The American Staffordshire Terrier is commonly referred to as the Amstaff. This loveable dog is the 80th most popular dog in the United States. They may look intimidating, but these dogs are actually very affectionate and enjoy being around people.
Although a Pit Bull is not their own breed, American Staffordshire Terriers are most commonly referred to by those who are not in the know as just a Pit Bull. Other breeds that have been lumped into the Pit Bull umbrella are American Pit Bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They each have their own characteristics, but what they have in common is their ancestry.
Through massive misinformation and the highlights from some bad dog owners who have mistreated and neglected their dogs, these dogs have been given a bad rap. Because of their bad rap, there are many municipalities that have banned the American Staffordshire Terrier around the world.
American Staffordshire Terriers are known for being strong, upbeat, and ready and eager to please. They are also loyal, tenacious, brave, protective, and intelligent. These dogs love people. They just want to be around people all the time, but if they feel that their family is in danger they will do whatever they need to do to protect the people they love – even if it is against another human and even at the cost of their own lives if need be.
When training or playing, you will find that these dogs are full of energy. They can be a bit stubborn and want things their way, but with a gentle yet firm hand, you can teach them the ropes quickly. Once your American Staffordshire Terrier knows the line, they will be great playmates for you and your kids. They can be very gentle, even when they’re rough-housing.
American Staffordshire Terrier Breed Profile
Main Characteristics of American Staffordshire Terriers
The Amstaff, with their medium size and muscular body can look very intimidating. In reality, they just want to be a member of the family. They enjoy being included in every activity that you do and even curling up on your lap on the couch to watch a movie.
Many people can and do confuse the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull. The main difference is their size. The American Staffordshire Terrier was bred specifically to conform with the American Kennel Club, this said, the American Staffordshire Terrier is recognized where the American Pit Bull is not.
Size of American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terriers are medium sized dogs. On average, they will range from 15-19 inches high at the shoulder. This compact dog packs a lot of muscles in their little form.
They are able to withstand the play of toddlers and enjoy a good hard and rough play with their owners. Amstaffs can weigh between 30 to 85 pounds. Like most breeds, females are usually smaller than their male counterparts.
Lifespan of American Staffordshire Terriers
Many things can affect how long your companion will stay with you. How well he’s exercised, how much he eats, and even genetics can affect the length of his life. Most American Staffordshire Terriers will live to the age of 12-16 years old.
Keeping your dog in optimal shape can add a couple of years to his life, while letting him become obese can take years off of it. The less strain that your dog has on his body, the happier and healthier he will be.
Physical Characteristics of American Staffordshire Terriers
The American Staffordshire Terrier has a lot of similar characteristics to their other cousins in the Pit Bull family. Since they were all bred from the original Terriers that were used for bull bating, it’s no wonder that they have a lot of similarities.
Amstaffs come in many different colors. They include red, blue, brown, gray, black and white, and brindle. What you will not find is an all-white American Staffordshire Terrier. Their coats should be short, stiff and shiny.
American Staffordshire Terriers have very large, broad heads. With their medium length muzzle and powerful jaws with very pronounced cheek muscles, they will be able to chew through almost anything that you give them.
SIMILAR ARTICLE: English Bulldog Breed Profile
Their ears are set high on their heads, and they should be half pricked and not fully drooped. Their eyes are dark, round and set low into their skulls. An American Staffordshire Terrier’s eyes should be set far apart. They should not have pink eyelids.
This breed has a muzzle that is medium length and ends in a black nose. On the upper side of their muzzle it should be rounded and fall away under their eyes. Their teeth should be a tight fit with their upper jaw just slightly resting ahead of their lower jaw giving the American Staffordshire Terrier a slight overbite. There should be no loose skin around their lips and jaws.
They have strong muscled necks. This is a must have to keep their large, broad heads up. Their necks are slightly arched and go from the back of their head down to their shoulders and into their broad and deep chest.
Their backs are fairly short. There should be a slight sloping from their lower backs to their rump and stops at the base of their tails. Amstaffs have tails that are short and tapered ending off in a point. Oftentimes these tails will act like a whip, especially when the dog is excited. Their tails should never be docked or curled over their backs.
Their forelegs should be wide-set and straight to accommodate their wide, broad chests. Their body should taper down once passed their rib cages. Their hind legs are straight and should not turn in or out, but remain straight.
Living Arrangements for American Staffordshire Terriers
American Staffordshire Terriers are a medium energy dog. They require consistent daily energy and as long as they can get this, they can live almost anywhere. They require an experienced and confident owner. If you are not able to be the dominant member of the house, then this dog is not for you.
They make great companions when in the city, as long as when you go out for your walks they are on a leash. It is not suggested, and strongly discouraged, to take your Amstaff anywhere off leash or to a dog park. This will keep your pet and others safe.
When living in the suburbs, make sure to have your dog in a fenced in yard. An electronic fence is not enough for an American Staffordshire Terrier. With their high threshold to pain and their high prey instinct, this breed may pass over the boundary without stopping at the electronic fence.
The other downside to these fences is that they do not prevent other animals from coming into your yard. If it’s another dog, cat, or small animal, your Amstaff may go after it.
American Staffordshire Terriers are a great choice for anyone who lives a moderately active life and will have lots of time to have their canine companions by their side. These dogs are also great for young families with small children.
Most American Staffordshire Terriers are content when they live on their own. If you wish to have other animals in your house, make sure to socialize your puppy right away when they come home. This will help your dog to adopt these other animals into their pack.