The race

American Staffordshire Terrier history

How and where the Amstaff was born

Before starting to tell the Amstaff history, we must point out to other english dog races, that are strictly close to our dog origin.

First of all we refer to the Bulldog, that was breeded in England since 1600 with the goal to create a dog who could be able to fight against bulls. It was much different from the actual one, more agile and powerful, more straight on legs, with long tartufe and long tail.

That Bulldog was closer to the all’A.S.T. than to the actual Bulldog. This dog resulted inadeguated for fighting, because of its size, and during the half of 18th century thiy decided to cross it with another kind of english dog, terrier. Terriers were, and still are, middle-small size dogs, with great liveliness and personality, used for hunting undesired animals.

The main goal of this crossings were to obtain dogs that were able to fight non only between dogs, but also with other animals such as donkeys, monkeys, badgers and mice.

Subjects derived from crossing Bulldog and Terrier were called with many different names, but the most relevant one was “Bull and Terrier”. These subjects showed great variety of size and colour. In 1835 an english law banned dog fights, therefore many peculiar races disappeared, also if fights covertly continued.

In these years, the migration flux from old to new continent grew stronger and stronger, colonists brought to America subjects of BULL AND TERRIER for fights, coming both from England and Scotland.

They soon realised about the huge potentiality of this dog and started to breed it also for guard, hunting and cattle herding.

In 1898 C.Z. Bennet founded the UNITED KENNEL CLUB ( U.K.C.). Bull and Terrier dogs were registered as PIT BULL TERRIER. In 1909 the AMERICAN DOG BREEDER ASSOCIATION ( A.D.B.A.) approved the race with the same name.

In 1921 the AMERICAN BULL TERRIER ASSOCIATION was founded, and elaborated the first race standard. This club wasn’t however able to be accredited by the A.S.T. In 1936 the STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER CLUB OF AMERICA was founded, and it obtained the accredit for the race called STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER.

The first subject of the Genealogic Book was Farmer’s Snuggles Up, owned by Wilfred T. Brendon, that was also the first president of the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America. In 1974 the American Kennel Club asked to change its name of this race to “American Staffordshire Terrier”. In 1985 the F.I.C.I. accredited the Amstaff as a race.