The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is acknowledged to be a British breed dating back at least 175 years. However, because breeding records of that time were virtually non-existent, the exact breeds that were combined to create the Staff are unknown. Courage, not show points or pedigrees, was all that mattered to the dogs' breeders, for the Staff was bred to be a fighter even as late as 1930, well after the time when dog fighting had been outlawed in Britain. Fortunately, times have changed. Although the Staff will rise to the occasion if provoked, no breed is more tractable or more trustworthy with children.While facts as to his heritage are few, dog historians believe that the breed descends from the mastiff of ancient times, of which there were two types-a large and a small. From the latter, it is thought, came the Old English Bulldog which when crossed with one or more terrier breeds, produced the Bull and Terrier, the dog which is today called the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. This is not entirely conjecture on the part of the historians. If old-time breeders were careless record keepers they left behind them enough portraits and drawings of their more noteworthy dogs to give credence to this reasoning. Early in the 1930s and perhaps, as one writer suggests, because the law was making things difficult for the dog fighting fraternity, a group of fanciers led by Joseph Dunn determined to raise the status of the Bull and Terrier and have it officially recognized by The Kennel Club. In 1935 they succeeded. All that remained to be done was to select a suitable name. That of Bull Terrier had already been given to a closely related breed, so it was decided to name the breed for the English county where it was most popular (as well as being the home area of its patrons). The breed has become very popular in Britain and frequently accounts for the largest terrier entry at prestigious championship dog shows. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was officially recognized by The Canadian Kennel Club in 1953, followed some years later by the United States.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier