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Colby's Primo

Discussion in 'History Pictures & Reports' started by Vicki, May 1, 2007.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

  2. Palamino

    Palamino Little Dog

    This Colby dog formed the base for the breed standard of the Am Staff - he was triple registered UKC & ABDA as an APBT and AKC as an Am Staff.

    So, when we look at this dog, do we see the ideal Am Staff? Should we?
    Also, what do you believe is the diffrence between an Am Staff and an APBT?
  3. tat2stuff

    tat2stuff Good Dog

    " The fanciers who were ultimately responsible for gaining AKC recognition for the Pit Bull Terrier petitioned the AKC for the name"American Bull Terrier" but as there was already a Bull Terrier registered, which was a separate breed, the name was rejected. The fanciers were in limbo for several years, some favored "Yankee Terrier" (as seen in the advertisement from Dog World magazine), others "Staffordshire Terrier". It was decided they could not use the name "Pit Bull" as they were trying to pull away from the fighting-dog image. They were hard pressed to come up with a name that pleased all, and several different names were tried out along the way. It is interesting to note that one of the main selling points of these ads was the reputation the breed had as an outstanding child's playmate and protector.

    It is interesting also that the ADBA, which today strongly disassociates itself from AKC- registered American Staffordshire Terriers, even used the name "Staffordshire Terrier" for a while in their registry.

    The name Staffordshire Terrier was finally decided upon, and severalof the "fighting" breeders embraced the idea of AKC registration. The idea was that anything that would bring positive exposure to their dogs wouldbe worth whatever the ultimate cost. A committee headed by WT Brandon was delegated to go around the nation looking at Pit Bulls and to come up with a standard based on their observations. In the yard of John P Colby they found Colby's Primo, a dog they felt represented a sound, athletic dog. Primo was measured and observed by the committee, and the AKC standard was based in part on this dog. A picture of Primo was used to represent the standard of the Staffordshire Terrier for many years. It is interesting indeed to compare the modern day AKC show winners with the picture of the athlete Primo. The reader must make up his own mind as to how well the physical structure of the breed has fared through the years of show breeding.

    The Colby family registered their dogs with the AKC as a courtesy for about 3 years, then returned to UKC and ADBA registry only. Many of today's American Staffordshire Terriers can look to the Colby dogs as their foundation."

    Colby's Book of the American Pit Bull Terrier

  4. screamin'eagle

    screamin'eagle Good Dog

    another perspective...?

    Someone posted this in another thread regarding the above info on Promo...I still believe the Colby account to be accutate BTW.

    Colby's Primo - Myth or Fact?

    I've heard the Primo story for years - about how he was the model for the American Staffordshire Terrier standard. The story had always been on the edges of what I knew about the breed and I hadn't thought too much about it, until the advent of the Internet - and then the story became quite pervasive and I was hearing it everywhere and it was used with authority.

    So, curiosity got the best of me and I started doing a little digging. I spent 12 years in Texas and had the advantage of picking the brains of people that have been in the breed longer than many of you have been alive and who had conversations with Mr. Wilford T. Brandon, founder of the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America and writer of the Standard.

    In an article which appears in the 2002 Hoflin Annual, Wayne Brown (author of "History of the Pit Bull Terrier") writes (this information is NOT new, but Wayne has recently written a lot of it down in a concise way in the STCA Quarterly and the Annuals):

    "Bill Brandon was a fellow Texan and he told me that he wrote the Staffordshire Terrier standard using the UKC APBT Standard and the SBT Standard from England. Others have said that he also used the standard of the American Bull Terrier Club of Clay Center, Kansas and even others have said that he also used a famous dual registered UKC/ADBA American Pit Bull Terrier named Colby's Primo as a model for the Standard. The AKC approved the Standard on June 9, 1936."

    In my conversations with Wayne, he tells me that he does remember Brandon telling him about using the SBT and UKC Standards, but does not remember him saying anything about Primo. Richard Gray (Rounders) says the same thing, adding "....and he (Brandon) talked a LOT!"

    Remember, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier had achieved recognition by the English Kennel Club in 1935. Jackie Fraser writes in "The American Staffordshire Terrier",

    "Brandon studied the Standards of other breeds while trading ideas with Jack Barnard and Joseph Dunn of England who were working to gain recognition for the SBT in their country. Utilizing this information along with a mental picture of the best Pit Bulls he had ever seen, he wrote the Standard for the breed which is still serving today."

    So the author of the Staffordshire Terrier Standard, Brandon, kept in touch with his counterparts in England, and the English dog was granted recognition in 1935.

    Fraser continues,

    "On May 23, 1936, the first official meeting of the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America took place. The Standard was adopted and a resolution was passed to grant full recognition to the breed under the name Staffordshire Terrier. On June 9, 1936, the fledgling club was advised that the AKC had granted the request".

    So, we see that the Standard as written was adopted by STCA in May of 1936.

    I mention these dates because they become kind of important when you learn when Colby's Primo was whelped. According to a letter from STCA to Louis Colby in 1943, (in which AKC registration certificates were sent to Colby), Primo was whelped on May 29, 1935, sired by Colby's Brandy out of Colby's Mabel. This would have made Primo almost exactly one year old on the day the Standard was adopted by the STCA on May 23, 1936.

    Here is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Standard which was in effect in 1936, so this is the one under which the breed achieved recognition in England in 1935:

    GENERAL APPEARANCE - The SBT is a smooth-coated dog, standing about 15-18" high at the shoulder. He should give the impression of great strength for his size, and although muscular should be active and agile.
    HEAD - Short, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop, short foreface, mouth level.
    EARS - Rose, half prick and prick; these three to be preferred, full drop to be penalized.
    EYES - Dark
    NECK - Should be muscular and rather short.
    BODY - Short back, deep brisket, light in loins with forelegs set rather wide apart to permit of chest development.
    FRONT LEGS - Straight, feet well padded, to turn out a little and showing no weakness at pasterns.
    HIND LEGS - Hindquarters well muscled, let down at hocks like a terrier.
    COAT - Short, smooth and close to skin.
    TAIL - The tail should be of medium length tapering to a point and carried rather low; it should not curl much and may be compared with an old-fashioned pump handle.
    WEIGHT - Dogs 28 - 38 lbs. Bitches 4 lbs. less.
    COLOR - May be any shade of brindle, black, white, fawn or red, or any of these colors with white. Black and tan and liver not to be encouraged.
    FAULTS TO BE PENALIZED - Dudley nose, light or pink eyes (rims), tail too long or badly curled, badly undershot or overshot mouths.

    Any of that look familiar?

    Now, the UKC American Pit Bull Terrier Standard in effect in 1936...

    HEAD - Medium length, bricklike in shape, skull flat and widest at the ears, with prominent cheeks, free from wrinkles.
    MUZZLE - Square, wide and deep, well pronounced jaws, displaying strength. Upper teeth to meet tightly over lower teeth, outside in front.
    EARS - Cropped or uncropped (not important), should set high on head, and free from wrinkles.
    EYES - Dark and round; should set far apart low down on skull.
    NOSE - Black preferred with wide open nostrils.
    NECK - Muscular, slightly arched, tapering from shoulder to head, free from loseness of skin.
    SHOULDERS - Strong and muscular with wide sloping shoulder blades.
    BACK - Short and strong, slightly slopng from withers to rump.
    Slightly arched at loins which should be slightly tucked.
    CHEST - Deep but not too broad, with wide sprung ribs.
    RIBS - Close, well-sprung, with deep back ribs.
    TAIL - Short in comparison to size, set low and tapering to a fine point, not carried over the back.
    LEGS - Large round boned, with straight upright pasterns reasonably strong. Feet to be of medium size. Gait should be light and springy. No rolling or pacing.
    THIGHS - Long with muscles developed. Hocks down and straight.
    COAT - Glossy, short and stiff to the touch.
    COLOR - Any color or marking permissible.
    WEIGHT - Not important. Females preferred from thirty to fifty pounds. Males from thirty-five to sixty pounds.

    I'll let YOU find your own American Staffordshire Terrier Standard (which has not been changed since the original in 1936) and compare..

    It seems fairly obvious what sources Brandon drew on for his Standard. Primo's birthdate just seems too late for him to have been used the way the "legend" states - as THE model for the Staffordshire Terrier standard. Richard Gray and Wayne Brown do not remember Brandon ever mentioning Primo and Brandon "talked a LOT!" Neither Jackie Fraser or Richard Pascoe mention Primo in their books on the breed.

    So how did the Primo legend get started? Wayne Brown conjectures that AFTER the fact, Colby declared he had on his yard a dog that matched the AKC Standard - and he very well could have in Primo, who appears to be a very nice dog from the pictures. But was he THE model for the American Staffordshire Terrier Standard?

  5. DieselDawg

    DieselDawg Good Dog

    Interesting to see the "jump" in weight...28-38 pounds jumps to 35-65 pounds "preferred" but not IMPORTANT!
  6. Patch O' Pits

    Patch O' Pits Good Dog

    AmStaffs are APBTs under an Alias with a tighter gene pool and slightly different standard. But the road some ok a lot of Amstaff breeders took is far from what I think the original dogs and standard was meant to be... There are certainly some great AmStaffs out there that stayed pretty true to the APBT roots.

    Ask ten different people the question and you will probably get ten different answers LOL and it will be something that is always controversial especially with dual and triple reg dogs. However it is not just the label of AKC, ADBA or UKC on a paper that makes the dog.
  7. Sagebrush

    Sagebrush Good Dog

    I should have included the Standard for the American Staffordshire Terrier in the above article so it would be easier to compare:

    General Impression: The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. His courage is proverbial.

    Head: Medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop; and ears are set high. Ears - Cropped or uncropped, the latter preferred. Uncropped ears should be short and held half prick or rose. Full drop to be penalized. Eyes - Dark and round, low down in skull and set far apart. No pink eyelids. Muzzle - Medium length, rounded on upper side to fall away abruptly below eyes. Jaws well defined. Underjaw to be strong and have biting power. Lips close and even, no looseness. Upper teeth to meet tightly outside lower teeth in front. Nose definitely black.

    Neck: Heavy, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to back of skull. No looseness of skin. Medium length.

    Shoulders: Strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping.

    Back: Fairly short. Slight sloping from withers to rump with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. Loins slightly tucked.

    Body: Well-sprung ribs, deep in rear. All ribs close together. Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit of chest development. Chest deep and broad.

    Tail: Short in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point; not curled or held over back. Not docked.

    Legs: The front legs should be straight, large or round bones, pastern upright. No semblance of bend in front. Hindquarters well muscled, let down at hocks turning neither in nor out. Feet of moderate size, well-arched and compact. Gait must be springy but without roll or pace.

    Coat: Short, close, stiff to the touch and glossy.

    Color: Any color, solid, parti, or patched is permissible, but all white, more than 80 percent white, black and tan and liver not to be encouraged.

    Size: Height and weight should be in proportion. A height of about 18 to 19 inches at the shoulders for the male and 17 to 18 inches for the female is to be considered preferable.

    Faults: Faults to be penalized are Dudley nose, light or pink eyes, tail too long or badly carried, undershot or overshot mouths.


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