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THOUGHTS OF THE PAST

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On this page you can read what was once said about the Staffordhire bull terrier by the early pioneers of the breed, some 10 - 20 years after the recognition of the breed. These are facts taken from some old books, itīs a shame most of these words of wisdom seem to have been forgotten in the chase for so-called champion titles.

(Joe Mallen)
 
...You ask me what I think of the present-day dogs and the old timers. Well, as regards the new standard, I am sure they are bringing them too low to the ground. Give me a staffordshire about 17 ins. at the shoulder. He must be on the alert, strong, active, a very hard and strong muzzle with clean lips. He should have a good heart and plenty of guts, but you can not find this out in the show ring. I can go as far as to say that eighty per cent of staffordshires today are cowards...
 
 
...donīt  use untried blood..
                                                                                          
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The master breeder: Joe Mallen

(Jack Barnard)
 
...I do without a doubt like to see a stafford whith the essential spirit and characteristics of the breed, but Iīm afraid and I will go as far as to say, the majority of our present day specimens are lacking the essential "guts", this having been forgoten in the quest for so-called type. I am not  advocating a raving maniac, but I do maintain and uphold that a staffordshire with no spirit is like an angel without wings...
 
...guts having been forgotten and a thing of the past, what looks more daft than a silly Stafford, especially to one who knows Staffords.
 
...I do maintain and uphold that to see a Stafford in the ring crawling on itīs belly, utterly terrified, is enough to make a true sportsman utterly disgusted, so I do appeal to all owners and breeders to try and maintain the true essential in the Stafford, namely spirit.
 
Since our standard was drawn up in 1935 some has been revised whether to the good or detriment of the breed I refuse to say...
 
 
(H N Beilby)
 
In  view of this rapid extension it is timely to recal the origin and purpose of the breed, and to ask our selves whether or not it is being developed entirely along lines which are in conformity with its primary purpose, which was to produce and maintain a fighting animal of the highest class... 
 
...and for the elimination of those, which though they may do well in the show ring today, might have told quite a different tale in the pit in the "bad old days". But we can, if we wish, produce dogs which in virtue of their built, toughness, courage and inteligence are most likely to inherit and perpetuate the sterling qualities of their ancestors. Are we doing this? Only, I fear, to a very limited extend!
 
...many modern staffordhires tend to be too solid and heavily built to possess the lightness and quickness of movement which was such an imortant asset to a fighter...
 
It is neighter my intention nor desire to "crab" the present-day Staffordshire - he is a grand dog, and he can be made even grander if we go about in the right manner - but do not let us labour under the delusion that we are perpetuating the fighting dog of the past, eighter in appearance or toughness, because if we do we shall be decieving our selves, and I am sure that most of the men who handled these dogs in the earlier part of this century would agree...
 
...if the 16 ins. is the popular height limit let us keep to it, and if the corresponding recomended weight of 37lbs. is made of bone and muscle ,well and good, but the low built, fat and puffy dog of this weight is not typical, and to perpetuate such a type is doing a real dis-service to the breed and is getting further and further away from the whole "inspiration" of the Staffordshire, and can only lead to the producing of bulldogs with long muzzles.
 
 
(John F Gordon)
 
As any breeder knows it is comparatively simple to breed dogs with given physical characteristics, but it is far from easy to maintain correct temperament if the medium for propagating these desired mental factors is missing...
 
...and he added, most succintly, placing his hand to where, I presume, lay his heart. "If a Stafford hasnīt got it here - heīs no Stafford, anīmark my words, laad, thatīs what theyīre aimimg for - a Stafford without a true heart"...I am guite sure we are not deliberately aiming for anything of the sort, the fact remains that we are nevertheless in danger of getting there...
 
...let us breed as closely as possible to this prized characteristic, and hold on to the real Staffordhire spirit as long as we are able...
 
 
(A W A Cairns)
 
...but in any case it is what is inside your dogīs coat that will be of most importance to you in the long run.
 
..."handsome is as hansome does"...
 
 
(Major Count V.C.Hollender)
 
The desideratum of a Staffordshire should first be gemeness, courage and endurance...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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