American Staffordshire Terrier South Africa
We’ve created this space to create awareness for the American Staffordshire Terrier Breed in South Africa
There is a great deal of misinformation on this breed, and we’re hoping to change that.
This page will have the latest news on events, dog shows, championships, breeders and everything in between
If you would like to keep in touch, drop us a line!
We will be featuring all KUSA Registered Breeders, Shows & News
HISTORY OF AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIORS
This article was written by the S.T.C.A breed study.
The ancient ancestors of the Am Staff are the mastiff type dogs who appear in many breed histories. Although much of this information is lost in antiquity, we know from early art of the large, heavy-headed strong dogs who were used throughout history for their strength and guarding abilities. This early group of dogs has left genetic material for all the bulldog breeds and mastiff type dogs of today.
The bull-and-terriers evolved into three of our modern breeds: the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier.
The early bull-and-terrier came to America with immigrants from England and Ireland. Here some grew bigger and taller in response to their duties in a new and wilder country. Some stayed in cites and were kept by the same type of “sporting” owner as in England and Ireland. These were fought against each other around the pubs of New York, Chicago, and Boston (and other cities of course). A product of some of these dogs is the very American breed of Boston Bulldog, or Boston terrier as it is now known. These used to be 35-40 lb dogs, and except for the shorter bulldog face and screw tail were very similar to the early Am Staff (or Pit Bull, Bulldog, American Bulldog, Bull and Terrier, Yankee Terrier, some of the names these dogs were know under then).
The Larger bull-and-terrier was still a farm dog and stockman’s dog. He followed the wagons west with the settlers and helped work stock and guarded the homestead. He was a general purpose homestead dog, much as the dog describe in the book and movie, Old Yeller. He ran with the hounds on hunting expeditions, exactly as depicted in the old movie, The Yearling, and although not as fleet or strong of nose as the hounds, he was still the “catch” dog who dispatched the animal when it turned at bay.
By the late 1800’s a fighting dog registry was started in America to keep track of the prized pedigrees and publish the rules for fighting organization in the country. The United Kennel Club registered the dogs as American Pit Bull Terriers. Sometimes this was written as American (pit) Bull, or American Bull Terrier. Mostly they were known as bulldogs, or Pit Bulls.
In the early 1930’s a group of fanciers petitioned the American Kennel Club to accept their dogs into the registry. These dogs already registered with the United Kennel Club, but their owners had no interest in dog fighting. They wanted to promote their breed as family dogs and show dogs. They formed a national breed club and wrote a standard for the breed. Much agonizing was done over the proper name for the breed, and the American Kennel Club was not inclined to register them with the same name as the United Kennel Club did. Finally they were accepted with the name of Staffordshire Terrier in 1936. This was just a year after the English bull-and-terriers under the same name of the Staffordshire Bull Terriers were recognized with the Kennel Club of England. The standards of both the English and American breeds were written similarly, and even contained some identical phrases. The authors of both kept in touch with each other, working toward their common goad of acceptance by their kennel clubs. At that time , the dogs described were more similar in size and structure than the breeds appear today.
In the early 1970’s the name of the Staffordshire terrier was changed to American Staffordshire terrier with the American Kennel Club recognized the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed.
Even as the late as the 1960’s, the AKC stud books were opened to permit United Kennel Club registered American Pit Bull Terrier to compete in AKC shows as American Staffordshire Terriers. Some exceptional dogs were brought into the AKC registry at the time, some even winning the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America National Speciality and an all-breed best in Show. Their influence is still strong in some breeder’s lines today.
The American Staffordshire Terrier has an amazing identity problem. The same dog can still be registered the Untied Kennel Club (which is no longer a fighting dogs registry, but an all breed registry similar to the American Kennel Club), and/or with the American Dog Breeder’s Association, as an American Pit Bull Terrier and if its parents were registered with the AKC, it can also be registered by the AKC under the name of the American Staffordshire Terrier.
Some of the breeders of both American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers will tell you that they are not the same breed and the “the other registry group” is ruining the breed. However, the only real difference between these dogs is their name and registry, and the individual breeder’s selections and goals. There was no other breed of dog added to the bloodlines to create American Staffordshire Terriers.
This breed, under several of its names, along with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has been under attack by anti-dog groups and has been wrongly maligned by the media. The generic name of “pit bull” has now become a term to denote a dog used for fighting, no matter what its genetic background, much like saying “bird dog” or “guard dog”. Most of the dogs now called that, we would all call mixed breeds. However, there is still a Breed of dog called American Pit Bull Terrier, and many of them trace their pedigrees back to the 1800’s. Many of them are still exactly where they have always been, working at their jobs and being faithful companions.
Do you have a KUSA registered American Staffordshire Terrier? Are you interested in getting into the ring? All this overwhelming? Let us help!
Drop us a line, or click on the link below to have a look for upcoming shows in your area.
We would like to start an American Staffordshire Terrier Club in the future. The sole purpose of the club would be to create awareness on the breed, get more Amstaffs in the show ring, in all provinces, have a proper platform for American Staffordhsire Terrier owners & breeders in South Africa, share training tips & secrets etc, as well as help and spark friendships along the way.
If you would be interested – drop us a line – firstname.lastname@example.org
Send us pics of your American Staffordshire Terrier & we’ll gladly feature him or her
Stay up to date on upcoming events, and random musings.