Staffordshire Bull Terriers
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier had its beginnings in England many centuries ago when the Bulldog and Mastiff were closely linked. Bullbaiting and bearbaiting in the Elizabethan era produced large dogs for these sports and later on the 100-120 pound animal gave way to a small, more agile breed of up to 90 pounds.
Early in the 19th century the sport of dogfighting gained popularity and a smaller, faster dog was developed. It was called by names such as "Bulldog Terrier" and "Bull and Terrier." The Bulldog bred then was a larger dog than we know today and weighed about 60 pounds. This dog was crossed with a small native terrier which appears in the history of the present-day Manchester Terrier. The dog which this produced, averaging between 30 and 45 pounds, became the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
James Hinks, in about 1860, crossed the Old Pit Bull Terrier, now known as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and produced the all-white English Bull Terrier. The Bull Terrier obtained recognition by The Kennel Club in England in the last quarter of the 19th century, but the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, due to its reputation as a fighting dog, did not receive this blessing.
In 1935 the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was recognized by the Kennel Club in England and enthusiasts were able to conduct conformation matches. The sport of dogfighting had long been made illegal and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier had evolved into a dog of such temperament as to make him a fine pet and companion and a worthy show dog.
Bull and Terrier breeds were believed to have arrived in North America sometime in the mid-1880's. Here they developed along different lines with a heavier, taller dog being the end result. Today's American Staffordshire Terrier represents that breeding.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was admitted to registration in the American Kennel Club Stud Book effective October 1, 1974, with regular show classification in the Terrier Group at AKC shows available on and after March 5, 1975.
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