american-staffordshire-terrierAmerican Staffordshire Terriers or Amstaffs are American dogs bred in the 1800s for use by farmers. They come from a mixed British heritage including the British Bulldog, The White English Terrier, The Fox Terrier and the Black and Tan Terrier.

Although they are often confused with their English cousin, The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Amstaffs are generally bigger.

Personality

Amstaffs are caring and loyal dogs who will do just about anything to please their loved ones. It is this instinct that makes them excellent companion dogs. Being a strong breed, early socialization and obedience training is a must.

While they will protect their family, an Astaff is generally not a good choice for a guard dog due to its people-loving nature. It’s this eager to please attitude which makes training an ease. A well-trained Amstaff is a pleasure to own and will give you many years of loyalty and companionship.

Upkeep

American staffs have a short coat requiring only an occasional brush and a bath, depending on their outdoor activities. They are very easily groomed.

These dogs have moderate energy levels, and need about 30 minutes to one hour of exercise a day. Despite being stocky and muscular, they can be easily prone to weight gain so the exercise is important to keep off the excess kilos and provide stimulation.

Like all dogs, Amstaffs require regular tick, flea, intestinal worms and heartworm treatments. Consult your veterinarian on treatment options. Desexing and vaccination against diseases, such as the deadly parvo virus and highly infectious canine cough, are also important to discuss with your vet.

Compatibility

Amstaffs do best with lots of human interaction. They love to play and enjoy being able to keep watch over their human companions. However, like all dogs allowed to interact with children, activities should be supervised.

Amstaffs need careful introductions to other pets. Being a terrier, they have strong prey drive and this needs to be considered, especially if you have cats or rabbits.

They will be comfortable in an apartment so long as they get plenty of time outdoors. They are very strong dogs and can be destructive if bored. Strong/high fencing is a must as Amstaffs are very good at climbing and jumping.

Fact file

Breed classification Terrier
Size Medium
Origin USA
Lifespan 12 – 14 years
Colors Any color, solid, parti or patched
Cost $1000+
Common hereditary problems Cerebellar ataxia, congenital heart disease, elbow and dysplasia, luxating patella, thyroid dysfunctions, eye problems and skin disorders