How to Tell if a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is Purebred

How do I know if my staffy is a purebred? This is a common question for new staffy owners to ask.

At some point, you’ve probably wondered whether or not your staffy is purebred yourself; even if you bought your dog from a breeder who advertises them as such. After all, some breeders have been known mislabel a dog as purebred to make more money.

Due to this, people will often look up pictures of the breed standard to compare with their brand new staffy. However, people don’t realise that it’s almost impossible to tell if a dog is purebred just by looking at them. The problem is some purebred staffies can have a vastly different appearance than the breed standard.

While you can make a good guess, no definite physical signs or traits can confirm a staffy's purebred status.

Fortunately, there are a couple of more reliable ways to confirm if your staffy is a purebred or a cross.

How to tell if a staffy is purebred

Pedigree Papers

If you purchased your staffy from a breeder, the first thing you should do is check their pedigree papers. Reputable breeders will provide you these papers, co-signed by the Kennel Club, detailing your pup’s lineage; these papers usually goes back at least five generations.

A pedigree is simply your dog's family tree. With pedigree papers, you’ll be able to see your dog's lineage and get a better idea of it truly is a purebred staffy. Unfortunately, these papers only show a family tree as it has been recorded in the past; one false entry renders it useless.

It is worth being aware that some breeders will also try to trick the system by telling the Kennel Club that a dog comes from a more decorated litter to enhance the value of their puppies. You can read more about the drawbacks of relying on pedigree papers here.

If you do receive papers and aren't convinced by them, there is another method you can employ for a more accurate result.

DNA Testing

With the wonders of modern technology, you can now send off some of dog’s DNA for testing. There are a number of different companies that offer dog DNA testing service so be sure to pick a reputable one that has been around for a while.

Companies with a large database of tested dogs should be more accurate. One of the UK's leading DNA testing companies for dogs is called WisdomPanel and they make it easy to get a test done by offering their kits for sale on Amazon. Click here to view their dog DNA testing kit.

With these kits, you simply swab your dog’s cheek and follow the given instructions for sending it in and activating it to get your results. In all honesty, I do not know for certain how accurate the DNA tests are, there have been some arguments against their effectiveness but they are well-reviewed on Amazon. The company has claimed to be able to tell your dog's breed with a 90-97% accuracy level.

4 thoughts on “How to Tell if a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is Purebred”

  1. Doesn’t a pure English staffy have a dent near it’s tail and blue/black pallet in their mouth??? I’ve been around dogs for 40 years, one of the 1st things I learnt about staffys. Mine both have dents and blue/black pallets. Purebred English Staffordshire terriors

    • Hi Millie, thanks for commenting.

      That is interesting and isn’t something I have come across before.

      Much of the information in this article refers to what the Kennel Club have set as their breed standards and I haven’t seen them mention anything about palate colour or a tail dent.

      I’d love to know if what you’re saying is correct as I could include it in the article. Are you able to link any sources that confirm it? I had a quick search around but couldn’t find anything.

      Many thanks,

      Laine @ Smiling Staffy

  2. I do have a staffy and he bites alot he is max.42 days and while playing suddenly he gets aggressive and bite on hands and when he realized he realses it and when we scold him he starts digging on mattress covers and sit on a corner and when u hold him to make him listen to u he again starts bitting ..,and I don’t really understand why he do so and I want him to grow socially but this thing is confusing me

  3. My 4 month old bully does the same thing I have been trying everything I can to stop this behavior this last week I tried something different my pup is very food motivated so I cut up his treats in small portions so they last longer and when I play with him when I start seeing him get too rough I stop playing and pull out the treats and start training basic commands sit,stay,paw for example if we are playing with the rope/tug (his favorite) as soon as he starts growling shaking his head I drop it walk away to something else and although I have not been doing this long only 1 week we have not had to put him in time out for biting/ jumping aggressively I know it’s mostly puppy behavior but you have to show them you are in charge and NO means No, goodluck!


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