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American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire's head is broad, the cheekbones pronounced, and the round eyes are set wide apart. They are smart and confident.

Overall Status

Height 17 to 19 inches
Temperament Confident, Smart, Good-Natured
Weight 50 to 60 pounds
Life Expectancy 12 to 15 years
Coat Color Black, Blue, Brown, White
Barking Level Medium

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The American Staffordshire Terrier is usually easy to groom. Brush his coat a couple of times a week to help manage shedding.

The rest is basic care.Trim the nailsas needed, usually twice a month.Brush the teeth frequently— with a vet-approved pet toothpaste — for good overall health and fresh breath. Check the ears weekly for dirt, redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian.

Exercise Tips

The American Staffordshire Terrier is an athletic, energetic dog such as requires a lot ofexercises. However, leaving the dog out in the yard all day is not the right approach. The AmStaff is a people-oriented dog who thrives when he is made part of the family. Long play sessions with his owner develop his physical and psychological health.

In addition, many AmStaffs enjoy taking part in canine sports suchas obedience,agility, and dock diving. AmStaffs are even trained in search-and-rescue and excel at it.

Feeding Tips

In general, American Staffordshire Terriers need a high protein, low grain diet, which helps prevent diarrhea and bloat. Choose a meat-forward pet food that’s formulated for a mid to large size dog. Always make sure that they have clean, fresh water for drinking.

However, their diet needs, including the amount and frequency you feed them, will change over time as they age. Work with your veterinarian to figure out an individualized diet plan for your dog.

Health Tips

The Am Staff is a robust, healthy breed, and aresponsible breederwill screenbreeding stock for these health conditions such as caninehip dysplasia, cardiac disease, and skin and coat allergies.

A genetic test has recently been developed for cerebellar ataxia, which causes a progressive decline in muscle coordination, first appearing between ages 3 and 5 years; now, by identifying dogs with the mutation, breeders can avoid producing it in their bloodlines.

As with all breeds,the earsshould be checked regularly, and thedog’s teethshould be brushed often.


Early socialization andpuppy training classesare recommended for all breeds, but given the AmStaff’s strong will, physical strength, and exuberance, they are a necessity. The breed’s intelligence and desire to please make training a fun, easy process.

Even so, certain behaviors, such aschewing and digging, may be hard to resolve. It must be noted that dog aggression can develop even in well-socialized Am Staffs; an AmStaff should never under any circumstances be left alone with other dogs.


The American Staffordshire Terrier's roots can be traced back to 19th century England. The Bulldogs and terriers of the time were crossed to create a dog that possessed desirable attributes of each breed. The result was an agile and energetic terrier with the Bulldog-like perseverance and confidence.

The breed was originally called the Bull-and-Terrier Dog, Half and Half, or Pit Dog. Eventually, it became known in England as theStaffordshire Bull Terrier. Sadly, the dogs were most commonly used for fighting until the early 20th century when dog fighting was made illegal.

The Bull-and-Terrier dogs came to the United States towards the end of the 19th century where they became known as Pit Bull Terriers and then American Bull Terriers. Though there is some disagreement on the details, it is said that these dogs were not widely used for dog fighting like their ancestorsbut were more commonly used for general farm work, hunting, and companionship.

As time went on, the breed was developed into taller dogs with larger builds than their English counterparts. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1936 as the Staffordshire Terrier. The name was changed in 1972 to differentiate between the shorter, smaller English version (today'sStaffordshire Bull Terrier). Today, the two are completely separate dog breeds.

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