Staffordshire Bull Terrier Colors: Staffy Approved Coat Colors

Last Updated on: 11th July 2023, 09:02 am

Have you ever wondered why Staffordshire Bull Terriers, fondly known as “Staffies,” exhibit such a dazzling array of coat colors?

What secrets do these colors hold, and how do they tie into the dog’s genetics, health, behavior, and even breed standards?

This piece explores these intriguing questions, delving into the rich tapestry of coat colors within this courageous, intelligent, and loyally unwavering breed.

A Brief History of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed

Undoubtedly, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, affectionately known as the “Staffy,” has a history as vibrant as its colorful coat. Originating in the 19th century in England, these hearty hounds were bred from bulldogs and terriers for the dual purpose of bull baiting and dog fights. Unpleasant as these early uses were, they did shape the breed into tenacious, courageous dogs with a high pain threshold. 

“Despite their combative past, Staffies evolved to become a beloved companion and family pet. They are renowned for their affectionate nature, winning smile, and yes, their array of colorful coats.”

The breed was officially recognized by The Kennel Club in the UK in 1935, and later by the American Kennel Club in 1975. A Staffy’s coat can vary dramatically in color, and this is one of the many characteristics that make this breed uniquely captivating. 

  • 1935: Recognized by The Kennel Club (UK)
  • 1975: Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Understanding the coat coloring of Staffordshire Bull Terriers is not just about aesthetics; it’s about appreciating this remarkable breed’s rich history and genetic diversity. So let’s dive in and unravel the technicolor world of Staffy’s coat colors.

The Basics of Coat Color Genetics

Let me paint you a picture of the world of coat color genetics. A symphony of genes orchestrates this world, each playing their part in creating the beautiful array of colors we see on our Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Two primary color genes set the stage: the E (Extension) gene and the B (Brown) gene. Our maestro, the E gene, decides whether the coat will be predominantly black or red. Meanwhile, our virtuoso, the B gene, fine-tunes the intensity of the black color, playing shades from deep black to light chocolate. 

Now, consider these genes as the fundamental notes of a melody. They are then harmonized by modifier genes, producing variations such as brindle, pied, and blue. These create the intricate symphony of color we adore in our Staffies. 

Remember, while each gene plays its part, the resulting color is the harmonious outcome of their combined performance. No soloist here, just a well-orchestrated genetic ensemble!

One might ask, “Are all these colors permissible in the breed standard?” Well, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” 

Our beloved Staffordshire Bull Terriers come in a rainbow of approved colors, including: 

  • Red
  • Fawn
  • White
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brindle

And the icing on the cake? These colors may appear in any combination, thanks to the magic of genetics. So, the next time you look at your colorful Staffie, remember the symphony of genes that created their unique coat.

Understanding the Different Coat Color Possibilities of Staffordshire Bull Terriers

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a breed beloved for its courage, intelligence, and heart, is also admired for its diverse array of coat colors. From the deepest blacks to a myriad of brindles, the “Staffy,” as they are affectionately known, sports a coat as dynamic as their personality. But what are these colors and how do they come about? Let’s delve into the vibrant world of Staffy coat color genetics. 

Staffordshire Bull Terriers can come in a variety of solid colors, including: 

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Fawn
  • Red
  • White

Alongside these, there are also beautiful combinations: 

  • Black and white
  • Blue and white
  • Brindle is a mix of light and dark hairs that gives a streaked or striped appearance.
  • Brindle and white

These colors and combinations are the result of complex genetic interactions. Coat color genes can be thought of as a team of artists, each contributing a different element to the final masterpiece, which is Staffy’s coat. Some genes determine the base color, while others influence patterns and markings. 

It’s important to note that while coat color adds to the aesthetic appeal of the breed, it does not impact a Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s temperament or ability to be a wonderful companion. The beauty of the Staffy lies not just in its coat but in its inherent qualities of loyalty, courage, and love for its human family.

Brindle Staffordshire Bull Terriers: The Most Common Coat Color

 you think of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, chances are, a brindle-coated buddy is probably the first image to pop into your head. And you wouldn’t be wrong. This fetching mix of light and dark fur is indeed the most common among the breed.

Brindle is a sort of tiger-stripe pattern, where dark stripes overlay a lighter base color. The color of the stripes can range from black to light brown. The beauty of Brindle Staffies lies in the unique pattern each one sport, making each dog a one-of-a-kind marvel of nature. 

  • Classic Brindle: These are the typical light base coat overlaid with dark stripes.
  • Black Brindle: The dark stripes are so dense that the dog appears almost solid black from a distance.
  • Blue Brindle: The blue brindle Staffy is a rare sight. The blue coloration is due to a dilution of the black pigment, and the stripes carry a distinct bluish hue.

Did you know? The Brindle pattern is dominant in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. That means if one parent has a brindle coat, it’s likely the puppies will too!

Brindle is not just about looks. Some studies suggest that brindle-coated dogs could be healthier than their solid-colored counterparts! Research is ongoing, and there’s much more to learn about this intriguing correlation. 

Black Staffordshire Bull Terriers: Elegant and Sleek

 world of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, the color black conjures images of a sleek, elegant creature full of strength and vitality. These majestic dogs are a sight to behold, their shimmering black coats setting off their expressive eyes and powerful build.

Genetics of Black Coats: The black color in these beauties is governed by the ‘B’ series of genes. If a pup inherits the dominant ‘B’ gene from its parents, it gets a black coat, while the recessive ‘b’ gene leads to liver or brown shades.

Health Implications: Fortunately, owning a black Staffordshire Bull Terrier isn’t associated with specific health concerns. They enjoy the same lifespan and overall health as their other-colored counterparts.

Black Staffordshire Bull Terriers are truly a spectacle of elegance, combining the best of the breed’s strength and spirit. Their glossy, dark coats testify to their robust health and vitality.

Breed Standard: According to recognized kennel clubs like The Kennel Club (UK) and the American Kennel Club (AKC), black is an acceptable and common color for Staffordshire Bull Terriers. 

Behavior Traits: Color doesn’t influence a dog’s personality or behavior. Your black Staffordshire Bull Terrier will be just as playful, courageous, and affectionate as any other breed member. 

ColorGeneticsHealth ImplicationsBreed StandardBehavior Traits
BlackDominant ‘B’ geneNo specific concernsAccepted by KC and AKCSame as other colors

So, if you’re a fan of the striking, glossy black coat, rest assured that your Staffordshire Bull Terrier will look gorgeous and be a healthy, happy, and loving companion.

Blue Staffordshire Bull Terriers: Unique and Mysterious

Slipping into the night with a coat that shimmers under the moonlight, the Blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier owns a unique and mysterious charm. This enchanting color variation, a dark blue-gray hue, results from a specific gene combination in the breed’s DNA. It’s a color that whispers tales of the night sky and deep ocean depths and is nothing short of mesmerizing. 

But how does this celestial hue come to be, you ask? Let’s unravel the genetic mystery: 

  • The B Locus: This is the primary gene responsible for the blue color. The dilution gene (d) on the B locus dilutes black pigment to a blue-gray shade.
  • The K Locus: The dominant KB allele on K locus allows the expression of the B locus, making the enchanting blue color possible.

While this coat color may seem like a beautiful anomaly, it’s important to remember that it’s not a marker for superior or different temperament. A Blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier is as loving, courageous, and tenacious as any other color variant. But the blue hue does come with certain health considerations: 

Note: Blue Staffordshire Bull Terriers, like other breeds with the dilution gene, could be prone to a skin condition called Color Dilution Alopecia. This genetic condition can lead to hair loss and skin problems. Ensuring regular vet checkups and proper care for these majestic creatures is important.

As the moonlight wanes and the dawn breaks, we’re left with a lingering sense of wonder for the Blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They’re a testament to nature’s palette, to the magic in our world, and the endless possibilities of genetic artistry. And while every Staffordshire Bull Terrier, regardless of color, is a treasure, the Blue ones have a certain starry-night allure that’s hard to resist.

Fawn Staffordshire Bull Terriers: The Classic Color

 of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the first image that probably pops into your head is a robust, muscular dog with a gleaming fawn-colored coat. This shade is undeniably classic for the breed, a trait that makes these dogs instantly recognizable.

The fawn color in Staffordshire Bull Terriers can range from a light, pale shade to a richer, deeper hue. The exact shade can vary greatly from dog to dog, much like the shades of blonde in human hair.

  • The lighter fawn dogs are often described as “wheat-colored”, with a sunny, golden tone to their coats.
  • On the other hand, the richer fawn tones can be likened to a warm chestnut, giving the dog a robust and hearty appearance.

The genes responsible for the fawn color in Staffordshire Bull Terriers are recessive, meaning both parents must carry the gene for this color for their puppies to have a fawn coat. But don’t be deceived by the commonness of this color—it’s not a sign of mediocrity. Instead, it’s a testament to the strong genetic lineage of the breed. 

According to the breed standards set by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the fawn color is completely acceptable and does not affect a dog’s eligibility for shows or competitions. However, the AKC standards state that a black mask or black shadings in the coat are undesirable. This implies that a clear, unmarked fawn coat is the most sought-after variation.

Despite the color of their coat, Staffies are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, regardless of whether their coat is pale wheat or rich chestnut. So, whether you’re a breeder or an admirer, remember that the color of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s coat is just one part of what makes these dogs charismatic and lovable.

Red Staffordshire Bull Terriers: Bold and Striking

We often say, “Red, the color of passion!” when discussing love. Well, in the case of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, it’s nothing less than true love for many pet owners. The Red Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with its bold and striking coat, is a heart-stealer! 

“The deep, rich, and vibrant red coat is like a beacon of cheerfulness, instantly brightening up your day,” remarks a Staffordshire enthusiast. The red coat can range from a light, rusty hue to a deep, bold red, each shade more captivating than the last. 

So, you might wonder, how does a Staffy end up with such a unique red coat? 

  1. The color of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s coat is all down to genetics.
  2. The red coat color occurs when a dog carries two copies of the recessive ‘e’ allele at the E locus.
  3. It’s all decided by the parents’ genes.

The red color is widely accepted and adored within the breed. The Kennel Club (UK) breed standard accepts red as a coat color for Staffordshire Bull Terriers. 

According to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America, “Any shade of brindle, or any shade of brindle with white, black, blue, fawn, or red/tan are all acceptable coat colors.”

While the red coat color doesn’t inherently come with specific health or behavioral traits, it’s always vital to remember that a healthy, well-behaved dog results from careful breeding, appropriate socialization, and responsible ownership. After all, a dog is not just its coat but a living, loving companion.

White Staffordshire Bull Terriers: Rare and Beautiful

 the stars of the show, White Staffordshire Bull Terriers are considered quite a rare spectacle. These unique pups often sport a pure, snow-white coat that’s nothing short of mesmerizing. Their stunning color results from a specific genetic combination, making them a less common find among the breed.

The Genetics Behind the Color

White coloring in Staffordshire Bull Terriers is a recessive trait. This means that both parents must carry the gene for a white coat to produce a white pup. However, genetics allows two non-white parents to produce a white puppy if they carry the recessive white gene. 

The Show-Stopping Appeal 

White Staffordshire Bull Terriers are incredibly striking. Their dazzling white coats contrast beautifully against their dark eyes, creating an alluring, hard-to-ignore aesthetic. This unique appearance often makes them stand out in dog shows and competitions. 

Health Considerations 

It’s important to note that white-coated dogs, including the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, can be more susceptible to deafness and skin cancer. Regular vet check-ups and appropriate sun protection are essential for these dogs. 

Breed Standards 

Interestingly, the breed standards set by recognized kennel clubs do accept white as a possible color variation for Staffordshire Bull Terriers. So, while rare, these white furry friends are not outside the norm. 

Ultimately, White Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a unique and beautiful representation of this robust, affectionate breed. Their rarity and striking appearance make them a true gem in the canine world.

Mixed Coat Colors and Patterns

 the Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s coat! A canvas of color, a mural of marvelous hues. This section’ll explore the mixing and mingling of these colors and patterns.

Staffies, as their fans lovingly call them, can sport a wide range of mixed coat colors. These can be combinations of two or more base colors, ranging from the commonplace to the rare and exotic. Most notably, they often exhibit “brindle”, a tiger-stripe effect that can overlay any base color. 

  • Black Brindle: The dominant color is black, with lighter stripes or patches. This pattern gives our Staffies an air of mystery and majesty.
  • Blue Brindle: Imagine a cloak of midnight blue with a shimmering pattern of lighter blue. That’s the appeal of the Blue Brindle Staffie.
  • Red Brindle: Red Brindle Staffies are like a fiery sunset, with their warm red base color streaked with even lighter red or fawn.

Then there’s the enchanting piebald pattern. Here, white is the dominant color, sprinkling patches of other colors across the coat. There’s something undeniably charming about a piebald Staffie. 

Black & White PiebaldWhite coat with patches of solid black, giving the Staffie a dashing, dapper appearance.
Blue & White PiebaldA white coat adorned with patches of blue. It’s like your Staffie has donned a sky full of clouds!
Red & White PiebaldThe white and red patches give these dogs a warm, welcoming look.

Remember, each mixed-color Staffordshire Bull Terrier is unique, like a living, breathing work of art. These color combinations can be as varied and unpredictable as the dogs themselves.

The next section’ll delve into the fascinating genetics that give rise to these colorful canines. But for now, let’s pause and appreciate the wonderful diversity of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s coat.

Correlations Between Coat Color and Health or Behavioral Traits

Unfurling the colorful tapestry of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s coat can be as intriguing as complex. In the realm of genetics, coat color is more than just a superficial trait; it has potential implications for the health and behavior of our furry friends. Let’s dive into this mysterious world.

Health Correlations:

  • Blue Staffordshire Bull Terriers: This intoxicatingly beautiful coat color may have a caveat. Some research suggests an increased prevalence of skin conditions in blue-coated Staffies, most notably Canine Follicular Dysplasia.
  • White Staffordshire Bull Terriers: Like other breeds, white Staffies may be at a higher risk of deafness. A responsible breeder will check for this early on.

Although these correlations exist, it’s essential to remember that not every blue or white Staffie will face these issues. Nature loves to dabble in exceptions and surprises! 

Behavioral Correlations: 

Interestingly, there seems to be little definitive evidence linking coat color to behavioral traits in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. As much as we love to ponder theories, science demands data. Until further research is conducted, it’s safe to say that a Staffie’s coat color is unlikely to predict its personality. As any Staffie owner attests, these dogs are a delightful mix of courage, intelligence, and love, regardless of color.

So, while coat color in Staffordshire Bull Terriers can indeed have health implications, it currently bears no significant correlation with behavior. It’s a vivid reminder that every Staffie is a unique masterpiece, regardless of the color palette nature chose for them.

Breed Standards for Staffordshire Bull Terrier Coat Colors

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, affectionately known as the Staffy, is a breed with a delightful array of coat colors. These dashing dogs can flaunt coats ranging from a classic black to a vibrant red and everything in between. But what exactly are the standard breed colors for our Staffy friends? Let’s dive in! 

The Kennel Club (UK) Standards 

The Kennel Club in the UK recognizes the following coat colors as standard for Staffordshire Bull Terriers: 

  • Black
  • Brindle
  • Red
  • White
  • Fawn
  • Blue

And these can be either solid or mixed with white to create a dazzling display of Staffy charm. 

American Kennel Club (AKC) Standards 

Across the pond, the American Kennel Club has a similar list but with a few minor differences. The AKC recognizes the following standard colors for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier: 

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brindle
  • Fawn
  • Red
  • White
  • Sable

The AKC also recognizes black and tan, liver, and liver and tan as additional, though less common, color variations. 

Color and Patterns: 

Staffies aren’t just about the color; they’re about the patterns too! Both the Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club acknowledge the piebald pattern, which means the coat is predominantly white with patches of the other standard colors. 

The Kennel Club also recognizes a black-and-tan pattern while the AKC adds the ‘black mask’ to the mix, which refers to a dark mask-like marking over the dog’s face. 

While these standards provide a guide, every Staffordshire Bull Terrier is unique in its own right. Ultimately, the dog’s character, health, and jovial spirit wins hearts more than the color of their coat.

Ethical Breeding Practices to Preserve the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed

Beaming with muscular vigor and a heart full of loyalty, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a breed worth preserving. However, responsible breeding is not just about perpetuating the breed’s physical attributes. It’s also about maintaining their infectious spirit, and ensuring the health and longevity of future generations. Ethical breeding practices are thus essential to the preservation of this beloved breed. 

Ethical Breeding – A Rulebook to Live By 

  • Health Testing: Every responsible breeder should prioritize the health of their dogs. This includes regular vet check-ups, vaccinations, and screenings for hereditary diseases. For Staffordshire Bull Terriers, eyes and hips are areas to watch closely.
  • Genetic Diversity: Inbreeding can lead to a myriad of health problems. Breeders need to ensure genetic diversity by mating dogs with different genetic backgrounds.
  • Understanding Coat Colors: Staffordshire Bull Terriers come in fabulous colors. Understanding the genetics behind these colors can help breeders avoid health issues associated with certain color genes.
  • Quality over Quantity: Ethical breeders focus on the quality of their litters, not the quantity. Overbreeding compromises the mother’s health and can lead to an oversupply of puppies.

Before we dive into the vibrant color palette of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, let’s take a moment to appreciate the importance of ethical breeding. It’s the key to unlocking a future where every Staffordshire Bull Terrier can live a long, healthy, and happy life.


The diverse range of coat colors in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed is an intriguing aspect of their physical appearance, with implications far beyond surface aesthetics. From a genetic perspective, each color pattern results from complex inheritance patterns, reinforcing the intricacy of canine genetics. While some coat colors may be linked to specific health or behavioral traits, more research is needed to establish these relationships conclusively.

The recognition of certain colors by major kennel clubs has created a breed standard that, while preserving the original traits of the Staffy, leaves some colors marginalized. It’s essential to remember that a Staffy’s worth is not determined by its coat color but by its character, temperament, and overall health.

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