The American Staffordshire Terrier is in fact the same dog as an American Pit Bull Terrier, but registered by a different kennel club. At the turn of the 20th century, the pit bull breeders wanted the respectability of AKC recognition, but the AKC was reluctant to register fighting dogs. The AKC finally recognized the American Pit Bull Terrier in 1936 after decades of lobbying by pit bull breeders. John P. Colby’s champion fighter, American Pit Bull Terrier ‘Primo’, formed the basis for the breed standard of the ‘new‘ AKC breed – but the AKC wasn’t willing to have the word ‘pit bull’ in the ‘ new’ breed’s name. The ‘new’ pit bull breed was dubbed ‘the Staffordshire Terrier’ in order to hide its relation to the pit bull and its origins and history in the fighting pit. The breed’s name was changed again to American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972, to distinguish the larger American version from the smaller English version (which kept the name ‘Staffordshire Bull Terrier’)1,2. In 1972, the breed register was also re-opened for a time to allow people to register their UKC registered pit bull as an American Staffordshire Terrier if they regretted not having done so earlier.
LIST LINKS to:
1. Stregowski, J, American Staffordshire Terrier at http://dogs.about.com/od/dogbreedprofiles/p/American-Staffordshire-Terrier.htm (accessed March 2014)
2. Jessup, D, History of the Pit Bull at http://www.workingpitbull.com/history.htm (accessed March 2014)