American Staffordshire Terrier

The Amstaff, a cross between the old English Bulldog and one or more terriers, was truly “made in America.” Originally known as the Staffordshire Terrier, American was added to the names to avoid confusion with their British counterpart, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Bred as an all-around helper for hunting, farming, and guarding, the AmStaff is a strong and dependable breed that openly displays courage and loyalty. While these qualities, makes them wonderful companions, they have also made the AmStaff desirable breeds for dog fighting. While this is a small piece of the breed’s history,some municipalities today now have regulations limiting the ownership of bully-breeds including the American Staffordshire Terrier. It is important to check the regulations of your city or even your building before welcoming home an AmStaff.

Today’s AmStaff is typically too people-friendly for a guard dog job, although he may alert owners of new arrivals. AmStaffs may, however, take the “job” of chasing away new dogs or animals a bit more seriously. Its medium size makes it suitable for life in a large apartment or small house, as long as it gets lots of daily exercise.

Fairly easy to train, the AmStaff thrives in a family committed to obedience work. Since they may have a tendency to be unfriendly toward other dogs, early socialization is critical. Their personality is typically gentle with family children, but given their strength and on-the-move personality, experienced supervision is always a good idea.

AmStaffs can excel in obedience, agility, and tracking. Families with AmStaffs have a special opportunity to bring the dog out in public to demonstrate the breed’s abilities and friendliness…to counter the sometimes bad press the bully-breeds receive.

The American Staffordshire Terrier

Ready to please

Are you and the American Staffordshire Terrier a match?

Terrific for a person who:

      Has plenty of “know-how” on training enthusiastic breeds.


      Plans to include the dog on jogging and hiking adventures.


    Would rather work with a dog than coddle him.

Think twice if you’re a person who:

      Wants your dog to celebrate having guest animals come calling.


      Is convinced obedience training is for sissies.


    Considers a long walk to be two blocks.

Care and Maintenance of an American Staffordshire Terrier:

The short coat of the AmStaff makes for generally easy grooming.

The Standard Look:

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a strong, athletic dog. Males measure up to 19 inches at the shoulder (55 to 65 pounds); females are usually an inch shorter and 5 to 10 pounds lighter. The coat is short, close, stiff and may be any color.

Possible Health Concerns:

This hardy dog is known for being resistant to disease.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Medium Dog Breed
Any color combination, excluding all white, predominantly white, black and tan or liver.

Short, close and stiff.


Occasional grooming.

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
AKC Group:
Terrier Group
UKC Group:
17 to 19 inches at the shoulder
Proportionate to height
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