighbors garden in no time so watch out! Only suitable for gardens with at least featherboard fences. Will rip through panels within minutes. This can be dangerous if the dog gets splinters in his mouth. Be sure to only give your Staffie strong toys. Do not allow it to be off its leash unless it is safe to do so. They can be trained for agility, competitive obedience, weight pulling and jumping. The breed competes in agility, obedience, weight pulling and jumping in the UK at the highest level. Irish Staffies love a challenge and variety. Owners need to protect these dogs from injuring themselves. Totally fearless and curious, they're liable to jump off of a deck or walk through broken glass. These dogs are not recommended for most families because they need firm, experienced handling and training. They do best with older considerate children. Good with other pets if raised with them from puppyhood. They will bark at wild animals such as birds, rabbits and hedgehogs. Generally very friendly by nature, however it depends on the stranger, if the stranger seems scared or frightened of the dog then the dog seems to pick this up and take advantage. With experienced dog handling strangers the breed is very friendly. They can be difficult to housebreak.


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was developed in the region of Staffordshire, England in the nineteenth century from crosses between Bulldogs and various Terriers. The Staffordshire Bull was developed for the then-popular sport of bull baiting. The breed's popularity waned as interest in the sport waned. Irish breeders then attempted to create a taller and leaner type of dog that could be used primarily for dog fighting. When dog fighting was banned the breed became rare although it is becoming more and more popular now. These days the breed is used mainly as pets however there are some owners who use the breed for jumping and weight pulling competition as athletics is where this breed excels. The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is not a dog for every family, but in the hands of a dominant, experienced owner; it can be a successful pet and family guardian.

See also


The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a hoax species of dog that is almost identical to the American Pit Bull Terrier. This faux name came into use in Britain in order to get around "the law banning American pit bull terriers". These dogs are then used to "fuel the return of dog fighting to levels last seen in the 1980s before the Dangerous Dogs Act was enforced." The RSPCA does not recognize this species as legitimate and separate from its American counterpart.[1] However, the naming has since been accepted and utilized in most media when referring to pit bull terriers found in Britain. The breed itself is also on a list of four breeds that are banned in the UK.[2] and are "destroyed" whenever a dog is confirmed to be one of the banned breeds.[3]


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