American Staffordshire Terrier

Excellent Guard Dog Who Will Fight to the Death to Protect You

American Staffordshire Terrier

This Excellent Guard Dog Who Will Fight to the Death to Protect You, Is Gentle and Devoted as a Pet

Strong, courageous, and gentle, the American Staffordshire Terrier is an exceedingly intelligent breed that is a normal, happy, outgoing, stable, and confident dog. However, as a "pit bull" breed, it has gotten a bad rap as a vicious dog, which is actually not true. The "pit bull" we think of as dangerous is one that has been bred to fight – and is often treated very cruelly to make it a more vicious fighter.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is very obedient, friendly, and trustworthy and actually makes a very good family pet for both children and adults. In fact, this is a very good dog to have for children. It also makes an excellent guard dog because it will protect and is fearless if provoked to fight. With a very high tolerance for pain, the American Staffordshire Terrier will literally fight to the death if necessary for your protection.


The American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as the Amstaff, was first bred in Staffordshire, England, in the 19th century. In the first part of century, the Bulldog was bred, and those Bulldogs strongly resembled today's American Staffordshire Terriers, even more so than today's modern day Bulldogs. While it's not quite known just how the modern day American Staffordshire Terrier came to be, some say that it was bred from the Black and Tan Terrier, the White English Terrier, or the Fox Terrier, crossbred with the Bulldog of that day to develop today's Staffordshire Terrier. The breed was variously called the Pit Bull, Bull and Terrier Dog, or the Half-And-Half, until it assumed the name of Staffordshire Bull Terrier in England. As early as 1870, the dogs made their way into America, where they also had their own names, including the Pitt Dog, American Bull Terrier, and lastly, the Yankee Terrier.

In 1936, the breed, now named the Staffordshire Terrier, was accepted for registration by the American Kennel Club for its studbook. In 1969, it ultimately became the American Staffordshire Terrier. This modern Terrier is heavier than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England. While originally popular, the Amstaff began to decline in popularity after World War II in the US.


Exceedingly strong, muscular, and stocky, the American Staffordshire Terrier has a broad, powerful head, with a very strong jaw. The high-set ears are cropped or uncropped, with the latter preferred for show. The coat is stiff, glossy, and thick. All colors are permissible, including solid, patched or parti, although the AKC does not allow more than 80% white. The tail is undocked. The AKC calls the breed the "American Staffordshire Terrier," while the United Kennel Club calls it the American Pit Bull Terrier. In adulthood, this Terrier stands 16 to 19 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 57 and 67 pounds.


Unfortunately, the American Staffordshire Terrier has been unfairly maligned because of its "pit bull" moniker. Dogs that are in the "pit bull" class include the American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, and the American Pit Bull Terrier, as are mixed-breed dogs that are a combination of these breeds. The American Bulldog and Dogo Argentino are also considered types of pit bulls although genetically they differ from true pit bulls. While "pit bull" breeds have often been unscrupulously bred to be aggressive for the sole purpose of dogfighting, reputable breeders who produce the American Staffordshire Terrier are very careful to develop dogs with the desired personality traits of the family pet and companion these dogs crave to be. When purchased from a reputable breeder and properly trained, the American Staffordshire Terrier is extremely friendly, loves to work, make excellent pets and enjoy being part of the family.

That said, even though the American Staffordshire Terrier is a very friendly, happy, eager-to-please breed when trained properly, there can be some difficulty with other dogs in the family. While exceedingly gentle and devoted to its owners, your pet is also very protective of you and even with everything done properly will fight to the death if necessary – especially if you are threatened. Therefore, the American Staffordshire Terrier should only be adopted by families and individuals who are willing to provide the proper training. In addition, make sure to pay attention to any "dangerous dog" laws in your state, as these dogs may be restricted in some areas.


This dog tends to be very happy and healthy, living between 9 and 15 years. American Staffordshire Terriers can be prone to congenital heart disease, hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, skin allergies, heart murmurs, and thyroid problems. Tumors can also be a problem. Because this dog has a high threshold for pain, it is important to be aware of any difficulties it may be having. If your dog acts depressed or has unusually quiet behavior as compared with its usual frisky or rambunctious demeanor, for example, visit the vet right away. Serious health problems may be able to be addressed if caught early enough.

Proper Environment

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a very energetic dog. Although your pet can have a happy existence in an apartment, this breed needs lots of exercise. A daily walk is at least necessary, but plenty of vigorous play will also help use up some of the boundless energy you may find yourself at odds with! Do not get this breed if you don't plan to spend a lot of time with your pet, since this dog is very affectionate and will be most well-adjusted if you provide plenty of attention.

Although not typically a dangerous dog in regard to the breed itself, some areas have "dangerous dog" restrictions on this breed simply because all "pit bull" types may be seen as dangerous. Although attacks on people are rare to nonexistent for the American Staffordshire Terrier, that is not the case for attacks on other dogs. Therefore, it's not advised that you keep other pets in the household with you when you've got an American Staffordshire Terrier, especially other dogs.


The hard, smooth, shorthaired coat is very easy to groom, and simply requires brushing with a firm bristle brush on a regular basis. Dry shampoo or bathe only if necessary. If you rub your pet's coat down with a piece of chamois or toweling, your pet's coat will shine. Your pet sheds an average amount.


Adopt an American Staffordshire Terrier.

Retrieved August 4, 2013.

AKC Meet the Breeds®: Get to know the American Staffordshire Terrier.

Retrieved August 4, 2013.

American Staffordshire Terrier.

Retrieved August 4, 2013.

American Staffordshire Terrier (Staffie) (Stafford) (Staffy) (Staff) (Am Staff) (Amstaff) (American Staffy).

Retrieved August 4, 2013.

American Staffordshire Terrier Guide.

Retrieved August 4, 2013.

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