THE STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER IS “THE FOREMOST ALL PURPOSE DOG “Let’s discuss exaggeration in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. General Appearance KC: Smooth coated, well balanced, of great strength for his size. Muscular, active and agile. AKC adds: “The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth coated dog. It should be of great strength for its size and, although muscular, should be active and agile.” It’s not vague. It’s pretty clear. Do not put forward a Stafford with bunchy muscles, wrinkles, overloaded shoulders, short necks, short muzzles, flat feet or heads the size of a blimp. We are not looking for a heavyweight – we are not looking for a racy specimen – we are looking for the ONE IN THE MIDDLE. And for good reason! In fact for many good reasons. When we balance capacity with efficiency we are more likely to find a specimen with good healthy stamina, strength and agility. We will find BALANCE. There is a movement across the world to put restrictions on producing breeds with health issues such as short muzzles. In some cases these dogs suffer from breathing difficulties such as overlong soft palate, tracheal deformities, stenotic nares and other structural and health related issues coming from exaggeration in structure. . The Stafford DOES NOT want to be added to the list of brachycephalic breeds. We want a muzzle that is no shorter than one third the length of the skull (look from the top or profile and measure). I recently learned that many people are misinterpreting the 1/3 to 2/3 ratio when it is written like that. It is not one to three or two to three. It is ONE THIRD to TWO THIRDS. One third muzzle length to two thirds skull length and don’t forget about the muzzle depth should be approximately one half the total head depth. (measure from underjaw/neck to occiput/topskull). Additionally, so very many people misinterpret the breeds responsible for our blended breed. The name says it all – Staffordshire (where they originated in UK) Bull (the now extinct bulldog which as far as we can tell resembled a leggy American Bull dog type) Terrier (from the now extinct English White Terrier which resembled todays Manchester). So a balanced Stafford is NOT like an English Bulldog mixed with a Terrier. Stop putting forth these cloddy heavy wrinkled stubby overloaded dogs. Crib and Rosa by Abraham Cooper  – These two are what the Bulldogs which make up the Stafford looked like English White Terrier Look for a clean head, no wasted effort/energy when moving, no wrinkles anywhere (none on head, face, shoulders, tails, legs – no wrinkles). I’m tired of seeing these huge headed sloppy bulldogs being put forward when there are clean examples presented. Stop being impressed by exaggeration. … In the country of origin, UK, at the end of the written Breed Standard for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier it is stated:  “Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.” This is a good reminder to not only look for the balanced Stafford, remember its origin, but also to balance your judging when in the ring with the breed. The AKC Breed Standard for the Stafford lists only three ‘faults’ and only three ‘serious faults’. Fault judging is to be avoided but these six points should be kept in mind when you find yourself faced with similar virtuous examples in your ring from which to select from.  Faults: “Non-conformity with heights to weights limits” - Our Standard calls for dogs 28-38lbs, bitches 24-34lbs with both dogs and bitches being 14” - 16” at withers. They should be balanced height to weight. BALANCE is the key word here. Get familiar with what 34lb bitches and 38lb dogs look and feel like. And remember a 14” dog is in Standard and is  balanced at 28lbs just as a 16” bitch is in Standard and balanced at 34lbs.  “ Dark eye preferred but may bear some relation to coat color. Light eyes or pink eye rims to be considered a fault, except that where the coat surrounding the eye is white the eye rim may be pink.” This means we prefer a dark eye but in a red or brindle dog, for example, there can be some consideration for a lighter brown eye. We do not want to see yellow, gray or blue eyes at all no matter what coat color.  “ A tail that is too long or badly curled is a fault .” This is self explanatory but to be taken into consideration as to the above paragraph regarding degree and affect upon health. Also, in the original point system the tail was valued at only 5 points. I’ve heard it said that if the Stafford has one thats half the points right there.  Serious faults: “ Pink (Dudley) nose to be considered a serious fault .” The Stafford nose needs to be black. Some argument of consideration could be made for the blue Stafford but even then we want the darkest possible pigmentation so that the nose appears black.  “ Full drop or full prick to be considered a serious fault .” A small, thin leathered tight ear held back close to the head would be preferred and safest in its original function, however there is consideration for a half prick ear. This means half, not 3/4 and never full drop or full prick. Either of those not only would affect hazzard in its original fuunction, but also gives a foreign expression. As well this differentiates the breed from other terriers.  “ The badly undershot or overshot bite is a serious fault.” The scissor bite is called for, and we want large well placed canines but as we also strive for a strong muzzle and underjaw, a slight under/over may not affect the original function - SLIGHT, not 'badly' over or under. . . however - we know that converging canines would affect the health and comfort of the Stafford. Those should be avoided even though it is not specifically mentioned. Again, it is worth repeating - please keep in mind the exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work when judging this breed. With only these few faults mentioned they should be easy to keep in mind.  … "I have known these two gents since the early seventies/ eighties. During that time we became great friends and much more, fierce competitive exhibitors for many years. Both, most knowledgeable Stafford men who were always around to impart their useful knowledge gained during decades of Stafford involvement. It was a sad day at Jim's departure, at the present day when meeting Malc' reminds me so much of those unforgettable years. " ---Norman…