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American Staffordshire Terrier Breed Summary

Smart, Confident, Courageous and Loyal

The American Staffordshire Terrier (also affectionately known as AmStaffs), is​ an intelligent, confident and friendly companion. An Amstaff that’s responsibly bred and well socialised will result in a dog that’s loyal and a friend for life.

Originally bred as fighters and bull baiters, these mighty dogs are slightly taller and heavier than their cousins – the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Despite their reputation as aggressive dogs, developed early in the breed’s history, the American Staffordshire Terriers are gentle, affectionate dogs that make furbulous family protectors.

AmStaffers often describe their dogs as being well aware of their surroundings and lovable ‘personality dogs’ around the house. This pooch loves mental and physical challenges and is highly trainable.

Kennel Club Group Terrier
Lifespan 12 - 14 Years
Height (at the withers) Males: 46cm - 48cm Females: 19kg - 23kg
Weight Males and Females: 18kg - 23kg
Coat Short and Smooth
Colour Black, Brown, Red, Cream, Fawn, Blue, White, Pied, Sable, Brindle
Eye colour Brown
Common health issues Elbow Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Heart Disease
Other Names Am Staff, Bull and Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a fun-loving and loyal pooch. The fun-loving side of this dog provides you with an energetic pal that craves physical and mental challenges. As much as they enjoy exercise and play, they also crave the attention of their owners! With their endearing and enthusiastic personality, the AmStaff can make an ideal family pet.

The loyal quality of the AmStaff can provide you with a dog that can appear rather docile, while also being rather protective of their owners. While in the presence of trusted owners, this pooch will remain friendly to those around them, however,​ they may become aggressive if they feel challenged.

Quick to learn and eager to please their humans, this pooch makes a great student. Despite their tough dog persona, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a dog that loves to love.

The American Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s roots can be traced back to 19th century England. To create a dog that was agile and energetic as well as confident with plenty of perseverance, the bulldogs and terriers of the time were crossed. The breed was originally called the bull-and-terrier Dog, half and half, or pit dog. In time, this pooch became known in England as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Sadly, the dogs were mostly used for fighting. Although a ban was put in place in the UK in 1835, the sport continued to gain popularity and the ban was tricky to enforce.

The ‘bull-and-terrier’ dogs arrived in the United States towards the end of the 19th century where they became known as American Bull Terriers and Pit Bull Terriers. Though the details aren’t completely clear, it’s said that these dogs were not used so much for fighting, but instead more commonly used for companionship, general farm work and hunting. In time, the breed was developed into taller dogs with larger builds than their English counterparts. The breed was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1936 as the Staffordshire Terrier. The name was then changed in 1972 to differentiate between the shorter, smaller English version – the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Today, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Bull Terrier are two completely separate breeds.​