The American Staffordshire Terrier is an affectionate and loving medium-sized family dog that is also known a “the Amstaff.”
These dogs are known to have high energy levels and are very powerful.
His origin can be traced back to the 1800s England where he was mainly used for fighting other dogs.
Nowadays his roles have shifted to more of a family dog and he is often confused for the American Pitbull Terrier. Both of these dogs are Pitbulls but they have some differences between them which we are going to briefly touch on later in this article.
Visit this American Pitbull Terrier Breed guide to learn more about his as a dog.
If you are looking for more information about this Pitbull breed you have come to the right place.
We are going to cover all the essentials about the Amstaff from his appearance to his traits and we are also going to look at how you can best take care of him.
So, why don’t we dive right into it?
Contents and Quick Navigation
- About the American Staffordshire Terrier
- General characteristics and appearance of the American Staffordshire Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier personality traits and temperament
- Frequently asked questions
- American Staffordshire Terrier puppies
- American Staffordshire exercise needs
- Dietary and nutritional needs
- Health issues of an American Staffordshire Terrier
- Pit Bull Terrier vs Staffordshire Terrier
- Breed summary
About the American Staffordshire Terrier
This dog breed is known by several names which include the following;
- Bull and Terrier
He is muscular and is also known for being strong but affectionate to the ones he considers to be family.
There is nothing that these dogs love more than being with their hooman friends, cuddling, playing, and spending time with them.
However, they need constant mental and physical stimulation, failure to which they may end up having some unwanted behaviors such as chewing on things due to boredom.
They should also be trained to let them know how powerful they are and to prevent them from pulling your leash every time you take them for walks.
These are great guard dogs but their love for humans makes their guarding abilities to be based more on intimidation and not other things. However, they are perfect watchdogs and will always let you know when things are not going accordingly.
They are also banned in several countries and states and you should make sure to check your rules of where you stay to make sure that he is not banned as per the local legislation.
So, where did this dog came from?
History and origin of the Staffordshire Terrier
The roots of the American Staffordshire Terrier can be traced in England back to the 19th century.
This pooch was originally known as the bull and terrier dog or pit dog.
They were created by crossing agile and energetic terriers with he confident bulldogs.
As time went by this dog was eventually known as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and was mostly used for dogfighting which was banned in the UK by 1835.
However, because this ban was difficult to enforce this canine continued being used to fight other dogs.
By the end of the 19th century, these dogs got their way to the United States where their names were changed to the Pit Bull Terriers and then American bull Terriers.
Here they were most commonly used to help in hunting, in farms, and were also kept as companions.
Pedigree and breed recognition
Both the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Terrier are recognized by the American Kennel Club.
AKC registered this dog in 1936 as the Staffordshire Terrier and later changed the name to the American Staffordshire Terrier to differentiate him from the English Staffordshire bull terrier.
Pros and cons of the Staffordshire Terrier
✓ These dogs are sociable, playful, and good-natured.
✔ They make great watchdogs and are very loyal.
✓ These dogs are intelligent and therefore highly trainable.
✘ They may have aggressive tendencies towards other dogs.
✗ These dogs have high exercise needs that may be too much for some dog lovers.
✘ They need a lot of socialization to make them perfect pets.
General characteristics and appearance of the American Staffordshire Terrier
|American Staffordshire Terrier Dog summary table|
|Height||Female: 17 to 18 inches, Male: 18 to 19 inches|
|Weight||Female: 40 to 55 pounds, Male: 55 to 70 pounds|
|Lifespan||12 to 16 years|
|Purpose||Family and companion dogs|
|Suitable For||Active and playful families|
|Color Variations||White, Blue, Black, Red, Fawn, Cream, Brindle, Sable, Pied|
|Health concerns||Heart problems, Hip and elbow dysplasia, skin conditions, Patellar luxation, and hypothyroidism|
|Temperament||Tenacious, Devoted, Friendly, Loyal, Attentive, Courageous, confident, Good-natured and smart|
|Other Names||Pitbull, Amstaff, Bull, and Terrier|
Amstaff height and weight
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a medium-sized dog.
Males can have a height of between 18 and 19 inches and weigh between 55 to 70 pounds while their female counterparts can have a height of between 17 to 18 inches and weigh anywhere between 40 to 55 pounds.
Staffordshire Terriers are muscular dogs that have solid frames and are agile for their size.
These dogs have sturdy heads, powerful jaws, and medium-length muzzles.
These Pitbulls have pointy ears that are high set and round dark eyes which are set wide apart. The tails should be short when compared to the rest of the body and should have tapering ends.
Amstaff shedding and coat appearance
The Bull and Terrier dog has a stiff, short, and glossy coat that comes in several colors and color combinations.
These colors include;
This coat does not shed much but blow out once every year.
American Staffordshire Terrier personality traits and temperament
A well socialized and trained Amstaff is usually happy, affection, and a friend that you can depend on. They are also intelligent loving and can prove to be steady and calm companions, to say the least.
These dogs have a tendency and eagerness to please their owners whom they form storing bonds with.
They would go to any extent to ensure that the ones are safe which makes them great guard dogs.
However, contrary to what many people believe the American Staffordshire Terrier is not aggressive to strangers. This is unless he is provoked and not well socialized but otherwise he will welcome strangers with lots of kisses and share some love with them.
You should note that despite having and intimidating appearance not all Staffies make great guard dogs. This is because of their overly friendly demeanor towards humans.
It is understandable if this canine’s physique and powerful appearance intimidate you but he is a great judge of character and will easily distinguish friends from foes.
|Ease of care||
Is the Staffordshire Terrier a great family dog?
The Staffordshire Terrier makes an exemplary addition to any active family and thrives on their affection and attention.
They are great and patient with kids but because of their size, they can sometimes play rough and forget how large they are. It is therefore crucial that you are there to supervise any interaction that this pooch has with young children.
When it comes to other dogs, he can tend towards being confrontational.
This is, especially for dogs that he has not been raised together with and another reason why he should be socialized from an early age.
These dogs are best suited as the sole pet.
Frequently asked questions
Is the American Staffordshire a Pitbull?
Technically, the Staffordshire Terrier is a Pit Bull. However, the term Pit Bull is broad and is used to describe dogs that were used in the now illegal sport of bullfighting. These dogs include the American Pitbull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and even the American Staffordshire Terrier.
Fact: The American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier have been bred separately for 50 years now. However, they still have a lot in common.
Is the American Staffordshire Terrier aggressive?
Originally, this canine was bred to for dog and bullfighting without being aggressive to their human companions. However, over the years and after the banning of these sports their roles changed and they became more of companions and family dogs. They may still be standoffish to other dog but they are never aggressive towards humans which includes even strangers.
The test carried out by the American Temperament Test Society(ATTS) backups this claim. These dogs have had a pass rate of around 87% which is even higher than that of America’s most popular family dog, the Golden Retriever, which has a pass rate of about 85%.
What is the lifespan of a Staffy?
The Staffordshire Terrier has a long life expectancy of between 12 to 16 years.
American Staffordshire Terrier puppies
Generally, a healthy Staffy mother can bare anywhere between 5 and 10 puppies.
These puppies often take anywhere between 18 to 24 months to reach their full size but they may not calm down until they reach 3 years of age. Staffy puppies are very playful and only calm down once they reach full maturity.
The approximate price of an American Staffordshire Terrier is anywhere between $800 and $1200 depending on your location and breeder. For superior lines and Staffy pedigree, you may be required to pay much more which can be upwards of $2500.
You must get your puppy from a responsible and reputable breeder and avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders at all costs.
Here is a pro guide that can help your find a good breeder.
You can also check the dog shelters in your area if you are considering adoption. The Save A Bull Rescue is also a great place where you can begin your search for a Staffordshire Terrier to adopt.
Other rescue organizations are;
- The American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Rescue Group directory.
- American Staffordshire Terrier Rescue.
Grooming a Staffy
The Staffordshire Terrier has a moderate grooming requirement and does not shed much.
Brushing the coat twice a week will help get rid of any loose hair and great reduce shedding. This also helps to distribute natural coat oils making the coat shinier and healthier.
Staffies are prone to developing dental conditions and will require frequent dental care through brushing and using dental chews and treats.
Never use human toothpaste on a pooch and consult your vet before using any dog paste.
The nails of an Amstaff will naturally wear out as he up and about but you should make sure that you invest in a quality nail clipper to trim the nails.
However, you need to keep in mind that this furry friend can be stubborn during grooming. Therefore, you should begin grooming him while he is still young for him to get used to the process.
American Staffordshire exercise needs
Meeting the daily physical and mental stimulation needs of a Staffy is essential to his well being.
Regardless of the type of exercise, you decide to go with whether it is daily walking and jogs, agility training going for hikes make sure that it is upwards of 60 minutes a day.
Avoid exercising him when the weather is hot as he is sensitive to heat.
Failure to meet his exercise requirements may get him bored, hyperactive, and could make him destructive.
Dietary and nutritional needs
The American Staffordshire Terrier should be fed on a high-quality diet that is formulated for large dogs.
Meat should be a base ingredient on the Staffy’s diet and the meal should also be low on grains which can trigger allergies and even upset the stomach.
Dry foods tend to be healthier than wet foods with more calories and fat to provide the dog with energy.
A raw diet is also a great option, however, you should consult your vet before preparing any raw diet for your Amstaff.
Divide the meals into three portions and never feed the dog all at once.
Small diet portions reduce the risk of gastric torsion also known as bloat which is lethal when it occurs in a dog and can also kill the pooch.
Provide enough clean water to the Staffy and monitor his diet ensuring that he does not get overweight.
|Daily calories||Cups of Kibble Per Day:|
An American Staffy needs and firm and consistent trainer that can provide leadership to the dog.
As much as Staffordshire Terriers are intelligent and very trainable they can also have a stubborn streak which makes training more challenging than it should be.
Training not only helps you as the dog owner but it also helps to boost the confidence of this often misunderstood dog.
Obedience training should be on the top of your priority when it comes to training this Pit Bull dog.
Once he is fully well trained and socialized this pooch makes a great addition to both individuals and families in general.
Health issues of an American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffy may be susceptible to some health conditions some of which are hereditary such as;
- Heart problems
- Hip and elbow dysplasia that results from the abnormal development of the hip and elbow joints.
- Skin conditions such as canine atopic dermatitis
- Patellar luxation
- Hypothyroidism is a hormonal condition that slows down the American Staffordshire Terrier’s metabolism.
Pit Bull Terrier vs Staffordshire Terrier
People often confuse the American Pit Bull Terrier with the American Staffordshire Terrier.
These dogs were once considered to be the same breed but they have been bred differently for more than 50 years now.
Some of the main differences between these two dogs are on their appearance. Pitties are heavier and taller than American Staffies but they have a wider weight difference range.
The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Pit Bull Terrier but is recognized by UKC and Continental Kennel Club.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a powerful and muscular that was originally bred to bull-baiting and was also used to fight other dogs.
Their intimidation appearance alone makes them great watchdogs but they are very friendly and sociable dogs.
You should always check the local laws in your about this dog and the insurance policy before getting an American Staffordshire Terrier.
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There you go, WOOF!
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