The American Staffordshire Terrier!

The American Staffordshire terrier (also called AmStaff) was a well-known fighting dog back in the 1800s, developed by crossing the bulldog with several types of terriers. The development of this type of fighter dog began in England, where it was known as the Staffordshire Bullterrier. After it was brought to America, where it was enhanced to have a stronger head and sturdier build, the result of further modification was established as a separate breed from the English counterpart. The modern breed is quite muscular, strong, and agile, with a tough head, sturdy jaws, and a scissors bite. It has dark, round eyes, usually cropped ears, and a short, dense, and shiny coat.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
11-14 years

Energy Level:
Aggresive towards other dogs.

Living Conditions:
Sensitive to cold. Must be on leash or in secure area.


Exercise Needs:
Vigorous yard play. Daily walks.

Breed Group:


16 to 19 inches

55 to 70 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Large variety of colors.

National breed club:
The Staffordshire Terrier Club of America

American Staffordshire Terrier Skills

After dog fighting was made illegal in the US in 1900, the American Staffordshire terrier gained popularity as a show dog, yet a separate strain remained to have the same fighting ability. This fighting strain was later recognized as a different breed, named the American Pit Bull terrier. The American Staffordshire terrier is now gentler in temperament, and makes quite a manageable pet, as it shows great talent in agility, guarding, and weight pulling. It is also a good watchdog, and does well assisting with police work.

American Staffordshire Terrier Personality

The American Staffordshire terrier is a confident, extroverted, and cheerful dog that tends to be quite obedient and affectionate towards people. It is known to have a high tolerance for pain, having been an adroit fighter in the past. When it comes to its owners and their belongings, the Staff is protective and trustworthy. However, it is known to fight when provoked or when its family or owners are threatened. It should also have proper socialization at an early age to curtail its tendency to be aggressive towards other dogs.

Exercise Needs

This energetic breed will benefit greatly from daily walks on a leash and vigorous games, though one will do well to keep it separated from other dogs to avoid fights.

Living Conditions

This terrier breed does best in warm climates, and is amenable to apartment living, as long as it is given adequate exercise time. Life outdoors is possible, though it could be happier sharing space with its family.

Grooming Requirements

Regular brushing and occasional bathing will do for the American Staffordshire terrier, as well as some toweling to polish its coat.

Health Issues

The American Staffordshire Terrier is quite a healthy breed, though cases of hip dysplasia, congenital heart disease, and inherited cataracts have been recorded.

If you liked this dog…

...those who enjoyed the American Staffordshire terrier as an active companion and watchdog might also like the Border terrier, a smaller breed that is easier to train and does well in earth dog trials. You might also consider the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a breed from very similar blood lines.


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