is Black Tusker with 16 Champion progeny.
(joint) is Ch Constones Yer Man
with 10 Ch progeny. He is a SON of Black Tusker.
(joint) is Ch Hurricane of Judael
with 7 Ch progeny. Hurricane's paternal grandfather is Black
King 1, who is the sire of Black Tusker. Additionally, both Hurricane
and Black Tusker are inbred to Rumbuster.
(joint) is Ch Skean Dhu with
5 Ch progeny. Skean Dhu is a SON of Black Tusker.
(joint) is Wyrefare Billy Ruffian with 4 Ch progeny. Billy Ruffian
is a great-great-grandson of Black Tusker.
Jackstaff Rustic Prince with 4 Ch progeny. Rustic Prince is a great-great-great-great
grandson of Black Tusker.
Tondoo Tallyman with 4 Ch progeny. Tallyman is a grandson of Black
(joint) Ch Rendorn Drummer Boy of
Kazemick with 3 Ch progeny. Drummer Boy is a
grandson of Black Tusker.
Eastaff Tally's Man with 3 Ch progeny. Tally's Man is a grandson of
Influence On The English Brood Bitches
(unfortunately, there is very little information available on the brood
(joint) is Ch Jackstaff Heaven Sent
with 3 Ch progeny. She is a great-great granddaughter of
Devil's Brew of Eastaff with 3 Ch progeny. She is a granddaughter
of Black Tusker.
Born 8 October 1975
Owner: B Bates & M Boam
Breeder: G Cowdell
Became a Champion in 1978
Won 14 CC's
English Champions Descended From Ch
(Eng) Black Tusker (known)
I have only mentioned the most recent generation on which it appears in a
pedigree, so it must be borne in mind that some of these dogs/bitches
have Black Tusker more than once in their pedigrees:
First generation (16 - - - 10 sons & 6
Ch Skean Dhu (dog)
Ch Ginnels Black Tuskyanna (dog)
Ch Karjobri Black Pepper (dog)
Ch Earlsdon Viceroy of Benfirth
Ch Rendorn Devil's Timpani (bitch)
Ch Bobstaffs Grand King of Durward
Ch Lydes Cleopatra (bitch)
Ch Rowenda Devil's Desciple (dog)
Ch Lydes Hermione (bitch)
Ch Eastaff Guardian (dog)
Ch Topcroft Trailblazer (bitch)
Ch Fulfin Black Eagle (dog)
Ch Devil's Trill (bitch)
Ch Eastaff Ironsides (dog)
Ch Surestaff Aphrodite (bitch)
Ch Constones Yer Man (dog)
Second generation (grandchildren):
Ch Solo Gypsy Fiddler (bitch)
Ch Spadille Spare The Rod (bitch)
Ch Carndearg Jake The Rake (dog)
Ch Allendale King (dog)
Ch Belle Hurricane Duchess (bitch)
Ch Tondo Miss Moon Shine (bitch)
Ch Rendorn Drummer Boy of Kazemick
Ch Spartan Victor (dog)
Ch Rowenda Fearless Lad (dog)
Ch Rendorn Apollyon (bitch)
Ch Rockys Black Sea-Eagle (dog)
Ch Scarthwaite Diplomat (dog)
Ch Rellim Black Ace (dog)
Ch Rellim Task Force of Nozac (dog)
Ch Ebony Dreadnought (dog)
Ch Tikkurilan Giddy Kipper (bitch)
Ch Takiron Dark Destroyer (dog)
Ch Midnight Huntress (bitch)
Ch Kablice Midnight Caller (dog)
Ch Zabaretts Razzle Dazzle (bitch)
Ch Ensbury's Little Lad at
Ch Hot Pursuit (dog)
Ch Rowenda Dark Destroyer (dog)
Ch Stormstaff Sky's The Limit
Ch Mary Queen of Staffs at
Ch Scarthwaite Bewitched (bitch)
Ch Edgestaff Tammy Girl (bitch)
Ch Jackbull Jeffs Pal (dog)
Third generation or more:
Ch Karjobri Pure Silk (bitch)
Ch Rendorn Right Marker (bitch)
Ch Jackstaff Heaven Sent (bitch)
Ch Jackstaff Primadonna (bitch)
Ch Skerry Dhu of Dumbriton (dog)
Ch Rendorn The Renegade of
Ch Coal Queen (bitch)
Ch Eastaff Noire-Fille (bitch)
Ch Grange Spitfire (bitch)
Ch Judael Vestajay of Linestaff
Ch Spartan Wild Thyme (bitch)
Ch Chewbacca The Wookie (dog)
Ch Eastaff Lil' Stotter (dog)
Ch Langrove Maltster (dog)
Ch Jackstaff Forget Me Not (bitch)
Ch Makeready Huntsman's Lass
Ch Waystaff Bold As Brass (bitch)
Ch Lethal Weapon of Crashkon (dog)
Ch Bated Breath at Constones
Ch Fromestaff Nettle of Wyrefare
Ch Indiana Jet Setter (bitch)
Ch Jackstaff Fatal Attraction
Ch Judael Magie Noire (bitch)
Ch Parkstaff Special Envoy at
Ch Judael Masquerade (bitch)
Ch White of Morn (bitch)
Ch Boldbull Black Jack (dog)
Ch Debrella Taboo Dhu at Dumbriton
Ch Sher Khan (dog)
Ch Pantycelyn Hagler (dog)
Ch Boldmore Finbar Furey (dog)
Ch Fromestaff Abracadabra of
Ch Sparstaff Dominator (dog)
Ch Staffmaster Pure Opium (bitch)
Ch Quarterflash Warsquaw (bitch)
Ch Eastar Ultimate Warrior (dog)
Ch Kool As Ice (bitch)
Ch Judael Dark Reality of Cavstaff
Ch Crashkon High Society of
Ch Barda The Bushranger (dog)
Ch Valglo Corolla (bitch)
Ch Look Me Over (bitch)
Ch Dogan Lily Bianca (bitch)
Ch Judael Both Barrels at Nozac
Ch Crossguns Revolution (dog)
Ch Debrella Scotch On The Rocks of
Ch Eastaff Trefoil (bitch)
Ch Fromestaff The Minstrel (dog)
Ch Crossguns Saturday Special at
Ch Beaconmoor Christmas Star
Ch Nethertonian Rose (bitch)
Ch Szondu Ulster Maddy (bitch)
Ch Bullyview Alright Mate (dog)
Ch Belsevore Ross-N-Co (dog)
Ch Bombstaff Blackthorn at Bullhawk
Ch Ramblix Renaissance (bitch)
Ch The Slingshot Electraglide
Ch Blistaff Mad O'Rourke (dog)
Ch Timgold Rita The Raver (bitch)
Ch Donnellas Get Up And Go (bitch)
Ch Stormlodge Anne Bonny (bitch)
Ch Jamarvins Femme Fatal of Vanoric
Ch Chelmstaff Christmas Joy at
Ch Brystaff Mindern Rose at
Ch Brystaff Simply The Best (dog)
Ch Valglo Lancer (dog)
Ch Canny Bairn for Jayneze (bitch)
Ch Seren's Baby Lleuad of Dogan
Ch Jagsstaff Black Belize (dog)
Ch Spirestaff Avenging Angel of
Ch Ryestaff Ebony Eyes (bitch)
I believe that all this IS pointing towards a converging circle,
genetically speaking. England is on the verge of getting completely
tied into Black Tusker - as we in South Africa have got almost
completely tied into The Bronx Bull.
Even though the Black Tusker descendants only account for just over 40% of
the most popular stud dogs, we have no way of telling how many Black
Tusker bitches are being put to the other non-Tusker popular stud dogs.
It could be most of them, it might be none.
Do I personally have an axe to grind against Black Tusker? No.
Is my stock descended from Black Tusker? Yes, all of it. My foundation
bitch is a doubled-up great-great-great-great granddaughter of his
through Ch (Eng) Skean Dhu twice. My English imported male is bred back
to him on the 5th, 6th and 7th generations and he appears 7 times
altogether on that pedigree.
OK. The rest of you are way ahead of me on this Black Tusker, Eastaff,
Shorrock connection. From all of your emails and now an outside source
I glean that the UK has a judging problem that has led to the over-use
of a particular dog - not just M-line.
I will post Black Tusker's pedigree, photo and bio on The Stafford Exchange
(http://www.staffordmall.com/staffordexchange.htm) . I guess sooner or
later someone is going to have to put all available SBT pedigree info
on the web. I have talked with Steve privately about this, a huge
undertaking that will eat tons of storage and make search problems tough.
But what do we do with the data? I have a kennel program by Man's Best
Friend Software that has breeding coefficient software built-in. You
can crystal ball a possible breeding, and it will give you various
genetic/coefficient reports. Carolyn has entered Black Tusker's pedigree
and will run reports and then email it as an attachments to all of you so that
you can see the results and give me some feedback.
From the general gist of things, and considering that I probably have the
highest concentration of Black Tusker blood here as the great-great
grandsire on both sides of my stock, do I fix them both now or wait
until they finished their show careers? Do I not enter their genes into
the gene pool of US Staffords, even though many dogs I seen having less or
no Black Tusker blood tend to be (IMHO) a long way from the standard?
Linda can input her perspective on my dog with more objectivity than I can,
but from what I have seen, I think he has qualities sorely lacking in
many winning AKC dogs.
In my opinion, if we do not follow a sound breeding program, concentrating
qualities that we want to remain in the Breed ,while culling offspring
lacking these qualities, we are then devastating the Breed.
Eliminating or including any dog from breeding ... is as short-sighted as
breeding to a top winning dog that has virtually none of the qualities
or standards that the breed is known for.
By no means (in my often NSHO) should an animal be removed from a breeding
program based upon bloodlines, unless it can be proven BEYOND a shadow
of a doubt that it carries and passes on genetic flaws detrimental to
What the discussion points out is that you can get such a concentration of
genes in the pool that you begin finding flaws, genetic or structural,
that are detrimental to the animals.
As I have mentioned, King is flush-mouthed. He and his sister are the first
bad mouths I've bred since a litter born in 1982. Now, for those of you
who do not know King's pedigree, his sire and dam are 1/2 brother and
sister; the dam of both being Ch. Barkers Bulwatch Ohmygosh. King's dam
is a father-to-daughter product (in-breeding), while King's sire is a
linebred dog. Does this mean that I will never allow King to be used at stud?
No. Does it mean I will not breed from his sister that I co-own? No. I will
just be very careful about the mouths behind the animals to which they
One of my four Staffords is outside the standard, size-wise at 17"
inches and 45 pounds at just under a year. That wouldn't stop me from
using him at stud over the right bitch. What will stop him from being
used is that I feel he has a tight front, upright shoulders, straight stifles
in addition to being too big.
Why all the hoopla about Black Tusker? No one is forced to use any of his
descendants for breeding. If his offspring do all the winning at the
shows, and that's what you want, then go ahead and use them.
But be prepared to pay the price later on.
The stats presented by Craig and Juanita makes scary reading, but what
scares me even more is that some breeders seemingly can't see the
obvious solution: stop using those dogs at stud. Doing so might cost a
couple of generations without big show-wins, but you'll be doing the
Breed a big favor.
And isn't our love for the Breed the thing that really matters?
Plenty of other "typy" dogs can be used at stud. Joe Mallen won't
step down from Stafford Heaven to punish you for breeding from
This "alarming" situation shouldn't come as news. Ever since
shows became a real force in the world of dogs and breeders started to
breed strictly for conformation, every breed affiliated with such
activity has experienced a DECLINE in true quality because breeders lose
perspective, forget about their duties to the breed, and start using nothing
but "show winners" at stud. Thus, the biggest winner becomes
bred from too many times, whereas the unknown dogs spent their lives
without (much breeding opportunity).
In the old days, Stafford breeders were more concerned with their own
strains. Thus, a pitwinner from Newcastle would surely sire lots of
pups in that particular area, but, due to other breeders' jealously
guarded "blood" (and due to lack of rapid transportation), he probably
wouldn't sire a single pup in, say, Walsall. And the Walsall gents would
surely be uninterested in that Newcastle dog's offspring! ("We've
got better dogs here!")
So, unintentionally, breeders actually stopped any dog from exerting undue
influence to the entire Breed. Today, we import dogs from all over,
cross them with our own strains, and thereby slowly shut off our escape
route: outcrossing via unrelated strains.
Further, shows don't necessarily promote well-constructed, sound, and
healthy dogs. When you show off your pride and joy to 40 renowned
judges, they give you THEIR opinion as to how well your dog compares to
THEIR ideal (sometimes based on the Standard, sometimes not), and
nothing else. Some adventurous judges will even add comments such as
"sound mover," but what does that say, really? Do these judges
really know about vigorous activities? Don't you know your own dog
better than any judge ever could?
I've seen dogs with truly lousy movements win at dog shows, and I know of
at least two dysplastic Staffords that were big winners. This should
tell you something about dog shows and the quality needed to become a
winner. As long as the exhibit LOOKS GOOD , no one questions its true
quality. And some owners seemingly stop using their own eyes and common
sense, breeding from this or that "specimen" simply because some
judges claim that the dog is beautiful, typy, and showed "sound
Inbreeding from extremely healthy animals is risky enough, but inbreeding
from anything less than extremely healthy animals spells disaster...
Are big show winners actually worth inbreeding from? If your answer is
"yes", I'd like to hear the reasons (and DON'T send me their
show record). If your answer is "no", I'd like to hear if
you've got some of this tight blood in your own stock, and your basis for
Fighting certainly calls for superbly constructed dogs because both the
combat and the "keep" is hard work,. We can rest assured that
the old-time dogs were healthier in EVERY respect than our present
Staffords due to this activity. Can you imagine a dog with a defective
immune system surviving a battle? No, and neither can you imagine a dysplastic
dog or one with respiratory problems winning a fight. Thus, fighting tended to
weed out the unfit dogs, and this, in turn, meant that the gene pool
enjoyed excellent quality, health-wise.
Not so today, when an increasingly limited gene pool suffers from many
defects. We've stopped culling the inferior ones ("I know nothing
about this dog's joints, or his respiratory system, but he did win the
BlablaSBT club's annual Specialty Show, so I gotta use him at stud like
everybody else is doing!"), and we're slowly beginning to realize the results
The Fancy has asked for this situation, and we have no one to blame but
One of Sweden's most famous geneticists said: "The broadest standards
are the only ones which will work over a long period of time if you've
got your breed's welfare in mind." On dog shows, he said:
"Dog shows are a nice pastime for pet owners, but no one can ever breed
dogs for show while still claiming any seriousness whatsoever."
I could quote him on other matters, but let me sum it up for you: A little
less narrow view on what constitutes a typy dog will work wonders for
the genepool...... That is, don't limit your choice of stud to the
"famous" ones. Make sure the ones you use are healthy and mentally
sound. As I said, you might have to bide your time waiting for that big winner
when you breed from "unknown" dogs, but it should be worth
Thank God for backyard breeders! The ones who never heard of Black Tusker,
the ones who'll breed their not-so-fabulous bitch to the neighbor's
not-so-fabulous dog. They are -- unintentionally of course, --
preserving the breed's gene pool. Can you imagine the day when the
"top breeders" ask Mr Nobody for the use of his scruffy-looking
"stud" since their own stock is too crippled from different
hereditary diseases thanks to injudicious use of inbreeding? That would
be beautifully ironic!
This, I believe, will happen some day, and that's why I, myself, refuse to
"jump on the train." I'm perfectly happy with my own
"ugly" dogs, and I honestly believe that I'm doing the Breed
a favor by breeding from those "nondescript" dogs. I try to keep my
own strain going, and, some day, someone will certainly find it a
Want to make sure you've got an escape route? Create your own inbred
strain. Never mind about showpoints......let the fancy ones pop up
where they may. Your duty is NOT to breed show winners, your duty is to
preserve what our forebears saved for us.
About hereditary diseases in the stafford; I have come across the
following, in the breed:
HD and, since the number of dogs in this country being x-rayed is
increasing, I think we will begin to see the percentage drop.
Juvenile cataracts, this has turned up in the breed in this country; since
there is no DNA test for this in our breed, there is no way to trace
Progressive retinal atrophy; to the best of my knowledge, only one stafford
has ever been diagnosed with this. That was my old stud dog, J.R. He
was diagnosed by a CERF Vet, and since he was 9 years of age, had
already sired all the pups he was going to. I took him to the UT Vet
Hospital (as well as the progeny of his that I had in the house at the time)
and had them all ERGed (electro-retina-graph), none of his progeny
showed any signs of the disease. an inbred daughter of his was tested
at UAr the same way and she showed no signs of the disease. In talking
to the Vets at UT, we came to the following conclusion; J.R. had a PRA
appearing condition. This conclusion was reached due to the following reasons;
J.R.'s PRA was asymmetrical, and he had been hit by a car at 18 mos. of age
and the eye affected worse was the one away from the side of his head
that the car hit. The Vet felt that this was probably the reason for
the condition. By the way, none of the staffords down from J.R. has
ever shown any signs of PRA.
I count straight stifles, upright shoulders, bad ears, bad mouths, bad
toplines, etc, as structural faults that can be corrected with
breeding. While they are passed on genetically, they are not
detrimental to the animal's being able to exist in society comfortably.
Opinions differ on what a Stafford should look like.
There is a man in the U.K. which has been involved with Staffords for over
40 years. He's a Ch. show judge, occasional breeder, and a good
He bred a bitch that stands 18 inches and around 40 pounds. She was put to
a 16 inch dog out of his breeding and a good litter may be on the
His dogs can do all the Standard describes and then some. They are based on
Rapparee lines with little if any Tusker at all.
There is a dog called Black King in the pedigrees of many Rapparee dogs, a
different Black King altogether from the one that is Black Tusker's
Great to hear! This is what I'm talking about. My spirits are raised every
time I find this sort of stuff, and it's very typical that the man
who's "guilty" of this type of breeding is an old-timer.
I suppose you mean the ORIGINAL Black King by Somerville Black Bomber x
It's a Pal. Very definitely a different dog from Tusker's sire.
The Ch (Eng) Black Tusker we've
been discussing was owned by Malcolm Boam in partnership with Bates.
Its sire was the SECOND Black King by Rumbuster ex Bellerophon Wonder
Strange but true: Malcolm Boam's first show champion was Ch
(Eng) The Black Monarch (born in 1959) who was sired by
the original Black King (breeding as given by Magnus).
Further incidental information: The Black Monarch's dam was Atoms Choice
who, like the original Black King, was closely bred back to Brindle
Mick. From what I can trace on my incomplete database, Brindle Mick
appears 34 times in The Black Monarch's pedigree - 20 on the sire's
side and 14 on the dam's side.
I was fortune enough to see The Black Monarch in the flesh and to import
two of his daughters into Finland where one became the foundation of
Finland's most successful kennel. He's an all-time favorite of mine..
My earlier concern with M-Line stock stemmed from the fact that the M-Line
has come to dominate the Breed and consequently most of the hereditary
diseases we're concerned about are found in the M-Line. Nevertheless,
there are still plenty of good, sound, typy M-Line dogs in existence,
perfectly good for breeding programs.
Even so, most M-Line dogs trace directly back to Brindle Mick in EVERY
(male) line, and although it's not strictly correct to us the term
almost every bitch in the pedigree is an M-Line bitch. This does NOT
necessarily spell t - r - o - u - b - e today, but it should serve as a
warning, for it inevitably means trouble within two decades unless breeders world-wide
suddenly "get religion" and begin to breed AND cull more with
infinitely more care than they have until now. Realistically, one can
hardly expect this to happen.
Now Juanita has brought it to our attention that a much more recent
specimen, Black Tusker, has come to appear in the pedigrees of the
great majority of winning show dogs in all major Stafford countries --
to a degree that is somewhat alarming, primarily because Black Tusker
is so recent. Now for a few thoughts specifically on this dog and what he means
to us all:
a) Black Tusker was a superb specimen and prepotent sire as his record
indicates. He obviously brought some outstanding qualities to the
Breed, and for that we must be grateful.
b) Some of Black Tusker's descendants may have spread hereditary defects in
the Breed, but I'll wager that if we check the record we'll find that
such cases result from unwise intensive inbreeding between Black Tusker
descendants, coupled with a total lack of culling, so the blame -- if
any is to be allotted -- cannot be laid at the doorstep of Black Tusker
himself or his breeder or even of his inbred descendants -- but rather at the doorstep
of the foolish folk who practiced inbreeding among Black Tusker's descendants without
ruthlessly culling the unfit.
c) If there is any danger connected with the appearance of Black Tusker in
so many winning pedigrees, it would be cases in which Black Tusker
appears often, occasionally seven or eight times, in a three-generation
pedigree. Even in these cases, no "clear and present danger"
exists (unless afflicted offspring crop up) but certainly the potential for trouble
is there. But for the most part, that peril can be avoided by judicious
outcrossing and/or linebreeding coupled with draconian culling.
d) Use of the terms "R-Line" and "M-Line" is neither
modern nor scientific and cannot serve as legitimate genetic
descriptions. Rather, today they can and do serve a kind of book-keeping
function whereby we can keep track of how many red beans are in the red pile
and how many brown beans are in the brown pile.
e) To the best of my knowledge, modern R-Line Staffords descend exclusively
from Ch. Bandits
Brintiga who covered not only a variety of bitches from the
R-Line and J-Line but mostly bitches from the M-Line.
f) M-Line Staffords probably outnumber R-Line Staffords fifty to one (or
more), but oddly enough the smallish population of R-Line Staffords
constitutes one of its greatest strengths: nobody can possibly keep
track of the world's M-Line Staffords and their breeding, the numbers
being so huge, but it is quite possible to keep track of the world's important
R-Line Staffords and their breeding. Being a minority, R-Line breeders have
not only the means to work together cooperatively but the incentive.
g) "Working together cooperatively" means nothing more or less
than helping each other to maintain and improve a separate genetic
strain of Stafford against the not-too-distant day when M-Line problems
become even more severe and virtually universal. It does NOT mean being
or acting anti-M-Line in any way. In fact, it means quite the opposite: being
in a position to HELP M-Line breeders when the time and opportunity are
h) We need to keep our own counsel and avoid the temptation of trying to
convert established M-Liners to our way of thinking. There's no need to
run through the streets with our hair on fire, screaming that the end
of the Breed is approaching. Equally, it would be foolish and even
counterproductive to avoid Black Tusker bloodlines as a matter of principle
or to proclaim from the rooftops the "purity" of R-Line stock.
i) Rather, we need to continue to share our knowledge and skills with each
other, to breed the kind of Staffords that please us, and to follow
Matthew Arnold's dictim: "The great thing is to see the [Stafford]
world steady and see it whole."
j) And not take any guff!
I guess we are left with what Magnus said: we all have to develop what we
feel, as individual breeders, is the correct type and develop our own
lines. Carolyn and I are breeding from stock that Nancy Malec brought
down from some Rapparee stock and others. It is M-Line stock, but I
think basically sound. One fault we have to guard against is over-shot
My point is that we are all breeding from a line or from individual dogs
and bitches that someone else once bred. Now it is up to us to produce
stock for future breeders. Some of us have one or two litters and call
ourselves breeders while others are trying to develop a line. All may
contribute to the Stafford gene pool of the future. But the most influential
are probably the ones that develop a line. To do this you must do some
I believe that our problems are multi-faceted. We are further from the
original stock with no true outcrossing for hybrid vigor, we have the
capability to detect genetic flaws like HD that we couldn't or didn't
20 years ago, and we haven't followed individual breeding programs with
criteria for inclusion and exclusion.
As much as I hate to disagree with Steve, the first dogs imported to the US
and everywhere else had to have genetic defects that were inherent to
Not so, Paul, not at all!
I imported the first-ever Stafford into Finland in 1964 and over the next
two years imported about 20 others for Finnish friends, one of whom was
Dr. Hakon Westermarck, President of the Finnish State Veterinary
College. All these Staffords were especially selected by John Gordon so
that the bloodlines would be compatible for future breeding, but they
were chosen completely at random as far as HD was concerned because the problem
was utterly unknown in the Staffords of England at the time.
Because many breeds in Finland, NOT Staffords, were suffering extensively
from HD problems, Dr. Westermarck undertook to test ALL Staffords
imported into Finland as well as ALL their offspring until about 1972.
By 1972 Dr. Westermarck had vetted about 150-170 Finnish and British
Staffords and had not found a single case of hip dysplasia. By then the
Stafford population in Finland had grown too unwieldy to allow him to
conduct carefully controlled scientific investigation, even in so small
a country, so his program became voluntary.
When Dr. and Mrs. Westermarck visited our home in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1988,
he said that two cases of HD-afflicted Staffords had been identified
and removed from breeding programs.
Thus, Dr. Westermarck established it as a scientific fact that HD was
non-existent in the Breed circa 1970.
When I moved back to Pasadena, California, in 1966 and started the
SBTC/USA, I was in constant mail contact with John Gordon in England,
the Cookes in Canada, Marion Forester in New Zealand, Lois Davidson in
Australia, Colin Smith in Finland, and many other fanciers in all parts
of the world where Staffords lived. Naturally I kept close tabs on America's
exponentially-growing Stafford population, so one might say in today's idiom
that I was really clued in.
During those years, I never ONCE even heard of Stafford having skin rashes
or allergies of any kind. Not once was a Stafford diagnosed with
demodectic mange, cleft palate, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy,
entropion, respiratory ailments, digestive problems, immune deficiency
problems, or any hereditary health defects that afflicts a sizable percentage
of today's Staffords in America.
And more important, MUCH MORE IMPORTANT, we had not one single case of any kind
of iffy temperament such as shyness or nervousness, much less biting a child
as has occurred four times that I know of in the last year or two.
So the original Staffords that came to America were truly trouble-free, not
the case today.
All hereditary defects, physical and otherwise, come from recessive genes
waiting for an opportunity to express themselves in individual
specimens. Every breeder sooner or later produces a puppy with
undesirable characteristic from parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents
that were completely free of it. These recessive characteristics may hide
for generations, skip every other generation, or otherwise pop up unexpectedly
although they were "hiding" in the parents' genotype all the
while because it takes two parents carrying the same recessive to
produce a puppy exhibiting them.
In Staffords, as in most breeds, most desirable traits are dominant and
nearly all undesirable traits are recessive. If that happens to be
news, I encourage the reader to think about the consequences that this
In 1984 I imported a bitch from England, her name was Parabellum Pretty
Pinney; her sire was Truestaff Bosun, her dam was Constones Unatee.
At age 5, after she had been spayed, the concern about HD reared it's head
and I had all my staffords (I then had 4) x-rayed. Two got numbers with
good ratings, these were Bullseye Abominog (J.R.) my inbred stud dog
and Ch. Barkers Bulwatch Ohmygosh (Ohmy [J.R.'s daughter]). Pinney and
her daughter Ch. Barkers Fujiar (Fuji) were both grade 2 dysplastic. I
notified all owners of Pinney's pups and Fuji was never bred from.
Since those two staffords, none of mine have come up dysplastic, so I take
that to show that Pinney was the source, and she was my import. HD
exists in England; I even went so far as to send a duplicate set of
x-rays of Fuji's hips to the vet that worked with Vic Pounds and Lilian
Rant on their book. Vic Pounds delivered them to the vet and waited while he looked
at them. The vet's only comment was, "Oh."
It would seem that heads are buried in the sand in more countries than just
AND there will be additions as time goes by...