On particular dog can be traced back to the Ancient Britons fighting the Roman invadors. This dog could be recognized by its size, breadth of its head, the shortness of its muzzle, its strong jaw and its amazing courage. The Romans were very impressed and called them “broad-mouthed” or “pugnaces” dogs. At the time of the Norman Conquest, these dogs would be found bull and bear baiting and sometimes, even lion baiting. The bull baiting dogs were large and powerful, necessary if they were going to ‘throw’ the bull. The nature of bull baiting changed in time and they were tethered, so such a large dog was no longer necessary, but a smaller, lighter and quicker type of dog was required. This new breed was developed to hang on to the bull’s nose for a long time (do you recognize any connection with your Staffie and a stick held in the air?!)
The Staffie originated in the county of Staffordshire in the UK from the crossing of a Bulldog and a Terrier, probably a Manchester Terrier and other similar breeds. The Bulldog breeding the 19th century was large, fierce and formidable, not like today’s Bulldog. The Staffie was bred to produce a smaller and more compact dog that was much faster that the Bulldog. This breeding produced a very good dog for fighting, which was then banned, and rightly so, in 1835. However, the Staffie had already become a very popular dog when fighting was banned as they had proved themselves to be very good ratters, having terrier in their blood.