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Origins of the Staffordshire bull terrier

By Fred Fred Phillips

The origins of the Staffordshire bull Terrier have never been told. Although books were written in the 1930’s none have ever given any description of the dog’s and bitche’s our present day dog have originated from. I know that a great deal of controvesy will start when I say; that in my opinion there was very little of the Bull Dog in the make-up of the Stafford. The only thing I think compares the Bull Dog to the Stafford is it’s courage. The old Bulldog’s were more like a Stafford than the present day Bull Dog, but it would be a NIGHTMARE to to-days Stafford breeder if his stock looked anything like a Bull Dog.

The Staffords head should be tight without wrinkle over both skull and foreface and without any sign of lippiness. A lippy dog, if fought,would be in risk of loosing half of his face in the first few seconds of any serious encounter.The essential thing is that a dogs appearance should convey his ability to do his rightful work.,even if he is never fought and only for the show.The Bull dog’s mouth is undesirable for the Stafford and the prized flews of the Bull Dog are well and truly out when it comes to the Stafford. The dish face and down face, and the head without a stop, should also be avoided.

The White English Terrier, now extinct, had all the similarities of the Stafford, other than showing great strength and power for his size. The head was as clean-cut as the Staffords but not stronge enough or as deep through enough to fit a well balanced Stafford.The head resembled a wedge, were a Stafford should resemble a half brick.The skull and foreface of the English White Terrier were parallel, to each other, thus avoiding either dish or down face, and the stop of a Stafford should be deep as it determines the size and shape of the eye, which should be round and shallow. The foreign eye shapes appear to destroy the typical expression. Ears were small and rose shape, if they were large they were cropped. The neck of the English was longer than the Stafford without the power needed. The old-timmers wanted a neck of reasonable length and great strength and demanded a crest of the neck. This permitted a wide range of vision without presenting a vulnerable target, and gave the Stafford a regal stance

The front of a Stafford is of great importance. The legs must be set in line and squarley underneath the shoulders, with the rounded briscket lying snugly between them. The legs should be straight to the pasterns, with the feet turning out a little, this is to allow the dog to brace himself on being attacked and better able to resist being thrown, or bowled over, similar to a wrestler taking a stance. The structural efficiency was of great importance to two evenly matched Staffords.Many judges admire the great bredth of chest and shoulders and large head, without determing wether the exhibit is in balance and many broad fronted dogs have what is known as a Buul dog front with no breadth of rib- cage,and no indentation behind the shoulders into the ribs. The Stafford should be nothing like the Buuldog whose shoulders appear to be just tacked with the body slung between them.

Breeders to-day are trying to breed dogs like there terrier ancestors, not like the bulldog which they are supposed to have come from.The faults which are know so noticeable came from the bulldog,not the White English terrier,and I state that the top line should be level,another attribute that is totaly unlike the bulldog,who has a pronounced dip behind the shoulders with a roached back and stern higher than the shoulder.We do not want the straight stifle and hock of the bulldog. When the Stafford is veiwed from behind, the hind legs should be straight in line from hip to foot, again the shape of the terrier with the bone of the bulldog, and without the cowhocks, which were such a feature of the bulldog.

The old type Bulldog

The white English terrier