There is an accepted breed standard for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, at least for one with a Kennel Club pedigree. A breed standard is a set of guidelines outlining a particular breed’s ideal traits, temperament, and appearance, including the breed’s proper colour.
The desirable size of the Staffy is 14 to 16 inches tall (measured from the paw to the shoulder) and weighing between 13 to 17 kgs (28 to 38lbs); females always tend to weigh a little less.
According to the Kennel Club, the breed standard is a guide to the ideal Staffy. That doesn’t mean that if a Staffy doesn’t match those measurements in height or weight, the dog is not a pedigree Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
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But you may also find Staffordshire Bull terriers with longer legs, which are an Irish breed strain; while they are excellent pets, the Kennel Club does not recognise them.
Do Staffies Come In Different Sizes?
All dog breeds can vary in size, so breed standards allow leeway when quoting the dog’s height. For the Staffy, there are two inches, meaning the leg length from the paw to the shoulders. For medium-sized dogs, a difference of two inches will substantially affect the dog’s overall height.
The Kennel Club’s breed standard talks about a maximum weight range of 13 to 17Kg; however, there are Staffies that weigh over 20Kgs. These dogs are not overweight; they are incredibly athletic and muscular, precisely how a Staffy should look. These dogs also have a full pedigree issued by the Kennel Club; the breeder did not crossbreed with a larger dog breed.
What Is a “Long Legged Staffy”?
Generally, long-legged Staffy dogs are Staffies with longer legs. They may look longer-legged because the dog might not look as robust and muscular as your typical Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
I don’t want to sound controversial; however, you might see adverts for long-legged Staffy pups for sale. If you are looking for a Staffy puppy, take extra care with these breeders because it’s not uncommon for them to crossbreed a Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a larger dog.
You might find a breeder offering their puppies as either long-legged or Irish Staffies. Needless to say, they will not be providing a UK Kennel Club pedigree. I would stay well away because they undoubtedly are crossbred with a dog other than a Staffy. You’ll also find they are asking a premium price because the puppies are “special.”
Another reason for being careful when choosing a dog that deviates from the Kennel Club’s breed standards is the risk of your dog falling foul of the Dangerous Dogs Act. While the government hasn’t banned Staffies in the UK, the Pitbull Terrier is, and the closer your dog looks to a Pitbull, the more you risk the police taking your dog away. The law clearly states that it’s not the type, breed, or name; it’s the dog’s appearance.
Which Staffy Breeds Have Long Legs?
Kennel Club registered Staffordshire Bull Terriers were taken to Ireland in the 1950s and used in Irish Kennel Club-hosted trials. The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terriers of today are based on those dogs.
Over the intervening years, breeders have developed the Irish Staffy to be taller and leaner, with narrower heads and possibly more athletic, than their English cousins. However, the Irish Staffy is not a dog breed; they are a breed type and, as such, are not recognised by any worldwide registration body.
A Staffy dog with long legs is the American Staffordshire Terrier. Americans created this breed from the original Staffordshire Bull Terrier that went across to America with their owners in the 19th century. The Americans preferred a bigger dog, so they developed the Amstaff as it’s known; however, people in America still refer to the dog as a Staffy. Male Amstaffs grow to a height of 19 inches at the shoulder.