Breed Standard

Breed Standard (AKC version)
Terrier Group

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. Eyes–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. Mouth–A bite in which the outer side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors.The lips 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.

Approved November 14, 1989
Effective January 1, 1990

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Interpretation & Illustration of the Written Breed Standard is now available in two versions (AKC & KC) and is used worldwide for judging seminars and has also been converted into several languages to be used around the world – including by the Kennel Club of England and was also used as the text basis for the SBTCA Illustrated Breed Standard project which is now the official one used by the AKC parent club for the breed.

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