The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, also known as the Staffie, can trace their origins to bloodsports such as bull baiting which took place in England prior to the nineteenth century. In these types of events pitted Bull and Terrier dogs against bulls, bears and other animals for the entertainment of both noblemen and commoners. These dogs are the common ancestor to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier, as well as the Staffie’s larger relatives, the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier.
While these events were outlawed in Britain in 1835 when some animal welfare laws were instituted, another terrible event took its place. Underground dogfights took place in both Britain and America, usually involving gambling and evading the eye of the law. Dogs bred for these fight were tested for gameness, and this led to the heartiness of the modern Staffordshire Bull Terrier.