top of page
Staffy Knott

About the Staffordshire bull terrier

Staffy Knott

History

staffordshire-bull-terrier
Two girls with their dog

In the 1800s, blood sports such as bull baiting, and bear baiting were common in and around the Birmingham areas. Bulls brought to market were set upon by dogs as a way of tenderizing the meat and providing entertainment. This sport was banned in 1935 which led to backstreet dog fighting (pit fighting) and rat baiting.

The Staffordshire bull terrier had been produced by James Hinks by bringing the bulldog with other types of terriers to create the bull and terrier. Hinks used various undocumented outcrosses, including Dalmatians and Collies, that devotees of the original strain considered undesirable. They chose instead to remain loyal to their preferred type. As a result, two different breeds of Bull Terriers emerged: The Bull Terrier, nicknamed the White Cavalier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Nanny Dogs

1900’s from fighting dog to nanny dog, the Stafford had moved on from its aggressive past to becoming a family dog. The Stafford was well known to be a people person and renowned for loving children. Families would leave their youngsters with their dogs to guard over them while they left the home. With the knowledge that the Stafford would protect their children no matter what from intruders or potential break-ins from a would-be thieves.

Kennel Club Recognition

In 1935 the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was officially recognized by the kennel club and where the likes of Joe Mullen and a band of breed lovers brought the breed forward. The first club show for the breed took place in August 1935 at Cradley Heath in the West Midlands where 60 dogs and bitches were entered.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Heritage Centre Website : http://thestaffordshirebullterrier.co.uk/history

Historical lines of the Stafford

What are line, they are the origin bloodline from when the breed was recognised.

It is well known and plenty of enthusiasts have done hours of research in tracing the lines back to the original Stafford’s who founded the lines and how they had come about. There had originally been 6 founders of the lines for the breed. There is only two surviving lines, the M line and the R line. The M line is the most common of the two. The other 4 lines had died out and this happens when a dog isn’t bred or produces puppies or males to pass the line down. A male dog carried the line forward. A female bitch the line stops at her and she becomes M family whereas the Dog keep the line going and passes down to his offspring.

Below are the 6 lines and founders.

  1. B Line   Rum Bottle

  2. C Line   Cinder bank Beauty

  3. J Line    Fearless Joe

  4. L Line   Game Lad

  5. M Line   Brindle Mick

  6. R Line Ribchester Bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Staffordshire bull terrier Breed Standard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is the breed standard set out by the Kennel Club

General Appearance

Smooth coated, well balanced, and of great strength for his size. Muscular, active, and agile.

Characteristics

Traditionally of indomitable courage and tenacity. Highly intelligent and affectionate especially with children.

Temperament

Bold, fearless, and totally reliable.

Head and skull

Short, deep though with a broad skull. Very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop, short fore face, nose black. 

Eyes

Dark is preferred but may bear some relation to coat color. Round, medium size, and set to look straight ahead. Eye rims are dark.

Ears

Rose or half pricked, not large or heavy. Full drop or pricked ears are highly undesirable.

Mouth

Lips tight and clean. Jaws strong, teeth large, with a perfect, regular, and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck

Muscular, rather short, clean in outline gradually widening towards shoulders.

Forequarters

Legs straight and well boned, set rather wide apart, showing no weakness at the pasterns, from which point feet turn out a little. Shoulders well laid back with no looseness at elbow.

Body

Close-coupled, with level topline, wide front, deep brisket, well-sprung ribs; muscular and well-defined.

Hindquarters

Well-muscled, hocks well let down with stifles well bent. Legs parallel when viewed from behind.

Feet

Well padded, strong, and of medium size. Nails black in solid colored dogs.

Tail

Medium length, low-set, tapering to a point, and carried rather low. Should not curl much and may be likened to an old-fashioned pump handle.

Gait/movement

Free, powerful, and agile with an economy of effort. Legs moving parallel when viewed from the front or rear. Discernible drive from hindlegs.

Coat

Smooth, short, and close.

Colour

Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any one of these colours with white. Any shade of brindle or any shade of brindle with white. Black and tan or liver colour is highly undesirable.

Size

Desirable height at withers 36-41 cms (14 to 16 ins), these heights being related to the weights. Weight: dogs: 13-17 kgs (28-38 lbs); bitches 11-15.4 kgs (24¼-34 lbs).

Faults

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Futher infomation can be found on the Kennel Club website: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/search/breeds-a-to-z/breeds/terrier/staffordshire-bull-terrier/

Modern-day Staffordshire bull terrier

Over the years there have been many changes in the Stafford and sadly nowadays the breed is being breaded for demand and so the breed standard doesn’t seem to be the priority of the breed.

Now mainly bred in the UK for colour and short snouts the breed is becoming more like a commodity of fashion rather than the traditional Stafford.

Although there are some breeders that do and the show scene in the UK and worldwide keeps within the breed standard. 

The Family dog

The kennel club recognizes that the Staffordshire bull terrier is the number one family dog with its loving and loyal temperament to their family members. Fairly easy to look after and very happy to please its owners. They’re very easy to train and need lots of exercise. Left to their own devices they will create havoc. They like to chew so toys are a must to keep them busy. Failing this will with boredom they will destroy things.

Always keep your Stafford on a lead when walking them, not in all cases but Staffords are not keen on other breeds of dog and so may potentially show aggression to others when approached.

This is generally down to protection or anxiety.   

Joe Mullins
Joe Mullins Show
Staffords first show 1935
Staffordshire-bull-terrier-breed-standard
Brindle micky founder of the M Line
The great bomber
Vindictive monty
silver queeny
Fearless joe
First show staffies
Above and below are some of the classic dogs of their time
Bull and terrier pit fight
Nanny Dog
bottom of page