The SBTC/USA Club Bulletin No. 7
December 1, 1968
As of Thanksgiving Day, 1968, there were 95 Stafford residents in the U.S.A. In addition, three bitches in various parts of the country are believed to be in whelp, so that there may well be more than 100 by Jan. 14, 1969, which is the second anniversary of the founding of the SBTC/USA.
Because the vast majority of our members are relatively new, it has been decided to incorporate for their benefit some of the more important and interesting items from previous SBTC/USA Bulletin: 1) In order to avoid confusion in nomenclature, the (American) Staffordshire Terrier, a breed separate and distinct from our own, is referred to by us as the "AmStaff" while our own breed is designated as the Stafford. We hope that no Stafford owner will refer to our breed as "Staff" or "Staffie;" the latter in particular is unsuitable. 2) The proper collar for a Stafford is the two-inch collar-upon-a-collar" as can be seen in the photographs of English dogs. Thin collars are not recommended. Choke-chain collars are anathema in Staffordshire Bull Terriers and should NEVER be used under any circumstances. 3) The final paragraph of the SBTC/USA version of the Breed Standard reads as follows: "No exhibit whelped after January 1, 1967, shall be docked, cropped, de-whiskered, trimmed, or altered in any way except that the dew claws on the hind legs, if present, may be removed and the long hairs on the underside of the tail may be trimmed. Imported exhibits may have had the front dew claws removed." The final sentence means that imported exhibits may have had the front dew claws removed in the country of origin. Nevertheless, the main point is that we wish to keep the breed as close as possible to its state and condition in England. 4) Breeders should exercise care and discretion in choosing kennel prefixes and puppy names. These should in large measure be in harmony with the history of the breed, avoiding "Rover" at one extreme and "Twinkums" at the other.
The SBTC/USA continues to maintain its non-profit service to members in the area of books and collars. John F. Gordon's small book "Staffordshire Bull Terriers" is available at $2.00 a copy and his new large "The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Owner's Encyclopedia" at $6.50 a copy, postage prepaid. Beautiful hand-made Stafford collars are available at $8.00, postage pre-paid. Please specify your dog's neck circumference measurement.
American SBTC/USA members will find enclosed an application for membership in the American Kennel Association, the President of which is our member Mr. Claude Williams of Ashton, Md. Members will remember the AKA being mentioned in the recent Newsletter of the SBT Club of Canada, also. Membership is $10.00 and initiation fee is $2.50. The AKA is a registry of kennels and breeders, not dogs, that exits so that when a person wishes to invest in a quality dog he can get reliable guidance and help. The AKA hopes to be instrumental in helping get the Staffordshire Bull Terrier recognized as a breed in this country.
Colin Smith, one of our Overseas Members and the Breed Notes Correspondent for Staffords in the English weekly "Our Dogs" magazine recently wrote in his column: "Steve Stone writes from California that he has had considerable trouble explaining to American dog people concerning the traditional two-inch wide Stafford collar. The tendency in the USA is to use choke collars on all dogs of any size, and this, as all SBT Fanciers know, is Anathema in our breed. Whatever other breeds choose to do is their own business, but the English Stafford should never be subjected to the indignity of a choke chain. Some years ago in "The Stafford" Captain Warwick wrote a stirring defense of the traditional collar, and I suggest that a reprint of this article for his American friends would help convince them of the error of their ways. Captain Warwick was, of course, the foremost exponent of Obedience with Staffords and won all the top awards with his own animals. The sight of a sixty-odd pound AmStaff on a Poodle-type lead 'n collar must be a rare sight.
The article referred to by Colin Smith appeared in the Summer, 1954, issue of "The Stafford" magazine, pp. 14-15.
It reads: "...I should like to offer all Stafford fans solid reasons why they should stick to their guns in the use of the correct collar for the breed in spite of ill-advised comments to the contrary.
TRADITION: The main use of the collar in the days of blood sports and fighting Staffords was as a protection for the throat, a goodly target for the teeth of bears and wolves, etc... As blood sports were dropped, the broad collar continued as part of the equipment of the fighting dog. It is now as traditional for the Stafford to wear a studded, broad, and doubled collar as it is for Winston Churchill to be featured with a cigar.
SAFETY: Any fan knows what amazing strength even a small Stafford can pull out when faced with a canine challenge or other attraction, enough to snap an ordinary collar, and it is thus that a fairly broad collar over which a narrower one is superimposed become much more reliable in its ability to restrain the dog.
CRUELTY: If you like to strangle your pal whenever he shows that spirit for which you admire and breed, then use a choke or a narrow collar --- better still, get another breed! Vocal cords and nerves can be bruised or damaged by their [choke chains, narrow collars] use and quite a lot of ear trouble is caused in the same way.
CONTROL: The choke collar has been widely advertised both on TV and in the Press for training purposes. For Heaven's sake, don't use one, least of all for a Stafford. This shining chromium-plated toy traps and pulls the skin and hair of the neck and all but garrotes the dog, especially when put on the wrong way round, and few know the right way.
Even our German Shepherd friends complain of the way a choke collar tears the hair of the neck, making the dog unfit for show. As for control in training, the choke is the most inefficient collar I know. Instantaneous messages must be transmitted to the dog through the lead and collar, and the leather lead and collar cannot be bettered; with the slipping chain collar (the choke) quite an appreciable time lag occurs before the choke tightens and conveys its message to the dog, a time lag which is always too late for its purpose even though it is only a fraction of a second, and the shock of the tightening finally eliminates all sense of obedience in the fear of being strangled. I pray you, don't use it.
Stick to your old-fashioned broad collar which conveys the message instantly and does it like a gentle push of the palm of the hand instead of a hangman's noose.
APPEARANCE: No one can deny the beauty of the well-poised and rippling-muscled picture of the Stafford and by the same token the appropriate Stafford collar enhances in the mind's eye psychologically, the restraining of power, and actually supplements the sense of strength.
On the other hand, the narrow collar insults the dog and conveys subconsciously, a sense of weakness and comes as a sort of anti-climax, after being impressed by power, to see in what manner that power is held. It seems as futile as a piece of rope to hold a locomotive... Having put these points in favor of the Stafford collar before you, I think they show overwhelmingly why the Stafford fancier should run true to tradition and character, like his dog. The collar being a legal necessity, give him the best, one that should last a lifetime and longer, become an heirloom. So please, fancier, run true to tradition, and may the Choke be applied to its user for experience.
In the past three months we have added 17 American members to our ranks, an increase of 50% over the previous membership. Thus including American, Canadian, and Overseas Members, our membership totals nearly 100, 52 of which are American members. Through the good offices of Larry Rant, who also arranges the duplication of the Bulletins, all members names and addresses have been recorded on IBM cards and have been reproduced on IBM gummed labels for paste-on address, thus reducing the work of the Secretary by a considerable margin. Because of the numbers of new American members, we are reproducing herein a new alphabetical list of members and their addresses as specified by the IBM machine. Please inform the Secretary of any and all inaccuracies.
There are only 51 names on the following list. The 52nd is that of Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Kenworthy, 776 Camino Del Sur, Goleta, Calif, who purchased Loggerheads Cinch, a two year old brindle stud dog just recently imported from Mrs. Marion Forester of New Zealand, after the IBM machine had finished its work.
(List omitted due to length.)