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History of The American Staffordshire Terrier

Discussion in 'AST History' started by CoolHandJean, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. CoolHandJean

    CoolHandJean Krypto Super Dog

    History of the American Staffordshire Terrier according to the AKC:

    To correctly give the origin and history of the American Staffordshire Terrier, it is necessary to comment briefly on two other dogs, namely the Bulldog and the terrier.

    Until the early part of the 19th century; the Bulldog was bred with great care in England for the purpose of baiting bulls. The Bulldog of that day was vastly different from our present-day "sourmug." Pictures from as late as 1870 represent the Bulldog as agile and as standing straight on his legs-his front legs in particular. In some cases he was even possessed of a muzzle, and long rat tails were not uncommon. The Bulldog of that day, with the exception of the head, looked more like the present-day American Staffordshire Terrier than like the present-day Bulldog.

    Some writers contend it was the white English Terrier, or the Black-and-Tan Terrier, that was used as a cross with the Bulldog to perfect the Staffordshire Terrier. It seems easier to believe that any game terrier, such as the Fox Terrier of the early 1800s, was used in this cross, since some of the foremost authorities on dogs of that time state that the Black-and-Tan and the white English Terrier were none too game, but these same authorities go on to stress the gameness of the Fox Terrier. It is reasonable to believe that breeders who were attempting to perfect a dog that would combine the spirit and agility of the terrier with the courage and tenacity of the Bulldog, would not use a terrier that was not game. In analyzing the three above-mentioned terriers at that time, we find that there was not a great deal of difference in body conformation, the greatest differences being in color, aggressiveness, and spirit.

    In any event, it was the cross between the Bulldog and the terrier that resulted in the Staffordshire Terrier, which was originally called the Bull-and-Terrier Dog, Half and Half, and at times Pit Dog or Pit Builterrier. Later, it assumed the name in England of Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

    These dogs began to find their way into America as early as 1870, where they became known as Pit Dog, Pit Bull Terrier, later American Bull Terrier, and still later as Yankee Terrier.

    In 1936, they were accepted for registration in the AKC Stud Book as Staffordshire Terriers. The name of the breed was revised effective January 1, 1972 to American Staffordshire Terrier. Breeders in this country had developed a type which is heavier in weight than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England and the name change was to distinguish them as separate breeds.

    The American Staffordshire Terrier's standard allows a variance in weight, but it should be in proportion to size. The dog's chief requisites should be strength unusual for his size, soundness, balance, a strong powerful head, a well-muscled body, and courage that is proverbial.

    To clarify the confusion that may exist, even in the minds of dog fanciers, as to the difference between the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Bull Terrier, a comment on the latter may be helpful. The Bull Terrier was introduced by James Hinks of Birmingham, who had been experimenting for several years with the old bull-and-terrier dog, now known as Staffordshire.

    It is generally conceded that he used the Staffordshire, crossed with the white English Terrier, and some writers contend that a dash of Pointer and Dalmatian blood was also used to help perfect the all-white Bull Terrier.

    In mentioning the gameness of the Staffordshire, it is not the intention to tag him as a fighting machine, or to praise this characteristic. These points are discussed because they are necessary in giving the correct origin and history of the breed. The good qualities of the dogs are many, and it would be difficult for anyone to overstress them.
  2. Sagebrush

    Sagebrush Good Dog

    [TD="class: vt-content"] THE STORY OF THE LISTED DOGS

    Taken from "The American Staffordshire Terrier" by Jacqueline Fraser:

    Ike Stinson served as a Board member and was STCA Delegate to the AKC during a crucial point in the breed's modern history. When the AKC opened their books to Staffordshires in 1936, many breeders of good dogs did not register them. Some fanciers feared that showing in the breed ring would eventually ruin the dogs because it would lead to breeding for appearance at the expense of temperament. Other fanciers resented the name "Staffordshire," preferring the UKC's "American (Pit) Bull Terrier" designation for their dogs. Until 1963, pure bred dogs that had not been registered with the AKC were allowed to be shown at AKC breed shows. The owner was simply required to fill in the show entry and check "Listed" instead of writing in an AKC registration number. After the exhibitor had shown his dog three times in this manner, and if he wished to continue showing, he requested permission from AKC. However, even though the Listed dog could win a championship, his progeny were not eligible for registration. By the mid-1950s, one-third to one-half of the Stafs that were entered at major shows and National Specialties were Listed dogs. Some of the top winners with desirable bloodlines did not have AKC registration numbers and consequently could not be used to produce AKC puppies.

    The quality of the Listed Stafs of that time may best be understood by taking a look at some Specialty results. At the 1958 National Specialty in Atlanta, Ch. Knight Crusader was Best of Breed, Tacoma Cherokee Rose was Best of Opposite Sex, and Knight Patroller was Winners Dog. All three were Listed. At the National Specialty in Detroit in 1959, Best of Breed was Ch. Knight Crusader and Winners Bitch/Best of Opposite Sex was Jones G-a-y One Goldie. Both of these dogs were Listed. Best of Winners that year was Ch. Rip Rock Irish Mike, the only registered dog in two years to obtain a major win at a National Specialty.

    A full-page ad in the 1959 Specialty catalog advertising Betty Tregoning's Lylane Kennel, showed a picture of Ch. Lylane Princess Amber, CD, the 1956 Specialty winner and top producing bitch. She was Listed, as were her eight champion get, including Ch. Lylane Bucky-T and Ch. Archer's Diablo Bandino. It was obvious ther was a real need for this fine stock to outcross with the registered dogs and, consequently, the STCA voted to correct this situation. In 1956 Ike Stinson was appointed Chairman of the Registration Committee.

    For the next several years, at his own expense, Mr. Stinson made trips to the AKC offices in New York, wrote countless letters, and compiled the necessary statistics to present to the AKC with the hope that it would open it's registration books to the Listed dogs. The AKC turned down the request in 1958 but that didn't stop Mr. Stinson -- nor Howard Hadley, who also was working on the project. Finally, on February 18, 1960, John Neff, a Vice President of the American Kennel Club, sent the historic letter to Mr. Stinson informing him that as of February 18, 1960, and until February 18, 1963, AKC registrations would be accepted for qualifying litters but not for individual dogs. This was acceptable to STCA since it served the purpose of enabling breeders to use the quality Listed dogs to produce AKC registerable litters. To be certain that the Listed dog was a worthy sire or dam, the AKC stipulated that the three generation pedigree submitted must include at least one registered dog and that the Listed dog must have at least one major win at the time that notice of intention to breed was filed with AKC.


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