History & Overview
The breed was originally called the Staffordshire Terrier, and its modern name of American Staffordshire Terrier was introduced to avoid confusion. The breed is a cousin of the American Pit Bull Terrier bred to be fighting dogs.
When the American Kennel Club gave the breed new name, it insisted that any animal registered with the AKC could never be used in organized dog fighting. The Amstaff has become a popular breed because of his loyalty and the affection that he shows if appropriately raised.
Training for these dogs is very critical and should be completed at an early age. With those he loves, he is docile, gentle, and obedient. But one should bear in mind that these dogs have a potential for ferocity in their genetic background.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is an average of 15 inches tall and weighs up to 80 pounds.
At A Glance
Country of Origin:
FCI Classification: Group 3 – Terriers; Bull type Terriers
AKC Classification: Terrier Group
Any color, solid, parti-colour, or patched is permissible; but more than 80% white, black and tan, and liver not to be encouraged.
9 – 15 years
Devoted, gentle and loving. They make excellent guard dogs and protectors of property. They are known for their strength and courage. His courage is proverbial.
These dogs need early socialization.
Suitability for Children:
Their stable temperament makes them a very reliable companion for children, especially when they are raised around kids from an early age.
Amstaffs are high energy dogs and need plenty of exercise.
Easy to train. Amstaffs compete successfully in agility, fly-ball, obedience and working trials. Since these dogs tend to be dominant, early obedience training is a must. They are sensitive to ‘harsh correction’, so training must be approached gently.
Health & Behavioral Issues:
This is a very hardy breed. Eye problems may occur in older dogs.