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The American Staffordshire Terrier .

Updated on September 16, 2012

Am Staffs as Pets

A short-coated, medium sized dog breed from America, the American Staffordshire terrier gained social status in the early 20th century.

Am Staffs gained acceptance by the American Kennel Club as the American Staffordshire Terrier in the year nineteen thirty-six. Its name was altered to reflect that it was different from England's Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

With extreme strength for its height, Am Staff Terriers have a powerful, broad head and are stocky and quite muscular.

They have a medium-long muzzle round on the upper side falling away abruptly under their eyes. With round, dark eyes, their eyes are set far apart and are set low.

According to the standard of the AKC, eyelids which are pink are considered to be faulty.

They need to have even, close lips with no dewlap or looseness. Their ears are set on the head high and can be uncropped or cropped. It is preferred that the ears are not cropped and should be held at half prick or rose and short.

Their teeth need to have a scissors bite with a coat that has glossy, stiff and thick hair. As for their color, it is not preferred that these dogs are more than eighty percent white.


These dogs are confident, stable, outgoing, happy and intelligent. Loving and gentle, they are also affectionate, obedient and are good with both adults and children.

These dogs which are full of life are also eager to please their owners and are usually obedient.

Many members of this breed will fight enemies to the death if they are cornered or their loved ones are threatened.

With a very high tolerance for pain, some may also lean towards aggression if they are not socialized while still young.


Also known as Am Staffs, these terriers increased in popularity in the twenties when The Little Rascals comedies Our Gang featured appearances of Pete the Pup, contributing to the breed's spread.


In the year nineteen thirty six, they were accepted in the AKCStudBook as Staffordshire Terriers for registration, belonging to the molosser and the terrier groups.

The breed name went through revision on New Year's Day, 1972 to AmericanStaffordshireTerriers. USA breeders bred a variety which had a weight heavier than the England Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The change of names was so that the breeds could be distinguished.


As a depiction of dignity and strength, breed images were utilized as a representation of the USA in the nineteen hundreds.


The AKC states that the Am Staff is a dog that is people-oriented, thriving when he is given a job to do and is part of a family. Albeit friendly, this breed shows loyalty to its family and will offer protection against any threat.


The puppies of American Staffordshire Terriers should not be purchased weaned before they are between eight to ten weeks of age.

Generally, they live to about twelve to sixteen years old with proper care. Issues noted when it comes to their wellbeing and health are hereditary cataracts, senior ataxia, thyroid dysfunction, luxating patela knee, canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and congenital heart disease.


This breed is also vulnerable to osteoarthritis, spondylosis, autoimmune diseases, urinary tract infections and skin allergies.


Globally, the Am Staff has been subjected to bans of breeds targeting the Terrier and Bull family as a response to incidents that have become public involving dog breeds such as pit bulls. The range of the legislation goes from conditions of ownerships to possession.

The effectiveness and appropriateness of the legislation which is specific to breed in preventing dog-related injuries and fatalities is under dispute. Many organizations that are related to animals oppose legislations that are breed specific.


These organizations include the SPCA, the Journal of the AmericanVeterinary MedicalAssociation, the Center for Disease Control, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Throughout pop culture, there have been notable Am Staffs you may be familiar with. One famous Am Staff is the Company K official mascot named Jack Brutus in the 1st Connecticut Infantry Volunteer in the American-Spanish War.


The very 1st dog to take a drive cross country in the year nineteen three was Bud with his owner HoratioNelsonJackson and Sewall Crocker, bicycle mechanic.

Soon becoming a motoring enthusiast, Bud's owner put a pair of goggles on him to keep the alkali stinging dust out of his eyes.


Notable Am Staffs also include Sergeant Stubby which was the dog most decorated in the history of the military and the only pup to have undergone promotion in battle. For eighteen months he fought in the French trenches in WW1 for seventeen battles.

Fellow soldiers warned Stubby of attacks of gas, located No Man's Land soldiers who were wounded and listened for artillery rounds that were incoming. The dog was also responsible for capturing Argonne German spies.

After war time, Stubby met Presidents Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Woodrow Wilson. Life membership was awarded to him in the YMCA, the Red Cross and the American Legion.

You will need to exercise your Am Staff daily. Not exercising everyday will result in a dog that is not easy to handle. Jogs or walking for long minutes each day are essential.

It is no hard to groom their short haired smooth coat and brushing this with a bristled firm brush regularly will help keep them groomed.

Dry shampooing and bathing is also necessary regularly. Brushing their coats with a chamois or a towel will help it to gleam. Their average shedding makes them ideal for apartment living as long as their daily walk is not skipped.


A great companion dog, this breed can be difficult but not impossible to housebreak. On the other hand, as property guardians, you won't be able to ask for anything more when it comes to the way the American Stafford Terrier behaves itself. Passive owners are not ideal for this breed, since this dog needs to feel that his owner is the pack leader.

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    • profile image

      garymaglipay 

      6 years ago from Valenzuela, Philippines

      "The AKC states that the Am Staff is a dog that is people-oriented, thriving when he is given a job to do and is part of a family. Albeit friendly, this breed shows loyalty to its family and will offer protection against any threat.."

      But it thought AKC didn't recognize the breed since it's a half and half. Or it's just a hearsay?

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      6 years ago from Wales

      What a great read and so many great and interesting facts.

      My daughter has a rescued staffie Rocky who is around 6 years old;she rescued him a year ago.

      He has fitted in so well with her and her four young children ; his best friends are two rabbits ,they even share his bed.

      They have so much bad press and the majority so unfair. Thanks for sharing;take care and have a great day.

      Eddy.

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