American Staffordshire Terrier Dog: Characteristics, Origin, Lifespan

The American Staffordshire Terrier dog is a medium sized dog breed which is known for being strong for it’s size, yet loving and affectionate with their human family. As the name suggests, the breed was originated from the United States. And it is also known as Amstaff.

Some varieties of bull and terrier from England and Ireland began to find their way into America as early as 1850. Some dogs became very famous for their dog fighting skills. Already developed as an American dog, such dogs became a new breed, which was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in February 1898 as the American Pit Bull Terrier.

About 50 UKC registered Pit Bull Terrier dogs were accepted for registration in the American Kennel Club (AKC) Stud Book with a new breed name and a new purpose, belonging to the AKC terrier group.

The name Staffordshire Terrier was chosen, with the claim that the ancestors of the breed originally came from Staffordshire County in England. The name of the breed was revised January 1, 1969, to American Staffordshire Terrier to distinguish it from the British Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a separate breed from the Bull-type terrier group, recognized in England in 1935.

Popularity of the American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed began to declie in the United States following World War II. And in the year of 2017, the AKC ranked the American Staffordshire Terrier dog as the 83rd most popular purebred in the United States.[1]

American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Characteristics

According to AKC’s standard, the American Staffordshire Terrier dog should give the impression of great strength for it’s size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to it’s surroundings.

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They should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. Their courage is proverbial. Head of these animals should be medium in length with a broad skull, a distinct stop, and pronounced muscles in the cheek.

The ears of the American Staffordshire Terrier dog should be set high on their head and can be cropped or uncropped, but the uncropped is preferred. Their nose should always be black. Many coat colors are accepted. But dogs with liver or black and tan coat, and dogs with more than 80% white are discouraged.

Average height of the mature American Staffordshire Terrier dog is between 16.9 and 18.8 inches at the withers. And average live body weight of the mature dogs is between 23 and 36 kg.

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Temperament

The American Staffordshire Terrier dogs are smart, confident and good natured companions. They are loving and affectionate with their human family. And actually enjoy nothing more than being with the humans they care about, whether they are out for a jog, playing in the yard or cuddling up on the couch.

They are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them highly trainable. If trained well a American Staffordshire Terrier dog will be an obedient companion for life.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the American Staffordshire Terrier dog is between 10 and 15 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

And American Staffordshire Terrier dog should be given a diet formulated for a mid to large size dog with moderate energy levels. You can consult with your vet for better recommendation.

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Caring

Taking good care of your animals is very important for raising American Staffordshire Terrier dogs. These dogs are known to get bad breath, so their teeth should be brushed at least once a week (preferably even more frequently) to prevent bad breath germs from growing.

Trim their nails as needed, although this can be difficult as the American Staffordshire Terrier dogs tend to not like to have their paws touched. Training them early will help to be comfortable with touching and grooming.

Check their ears for wax buildup and debris weekly, and clean as needed to avoid ear infection or pest infestation. Keep up with regular veterinary checkups and follow your vet’s advice for additional at-home care.

Health

The American Staffordshire Terrier dogs are generally healthy. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions.

Their common health problems include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, demodectic mange, cerebellar ataxia, heart disease, and luxating patella. Always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed NameAmerican Staffordshire Terrier
Other NamesAmstaff
Breed SizeMedium
Height16.9 to 18.8 inches tall at the withers
Weight23 to 36 kg
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorAny color
LifespanBetween 10 and 15 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginUnited States