The Leather Collar
Why do we exhibit our dogs in their authentic Staffordshire leather collars?
The early show photos illustrate just how long standing the tradition is. At the first show held in 1935 with an entry of 60, all the dogs were presented on their original collars. When the English Staffie fanciers of the mid-1930's took their newly recognized breed into the show ring, the dogs wore, as photos clearly indicate, those collars. A practice which has continued to today. With the present day entries of up to 360 and more in England, staunch Stafford fanciers there continue to respect the characteristics and safety of our chosen breed by showing in their original collars.
Staffies wear their breed distinct collars both in and out of the show ring. The style of collar evolved because it afforded protection for the dog and control for the owner and, at one time, was probably common to many breeds of like origins. The collar and brass ornamentation came to reflect pride of ownership and to be a hallmark of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Collars are not just worn by haphazard chance or fad. They are worn to preserve a tradition which is very visible link to breed heritage and history.
It should be borne in mind that placing much a collar on a Staffordshire Bull Terrier does not mean that basic ring training can be ignored. Since the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is unique in wearing traditional collars in the show ring, it is important that owner and Staffie demonstrate that the collar gives control and enhances, rather than hinders, ring deportment.
By Squibs Mercier