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American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A muscular and loyal breed with a reputation for strength and courage.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.
Type:Mammal

Size:

American Staffordshire Terriers are considered a Medium-sized dog breed.
Weight:25-30 kg.
Height:43-48 cm (17-19 inches)
Length:45-48 cm.

Lifespan:

The average lifespan of an American Staffordshire Terrier is between 12 to 16 years

Behavior:

What type of dog is a American Staffordshire Terrier, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

American Staffordshire Terriers, also known as AmStaffs, are renowned for their loyal and affectionate personalities. They are intelligent and confident dogs that are highly trainable, making them popular choices for families and individuals alike.

American Staffordshire Terriers have a friendly and outgoing temperament. They are highly social dogs that love to be around people and other animals. They are also known for their protective nature, which makes them great watchdogs. However, they are not aggressive by nature and with proper training and socialization, they can be great family pets.

They have fun-loving and playful personalities. They are energetic dogs that love to play and run around, making them great companions for active families. They are also highly intelligent and enjoy learning new things, which makes them easy to train. They are loyal and affectionate dogs that love to be around their owners and will often follow them around the house.

American Staffordshire Terriers have high energy levels and need for exercise. They require daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They are also renowned for their strong prey drive, which means they may chase after small animals if not properly trained. They have strong chewing tendencies, so it is important to provide them with plenty of chew toys to keep them occupied.

In summary, American Staffordshire Terriers are friendly, outgoing and loyal dogs that make great family pets. They are highly trainable and love to play and run around, making them great companions for active families. With proper training and socialization, they can be great with children and other animals.

Intelligence

American Staffordshire Terriers are considered to be intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and are great problem-solvers. They are also highly trainable and excel in obedience and agility competitions. However, like all dogs, their intelligence can vary based on their individual temperament, training and socialization.

Trainability

American Staffordshire Terriers are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. However, they can be strong-willed and require a firm and consistent approach to training. Early socialization and obedience training are essential to ensure that they grow up to be well-behaved and well-adjusted dogs. It is also important to use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to encourage good behavior and avoid punishment-based training methods. With patience, consistency and positive reinforcement, American Staffordshire Terriers can be trained to be obedient and well-mannered pets.

Sleep

American Staffordshire Terriers typically sleep for around 12-14 hours per day, although this can vary depending on their age, activity level and overall health. Puppies and older dogs may sleep more, while younger, more active dogs may sleep less. It’s important to provide your American Staffordshire Terrier with a comfortable and quiet place to sleep, as well as plenty of opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation during their waking hours.

Bark

American Staffordshire Terriers are moderate to heavy barkers. They are vocal dogs and may bark to alert their owners of any perceived danger or to express their excitement or frustration. However, with proper training and socialization, their barking can be controlled.

Drool

American Staffordshire Terriers are not heavy droolers. However, like all dogs, they may drool occasionally, especially after eating or drinking. Overall, they are not considered to be a particularly drooly breed.

Lick

American Staffordshire Terriers, like many other breeds, vary in their licking behavior. Some may be more prone to licking than others, but in general, they are not excessive lickers. They may lick their owners as a sign of affection or to show submission, but if the licking becomes excessive or compulsive, it may be a sign of anxiety or other behavioral issues that should be addressed by a veterinarian or professional dog trainer.

Jump

American Staffordshire Terriers are athletic and agile dogs that are capable of jumping up to 5 feet high. However, their jumping ability may vary depending on their age, size and physical condition. It is important to provide them with proper training and exercise to prevent any injuries or accidents.

Dig

American Staffordshire Terriers have a moderate tendency to dig. They were originally bred for hunting and digging, so it is in their nature to dig. However, with proper training and exercise, this behavior can be minimized. Providing them with a designated digging area and plenty of mental and physical stimulation can also help reduce their digging tendencies.

Good Fit for You?

Is a American Staffordshire Terrier the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a American Staffordshire Terrier.

Exercise

American Staffordshire Terriers are a high-energy breed and require a significant amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They should receive at least 60 minutes of exercise each day, which can include walks, runs, playtime and training sessions. Additionally, they benefit from mental stimulation through interactive toys and games. It’s important to note that every dog is different and their exercise needs may vary based on age, health and individual temperament.

Space

American Staffordshire Terriers are medium-sized dogs that require a moderate amount of space. They can adapt to living in apartments or small homes as long as they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation. However, they thrive in homes with a yard or access to a park where they can run and play. Ideally, they should have at least 30 minutes to an hour of exercise each day, such as brisk walks, runs or playtime with toys. It’s important to note that American Staffordshire Terriers are active and energetic dogs, so they need enough space to move around and release their energy.

Apartment

American Staffordshire Terriers are not the best choice for apartment living due to their high energy levels and need for regular exercise. They are a medium to large breed and require a lot of space to move around and play. If you are committed to providing them with enough exercise and mental stimulation, they can adapt to apartment living, but it may not be the most ideal environment for them. It’s important to research and consider a dog’s needs and temperament before bringing them into your home.

Left Alone

American Staffordshire Terriers do not tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. They are social animals and thrive on human interaction and attention. Leaving them alone for extended periods can lead to separation anxiety, destructive behavior and other behavioral issues. It is important to provide them with plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and companionship to keep them happy and healthy. If you must leave your American Staffordshire Terrier alone for an extended period, it is recommended to provide them with toys, treats and a safe and comfortable space to rest.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, American Staffordshire Terriers can be great with kids and families. They are known for being loyal, affectionate and protective of their families. However, it is important to note that like any breed, individual temperament can vary and proper socialization and training is necessary to ensure a happy and safe relationship between the dog and children. It is also important to supervise interactions between dogs and children at all times.

Perfect Fit

An American Staffordshire Terrier would be a perfect fit for a household that has an active lifestyle and can provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They thrive in homes with experienced dog owners who can provide consistent training and socialization. They also do well in homes with older children who can handle their energy and playfulness. It’s important to note that some cities and states have breed-specific legislation that may restrict ownership of American Staffordshire Terriers, so it’s important to check local laws before adopting one.

Pros and Cons:

Like any breed, there are both pros and cons to owning an American Staffordshire Terriers. Here are five of each:

Pros:
  1. Loyal and protective: They are known for their loyalty and protective nature, making them great guard dogs and family pets.
  2. Athletic and energetic: These dogs have a lot of energy and love to play, making them great for active owners who enjoy outdoor activities.
  3. Intelligent and trainable: They are intelligent dogs that can be trained to do a variety of tasks, including obedience training and agility courses.
  4. Affectionate and loving: Despite their tough exterior, they are affectionate and loving with their owners, often enjoying cuddling and snuggling.
  5. Good with children: With proper socialization and training, they can be great with children, making them a good choice for families.
Cons:
  1. Strong-willed: American Staffordshire Terriers can be stubborn and strong-willed, making them a challenge to train for inexperienced owners.
  2. High energy: While their energy can be a pro, it can also be a con for owners who don’t have the time or energy to keep up with their exercise needs.
  3. Aggressive tendencies: They have a reputation for being aggressive and while this is not always the case, it is important to socialize and train them properly to prevent any aggressive behavior.
  4. Breed restrictions: Some cities and states have breed-specific legislation that restricts or ban American Staffordshire Terriers, making it difficult to own one in certain areas.
  5. Health issues: Like all breeds, American Staffordshire Terriers are prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, allergies and skin problems, which can be costly to treat.

Cost:

The cost of an American Staffordshire Terrier in Australia can vary depending on the breeder, location and pedigree. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,500 to $3,000 AUD for a purebred American Staffordshire Terrier puppy. It’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder who health tests their dogs and provides proper socialization and care for their puppies.

Breed History:

American Staffordshire Terriers were originally bred in England in the 19th century for the purpose of dog fighting. They were bred from a mix of bulldogs and terriers and were specifically selected for their strength, courage and tenacity.

When the breed was brought to America, breeders began to focus more on developing a dog that was friendly and loyal to humans, while still retaining their strong and protective nature. They were used as guard dogs, hunting dogs and as family companions.

Today, American Staffordshire Terriers are still used in some dog sports, such as weight pulling and agility, but they are primarily kept as loyal and loving family pets. They are courageous, strong and loyal and are often used as therapy dogs and service animals.

Current Usage

American Staffordshire Terriers are primarily kept as pets and companions. However, they are also used in various working roles such as:

  1. Therapy Dogs: American Staffordshire Terriers are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, which makes them suitable for therapy work. They are often used as therapy dogs in hospitals, nursing homes and schools to provide comfort and emotional support to people.
  2. Search and Rescue Dogs: American Staffordshire Terriers have a strong sense of smell and are highly trainable, which makes them suitable for search and rescue work. They are often used to locate missing persons in disaster zones or in other emergency situations.
  3. Police Dogs: American Staffordshire Terriers have a strong protective instinct and are highly trainable, which makes them suitable for police work. They are often used as police dogs to detect drugs, explosives and other illegal substances.
  4. Agility Dogs: American Staffordshire Terriers are highly athletic and agile, which makes them suitable for agility competitions. They are often trained to navigate obstacle courses and perform various tricks and stunts.

Overall, American Staffordshire Terriers are versatile dogs that can excel in a variety of working roles, but they are primarily kept as pets and companions.

Guard Dogs

American Staffordshire Terriers can make good guard dogs because they are loyal, protective and have a strong instinct to defend their family and territory. However, it is important to note that their temperament and behavior can vary depending on their individual personality and upbringing. Proper socialization, training and supervision are essential to ensure that they do not become aggressive or overly protective. It is also important to check local laws and regulations regarding ownership of this breed as they are sometimes restricted or banned in certain areas.

Where Are They Found?

American Staffordshire Terriers are most popular in the United States, where they originated. However, they are also popular in other countries such as Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Climate

American Staffordshire Terriers are best suited to moderate climates with temperatures ranging from 60-80°F (15-27°C). They can tolerate colder temperatures with proper shelter and insulation, but extreme heat can be dangerous for them. It is important to provide them with plenty of shade, fresh water and avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day.

Population

It is difficult to determine the exact number of American Staffordshire Terriers in the world as there is no central registry or database that tracks their population. However, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the American Staffordshire Terrier is currently ranked as the 81st most popular breed in the United States. Additionally, the breed is recognized by several other kennel clubs around the world, including the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC).

Physical Appearance:

American Staffordshire Terriers are medium-sized dogs with a muscular and athletic build. They have a broad head with a short muzzle and strong jaws. Their ears are typically cropped, but can also be left natural. Their eyes are round and set low on their face, giving them an intense and alert expression.

Their coat is short and dense, with a glossy appearance. They come in a variety of colors, including black, blue, fawn, red and brindle.

Overall, American Staffordshire Terriers have a powerful and sturdy appearance, with a balanced and proportionate body. They are famous for their strength and agility, making them excellent working and sporting dogs.

Coat:

Colours:

American Staffordshire Terriers can come in a variety of colors, including solid colors such as black, blue, fawn, red and brindle. They can also have white markings on their chest, face and feet. The breed standard allows for any color, pattern or combination of colors.

Hair/Fur Length:

American Staffordshire Terriers have short hair that lies close to their body.

Shedding:

Yes, American Staffordshire Terriers do shed, but their shedding is considered moderate. They have a short, smooth coat that requires minimal grooming. Regular brushing can help reduce shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny. It is important to note that shedding can vary depending on the individual dog and their health, diet and environment.

Grooming:

The American Staffordshire Terrier has a short, smooth coat that requires minimal grooming. They shed moderately and only require weekly brushing to remove loose hair and keep their coat shiny. Bathing should be done as needed, typically every 2-3 months.

As for haircuts, the American Staffordshire Terrier does not require regular haircuts as their coat naturally sheds and grows back. However, some owners may choose to trim their dog’s nails and clean their ears regularly to maintain their overall hygiene.

Hypoallergenic:

No, American Staffordshire Terriers are not hypoallergenic. They shed moderately and produce dander, which can trigger allergies in some people. If you have allergies, it is recommended to spend time with an American Staffordshire Terrier before bringing one into your home to see if you have a reaction. Regular grooming and cleaning can also help reduce allergens in the home.

Speed:

American Staffordshire Terriers can run up to 48 kph (30 mph).

Health:

American Staffordshire Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues that American Staffordshire Terriers may face include:

  • Hip dysplasia: a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Allergies: can be caused by food, environmental factors or flea bites and can cause itching, skin irritation and other symptoms.
  • Skin infections: can be caused by bacteria or yeast and can cause itching, redness and hair loss.
  • Heart disease: can include conditions like dilated cardiomyopathy, where the heart becomes enlarged and weakened, leading to heart failure.
  • Cataracts: a clouding of the eye’s lens that can cause vision problems and blindness.
  • Thyroid disease: can include hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy and other symptoms.
  • Cancer: American Staffordshire Terriers can be prone to certain types of cancer, including lymphoma and mast cell tumors.

Teeth:

American Staffordshire Terriers typically have 42 teeth.

Eyesight:

American Staffordshire Terriers have a relatively good eyesight, but like all dogs, their vision is not as sharp as humans. They have a wider field of vision than humans, which allows them to detect movement and objects in their peripheral vision. However, they have difficulty distinguishing between certain colors, particularly red and green. Additionally, some American Staffordshire Terriers may develop eye problems such as cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy, which can affect their vision.

Nipples:

American Staffordshire Terriers typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.

Gestation:

Litter Size:

The typical litter size for American Staffordshire Terriers is between 5 to 10 puppies. However, litter sizes can vary and some litters may have fewer or more puppies.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for American Staffordshire Terriers is typically around 63 days, although it can vary slightly from dog to dog. It’s important to monitor the pregnant dog’s health and provide proper nutrition and care during this time to ensure the health of both the mother and her puppies.

Heat:

American Staffordshire Terriers typically go into heat twice a year, although the timing can vary slightly between individuals.

Male vs Female:

Male and female American Staffordshire Terriers have some physical and behavioral differences. Males tend to be larger and heavier than females, with a more muscular build. They may also be more dominant and territorial, which can lead to aggression towards other dogs. Females, on the other hand, are generally smaller and more agile, with a leaner build. They may be more affectionate and easier to train, but can also be more prone to mood swings. Overall, both male and female American Staffordshire Terriers are loyal, energetic and loving companions, but it’s important to consider their individual personalities and needs when choosing a pet.

Tips and Advice:

American Staffordshire Terriers are loyal and loving dogs that require proper care and attention to maintain their health and happiness. Here are some tips and advice for caring for an American Staffordshire Terrier:

  • Provide regular exercise: American Staffordshire Terriers are active dogs that require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy activities such as walking, running and playing fetch.
  • Feed a balanced diet: A high-quality, balanced diet is essential for the health of your American Staffordshire Terrier. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best food for your dog’s specific needs.
  • Groom regularly: Regular grooming is important for your American Staffordshire Terrier’s health and appearance. Brush their coat regularly and trim their nails as needed.
  • Socialize early: Early socialization is important for American Staffordshire Terriers to learn how to interact with other dogs and people. Start socializing your puppy as early as possible.
  • Train consistently: American Staffordshire Terriers are intelligent dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement training. Consistent training can help prevent behavior problems and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
  • Provide mental stimulation: American Staffordshire Terriers are intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Provide them with puzzle toys and other mentally stimulating activities.
  • Regular vet check-ups: Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are important to ensure your American Staffordshire Terrier is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations.
  • Provide a safe environment: American Staffordshire Terriers are strong dogs that require a secure environment to prevent them from escaping or injuring themselves. Ensure your yard is securely fenced and supervise them when outside.
  • Be a responsible owner: As an owner of an American Staffordshire Terrier, it is important to be a responsible owner by following local laws and regulations, providing proper care and being a good ambassador for the breed.

Food:

American Staffordshire Terriers are medium-sized dogs and require a moderate amount of food. The amount of food they eat depends on their age, weight, activity level and overall health. As a general rule, adult American Staffordshire Terriers should be fed two meals a day, with a total of 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day.

American Staffordshire Terriers are food-oriented dogs and can be prone to overeating if not monitored. It is important to provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet and to avoid overfeeding or giving them too many treats. Regular exercise and portion control can help maintain a healthy weight for your American Staffordshire Terrier.

Facts:

Here are three interesting facts about American Staffordshire Terriers:

  1. American Staffordshire Terriers were originally bred for dogfighting, but their loyalty and affection towards their owners made them popular as family pets.
  2. Despite their muscular build and tough appearance, they are renowned for being gentle and loving towards children.
  3. The American Kennel Club recognizes American Staffordshire Terriers as a separate breed from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is a smaller and more compact breed.

Names:

American Staffordshire Terriers are strong, loyal and energetic dogs that often have a tough exterior but a heart of gold. Names that suit this breed often have a bold and powerful feel to them. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for an American Staffordshire Terrier:

1. Titan6. Roxy11. Nova
2. Diesel7. Apollo12. Ace
3. Athena8. Luna13. Ruby
4. Zeus9. Thor14. King
5. Maverick10. Harley15. Storm

Famous:

Over the years, many American Staffordshire Terriers have gained fame for their incredible feats, appearances in movies and TV shows and for being owned by famous people. Here are some of the most famous American Staffordshire Terriers of all time:

  1. Pete the Pup – Perhaps the most famous AmStaff of all time, Pete the Pup appeared in the Our Gang series of films in the 1930s.
  2. Sergeant Stubby – A decorated war hero, Sergeant Stubby served in World War I and was the first dog to be given the rank of sergeant.
  3. Tige – The beloved companion of Buster Brown, Tige appeared in advertisements for Buster Brown shoes in the early 1900s.
  4. Weela – A search and rescue dog, Weela gained national attention for her heroic efforts during the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
  5. Grunt – Owned by NFL player Michael Vick, Grunt was one of the dogs rescued from Vick’s dogfighting ring and went on to become a therapy dog.
  6. Wallace – A world champion disc dog, Wallace set multiple world records and won numerous competitions.
  7. Stymie – Another American Staffordshire Terriers who appeared in the Our Gang series, Stymie was known for his comedic antics and lovable personality.
  8. Hector – One of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring, Hector went on to become a certified therapy dog and ambassador for the breed.
  9. Colby’s Pincher – A famous show dog in the early 1900s, Colby’s Pincher was known for his impressive physique and showmanship.
  10. Ch. Fraja EC Thunder Cloud – A multiple Best in Show winner, Thunder Cloud was one of the most successful American Staffordshire Terriers in the show ring.

Summary:

The American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as Amstaff, is a medium-sized breed of dog that belongs to the Terrier group. It is a muscular and powerful dog with a broad head and strong jaws. The breed is known for its loyalty, courage and intelligence.

American Staffordshire Terriers have a history of being bred for dogfighting, but they have since become popular as family pets due to their affectionate and protective nature. They are good with children and make excellent watchdogs.

The breed’s history dates back to the 19th century when bulldogs and terriers were bred together to create a dog that was strong, agile and courageous. The breed was originally known as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but it was later developed in America, where it was given the name American Staffordshire Terrier.

They require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation and they thrive in active households. They are highly trainable and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. They require regular grooming, including brushing and occasional baths.

Overall, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a loyal, affectionate and protective breed that makes an excellent family pet for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to properly train and care for them.