American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Breed
American Staffordshire Terriers are intelligent, eager-to-please dogs known best for their muscular stature and physical strength. Also known as the American Staffy, they’re also a highly affectionate breed that enjoys nothing more than spending time with their humans. In this article, we’re going to break down the basics of the American Staffordshire Terrier and help you decide if this is the right breed for you.
- American Staffordshire Terrier Characteristics
- American Staffordshire Terrier Origin
- American Staffordshire Terrier Personality
- American Staffordshire Terrier Appearance
- Adopting An American Staffordshire Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier FAQs
- American Staffordshire Terrier Price
- Additional Resources On American Staffordshire Terriers
American Staffordshire Terrier Characteristics:
|Life Span: 12-16 Years||Grooming: Basic||Child Friendly: Yes||Tendency to Bark: High|
|Health Issues: Low||Shedding Level: Minimal||Apartment Friendly: No||Tendency to Drool: Medium|
|Energy Level: High||Adaptability: Poor||Pet Friendly: No||Tendency to Chew: High|
|Exercise Needs: High – Minimum of an hour a day||Social Needs: Moderate||Affection Level: High||Trainability: High|
American Staffordshire Terrier Origin:
American Staffordshire Terriers, despite their names, were actually first developed in England. The result of crossbreeding between Bulldogs and Terriers, these Staffordshire Terriers made their way to the United States around 1850. This is how they eventually gained their namesake and became known as American Staffordshire Terriers instead.
Here are some fast facts about the American Staffordshire Terrier’s history:
- American Staffordshire Terriers were originally used for a variety of physical tasks due to their strength and tenacity. Their duties ranged from managing bulls, hunting down wild boars, catching rats and helping out with farm work.
- The breed became associated with the stereotype of having an aggressive nature after being used in illegal dog fighting rings as well as blood sports, such as bull-baiting.
- In the 1970s, their name was officially changed to ‘American Staffordshire Terrier’ as the breed was developed to be larger than the original Staffordshire Terrier during their time in America. Thus, the American Kennel Club felt the need to distinguish the two.
- American Staffordshire Terriers were integrated as family pets relatively early on in their history, thanks to their highly affectionate nature.
American Staffordshire Terrier Personality:
American Staffordshire Terriers have often been described as highly trainable, intelligent and eager to please. However, if not guided by a confident owner, they’re likely to become a bit too eager in most aspects of their lives – such as dog walking, or in this case, ‘human walking’ by pulling ahead on their leashes. They’re also affectionate and love being around the people they care about.
Here are some of the principal personality traits of American Staffordshire Terriers:
- They’re highly intelligent dogs. While this trait is favourable, as it makes them easy to train and bond with, it also comes with the necessity of keeping your American Staffordshire Terrier mentally stimulated at all times. If they get bored, they’re likely to use those strong jaws of theirs to chew on everything and anything.
- American Staffordshire Terriers are a confident breed, and they require confident owners. If they’re not brought up by a strong, confident hand, these dogs are likely to boss their humans around.
- They’re super affectionate pups. Despite their reputations as stand-offish guard dogs, American Staffordshire Terriers are very friendly canines! They’re likely to greet strangers with licks and other gestures of affection – and they love snuggling on the couch with their owners.
- American Staffordshire Terriers are social dogs – if trained from an early age. While these dogs may be friendly with humans, they can be a little bit hostile towards other pets unless they’re socialised from an early age.
- They enjoy being kept occupied. American Staffordshire Terriers are more of an agility dog breed, and as such, enjoy having work to do. Whether this is taking on the role of a running buddy or a service dog, these pups are always eager to perform.
American Staffordshire Terrier Appearance:
American Staffordshire Terriers are strong dogs, with stocky and muscular builds. Although they’re a medium-sized breed, they can weigh a fair amount (roughly up to 80 pounds or approximately 36 kilograms). They’re categorised by their wide heads and full cheeks, as most Bulldog breeds are. Males and females of this breed are similar in height and weight, with males usually being slightly larger.
Here’s a quick run-through of the American Staffordshire Terrier’s defining features:
- ‘Rose ears’ – American Staffordshire Terrier puppies are born with ears that fold over at the top, towards the back. These are described as ‘rose’ ears! Sometimes their ears are cropped shorter but this isn’t common.
- Stiff coats – American Staffordshire Terriers have short fur, with ‘stiff’ and glossy coats that come in a variety of patterns and colours.
- Wide muzzles – These dogs are recognised by their wide muzzles. When their mouths are open and they’re showing off their impressive teeth, they look like they’re smiling!
- Square-shaped noses – Like most Bulldog breeds, American Staffordshire Terriers have large, square-shaped noses.
- Broad chests – American Staffordshire Terriers are also known for their broad upper bodies, specifically their chest areas. This physical trait is what helps them give off such an ‘intimidating’ appearance.
American Staffordshire Terrier coat colours are known to come in:
- Fawn Brindle
- Black Brindle
- Red Brindle
- Mahogany Brindle
- Blue Brindle
- Blue Fawn
- Black and Tan Tri-colour
- Blue and Tan Tri-colour
- Black with Brindle Points
You can read more about the American Staffordshire Terrier’s different coat colours here.
Adopting an American Staffordshire Terrier
When it comes to looking at American Staffordshire Terrier puppies for sale, it’s important to keep several important factors in mind. When looking for American Staffordshire Terrier Breeders in Australia, make sure to be on the lookout for:
Breeders with multiple, trusted reviews and references, and a lengthy history with your dog breed of choice.
- Breeders who charge a high, or expected price. These professionals are more likely to produce puppies of a higher quality than those who offer cheaper prices.
- Breeders who are experts on the type of dog you’re looking for. When we say ‘experts’, we mean that they should know the ins and outs of this breed and be able to answer any questions right off the bat.
- Breeders who encourage you to meet either or both of the parent dogs of your soon-to-be American Staffordshire Terrier puppy. This helps you get a feel of the temperament that your puppy may have as well as any potential genetic conditions they may inherit.
- The recommendations of vets and other dog-related professionals, these are the first people you should consult with when on the search for a good breeder.
Use this guide as a ‘checklist’ or ‘guideline’ while looking for a dependable breeder.
Occasionally, it may be your preference to go to a shelter when looking to adopt an American Staffordshire Terrier. Although shelters are usually made up of older dogs, and purebreds aren’t as common, you’re sure to find a dog that will steal your heart. You should consider adopting through a shelter or rescue when:
- Looking for an older dog. Adult American Staffordshire Terriers or even older dogs have already grown into their personalities and have training, so they may adapt to their new homes with more ease than a puppy would.
- Looking to give a dog a new life. There are plenty of gentle, loving dogs waiting for a new home all over the country. If you’re not completely set or actively looking for a specific type or variant of AmericanStaffordshire Terrier, then we would thoroughly recommend considering this option.
If you’re more of a visual learner and are interested in knowing more about the AmericanStaffordshire Terrier’s origin, care requirements and trainability, we’ve linked a video that can help you further decide if this is the breed for you below:
American Staffordshire Terrier FAQs
Is the American Staffordshire Terrier aggressive?
No, AmericanStaffordshire Terriers aren’t aggressive dogs at all! In fact, they’re big ol’ softies! However, due to their violent history of being misused by humans in blood sports, such as bear-baiting as well as being used in dog fighting rings, these dogs have developed an unfair reputation for being hostile.
What are American Staffordshire Terriers bred for?
In their early days, AmericanStaffordshire Terriers were bred as farm dogs that were made to carry out physical tasks. Today, they’re bred for agility competitions as well as other dog sports, or just as watchful family companions.
Is a Staffordshire Terrier a Pitbull?
Technically yes, technically no. While AmericanStaffordshire Terriers are a recognised Kennel Club breed, Pitbulls are not. Rather, ‘Pitbull’ is used as more of a general category which various types of Bulldogs are put into.
Are American Staffordshire Terriers good with babies?
Yes, they are! When given the correct outlets for their energy, as well as an appropriate playtime schedule, American Staffordshire Terriers make for calm, loving companions towards children of all ages. It is, however, important to teach younger children how to play with their Staffies to ensure a safe experience for both parties.
Are American Staffordshire Terriers good family dogs?
Yes, they are! Although they can be rather boisterous, as long as these dogs are paired with a family that can regularly keep up with their physical needs, AmericanStaffordshire Terriers are wonderful family dogs.
American Staffordshire Terrier Price
On Average, AmericanStaffordshire Terrier puppies can cost anything from $500 upwards, depending on the breeder and parent dogs.
Additional Resources on American Staffordshire Terriers
- American Staffordshire Terrier puppies for additional information on the ins and outs of American Staffy puppies.
- Pit Bull breeds for a broader view into the world of Pit Bulls.
- American Staffordshire Terrier blue and what makes this kind of dog so special.
- American Staffordshire Terrier vs Pitbull because yes, there is indeed a difference between the two.
- American Staffordshire Terrier mix and the various crossbreeds between Staffies and other dogs.
- American Staffordshire Terrier price in Australia, these dogs don’t come cheap.
- American Staffordshire Terrier size, because how big are these dogs, really?
Remember, you should always do extensive research before choosing to adopt a dog. Adopting a new pup is exactly the same as bringing a new family member home, and you should always be prepared! You can read through a full guide on AmericanStaffordshire Terriers here if you’re interested in doing additional research on this breed.
If you do end up adopting an AmericanStaffordshire Terrier, Pet Insurance Australia is the place to get your pet insurance sorted! Contact us today for a quote, and we’ll help look out for your best friend, too.
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