Overseas Judging Adventures

Recently we had the opportunity to travel to Australia and New Zealand where Lynn was invited to judge Staffords. What an honor and opportunity this was!

The first show, The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Victoria was to be held on Saturday morning 9th March but the weather did not cooperate and their KC canceled the weekend shows. Thankfully the fast thinking and very hard working committee made arrangements for us to begin the shows on Friday evening at 5:30. They held an Open Show along with my Champ Show inside the building. The temps were in the 90’sº F and it was simply sweltering indoors and out but we had fans, the dogs and people had water and as they say. . . . the show must go on.

I had no time to rest or catch up on jet lag as I had to spring into action and get to it – and what an amazing sight was in front of us as we entered the building! The trophy table was so loaded down I thought at any moment it would collapse! They had so many sponsors that my mind was taking notes since I am on our SBTCA 50th Golden Anniversary Jubilee committee. The tables were spectacular (on my show Friday evening and for Gary’s show which was moved to Monday morning).

Thank you all for this wonderful opportunity. What an honor it was to be invited to travel to Australia to judge your Champ show. I also wish to sincerely thank the hard working and well-organized committee and to Penni for answering all of my questions while we were organizing the travel and making me laugh so much. Thank you to all of the exhibitors for accommodating for the last-minute changes to our schedules and having the show on Friday evening instead of Saturday morning as was the plan prior to the extreme heat instead of canceling. Thank you to my amazing Ring Steward Belinda T., and ticket writer Carol who both kept me hydrated and on my feet despite jetlag and the heat. Further thanks also is extended to Belinda F. and Josh for all the support and laughs. Much appreciation to all who entered for accepting my decisions with grace and making the experience a fun one. A special thank you to Erica and Paul for the fantastic adventures after the shows.

I was pleased at the quality, especially your bitches, and extremely happy to see so many issues we see in our breed elsewhere not a true issue at this event. I saw only a couple with pinched nares, most had beautifully open nostrils and long enough muzzles. Very few exhibits had wrinkle, loose skin or short muzzles. There were some mouth issues, specifically converging canines and a couple with level bite. Most were in good fit condition, with only a few who lived a tad too close to the snack bin. There needs to be a look at improving movement, specifically too close in the rear, which tends to be an issue worldwide currently. Pay attention to fronts as well as there seemed to be a bell curve from pinched fronts to too wide with overloaded shoulders book casing many with good square and balanced fronts. Overall tail carriage was excellent, very close to the Standard as well. Thank you again to all.  

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Victoria

My critiques for Australia are as follows :

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Victoria

Champ Show. Friday 9th March, 2024

145 Entered/24 Absent


Baby Puppy –

1st: #3 Mr M & Mrs J Sing – Pranksta The Equalizer (AI)

BB with white on chest and rear toes, Beautiful puppy with correct rose ears set nicely on a well developed clean head for such a youngster, fun terrier attitude showing proper courage and fearless fun, nice development already showing lots of promise. Once he got going he moved well with drive and for one so young even had a showy attitude in the ring. Easily Baby Puppy in Show.

2nd: #2 Mr J & Mrs M Meredeth – Beddah Reign Of Fire (AI)

Red and white piebald, Super dark eyes with excellent eye rim pigment, dark pigment on nose and lips as well. Good under jaw and cheek bumps for a baby, nice head shape, good bone and straight front, already showing promise at this young age.

3rd: #1 Mr J & Mrs M Meredeth -Beddah Canadian Dreams

Red and white piebald, another super bold and fearless baby puppy showing what it takes to be a Stafford, confident in himself, nice dark eyes, open nostrils and good front. Adorable and full of himself.

Minor Puppy –

1st: #5 – Mr D Yates – Tiamostaff A Knights Tale

BB, Gorgeous head with 1/3 to 2/3 muzzle to skull ratio and distinct stop showing no wrinkle, neat ears allowing for keen expression, very nice front leading to perfect feet with correct turnout, good shoulder layback and lay in, short back and level topline leading to low tail set. Short coupling. Minor Puppy in Show.

2nd: #6 Shadowstaff Kennels – Shadowstaff Shoot To Thrill

BB, Pretty head, dark eye, good muzzle, open nostril, good length of upper arm and nice shoulder layback, nice front. With a bit more ring time this promising boy should have a bright future.

Puppy –

1st: #8 David and Bronwen Livingstone – Likalot Game Over

BB and white piebald, Gorgeous headed youngster with the best of expressions, neat rose ears well set on his head, good nares, great bone, feet and front, level topline and a tail that never stopped. Easily caught my eye.

2nd: #12 Mr F & Mrs M Coetzer – Zeracious Let It Be Me

BB with flashy white markings, masculine head with tight lip, very good expression and happy attitude, good front and tight feet, confident boy who should mature into himself nicely.

3rd: #9 J.L. & A.H. Griffin – Brookstreet All Jokes Aside (AI)

Red with white chest and toes, Gorgeous head with correct proportions of muzzle to skull ratio, darkest of eyes, pretty expression, good topline, longer in body than other placers.

Junior –

1st: #17 Melissa McLean – CH. Onahi Atticus (AI)

BB with white on chest and toes, The most gorgeous head which immediately caught my eye! His front is bang on to the Standard, nice depth to his chest and plenty of width in front. Loved a lot about this boy. Topline drops a tad at the croup but doesn’t distract from his virtues, nice bend of stifle, well-conditioned, moved with purpose.

2nd: #16 K. Lacey, S. Williams, J. Lacey – Toplace Company Of Strangers

BB with white chest and toes, Super promising boy who pushed hard for first, very good clean head free from wrinkle, tight lip housing nice scissor bite, darkest of eyes and good ear placement, good front on strong pastern with tight feet. Great expression, a lot to like about this boy!

3rd: #18 Mr. L & C Doorackers – Taino My Alibi

BB, nice breed type, good pigment, good angles fore and rear, nice low tail set, sure to improve with a bit more ring experience but promising at this young age.

Intermediate –

1st: #23 Mr. M & Mrs. J Sing – CH Pranksta The Devil Has A Name (AI)

BB with white on chest, this boy caught my eye on his style and ring presence which was big!  He is very balanced overall with nothing exaggerated. Love his masculine head with correct planes and proportions and especially his confident expression. Dark eye, clean lip, open nostril. Nice strong pasterns, tight feet, excellent topline. Handler got the most out of him which looked like fun. Great temperament overall! Pleased to award this handsome boy Intermediate in Show and on to my Dog Challenge Certificate.

2nd: #25 P Harrison – CH Skybreaker Not My Circus

BB with tiny white spot-on chest and on back toes, This boys head grabbed me immediately with the darkest of beautiful round eyes held on me the entire time in the ring! He seemed a bit naughty which of course appeals to my love for this breed. Perfect rose ears, dark pigment in his mouth including the roof housing a good scissor bite with wickedly large canines, wide open nostrils, Front bang on with excellent bone, good mover. This boy really pushed hard for first place in this competitive class. Happy to award him Reserve Dog CC knowing he will have a bright future ahead of him.

3rd: #20 K Roebig – CH Bxact Sumthng Wickd Thiswycoms

Brindle, Another competitive boy with a super head which I couldn’t take my eyes off of. Head planes and proportions on the money, great expression on a clean head free of wrinkle. Front straight with good bone and strong pasterns, feet turned out perfectly as asked for in Standard. Nicest of layback and lay in of scapula and level topline standing and on the move. This class was by far my most competitive one of the night and all of these boys pushed for their placements.

Graduate –

1st: #28 Ms K Stephenson – Shadowstaff Red Right Hand (AI)

Red with dark mask, top sized deep pigmented boy with a strong head and higher set ears which gave him a nice expression, evident pro sternum leading into a nice length of rib with good spring, good topline which he held on the move.

2nd: #26 Ireland – Stafflex Im Here So Move On

BB with white on chest and toes, pretty head with dark eye and nice expression. The heat was not this boys friend as it was evident he wasn’t keen on the exam portion but once he got going he settled down and moved well.

3rd: #27 Mr SP & Mrs TM Henderson – Calojo They Were Warned (AI)

Mahoghany brindle with white toes, Good length of muzzle and nice ears, straight front, moved well.

Limit –

1st: #30 Helen Lomax – Kaleida Lightnin Strikes Twice CA

White, top sized strong headed handsome boy with excellent pigment, dark round eyes well placed on a well-proportioned head, open nostrils and keen expression, nice strong masseter muscles and strong muzzle housing a good bite.  Good front with correct chest and rib, well boned without being overdone, excellent condition. He was my Limit in Show.

2nd: #31 Ireland Stafflex Heskeys Journey

BB with white on chest and toes, Beautiful balanced masculine head with the best of proportions from cheek to stop to muzzle/skull ratio. Large canines and tidy ears. Short bodied with nice low tail set. Pushed hard for first placement.

3rd: #29 Debra Radcliff – Borstaff Jack None Reacher

Brindle and white split faced, Gorgeous head with strong cheek bumps, good ears, dark eyes, giving him a lovely expression, good front, correct spring of rib and depth of chest. Would love to see in fitter condition as this flashy boy has many virtues which would benefit.

Australian Bred –

1st: #44 Susan Lambert – CH Wooloostaff Devils Undeniable (AI)

BB, Dark eye leading to keen expression with a strong head. Nice front and bone with correct layback and lay in of shoulder showing no looseness at all, This boy moved really well with purpose and had correct drive from the rear. Worked well with his handler.

2nd: #38 F. McBride / L. & C. Doorackers – CH Brohez Forge Of Empires (AI)

BB with white on chest, nice stop and through of skull with strong masseter muscles and clean, but a bit shorter muzzle than first. A tad higher set ear added to his lovely expression due to his excellent and quite happy temperament he showed in the ring. Nice straight front with correct feet, well placed neck widening to good layback of shoulder. Level topline standing and on the move.

3rd: #37 Craig Heard – Toploader Brindle Hustler (AI)

BB tiny white on chest, This dog pushed hard for a higher placement and on any given day any of these three in this class could have switched places. Loved his beautifully proportioned head featuring correct planes and proportions once again. Perfect ears which he used well. Good front, nice level topline and low set tail.

Open –

1st: #51 Koendidda Kennels – CH Koendidda Onya Birri ET.

BB and white piebald, Striking dog with class and beauty. Top sized but so well-balanced , excellent head housing large canines and a scissor bite, strong cheek bumps, rose ears, dark pigment and eyes which are so important for a piebald. Straight front with correct angles and depth. Good chest and rib spring and length leading to a nice hourglass shaped figure. Good mover and terrific confident temperament. He gave his all and earned this placement from a large strong class. 

2nd: #52 Linda Szirer – CH Borstaff Thunder Maker

Red with white on chest, deep dark red coat and dark eye, good head with correct length of muzzle to skull ratio, tight lip, good cheek bumps, beautiful front with enough pro sternum and strong pastern leading to nice tight well-padded feet. Good front angles with correct length of upper arm and nice rear angles helped him move with purpose. Would love to see a bit more conditioning to help define his many virtues better.

3rd: #60 Ms N Yates – CH Brohez Watcher On The Wall (AI)

BB with a little white on chest, nice balanced standard dog with plenty of virtue to appreciate! Good head, correct front, good depth of chest and plenty of rib spring. Correct sternum length, correct loin and nice rear. Good tail set and lovely confident happy temperament.

Neuter –

1st: #137 Mr S P & Mrs T M Henderson – CH NEUT. CH Calojo The Big Bang (AI)

Brindle with white chest and toes, gorgeous deep mahogany coloring, top sized boy with good cheek muscle a clean strong head with nice length of muzzle, nice front, good topline and rear with good bend of stifle, moves very well.

2nd: #136 Donna Treadwell – NEUT CH Kimbastaff Dooin It Solo

BB, Handsome classy in Standard boy with a nice clean head with wide open nostrils and dark eye, very good front showing good pro-sternum, nice angles front and rear, moved well with his handler. Pushed hard for first place getter and could exchange places on any day.

3rd: #138 Mrs C Sorensen – Keelford Zeppelins Demise WWPD JC

Red with white on chest, Lovely frosted faced top sized gentleman with the gentlest attitude, nice dark round eyes giving the sweetest of expressions, good angles front and rear.



Baby Puppy –

1st: #64 Mr J & Mrs M Meredith  – Beddah Elegant And Sassy (AI)

Red/white piebald, clean head, distinct stop, good pigment, dark eye, correct length of neck with gradual widening leading towards well laid-back shoulder, good fore chest, short coupling with correct low tail set and good rear angulation.

2nd: #65 Mr M & Mrs J Sing – Pranksta Cilla Black (AI)

BB with beautiful clean head with correct head planes, nice rose ears, good straight front with correct pro-sternum development, ample bone, short coupling leading to well angled rear, perfect tight feet. 

3rd: #68 Mrs A Wolf – Ourgang Untold Gold

Red with white toes and chest markings, dark pigment, tight lip, a bit larger than first two placements, correct front with strong pastern, beautiful level topline with correct low tailset and good rear angles.

Minor Puppy –

1st: #71 Annabel Wolf – Ourgang Unbelievable

BB, Beautifully balanced very promising young bitch, gorgeous head with distinct stop and very dark eyes, no wrinkle, Feminine expression you simply cannot miss, stands on strong front pastern and good bend of stifle with well boned legs in a perfectly balanced four squared manner. Fantastic expression.

2nd: #73 Mrs L Szirer – Borstaff Look At Moi

Red/White pied with head showing strong masseter muscles already for such a youngster, dark eyes with good expression, level topline, good front with a tad less pro-sternum than 1st place puppy but beautifully balanced coming and going. Worked well with handler.

3rd: #74 Ms D & K Edwards – Sookalott Star Struck

BB, stronger headed puppy who is well put together, lovely ears and neck, correct tail set and one who will find her way with a bit more practice.

Puppy –

1st: #85 S Clark & D Major – Kabere Faith Trust & Firedust (AI)

BB, distinct stop, darkest of eyes, ears a bit higher set but she used them perfectly to show alert expression, I loved how she showed her character in her ring presence, nice straight beautiful front on strong pastern with feet turning out as expected, nice topline, short. Promising puppy and in fact was Puppy in Show.

2nd: #80 Miss A Freeman – Echostaff Last Temptation

Red with white socks and chest/neck, This girl caught my eye with her beautiful front and topline, correct tail carriage, good rear angles, stronger head than 1st but good dark pigment and neat ears. She was alert and keen on her surroundings and has a bright future.

3rd: #77 David & Bronwen Livingstone – Likalot I Made you Look

BB with white on rear toes and one front toe, nice length of neck gradually widening into well laid back shoulder, lovely mover on beautiful tight feet.

Junior –

1st: #95 Ms J & Miss K Lacey – Toplace Im Gonna Getcha Good

BB tiny white on chest and toes, I fell in love with this young bitch the moment she entered the ring. She is so clean and balanced and well in Standard in so many ways. Beautiful feminine head with everything text book about it. Gorgeous front including correct pastern, great feet with plenty of padding and correct turnout, nice short coupling, good rear. Shown in excellent condition for her young age. Her movement won her placement on the day. She definitely has a bright future and won’t go unnoticed by many. Easily was my Junior in Show and well deserved!

2nd: #91 Mr S P & Mrs T M Henderson – CH Calojo My Little Rain Cloud (AI)

 White, Nice feminine young girl with very good head proportions, nice rose ears, dark eyes, correct neck placement widening to good shoulder layback and straight front. Nice rear angles and low tail set and carriage. Very nice mover showing plenty of drive from the rear. Held topline on the move.

3rd: #88 Katrina Coulson – Lilrock Never Da Devil

BB with white on chest, very feminine young girl with beautiful features including soft expression on a pretty head. Good ears and muzzle to head ratio. Nice front and feet, good conditioning for a youngster. She was happy and confident and worked really well with her handler.

Intermediate –

1st: #102 Koendidda Kennels – CH Jonthill Buckle Up Buttercup (AI) RN

Red, This top sized bitch has beautiful deep red coloring and the best personality demanding your attention the entire time in the ring. She is perfectly balanced and has gorgeous breed type. I love her intent connection with her handler using her dark eyes and perfect ears to show confidence and femininity. She is in excellent condition with long resilient hard muscles without being bunchy or overdone in the least.

2nd: #98 Craig Heard – Toploader Black Chrome (AI)

BB tiny white on fore chest, Good in standard bitch with excellent expression. Nice feminine head. Pretty front showing no weakness at pastern, good tight feet with nice padding, moved well and was happy to be there. Excellent conditioning with long resilient muscle.

3rd: #100 K Roebig – CH Bxact The Knockout

Red with small white on chest, Striking, yet feminine bitch in excellent hard fit condition but not overdone in the least. Clean head with no wrinkle, good muzzle housing nice bite, used her rose ears to her best showing her wonderful temperament, good mover. Pushed hard for further placement in this class.

Graduate –

1st: #111 Mr G & Mrs A Linsey – Borstaff Maggie May

Brindle with white neck, blaze and feet, This was another tough class but this girl stood out. Not only for her flash but for her wonderful terrier attitude. Feminine head, clean and free of wrinkle, framed by good ears which added to her expression nicely. Her low set tail never stopped moving and she gave her handler a workout for certain. She went on to Graduate in Show.

2nd: #113 Shadowstaff Kennels – Shadowstaff All Eyes On Us (AI)

Red with dark mask, Gorgeous feminine and very fit top sized girl with very good angles front and rear, nice muzzle to skull ratio, head without wrinkle, moved well and had correct low set tail with good carriage.

3rd: #109 K Roebig – Bxact Mistress Of Make Believe

Brindle with small white patch on chest, This fun girl was a spitfire and made her handler work, just as I like them to be! She has the prettiest of heads with near perfect proportions, in good shape and happy to be there.

Limit –

1st: #115 Ms N Yates – Yakindow Crazy Diamond (AI)

BB with small white patch on chest, Pretty very feminine head, good front and depth of chest, rib case well sprung leading to nice short loin, great topline which she held standing and on the move, good rear angles showing well bent stifle and low set hock. Good tail set and carriage.

2nd: #116 Shadowstaff Kennels – Shadowstaff Paint It Black (AI)

BB, super happy girl, higher set ears but added character to her pretty head with a distinct stop and lovely expression. Good angles front and rear.

3rd: #114 Miss TJ Amos – Verysharp Vision In Black (AI)

BB,  Short back, strong deep chest, gorgeous conditioning, good bend of stifle.

Australian Bred –

1st: #123 Ms F McBride – CH Brohez Queens Gambit (AI)

BB with small white on neck, chest and toes, Very classic style with good width to her muzzle leading to great fill below round eyes and distinct stop, excellent cheek bumps, expressive ears used well, good width to her front with well-boned legs representing columns of support leading to correct foot turnout. Nice short body, good level topline and good mover. Pleased to award Australian Bred in Show.

2nd: #124 Ms S McQuade – CH Waurstafford Eyes On You

Red white piebald, Very feminine and correct head with dark eyes and no wrinkle, good mouth, nice bone and correct straight front with slight turnout of feet. Correct depth of chest and rib spring leading to nice tuck up. Croup of correct angle helping with movement.

3rd: #120 K Roebig – CH Bxact Shake Datazz Forme

Red with white on chest and toes, good head with dark pigment, nice ears, wide open nostrils, level topline, nice conditioning, happy girl.

Open –

1st: #131 Mr Greg Brooks – CH Cyprustaff Villian In Disguise

Red with white on chest, Gorgeous balanced and feminine girl with so much attitude demanding my attention the moment she entered the ring. Loved how fit and well-conditioned she was showing no extremes at all. Pretty feminine head with great ear shape and placement which helped express her “terrier-ness”. Her head planes and ratios are spot on Standard, beautiful neck and fore chest, excellent layback and lay-in of scapula and equal length of upper arm allowed for her clean front movement. Tight well-padded feet, level topline, strong rear with low set well carried tail and good rear angles. Pleased to award her Open in Show and on to the Bitch CC and Best In Show.

2nd: #132 Mrs A Dean & Mr G Bator – CH Handpikd Miss Bombay

BB and white piebald, Such attitude this girl showed! So full of character and in tune with her handler! Gorgeous strong but feminine head, great masseter muscles, good stop, with excellent proportions and good strong muzzle housing a correct bite, dark pigment, strong neck, good topline, excellent conditioning and nothing exaggerated. Held her topline on the move. She was my Reserve Bitch CC and Runner Up Best in Show.

3rd: #135 Ms L K Reid – AUST SUP CH Zeracious Sudden Impact

White, Standard sized bitch with a very nice head with gorgeous expression, good front, level topline and very good angles both front and rear which carried her well on the move. Good fitness level!

Neuter –

1st: #140 Koendidda Kennels – Koendidda Dilly Dally JC. RA.

BB, Beautiful frosted faced very feminine bitch with the tightest of lips, clean head free of wrinkle, perfect length of muzzle and gorgeous dark eyes. Nice pro-sternum on a strong front with good width of chest and strong columns of support, good topline and stands four square on her own. Happy to award Neuter in Show.

2nd: #142 Mrs A Dean & Mr G Bator – GR CH NEUT CH Handpikd Queen Of Diamonds

BB and white piebald, Such a beautiful clean feminine head with just enough flash to catch your eye, gorgeous clean and balanced body all the way around, nice topline and good angles. Another who stood four square without assistance.

3rd: #144 Ms N Yates – N CH Brohez Protector Of The realm (AI)

BB, Very feminine bitch with pretty head, good angles and terrier attitude.

Mainland Staffordshire Bull Terrier Society

Trophy Show. Saturday 16th March, 2024

40 Entered/8 Absent

What a wonderful experience traveling to beautiful New Zealand to judge your Staffords was for me. I was so honored to have been invited and was happy to see your beautiful country and  Staffords. We were so well taken care of with spectacular accommodations with Kathy and Grant at their gorgeous B&B. Thank you to the committee members for putting on a wonderful show. Your hard work really paid off.  We could not have asked for a more perfect day to hold this event under blue skies and sunshine. Thank you to my ring steward, Kathryn, who kept everything running smoothly and efficiently. Special thank you also to Leana and Tim for sharing their home with us and Gary after the shows. We had many laughs and saw some beautiful parts of the area.

The quality of your Staffords is to be commended with most being in fit condition and in Standard size, with only a few exceptions. I saw several in exceptional condition and to those owners you are to be commended as I know what that takes to maintain. I only saw a couple of mouth faults, converging canines mainly. Please keep this in mind as it can lead to health issues. The quality of exhibits as far as closely meeting the Breed Standard was equal dogs and bitches as I saw it. I know its probably a bit more complicated maintaining strong pedigrees when you are more isolated, but from what I saw it seems that by the careful usage of both AI and importation you are finding success. Continue on in this manner and you will continue improving and having quality Staffords. I saw some truly lovely, typey Staffords in my ring.


Minor Puppy –

1st: #1 L Bartle – Oakamoor Revenge Of Dreams

Red with white on chest, handsome puppy with dark pigment and eyes, well placed rose ears giving him a keen expression, correct muzzle to skull ratio, tight lip and open nares, correct foot turnout, well boned with good length and spring of rib. Once settled he moved with purpose. Best Minor Puppy.

2nd: #2 L Bartle & N Duffield – Oakamoor Divine Revenge

Red with white chest and feet, standard sized compact puppy with very good head, distinct stop, rose ears, nice topline and loads of attitude.

Puppy –

1st: #3 J Croft – Corkscrew Gizmo At Westwood

BB, Standard sized handsome boy with a very good clean head, level topline, correct shoulder layback and lay in, good bend of stifle with low set hocks, this young dog stood four square and is quite balanced.

Junior –

1st:#5 L Evans – Lockmoah Borderline Boss

Brindle with white on chest/neck and toes, Good strong head with darker mask, lots of fill under eyes, good sternum length and drop of chest, good bone, nice ears which he used well. Tail never stopped wagging showing his happy attitude.

Intermediate –

1st: #7 S Vermeer – CH Takoda Game On At Chasewood

BB, strong headed boy, very good width to his front and close coupled in body, nice easy movement, shown in good condition with gleaming coat. Won his class on movement.

2nd: #6 B Waghorn – Redgem Blaze Of Glory

Red, top sized boy with beautiful clean head with no wrinkle, strong cheek muscles and good underjaw. Beautiful strong rear.

Limit –

1st: #8 J Evans-Freeman – Shadowstaff Jakabite Lad

BB with white on neck and chest and rear toes, handsome boy with the darkest of eyes, strong muzzle of correct length, wide open nares, tight lip, front meeting the standard well, close coupled, good bend of stifle and correct low set tail. Best Limit.

2nd: #9 S Smid & J Croft & S Hughes – Blackshot Gone Walkabout (IMP AUST) AI

Brindle with white chest, socks and toes, near perfect muzzle to skull ratio and strong underjaw  gives this boy terrific breed type. Shown in good condition, kudos to his owner for putting in the work.

New Zealand Bred –

1st: #12 J Dixon & K Morton – CH Myrah Simply Magic For Renegade

BB with white on chest, This boy stood out to me immediately upon entering the ring. His head meets the written standard well with tight lip, strong masseter muscles, distinct stop, muzzle to skull bang on, excellent fill, wide open nares. Great bone and correct turnout of front feet, excellent layback of shoulder leading to level topline standing and on the move, good rear, clean mover. Another shown with great fitness level! Easily my Best NZ Bred, Challenge Dog, Best Dog and Reserve Best of Breed.

2nd: #11 P Bartlett – Arrowriver Claim Jumper Jack

Red, Top sized with good head with balanced features, dark mask on muzzle, dark pigment around eyes and on ears, correct bite, plenty of bone, deep chest and good length of rib leading to nice light loin, another shown in good condition.

Veteran –

1st: #14 L Bartle – NZ CH Artisinal Ripple Effect (IMP AUST)

Brindle, Clean and balanced head with good length to muzzle, level topline standing and on the move, front and rear assemblies are well balanced leading to good movement overall, everything where it should be.

2nd: #15 S Vermeer – CH Takoda Class Act

BB, Really good length of muzzle on a clean head, well placed neck leading to good shoulders and straight front, clean and balanced all over, easy mover going effortlessly as they should.

3rd: #13 P Day & D Day – CH Challenger Shades Of Black

BB, top sized boy with a bit of frosting on his muzzle on his handsome head which brought a smile to my face, beautiful front, good bone, level topline.

Open –

1st: #16 M Sutton & C Sutton – Smartstaff No Limits

Brindle, top sized with plenty of bone, half prick ears which framed a strong head, excellent masseter muscle, good fill, nice nose leather with open nostril, nice expression, straight front and level topline, good rear. Reserve Challenge Dog

2nd: #18 S Smid & S Hughes – AUST & NZ CH Blackshot EZ On The Eye Warmaster (IMP-AUST)

BB with white chest and toes, beautiful clean head with correct ratio and planes, keen expression made even better with his attentiveness to handler, correct rib length and spring, good bend of stifle, nice level of fitness.

3rd: #17 T Treweek – NZ CH Koendidda Beta Latethan Never (IMP-AUST)

BB and white piebald, top sized strong headed boy with excellent masseter muscles and nice width to muzzle, nice bone, close coupling and calm cool look at me attitude.



Minor Puppy –

1st: #19 L Evans – Burwell Maia Blazen Tails

Brindle, Everything about this puppy is exactly where she should be for her age, nice head proportions with tight lip and good underjaw, clean and no wrinkle, good straight front, nice tight feet, level topline standing and on the move.

Puppy –

1st: #22 L Pryde – Southstaff Girl On Fire

Red, very clean and feminine head, balanced puppy, front matching rear with, well-conditioned and well presented,  Best Puppy.

2nd: #20 T Treweek – Zekiel April Fools Imposter

BB with white collar and socks, flashy girl with a strong head housing correct bite, nice width to her neck leading to correct shoulder layback and good topline. Well angled rear.

3rd: #21 Z Ryder – Corkscrew Peaches

BB, pretty girl who has a lovely outline and calm demeanor, presented in good condition.

Junior –

1st:#24 J Dixon & B Wadsworth – CH Myrah She Can Do Magic

BB, solid girl with good cheek muscles, nice ear placement and carriage, deep chest with longer ribcage leading to nice tuck up and level topline. Worked as a team with her handler.

Best Junior.

Intermediate –

1st: #27 L Pryde & N Nicholson – CH Stafflands Annie Getcha Gun At Southstaff

Brindle with small white patch on chest, good head shape with strong cheek bumps, distinct stop, tight lip, open nares, correct turnout of feet, moved with drive. Best Intermediate.

2nd: #26 M Sutton & C Hoeben – Mankoko Your Pace Or Mine

Brindle, Nice deep tiger brindle coloration, clean head and muzzle, rose ears with good shoulder and rear angles to match.

Limit –

1st: #32 M Abbott – Ashbek Out Of Ink

White, quite a strong headed bitch with gorgeous perfect bite with large canines in perfect position, very dark eye and good ears shape and set, a bit strong in shoulder but excellent overall condition, very good mover. Lovely body on this one.

2nd: #31 N Duffield – Oakamoor Autumn Dream

Red, very pretty girl in fabulous condition, feminine head, great mover, strong rear, good terrier attitude.

3rd: #29 J Johnson – Oakamoor Diamond In The Rough

Red, Good pigment, rose ears framing her pretty face, worked well with her handler

New Zealand Bred –

1st: #33 T Treweek – CH Sladestaff Bring The Noise NCS CGCB CGC B

Brindle with white on chest, Strong headed bitch with good fill beneath eyes, correct rose ears which are well placed, nice wide front showing good bone and correct foot turnout. Beautiful coat color!

Veteran –

1st: #35 L Bartle – CH Oakamoor Mystical Spell

Red and white piebald, this classy veteran won this class on her beautiful effortless movement, she had correct rear drive and wasted no energy which is not surprising considering her structure meets the standard as described. So happy to award her Best Veteran.

2nd: #37 S Carey – CH & NEUT CH Foxestown Bessie Adele

BB with white on chest, I would have taken this lady home in a heartbeat, loved her frosted face, her clean head that is still as balanced as it ever was if I were to guess, pretty front, good shoulders and rear. She pushed very hard to first in this class.

Open –

1st: #40 J Dixon & B Wadsworth – CH Myrah Million Dollar Monster

BB with white on chest and toes, This girl stole my heart with her gorgeous feminine head, smart expression, look at me attitude and beautiful front, well boned for her stature, beautiful outline that says Stafford all day long, level topline, good angles fore and rear, she stood four square yet also spent some time showing her naughty side. She worked well for her handler and moved with purpose, ease and drive. Gave me pleasure to award her Best Open, Best Bitch, Challenge Bitch and Best of Breed.

2nd: #39 B Waghorn – Myrah Monster Mash

Brindle with small white down front and on toes, very correct head with good fill and nice cheek bumps, dark eye and perfectly folded rose ears, nice width to front, level topline and good rear. She pushed hard for first in this class. Reserve Challenge Bitch.

Staffords and other Animals

The following page was written by a good friend and very smart woman, Beret Walsh, whom I respect a great deal. She put into words the very important topic of Staffords and how they interact with other animals so eloquently. Many of us find ourselves answering these questions daily. If you don’t know this breed but you think they would be the perfect addition for you PLEASE read this and know she is correct on every point she makes. (Shared with permission – please DO NOT copy and use without reaching out to Beret yourself. Play nice. )

Theatric Staffords

Staffordshire Bull Terriers & Other Dogs

First, one must understand that dog-dog sociability is a spectrum. Dogs can range from highly pro-social (love and enjoy interacting with every dog they meet) to truly dog-aggressive (wants to hurt every other dog they encounter) with a lot of space and nuance in between those two poles. Most well-socialized dogs will fall somewhere in the middle of the sociability spectrum around dog-tolerant to dog-selective, and their position on this spectrum will often shift away from the more social end as they continue to mature regardless of “how they were raised”. 


The above graphic is the property of K9 Activity Club and used with permission.

Dog sociability is epigenetic, meaning it has a genetic component that may be influenced by environmental factors. Early negative experiences with other dogs can impact a dog’s tolerance for others in the future. Likewise, a dog with a genetic predisposition toward intolerance for other dogs need not be influenced by experience for intolerance to arise.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed has origins in dog-on-dog combat. While the modern Stafford is no longer bred for such exploits, one cannot deny the foundation of the breed and how that history still may influence behavior today. For that reason, any responsible Stafford owner knows that the potential for conflict between dogs is always there and is well versed in body language, de-escalation, and management techniques should the need arise. Avoiding same-sex pairings can also help mitigate any issues that may arise.

Many people have the idea that breeders should specifically focus their efforts on eliminating the fire in the breed. As unsavory as their origins may be however, it also led to many wonderful qualities that make us love the breed today. Their tenacity, their versatility and above all, their bombproof nature with their humans in even the most volatile of situations. When the focus shifts from preservation to change, we risk losing the incredible virtues of the breed we hold most dear.

Most Staffordshire Bull Terriers will get on fine with trusted canine housemates and a close circle of friends, but may be far less accepting of a strange dog coming into their space. Typically however once there is hatred between dogs of any breed, there is no reconciliation to be had. Many take a “don’t start none, won’t be none” attitude and wouldn’t necessarily start a tiff, but also would not hesitate to step up to the plate and finish it if a challenge was presented.

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier not enjoying the company of other dogs is not incorrect or wrong, nor does their potential intolerance for certain other dogs have any bearing on their sociability with humans.   A responsible Stafford owner knows and accepts the propensity for spice inherent in their dog, and keeps them out of situations wherein conflict may arise to set them up for success. This is not a breed well-suited for dog parks or doggy day care. While there certainly are Staffords who can do just fine in that type of environment, the dedicated owner recognizes that there are far better opportunities for bonding and play than a thunderdome-style canine free-for-all. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier needs human companionship more than it needs to be friends with other dogs.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers & Cats

Many Staffordshire Bull Terriers live successfully with cats inside the house provided they are given clear ground rules (no chasing, no rough play, etc.), kept under supervision, and the cats have ample space to get away from the dog when needed. A cat running away can spark predatory drift in a dog, whose natural instinct is to chase and grab the small furry thing moving away from it. Outside of the house, cats are often no longer seen as off-limits family members and the situation can easily sour. 

For a dedicated and mindful owner, it is definitely possible to keep both Staffords and cats together in the house. However one must never forget the origins of the breed they own and always ensure the household is under their careful management.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers & Critters

As the name suggests, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a terrier, which is a type of dog originally used for catching and dispatching small critters and prey animals.

It is unreasonable to expect a Staffordshire Bull Terrier to live in harmony with rabbits, chickens, ferrets, etc. If a Stafford owner does keep small critters, they must be securely separated from the dogs. Never underestimate a Stafford’s ability to snatch up a mouse, a rabbit, or a chicken before you’ve even realized what’s going on. 

It is both normal and expected for a Stafford to grab and kill a small animal. And in fact, they can make for great critter infestations control around the yard, garage, and shed. There are also wonderful ways to harness this natural instinct in a controlled setting, such as the sport of Barn Hunt.

See original article here https://www.theatricstaffords.com/staffords-and-other-animals

Looking for a Stafford?

Questions you should ask potential breeders.

When going to select your Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy, there are several very important questions to ask the breeder. These will help you determine if you have found a good and reputable person whom you are comfortable with. After discussing the following points with the seller, ask yourself, “Is this the right breeder for me?”

Regarding the Puppy’s Background:

Specifically, what health testing has been done on the parents and what are the results? (health testing should include Hips (either OFA or PennHip), OFA Elbows, OFA Patellas, OFA Thyroid, CERF, OFA Cardiac), DNA L2-HGA, DNA Hereditary Cataracts or proof of parents testing clear. 

In this puppy’s pedigree, what is the incidence of hip dysplasia, heart defects, elbow/shoulder dysplasia, demodectic mange, thyroid dysfunction, seizures and allergies? (Genetic defects such as heart conditions, and diseases related to immune system dysfunction such as allergies or demodectic mange, are surfacing in alarming numbers. These problems are more evident now that more reputable breeders are openly discussing them and sharing their experiences in the hopes of reducing the occurrence of these defects. Seriously question the breeder about the appearance of any of these issues in the puppy’s ancestry.)

Are there any temperament problems in this puppy’s ancestry?

Have the sire and dam been temperament tested?

Do you offer Health/Temperament guarantees with your puppies?

Can you show me certificates proving that the sire and dam are OFA certified or PennHip evaluated? (this is important because it tells a lot about the dedication of the breeder to eliminate genetic problems in the breed), this info can also be verified for free at www.offa.org.

Will you provide me with the pedigree (at least 3 generations, and should be AKC or KC or reputable registry, not UKC), the puppy’s health record, and instructions on how to care for my new dog?

Regarding the Breeder:

How knowledgeable about Staffordshire Bull Terriers are you, and will you share that knowledge with me? (The breeder should be willing and able to answer most of your questions regarding medical care, feeding, diseases, training, what to expect as the puppy grows up, etc. If you have a question that the breeder cannot answer, he or she should have a network of sources available to get the answer for you.)

Does the breeder have more than one breed of breeding dogs? 

Will you make yourself available to answer any concerns I may have at any time during the dog’s entire life?

Will you assist me if I cannot keep the dog? (Even with all the careful screening and education that breeders do, occasionally something happens where a purchaser must give up the dog. In the unlikely event that this should happen to you, the breeder should be willing to help place your dog in a suitable new home.)

What are the most important things you strive for in your breeding program? (this should be something to the effect of making the breed better) How much time do you spend planning litters and rearing the pups?

Do you require a spay/neuter agreement on the puppies you sell? (This is a good requirement and you want the breeder to say “yes” unless you are an experienced breeder and you BOTH agree the Stafford shouldnt be intact) Will you ask me a lot of questions during an “interview” process? (All reputable breeders will have lots and lots of questions to ask you. This helps them determine if you are suited to Staffordshire Bull Terriers in general, and to their line of dogs specifically. They need to be certain that you have what it takes to care for one of their dogs for the next dozen or more years. Don’t be offended by these questions. Be happy that the breeder is doing all that he or she can to find a perfect match between dog and your family.)

Is your breeder experienced?

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE DEALING WITH AN EXPERIENCED, KNOWLEDGEABLE, AND REPUTABLE BREEDER? This question can best be answered by considering the conversation that takes place when you meet him or her. A good breeder will want to know things about you, will tell you things about himself, and will tell you things about the dogs in his or her kennel. Here is a guide to help you determine if you are dealing with a good breeder of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Regarding You, the Breeder Should Ask Questions Such As:

Who are the members of your household? What is your lifestyle?

What kind of home do you live in?

Do you have a fenced in yard?

What do you know about Staffordshire Bull Terrier?

Regarding Him or Herself, the Breeder Should:

Belong to, and be active in the National and Regional Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed clubs.

Show his/her dogs in conformation and/or agility, nosework, dock diving, barn hunt, obedience or other performance sports.

Actively help with rescue and/or public education for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Require a spay/neuter contract with each sold puppy unless you are an experienced breeder and you BOTH agree the Stafford is a good specimen for producing.

Offer a contract which guarantees health and freedom from genetic defects. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of owning an Staffordshire Bull Terrie. Discuss general health matters and breed defects found in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Require you to return the dog if you cannot keep it for some unforeseen reason. Be available to help you at anytime during the dog’s entire life.

Regarding the Dogs in the Breeder’s Kennel, You Should:

Be invited to the breeder’s home to see the dogs if possible or at the very least offer a FaceTime ‘visit’ or meet at a show.

See happy, friendly, outgoing, tail wagging puppies.

Find a clean, safely fenced in, warm, nurturing area for the dogs.

Be referred to previous purchasers to ask them about their satisfaction.


adapted from alaskanmalamute.org

Revisiting interviews

Stafford Balance, Type and Movement

Let’s discuss balance, type and movement in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a balanced blend of Bull plus Terrier but when we say we strive for an equal blend, are we picturing in our mind the original breeds used or modern day versions in this recipe?  Many people today are picturing the modern day version of the English/British Bulldog. This way of thinking is dangerous to the health and future of the Stafford. That type of animal was not intended as the athletic gladiator the Stafford was bred to be.

The original Bulldogs used to create the Stafford looked more like the athletic bodies of an American Bulldog, Boxer and similar breeds, without the exaggerations. This is not something that can be easily disputed as it is shown many times in book after book on the history of the Stafford. The original Bulldog used to create the Stafford didn’t resemble what we picture as a Bulldog of today. He was leggier, more athletic, less wrinkle, and in general a beautiful example of a gladiator. We can see why this breed was chosen, for he was portrayed to be powerful, courageous, tenacious and tough, but still a reliable guardian with an off duty quietness and affection for humans.

The other half of the ‘mix‘ is said to have been either a now extinct breed known then as the “White English Terrier” or the ‘Black and Tan Terrier.” It may have resembled the Manchester Terrier which is one reason we have a disqualification (highly undesirable in other countries) in our AKC Breed Standard for Black & Tan as this pattern can possibly overtake a breed and we love our color variations we have today.

Keep in mind they did not have access to DNA coat color testing when the standard was written.  You can find tan pointed Staffords in many patterns and colors actually – red with cream points, blue with tan points, black brindle with tan points under brindle pattern, piebald where the only points visible would be if a colored patch shows where a point might be. BUT one thing you will find in a tan point of any color is the tan color surrounding the anus of the animal. It’s a telltale sign the animal is affected with the tan point allele.

The first breed standard described a dog built much more like a modern American Pit Bull Terrier calling for an 18 inch dog to carry just 38 pounds (todays top end for weight). As time went on the show fraternity wished to further distance themselves from the underground world of dog fighters that still existed. Thus in 1948/49 the standard was changed to include the single most significant alteration to the breed’s makeup clearly defining the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as a show dog, not a fighter. The top end of the height range was reduced by 2 inches (14” – 16”), yet the weights remained the same (24-34lbs bitches – 28-38lbs dogs), thus calling for a more compact dog of greater substance, no longer ideal for the pit. This change would mark the show Stafford’s official severance of its ties to the fighting world. 

The breed standard describes a dog which has a terrier attitude of course, although he is also unlike other terriers in many ways. His temperament is described as being bold, fearless and totally reliable. He shouldn’t spark off unless he feels he needs to but he also doesn’t shy away either. The reliable part of the description is that you can expect a true Stafford to be quietly in control, yet he also may respond as a terrier should if the need arises. In other words, he wont pick a fight, but he may just end one. Be aware of what you have and if his temperament is indeed reliable you should have control.  The Stafford should always be manageable.

The physical descriptions in the breed standard are there to distinguish him from other terriers. He is described as being ‘wide’ which means he is wide for a terrier, as many terriers are not wide. He has a distinct stop, unlike many other terriers which have little to no stop, but not completely vertical. As well, he will not have the short upper arm many terriers have. His upper arm (humerus) will be equal length to his scapula. These points of the standard are to differentiate him from other terriers, not to ask for the widest, deepest, most distinct, etc.

“The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth-coated dog. It should be of great strength for its size and, although muscular, should be active and agile.”

The Stafford is an efficient athlete. Everything about him should reflect this. There are to be no exaggerations in his make-up.  Excess would inhibit the breed’s original function as well as its health.

He needs enough bone, enough muscle, and enough substance to support his powerful, athletic endeavors,  but not an excess of any of these features.  He will need strength and vigor, allied with speed and suppleness.  The Stafford should have stamina in abundance. He should feel hard to the touch, never soft.

The cloddy, heavy-boned, over muscled dog may look impressive but he’ll lack the speed, agility and stamina of the athlete. The racy, light-boned dog may be agile and athletic, but will lack strength and resilience. The one in the middle will get the job done. Efficiency is the key concept as the Stafford should be the best pound for pound athlete. Combat athlete specifically. Balance of strength and agility (Bull and Terrier) is repeated over and over in the standard. Not a body builder. Not a heavyweight fighter (where the ratio of strength is out of proportion to agility). Explosively quick, with immense strength and very long lasting athleticism. A balanced Stafford should be able to go all day. When the strength starts to get in the way of agility and stamina it’s too much. When the speed and agility sacrifice strength and impact it has gone too far. Fortunately the standard has an objective measure for that illusive ideal balance which is 16” and 38 pounds. – Alan Mitchell

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier gait is described as “Free, powerful and agile with economy of effort. Legs moving parallel when viewed from front or rear. Discernible drive from hind legs.” 

For Stafford movement there is no waste. This means legs moving straight from shoulder to toes with no paddling, hackney, nor stilted or kicking the rear feet up. The pendulum moves in a straight line, but there is of course much more forward travel from the shoulder, and the pasturns bend unlike the “typical” long-leg terrier movement.  He wastes no energy getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. The Stafford’s movement is clean and fairly simple.  He should be able to easily gait without being run. The Breed Standard only says “discernible” drive from the rear. That’s at a fairly slow pace. It moves from discernible to powerful as the speed increases. Legs again moving in straight planes, with good width in proportion to the rear structure. When gaiting at a good clip there will be some converging to maintain a good center of balance. This is much more efficient that the literal interpretation some have that the Stafford’s legs move at the same width as they fall when standing. Maybe at a very slow pace, but not for long once you speed up. They shouldn’t track close, but they don’t have a true parallel movement as a Bulldog or Frenchie might because a Staffords ribs hold their front legs out making it difficult for them to converge much if any. He should never have any looseness of shoulder or elbow, nor should he have flat feet. His point of withers should never drop below his backline, nor show wrinkle behind.

The Stafford should be clean and free of wrinkle or lippiness. His lively and keen expression comes partly from his famous ‘smile’ and partly from his medium sized, dark eye (preferably dark, but can be in relation to coat color yet never yellow, gray or too light) which tends to show  his delightful personality. He is constantly aware of his surroundings, he is playful and energetic, and also sometimes a bit naughty or mouthy. His tail will be a giveaway of his mood usually so you dont want to see a tucked tail indicating uncertainty. He has no problem moving around a show ring and should be happy to do so with his ‘person’ by his side. 

The Stafford is not a brachycephalic breed. The ideal muzzle length can be described as 1/3 muzzle to 2/3 skull and approximately 1/2 the depth of the skull. Muzzle from tip of nose to base of stop should measure no less than 1/2 from stop to occipital bone. The ideal muzzle angle is a little less than parallel to the angle of the skull –  slightly converging planes. His skull should be broad & deep through and nearly the same width as depth. The size & shape of the nose & nostril affect appearance and breathing ability. The Stafford should ideally have large open nostrils. 

When judging the Staffordshire Bull Terrier one of the first questions that comes to mind is “How do I determine which parts of the standard are more important than others?” As mentioned, the Stafford was RE-established as a show dog in 1949. However, the basic answer to this question is the same as it is with most all other breeds: Always give priority considering the original function of the breed. As unsavory as it may be, those elements most important to the historic function as a fighting dog should not be forgotten.  In fact, they are to be given the greatest attention. Breed Type – that most elusive concept that is yet so obvious when you see it! If you show your dog, or are involved in the world of dog breeding, you will often hear the phrase ‘typey’. You will read critiques telling you that a particular specimen has type in abundance. This topic generates hot debate and has been written about since people began crafting breed standards. 

“Type is a very difficult term to define –chapters in books have been devoted to the subject without a truly clear resolution.” Richard Beauchamp, in his book, Solving the Mysteries of Breed Type, asserts that “Knowing what was originally intended for our breeds is critical,” and that “If we pay respect to nothing else, it should at least be to what the creators of the breed intended.” He argues that following this principle will help avoid exaggeration, stating that breeders, “…seem in constant danger of believing that if a characteristic is called for at all, then the more of it a dog has the better!” We see this in the Stafford ring every weekend. Again, because its worth repeating – the Stafford should show no exaggeration at all. 

The Stafford should be a balanced animal from nose to tip of tail. Nothing should be exaggerated or out of proportion. His head size should be in proportion to his body, not over or undersized but keep in mind that the original point system called for 25 points to asses the Stafford head. In the country of origin, UK, at the end of the written Breed Standard for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier it is stated: 

“Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its eect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.”

This is a good reminder to not only look for the balanced Stafford, remember its origin, but also to balance your judging when in the ring with the breed. The AKC Breed Standard for the Stafford lists only three ‘faults’ and only three ‘serious faults’. Fault judging is to be avoided but these six points should be kept in mind when you find yourself faced with similar virtuous examples in your ring from which to select from.

The clean outline of the athletic Stafford is distinctive and a delight to see.

He is indeed a breed like no other. 

Lynn Caswell (Wavemaker Staffords, The Stafford Knot, Inc. 501(c)(3))

Excerpts from – The Stafford Knot, Jason Nicolai, Lorelei Craig, Alan Mitchell and Melanie Sinclair

Latest Show News

Sunmaid KC Fresno California – Stafford Showdown weekend

Select Dog (SBTCA Supported) – Judge: Anita Zagraniczny
Best of Breed (SBTCA Specialty) – Judge: Eric Galvin
Terrier Group Two – Judge: Sally George
Select Dog (SBTCA Supported) Judge: Pete Hopgood

Expected Temperament

Temperament: From the past history of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the modern dog draws its
character of indomitable courage, high intelligence, and tenacity. This, coupled with its affection
for its friends, and children in particular, its off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability, makes it
a foremost all-purpose dog.

Nothing in this written breed standard states that a Stafford should get along with other animals. Yet, lately people request one who will get along with other dogs. That first sentence even begins with ‘from the past history’ which describes a time of blood sport. At no time in the history of this breed were they a pack dog. The ‘trustworthy stability’ is meant as totally reliable with people, not other animals. Where is the confusion? It is up to us, as breed preservationists, to educate people on the expected temperament. A Stafford should be reliable also in the sense that they shouldn’t start a fight, but when properly or directly challenged, or when play is escalated, a fight may occur. This should be the expected norm.

Owners should be aware, observant and prepared. Never put your Stafford in a position where they may need to resort to that behavior. This means, no off lead places where you do not know for a fact all other off lead animals involved are neutral and have known calming temperaments and owners using a watchful, responsible eye. This also means, in crowded places especially, no flexible leashes. Use a strong buckle collar and a 6′ lead so that you have control of your own dog. Be on the lookout for unexpected challenges you may encounter. Teach your Stafford to ignore other dogs and know a ‘leave it’ command. Be aware if your Stafford IS playing with other animals to watch for play escalation or over excitement. Stop it when you see it and remove your Stafford from the environment.

Play may get loud, and this is fine, just watch and understand body language so things do not get out of control. Loud wild play is normal. Should a situation get out of control do NOT put your hands in between to try to stop a fight. There are plenty of other internet sources you can learn how to break up dogs fights so I wont go there – just be aware that a Stafford should not be expected to get along with all other animals, just as you may not like all other humans.

If you breed, rescue or otherwise sell or place Staffords into homes you must educate new owners about this part of a Stafford temperament and know its acceptable, correct and expected.

Judging the Stafford

Part two

The first thing a Stafford judge should do upon entering the ring is to have a quick overall look at the dogs in their ring. On first observation, which ones exhibit breed type – ie look like a Stafford, have the classic balanced athletic Stafford outline. Which ones have the Stafford temperament, ie bold and fearless, exuberant and not fearful. Which ones have the structural nuances our Standard calls for, ie in proportion the length of back shows equal distance from withers to tailset and withers to ground (not forechest to sacrum), shows great strength for its size and, although muscular, active and agile and not bunchy or heavy. Which are clean in outline, ie lacking wrinkle or fleshiness. Which are light in the loin, ie not thick and cloddy. Which have enough bone and substance, ie not racy or overdone. Balance is what you are seeking on first glance. Remember in all of the descriptions in our Standard to keep moderation and balance in mind. No extremes, no exaggerations. At all.

Now, within those entries which also offer correct basic canine structure outside of what the Standard calls for. You have already decided which follow the Standard structurally, now go back to your training and see which also have flowing parts without exaggeration. You want to see no looseness at shoulder or elbow, no roached backlines, no sloping croups, you want to see tight feet, no weakness at pastern and those front feet should turn out slightly and not toe in. You do not want to see cathedral or chippendale fronts. You do not want to see straight rears, or over angled rears nor slipping hocks. You do not want any exaggeration.

Now let’s look at movement. Remembering the blend which made up this original bull and Terrier you want to see no wasted energy on the move. Free, powerful and agile with economy of effort. You are looking for parallel movement coming and going. This means in either direction you should not see the other set of legs, it does not mean at a faster gait the legs cannot converge but this should be equal and kept at a minimum. The Stafford is not shown running, but at the gait which the exhibit moves freely with ease. Look for that perceptible drive when the dog moves away from you. Rear drive strongly propelling the dog forward with ease is what discernible drive means. You want to see the pads on those rear feet as the Stafford moves away from you. You want that front footfall to land below the nose when possible. As well, the withers shouldn’t dip below the backline on the move, nor should it show any wrinkle behind them. There is no rolling, choppiness or flip flopping at all. The blend was a bulldog resembling more of an athletic American Bulldog type, not a rolling cloddy British Bulldog. The Terrier resembled the Manchester therefore keeping the athleticism, enthusiasm and alertness.

Now you can begin to look at the details. Begin with the head, as in the old point system this was given 25 of the possible 100 points available and end with the tail which only was assigned 5 points. The head should have distinct cheek bumps, strong underjaw, tight lips, open nostrils, small thin tightly folded ears (or half prick, not 3/4), medium dark round eyes set looking forward, not almond or light (red or brindle dogs may have a lighter brown eye color but dark is preferred and never should eyes be yellow, gray or blue). The muzzle depth should be approximately one half the total head depth. (measure from underjaw/neck to occiput/topskull). The muzzle should be slightly blunt and square rather than an elongated point. The topskull is not to be exaggerated in height. The stop, while called for distinct, is meant to distinguish it from other Terriers such as the Fox or Bull Terriers, not a 90º angle and is in proportion to the head planes which should be approximately parallel to the muzzle plane. Remember, the stop is not the eye socket – you must get your thumb on it to feel the angle. Do not rely on visually looking at profile.

Keep in mind the health and original function of the Stafford also means the muzzle length should remain at approximately 1/3 the length of the skull length. No less, but can be slightly more. Listen for loud breathing, gasping if you see a Stafford with a very short muzzle or wrinkles. This could indicate breathing issues which we do not want to perpetuate in the breed (see post on BOAS from 31 Dec 2022). The Stafford is an athletic dog who should have no breathing issues in a show ring. Panting of course is normal, especially at outdoor shows or in humidity but never gasping, thick curled tongue or wheezing. As well, keep in mind in its original function, some Staffords may be overly excited in the ring showing some spiciness and challenge tails. This is totally normal as it would be in most Terrier rings but should never show any aggression towards people. Other dogs, possibly but kept in check, mostly quiet, alert and controllable. .

Examining the bite of the Stafford asks for a scissor bite in which the outer side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors. Only badly undershot or overshot bite is a serious fault. Simply part the lips to inspect. Look for large teeth and canines which do not press into the gums or the roof of the mouth. Look for dark pigment on the gums. The lips should be tight and clean.

The Stafford is not stuffy but rather clean, well muscled and hard to the touch but not a heavyweight. More of a middleweight. Strong for its size but not exaggerated. Do not forget, this is not a Bulldog nor is it a Whippet. The name explains the breed.

The rest of the Standard is very clear and probably most judges will understand it. The points made here are more nuances which those of us who have a passion for and who have studied the breed may find of importance and therefore may need further explanation. As well, upon observation, the points made in this article seem to be getting overlooked in the conformation ring and are of great importance. If you are seeking mentorship in this breed there are numerous resources available. The Stafford Knot website offers an illustrated Breed Standard as does the parent club, SBTCA. There are club approved mentors who would be happy to further explain some of the points made here or answer any questions.

Thankfully, we are mostly an owner or breeder handled breed and we are very down to earth and approachable. The owner handled Stafford seems to be changing rapidly for some reason, where more professional handlers have the breed which is unnecessary as the Stafford is very easily trained and is a wash-n-go breed requiring little grooming. People do sometimes hire handlers for different reasons, but this should remain a blue collar working mans breed as it was originally. The Stafford shouldn’t require a handler in order to be recognized in the conformation ring if it is correct. Come find a breeder or owner at a show, visit a Specialty show or send an email if you have any questions.

From The Stafford Knot book –
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier – Interpretation & Illustration of the Written Breed Standard –
A Comparative Discussion – UK & USA
Crib and Rosa by Abraham Cooper 
These two are what the Bulldogs which make up the Stafford looked like
The now extinct White English Terrier

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

Brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS), also sometimes referred to as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (or BOAS) refers to a group of primary and secondary abnormalities (Table 1) that result in upper airway obstruction. Primary abnormalities cause an increase in negative pressure within the upper airways that can eventually lead to secondary abnormalities. We absolutely do NOT want the Staffordshire Bull Terrier to continue down the path of the BAS affected breeds such as French Bulldog or Pug. We are NOT a brachycephalic breed and we don’t wish to be in that category for many reasons. Aside from stenotic nares, BAS can also include Elongated Soft Palate, Everted Laryngeal Saccules, Hypoplastic Trachea and Everted Palatine Tonsils.

Table 1

Any tissue that obstructs the airway lumen is a source of resistance. According to the laws of physics, resistance in a single tube is inversely related to the radius raised to the fourth power. For example, if an airway is 50% obstructed, it is 16× harder to breathe, and if the diameter of any component of the upper respiratory tract is increased by 50%, resistance encountered on inspiration is decreased 16×.

Typical clinical signs of BAS are listed in Table 2; dogs with these signs benefit from early surgical correction of existing primary abnormalities before secondary changes occur. For example, in puppies with stenotic nares it is recommended to perform rhinoplasty at 3 to 4 months of age, and at the same time perform a preliminary evaluation of the soft palate. Addressing these primary abnormalities at an early age may help avoid progression to secondary changes such as everted laryngeal saccules or laryngeal collapse. There are veterinarians across the country specializing in correcting these abnormalities.

It is possible to have your Stafford scoped so that you are aware of any BAS related issue which could be present. If you plan to breed your Stafford, I would highly recommend doing this anyway. You cannot see all issues visually and for reproductive responsibilities, this should be conducted. I had my stud dog scoped by an experience veterinarian. Not because he has stenotic or pinched nares but because he is very active in a hot, humid environment and I needed to know he was not going to have breathing issues while working out. I also feel that to be a responsible breeder, including stud owner, this was the prudent thing to have done, along with all other health testing available to us. He has zero issues by the way, but personally I would like to see his nares more wide open and a bit more leather on his nose. It would be quite helpful if these scopes could be given an OFA certificate/number so it can be posted and made available in the OFA Database, but you can make note of this in the SBT Pedigree Database. You can also include this information in any stud or sales agreement.

Table 2

If you look at the profile of a Staffords muzzle and nose you will see slight differences in the shape and positioning of the nose leather itself in affected and not affected animals. Usually, not always, a Stafford with wide open nares will have a more rounded and forward sitting profile to the nose leather. A Stafford whose nares are pinched almost seem to be missing a little bit of nose leather at the upper tip from profile, therefore the profile appears ever so slightly edged back, flatter as if it’s missing tissue. Looking from the front its very easy to spot varying degrees of stenotic nares as they appear pinched. Staffords with elongated soft palate can be heard struggling to breathe, even in indoor cooler conditions. I have heard judges comment on how adorable that Stafford smile is when the dog in question is simply struggling to breathe. The smile they are so well known for shouldn’t be coupled with raspy breathing noises. That ‘cute’ snore you love could be a sign of this issue.

As mentioned above, there does exist corrective surgery for BAS and while certainly beneficial to the dogs health, is against AKC show policies and any dog known to have undergone any type of corrective surgery is to be banished from entering any conformation events. That being said, it is commonly performed despite being against AKC policy. Sometimes it is visible and can be detected, other times not so much. As a breed, Staffords worldwide are considered to be ‘at risk’ for this condition and awareness is just starting to spread. We, as preservationist breeders need to be more aware of this and possibly not breed from those affected if possible – or – look for a mating partner with wide open nostrils and a family history of same.

At any rate, more caution should be taken when exercising, especially on humid days. Keeping the affected Stafford in fit condition, not overweight (important regardless of nares status), and building up exercise tolerances are recommended. Keep plenty of cool water, cold coat, spray bottles and fans handy on those hotter days. Do not allow the dog to overheat and keeping them nice and trim should help. We see this in every shape, color and sized Stafford.

Since we know several different corrective surgeries are being performed, as a judge one would need to be able to show proof of an obviously corrected entry to excuse a dog from your ring. In other words, it’s simply not done. The only way you could prove this change has been made is if you judged the dog prior to, and post surgical procedure. Even then, you would need visual indisputable proof. The rules of no altering are in place of course for the health benefits of future generations hoping to discourage breeding of such affected animals. Say for instance, a dog is being campaigned and makes his way to be one of the top dogs in a breed. It is seen by many breeders who could be attracted, take notice and use this dog at stud therefore possibly passing down this deformity which affects the health of future generations. See photo below to visualize stenotic nares. Additionally, if the only examples being shown have stenotic nares and this is all judges and observers see, it quickly becomes the norm.

The corrective surgeries available for this condition are explained below:

Concerning Stenotic nares in a Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Mildly Stenotic Nares in a Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Post correction surgery on a Stafford. This one is fairly obvious when seen in person, which I have.

Wedge Resection

 In typical brachycephalic dog breeds, the veterinarian removes a wedge from the lateral aspect of the alar fold with a #11 surgical blade. This approach differs from other techniques, which remove a wedge of rostral alar cartilage, leaving only a small amount of tissue rostrally on the nares. By performing the lateral wedge, more of the rostral alar fold is spared, allowing a larger, deeper incision and easier suturing.

Laser Ablation

When performing laser ablation, the medioventral aspect of the dorsolateral nasal cartilage is removed . Set the laser at 4 to 5 watts (W) on the continuous cutting setting for best results. Angle the laser in a medial to lateral direction, which keeps the laser from affecting tissue outside the nostril, preventing visible depigmentation.

Laser Ablation
Wedge Resection
Before and After correction surgery

Corrective surgeries are still performed on show dogs despite the rules against this. Its quite common actually. Once you see it, its difficult to miss. Look at nares and study the shapes of the openings. Listen to the dogs breathing. If considering using this stud, ask to see relatives and progeny.

As with most policies, they are in place to give the appearance AKC cares about the health of each breed. And they do, but despite these policies, people correct bites, tails, ears, nares etc anyway. So start paying attention. You might be surprised.

Aron DN, Crowe DT. – Upper airway obstruction: General principles and selected conditions in the dog and cat. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1985; 15(5):891-916.
Wykes PM. – Brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome. Probl Vet Med 1991; 3(2):188-197.
Koch DA, Arnold S, Hubler M, Montavon PM. – Brachycephalic syndrome in dogs. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 2003; 25(1):48-55.
Evans HE, de Lahunta A. – Miller’s Guide to the Dissection of the Dog. Philadelphia: WB Sanders, 1996.
Pink JJ, Doyle RS, Hughes JM, et al. – Laryngeal collapse in seven brachycephalic puppies. J Small Anim Pract 2006; 47(3):131-135.
Seim HB. – Brachycephalic syndrome. Proc Atlantic Coast Vet Conf, 2001.
Brdecka D, Rawlings C, Howerth E, et al. – A histopathological comparison of two techniques for soft palate resection in normal dogs. JAAHA 2007; 43:39-44.
Hobson HP. – Brachycephalic syndrome. Semin Vet Med Surg Small Anim 1995; 10(2):109-114.


Let’s discuss exaggeration in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

General Appearance

KC: Smooth coated, well balanced, of great strength for his size. Muscular, active and agile.

AKC adds: “The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth coated dog.

It should be of great strength for its size and, although muscular, should be active and agile.”

We are not looking for a heavyweight – we are not looking for a racy specimen – we are looking for the ONE IN THE MIDDLE! When we balance capacity with efficiency we are more likely to find a specimen with good healthy stamina, strength and agility. We will find BALANCE!

There is a movement across the world to put restrictions on producing breeds with health issues such as short muzzles. In some cases these dogs suffer from breathing difficulties such as overlong soft palate, tracheal deformities, stenotic nares and other structural and health related issues coming from exaggeration in structure. . The Stafford DOES NOT want to be added to the list of brachycephalic breeds. We want a muzzle that is no shorter than one third the length of the skull (look from the top or profile and measure). I recently learned that many people are misinterpreting the 1/3 to 2/3 ratio when it is written like that. It is not one to three or two to three. It is ONE THIRD to TWO THIRDS. One third muzzle length to two thirds skull length. The muzzle depth should be approximately one half the total head depth. (measure from underjaw/neck to occiput/topskull).

Additionally, so very many people misinterpret the breeds responsible for our blended breed. The name says it all – Staffordshire (where they originated in UK) Bull (the now extinct bulldog which as far as we can tell resembled a leggy American Bull dog type) Terrier (from the now extinct English White Terrier which resembled todays Manchester). So a balanced Stafford is NOT like an English Bulldog mixed with a Terrier.

Look for a clean head, no wasted effort/energy when moving, no wrinkles anywhere (none on head, face, shoulders, tails, legs – no wrinkles!). Do not be impressed by exaggeration!

Crib and Rosa by Abraham Cooper
These two are what the Bulldogs which make up the Stafford looked like
English White Terrier