Our Club strongly promotes the responsible ownership of all Staffordshire Bull Terriers and as such,
we would rather speak to you personally rather than you just reading a website so for all puppy enquiries
please contact our Secretary, Linda Birkeland at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 6294 1955
From your email or call, she will provide you with a puppy pack detailing the Breed Standard that Breeders
are to breed to which is also the basis of judging at conformation shows (the Breed Standard is also listed below),
a breed profile giving you more information on what the breed is about,
information on how to find a responsible breeder, a listing of the Breeders Directory (also on this website)
and a listing of current Litters available.
Also included is handy information on Obedience training.
Don’t forget that there are always Rescue / Older dogs looking for homes so please consider them
as well in your search for a new Stafford. An older dog has many advantages such as house training
and obedience training may already have been done !
Please contact the above email address or phone number for all your rescue enquiries.
General Appearance Smooth Coated, well balanced dog of great strength for its 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 through with broad skull. Very pronounced cheek muscles,
distinct stop, short foreface, nose black.
Eyes Dark preferred but may bear some relation to coat colour.
Round, of medium size and set to look straight ahead. Eye rims dark.
Ears Rose or Half pricked, not large or heavy. Full drop or pricked ears highly undesirable.
Mouth Lips tight & clean. Jaws strong, teeth large with a prefect, regular and complete scissor bite,
ie. Upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaw.
Neck Muscular, rather short, clean in outline gradually widening towards the shoulders.
Forequarters Legs straight and well boned, set rather wide apart, showing no weakness at the pasterns,
from which point the feet turn out a little. Shoulders well laid back with no looseness at the elbows.
Body Closely 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 coloured 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 economy of effort. Legs moving parallel when viewed from
front or rear. Discernable drive from hindlegs.
Coat Smooth, short and close.
Colour Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colours with white.
Any shade of brindle or any shade of brindle with white.
Black and tan or liver colour highly undesirable.
Size Weight: Dogs 12.7 – 17kg (28-38 lbs). Bitches 11 – 15.4 kg (24-34 lbs).
Desirable height (at withers) 35.5cm – 40.6cm (14-16 inches), these heights being in
relation to their weight.
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.
Note Males should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
Bear and Bull Baiting reached the height of popularity from the middle of the 16th century through to the middle of the 17th century when very large & powerful dogs were required to ‘throw’ the bull. From the end of the 17th century it became more popular to tether the bull and a somewhat smaller bulldog was developed. (This Bulldog was leggier, lighter and altogether quicker than the English Bulldog seen today). This Bulldog is the first direct ancestor of our SBT hence the reason you see undershot jaws & screw tails even in the lines today.
As Bull baiting became less popular, dog fighting enjoyed a sudden surge towards the end of the 18th century & some modification to the Bulldog was required as the Bulldog was bred to pin & hang on at all costs which was not suitable for dog fighting. A lighter, more agile type was required with a different grip requirement was far more suitable so it is likely some Old English Terrier blood was introduced hence the new name for the fighting dog occurred – the Bull & Terrier. As a result of this selective out-crossing the weight of the fighting dog was reduced, the Bulldog being 50-60 lbs and the Old English Terrier being 20-30 lbs, the ideal Stafford falling between this. This extreme variation in size / weight is the reason we see this variation today.
With such a blood thirsty history you might wonder how this dog could have become the very popular family pet that it is today. It should be noted that the key requirement for the Stafford of old was that it must, above all else, possess great courage. Even the rules of dog fighting tipped in the favour of the courageous dog, the one who would not give up, who kept coming up to the scratch line rather than towards the most aggressive animal. A loud, aggressive Stafford is not typical of the breed, the old timers preferring those who silently watched & waited, only acting when asked or provoked.
These pastimes, especially dog fighting, necessitated a great deal of human contact. After each round the dogs had to be picked up and taken back to their corners. Old prints show the handlers with their sleeves rolled up, arms completely unprotected – these men were certainly not expecting the dogs to bite them. The ability to distinguish between animal and human is an essential characteristic of the SBT. Often the wounded dog was put in the pram with the baby to be taken home after a fight if the pioneers of the breed had any qualms about temperament they certainly would not have done that! In the household the dogs were useful ratters but could also earn money when worked against badgers, in the rat pit or fought. It was often reported that the children of families were deprived of food when it was necessary to give the available food to the wage earning dog. Pampered as they were within the family, they lived cheek by jowl with the humans, often being known as the “Nanny dog” for their affection ability to play and care for the children of the family. It was their ability to fit into the family circle which prevented them from becoming extinct after the outlawing of dog fighting, ratting and badger baiting.
The SBT was first registered with the Kennel Club in 1935 after the name “Original Bull & Terrier” was rejected, the modern roman nosed English Bull Terrier being registered some 60 years earlier. The name Staffordshire came about as the majority of Staffordshire owners rallying for Kennel Club recognition at that time came from the Black County or Staffordshire area.
Billy the Ratter Bear Baiting
- 1823 - In the late 1700’s
Dog fighting in Westminister 1813