American Staffordshire Terrier

If you are looking for a challenging, loving dog, consider the American Staffordshire terrier. American Staffordshire terriers have a lot to offer to the right person.

American Staffordshire Terrier: History

The American Staffordshire Terrier is descended from fighting dogs used for baiting bulls in England. These dogs might be the result of Bulldogs crossed with the White English Terrier or the Black and Tan Terrier. The cross came to be known as Pit Builterrier or as the Bull and Terrier Dog. Eventually, the breed was called the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Americans initially referred to these dogs, which migrated to the US sometime in the 1800s, as Pit Dogs or Pit Bull Terriers. Later, they became known as Yankee Terriers. In 1936, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized this dog under the name “Staffordshire Terrier. ” The AKC changed the breed”s name in 1972 to the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier to distinguish the breed from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England. American Staffordshire Bull Terriers are bred to weigh more than the Staffordshire Bull Terriers in England.

To confuse matters a little more, the United Kennel Club considers the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier to be the same breed.

American Staffordshire Terriers: Appearance

American Staffordshire Terriers should be about 17 to 19 inches to the shoulder in height and weigh between 40 and 50 pounds. This breed”s coat is short and dense, with colors including:

  • black
  • blue
  • fawn
  • red
  • white.

For breed standards, the AKC accepts coats of any of the above colors or those mixed with white and any of these colors. The American Kennel Club states that a coat that is more than 80 percent white, a black and tan coat or a liver colored coat is “not to be encouraged. “

The American Staffordshire Terrier has a big, broad chest and a medium length, broad head. This dog is muscled for strength.

American Staffordshire Terrier: Temperament

American Staffordshire Terriers can be:

  • affectionate
  • agile
  • amusing
  • courageous
  • determined
  • devoted
  • high strung
  • intelligent
  • loyal
  • protective
  • tough
  • trustworthy.

American Staffordshire Terriers are not bred to be aggressive towards human beings.

American Staffordshire Terriers: Health Problems and Life Span

This breed can be prone to hives, cataracts and hip dysplasia (arthritis in the hip joints). In addition, some dogs have congenital heart disease. Life spans can run between 9 and 15 years.

American Staffordshire Terriers: Training

American Staffordshire terrier puppies should be trained using positive reinforcement. Since American Staffordshire Terriers can be stubborn, training needs to be consistent and firm. Keep in mind, as well, that this breed of dog can be difficult to housebreak.

American Staffordshire puppies should be socialized with other people and dogs at an early age. This may help blunt some of this breed”s natural aggressive tendencies towards other dogs.

American Staffordshire Terrier Breeders

If you are considering buying an American Staffordshire Terrier, make sure that you look for your dog among reputable American Staffordshire Terrier breeders. This may be able to help you to minimize the possibility of getting an aggressive dog. A number of books on breeding American Staffordshire Terriers may also be helpful.


American Kennel Club (2008). American Staffordshire Terrier Breed Standard. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from the American Kennel Club Web site:


American Kennel Club (2008). American Staffordshire Terrier History. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from the American Kennel Club Web site:


Dog Breed Info Center (n.d.). American Staffordshire Terrier. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from the Web site:

Bull Dog Breeds (n.d.). American Staffordshire Terrier. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from the Web site: