American Staffordshire Terrier: Dog Breed Profile

American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier exudes an impression of unmatched power. This medium-sized dog has essential physical characteristics, the result of the cross between Bulldog and Terrier breeds.

In everyday life, the American Staffordshire Terrier is an excellent companion dog as long as it has been properly educated and does not encourage aggressiveness.

Other than that its a  gentle, tender, affectionate with its owner. It’s patient and receptive. It’s also endowed with great intelligence.

In this Shelterapet breed article, we will detail with you everything you need to know about the American Staffordshire Terrier if you are thinking about adopting one.

Other names: American Staffordshire Terrier, Amstaff, Pitbull Terrier


The origin and early history of the American Staffordshire Terrier are closely related to the history of the American Pit Bull Terrier. The amstaff has its origins from those dogs that helped British butchers to control and kill the most dangerous bulls.

Later, the ancestors of these wonderful dogs were used in different cruel activities, which today are considered illegal in most of the world. These activities included bullfights and dogfights.

Over time, the American Staffordshire Terrier shed the stigma of dogfighting and was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Until then, the breed was known as the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Subsequently, the amstaff was officially separated from the pit bull and it’s young developed separately. However, for a long time the dogs of this breed were registered twice as “American Staffordshire terrier” with the AKC, and as “American Pit Bull Terrier” with the United Kennel Club.

Today the amstaff is recognized by the AKC and the International Cynological Federation, while the pit bull is not recognized by these entities.


The American Staffordshire terrier, or also known as “amstaff”, is an aesthetically plump and muscular but very agile dog. The head of the American Staffordshire terrier is broad and powerful, with a medium, rounded muzzle at the top, jaws are also very powerful.

The eyes are set low on the skull and widely spaced. They should be round and dark. The ears are set high and should be rose-shaped or semi-erect, they should never be cut off.

The neck of the American Staffordshire is thick, of medium length, somewhat arched and without dewlap.

The body of these dogs must be robust and muscular, as well as squat and plump. The back of the American Staffordshire terrier is short and slopes slightly from front to back. The chest is deep and wide.

The tail, set low, is thick at the base and gradually tapers towards the end. It is short in proportion to the size of the body and the dog does not carry it on its back or curled up.

The American Staffordshire Terrier has a short, stiff, glossy coat. Any color is accepted, such as white, black and tan, and liver.

The height at the withers for males is between 17 and 19 inches. The height at the withers of the females is between 16 and 17 Inches.

The breed standard does not specify a weight, but American Staffordshire terriers typically weigh between 55 and 66pounds.


The American Staffordshire Terrier is a cheerful, confident, curious, and people-friendly dog. Despite the bad press that all “bull” breeds receive, the amstaff is usually a very sociable and especially outgoing dog.

As is the case with all dog breeds, its character will be closely related to the education it receives.

It is generally a very calm dog within the home, affectionate, and very attached to all members of the family. It will get along wonderfully with young children if we get it used to it from the start and educate our children to interact appropriately with it.

Outdoors, the amstaff becomes more active and dynamic, seeking varied stimuli that encourage play and fun. Its a charming and affectionate dog, very tender, who transmits everything it feels with its deep gaze. Those who have enjoyed an amstaff by them side will know well what we are talking about.


Caring for an American Staffordshire terrier is very easy. To begin, we will talk about the care of the coat: having short hair, the amstaff will need us to brush it once or twice a week with a soft tip brush since a metallic one could cause skin injuries.

We can bathe It every month and a half and up to every two months (or when it’s really dirty). With these tips, Its hair will remain shiny and healthy for a long time and it is a naturally clean dog.

On the other hand, the American Staffordshire terrier is a dog that gets bored with some ease if it is alone, reaching separation anxiety if it spends too much time without company.

For this reason, we recommend that you leave a variety of toys and teethers available, as well as intelligent toys since you will promote their fun and stimulate their mind.

The most recommended is the kong (black), a toy that will help it relax and it’s impossible to destroy. Give it a try if your amstaff is somewhat nervous.

The American Staffordshire terrier needs regular and active exercise combined with games and stimulation of all kinds.

If physically well maintained, It can adapt to living in tight spaces like apartments. Ideally, the amstaff should enjoy 2-3 walks a day of at least 30 minutes each. In these walks, you will allow it to sniff and relate.


The very sociable nature of the amstaff allows the first part of his education to be carried out with great ease. We are talking about the socialization of the dog , an essential process for our puppy to learn to relate well with other dogs, other animals, and with people.

It will also be very important that in the future you do not have related behavioral problems such as fear, reactivity, or inappropriate behaviors.

To properly socialize an American Staffordshire terrier we will start from its puppy stage (after the administration of vaccines) to relate to all kinds of living beings and take it to different environments.

It is very important that all these experiences are positive and pleasant for it so that It can relate everything correctly and not suffer rejection of certain stimuli.

Also in its puppy stage, it will learn to urinate in the street and to bite properly.

Later, we will begin to work on basic obedience: come, sit down, be still … Teaching it will not only help us improve our relationship and communication with the dog, but it will also help us ensure its safety at all times.

To teach it, we will always use positive reinforcements. We must never punish this dog, which, due to its sensitivity, rejects this type of behavior, making it a sad and apathetic dog.

Having learned the basics, we must continue to review everything we have learned, at least once or twice a week. We can also teach It fun tricks or get It started in some kind of dog sport, which it will greatly appreciate.


In general, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a very healthy dog. But for this percentage to be fulfilled, we must be aware that it will be essential to follow the dog’s vaccination schedule strictly and visit the specialist with an appropriate frequency.

Every 6 months is usually an adequate number. However, they may have a slight tendency to develop:

  • waterfalls
  • Heart problems
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Demodicosis
  • Disorders of sexual development
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

To avoid possible disorders of sexual development, it will be highly recommended to sterilize our dog, an option that will also help us avoid unwanted litters, excessive sexual attitudes, and other health problems.

As we have mentioned, if we visit the professional regularly we can detect any of these problems quickly, so that the treatment can be carried out more effectively.

In addition to this, it will be helpful to sanitize Its teeth, ears, anal glands and remove the gums on a very regular basis to avoid minor health problems.

Finally, remember that it will be essential to correctly follow the deworming of the dog, both internally and externally, to repel possible parasites that may affect it.

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About Jessica Vanclap

Passionate about animals, but also about health, I did not hesitate for long in choosing my studies. Veterinary assistant by training, I worked in a veterinary clinic for several years. I then made the choice to share my knowledge and experiences by joining the training team of a school of Veterinary Assistant and Grooming.

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