Last year, we added a new Staffy to our pack. Little Runa is a “blue” Staffordshire Bull Terrier and joined Toffee (an American Staffordshire Terrier mix) and Lola (a Spanish Mastiff) in our family.
But when I tell people we have a “Blue Staffy”, I often get a perplexed look in return. “What, a blue dog?” being the follow-up question.
So, here, I am to explain what exactly a Blue Staffy is, their behaviour, temperament, imporant breeding information and whether a Blue Staffy is, in fact, blue.
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I’m pretty sure you’ve heard and probably seen a blue Staffy, especially if you’re keen on the breed. But just in case you’re not familiar with the dog, a blue Staffy is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier with a beautiful “blue” coloured coat.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK and have been for many years. But did you know that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has recently been crowned the UK’s favourite dog breed? TeamDogs UK, in conjunction with Pooch & Mutt, ran a competition to find the UK’s most popular dog, and the Staffy came out on top, beating the Labrador into second place. That’s a fantastic achievement considering Labradors always appear unbeatable.
With that being said, let’s get back to the Blue Staffy. What are Blue Staffies, and why do people love them?
What Is A Blue Staffy?
The name Blue Staffy is in reference to blue-tint seen in the colour of the Staffy’s coat. Some Staffies are born with a grey-blue coat because of a recessive gene that only influences the coat colour and nothing else; it does not affect a puppy’s personality or behavior. Both parents must carry the gene to produce blue puppies in the litter.
What Colour is a Blue Staffy?
If you don’t know what a “blue Staffy” is, you might have conjured a surreal image of a dog that is royal blue in colour. However, that’s not quite the reality…
Blue Staffies (or any “blue” dogs, for that matter) are typically closer to jet grey in colour, although in some lights they take on a grey-blue tinge.
As you can see from the image below, a picture of Runa (our blue Staffy) mostly featured the following colours (HEX Colours in brackets):
- Jet Grey (#616D7E)
- Light Slate Grey (#6D7B8D)
- Mist Blue (#646D7E)
- Grey Blue (#6B8BA4)
Why Are Blue Staffies Called Blue?
While most people would agree that Blue Staffies are closer to grey in colour than blue, their coat does still have a blue tint to it, with a Grey Blue and Mist Blue colour presenting itself in certain lights.
Blue Staffies (and blue dogs in general) are one of the most popular types of dogs around at the moment, with many people desiring a dog bearing this beautiful coat colour.
The unfortunate side effect of the growing popularity is the less-than-ethical breeders jumping on the bandwagon. These people are not true lovers of the Staffy or any other dog breed. It’s just a money-making opportunity for them while the trend lasts. As soon as the market becomes saturated with blue Staffies, prices will fall, and these people will move on to other trends, leaving behind a trail of sick animals and worried dog parents.
Blue Staffy Breeding
Breeding blue Staffies is not a straightforward process; there are some essential considerations; it’s never just about the colour. As mentioned, both parents must carry the gene that produces the blue coat, and breeders need to pay particular attention to the colours of the parents. Choosing the wrong parents will create weak pigmentation and light coloured eyes.
Breeders must select parents with eyes as dark as possible because the dilution gene affects the eye colour in blue Staffies.
High-quality Blues will always present with black noses, medium to dark brown eyes, and black toenails; however, Staffy breeders do not accomplish this by chance or poor breeding standards. Any quality breeding programme of blue Staffies will always include a black Staffy to keep colour dilution down to a minimum. Another sign that the breeding programme is not as good as it should be is a blue Staffy with a slate grey coloured nose, lighter brown eyes, and pale toenails. Another consequence of a poor breeding environment is while the puppies begin life with a blue coat, over the coming months, the coat colour fades to a “washed-out” blue or will change to light brown to brindle.
What Colour Are Blue Staffies When Born?
Blue Staffies are blue from birth and are not another colour that changes to blue. The puppies will usually have blue eyes, but that will change to a darker shade within a few weeks.
You must be exceptionally careful if you’re looking to buy a blue Staffy. Unfortunately, too many breeders are breeding for colour because they can charge a premium for blue puppies. Blue was the rarest of colours for the Staffy, but not anymore.
Before you buy any puppy, blue or otherwise, it’s a good idea to ask the breeders for the health check certificates. Or if you feel uncomfortable asking the breeder directly, then check on the Kennel Club website to see if puppies have been health tested for L-2-HGA (neuro-metabolic disorder) and HC (Hereditary Cataracts). Simply input the sire and dam’s registered name, and you’ll get a result of clear, carrier, or infected. You can also check if the parents have been eye tested for PHPV. You will also be able to check the puppy you are considering once the puppy is six weeks old.
Do Blue Staffies Change Colour?
It is possible that Staffies that are born with a blue coat will change colour. If two blue Staffies are bred without introducing black Staffy genes to prevent colour dilution, there’s a high probability that the blue puppies will change colour.
Your puppy will likely change to another colour, such as a washed-out blue, brown, or brown brindle. The Staffy will also have lighter coloured eyes.
If you seriously want a blue Staffy, then it would be advisable to take some precautions such as:
- Always research the breeders carefully and choose by recommendation
- It’s far better to select puppies from a litter produced by one blue and one black parent
- Both parents should be thoroughly health checked
- Grandparents and parents should be checked and free from Colour dilution alopecia
- If you’re paying a pedigree or premium price, both parents must be Kennel Club registered
- Avoid in-breeding lines completely
Blue Staffy Value
How Much Do Blue Staffies/Blue Staffy Puppies Cost?
Staffordshire Bull Terriers cost in the region of £1,000 when bought from a Kennel Club registered breeder. However, due to their immense popularity, Blue Staffordshire Bull Terriers have seen their average price rise to £2,500.
Prices are typically halved when bought from an unlicensed breeder, but this is incredibly risky as breeding practices can be poor and Staffy puppies that are born blue can change colour if they haven’t been bred correctly.
Why Are Blue Staffies So Expensive?
Blue Staffordshire Terriers are so expensive because of supply and demand. Anything deemed rare or difficult to obtain commands a higher price, in some cases a massive amount more. Currently, pedigree Blue Staffies can command 2.5 times the cost of an average-priced pedigree Staffy puppy.
There are breeders of Blue Staffies in the UK that will probably charge five times what an average Staffy will sell for and justify the cost to you.
One breeder I have in mind is incredibly serious and utterly professional in its breeding methods. Their Champion Stud dogs are from a lineage of black European Show Staffies. Their dogs are thoroughly tested for L-2-HGA -HC-HSF4. Not only will you get a healthy puppy and one who is a genuine blue they will also possess a temperament to match.
If you’re serious about a blue Staffy, this is the type of professional breeders you require; but as I say, you will pay a good deal of money for the privilege.
Are Blue Staffies Pedigree?
The Kennel Club classifies dogs as pedigrees in the UK if both parents are of the same breed and are registered with the Kennel Club or other institutes recognised by the Kennel Club. Currently, there are 221 pedigree dog breeds in the UK, of which the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one.
One significant advantage of pedigree dogs is a breed standard. This standard is a detailed description of what a healthy dog of a particular breed should look like.
Dogs KC registered are eligible for a “pedigree,” which is a type of family tree. If you purchase from a reputable breeder, you’ll also be able to see the results of any health tests or screenings the breeder submits to the KC.
How does any of this affect a blue Staffy? Well, blue is an acceptable colour as far as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed standard is concerned; therefore, if the breeders registered the parent dogs with the Kennel Club, that makes the Blue Staffy puppies pedigree dogs.
Blue Staffy Temperament
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed standard states the dog is courageous, intelligent, and tenacious. Staffies are renowned for their affection for humans, and in the right home is a fantastic family dog.
However, this presupposes the puppy comes from a litter bred by responsible and professional breeders who care more about the health and temperament of their puppies than the money they make by selling them.
Harsh, you might think, but nevertheless, true.
Here are some facts taken from the Kennel Club website. Almost 15% of puppies bought by people spending only 20 minutes looking for a breeder will experience illness, ongoing vet care, or death in the first six months.
If you think 20 minutes is a ridiculously tiny amount of time to research dog breeders, I agree. Yet, 36% who look for a breeder take less than 20 minutes to find where to buy their puppy.
The simple truth is the puppy’s breeding and parents play a vital role in the temperament and personality.
Traits used to describe the Staffordshire Bull Terrier temperament range from intelligent, fearless, courageous, affectionate, loyal, reliable, and bold.
Staffies are first and foremost people-oriented dogs that idolise their human families and want to be with them 24/7. However, to get the best from a Staffy early socialisation is crucial.
When owners take socialising seriously, Staffies are friendly to just about everyone they meet and can live happily with dogs and cats in their own homes. But a word of warning, if you’re bringing home a Staffy puppy and have another dog, it’s a good idea to evaluate your current dog. If that dog has a dominant personality, then a Staffy isn’t a good choice.
It’s best if owners keep a Staffy on a lead at all times when you’re out walking; they very rarely start trouble, but they aren’t known for backing down, and that’s not what you need because the odds are the Staffy will get the blame.
Staffies have powerful jaws (although “lock jaw” is actually a myth) and, like all puppies, love to chew, except a Staffy will do vast amounts of damage to your furnishings. It’s an excellent idea to provide your Staffy with indestructible chew toys to help keep those jaws occupied on something other than your table legs.
Typically, a blue Staffy will be headstrong and stubborn in the early months, and they will test the waters with their owners. So, obedience training is pretty essential, as is a calm, consistent and confident owner.
Young Staffies can be boisterous and difficult to control, but they will calm down, but a kind and patient owner is definitely needed. We have an excellent article that gives some insight into when Staffies calm down.
Blue Staffy FAQ
Are Blue Staffies Hypoallergenic?
No dog can be hypoallergenic because allergies spring from proteins in the dog’s saliva and urine. This means every time dogs lick themselves, they leave saliva on their fur. Once the saliva dries, it gets shaken off and into the air. So any unsuspecting allergy sufferer will eventually breathe in the allergens.
Do Blue Staffies Shed Hair?
Blue Staffies shed hair the same as any other colour Staffy; their coat type is identical to all Staffies.
Most people believe short, or smooth-haired dogs moult less than long-haired, but that’s not necessarily the case. Staffies are described as moderate shedders, but in reality, they do quite a bit. So, it comes down to personal choice; brushing your Staffy every morning before you vacuum is a good idea, and it will deal with the worst hair fall.
If you’re thinking about a Staffy puppy but concerned about shedding, here’s a more in-depth article to read about Staffy shedding.
Do Blue Staffies Have Health Problems?
Staffies are typically healthy dogs, although there are some genetic health conditions you should be aware of, such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, and juvenile cataracts. Staffies also suffer from allergies. Learn more about the common Staffy health problems.
What Does a Blue Staffy Look Like?
Most Staffies have the swimming ability of lead weight. Graceful swimmers, they are not! But a blue Staffy with their head above the water looks remarkably like a seal, especially when they offer that wide-eyed look that pulls their ears slightly behind their head. If you don’t believe me, type into Google – “Blue Staffy looks like a seal” and see for yourself.