American Staffordshire Terrier Puppies

American Staffordshire Terrier (1)

The American Staffordshire Terrier, or “Amstaff” for short, polarizes like no other breed: in some countries, it is considered the “most dangerous fighting dog”, which cannot be kept or kept under certain conditions, while in Great Britain it is regarded as a “Nanny Dog”. is estimated. This shows that the reason for an aggressive “sharp” dog is always on the other side of the leash. The breed deserves an unbiased view, because behind its many prejudices is a smart, dynamic, and always loyal comrade.

Compact physique

A large head on a muscular, compact body – an American Staffordshire Terrier is an imposing appearance. His shoulder height is between 43 and 48 cm, the weight can be up to 23 kg. The dark eyes are on a broad head, the ears are usually half-erect – lop ears are undesirable. The very popular cropping of the ears in the past is fortunately prohibited in many European countries.

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Coat and colors

The breed’s short, glossy coat can be admired in almost every shade of color. However, a lack of pigmentation of the nose, the black and tan color variant that occurs in Dobermans, as well as a lot of white are undesirable. This is often accompanied by a genetic predisposition to deafness.

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American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier was mainly bred for dog fighting: its ancestors probably arrived in the US from Britain around 1860 by British immigrants. This took place in the second half of the 19 e century-scale baiting place, this muscular breed was used.

The aim of the breeding was courageous and sharp fighting dogs with endurance. Fortunately, in addition to dog fights, there are also famous American Staffordshire Terriers in the history of the breed: for example, there was the dog, Petey, in the beloved series “Little Rascals ” (Dutch: The Rascals). Today, Amstaffs mainly live as a family dog ​​and guard dog. In Great Britain, American Staffordshire Terriers are beloved “Nanny Dog” family dogs. In addition, they are often used there as “Social Dogs” in nursing homes, where they delight the residents with their resignation and playful nature. Their sovereignty and stamina make them excellent rescue dogs.

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Breeding as a descendant of the British fighting dogs

The American Staffordshire terrier descended from bulldog and terrier crosses from Britain in the nineteenth e century, which was mainly bred as fighting dogs. The name of the breed also points to the place of their roots, the British Stafford. After the gruesome dog fighting was banned in Britain, some of the descendants were taken to the US by English settlers in 1835, where they were once again used in combat. The dogs were also used as watchdogs and were bred over time to increase their chances of success in the fight against coyotes and wolves.

Towards the end of the 19th century, more and more American Staffordshire Terrier enthusiasts came to show their animals not at dog fights but at dog shows. In 1969 the breed was given the name American Staffordshire Terrier for a clear delineation with the English Staffordshire Terrier. In 1971 this was recognized by the FCI. This put an end to the ambiguity about the names as “Pit Bull Terrier”, “American Pit-Bull Terrier” and “American Staffordshire Terrier”.

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The sad legacy of the combat past

Many people react with skepticism or disgust when they encounter an American Staffordshire Terrier. “Isn’t that a fighting dog?”, “Please don’t come near me!” Those are still innocent reactions. For a long time, it was customary to keep this four-legged friend on a chain as a status symbol.

That has certainly contributed to the negative image of this former fighting dog. That the danger of a dog is mainly determined on the other side of the leash is clear from the contradictory attitude to the breed in Great Britain and in the USA: Here the Amstaff is based on its character traits as “Nanny Dog”, so known as an ideal family dog.

The negative history of the breed leads to a number of idiosyncrasies in Europe regarding the keeping of the dogs and their importation: In many countries, the American Staffordshire Terrier belongs to the so-called fighting dogs. Keeping these dogs is prohibited or allowed only under certain conditions. For example, there is an entry ban for this breed in some countries such as France or Hungary. To gain entry to the Netherlands, one must be able to submit a family tree. In Spain, one has to take into account its specific registration requirements with the local municipality. Demands and bans have resulted in almost no Amstaffs being seen in some countries such as France, Sweden and the Netherlands.

American Staffordshire Terrier

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Nature: faithful and courageous

What is he like, the typical American Staffordshire Terrier? Despite their past, this breed is certainly suitable as a family dog. The dogs are notable for their high attachment to their family and often show great affection towards children. Conflicts can arise in dealing with other dogs – especially with insecure ones. The Amstaff often adopts a dominant position. This is because of his past. This past also determines his great loyalty to his owner, because it always had to be possible to pull the dogs out of a fight without him biting.

This loyalty initially made it possible to use the dog in fights. Furthermore, it is a dynamic lively four-legged friend that needs a lot of exercises. His attentiveness and playful nature, which he likes to indulge in, are also striking. A well-behaved Amstaff makes an ideal family dog ​​who doesn’t bark much. Studies and bite statistics also prove that the American Staffordshire Terrier is just as peaceful as the Golden Retriever – although this has clearly not yet arrived at many European agencies.

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Robust health

The breed is generally very robust and in good health. Sometimes skin problems in the form of allergies occur. This can often be controlled by adjusting the feed. Some dogs have hip dysplasia or heart problems. With proper care, the American Staffordshire Terrier’s life expectancy is 12 years.

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Is an American Staffordshire Terrier right for me?

An American Staffordshire Terrier is not a beginner dog. They are quick to take advantage of the typical beginner mistakes. This can lead to dominance problems, which are difficult to repair and, unfortunately, also dangerous. Whoever is consistent and gives the dog the feeling that he is leading him with a firm hand, has a faithful friend for life.

A dog of this breed needs a lot of exercises. You have to be able to offer him the right environment: based on his size and strength – an American Staffordshire Terrier likes to have fun – and his urge to move, the dogs are not suitable for keeping in a city home. The curious feeder likes to have his own garden – mind you, he likes to explore and this could take over. If you don’t want to take any risks, the garden should be equipped with fences with a height of 1.60 m, so that your dog cannot break out.

The dog often has an unexpected jumping talent. An American Staffordshire Terrier prefers to live with sporty people who like to exercise outside, enjoy long walks and also want to go for a bike ride with their (adult) dog.

Before adopting an American Staffordshire Terrier, inquire with the municipality under which conditions it is allowed to keep a “fighting dog” or a “dangerous” dog. Make sure you are aware of any requirements such as a muzzle and whether it is allowed to keep such a dog at all.

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Considerations before the dog moves in

Before you choose to purchase a four-legged relative, you should consider a number of things. Think, for example, of the costs for basic equipment (line, basket, blanket, brush) as well as regular costs such as vaccinations and health checks. In case of illness, additional costs for the vet may be added. The purchase of a dog of this breed can also result in polarization or disapproval within your circle of friends. It can of course also become a beautiful experience if you can slowly but surely get rid of the prejudices that exist.

Think about how your dog can be cared for in case of illness or when you go on holiday. While there are many hotels throughout Europe that allow dogs, there may be limited lodging options for American Staffordshire Terriers. You also need to be sure that no family member is allergic to dog hair. Before purchasing a puppy, it is best to find a suitable dog school where playtime for puppies is offered. This is a big plus for the American Staffordshire Terrier’s social behavior.

American Staffordshire Terrier (1)

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Care: runs smoothly

Grooming an American Staffordshire Terrier is done quickly: once a week brushing is sufficient. You will certainly do your four-legged friend a favor if you brush him with the curry comb. Other benefits of brushing: the dog hair ends up in the brush, not in the house.

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American Staffordshire Terrier nutrition

Regardless of breed, all dogs require a high meat diet and few grains. Dog food should be selected based on the weight, age, and characteristics of your pet. In case of doubt, ask your doctor for advice.

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Consistently and confidently

The American Staffordshire Terrier needs consistent but loving commands. The dogs are very intelligent and take advantage of weaknesses in education. A dog owner should never show fear of his four-legged friend or condone dominant behavior during puberty. The dog must learn that the human is at the top of the pack. A consistent upbringing and certain leadership are therefore of great importance. It is an advantage for education that the dog has a “will to please” – the dog wants to please its owner. The smart Amstaffs have the proverbial faithful eye and are happy to use it to achieve their goal. Her tenacity is demanded from the owner.

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Activities for muscle bundles

American Staffordshire Terriers like to have something to do. Almost all types of dog sports are suitable: whether it is condensability, ball games, or therapy dog ​​training. It is not recommended to keep the dog as a watchdog because of its genetic acumen. Dogs of this breed like long walks, adult dogs also like to walk along by bicycle. An active dog enjoys his well-deserved evening rest while he cuddles with his owner or while he is lying comfortably in his bed.

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How to find your American Staffordshire Terrier

With an American Staffordshire Terrier, a serious breeder is absolutely necessary. These pay attention to the nature of the dog, which makes him a beloved family member. Visit the breeder, who should be a member of a dog club, or association, before purchasing a puppy from his home so that you can get a good idea of ​​the environment, parents, siblings. Good breeders are curious and like to ask potential buyers about the environment and leisure activities. That’s a good sign because it makes him think about the future of his puppies! Questions regarding health should also be discussed with the breeder.

If you are not looking for a puppy, you can also find American Staffordshire Terriers at various animal protection organizations. Some are even specialized and can give you excellent advice on which “fighting dog” is best for your family. An older dog from the animal shelter can be a great enrichment, but you should inquire well about his character and history. An American Staffordshire Terrier without adequate training is only suitable for very experienced people!

Anyone who is well informed and gives an American Staffordshire terrier a new home will certainly enjoy living together with the smart muscle bundle – and can observe how the four-legged friend with his sympathetic nature cheerfully waves away prejudices with his wagtail.

We wish you a wonderful life with your loyal American Staffordshire Terriers!


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