Early in the history of dogfighting (a cruel sport that is now illegal), big dogs such as the Mastiff and the Bulldog were the stars. But by the nineteenth century, coal miners in Staffordshire, England, wanted a smaller, faster dog. They combined the Bulldog with a small local terrier similar to the Manchester Terrier. The result was the Staffordshire Bull Terrier that we know today.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a dog of high intelligence, lean muscle, and great courage. He looks forward to daily exercise, and his powerful jaws enjoy a supply of sturdy chew toys. While he is a sweet-tempered, affectionate dog, his strength and determination require an experienced owner who can work with him in a firm, but gentle, way.
The Staffie's coat is short and smooth, and needs only a quick brushing once a week. His colors are solid red, fawn, white, black, blue, or brindle.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: A smooth-coated dog, with great strength for his size; active and agile.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--14 to 16 inches at the withers. Weight--males, 28 to 38 pounds; females, 24 to 34 pounds.
Fighting between dogs used to be considered a sport, suitable for gambling and entertainment. Now it's against the law. Some of the breeds that were developed for the cruel sport are still around, and luckily, they've found positive ways to change with the times. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, and Miniature Bull Terrier breeds are all living proof that fighters can also be lovers.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.