Did you know that there are 14 Staffy colours? But the colour of a dog’s coat isn’t the first thing people think about. When people are thinking about getting a new puppy, there are three main questions they ask themselves:
1. What dog breed do we want?
2. Male or female?
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3. What colour coat shall we choose?
If your choice of breed is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, then you’ll be delighted, or you’ve just made your 3rd choice on my list a lot more complicated.
Staffy colours vary from black, white, red, fawn, blue and brindle. In addition, any of the Staffy colours can also be in combination with white. But black and tan or liver coats are seen as undesirable by the UK Kennel Club.
What Determines Colour of a Staffy?
Staffy colours are determined by the cells within the Staffy’s hair follicles called melanocytes. Melanocytes are responsible for adding melanin to growing hair, which ultimately determines the hair’s and the coat’s primary colour.
More melanin results in a darker shade. Due to fluctuations in melanin production, the tips of a dog’s hairs may be noticeably darker than the remainder of the hair shaft.
Both pigments, eumelanin and phaeomelanin, have a “default” colour that can be altered by different genes.
The baseline colour of eumelanin is black, but eumelanin can be modified by genes to produce a wide range of different colours, including liver (brown), blue (grey), and isabella (purple or pale brown).
This is because genes prohibit the body from producing pure eumelanin, effectively “diluting” the pigment into the other colours.
The second pigment responsible for a dog’s coat colour is phaeomelanin. This red pigment typically appears golden or gold. The pigment phaeomelanin produces any shade of red, from the darkest red to the lightest orange, cream, gold, yellow, or tan.
Phaeomelanin is a pigment whose intensity can be modulated by genetics to produce a wide range of coat colours. Only found in coat, this pigment has no effect on the dog’s eyes or nose colours, unlike eumelanin.
What Colours Can a Staffordshire Bull Terrier Be?
Most Common Staffordshire Bull Terrier Colours:
- Black & White
- Blue & White
- Brindle & White
- Fawn & White
- Red & White
- White & Brindle
- White & Fawn
- White & Red
Blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The coat colour is the only difference between a Staffy and a Blue Staffy. However, when we talk about blue, we don’t mean a striking blue like a royal blue or the sky colour.
Their coats are really a steel grey colour, still a beautiful colour nonetheless. Sometimes, Blue Staffies will also have white patches.
Blue Staffies are highly sought after because the colour is so popular with dog owners. So, you should prepare yourself to pay a premium if you’re after a Blue Staffy.
How Do You Get a Blue Staffy?
A gene that causes black fur to be diluted is responsible for this colour. Because this gene is recessive, for a Staffy puppy to have a blue coat, it must inherit it from both of its parents. If only one parent has the gene, the puppy will be black.
Blue fur may also be called grey or silver by some owners and breeders. There is no difference in meaning; either term refers to a black coat diluted by the recessive gene.
Red Staffordshire Bull Terrier
An attractive red or ginger Staffy may still have white markings on their coats. However, a Staffy does not have a red nose to match the coat. The Staffy’s nose should always be black. Suppose you’re looking for a red Staffy puppy and a breeder tries to sell you one with a red nose. In that case, the puppy is definitely a cross, not a pure Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
How Do You Get a Red Staffy?
Regardless of the wide range of coat colours, dogs are primarily defined by two pigments: eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red).
These two types of melanin are responsible for the full range of visible coat colours. So in effect red is a primary coat colour.
Black Staffordshire Bull Terrier
A dog’s eumelanin pigmentation is always black. A black nose and brown eyes (eumelanin influences eye and nose colour, too) are the results, and the same is true for the eumelanin in its coat.
How Do You Get a Black Staffy?
The baseline colour of eumelanin is black, but eumelanin can be modified by genes to produce a wide range of different colours. This is because genes prohibit the body from producing pure eumelanin, effectively “diluting” the pigment into different colours.
Fawn & White Staffordshire Bull Terrier
How Do You Get a Fawn & White Staffy?
Phaeomelanin is the other pigment that affects staff colours. This red pigment usually appears golden or gold and produces any shade of red, from a dark red to a fawn. When cells fail to create any pigment, the result is dogs with white hair.
Brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier
How Do You Get a Brindle Staffy?
Brindle coat pattern in Staffies is determined by their genes. Brindle coats result from a recessive gene in only a small percentage of dog breeds. Because it is recessive to the black gene, many dogs carrying the brindle gene will be black or multicoloured instead.
Champagne Staffordshire Bull Terrier Colours
Champagne-coloured Staffies are really fawn. You can get many different fawn shades if you refer back to the gene explanation earlier in the article. This is a case of breeders coming up with a coat colour that sounds more expensive.