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Sporting Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Note on the confusion between Irish Staffordshire bull terriers and American pit bull terriers.

Irish Staffordshire bull terriers are not American pit bull terriers, they are either Irish working strains derived from the English Staffordshire bull terrier, or the Psycho strain derived from working English bull terrier badger dogs and working Irish lines of Staffordshire bull terrier.  They share their common ancestor the British Pit Bull Terrier with the American pit bull terrier.  America has its own strain of pit bull terrier (derived from the British  pit bull terrier), which has the American pre-fix in front of it. These days the American pit bull terrier tends to be much larger than the British and Irish dogs that is originated from (some even over 80 pounds). 

Read this underground article on Sporting Staffordshire Bull Terriers to see the facts on these dogs.  The true facts that happened in reality.  Warning this is an historical article that directly reports on past dog fighting matches between American Pit Bull Terriers and British/Irish Staffordshire Bull Terriers.   This article is for historical purposes only and all dogs and people involved are now deceased.  This is what happened

Indigenous dogs of the Isles

If you would like more information on the Sporting Staffordshire Bull Terriers then I suggest that you get a copy of this book (by clicking on the picture) which has a large chapter devoted to the subject.  The front cover features FFB's Jack a great example of the" sporting Staffordshire Bull Terrier.



The Information below is mainly taken from Pit Bull Garden written by Dugklas G Link

The English XE "The English"  Staffo XE "English Staffordshire Bull Terrier" rdshire Bull Terrier XE "Staffordshire Bull Terrier" .

Officially, the Staffordshire bull XE "bull"  terrier was not a breed until around 1935, up until this time British fighting dogs were generally known as British Pit bull Terriers (Sporting Bull Terriers).  It is from the British Pit Bull Terrier XE "Pit Bull Terrier"  that the Staffordshire bull terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier XE "American Pit Bull Terrier"  owe their origin.  It was as early as the 1800’s that the best lines XE "best lines"  of British Pit bull Terriers were exported to the USA XE "USA"  from Britain and Ireland this being well over a 100 years before official breed “Staffordshire Bull Terrier XE "Staffordshire Bull Terrier" ” existed.  Some readers may argue that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier had existed long before this time but just not officially; and they have a good point.  Staffordshire was always a hot bed of dog fighting XE "dog fighting"  activity and the dogs bred and fought in this area were often referred to as Staffordshire Bull Terriers.  However, using this point to claim the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the predecessor of the British Pit Bull Terrier would require excluding other famous high quality strains of the time such as the London or Scottish strains of British Pit Bull Terrier; just as famous pre 1835 XE "1835" .  

It was largely due to the work of Joe Mallen XE "Joe Mallen" , Joe Dunn XE "Joe Dunn" , Jackie Birch XE "Jackie Birch"  and Harry Pegg XE "Harry Pegg"  that the Staffordshire bull XE "bull"  terrier became an official breed and famous Cruft’s show dog.   Despite this new show dog status, Joe Mallen and his compatriots still believed a show bred Staffordshire Bull Terrier XE "Staffordshire Bull Terrier"  should be able to perform in the pit.  This was similar to James Hinks XE "James Hinks" ’s English Bull Terrier XE "English Bull Terrier"  philosophy, the difference being that Mallen constantly tested and proved his dogs, whereas for James Hinks the ability of the his English Bull Terriers in combat, quickly became secondary to triumph in show ring and marketability in the pet trade.

It is the author’s opinion that the Staffordshire Bull XE "bull"  Terrier is the closest dog yet created to a perfect duel purpose show and fighting dog.  Indeed the Staffordshire Bull Terrier XE "Staffordshire Bull Terrier"  although bred to a written standard has proven extremely adept in the fighting pit.  This has been proved repeatedly, sometimes even defeating top-level American Pit Bull terriers in contracted matches.  Indeed many of the Staffordshire Bull Terriers that became fighting pit champions of the 20th and 21st century were high quality English Kennel club registered show stock! 

Joe Mallan XE "Joe Mallan" .

Joe Mallan XE "Joe Mallan" , probably the most important figure in the creation of the official Staffordshire bull XE "bull"  terrier was a chain maker born in the tough town of Cracley Heath Staffordshire in 1890.  Mallan was also a fanatical dog man XE "dog man"  and a very good one at that.  In fact, he was dog fighting XE "dog fighting"  well after the 1835 XE "1835"  act against blood sports, a fact often swept under the carpet by the present day show breeders. Indeed it is doubtful that a man like Mallan if still alive would be welcome at a present day Cruft’s dog show.  It was Mallan’s belief that unless a dog earned his keep it was not worth keeping.  To Joe Mallan earning their keep meant fighting which his dogs did on a regular basis at his own pub called the Cross Guns pub, opened in 1921.  The Cross Guns even had a pit in the basement open to sporting dog men XE "dog men"  for miles around. 


Before some readers are quick to condemn Mallan it should be of no he XE "Joe Mallan"  was a dog fighting XE "dog fighting"  man being born into an environment where it was deemed normal to fight dogs and cocks. Joe Mallan’s own father was partly responsible for creating the Black Country dog fighting rules!  The Black Country fighting rules were very similar to the present day Cajun rules XE "Cajun rules"  used in American dog fighting.  Joe Mallan was famous for not only having many of the best show dogs exhibited in Crufts but also some of the best fighting Staffordshire Bull Terriers of 20th century Great Britain XE "Great Britain" .    He is particularly remembered for three dogs Cross Guns Johnson XE "Cross Guns Johnson" , The Great Bomber XE "The Great Bomber"  and Gentleman Jim XE "Gentleman Jim"  which was undoubtedly the best and most influential Staffordshire Bull terrier that every lived.  Unfortunately Joe Mallen XE "Joe Mallen"  was not so complimentary of the later show dogs saying “there are still some good dogs about, but they bred the guts out of them”

This was certainly not the case with Joe Mallan XE "Joe Mallan" ’s show dogs, for as well as looking great they also had plenty of guts.  Even to this day descendants of his dogs notably Rapparee XE "Rapparee" , Spar Pit XE "Spar Pit"  and Betch Green lines have proved themselves in the pit even against the mighty American Pit Bull Terrier XE "Pit Bull Terrier" .  The Rapparee and Spar Pit lines being legitimate recognized Kennel Club show dogs, proving that a dual-purpose show/fighting dog can sometimes hold their own with the best game dogs.