American Staffordshire Terrier: A Powerful and Loyal Breed

American Staffordshire Terrier

Last Updated on October 11, 2023 by Fumipets

American Staffordshire Terrier: A Powerful and Loyal Breed


The American Staffordshire Terrier, often referred to as the “AmStaff,” is a remarkable breed known for its strength, loyalty, and gentle nature. This medium-sized dog is characterized by its well-defined muscles, short coat, and distinctive wedge-shaped head.

Originally bred for bull-baiting and later as a farm dog, the AmStaff has evolved into a beloved companion known for its unwavering devotion to its family. Their friendly and affectionate disposition is often at odds with their historical reputation, as they are one of the most loving and loyal breeds.

With proper training and socialization, AmStaffs can be excellent family pets and thrive in various environments. This breed has a strong desire to please and protect, making them excellent candidates for obedience training and various dog sports.

American Staffordshire Terrier

A medium-sized breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier weighs between 40 and 70 pounds. They are a contentious and difficult breed that has been outlawed in several places, including certain US states. This is mostly because they have a reputation for being a hazardous breed. There is no proof that they are especially more harmful than other kinds, however.

Breed Overview

Height : 16.9 – 18.8 in

Weight: 50 – 80 lbs

Lifespan: 12 – 16 years

Colors: Any color

Suitable for: Active families

Temperament: Friendly, attentive, devoted

Formerly, this breed was known as the American Pit Bull Terrier. The American Kennel Club does not, however, recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier and does not do so for the American Staffordshire Terrier. Even though there is still some debate over whether the two breeds are the same, they eventually split out into two substantially distinct groups.

Up until around World War II, this breed of dog had a fair amount of popularity until it started to wane. They are now about the 85th most common purebred dog in the US.

Puppies of the American Staffordshire Terrier are extremely prevalent at animal shelters and are quite popular in certain places. If you decide to adopt from a rescue, you may anticipate paying a reasonable fee for a lovely American Staffordshire Terrier puppy. Yet, the cost of American Staffordshire Terriers is expensive if you choose to buy from a breeder. You may be asked to pay even more for pups that are suitable for shows.

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If you pick a breeder, these dogs have often been carefully bred for both physical attributes and temperamental traits. This sometimes results in a nicer, healthier dog. This isn’t always the case, however. Some Staffies that are not pedigreed may be just as lovely and healthy.

An American Staffordshire Terrier puppy will likely grow up to be a healthy, loving, and affectionate dog, but bear in mind that they often fare poorly among other dogs.

Temperament & Intelligence of the American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier is first and first a family dog. They have a strong focus on relationships and are quite amiable. They are devoted and like taking part in all of their family’s activities. This might range from an intense play session to snuggling on the sofa. As they are more likely to joyfully meet a stranger than anything else, they do not make ideal security dogs.

These dogs may be quite aggressive. They need to have their high bodily needs satisfied. Otherwise, they could start gnawing on just about everything they can find and become pretty destructive. While playing, they may sometimes be a little intense, particularly if their requirements for activity are not being addressed. When these dogs get regular, adequate exercise, they behave much better.

The temperament of this breed toward humans is kind. They may, however, become aggressive when around other dogs. While these dogs are quite territorial, socialization may assist with this in certain cases.

Even if they are merely a companion dog, we advise giving this breed a task to complete. Any physical activity, including agility training, might help this dog feel accomplished and exhaust them. They have also had success in canine sports and obedience training.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Yes. For a family dog, this is about as nice as it gets. They have a strong focus on others and like both playing and cuddling. They are well-behaved and normally quite patient with youngsters as long as their activity demands are satisfied. There is a good reason why they are often called “nanny dogs.”

Due to their high energy requirements, these families thrive in an active household. Families that would want a dog to spend the day lounging on the sofa with them are not the ideal candidates for them. This dog definitely doesn’t match that description, although they do appreciate a nice snuggle after a strenuous walk.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

No. This breed does not get along well with other dogs. They are sometimes a little aloof and possessive. It is advised to socialize puppies early since this might teach them to tolerate other canines. Some dogs may adapt to living with many dogs if they are properly socialized. Many people who were raised with dogs seem to cope well with them. When brand-new dogs are introduced, a problem occurs.

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We strongly advise taking it easy when introducing your American Staffordshire and any other dogs you decide to adopt. This may really help to prevent canine aggressiveness.

Things to Know When Owning an American Staffordshire Terrier

Food & Diet Requirements

There aren’t many issues with eating for the Staffy. High-quality dog food works well for them, whether it is bought commercially or made at home with your veterinarian’s assistance. To meet the high-energy requirements of these dogs, the food should be rich in meat and protein. As they are often muscular and energetic, your diet choices should reflect this.

These dogs are very prone to weight gain if they are not adequately exercised. They have a strong obsession with food, and many of them will keep eating until they get unwell. It is crucial to keep an eye on their dietary intake due to these factors. Instead, kids risk easily overeating.

Of course, access to clean water should always be available.


This athletic, active dog needs a lot of exercise. Nonetheless, because of their focus on people, they often need to be trained in a social setting. It is not a good idea to leave them in a yard outdoors. The ideal choice is extended play sessions. Get some quality frisbees, tennis balls, and other similar toys.

Also, these canines excel in dog sports like agility. That is a simple approach to exhaust these dogs if that is something you are interested in doing.

Also, you must make sure that these dogs get the right kind of mental activity. They have a high level of intelligence and are quickly bored. We advise lots of obedience training and puzzle toys to keep these dogs occupied because of this.


Training these dogs is rather simple. They are very motivated by others and bright. Because of this, they’ll understand what you’re saying immediately and comply with your directions with ease. Classes for puppy training are highly recommended. As a result, there is less likelihood that the dog would become aggressive against other dogs as it grows and gets to know other pups. Also, these dogs often love training and react well to it.

Having said that, these dogs are prone to certain undesirable tendencies that could be challenging to change. Since they need such high levels of physical and mental activity, chewing and digging are two popular behaviors. They may act destructively if they are bored or aren’t getting enough exercise. The easiest approach to prevent this issue is to provide your dog with the exercise and entertainment they need.


There is hardly much grooming needed for these canines. Their short hair does shed quite a bit, so we advise brushing at least once a week to help get rid of all the hair that has fallen off. This will also assist in cleaning the dog’s coat of dirt and other particles.

If they are not given enough opportunities to take a bath, they will eventually acquire a “smell.” Most dogs likely only need grooming once a month. You will also need to give the dog a wash if they become very muddy.

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Regular nail trimming is advised since too long nails may become extremely unpleasant.

Health and Conditions

In general, this dog is in good health. Yet, they do have some illness susceptibility. They are somewhat susceptible to skin allergies, for example. You may want to pay more attention to what they consume since this may also be brought on by food allergies. They could also be more prone to urethritis. It’s crucial to have adequate water on hand to avoid this issue. Dogs that are dehydrated have substantially higher UTI risk.

As they age, these dogs may potentially get arthritis. They need more energy because of their bigger size. Their joints just get worn out from all the movement.

In addition, these dogs are often fairly healthy and not especially susceptible to any health issues.

Male vs. Female

The genders of this breed don’t vary all that much. They are so similar that it is difficult to tell them apart.

3 Little-Known Facts About the American Staffordshire Terrier

1. They aren’t technically Pit Bulls.

Pit Bulls are a common name for these dogs. Technically speaking, this isn’t true however. These canines are descended from the American Pit Bull Terrier initially. Yet through time, with careful breeding, they have transformed into something quite different.

2. The American Staffordshire Terrier are extremely easy to train.

These dogs are surprisingly simple to teach despite their reputation. They want to satisfy their folks and are clever.

3. This breed scores better on temperament tests than most.

In temperament tests, this breed does better than many others, which simply means that aggression is less probable in it. They perform better than Beagles, German Shepherds, and a variety of other well-known breeds. Despite this, breed prohibitions continue to often affect them.


Despite having a bad reputation, American Staffordshire Terriers are excellent family pets. All ages, even kids, get along well with them. When their requirements are addressed, they are often fairly gentle. We only advise them for active families since they are highly active. These dogs may get highly destructive and bored if they aren’t exercised.

They are excellent family dogs if you have the time and resources to dedicate to them.

5 Questions and Answers About the American Staffordshire Terrier:


What is the history of the American Staffordshire Terrier?

The American Staffordshire Terrier’s roots trace back to 19th-century England, where they were bred for bull-baiting. Later, they became farm dogs and eventually companions in the United States. They share a common ancestry with the American Pit Bull Terrier.


What are the typical characteristics of the American Staffordshire Terrier?

AmStaffs are medium-sized dogs with a muscular build, a short, glossy coat, and a broad head. They are known for their strength, agility, and loyalty to their owners.


Are American Staffordshire Terriers good family dogs?

Yes, with proper training, socialization, and supervision, AmStaffs can be excellent family pets. They are loving and protective, often forming strong bonds with children.


Do American Staffordshire Terriers have specific exercise needs?

Yes, these dogs require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. Daily walks, playtime, and engaging activities are essential to prevent boredom.


Are American Staffordshire Terriers aggressive?

Despite their historical background, AmStaffs are not inherently aggressive. Their temperament depends on their upbringing, training, and socialization. Responsible ownership and positive reinforcement training can help ensure a well-behaved and friendly dog.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a breed celebrated for its strength, loyalty, and affectionate nature. With the right care, training, and socialization, these dogs make wonderful additions to families and are sure to steal the hearts of those who meet them.



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