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American Staffordshire Terrier: Breed Temperament, Exercise Needs & Health (AmStaff)

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About American Staffordshire Terrier

Country of Origin, History of American Staffordshire Terriers

The American Staffordshire Terrier was developed to combine the spirit and agility of the terrier with the courage and tenacity of the Bulldog. Originally called the Bull-and-Terrier Dog, he later had such names as Half and Half, Pit Dog, and Pit Bullterrier. In America he was often called the Yankee Terrier.

The American Staffordshire Terrier, although it started out as the same breed as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England, is heavier in weight than its cousin.

Bred as a watchdog and family companion, American Staffordshire Terrier is often confused with American Pit Bull Terrier that split from the original breeding and was used for fighting purposes only. The two could be no further apart.

American Staffordshire Terrier Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the American Staffordshire Terrier the right breed for you?

Is the American Staffordshire Terrier the right breed for you and your family?

Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool

Check Your American Staffordshire Terrier's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your American Staffordshire Terrier's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper American Staffordshire Terrier training methods.

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American Staffordshire Terrier Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your American Staffordshire Terrier needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our American Staffordshire Terrier Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Dog

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a very stocky, muscular dog who is strong but agile. His broad, round head, short muzzle, and strong jaws give the appearance of a much fiercer dog than he is. Sometimes his erect ears are cropped. The American Staffordshire Terrier’s straight legs are set far apart to support his body mass. Although his eyes are round, he often has them squinted.

The Am Staff is broad, his hips and shoulders are widely set and muscular. His chest is deep and broad. His body is low, set on fairly short, very sturdy legs.

Coat Color

The coat color of the American Staffordshire Terrier can be anything except all white. It should be less than 80% white but the dog can have large swatches or patches of white. Many have blazes, collars, undersides and legs of white.

Coat Type

The American Staffordshire Terrier’s coat is short, close, stiff to the touch, and very shiny.


Males: 17 -19 inches
Females: 16 – 18 inches


Males: 55 – 65 lbs
Females: 45 – 55 lbs

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Free Course on American Staffordshire Terrier Training & Obedience
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American Staffordshire Terrier Personality Traits

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Temperament of the Breed

Am Staff Terrier, as they are sometimes called, can make a fine family pet if care is taken to locate a responsible breeder. The American Staffordshire Terrier is intelligent, good-natured, loyal, and amusing. He is excellent with children as well as adults. And he is very full of life and normally friendly and outgoing.

American Staffordshire Terriers are loving and loyal and will make an excellent watchdog. If backed into a corner or provoked or if their family is threatened, they will fight to the death to defend themselves or their family and property. They have a very high tolerance to pain. And their courage is proverbial.

The American Staffordshire Terrier can make a good companion for the family that is willing to guide and train them early. However, it is not a good breed for those who do not fully understand the pack mentality and how to work with it. All members of the family must establish their Alpha position over the dog and must maintain it daily.

Training to lead is easy but because of the domineering, protective nature of the breed, they should never be off lead in the presence of canines that are unfamiliar to them – some are quite dog aggressive. Socialization with other canines is imperative, and the earlier you can begin the better results you will see. Am Staffs are too strong for children or older adults to handle in training.

Although he does not look like it, the American Staffordshire Terrier is agile and graceful with great strength for his size.

Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?

American Staffordshire Terriers need to live indoors. They are sensitive to the cold and prefer warm climates. Otherwise, prepare for sweaters and coats to be worn.

They will do okay in an apartment, but they are very active and playful indoors. They will need daily walks. A small, securely fenced yard is nice but not necessary.

Are they suited to homes with kids?

A lively dog, American Staffordshire Terriers are excellent with children. They are strong and muscular so are best suited for older children and adults while training.

American Staffordshire Terrier Activity Level

How Active is the Breed?

This is a very active breed. They run and jump and play indoors even more than outdoors.

How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?

Puppies are more energetic than adults. Apartment life is adequate as they find exercise in play but they will still need supplemental walks.


Grooming needs are relatively simple and can be done by most owners at home. A regular (monthly) bath and brushing with nail clip will keep its short coat in shape. Rubbing with a piece of toweling or chamois will make the coat gleam.

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Free American Staffordshire Terrier Training Secrets

Free Course on American Staffordshire Terrier Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

Genetic Problems

The health of the American Staffordshire Terrier is often very good with responsible breeding but some instances of hereditary cataracts, hip dysplasia and congenital heart disease are found. Sensitivity to cold makes them want to live in warm climates or wear a sweater.

Breeding the Dog and any Cautions

A qualified breeder should be sought to help you find the right mate.

Litters Size: average 5 – 10 puppies

Life Span: 9 – 15 yrs

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Clubs:
US – American Staffordshire –


Rescue Link:

Group: Terrier Group

AKC Popularity Ranking: 66

Also Known As: American Staffordshire, Am Staff

Train Your American Staffordshire Terrier To Listen To You

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You'll learn new commands to obedience-train your dog as well as how to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less.

You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

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  • How to obedience train your American Staffordshire Terrier to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.

  • A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.

  • How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.

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  • One hidden psychological trigger that all American Staffordshire Terriers have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

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Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers AmStaff information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, AmStaffs have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The American Staffordshire Terrier training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

Here are a few of our experts:

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