AKC Dog Breeds: American Staffordshire Terrier

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Terrier Group
Height: 16-19 inches   Weight: 57-67 pounds  Color: mixed color with 80% white on dog

Courageous and strong, the American Staffordshire Terrier (Am Staff)’s athletic build and intelligence make him ideally suited to many dog sports such as obedience, agility, tracking and conformation. He is often identified by his stocky body and strong, powerful head. The breed’s short coat can be any color, and either solid colored, parti-colored or patched. The American Staffordshire Terrier originates in the United States, and was developed as a result of breeding bulldogs and terriers. This breed used to be known as the American Pit Bull Terrier, but then became known as the American Staffordshire Terrier. The breed was first registered with the AKC in 1936.

General Appearance
The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. His courage is proverbial. The stocky and muscular look of the American Staffordshire Terrier makes this particular dog breed not only impressive, but also slightly intimidating to strangers and other dogs. The strength of this agile dog is apparent from the outer appearance. With a powerful and broad head structure, the short muzzle is accentuated by a strong set jawbone. The ears of the American Staffordshire Terrier are often short and cropped. The coat of the American Staffordshire Terrier is short and glossy, creating a vibrant shine when well managed. It can come in a variety of colors and is easy to maintain. The eyes of the American Staffordshire Terrier are black and round, with a stern expression that can be perceived as both intimidating and alert. However, with a closer look, the American Staffordshire Terrier seems to be more of a lover than a fighter.


Confident, laid back, and easygoing, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a dog that makes a very loyal and devoted companion. Unfortunately, this breed has developed a reputation - not always justified - for having an appetite for destruction and aggression, although much of this has been down to poor breeding. Stable and outgoing, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a breed that will be fun to have around the house. They want to do nothing but please their master, so they will be willing to do whatever it takes to make you happy. However, that said, it should also be noted that the American Staffordshire Terrier is a dog that can be difficult to housetrain. You will need to spend extra time with these lessons to ensure this dog doesn't create a bathroom of your home's interior. Good-natured, amusing, extremely loyal and affectionate family pet. It is good with children and adults. It is an extremely courageous and intelligent guard dog that is very full of life. Over the past 50 years, careful breeding has produced this friendly, trustworthy, dog who is an especially good dog for children. Courageous and a persistent fighter if provoked. Highly protective of his owners and the owner's property, it will fight an enemy to the death if the enemy traps the dog in a corner and threatens its loved ones. This breed has a very high tolerance for pain.


The American Staffordshire Terrier does shed some hair, but is not a very heavy shedder. His short, sleek coat is easy to look after, and needs only occasional brushing. A rub down with a damp cloth will keep the coat looking clean and glossy. Bathing or dry shampooing should be used only when necessary. To really make their fur shine, you can use a clean car chamois on the surface. Moving this rag over the fur gives it a glossy sheen that will help your dog look healthy.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

A generally healthy breed. Some are prone to hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts and congenital heart disease. the American Staffordshire Terrier has a life expectancy of  9-15 years.

Activity Level

Daily exercise is paramount. Without it the American Staffordshire Terrier will become hard to handle. They need to be taken on long daily walks/jogs or runs. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human.


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American Staffordshire Terrier close up on dog encyclopedia
American Staffordshire terrier at Dog Encyclopedia