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2012 UKC TOP 10

#6 SBT


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Changing Estimates by Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia Each year there are hundreds of exhibitors who leave the ring unhappy about the placement of

and the owners of dogs who know their dogs to be within the standard, making an estimate about

their dog. Some are disappointed because they did not win others because of a comment made by the judge. Here is an example of a comment that will upset many owners and handlers. "I liked your dog but it was to large". Most owners and handlers

this trait can often times result in not winning. These owners and handers believe that estimating size is not a satisfactory way to interpret the standard.

translate that in ways that would upset most judges. The dilemma is this. Does it mean that their dog was to big based on the standard or that there was another dog that was closer to the standard for its height? This is not always an easy problem to understand and emotions run high when judges make these remarks.

While most breed standards do not make height or weight a disqualification, they do place great emphasis on these traits with specific language that speaks to gender with words like " the ideal or correct" size or weight etc, etc. Given this language

The facts are that the judge and breeder are central to making breed improvements and there

it might seem strange that out of 153 breeds only 31 have a height disqualification. Of these only twenty disqualify for under size, eighteen for over size and sixteen for both under and over a specific size requirement. The remaining 122 standards do

are rules that control the judging process. These rules are important because they can influence a breed's function, the quality of those that win and to some degree, the destiny of a breed. In this respect, it is fair to say that there are certain

not have a disqualification for size. Some believe that the lack of a disqualification is to be interpreted as only guidance to the judge. This leaves the subject open to a wide range of interpretations. When a standard refers to a trait

aspects of the judging process that are not with words like "the ideal or correct", should one perfect. For example, if a judge questions or wonder what the intended meaning is or what doubts the size or weight of a particular entry this interpretation should be given the trait? could become a disappointment for the handler and owner depending on what the judge does or Would all clubs agree on how to interpret these says. words? Probably not. Some would point out that there are breeders who knowingly breed and The judging guidelines require that an estimate be exhibit dogs that are too large or too small based made about height unless there is a disqualification on the standard. Does this mean that because for size in the breed standard. For the breeders there is no disqualification that anything goes?


Changing Estimates by Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia When a judge suspects a dog to be over or under the standard most use the time accepted ritual

dilemma for what happens next is called judging. The disgruntled prefer to call it "guessing or

that has been passed down over the years. Some call it the "guesstamate" procedure because they are not allowed to measure or weigh. In a study reported by Willis, judges were asked about their procedure. Later the dogs were actually measured

estimating". At the end of the day it all boils down to a judgement. Should judges be denied the right to know when the breed standard calls for a specific size or weight?

using a wicket.

Related to this is the reality about what we should To everyone's surprise, Willis found the error rate not forget. Those that win are the ones who will to be very high even among the most experienced be bred to the most. Under current AKC policy, judges. When Willis asked these judges about their breeds without a disqualification for size or weight procedure most said they marked a place on their are at the mercy of a judge's ability, skills, skirt or pant leg so they could stand next to the experience and interest at making estimates. Willis dog, look down and make an estimate about the demonstrated that even the best could oftentimes dog's size. If the breed was examined on the table be wrong. most said they spread their fingers and determined height by looking at the distance between their When I asked several judges about this, they thumb and little finger. A third group said they could estimate size by observation alone. They simply "eye balled it" based on their "years of experience". It seems strange that in this age of advanced technology, it would take a simple study by Willis to demonstrate that this procedure is out dated and fraught with error. Many have asked if it wouldn't it be better to allow judges to measure any dog they believe to be too large or too small since the purpose of the wicket is to measure when there is doubt. If judges were allowed to measure or weigh, they would have more accurate information on which to base their decision. A dog that is a little too big or too small might still be the best one in the ring for its over all quality. The

remarked that the estimate has always been the tradition and to "change it now after all these years would only delay the show". If we think out of the box for a moment and admit that the wicket and the scales are superior to making estimates, there just might be a better way. Suppose that judges were allowed to use wickets or scales at specialty shows as a way of testing the idea. Would this not be an improvement over the current method? Article taken from

Breeding Better Dogs Building a Better World of Dog Breeders

* *Guessing Heights a note from the Editor At a recent show weekend several of us decided to

Out of all the Staffords that were measured only ONE

guess the heights of several Staffords and then use a

dogs height was guessed correctly.

wicket on them to see if anyone guessed correctly. We

The one Stafford that was guessed correctly was

guessed and measured about 6-10 Staffords. We were all surprised at the outcome.

guessed correctly by almost everyone who participated. This was a very fit and balanced bitch.

There were 6-8 of us participating with several of these It just goes to show you that you cannot always rely on people having many years in the breed and in dogs in your eyes or experience to give you an accurate general. Each personl would make a guess, out loud

picture of height. The next time you are standing with a Stafford standing in front of us using our eyes, rigside and you hear someone remarking on the height hands, leg whatever method each person wanted - then of a dog in the ring or at a show - keep this in mind. we placed the wicket on the dog - everyone participated in this operation so the wicket was in correct position on each dog and each dog was

Until the wicket is brought over that dog it’s anybodies

properly stacked.

guess what its true height is.



An All Stafford Flyball Team by Aaron and Rebecca Kirzner

This year at the North American Flyball Association Canadian American (CanAm) Classic a group of Stafford enthusiasts joined together to create a team consisting of only Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Nine people organized a team of six dogs earlier this year to compete at the NAFA Can AM Classic. The team would be called “Staff Only.”



What is Flyball you ask? In the past, Flyball has often been the least well known of the competitive dog sports. Recently that has begun to change as Flyball has become increasingly popular. This year marked the entrance of 202 teams at the CanAm Classic, the largest flyball tournament in the United States. Flyball, as defined on the NAFA website: “Flyball races match two teams of four dogs each, racing side-by-side over a 51 foot long course. Each dog must run in relay fashion down the jumps, trigger a flyball box, releasing the ball, retrieve the ball, and return over the jumps. The next dog is released to run the course but can't cross the start/finish line until the previous dog has returned over all 4 jumps and reached the start/finish line. The first team to have all 4 dogs finish the course without error wins the heat. Jump height is determined by the smallest dog on the team. This dog is called the ‘height dog’.”



STAFF ONLY An All Stafford Flyball Team Each dog and their handlers all joined together from different Flyball teams throughout the region. Lisa Glass Skorija and Madoc (Wavemaker Dardevle, FM) from team FBI. Kris Patzer and Sprinter and Beth Zeiner and Grub (Homebrewed Cheeky Monkey RN CGC FDCH-Silver) from team Hard Drive. Angie Heighton and Pedro (Spring Loaded’s Vote for Me) from team Spring Loaded. Rebecca Clas-Kirzner with Jewel (Am Ch. Oxheart’s The Devil Wears Prada FMX) from team Blue Ridge Blast. And finally Helen Fotheringham and Fire (Exquisite’s Too Hot to Handle CGC FM TFIII) from team Mighty Mutts This wouldn’t have been complete without some additional team members. Aaron Kirzner the box loader. A box loader loads a ball for each dog. Peyton Maristch who was Madoc’s assistant. Our coach and ball collector was Kim Shepherd. Joan Werleman was our wonderful videographer. Marty Shepherd was our pass caller. A pass caller is someone that tells you how close the dogs are passing each other at the start finish line. The closer the passes, the better time you will have. The team was also cheered on by Dirk Elber and Chaffy.

The day had a bit of a rough start to it as everyone gathered together to run this crazy team of dogs. The dogs and handlers took a few heats to get into the groove of things. All of the Staffy’s were full of energy and were feeding off of each other. Crowds gathered to watch this team run when they heard the strange gremlin noises every Staffy owner is familiar with coming from the ring. Even opposing teams would stop to watch this unique crew of dogs run. As the day progressed the team came together and ran their races well. Even when one of our team mates was out for some of the races, the team still carried on. The team’s best time of the day was 19.152 seconds. This is quite a feat for a team composed entirely of height dogs. Staff Only placed 3rd in a tough Open 3 Division. As the day ended, next year’s Staff Only team was already well under way to being planned for the next CanAm Classic.

(left to right) Angie and Pedro, Helen and Fire, Rebecca and Jewel, Aaron the box loader, Kris and Sprinter, Dirk and Chaffy, Beth and Grub, Lisa and Madoc, Peyton and Bounder. Merchandise also available at

Slipping Hocks Slipped hocks are not at all the same as flexibility of the joint. A flexible joint can be flexed or extended quite far with gentle, steady pressure. It is very easy to push a normal dog's hock forward until the joint is straight up and down (i.e. 180 degrees). However, there is tension, sort of like when you push sideways on a stretched rubber band or bungee. A slipped hock will fold forward with virtually NO pressure, and the dog will be unable to resist it. To determine a slipped hock, place several fingers on the back of the hock lightly pressing forward until the dog either picks up the foot and steps forward or the joint collapses forward The difference being - between pushing the joint forward, and the joint "collapsing" forward. How far forward it goes, i.e. past 180 degrees, is irrelevant. Because a slipped hock can "collapse" forward, a dog with this condition does not have the leverage to drive forward from the rear. A dog like this may actually appear to have fluid movement when running loose but will not be able to generate much power under load. His power will come from the front rather than the rear. Dogs with this condition are capable of doing multi-mile runs with no trouble, but running slowly and building up to that. The muscle they would need to develop from the running will help protect the joints even though it could not improve them. Many people do not exactly understand why our early Stafford breeders would have desired a well let down hock, nor do they understand what this means. The easiest way to explain this is to compare the Stafford hock to that of a rabbit. A rabbit must have an overlong hock because it must be able to quickly and purposefully get away from its prey. It does so by a very long and quick hopping motion so that it removes itself from danger by making several leaps very quickly. A Stafford was bred for endurance, & strength of rear movement - the purpose of a well let down hock allows for this endurance with ease - a dog with a well let down hock can move, run and chase for a long time very easily but

perhaps not in as quick order as that of the hare. This of course will also enable the dog to achieve greater drive off his rear. As well, when viewed from the rear, the hocks should be perpendicular with no turning in or out. The metatarsals are short in well let down hocks. If the dog suffers from either a slipping hock or an overlong hock he will lose the purposeful rear drive that is required of a Stafford.

2012 UKC #2 SBT

The Process of Evaluating Puppies Using the Hastings' Puppy Puzzle (article taken from - PUPPY PUZZLE - EVALUATING STRUCTURAL QUALITY

the whole picture, search for the cause as you go over each piece.

Available from

Pat Hastings uses a specific order to evaluate puppies. These are listed in her book, Tricks of the Trade. The following article is a brief summary of her process. First of all, evaluate a puppy’s temperament by gently turning it over; cradle it in your arms, supported against your body. Does the pup struggle to become free? Does he lay quietly or attempt to lick you?

SPECIFICS FOR THE EVALUATION PROCESS Temperament A standard of excellence must include a good temperament as well as structural soundness. A pup that holds on to your arm when turned over and cradled in your arms is usually an insecure pup. One who opens its eyes wide when tipped down a bit head first may well be fearful and grow

up with an exaggerated startle response, become sound sensitive, and have a fear of new things in its Next, using a mirror, look at the pup in a environment. An aggressive pup will not let you suspended position. Since the pup must hang freely hold him on his back, just as a pup that will not without bearing any weight, he must be picked up meet your eyes may not bond well and become an properly so that he is able to relax. Practice will independent soul as it matures. teach you how to pick up a pup by the bone Socialization and exposure to a variety of positive structure of the head and between the rear legs. experiences can help minimize certain traits, but Once you can do this successfully, you will notice the genetic causes of these traits remain intact. A that "a well structured pup will hang in a very pup that has a sound temperament will be relaxed nearly stacked position." If and confident. the pup is relaxed when suspended, but does not Head hang in a stacked position, there is a structural Examine the cheekbone ridge or zygomatic arch reason. between the eye and ear to get an idea of how the Now look at the pup’s overall balance in a standing head will develop. If the ridge surface is flat and the position. Also check the proportion of the pup in areas above and below it fairly flush, the back skull relation to the breed standard. (i.e. height in is most likely going to grow in proportion to what relation to length, depth of body in relation to you see now. If the surface is not flat or the ridge height of leg, etc.) Remember, what you see at 8 is curved, most likely the back skull will broaden weeks will most resemble the structure of the pup out of proportion. A significant indentation above as an adult. If something stands out as you look at the ridge between the eye and ear normally Does he grasp your arm with his paws?


The Process of Evaluating Puppies Using the Hastings' Puppy Puzzle predicts the formation of a dome shaped head. If The importance here is that a dog with a short the back skull broadens significantly, position of the neck will most likely have less reach since a dog ears as well as shape and position of the eyes may be altered. If the evaluation suggests that the back skull will remain in proportion, then shape and placement of the eyes and ears will remain proportionally the same also. Muzzle The round pellet-like formation that feels like a pearl and is found at the inside corner of the eye determines the width of the muzzle. If that pellet formation is present, the muzzle will usually grow forward in proportion to what you are looking at. If absent and you feel only a small indentation, the muzzle will most likely narrow.

can only reach to the end of its nose. Therefore, the shorter the neck, the shorter the reach. Front Assembly Bones must be balanced to work in unison and move front assembly muscles properly. One way to determine this is to measure with your hand the length from the notch near the point of the shoulder to the top of the blade. The distance should be approximately the same as that from the point of the shoulder to the notch of the elbow. Shoulders

The neck is the key to determining front assembly

"The shoulder blades should fit smoothly and blend onto the rib cage." The shoulder blades should not be the highest point of the dog; rather,

problems. The head should be well above a line drawn along the puppy’s topline. If the head is not above this topline, something is not right with the pup’s front assembly. Dogs have seven vertebrae in their necks. The shoulder blade of a short necked

you should not be able to see them. A proper fit of the blades will most always provide the proper space between tips. If these tips are too far apart, the dog will move wide up front; if they are too close, the dog will be restricted in being able to

pup can actually hide one or more of these vertebrae on an x-ray.

lower its head. Both straight and short upper arms can cause a soft topline.

Also look at the elbows to verify a poor front assembly. With your left hand under the chest, squeeze the elbows together with your index


finger and thumb just until you feel resistance. If the elbows come together, there is a problem with the front assembly. The reason is that the upper arm is in front of the rib cage rather than along side, causing sloppy upper arm movement rather

outward, this indicates poor muscle attachment and/or loose ligaments which will cause a dog to toe in due to throwing the elbows outward.

than strong forward action.

Loin is measured from where the last rib comes


Using your left hand placed on the pup’s shoulder blades, gently push to the side. If the elbows move

Depth of Chest


The Process of Evaluating Puppies Using the Hastings' Puppy Puzzle off the spine. The distance from the last rib to the pelvis should be shorter than the distance from

A dog that moves wide behind may well have knees that angle out. The patella or kneecap should

the last rib to the shoulder. A loin that is too long reduces support of the pelvis, causing more likelihood of topline problems. A short loin, on the other hand, restricts the dogs ability to bend sideways.

flow into the body. If the knees point out, the pup may be more prone to injuries due to the stress weight bearing will place on the other joints in the rear assembly. Also check to see how the rear feet point when

Rear Assembly

you pick up the pup’s rear slightly and drop it. Turning in or out of the feet can suggest an Ideally, the length between the point of the buttocks and the kneecap should be approximately imbalance of muscle mass on the inside or outside of the leg. (If the pup toes out, he may move as if the same as the measurement from the kneecap he were cow hocked even if he is not.) and hock. Stifle angle often does not show on a young pup. However, most often the sharper the hock angle, the more stifle angle you will see in the adult.To check the balance of the rear assembly, drop an imaginary plumb line down from the point of the buttocks to the ground. The line will drop at the toes of a well structured dog; this is the balance point required for proper movement. If the feet fall bar behind the plumb line, the rear legs are too long and the pup has sickle hocks. The hocks appear to bend in an effort to provide balance as feet are moved forward; this causes decreased range of motion behind. The view from behind in a well structure dog should look like an inverted "U". If the puppy provides the appearance of a "V", this suggests a narrow pelvis causing the dog to move narrow in the rear. In general, Pat Hastings feels that the dog should not be narrower at the rear than they are at the shoulders.

"Hocks are the cornerstone of the rear assembly. The rear pastern should be perpendicular to the ground, and the hock joint itself should have no forward or side motion to it." A shorter hock will give endurance. Ideally the hock at 8 weeks should be no more than one-third the total height of the pup’s rear. Slipped hocks, or double jointed hocks, are a fairly common problem that can often be identified when a dog will not hold its rear in the stacked position (the dog will constantly attempt to move a rear foot forward). Basically, weakness in the tissue causes the joint to hyperextend or collapse forward. Most times, if this is seen in a pup, it will continue for the rest of the dog’s life. The problem here is that if one joint is weak, the knee, or next joint up the line, will compensate. If the knee wears out, then the hip is stressed. It is for these reasons that slipped hocks should not be dismissed lightly.


The Process of Evaluating Puppies Using the Hastings' Puppy Puzzle Topline "A topline problem is rarely created by the spine. It is usually a compensation issue." Softness in the topline is usually the result of a problem in the front assembly, such as straight shoulders, straight upper arms, or a forward projection of the front. Wrinkles over the shoulders usually stem from straight or wide shoulder blades. A roach in the topline results from a rear assembly problem. Slipped hocks can be one cause, as the dog carries more weight on the back in an attempt to keep pressure off the legs. The same effect results in an older dog with arthritic changes in the back. Croup and Tailset If a problem is detected in a young pup, generally the croup and tailset will not improve. However, a proper tailset can deteriorate over the next two years since the three vertebrae between the hip and tailset are the last bones to fuse during growth. Poor rear structure and lack of opportunity for freerunning exercise are both factors in poor tailset. In summary, Pat Hastings reminds us that the three most important reasons For evaluating puppies include:

1. Determine Structural Problems. Breeders need to search for the causes of structural problems if they want to improve their breedings. Identifying a poor rear does not help a breeder unless you understand specifically what you don’t like and what is needed for improvement.

2. Determine which Puppies to Keep in your Breeding Program.

3. Determine Suitable Homes for Each Individual Puppy.

w w w. s t a f f i e s o n l i n e . o r g . u k

Working and Conditioning Your Dogs Owner and trainer Daniel Taskov From my love of Bull and Terriers every thing unfolds.

Perseverance is key when trying to achieve full fitness.

When talking about improving the physical condition of the dog, we must also take into account its mental condition. The activity you use must also be fun for both you and the dog. In doing this we can achieve soundness of limb, peak fitness and great looking dogs.

Swimming is also an activity that I use, because it does put stress on the the dogs joints but is very good for coordination and building stamina.


I use a flirt pole as a fun activity, it is fun for both the owner and the dog as well as being very good exercise. There are many activities that you can do with your dog, what you do is up to you so long as you are both having fun. What is more important is that you do something consistently and regularly. There is nothing better for both you and your dogs than spending time together out side with nature and it gives me great satisfaction to know that my dogs are healthy, happy and fulfilled.

Diet also plays a big part in trying to achieve the above. Weather depending I spend around five to eight hours per day in activity. I split the activity into two sessions a day. In the morning we have a lighter relaxing walk along the track for around eight kilometers. We save the more demanding training for the afternoon session. I also feed my dogs twice a day after they have had their exercise.

PASO photos by Jindra

I don’t do any real training before fourteen months old just introducing them to walking and moving on different surfaces. Playing and running on different surfaces such as dirt, sand and ploughed fields helps its co ordination, stability and flexibility. The first thing I do before the real physical work is started is to test the temperament of the dog, this would be done around thirteen months of age. I would do this by introducing the dog to live bait (caged of course, safe from harm), this will indicate the true character of the dog before spending hours or work into attaining full physical fitness. The original function of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is often forgotten. I train my dogs with both live and inanimate bait, I prefer to train in woods and on difficult terrain.

*TSK understands some of our readers may not like using live bait for testing temperaments however this author is in Czech Republic and for him it is totally acceptable.TSK does not judge our readers and prints unedited articles as submitted.

On Balance

By Jason Nicolai

When I was a kid I once participated in a science The breed standard clearly defines ideal size, competition whereby each contestant was handed proportions, and substance which essentially tells one box of plastic drinking straws and about 10 feet of masking tape.  We were given a pair of scissors, a ruler and 20 minutes on the clock.  Our task was to produce a structure that stood at least 4 inches high and spanned 1 foot in length.   The

us the proper balance between bull and terrier.   Make no mistake; there is little room for personal interpretation of those descriptors, “deep,” “broad,” “wide,” “rather far apart.”  The parameters of balance are handed to us in

structure was to serve just one purpose; to provide solid support for a series of progressively increasing weights.  Last one to collapse would win.  After the full 20 minutes the result of my labor was a drinking straw bridge that was

objective language, and our personal understanding of “deep,” “broad,” “wide,” and “rather far apart,” must comply with what the standard says about Proportion and Substance, and to a lesser degree, but still important, Size. 

somehow even weaker than the straws themselves had I not “engineered” them at all.  It crumbled under about ¼ the weight of the winner. Consequently I thought that the whole exercise was stupid.  Frankly, I still do.  However, it is not

Size, Proportion, Substance

altogether without its merits if applied to something that really matters….like Staffords.   Here’s a test for you.  Take 38 pounds of clay in one hand and the breed standard in the other.  Mold a dog that is 16 inches tall and 16 inches long.  Now make him look like everything the standard says he is supposed to be.  Take each section of the standard and identify some of the main descriptors you have to work with: 

General = of great strength, muscular, active, agile Head = short, deep, broad Neck/Body = muscular, short, deep, close, wide Fore = well boned, rather far apart Hind = well muscled

Height at shoulder: 14 to 16 inches. Weight: Dogs, 28 to 38 pounds; bitches, 24 to 34 pounds, these heights being related to weights. Non-conformity with these limits is a fault. In proportion, the length of back, from withers to tail set, is equal to the distance from withers to ground.

Taken out of context the reoccurrence of words such as short, deep, wide, and broad may be quite misleading.   How deep is deep?  How wide is wide?    The answers to these questions lie in the fact that you only have 38 pounds of clay to work with. Without the guideline for Substance words like “short” and “broad” could mean whatever we want them to mean according to our own preferences and even physical stature.  After all, isn’t a “thin” hippo still quite massive to a “wide” gazelle?   With the Stafford, we are not discussing size as much as we’re talking about proper proportion, ideal substance / correct balance.  continued

On Balance

By Jason Nicolai

The Height and Weight guidelines are not in the standard because male Staffords must weigh 38

curly tails and argue that this is our personal interpretation of the standard?  Of course not. 

pounds - for some mystical reason. That measurement on its own is somewhat arbitrary.  Rather, these guidelines are key to the much more important concept of understanding proper balance.

That’s ridiculous, right?   The standard very clearly indicates this is a fault.  Yet that is exactly what we’re doing with the substance and balance of our dogs, which is a hell of a lot more important than the tail.

  Blindfold a fat man and read the breed standard to him.  Leave out the section about Size, Proportion and Substance.  In his mind “wide” may mean huge and ”broad” may mean massive.  Throw “well

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard breeders say “I don’t mind a 45 pound dog as long as he’s balanced.”  What they don’t realize is that in order to fit the standard’s guideline for proper proportion

boned” into the mix and it’s easy to see why he may begin to envision a Bullmastiff.  Although the standard takes most of the guesswork out of it for us, we still insist on complicating matters by detaching the subjective elements from their

and substance he’d have to be 17 ¼ inches tall.  This is not just opinion nor conjecture.  It is outlined for us in simple, certain terms.  At just 16 inches a 45 pound dog may be a beautiful animal with lots of presence about him.  He may give the

objective roots and applying modern tastes, selfish agendas, and our own images.   We should all remove the blindfolds and re-align our interpretation of these subjective words (like “Deep”, “Wide”, and “Broad”) with what they really

appearance of a powerful, proportionate canine, but he is by no means a “balanced” Staffordshire Bull Terrier unless you totally detach the concept of balance from how the AKC / SBTCA breed standard directs us to define proper substance and

mean within the context of those 38 pounds of clay.  Whether we like it or not, just as with the straw bridge competition mentioned above the materials we are given have limits.  Any interpretation that is not within the bounds of those limits is not an

proportion. There is one gray area/exception to this.  We are assuming that the dog in question has a proper length of back and is in “show” weight; i.e. fit and with a tuck.  The standard still calls for our breed to be “rather light in the loin.”  On the other

interpretation at all. It is at best “poetic license”, but according to the guidelines for the project (the breed standard) it is more accurately a misinterpretation resulting in a fault that we are often deliberately selecting.   There are other faults

hand, if the dog is in fact carrying 45 pounds of couch potato fat and a massive “hotdog gut” on a frame that should have 38 pounds if he were “show fit,” then it’s possible that there is proper balance hidden beneath the surface. In this case the owner

mentioned in the standard.  What if we decided that a curled tail is really more attractive than a pump handle?  Should we deliberately breed for

has ruined it by making him fat. This condition (or lack thereof) is not uncommon. 


On Balance

By Jason Nicolai

On the day that fat dog shows up in the ring he is still out of balance due to the extra weight, and

writing on this subject, but any number of respected experts will tell you that we (US

should be judged accordingly.  However, this is a problem that is easy to remedy.  With diet and exercise he may be more competitive the next go ‘round since the underlying substance and proportions at the proper level of fitness may

breeders) simply haven’t gotten it right after all this time.  If we don’t have a contingency advocating the side of moderation and strict conformity to the breed standard’s definition of substance then the exaggerations will continue to get out of hand and

indeed be there.  For the purpose of this discussion let us return to the assumption that the nonconforming dogs mentioned are not simply fat, but they naturally exhibit excessive substance even with a good tuck, i.e. "being rather light in the loins.”

the breed will not be just be “changed.”  It will be lost.

  A breeder recently showed me his dog and asked what I thought of him.  In my estimation he was a top sized dog at 16 inches but weighed in excess of 46 pounds.  I told him that the dog was too short.  

this is the opposite direction we should move.  The standard is of course neither a blue print nor a recipe.  It is a description of what already exists, not a formula for building it.  This distinction is very important.  We begin with the whole dog and put

I said that I’d like him more if he were at least an inch taller.  Though my response was truthful it was of course not 100% accurate.  In this case it was a lot quicker to just say the dog should be taller than to explain that his chest is too low, his shoulders

him to the test of the standard.  We cannot piece together the dog from the Standard.  If you find a (whole) Stafford who you think is muscular, wide, short, close, deep, broad, and otherwise could be described using all of those subjective adjectives in

are too wide, his muscle is too bulky, his bone is too heavy, on and on.    The man looked at me strangely and asked why on Earth I’d wish for the dog to be taller than the standard calls for.  He admitted that the dog is heavier than the standard

the standard, then to fully evaluate him you must put him to the test of the rest of the standard.  Does he fit the objective bits as well as the subjective ones?   How would you classify his substance and balance; not by your own personal

says is correct, but contended that if the dog is still the appropriate height, then he only has the one fault.  Whereas if he’s heavier and also taller then he would have two faults.  I could literally see the bull’s-eye he was drawing on his forehead with that

preference, but according to what the standard gives us? If you look at a dog and in your mind he is “Terrier” yet you measure him and according to the breed standard he is of ideal substance and proportion, then who is correct?  Hint:  The breed

comment!!  One of the very first things every person should learn about this breed is why that line of thinking is utterly destructive.  I hate to keep

standard always wins!   Take every dog in your house and put them to the test until your personal interpretation of those elusive adjectives fits all

In the exercise above we began with 38 pounds of clay.  We were asked to take the raw materials and build a dog using the standard as a recipe.  In reality


On Balance

By Jason Nicolai

parts of the standard.  Learn to identify what 38 pounds of clay looks like and what 48 pounds looks

several other breeds.  Believe me when I tell you that the size issue comes up in almost every breed

like.  Many of us are willfully choosing faults that are in conflict with the breed standard.  This is unacceptable.  Remember, plain and simple; the goal is to breed dogs that best fit the standard.  To this end, we may need to adjust our own perspectives

from the smallest sight hounds to the largest cart dogs.  You’re always going to have folks ranting about how big the animals have gotten or how exaggerated they are these days.  This issue is certainly not exclusive to Staffordshire Bull Terriers. 

that we’ve formed over the years, and we should certainly demand that the SBTCA direct AKC judges do the same.  It’s a simple request:  Please judge our dogs to the breed standard - every part of it.  On the other hand, you may not like what the

As mentioned, it is not actually an argument of “size” with the Stafford.  Size is secondary.  We’re talking about disproportionate weights to heights which change the entire dog by altering substance and balance.  This issue is probably more important

standard says about substance.  You may not want to follow the standard at all.  That is of course every individual’s right as a breeder.  But if this is the case do not assert that your “interpretation” of an objective passage allows for an animal to carry

to a fighting dog than to a guard dog, sheep dog, sled dog, bird dog, rabbit dog, bear dog, and cattle dog combined.   Think about how important proper proportions and balance are to efficiency and athletic performance.   Like it or not we’re dealing

20+% more mass than what is clearly defined as correct substance.  Admit that you consciously choose not to follow the breed standard then either fight (in opposition to every other KC in the world) to change the how the SBTCA / AKC

with a dog who was originally designed as a combat animal.  Think about what wrestlers and boxers go through to get their weight in proportion to the rest of their bodies for optimal balance between strength and agility.  Pound-for-pound efficiency is

standard defines “substance” or start a new breed all together.  I suggest “American Staffordshire Bulldog” for the name of your new breed.  Recent trends suggest that AKC recognition should be a cake walk. 

the key concept here. There is no tolerance for excess with these athletes.  Also consider that the word “wide” to a welter-weight boxer does not mean the same as “wide” to a power lifter since they have completely different functions.   A broad


terrier is more svelte than a narrow mastiff.  The Stafford is wide, thick, and broad; but he is all of these things for a 14-16 Inch terrier, not for a powerhouse of a working dog.

If you aren’t comfortable with limiting yourself by that pesky height/weight clause, or if you feel that the issue has been overly discussed and argued to death in the breed, then I understand completely.  This argument is common, and the sheer thought of it being brought up again can wear on a person. Over the past 25 years I have been involved in

  On the surface, height and weight should be quite simple. Getting a feel for it is typically one of the first issue people tackle as they begin learning about continued

On Balance

By Jason Nicolai

the breed.  For being such a simple concept it’s still an obvious problem when quite often the most

standard by our lanky British ancestors also carried considerably less weight for their height (33 pounds

standard dog appears to be the weakest one in the ring.  Everyone knows 15 inch 29 pound bitch looks totally out of place at most AKC shows, yet according to the standard she couldn’t be of more ideal substance.   How sad is that? 

at 17.5 inches) versus the modern Stafford who should be 38 pounds at 16 inches.  Ponder that for a moment. When the standard was first written those early 17.5 inch 33 pound dogs were the very models that bore definition to the words “wide”,


“deep”, and “well sprung.”  Today, we’d call them thin, wispy, rangy, and would never think of them as balanced.   Even without the explicit height / weight parameters printed in the standard, the historic context of the breed would dictate what these

What if we could just throw this whole height/ weight thing out the window?  We’re all tired of hearing about it anyhow, right?  If we took the H/W clause out of the standard completely would we then have no guidance at all for deriving a common meaning of phrases such as “well sprung” and “set rather far apart”?  How would we know how deep is “deep” and how wide is “wide”?    Consider that in 1935 Great Britain when these adjectives were first chosen to describe the Staffordshire Bull Terrier the average man in the was right at 5’ 9” and weighed 163 pounds.  Today in the US he is also very close to 5’ 9” but weighs upwards of 185.  This is not meant as a shot at modern US culture, but the point is that our perspectives tend to change as we ourselves change.  Everything we see, hear, touch, taste and smell is filtered through ourselves and our experiences with the time in which we live.  I once saw a Pontiac Trans-Am on the narrow streets of Kyoto Japan.  That thing was an absolute Monster!  Likewise, a 6 ft tall 200 pound man in 1935 England would have been considered quite large, yet a man of this stature certainly doesn’t illicit stares today. The dogs that were used to formulate the breed

descriptors mean.               We have seen a progression toward more weight per height over the years.  The standard has been loosened up over time to allow for the fact that we now have show dogs, not fighting dogs.   That move was already made, and our current Standard accounts for it, so anyone who argues that a 45+ dog is fine since they’re now show dogs is dead wrong.  They should still be show Staffords, not show bulldogs.   We arrived at 16 inches and 38 pounds for a top end to make allowances for modern size variations and specifically for the new role of our breed as a show dog.  Had we not done this the standard would still call for our dogs to be 30 pounds at 17 inches.  Obviously, there should be allowances made for non-conformity, and I don’t know many people who suggest disqualifying Staffords outside of the H/W parameters set forth within the standard (though there are a few).  Perhaps it’s like speeding just a little bit on the interstate.  The trick is knowing how much is too much.  While that may be somewhat of a personal continued

On Balance

By Jason Nicolai

question for every breeder and judge to ask him/ herself we all need to come up with a threshold of

contend that they do not matter.  You can call it proper “substance”, “balance,” or “blend between

tolerance and stick to it.  Keep in mind that the standard does not define a threshold of tolerance; it just says that the heights are related to the weights. It sets the IDEAL limit.  How close to “ideal” you want to be is up to you.  I’ll be the first to admit, I

bull and terrier.”  Any way you look at it the breed standard gives us specific heights and weights that are to be related while explicitly stating that nonconformity within the limits is a fault.  We should be taking measurements at home and come

will only consider it a very mild fault for a dog to be 40 pounds on a square, 16 inch frame.   I will fault a 17 inch dog for being too tall, but I won’t totally dismiss him as long as his general H/W ratio and is similar to that of a 16 inch 38-40 pound dog thus

to understand what the proper substance of a top sized bitch (16 inches and 34 pounds) looks like at a glance.  It might not be obvious to the naked eye if she’s 15 ¾ inches as opposed to 16” or 36 pounds instead of 34, but we should certainly be able to

resulting in proper substance / balance.  In this case, the 17 inch dog should carry about 43-44 pounds, but he would otherwise have to be an absolutely superb example of the breed in order to make up for the size fault.  Once again, size isn’t the

identify that something is awry when we see a 40 pound bitch.  Unless she’s 17 inches tall she’s out of balance.  Any judge or breeder should be able to recognize this in an instant. Regardless of whether or not specific numbers (height/weight

most important issue here.  It’s proper substance.   In evaluating a 15 inch bitch, I personally like her to be about 30-31 pounds, which I realize is also heavier than the standard calls for in its strictest translation.  I don’t kid myself.  I realize that I have a

measurements) come to mind it should be obvious when an unbalanced specimen stands before us.  The best way to train yourself on how to recognize ideal balance and substance as outlined in the standard is to get your hands on as many 16 inch 38

tolerance for slightly more substance than the standard says is ideal, and I’m ready to admit that.  I will never argue that such non-conformity actually “fits” the standard.  It simply does not.  All other things being equal, the guidelines given in the

pound dogs and 15 inch 29 pound bitches as possible. Make sure they are of proper length as well, since a long back will make the dog heavier than desired and could throw off the perception of substance.

standard always rule! In all actuality I can’t look at every dog and tell you his exact height and weight.  No one can.    Judges do not have a wicket and scales in the ring, so there has to be some level of tolerance for variations in heights and weights since

The tables provided below take a very literal and mathematical look at the definition of “substance” and consequentially balance as outlined within the standard which states that the given heights are to be related to given weights.  Previous versions of

we’re not actually keeping strict tabs on them.  At the same time we cannot hide behind the fact that measurements aren’t taken at shows, and thus

these tables have been published in the US, UK, South Africa, Australia, and Russia. They have been used for educational purposes and fun match continued

On Balance

By Jason Nicolai

competitions whereby the dogs are measured and judged on their strict compliance and deviation from the standard ratios for H/W.  Use the tables to compare how your own dogs stack up.  If necessary adjust your perception of balance to match what our breed standard dictates.

These tables are based upon the progression of Pounds-Per-Inch from 14 inches to 16 inches as objectively inferred using the SBTCA / AKC breed standard to which Staffordshire Bull Terriers should be judged. Size, Proportion, Substance Height at shoulder: 14 to 16 inches. Weight: Dogs, 28 to 38 pounds; bitches, 24 to 34 pounds, these heights being related to weights. Non-conformity with these limits is a fault. In proportion, the length of back, from withers to tail set, is equal to the distance from withers to ground. Dogs The standard dictates that dogs begin at 2 PPI and progress to 2.375 PPI from 14-16 inches.  This is an increase of .375 PPI over a 2 inch increase in height. Which translates to increments of .0469 PPI for each ¼” of height increase.  The table below carries out these proportions all the way through a hypothetical 18 inch dog.


Pounds Per Inch

Standard Weight

14 inches

2.0 (given)

28 pounds (given)

14.25 inches


29.21 pounds

14.5 inches


30.45 pounds

14.75 inches


31.71 pounds

15 inches


32.85 pounds

15.25 inches


34.31 pounds

15.5 inches


35.50 pounds

15.75 inches


36.86 pounds

16 inches

2.38 (given)

38 pounds (given)

16.25 inches


39.33 pounds

16.5 inches


40.76 pounds

16.75 inches


42.21 pounds

17 inches


43.69 pounds

17.25 inches


45.02 pounds

17.5 inches


46.55 pounds

17.75 inches


48.10 pounds

18 inches


49.68 pounds continued

On Balance

By Jason Nicolai

competitions whereby the dogs are measured and judged on their strict compliance and deviation from the standard ratios for H/W.  Use the tables to compare how your own dogs stack up.  If necessary adjust your perception of balance to match what our breed standard dictates.

These tables are based upon the progression of Pounds-Per-Inch from 14 inches to 16 inches as objectively inferred using the SBTCA / AKC breed standard to which Staffordshire Bull Terriers should be judged. Size, Proportion, Substance Height at shoulder: 14 to 16 inches. Weight: Dogs, 28 to 38 pounds; bitches, 24 to 34 pounds, these heights being related to weights. Non-conformity with these limits is a fault. In proportion, the length of back, from withers to tail set, is equal to the distance from withers to ground. Dogs The standard dictates that dogs begin at 2 PPI and progress to 2.375 PPI from 14-16 inches.  This is an increase of .375 PPI over a 2 inch increase in height. Which translates to increments of .0469 PPI for each ¼” of height increase.  The table below carries out these proportions all the way through a hypothetical 18 inch dog.


Pounds Per Inch

Standard Weight

14 inches

2.0 (given)

28 pounds (given)

14.25 inches


29.21 pounds

14.5 inches


30.45 pounds

14.75 inches


31.71 pounds

15 inches


32.85 pounds

15.25 inches


34.31 pounds

15.5 inches


35.50 pounds

15.75 inches


36.86 pounds

16 inches

2.38 (given)

38 pounds (given)

16.25 inches


39.33 pounds

16.5 inches


40.76 pounds

16.75 inches


42.21 pounds

17 inches


43.69 pounds

17.25 inches


45.02 pounds

17.5 inches


46.55 pounds

17.75 inches


48.10 pounds

18 inches


49.68 pounds continued

On Balance A 16 inch 45 pound Stafford carries 2 distinct faults: #1 At 45 pounds he is to be faulted for being outside of the size guidelines.  This on the surface could be a minor fault if it didn’t affect anything else, perhaps like a tail that is set too high. #2  However, at just 16 inches he carries as much mass as a 17.25 inch dog should, and is thus grossly out of balance.  This is a much more serious fault.   A 17.25 inch 45 pound Stafford carries 1 distinct fault: #1 At this height and weight he is to be faulted for being outside the size guidelines. If fit, assuming he’s not stripped down to 45 pounds or fattened up to 45 pounds, this dog is of proper balance, and with all other things being equal exhibits better conformity to the breed standard, and should be placed above the 16 inch dog of the same weight.    When it comes to size, most judges may have a limit in mind beyond which they will not tolerate.  Remember that the judge should penalize a 45 pound dog to same degree he/she penalizes a 17+ inch dog as these are equal non-conformities of size.  If 17.25 inches is too big, so is 45 pounds. Every judge should realize however, that balance is much more important than size.  If a 45 pound dog is just 16 inches tall or the 17.25 inch dog is only 38 pounds these faults are much greater than a balanced specimen who is simply oversized.  I know of a bitch who stands 15—15.25 inches.  She once weighed right at 32 pounds in “show fit”

By Jason Nicolai condition. This girl won several specialty shows and was awarded wins under 11 different international breeder/judges. She proved herself an excellent example of the breed by an impressive number of respected opinions. She then set out to impress the AKC judges as well. In the process of doing so she put on about 6 pounds. To say this bitch fared well under the AKC judges would be a gross understatement. While being campaigned she dropped a few pounds, became more fit and once again conformed to the standard a little better. When this happened the wins under the AKC judges slowed down, and the big (group) wins ceased all together, so she gained the weight back. Also while being shown she found herself on several occasions back in the ring under UK breeder/judges. She always got a good look, but never got another big win under a UK judge. When the judges were asked what they thought of her. Each time they would say she’s a lovely bitch, but there’s just too much of her, or that her condition throws her out of balance. Why does there exist such a disparity between the understanding many UK judges have about balance and what it takes to win under the large majority of AKC judges? It’s a poor argument to contest that most UK judges just like skinny Staffords. They don’t, but many do require that our dogs be within close adherence to what the standard outlines for proper substance as well as fitness. I cannot fathom anyone suggesting that the average AKC judge who is exposed to 5 or 6 Staffords every other month has a more correct understanding of our breed than most UK breeder / specialists who are accustomed to an average dog show on any given weekend with continued

On Balance

By Jason Nicolai

an entry 2-3 times as big as our national specialty. Obviously we are showing to non-specialist AKC judges 95% of the time. In many of those rings you will find a preference for faults, contradictions to the standard, and an improper image of substance. Should we be striving to appease judges who have a misunderstanding of our breed or should we strive to correct their understanding? I’m as guilty as the next person.  I have personally put excess weight on my own dogs to play to a judge’s preference when I knew they would not consider a dog with proper substance.  It has been proven that adapting to the judges’ tastes (and misunderstandings) can work.  At the same time, I believe we as a fancy should reclaim the wheel. The SBTCA is charged with educating judges to follow every aspect of the breed standard from nose to tail and more importantly, everything in between. Judges should be taught to recognize when they’re looking at a dog that has ideal substance for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier verses one that simply looks powerful and attractive yet is in fact out of balance. They also need to know when they’re looking at an otherwise balanced dog who is being exhibited at an excessive weight, and they should certainly stop selecting for this fault. If we (SBTCA) direct judges to discern when exhibits are in proper condition then we could further eliminate personal preferences for substance that are in blatant non-conformity to the breed standard.  

The old AKC breed video tells judges that there are 3 distinct “Types” of Staffordshire Bull Terriers:  A “Bulldog type,” a “Terrier type,” and a “Balanced type.”  This is a fundamental misnomer with flawed logic that contradicts the breed standard and should be forgotten.  How inaccurate and ironic is it to say that type, (that which make the Stafford distinctly Stafford, setting him apart from all other breeds) can be identified in three different blends from two different influences (bull and terrier)?  Type is singular to a breed or variety.  Three “types” suggest three different varieties.  There exists no such allowance for this variation in balance in the breed standard which addresses Substance by indicating that heights are to be related to weights, not that “Terrier,” “Balanced” and “Bully” are all acceptable. When conducting ring-side mentoring sessions for judges seeking AKC approval for our breed I am often asked about this notion of the “Trinity of Types” to which I reply, All you need to

remember is that if a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is not of the “Balanced type” then he is by default of the “Unbalanced type.”  Plain and simple: It doesn’t matter what name you give it.  If it’s not balanced, it’s unbalanced.   Should judges be taught that the unbalanced “type” is acceptable? 


On Balance

By Jason Nicolai

In the end I’m not suggesting that if you find yourself with a 15 inch bitch that is 35 fit pounds that you don’t consider her worth of showing or breeding.  Not at all, but I do suggest that you consider this a moderate fault that needs correcting.  She is in fact carrying 20% more substance than what the standard dictates for her height, and is thus unbalanced.  Stop and imagine how different you would look and feel with an additional 20% of your own body weight at the same height.   When it comes time to breeding her, work on eliminating that very evident fault just as you would if she had a sloppy top line, light eyes or a gay tail.  It’s time we call a fault a fault even when it’s on an attractive animal.  This is key to the athleticism and agility of the breed which is imperative we maintain even without the original combat function.  The Stafford still needs to theoretically look the part to be a proper Stafford. There are other breeds of dogs that carry more mass for their height, and there is plenty of room for bulldog aficionados to go play in that yard.  But do not blur the lines that separate our breed from all the others.   We’re not talking about size.  We’re talking about messing with the very definition of “breed type” here.   Take an objective look what you’ve got and always be striving to get more conformity with the breed standard.  That is the definition of “conformation” and the goal of the contest.  If your dog has 20% non-conformity to the H/W guidelines, then don’t ignore it or accept it as your personal preference or interpretation of the standard.   You wouldn’t do that with an undershot mouth or “scorpion tail.”  It’s a fault, but not just any fault.  It’s one that skews the proper blending of bull and terrier which is paramount to defining what a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is.  Consciously work to tighten it up over the next generation or two. The more accurately our dogs fit the breed standard the more consistent the stock will be, the better the judges will become, and the longer the Staffordshire Bull Terrier will be around to share its world with us all.

This article was first published in the Summer issue of the SBTCA magazine “Staff Status’ and was reprinted here with written permission by the author. Please do not reprint or publish this article, or any other article appearing in TSK, Inc. without written permission from the author.Thank you.

w w w. c a f e p re s s . c o m / t h a n k d o g OR

Staffords Unleashed! For several years I have attended the famous AKC terrier only performance week in Kimberton PA with my American Staffordshire Terrier.  The week is comprised of 4 days of agility, 1 day of rally, and 1 day of obedience.

My first encounter with a Stafford was not at this event, but attending this event year after year and meeting the incredible performance Staffords from all over the country and their owners sealed the deal for me.  One day I would own my very own Stafford and become a part of this dynamic group!

As the years ticked by and I continued to drool over the Staffords I met, I also


observed that while many terrier breed clubs sponsored special awards for their dogs, it didn’t seem that the Stafford club did so, or at least not consistently. My terrier tenacity kicked in and I set forward with my goals. 1. To own a Stafford. 2. To give all performance Staffords the recognition they deserve at this event.

Both desires certainly presented their challenges along the way but that only made the end result that much more sweet.  I acquired my first Stafford in September 2010, Elivid's Shaken Not Stirred.  Call name, "Bonnie".  And, with the blessing of the SBTCA, the agility, obedience, and rally entry at Kimberton 2012 was to be supported!  OMG!   Now... What exactly did I get myself into?



I soon discovered what exactly I got myself into in both regards.  It became readily apparent that I would need to LIZZ KESTER AND LENA


G U S ( OW N E D B Y G W Y N S C H E I D T


Staffords Unleashed! By Deb Roseman draw again on my own terrier-like tenacity to not only get my Stafford ready to compete but also to pull off the best supported event ever.

move like a well oiled machine and before I knew it, the event was here and competitors from across the United States flew and drove in for the event.

As I dealt with the challenges of training the highest drive dog I have EVER owned, I also struggled with how to get this supported entry thing off the ground.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I started to write notes to various yahoo group lists for advice.  A few people responded but I was still feeling overwhelmed and wondered if anyone really cared and whether even I could truly make this happen.

Christine Ann Edwards from CA brought Foxy to compete in obedience and agility.

No one who is reading this will be surprised to learn that Karyn Dawes responded to my cry for help. Everyone in Staffords knows of her incredible accomplishments with her own dogs, her mentoring of others in all sports, and her tenacity in making sure that everyone knew what great performance dogs Staffords are. Her email wasn't chock full of details that led me down a path.  It was a matter of fact statement of what to expect and what not to expect.  While not the answer I was looking for, it was the best advice I received and sent me on my mission to find my way to achieve my goal.   Karyn and I emailed a few more times about various things and I knew she would be there for me, as she was for anyone who asked for help.

In the months that followed, I started to work on determining budget and awards. I wanted participation in the event and I wanted participants to be HAPPY. Eventually things started to click.  I made rosette decisions.  I decided on prizes.  I gave myself a budget and made sure I was comfortable with the amount should a chunk of it have to come out of pocket. Then the unthinkable happened.  The person I had hoped to look to throughout this process, Karyn Dawes, fell ill at an agility trial.  She sadly passed away a few short days later.   The Stafford community was thrown into a state of shock and I became aware of how truly special to the bull breeds this lady REALLY was.  It wasn't a hard decision at all to dedicate Kimberton 2012, and all future years of supported entry at Kimberton, to Karyn.

Jean Richardson from IL brought Charlie to compete in obedience. Gwyn Scheidt from NC brought Gus to compete in agility and obedience Jill Tice from NY brought Sarge to compete in agility, rally, and obedience. Stephanie Crawford from NY brought Itty Bitty Bea to compete in rally and obedience. Lizz Kester from VA brought Lena to compete in rally and obedience. Jean Harvey from PA brought Lightning to compete in rally and obedience. Angie Mitts from PA brought Senna to compete in rally.   She's a puppy!!! Kay Datesman and Denise Visco from NJ brought Pearlie to compete in agility, rally, and obedience Debra Roseman from NJ brought Bonnie to compete in agility, rally, and obedience

Even though the event started on Tuesday with agility, the supported entries started on Wednesday with rally. In the rally ring we had 7 Staffords entered across multiple classes resulting in a total entry of 10.

At this point things needed to kick into high gear. I advertised the event and the supported entry in memory of Karyn wherever I could think to post it. Gears started to THE AUTHOR - D EB ROSE MA N & B O NN IE


Staffords Unleashed! By Deb Roseman Rally qualifying results were as follows: Kay and Pearlie earned an RAE leg with scores of 98 in Adv. (1st place!) and 85 in Exc Lizz and Lena earned an RAE leg with scores of 95 in Adv. (3rd place!) and 92 in Exc (2nd place!) Jean and Lightning earned an RAE leg with scores of 96 in Adv. and 85 in Exc. Jill and Sarge earned an RN leg with a score of 97 in Nov B (3rd place!) Angie and Senna (puppy!!) earned an RN leg with a score of 95 in Nov B Stephanie and Itty earned an RA leg with a score of 89 in Adv B.

On Wednesday night, everyone except Denise and Kay (who had other commitments) joined up with Beth Dunkle Zeiner and Lisa Glass Skorija for drinks, dinner, and to talk Stafford!   Beth and Lisa both have multiple Stafford households and are well known for their flyball fame!  A great time was had by all and more across the miles friendships formed...

Although Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday agility classes were not supported, qualifiers included: Denise and Pearlie QQ’d in EXC B STD and JWW on Tuesday with 2nd and 3rd placements. They also Q’d in EXC B STD on Wednesday with a 2nd place Gwyn and Gus Q’d in EXC B STD on Tuesday. They also QQ’d on Wednesday in EXC B STD and JWW with a 1st place in STD! To continue their amazing week, they also QQ’d on Friday. Christine and Foxy QQ’d in EXC B STD and JWW on Friday with 2nd and 3rd placements.

All qualifiers received a Stafford knot tug toy and a special rosette. Additional prizes for more difficult challenges included giant gift bags full of treats for those teams earning RAE legs, and as High In Trial Stafford, Jill Tice and Sarge received a gift certificate for a custom hand stitched leather stafford collar and lead set!  

I of course wanted everyone to go home with something whether they qualified or not, so at the end of the day on Thursday, we held an NQ raffle. Prizes consisted of Stafford knot tug toys, Stafford fleece collars from the UK, and a Stafford garden flag. Everyone went home with some kind of memento, happy memories, and new friends.

The supported entries continued on Thursday with obedience and agility.  Once again, our versatile Staffords did not disappoint!  In the obedience ring we had 9 Staffords entered across multiple classes resulting in a total entry of 10. Obedience qualifying results were as As this event came to a close, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and follows: reflected back on my adventures with my Stafford and my Deb and Bonnie competed in Beginner Novice A obtaining a score adventures in organizing my first ever supported entry. Both are of 192.5 to finish their BN title. (1st place!) challenges that I took on with full disclosure and both eyes wide open. Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY! I look forward to the Jean and Lightning earned a CD leg with a score of 190.5 in Nov B continued support of our performance Staffords and their owners and completed their CD title from the SBTCA and Stafford fans! People love to watch our Stephanie and Itty earned a CD leg with a score of 190.5+ in Nov B adorable, entertaining, athletic dogs! And… I look forward to (4th place! they had a run off with Jean for placement) whatever challenges my Stafford continues to throw at me Jill and Sarge earned a CD leg with a score of 192 in Nov B (2nd throughout her lifetime place!) HIT STAFFORD!!!! We could not have done any of this without our generous supporters! Christine and Foxy competed in Open B and demonstrated Foxy's We thank you so much for supporting our performance Staffords! amazing and unique frog-dog drop on recall!  They received a score Supporters were (in no particular order): of 187 (3rd place!) In the agility rings we had 5 Staffords entered across multiple The Stafford Knot NESBTC classes across all days resulting in a total entry of 35. On the Christine Ann Edwards supported day of Thursday, Agility qualifying results were as follows: Stephanie Crawford Jean Harvey Gwyn and Gus qualified in T2B. Dayna Lemke Judy Heller Christine and Foxy qualified in EXC B JWW (2nd place!) Tomek Matusiak Johnny Miller Amberly Staffords

Teri Crestani Keetch Lisa Glass Skorija Beth Lloyd Toni Pawson Melissa Ness Jenn Irwin Sharon Adams Judith Brecka Emily Sieger

Send your letters to or - Send your Q&A question to ASK TSK

The Stafford Knot, Inc. runs Letters to the Editor as they are sent - no editing. They are not necessarily the opinion of this publication or those who are associated with it.

To the folks at The Stafford Knot:

Q & A

I recently was at a show when a lady sitting ringside within earshot of my group referred to a dog in the ring who in her opinion was in ‘fighting weight’ and shouldn't be at a show. She went on to say that the only way a Stafford can meet the heights/weights clause in the Standard was if they are kept ‘in fighting weight’ and that this dog was not a show dog. I wanted to ask her what she meant because to me the dog she was pointing out looked to be in fantastic physical condition and I later came to find that it also does agility and flyball. I would have said that the dog in question was instead in ‘sporting weight’ which in my mind has nothing at all to do with fighting, construction or how it met the standard. She sounded ignorant to me. Can you please elaborate on this topic? Thanks, Ray Phillips Hi Ray Thanks for your email - this is a great topic - one which could be answered in many ways. We think Alan Mitchell discussed this best in his book “The Show-Stafford Handbook - An Unwritten Standard Explained” (reproduced by TSK with permission from Alan Mitchell) P. 132-134 “In your time in the breed you will her many particular details in the Stafford’s construction justified by fitness for the purposes for which the breed was intended. Let us look at reality. Most dogs will fight, most Staffords are more effective than most other breeds, however, there is a world of difference between a show Stafford and an exceptionally effective fighting dog. Any dog which has the aggression, the jaw power and will can win dog fights, some dog fights. A dog which will continue to fight despite pain and injury, and taking punishment until it wears down the resolve of the other dog will win most fights even between Staffords. A dog with an acute fighting brain and all these characteristics will be a successful fighting dog. The rest comes down to construction. When all these things are equal the dog which is lightly built


Q & A continued with bone, skull, rib and muscle sufficient to give agility and strength but no more than that, and a dog with immense stamina to undertake a marathon fight will be a great fighting dog. This means that the SHOW Stafford is not designed for the pit at top level. The best Staffords retain the courage, the total reliability with people, the acute brain, nerve, dash and confidence of the pit dog. The best characteristics of the pit dog have been preserved and housed in a most attractive shape and manageable size. When debating a point in the Standard disregard any premise on which an argument is based if it claims it is that which fits the dog for fighting. If we were breeding a fighting dog, appearance would count for nothing. We would be breeding a light, tall, moderately strong-skulled dog with not an inch more girth in skull and body than was essential and not an ounce in bone and muscle more than necessary and for what? To exploit suffering for money. The jaw needed to be longer than it is now as the dog usually takes hold from the side gaining a grip with one side of the jaw. When the jaw is short as in the Bulldog and the Boxer they can only take a head-on grip and this is a critical limitation in a fighting dog. The head itself was not overlarge. A rule of thumb was an inch of skull for an inch of height. That would make a 16� skull on a 16� dog. The ears were cropped if necessary but any ear which could be held back close to the skull and on the top of the neck out of the way were acceptable. When writers generalise they claim types and areas matched. Cradley and bully dogs not easily knocked off their feet, Darlaston, terrier and Walsall leggy. This was only an approximation and related to the dogs of those days. Hence a bully dog then would be terrier today. There is no point in quoting and of these with reference to show dogs. For better or worse our best show dogs have been refined into an attractive, manageable dog of great personality and character preserving the courage, reliability and undying love for humans. It is a far better looking and sounder dog than the pit dog of old. Let us always discuss breed parts in the show dog refering to the show dog and the Standard.

The Stafford Knot Brags, Shows, Litters Send us your BRAGS, Litter Announcements, Seminar & Show Announcements

LIGHTNING NEW TITLES EMAIL CH Farsydes Lightning Strikes Twice CD, BN, RE CH Heart N Souls Doctor X x CH Farsydes Butterfly Effect ‘Lightning’

has been a busy boy this year! He has earned 3 new titles, Beginner Novice (BN), Companion Dog (CD) and Rally Excellent (RE)!

Breeder: Stacey Long Owner: Jean and Dave Harvey L2-HGA normal & HC Clear by DNA - certification on file with TSK


BISS AKC/UKC GCH Rugby's Brighton Rock By Izumis TT CH Rave Reviews Here At Izumis x CH Rugby's Steeleye London TT ‘Brighton’ finished

her UKC Grand Championship with tough competition in September 2012, in Perry, GA

Breeder: Susie Keel Owner: Susie Keel L2-HGA & HC Clear, CERF, OFA Hip, Elbow, Patella, Cardiac - certification on file with TSK,


The Stafford Knot Brags, Shows, Litters Send us your BRAGS, Litter Announcements, Seminar & Show Announcements

L-BELLE NEW TITLE EMAIL FO URO3 UCDX UWPO UGWPCH1 UACH UNJCH GRCH Dynamo Sureshot Smart as a Fox VCD2 TD CDX AX MXJ RE CA SPD NJ-N TT CGC Foxy went to the Kimberton All-Terrier Agility & Obedience trial in PA and came home with a new title & brags! Thurs-Q ExB JWW 16" 2nd place Thurs-Q Open B Obedience, 3rd place Fri-QQ in agility, and new MXJ! Breeder: Paul & Patricia Menard Owner: Christine Edwards Fully health tested, certifications on file, available upon request


Heart N Souls All That Jazz, CD RN CH Heart N Souls Fifth Element x CH Shaunchars English Dancer ‘Jazz’ earned

her Companion Dog Title this year!!

Breeder: Cindy Long Owner: Jean and Dave Harvey L2-HGA & HC Clear by parentage


The Stafford Knot Brags, Shows, Litters Send us your BRAGS, Litter Announcements, Seminar & Show Announcements

MAT-STAFF SHOW WINS EMAIL Ashbull O'Driscoll at Mat - Staff Zakstaff Black Baron JW x Ashbull Tiz You “Hugo” was WD, BOW, BOS 2012 STAFFORD CLASSIC Breed Specialist Martin Murphy "Brockmar" IRL BPIS Stafford Classic 2012 - Breed Specialist - Susie Krauth "Karma" USA Breeder: G. J & S. Stone

Owner: Tomasz Matusiak & Mariusz Czyzak L2-HGA, HC clear, certifications on file, available upon request

MAT-STAFF SHOW WINS EMAIL Ch. Sebsonic Shakira at Mat - Staff Ch. Stormbull Solo JW x Sebsonic Damarkos Pearl JW

The Only THREE-TIMES STAFFORD CLASSIC BEST OF BREED WINNER Eric Galvin -"Scousious" UK, Pat Harkin -"Harkline" UK, Martin Murphy -"Brockmar" IRL Our Sincere Thanks to All The Judges Who Thought So Highly of “Phoebe” Breeder: M & S Davies Owner: Tomasz Matusiak L2-HGA, HC clear, certifications on file, available upon request

Wanted Samples for PHPV/PPSC Research. If you own or have bred a dog diagnosed with either of these eye conditions, could you help by supplying mouth swabs from the affected dog plus its parents and litter-mates.

Any PHPV positives found in litter screenings are not reported in the Breeds Record Supplement, nor are any cases of PPSC - hence this appeal.

If sufficient samples from affected cases can be obtained, it is hoped that research to determine the inheritance of both conditions may be commenced, possibly leading eventually to DNA tests similar to those available for HC and L-2-HGA.

A copy of the eye test certificate and a copy of the dogs pedigree would also be appreciated. All samples and information will of course be confidential just in case anyone has any concern's about that.

If you can help with this and thus help the Stafford , can you please contact one of the following who can supply swabs and any information required. SImply click their name to send an email. Diane Taylor Lesley McFadyen Archie Bryden Many thanks for your co-operation.

The Stafford Knot wishes to provide the following information for your convenience. TSK encourages health testing of all Staffordshire Bull Terriers, especially those used for breeding purposes and/or performance events. The testing is made available to be used as a tool to eliminate certain diseases from a breeding program. Used wisely, this can be accomplished. The following testing information is provided as a service to you, however should not be used as the only health checks your Stafford receives. There are many more health issues to be considered when breeding dogs, caring for dogs and when looking to buy a purebred dog. As always, please seek the advice of your personal veterinary specialists for your day-to-day needs of your dogs. Thank you!

 * * * Please note - a CERF or PHPV test done by a canine ophthalmologist is NOT the same test as the DNA test for HC - BOTH tests should be carried out * * * ***PLEASE send in your test results for the databases. Accurate records are valuable to the breed*** Remember, if you choose to breed from a carrier you must test the entire resulting litter to determine clears & carriers. Thus if you choose to keep a carrier from that litter, the same must be done for each subsequent litter resulting from breeding carriers. If you sell carrier pups, please consider spay/neuter so that more carriers are not produced. With the advent and ease of genetic testing many of these diseases could be eliminated by only breeding clear to clear. To use a known carrier requires an extra step of responsibility. There is no excuse to breed an untested dog.

======================================= Testing Facility For L2-Hga & HC

Ca nine Genetic Diseases - University Of Mo.

Animal Health Trust Lanwades Park, Kentford New Market, Suffolk CB87UU Phone: 01638 751000

We bsite

321 Connaway Hall Columbia, Missouri 65211-5120 USA Phone:  573-884-3712  F ax: 573-884-5414

F ax: 01638 750410 Ema il

Testing Facility For L2-Hga Onl y

Ema il

We bsite

Direct Link

Direct Link

Testing Facility For HC in USA:

Other labs offering L-2-HGA test in Europe:

France Czech Republic Germany /

======================================= Testing Facility For Hip, Elbows, Patella and Cardiac Certifications *

Testing Facility For Eye Certifications*

Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA)

Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF)

2300 E Nifong Boulevard Columbia, Missouri, 65201-3806 USA

1717 Philo Rd P O Box 3007 Urbana, IL 61803-3007 USA Phone: 217-693-4800 

Phone:  573-442-0418  Email

Fax: 573-875-5073 Website


Fax: 217-693-4801


*Note: A Board Certified Cardiologist must perform all Cardiac exams.  

*Note: A Board Certified Canine Ophthalmologist must perform all CERF exams.

A qualified licensed Veterinarian can provide X-Ray films for hips, elbows and Patella.

CERF exams are annual exams for breeding stock.

Coat color testing for those wishing not to produce blues, dilutes or black and tan can be found at many labs now. Contact us if you cannot find one.

The Stafford Knot

Featured Rescues

Maggie - Female - CT Maggie is an adorable 3 yr old, tiny little girl in need of a home! Maggie weighs 35 lbs, and is happy to be picked up and carried around! Maggie is a total love and just wants to cuddle. Maggie loves to be with people, however she really needs to be the only animal in the home. She came from Tennessee. We know that she lived there chained outside. When she arrived at the rescue, she loved people and was horribly dog aggressive. Working with her, she is now much more tolerant of other dogs if they don't invade her space. We have also found out that she likes big quiet male dogs. But, she needs to be kept away from little dogs and cats. She is quite mellow. She loves belly rubs and is very happy to hang out in her crate/ run and not cause any problems. This little girl deserves a good home. She is in Norwalk, CT. Watch Maggie's Video Here: She is with: . CONTACT

===================================== Pepper - Female - NY Pepper is about five years old. She’s sweet, smart, good in the house and loves everyone. She’s not particularly dog aggressive, but she’s not exactly dog tolerant either, so she should probably be in a one-dog home. She loves to sit on the couch or on a chair, right next to her people, she gets excited when she meets and greets, but she settles down quickly. In other words, she’s a typical Stafford. She’ll make someone a great pet. We really cannot believe she is still in a foster home! There is a great video of her here:


===================================== Denver - Female - N. CA Denver's owenrs have lost their home and cannot keep her. She is an older Stafford, born in 1998, who would do best as the only dog. Denver loves to play fetch with the ball, she also loves all people and especially children. She has been to obedience class, and is very eager to please. She loves getting scratched. She loves to take walks, but since she is older, she does not need long walks. She also loves to eat. She is a very loving dog. She is not food aggressive but a little dog aggressive. She needs a final place to call her own in her last days. Please consider giving Denver a place to call home. CONTACT

The Stafford Knot

Stud Gallery

The Stafford Knot lists health tested stud dogs in the gallery, however, it is up to you to verify this testing by asking to see the certificates for each test if they are not made available here for download. We have screened this to the best of our ability, but cannot guarantee dogs listed have been tested. PLEASE ask for copies of certificates before using dogs at stud for the health and the future of our breed. Thank you. Stud Gallery Ads run annually


======================================= DayDream Ch. Slam Dance, CGC (Imp UK) “Nigel” DNA - AKC - #P24384 L2-HGA, HC, PHPV Unaffected, OFA/PennHip Hips, Patella, CERF Tel 530-306-0305 Frozen semen available to health tested bitches only. More photos of Nigel available. Health documents available by request.

======================================= Absolute BIS BISS CH Belnore Dream Keeper OFA ‘Beau’ AKC DNA - V426729 Clear of L2-HGA, HC, OFA/PennHip Hips, OFA/PennHip Elbows, Patella, OFA Cardiac - documentation available upon request Tel 337-255-3508

Continued on next page

The Stafford Knot

Stud Gallery

The Stafford Knot lists health tested stud dogs in the gallery, however, it is up to you to verify this testing by asking to see the certificates for each test if they are not made available here for download. We have screened this to the best of our ability, but cannot guarantee dogs listed have been tested. PLEASE ask for copies of certificates before using dogs at stud for the health and the future of our breed. Thank you. Stud Gallery Ads run annually

LAST ISSUE FOR 2012 STUD GALLERY Moonstruck Moonstruck Blue Asher, TT “Asher” L2-HGA, HC, PHPV Unaffected 301-261-4202 "Available to Heath Tested Bitches with Correct Stafford Temperaments Only" Health documents available by request

======================================= Moonstruck CH Moonstruck The Stamler Express, TT “Stamler” L2-HGA, HC, PHPV Unaffected 301-261-4202 "Available to Heath Tested Bitches with Correct Stafford Temperaments Only" Health documents available by request

Concluded on next page

LAST ISSUE FOR 2012 STUD GALLERY Elvid Ch/U-Ch Heaven's Warrior De El Doradostaff “Bruce” L2-HGA and HC Clear, PHPV Unaffected, CERF, OFA Hips Good, OFA Elbows, Patellas, & Cardiac Normal, AKC DNA - V615701 "Health documents available by request. Available at stud to approved, health-tested bitches only."

======================================= The Stafford Knot is an independent publication and not affiliated with any specific breed club. TSK is a collaborative effort from like minded Stafford enthusiasts whose common goal is to support the health testing of purebred Staffords. We reserve the right to approve or disapprove any material submitted. All material on this site is copyright protected & cannot be used unless indicated without the written consent of

The Stafford Knot Thank you. Contact Us

Merchandise now available - proceeds benefit Stafford rescue worldwide!

CLICK to shop and donate to SBT Rescue!

The Stafford Knot

Classified Advertising

The Stafford Knot is offering classified advertising of goods and services which are dog related. Ads are limited to 20 words, no images. For larger ads please consider gallery advertising. The Stafford Knot cannot be held responsible for any items sold through this page. All sales are between seller and purchaser. TSK makes no warranties either written or implied.

===================================== Bull Breeds Online Your online forum for all Bull Breed lovers and canine enthusiasts! bullbreedsonline ‘Like� us on Face Book

Pitstars SBT Supplies - Stafford Collars & Leads plus all your Stafford needs. Made & supplied by Stafford people for Stafford peoples Staffords. Pitstars SBT Supplies FB, (+44)07958) 355382

Limited Editions FitPaws Canine Conditioning Equipment, Natural Treats + Chews, Toys, Tugs, Collars. Unique accessories for your unique pets.

Thankdog - All Breeds Equal Help fight BSL promote responsible dog ownership. T-shirts, Calendars, Stickers, & more. Proceeds benefit Stafford causes. CLICK here to shop

Young Living Essential Oils Experience therapeutic benefits of essential oils for your family & pets too! Use Independent Distributor Referral #1166695

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT The Stafford Knot, Inc. has applied for 501(c)3 status. If granted, your donations and ad money will be considered tax deductible. We will keep our readers posted as soon as we know.

Hello Stafford! You have seen Hello Kitty & Hello Pitbull - now comes Hello Stafford - available on shirts, mugs, stickers and more. Sales benefit fight against BSL and support rescue and health testing CLICK here to shop




Take advantage now of this incredible deal on classified advertising! These prices wont last long!


The Stafford Knot

Breeder Directory

The Stafford Knot cannot be held responsible for the breeders listed below. Please do your homework and ask to see health certificates, discuss terms and decide whether the Stafford is the correct breed for you prior to purchasing a puppy. Remember, Stafford rescues are also available and make be wonderful pets in the right homes! A Stafford is not the breed for everyone. Please be responsible dog owners and take responsibility for you and your dog in all situations. Contact us with questions.

We reserve the right to approve or disapprove any material submitted Form to advertise in Breeders Directory can be found HERE Alabama Cornerstone The Folmars Alabama 205-966-8114 L2-HGA, HC

Georgia Wavemaker Staffords Jim & Lynn Caswell GA, USA EMAIL 770-666-6121 L2-HGA, HC, Hips, Elbows, Patella, Cardiac, CERF

"Staffords that are exemplary in type & balance" “Naturally reared - Promoting health, exercise & the Breed Standard - Wavemaker Staffords....naturally” California Chavier Staffords Kim Washington-Smith Southern California EMAIL 213 - 760-9081 L2-HGA, HC, CERF

Illinois 1 of a Kind Staffords Andrew Currier Peoria Il EMAIL 309-691-7134 L2-HGA, HC, Hips, Elbows, Patella, Cardiac

"Breeding Staffords with Charm"

“Unequalled in type, balance, fitness & health”

California Gemini Kennel Beth Lloyd Southern California EMAIL L2-HGA, HC, Hips, Elbows, Patella, Cardiac, CERF

Maryland Hi-Impact Staffords (Reg) Rich Newberger Baltimore 410-323-4141 L2-HGA, HC, PHPV, Hips, Elbows, Cardiac, CERF “Bred to standard not by design”

“From show dogs to GO dogs.” Georgia Ramstaff Staffords Angie & Kevin Beezley Georgia, USA EMAIL 770-888-5255 L2-HGA, HC, Hips, Elbows, Cardiac, CERF

Maryland Moonstruck Staffords Judy Heller Edgewater, MD 21037 EMAIL 301-261-4202 L2-HGA, HC

“Ramstaff...focusing on the standard blend of bull & terrier with true stafford temperament...always”

Quality Staffordshire Bull Terriers of Correct Type & Temperament for Show, Performance & Companion "The Ultimate Nanny Dog”

Continued on next page

LAST ISSUE FOR 2012 BREEDER DIRECTORY Michigan Blessings' Kennel Cathy Micallef Southeastern MI EMAIL 734-634-9328 L2-HGA, HC, Hips, Elbows, Patella, Cardiac, CERF

Wellington, New Zealand Battleaxe Grant & Louise Blackwood 0064 478-9313  L2-HGA, HC, PHPV

“Wonderful companions with show & working potential!” Virginia Elvid Staffords Sterling, Virginia EMAIL “Staffords that exemplify the Standard both in the home and show & performance rings"

Wisconsin MSLF Kennels Cindy Bundy EMAIL 262-857-9412 L2-HGA, HC, Hips, Elbows, CERF, Other “We strive to promote sound minds and bodies.”














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We are seeking volunteers to help continuously update this project. Please email if interested. Knowledge of the breed, structure, genetics and movement is suggested. Thank you to all who have contributed to this Illustrated Breed Standard and to those who have given permission to use images of your dogs. Thank you to the photographers who have given permission to use the photos in this Illustrated Breed Standard. If we have missed anyone it was not intentional. No harm nor foul is meant. This is an educational tool only. ŠTSK 2012

Balance = Lack of Exaggeration

ŠTSK 2012 With the formation of the first Staffordshire Bull Terrier club in 1935, a standard was drawn. Jim the Dandy owned by Jack S. Barnard, was chosen as the most perfect specimen of his time, and his breeding could be traced back thirty years or so.

Jim The Dandy

If we compare that standard with today's standard, and then compare the majority of today's show specimens with either standard, we can see that a contradiction of type exists, and that the Bulldog has been developed at the expense of the Terrier. We find this unacceptable, since the combination of both breeds was essential to producing a dog that was very unique and original. (text taken from The Stafford Mall)

Jim The Dandy

©TSK 2012 We are seeking volunteers to help update this project. Please email if interested. Knowledge of the breed, structure, genetics and movement is suggested. This Illustrated Breed Standard is an ongoing project. Future issues will contain updates and changes.

"Non-conformity with these limits is a fault" Any departure from these limits should be considered a fault and the ‘SERIOUSNESS’ with which the fault should be regarded, should be in exact proportion

ŠTSK 2012

Overall Balance

©TSK 2012 We are seeking volunteers to help update this project. Please email if interested. Knowledge of the breed, structure, genetics and movement is suggested. This Illustrated Breed Standard is an ongoing project. Future issues will contain updates and changes.

“Heights Being Related to Weights” Size, Proportion, Substance

Height at shoulder: 14 to 16 inches. Weight: Dogs, 28 to 38 pounds; bitches, 24 to 34 pounds, these heights being related to weights. Non-conformity with these limits is a fault. In proportion, the length of back, from withers to tail set, is equal to the distance from withers to ground.

Males 14”...... 28lbs 14 1/2”..30.45lbs 15”........32.85lbs 15 1/2”...35.5lbs 16” ....... 38lbs

Females 14” ........24lbs 14 1/2”...26.25lbs 15”.........28.80lbs 15 1/2”...31.31lbs 16”.........34lbs

Thank you to all who have contributed to this Illustrated Breed Standard and to those who have given permission to use images or drawn illustrations of your dogs. Thank you to the photographers who have given permission to use the photos in this Illustrated Breed Standard. If we have missed anyone it was not intentional. No harm nor foul is meant. This is an educational tool only. ©TSK 2012

ŠTSK 2012 We are seeking volunteers to help update this project. Please email if interested. Knowledge of the breed, structure, genetics and movement is suggested. This Illustrated Breed Standard is an ongoing project. Future issues will contain updates and changes.

The Stafford Topline The topline is measured from the withers to croup

The withers are located where the vertebrae face the rear of the dog (between the shoulder blades) and end at the point they begin to change direction where there is also a noticable pad of muscle. There should not be a noticable dip in vertebrae behind the withers but allowing for layer of muscle pad according to fitness level.

The croup is located after the loin and at the point of the hip bone just in front of the sacrum where there is a slight drop to the tail set (2nd orange arrow) There should not be a severe drop at the croup but should be a slight rise over the loin which mimics a show of tuck below.

Toplines are designed to help the dog perform a particular function, in this case they must be agile enough to perform the job they were originally designed to do. In very fit dogs there will be muscle pads along either side of the spine. This should not be confused with a dip or roach in the topline. There is a very slight arch over a fairly short loin. The arch occurs over the unsupported-byribs portion of the topline (the loin). The strong, flexible loin contributes to the Staffordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s endurance. The topline must be correct or balance is not possible.

The example to the right shows a Stafford in good physical condition showing a correct topline - it is easy to hide a topline with layers of fat instead of muscle - the appearance changes. This level of fitness isnt often seen in a show ring but is shown here for example of a well constructed specimen.

photo by Jindra H

©TSK 2012

A muscular, clean head of good depth & breadth, with pronounced cheek muscles and definite stop and in balance with the whole dog. A strong deep underjaw is a pre-requisite. Loose skin or pendulous lips to be severely penalized. The fore-face/muzzle is short in relation to the rest of the head, shorter in this respect than most terriers’ but not so short it interferes with function. It should be approx. 2 parts skull and 1 part muzzle measuring from the tip of the nose to the stop, and then measuring from the stop to the occiput. The Stafford should not have a domed, apple head. There should exist a ‘furrow’ made up of muscles on the top of a mature Staffords head. Puppies and young Staffords may not get this muscling until they reach 12 months or so but it should be there as adults. Same goes for the pronounced cheek muscles. Until the Stafford reaches maturity (preferably between 2-5 years old depending upon the lines) the head will continue to change and mature. The head will change continuously throughout the Staffords life. His foreface, muzzle and jaw, should be equally balanced for width and depth and continue the strength of his head as a whole. A foreface which falls off below his eyes makes for a ”foxy” head. But too much bone will make him coarse and take away from the quality of the head. Enough is the key word.

ŠTSK 2012

Mouths - Muzzles

The dog on the right has normal Staffordshire Bull Terrier canine placement however the occlusion does not line up properly on this bite

ŠTSK 2012 We are seeking volunteers to help update this project. Please email if interested. Knowledge of the breed, structure, genetics and movement is suggested. This Illustrated Breed Standard is an ongoing project. Future issues will contain updates and changes.

©TSK 2012

ŠTSK 2012 We are seeking volunteers to help update this project. Please email if interested. Knowledge of the breed, structure, genetics and movement is suggested. This Illustrated Breed Standard is an ongoing project. Future issues will contain updates and changes.

©TSK 2012 We are seeking volunteers to help update this project. Please email if interested. Knowledge of the breed, structure, genetics and movement is suggested. This Illustrated Breed Standard is an ongoing project. Future issues will contain updates and changes.

The Stafford Front Elbows tight against the body, showing no looseness, legs perpendicular to ground, dropping straight from the shoulder. The chest drops just to the elbow and no further. Well sprung but not barreled. Moderation is key - Not overdone but showing strength - too much rib spring will hinder efficient movement and too much depth of brisket only adds bulk and heaviness not conducive to agile and free movement. Not enough forechest or brisket weakens movement. The Stafford requires excellent balance to move freely.

Pinched and too narrow with weak pastern

Overloaded shoulder, chest drops below elbow, weak pastern

Bossy shoulder, lacking depth of chest, low on leg

Bossy shoulder, out at elbows, short leg, too thick, not balanced

Illustration at left taken from “The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Handbook” by John F. Gordon, 1951 - showing a correct Stafford front - “Legs reasonably straight in line from shoulders, showing no weakness at pasterns, from where the feet turn out a little.”

ŠTSK 2012 We are seeking volunteers to help update this project. Please email if interested. Knowledge of the breed, structure, genetics and movement is suggested. This Illustrated Breed Standard is an ongoing project. Future issues will contain updates and changes.

The Stafford Foot - Well Padded & Tight

ŠTSK 2012

Rear Angles

Thank you to all who have contributed to this Illustrated Breed Standard and to those who have given permission to use images or drawn illustrations of your dogs. Thank you to the photographers who have given permission to use the photos in this Illustrated Breed Standard. If we have missed anyone it was not intentional. No harm nor foul is meant. This is an educational tool only. ŠTSK 2012

©TSK 2012 We are seeking volunteers to help update this project. Please email if interested. Knowledge of the breed, structure, genetics and movement is suggested.

The Stafford Coat & Colors Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colors with white. Any shade of brindle or any shade of brindle with white. Black-and-tan or liver color to be disqualified. The Stafford coat should shine. It is a single coat and thinner and finer than a fox terrier. It is of medium texture neither course nor silky. The coat should be very close fitting, Because of its fine coat the Stafford feels the wind and rain and if you are judging in inclement conditions expect to see even the best topline with a roach. Staffords are to have a black nose - a brown nose denotes liver. Eyerims should be dark (some white or pied dogs will not have dark rims). Since Staffords do come in so many colors, no judging preference should be made as to color with the exception of Black and Tan (correctly described as Tan Point Markings) or Liver. Black & Tan can mean marked like a Manchester Terrier or Rottweiller. Sometimes this color is not as clearly defined and harder to notice the tan markings. The marks over the eyes, on the face, on the chest, inside the front & rear legs and under the vent can also appear as brindle (on a black brindle) or as cream (on a red or fawn). Liver staffords are recognized by the lack of black pigmentation on the nose (brownish in colour) and usually very light eyes “yellow” (not light brown which some dogs will have) and sometimes light nails. Both of these colours are disqualifying traits and should never be shown, bred or encouraged. When judging the Stafford do not penalise “battle scars” . As a fighting dog it is certainly permissible to have scarring and is part of the history of the breed. All feet in solid coloured dogs should carry black toe nails. When the nails have been subjected to a good deal of wear and tear the black pigmentation can look shabby and worn however if you look at the root of the nail a truly black nail will be seen. Check for good pigmentation in diluted coloured dogs – such as blues and fawns as they cannot have the black nose genetically but still should carry good pigment and not appear washed out. Excellent pigmentation can also show as dark gums and lips and inside the ear leather also being dark. EXAMPLES OF TAN POINT MARKINGS


Photo - Ross Anderson of Aberdeen, Scotland ‘Neyo’


black nails

Dark gums, lips in a red dog

Dark gums, lips a in a BB dog

inside of ear leather black

ŠTSK 2012


Since Staffords do come in so many colors, no judging preference should be made as to color with the exception of Black and Tan (correctly described as Tan Point Markings) or Liver. All feet in solid colored dogs should carry black toe nails. When the nails have been subjected to a good deal of wear and tear the black pigmentation can look shabby and worn however if you look at the root of the nail a truly black nail will be seen. Check for good pigmentation in diluted colored dogs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; such as blues and fawns as they cannot have the black nose genetically but still should carry good pigment and not appear washed out.

The Stafford Gait

ŠTSK 2012 We are seeking volunteers to help update this project. Please email if interested. Knowledge of the breed, structure, genetics and movement is suggested.

The Stafford Gait Free, powerful and agile with economy of effort. Legs moving parallel when viewed from front or rear. Discernible drive from hind legs. If we do not know the mechanical factors involved in movement, our ideas are apt to be unsound. When viewed coming towards you there is no paddling, wading, circling, stilted movement or looseness. The front legs should block your view to the rear legs in parallel motion with effortless ease of movement. When the Stafford is moving away from you you should view its rear pads pushing off effortlessly. There should be decidedly no effort on the Staffords part to get his pads and body support under his center of gravity. Viewed from the side on the move you will see the tip of the front foot reaching the end of the muzzle. The foreleg must reach forward of the line of scapula then on the foot striking the ground, forward momentum would then see the scapula travel over the striking foot which then ends behind the center line of the scapula. Similarly with the rear foot strike and the line of the pelvis. Photo borrowed The Stafford is not expected to move like other terrier breeds. In order to be balanced all the time he is moving he has to place his front feet slightly under his body with each stride . This inward inclination must begin from the shoulder and never from the elbow. The front feet should never touch each other or cross in movement and any looseness in shoulder is highly undesirable. The gait must be light and jaunty with the feet skimming the ground without any wasted movement. The hind legs should drive strongly moving as much as possible parallel with each other. They should never touch or cross each other in movement. The Stafford on the move should show strength, agility and drive. The Stafford will appear extremely light and bouncy on his feet. This is caused by the width of the front assembly with a well developed rib cage , the lighter loin and slightly less width of rear. Also because of the lesser width at the rear, the hind legs although moving parallel will be just slightly inside the line of the front legs. A specimen that is loose in shoulder can be supported by his handler while on the stack however as soon as the dog becomes mobile any structural faults will become apparent. In the show ring, Staffords should be walked at a steady pace and not run. Always ask exhibitors to walk their Stafford on a loose lead. The Stafford is an efficient working machine, not a cloddy bulldog, heavy breather gasping for air in a show ring nor a prancing terrier. Effortless movement with discernable drive from the rear is the goal.

In Summary The head should appear clean. No wrinkle or bunched up expression. One should strive for 2/3 to 1/3 ratio head to muzzle with a definite stop but not an EXAGGERATED stop or lack of stop. The stop itself should be almost vertical. The easiest way to determine accurate stop is to place your thumb on the stop and look at the angle of your thumb. Do not be fooled by the profile view of the eye socket and mistake this for the stop. The lip should be very clean, thin and tight to the teeth meeting top and bottom with no flews or wrinkled, fleshy or spongey excess thus giving the Stafford a somewhat serious expression at times. The lip should not turn down at the end or be excessive. Exaggerations of under jaw include total lack of under jaw, weak under jaw or too strong an under jaw. None of these are correct. Depending upon the cleanness of the lip - this can be difficult to asses without a hands on going over. The nose itself may turn up slightly at the tip, but keep in mind the plane of the muzzle and the head - they should be parallel to one another. When the muzzle turns up more than the plane of the top skull the dog has a dish face and if the planes dip downward - a down face - neither is clean, balanced and will be exaggerated in expression. When the muzzle is too short or too long they will lack balance. Ears can deceive on a glance so best to get your hands on the dogs head and feel for placement, thickness of leather and size. Does the dog have sufficient length of leg? If not is it due to a short upper arm or just overall shortness of bone? A balanced Stafford should measure the same from the withers to the ground - as it does from the withers to the base of the tail set. Staffords are a square breed. They are not low to the ground or squatty. They are not way up on leg either. Enough leg, enough back - not too much, not too little. Is there massive bone or fine bone? Neither is balanced. Staffords are square - BALANCED with no EXAGGERATION.. Is the animal wider in front than looks natural or is it pinched in front? Neither is correct. The front legs should appear to drop directly down from the shoulder. The front shouldn't appear to be ‘in’ or ‘out’, and MOST CERTAINLY shouldn't look like a bulldog. The legs straight, no weakness at pastern but the tight well padded feet DO turn out a little. Not a lot, and not straight with upright shoulder as in other terrier breeds. The rear should appear strong - not HUGE and not weak and narrow - somewhat even to the front but slightly narrower when viewed from above. There should be a definite waist line with approximately 4 fingers width between the last rib and the hip bone. One should see that last rib as well, showing no fat or wrinkle and sufficient tuck up from the profile. A Stafford is certainly well muscled, yet not bunched muscle - long and lean muscle is much more suited to the breed and its original intended purpose. Not a heavyweight boxer but more like a middleweight. It must be able to move easily, be active and agile. Too much bunched muscle is exaggeration and the dog will lack balance. Not enough and he will appear soft and will not function correctly. Exaggeration of muscle in either direction will affect movement as well.

Its all about a balance. NO EXAGGERATION. © BDG 2009-2013 - This publication & Illustrated Breed Standard was produced by & may only be used with written permission from TSK or Brown Dog Graphics Credit goes to the following for contributing to this publication: Showing and Judging Dogs - Hilary Harmar, The Show Stafford Handbook - Alan Mitchell, Annette Baxter, The Staffordshire Bull Terrier - John F. Gordon, The Dog In Action – McDowell Lyon, Fred Phillips, HN Beilby, Raymond Crilly, Craig Dillon, The Stafford Knot, David & Carolyn Alexander, New Zealand Kennel Gazette, Diane & Trevor Taylor, Mick & Jenny Smith, The Staffordshire Bull Terrier in America - Deiter Fleig, The Complete Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Danny Gilmour, The Staffordshire Bull Terrier – Mike Homan, Staffordshire Bull Terriers – Shaun Barker, Staffordshire Bull Terrier – Alec Waters, The Complete Staffordshire Bull Terrier – Danny Gilmore, Deb Saunt, Leighanne Reid, Stafford Club of Victoria, Erica Schelfhorst and many others.

Thank you to those willing to allow the use of photos of their dogs in this publication. This is Version 12.2 and was produced by The Stafford Knot, Inc.

The Stafford Knot

Back Issues

email for copies of articles if not linked here January 2010 Issue #1, Vol #1 Articles include: Joseph Dunn - Hints to the Novice SBT=Bulldog+Terrier

February 2010 Issue #2, Vol #1 Articles include: SBT Breed Seminar, Raymond Crilly - Judges Ed Breeders Code of Silence SBT Exhibition Center (Past Crufts Wnners story NOT included) March 2010 Issue #3, Vol #1 Articles include: Info on Health Testing Illustrated Breed Standard Balance & Movement - Judges Ed PHPV - Tala’s Story - Health Demodectic Mange - Alternative Therapies for Treatments - Health (WKC stories NOT included)

June 2010 Issue #6, Vol #1 Articles include: Info on Health Testing Illustrated Breed Standard GDC Genetics Interview Breeders Ed Balance in the SBT Judges/Breeders Ed One By One - What YOU can do! The Disappearing Sperm - Breeders Ed/ Health SBT Breed Record Holders, Part 1 July 2010 Issue #7, Vol #1 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Dogs Who Fly - Dock Diving Judging My Way - Judges/ Exhibitors Ed The Holy Grail How to Weight Pull with your Staffordshire Bull Terrier Track Training - Starting Out Flyball - “Organized Chaos”

April 2010 Issue #4, Vol #1 Articles include: Info on Health Testing Illustrated Breed Standard RX For Whelping & Caesarians Breeders Ed What You See is What You Get The Tragic Loss of Bloodlines & Mentoring in America - Breeders Ed A Very Special Boy Meets His 1st Stafford May 2010 Issue #5, Vol #1 Articles include: Info on Health Testing Illustrated Breed Standard Tan Point Markings - AKA Black & Tan Judges/Breeders Ed Staffords in Working Trials Fibro Cartila....what? - Health How to Select Against Genetic Disease with Knowledge, Not Hope - Breeders Ed

August 2010 - Veterans! Issue #8, Vol #1 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Grey Muzzles & Puppy Dog Tales Staying in the Game My Sunshine Tammy Alf May be viewed HERE September 2010 Issue #9, Vol #1 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Training Your Stafford Forequarters What Price Glory Early Neurological Stimulation May be viewed HERE

October 2010 Issue #10, Vol #1 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Living With Cushings Don't Steal My Joy What is Natural Rearing Using Genetic Pedigree May be viewed HERE November 2010 Issue #11, Vol #1 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Miracles Do Happen Nostalgia The Versatile Stafford The Genetic Pedigree Arnica Montana May be viewed HERE December 2010 Issue #12, Vol #1 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard The Breed Today Puppies For Christmas Pets As Therapy Understanding Recessive Genes A Tribute To Trilby When Things Don’t Go As Planned May be viewed HERE January-February 2011 Issue #1, Vol #2 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Arthritis How Cassie Became an Australian Obedience Champion What is L2-HGA? Teaching Bite Inhibition The Truth About Vaccines The Eukanuba Experience Q&A - Toplines May be viewed HERE

The Stafford Knot

Back Issues

Mar - Apr 20112 Issue #2, Vol #3 Sept - Oct 2011 Articles include: Issue #5, Vol #2 Illustrated Breed Standard Articles include: Vaccination Reactions Can Mimic Illustrated Breed Standard Disease Symptoms Got Itch? Phil Drabble The Backyard Puppy Playing COI Sportsmanship, Part 1 Kennel Blindness Sportsmanship Revisited Bull & Terrier Dog Showing Letter To The Editor: Structure Q&A - Slipped Hocks May be viewed HERE May be viewed HERE May - June 2012 Issue #3, Vol #3 Nov - Dec 2011 Articles include: May - June 2011 Issue #6, Vol #2 Illustrated Breed Standard Issue #3, Vol #2 Articles include: SCSBTS 75th Anniversary of 1st Show Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Illustrated Breed Standard The SBT Standard - A Personal Interpretation Hints to the Novice: Joe Dunn Tally Ho - Lure Coursing Our Dogs - Review of 1936 by Breeding - The Big Picture HN Beilby The Topline of the SBT Where Have All The Pure Breeds Gone? The Breed According to Fred Phillips The Rule of Fives The Ostrich Syndrome Pictorial Early Staffords Interview - Norman Berry (Rendorn) Foster Mom Finds Rewards Renal Disease in Canines Letter To The Editor: Weak Structure The Head of a Staffordshire Bull terrier Hereditary Cataracts in Staffords May be viewed HERE Q&A - Hocks Let Down Q&A - Bites May be viewed HERE July - Aug 2012 May be viewed HERE Issue #4, Vol #3 March - April 2011 Issue #2, Vol #2 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Cherish Every Moment Importance of Nutrition in Natural Healing What is CERF? Competitive Obedience Understanding Judging Consistency How Diatomaceous Earth Works Q&A - Underjaw May be viewed HERE

July - August 2011 Issue #4, Vol #2 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Breed Specific Legislation Hip Dysplasia Preferred Breed Type The Problem with Dog Parks What Veterinarians are Saying About the Raw Diet Interview with Tony Brindley (Cabrindle) How It All Began

Jan - Feb 2012 Issue #1, Vol #3 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Faultlessness vs Virtue A Dog Named Tilly BSL - Banning Lassie Meet the Breed What is Your Target? Choice of Stud Dog Letter To The Editor: Imports May be viewed HERE

Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard Line Breeding - Past & Present Building Confidence Why The Shit Hits The Fan Flying Bricks - Flyball The Stud Dog Letter To The Editor: Judge Competency May be viewed HERE Sept - Oct 2012 Issue #5, Vol #3 Articles include: Illustrated Breed Standard On Balance Changing Estimates Flyball Agility Puppy Puzzle Q&Ar: Fighting Weight May be viewed HERE

The Stafford Knot

The Back Page

From the Editor TSK WANTS YOU!

A Breed Divided Bull OR Terrier? BOTH!

Hang around dog people of any breed long enough and you will hear the usual conversations of discord and frustration. Maybe its due to the fact that the Stafford is a TSK BENEFITS breed which came together STAFFORD RESCUES WE of two very different breed WORLDWIDE BUT CANT HELP WITHOUT types of dogs - Bulldog and YOUR HELP Terrier - that our group of fanciers is even more THINK ABOUT A divided than most. GALLERY AD, BRAG, CLASSIFIED OR Everyone interprets this BREEDER DIRECTORY AS blend in their own way and AN AFFORDABLE WAY everyone has their own S PLU TO HELP RESCUE opinions as to how that , DOG R YOU ADVERTISE OR Y PAN blend should appear. COM , NEL KEN PRODUCTS. Stafford folk seem to have similar qualities to their dogs in so far as character - they do not back down easily when challenged. The division in this breed can be quite heated and the lines between engaging conversation for the sake of education and debate and downright argumentative angry spats is easily - and often blurred. Like our Staffords, we are a passionate group of enthusiasts, arent we?! It can go as far as friendships dissolving over a difference of opinion.


As a group we should be able to come together and agree that this is a blended breed - there should be a balance of bull and terrier - even if your personal preference is one or the other Kayleigh the balance of them together should be what is correct - a 50/50 blend. Place your personal preference aside. We should be able to work towards a healthy Stafford in body, mind and structure who equally represents a nice even blend of Bulldog/Terrier with the best qualities of both - isnt this what was in mind when the breed was being developed? We dont want to promote the weaker qualities of either. What should be strived for is a non exaggerated, balanced, structurally correct, well tempered and healthy animal who can do the job asked of it according to our written Breed Standard â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a foremost all purpose dog.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; - A big ticket to fill, yes - but if we work together it can be done. This is our final issue of our 3rd year. It is my hope that we have been able to bring ideas to Stafford fans around the world which made them think - are we promoting the breed - or are we promoting our separate interpretations of the breed? It isnt easy to work with people you do not agree with but for the breed to survive as intended when created - it is our responsibility to do so. Thank you for helping to promote health testing in the breed and raising money for Stafford rescues - Share TSK with someone! Thank you to all of you for supporting TSK! Go hug your Staffords! Lynn Caswell, Sr. Editor, Creative Director

**Final issue of 2012 - TSK has applied for 501c3 status - if we do not get approved we plan to discontinue the publication**

The Stafford Knot Nov/Dec 2012, Issue 6, Vol 3