breed
breed

American Staffordshire Terrier

avatarChristy McDowell, LVT, VTS (ECC)

Height17 - 19"
Weight40 - 70 lbs
TypeTerrier
Life Expectancy14 - 16 years
Area of OriginUnited States

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

The American Staffordshire Terrier, or AmStaff, is a loyal and clever dog. The breed got its start in the arena, but years of careful breeding has toned down the desire to fight, resulting in a devoted family-friendly pet. Care must still be taken to socialize and train the AmStaff to minimize wariness and aggression.

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

Where Do American Staffordshire Terriers Come From?

The American Staffordshire Terrier’s origin is an unfortunate one. In the late 1800’s, Americans imported English dogs to compete in the sport of dog fighting. The AmStaff is a cross between the bulldog and terrier, which created a powerful, agile, and courageous brawler.

After dog fighting became illegal in the early 20th century, breeders reduced the aggressive tendencies so prized by their earlier owners, leaving the loyal and protective AmStaff we know and love today. The Staffordshire Terrier was accepted by the AKC in 1936, but the name was changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972 to differentiate from the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is smaller and lighter than its American counterpart.

Where Do American Staffordshire Terriers Come From?

The American Staffordshire Terrier’s origin is an unfortunate one. In the late 1800’s, Americans imported English dogs to compete in the sport of dog fighting. The AmStaff is a cross between the bulldog and terrier, which created a powerful, agile, and courageous brawler.

After dog fighting became illegal in the early 20th century, breeders reduced the aggressive tendencies so prized by their earlier owners, leaving the loyal and protective AmStaff we know and love today. The Staffordshire Terrier was accepted by the AKC in 1936, but the name was changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972 to differentiate from the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is smaller and lighter than its American counterpart.

Care

What Kind of Diet Does an American Staffordshire Terrier Need?

American Staffordshire Terriers require a nutritious diet. They tend towards obesity, so monitoring calorie intake is a must.

Caring for an American Staffordshire Terrier

What Kind of Diet Does an American Staffordshire Terrier Need?

How Much Grooming Does an American Staffordshire Terrier Need?

Are American Staffordshire Terriers Healthy Dogs?

Do American Staffordshire Terriers Need to Be Trained?

How Much Exercise Does an American Staffordshire Terrier Need?

What Kind of Diet Does an American Staffordshire Terrier Need?

American Staffordshire Terriers require a nutritious diet. They tend towards obesity, so monitoring calorie intake is a must.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of an American Staffordshire Terrier?

American Staffordshire Terriers have a strong, stocky build that is also agile and graceful. Their average height is 18 – 19″ at the shoulder for males and 17 – 18″ for females.  They generally weigh 40 – 70 pounds.

Cropping is not a necessity. It was historically done to protect against injury in dog fighting. Many regions, especially in Europe, are banning the practice of ear cropping, since it is unnecessary for companion animals and not required by the AKC. Naturally, ears are short and folded. The head is broad, with a pronounced forehead and well-developed musculature.

The body of the AmStaff is strong and compactly muscled. The shoulders are wide and the chest is broad. The back is short and slopes slightly from the shoulders to the rump when viewed from the side.

Yes. The AmStaff tail is straight and short in proportion to the rest of the body.

The forelimbs are straight and wide set to accommodate a broad chest.

The AmStaff’s coat may have varied color and markings. Their fur is short, with no undercoat.

The hind legs are well muscled and slightly shorter than the front legs. Feet are compact.

American Staffordshire Terrier Facts

1

Stubby, an American Staffordshire Terrier, became the most decorated dog during World War I, rising to the rank of Sergeant.

2

Petey, from the 1930's film series "Our Gang," was a well-known AmStaff.

3

The Buster Brown Shoes' logo features an AmStaff named Tiger.

Other Breeds to Explore

Choosing an Airedale
Choosing an Australian Terrier
Choosing a Bedlington Terrier

References

  • American Kennel Club. The Complete Dog Book. Random House Digital, Inc., 2006.
  • Morris, Desmond. Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square, 2002.
  • Wilcox, Bonnie and Chris Walkowicz. The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World. T.F.H Publications, Inc., 1995.

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