If there is one dog breed where the saying “looks can be deceiving” applies, it would have to be the Staffordshire bull terrier or affectionately known as the staffy.
These Staffordshire bull terrier does look menacing from the outside with their strong and burly build. But if have ever spent time with one before, it is amazing how friendly and affectionate they can be.
Staffies aren’t exactly big dogs and can be classified as medium-sized dogs.
Let us take a deeper look at the growth phases of the Staffordshire bull terriers which will come in handy for owners of this dog breed.
Staffy Breed Overview
The Staffordshire bull terrier shares a common ancestral tree with the American Staffordshire terrier and American pit bull terrier. However out of these dog breeds, the purebred staffy is the smallest of the three.
Despite their aggressive looks, the staffy is docile, gentle and loves to play. These dogs are built to move and require an active lifestyle with their owners.
Staffordshire bull terriers make good family dogs as they are good with kids. They are known as ‘nanny dogs’ due to their rather protective nature. However, they can be aggressive towards other dogs based on their genetic traits.
If you have cats at home, staffies and cats can get along well if properly socialized.
The Staffordshire bull terrier was originally bred as a bull and bear-baiting dog. This eventually transitioned to them being used for dogfighting. It is unfortunate that this beautiful dog was bred to serve such sordid purposes.
Thankfully all these activities have long been outlawed due to the enforcement of the cruelty to animals act.
How Big is A Fully Grown Staffy?
When it comes to staffies, both the female and male Staffordshire bull terrier size will measure about the same in height (13-16 inches) and length.
The one main difference is that the male will weigh more than the female Staffordshire bull terrier due to its increased muscle mass.
The Staffordshire bull terrier puppy will reach its full height by 18 months. But it will still continue to expand sideways or bulk up until it reaches full maturity at 2-3 years of age.
Below is the estimated growth chart of a Staffordshire bull terrier.
3- 6 months : 10.9 lbs – 28 lbs
6- 9 months : 28 lbs – 34.2 lbs
9- 12 months : 34.2 – 36.5 lbs
A fully grown Staffordshire bull terrier might not seem like a big down due to their medium-sized build.
They usually don’t grow more than 16 inches tall. But down let their size full you though as they can weight in at a hefty 40 lbs when fully grown.
That is pretty heavy for a dog of such a size.
The American Staffordshire terrier which is a close breed to the Staffordshire bull terrier is a much larger dog that can grow up to 19 inches tall and weigh up to 70 lbs.
They are considered large dogs due to their size. The different terrier breeds do defer in weight and size even though they share a common ancestral tree.
When Does A Staffy Head Stop Growing?
If you have ever seen a mature staffy, their heads are a lot bigger than most medium-sized dogs.
In fact, a staffy’s bigger head is one of their well-known physical traits. It is this bigger head to body ratio which gives them a burly look as well as one heck of a powerful bite.
A staffy’s head can start to get wider as they hit six months old. You might hear a Staffordshire bull terrier owner describe this change as ‘splitting’.
There is no cause to worry or call the SPCA as no Staffordshire bull terriers are harmed in order to widen their heads. It is just a natural occurrence by the dog’s body.
The dog’s head tends to look wider as its facial muscles develop and there is also a shallow ‘dip’ on top of its head
However, they are some staffies that don’t get this ‘split’ skull look and still retain their narrower heads like a Staffordshire bull terrier puppy.
What Age Does A Staffy Live Up To?
Before getting a dog, it is always best to realzse that it is a life ling commitment through thick and thin.
A Staffordshire bull terrier has a lifespan of about 12-14 years.
If you are getting your staffy from a breeder, make sure that the breeder fills you in on the dog’s family history as well as potential health risks.
This allows you to start making any preparations that are required to ensure your dog’s well-being.
With the advancement of veterinary advice and care, dogs can have a longer and healthier life compared to their predecessors.
Reaching Your Dog’s Full-Size Potential
As staffy owners, we do wish that our dogs grow to reach their maximum adult size potential. This means that we need to provide them with good care.
Here are some ways that you can give your Staffordshire bull terrier the best life possible.
A Good And Regular Diet
This is one of the most important factors that can help your dog grow to its maximum size. A growing dog needs good nutrition to fuel the growth of its muscles and cells.
Do not feed poor quality food like kibbles. Dogs are carnivores and thrive on a high-protein meat diet.
Feed your dog good quality canned food or a raw meat diet.
Make sure to also ensure that your dog is getting enough calories. Puppies do need to be fed more regularly than an older dog.
Keep Your Dog Happy And Relaxed
Too much stress is a bad thing to have for both humans and pets. Stress produces this hormone called cortisol which can lead to symptoms like cancer, lack of appetite, weight loss and a weaker immune system.
Not the kind of things that you want happening to a growing dog or any pet for that matter.
Keep your dog happy by giving it a relaxed environment to rest and sleep.
Also, note that Staffordshire bull terriers are sociable dogs and love being around their owners. Give your dog lots of attention and love to let it know that it’s well taken care of.
A hug and a kiss on your dog’s face will make it so happy.
Give Your Dog Adequate Excercise
Staffies are energetic dogs and require daily play sessions and walks. An adult staffy requires about an hour of exercise a day.
A puppy or younger Staffordshire bull terrier will require even more exercise as they have a much higher energy level.
Staffies are also high-energy dogs by nature hence they do need to be kept physically active to be happy.
Dogs that do not get sufficient exercise tend to be sickly and display behavioral issues. Keeping your dog active can also help to prevent canine obesity which leads to a whole myriad of health problems.
It is reported that up to 30% of the canine population in the United States are obese. We as dog owners need to start taking more responsibility for our dog’s well-being.
Regular Veterinary Guidance
Making sure that your dog gets its regular health check is a good way to prevent any potential or existing health issues from getting worse. It is also good to ensure that your dog gets all its required vaccinations.
Staffordshire bull terriers are prone to the following health conditions:
- Hip dysplasia
- Retina atrophy
- Follicular dysplasia
- L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria
Some of these known health conditions only happen as the staffy gets older. But there have also been cases where puppies as young as four months old start to exhibit symptoms.
So get your dog checked on a regular basis by your vet.
What Age Does A Staffy Calm Down?
As dogs get older, they tend to mellow out and become less active as compared to their puppy phase.
Then again, a lot depends on the breed of the dog.
Staffies are known to be energetic dogs in general. And if your dog comes from a downline of hyperactive parents and grandparents, be prepared to have a furry rocket at home way into its golden years.
In fact, it is common to have more staffy owners telling how active and playful their dogs still are even as they got older.
In general, staffies tend to clam down as they reach 12-18 months of age.
Know that you are aware of your staffy’s growth phases, you are better able to accommodate ensure that your dog gets the best diet and care possible.
Remember to keep your dog active daily and give it lots of attention and love.