American Staffordshire Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Am Staff
  • Pit Bull
Country/Date of origin:
  • United States
  • 20th century
  • Females:  17 to 18 inches
  • Males:  18 to 19 inches
  • 40 to 50 pounds
  • Legendary courage and tenacity.
  • Not trustworthy with other dogs or cats.
  • Intelligent but independent personality does not make for easy trainability.
  • Natural protective instincts.

Originated in 19th century England by crossing Bulldogs and various terriers, the Am Staff was refined to its present looks in the United States.  Impossible to divorce the breed from its pit-fighting past.  Registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935 under the name Staffordshire Terrier.  In 1972 the AKC name was changed to American Staffordshire Terrier to differentiate it from the smaller Staffordshire Bull Terrier from England, which was not recognized until 1975.

Body Type:
  • Stocky, powerful, and muscular body.
  • Head is broad with pronounced cheek muscles.
  • Unaltered ears preferred but can be cropped to stand upright.
  • Tail appears short in relation to body and is not altered.
  • Movement is fluid and springy.
  • Short and stiff to the touch.
  • Glossy sheen to hair.
  • Any color, solid, parti, or patched allowed.
  • All or more than 80% white, black and tan, and liver not desirable.
Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Elbow dysplasia.
  • Congenital deafness.
  • Mast cell tumor.
  • Atopy.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC, actinic).
  • Actinic keratosis.
  • Cushing’s syndrome (PDH and AT).
  • Hemangiomas (actinic).
  • Hemangiosarcomas.
What you should know:
  • Legislation prohibits ownership of this breed in many areas.
  • Not to be confused with similar appearing American Pit Bull, which is a much more aggressive dog.
  • Uncanny ability to distinguish friend from foe.
  • Adult dogs adjust to new owners in unusually short time.
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