The American Staffordshire Terrier (amstaff) is a dog that has a reputation for being violent and aggressive, but in fact and far from this belief, the owners of amstaffs claim that it is a quieter animal. Now, if aggressiveness is stimulated with blunt methods, it can become an uncontrollable animal. His extraordinary jaws can produce tremendous wounds to any other animal even bigger than him.
There are many scary stories told about these dogs. People who are not familiar with this breed will easily believe that there is no worse animal to be found than the American Staffordshire Terrier. In fact, these dogs are not at all misanthropists, they are loyal to their owners, welcome guests at home, and are friendly with other pets.
If you settle an American staff in your house, you will get a playful, energetic friend, without whom you will no longer imagine your life.
The American Staffordshire Terrier , strong, athletic and brave, is ideal for obedience and agility training. This dog is a very affectionate and sociable breed with people. He loves spending time with his human partner.
This breed is a fun lover and has gone from being an ancient pit bull terrier ancestor to being a much more docile family dog that gets along well with other pets, children and adults.
The homeland of the American Staffordshire Terrier is America. In abbreviated form, such a dog is called “amstaff”. The history of the breed has its own interesting and even bloody details.
The distant ancestors of modern American Staffordshire Terrier dogs were brought to America from England in the seventies of the nineteenth century. These dogs were named Bull Terriers or Pit Bull Terriers. Both in appearance and in character, the ancestors were very different from the current staff. They were powerful and aggressive. In connection with these qualities, bull terriers were used to work on farms, to guard houses. They went with them to hunt such animals as wild boars and bears. They also became participants in bloody dog fights.
In the United States, the attitude towards this type of dog has changed. At first they began to be called Yankiterriers or American Bull Terriers. The pets used were mostly companions. In 1972, the breed was officially named – the American Staffordshire Terrier. Representatives of this species differ from their English forefathers in greater power and less aggressiveness.
Amstaff is now a very popular breed. There is a large number of kennels that breed purebred Staffordshire Terriers.
Physical characteristics of the American Staffordshire Terrier
The appearance of the American Staffordshire Terrierr speaks of its strength. The power is too much for the size of the animal. This is indicated by the highly developed musculature of all parts of the body. Together with this, the staff can be called elegant and fast.
The growth of adult American Staffordshire Terrier dogs is 43-48 cm, the weight is respectively 22-30 kg. Females are sleeker, lower and lighter than males.
Important! The weight of new born American Staffordshire Terrier puppies, depending on gender, is 250-400 g.
A wide, not too long head rests on a voluminous neck. A neck with sagging skin is unacceptable. The ears are short, erect or raised. Docking is allowed. Hanging ears are unacceptable. The eyes are rounded. The muzzle goes abruptly to the skull. The nose is black. The cheekbones are well defined. The jaws are powerful (especially the lower ones), indicating a stranglehold that Amstaff has.
The chest of the American Staffordshire Terrier is wide, the stomach is slightly tucked up, the ribs are convex. The front legs are wide apart and straight. Hind legs well-muscled. Paws are small. Against the background of the entire physique, the tail looks short, not crocheted. Cupping is unacceptable.
The coat is short, the hair is hard. Any color is allowed. Liver and black and tan are not encouraged. It is also undesirable if the color is dominated by white (80% or more).
Character and temperament of the American Staffordshire Terrier
Talk about the malevolent nature of American Staffordshire Terriers is not entirely unfounded. The fact is that representatives of the breed are very irritable, if such a dog feels danger, he becomes very aggressive and vicious.
For all its fearlessness, the Amstaff always strives for its own safety. Having attacked the enemy, he does not know how to retreat. If you do not provide the pet with early socialization and training, the dog can turn into a dangerous and truly vicious animal. The Amstaff is completely unsuitable as a pet for weak-willed people, beginner dog breeders and those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
The American Staffordshire Terriers is devoted to its owner, always ready to defend, but in return requires a lot of attention. The dog is touchy, does not tolerate rough treatment, with all its appearance shows its displeasure.
Important! The American Staffordshire behave well in the house, does not show aggression towards strangers and loves to spend time with children.
He treats children well, but in view of the innate irritability, one should not leave the staff and the child alone. An adult should supervise the communication of such a pet with children. Amstaff is wary of strangers, does not allow any friendliness and familiarity on their part.
You can keep a Staffordshire Terrier both indoors and outdoors. Only in the second option, the dog should be provided with a spacious aviary, protected from drafts and a warm booth. It is unacceptable to keep such a pet on a chain. The psyche of the animal will suffer from such a restriction of freedom. Ideal for staff – keeping in a house or apartment.
Wherever the amstaff is kept, he needs daily physical activity. This is one of the main conditions for keeping such an active and energetic dog. If the American Staffordshire Terrier does not throw out the accumulated energy during the walk, it can turn into aggression or will be directed at a mayhem in the house and damage to the owner’s property.
A full walk should be active and last at least two hours a day. Based on this, having bought a puppy of this breed, immediately tune in to jogging, cycling and other active activities, during which you will be accompanied by a staff.
Important! The American Staffordshire Terrier loves active pastime, he loves to run, walk, jump a lot, the more games you can offer your pet, the better.
You can feed the American Staffordshire Terrier with dry food and natural food.
The first method is easier, since you do not need to buy different products and prepare food for your pet, thinking over all the components of the diet. But in terms of cost, dry food is more expensive than organic food. The American Staffordshire Terrier needs to be bought only of the highest class from well-known brands, despite the high price.
With a natural method of feeding for a American Staffordshire Terrier, make sure that all products are of high quality, that about 70-80% of the diet is protein food, so that the diet is balanced with the presence of all vitamins and minerals. The drinker should have fresh, cool water 24 hours a day. Feeding takes place in one place and at the same time.
Important! It is undesirable to give vegetables raw to an American Staffordshire Terrier. They are best boiled or stewed to make them easier to digest.
The diet of the American Staffordshire Terrier must be dominated by meat products:
Fillets and bones of pork, beef, chicken; liver and kidneys; spleen; udder; hearts.
With regard to hygienic care, to maintain a beautiful appearance and maintain health, the following procedures must be carried out:
- Purchase a medium-hard bristle brush to clean your coat daily. This procedure is pleasing to the dog if it is accustomed to it from puppyhood. The brush simultaneously massages and removes dead hairs.
- The American Staffordshire Terrier quickly gets used to water procedures, so in the summer it is happy to bathe in a pond. In winter, the fur can be wiped lightly with snow during walking. After a walk, if the dog is not too smeared, to clean the coat, it is enough to wipe it with a damp piece of cloth. Thorough bathing with the use of detergents is recommended no more than two to three times a year.
- Clean your dog’s ears every week. This procedure must be done very carefully.
- Remove eye discharge with a piece of cloth or bandage. Dust or wind can cause inflammation, which can be removed with eye drops.
- Once a month, claws should be clipped using a nail clipper. If they are too long, they create discomfort for the dog while moving.
If you properly care for the American Staffordshire Terrier and feed it according to all the rules, it can live to be 13-15 years old. The owner must carefully monitor the condition of the pet and respond in time to changes that indicate a particular disease. If the dog is healthy, he eats with appetite, plays with pleasure, he has a wet nose. If health problems arise, the dog has no appetite, he does not want to walk, an unpleasant smell comes from him, the nose becomes dry and hot.
American Staffordshire Terrier dogs are prone to diseases listed below:
- Dysplasia, arthritis, arthrosis – the affected joints bring unbearable pain, lameness.
- Bloating – The dog could die if not taken urgently.
- Genetic non-closure of the botalle duct – as a result, there is a lag in physical development.
- Diseases of the eyes.
- Oncological diseases – most often mast cell cancer and mastocytoma.
- Skin diseases – licked granulomas are common.
- Histiocytoma is a benign vascular-connective tissue tumor of the skin.
- Solar dermatitis is a pathological process that affects poorly pigmented or poorly protected skin areas.
In order to detect the disease in time, it is recommended that you visit a veterinary clinic with your pet twice a year for preventive examinations. It is also important to carry out deworming and vaccination on time. In the warm season, the owner must protect the dog from ticks by treating it with a special preparation. The dog is also regularly treated for fleas. To do this, you can buy a special collar in a veterinary pharmacy.
American Staffordshire Terrier training and education
Despite the waywardness of the American Staffordshire Terrier, training is not difficult. The dog is very quick-witted, quickly remembers commands, but from the first lessons you need to convince him that the master’s word is indestructible. If the owner is inexperienced, he may have serious problems with raising and training the staff.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is prone to dominance, catching a weakness on the part of a person, it will try to become a leader. In such cases, it is recommended to seek help from an experienced dog handler, who will help you to properly train.
Important! The American Staffordshire Terrier female is more obedient and easier to train, while the male is more self-willed and independent.
It is worth familiarizing yourself with some of the rules for raising an American Staffordshire Terrier:
- You cannot change the rules that have been established for the dog. For example, if you prohibit your pet from lying in a chair or couch, never let him do this. The ban should be in effect all the time, without temporary indulgences. Otherwise, the dog will decide that the owner’s orders can be ignored.
- Under no circumstances should you show your weakness to the staff, in his eyes you should be the leader.
- It is forbidden to encourage aggressive behavior of the American Staffordshire Terrier , and even more so to develop aggression in it.
- The owner of an Amstaff terrier should not restrict the dog’s training by initial commands, such as “no”, “sit”, “next to”, etc. Such a serious dog must definitely complete a general training course or a “dog in the city” course.
Important! The American Staffordshire Terrier cannot be beaten, it is better to temporarily ignore the dog, to show it that you are upset by actions and disobedience.
The American Staffordshire Terrier dog reaches sexual maturity at the age of 8-9 months.
However, the female should not be mated before reaching 15 months, and the male up to a year.
The American Staffordshire Terrier female’s estrus period is individual for each pet and ranges from 9 to 12 months.
It is recommended to mate a female until 8 years old, no more than once a year, before mating, deworming is mandatory.
American Staffordshire Terrier Fun Facts
- A record was recorded when a Staffordshire Terrier was able to drag a load weighing 135 kg. Considering that the weight of such a dog is about 30 kg, this case is the height of endurance and power.
- Representatives of the breed have proven themselves excellently in the service of the Ministry of Emergencies.
- One of the admirers of the American Staffordshire Terrier was Yuri Nikulin, he repeatedly spoke in defense of dogs when charges were brought against them for hatred of people.
- Among the American Staffordshire Terrier dogs, there are individuals who are panicky afraid of fireworks. During the fireworks, owners of such dogs have to insert earplugs into the ears of their pets.
American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Highlights
From the very beginning of the existence of the American Staffordshire Terrier breed, there has been a debate about the adequacy of these dogs. Some are sure that because of the aggressiveness it is impossible to keep staffs in the house, others argue that these are affectionate and loyal pets. The following can be unambiguously stated – the character and disposition of the amstaff depends on the upbringing and attitude of the owners towards it.
If you decide to buy such a brave and determined dog, think carefully about whether you can become a leader for him and, at the same time, a caring, loving owner. To do this, check out the main advantages and disadvantages of the American Staffordshire Terrier:
- The American Staffordshire Terrier has excellent learning ability.
- Good health.
- Intelligence and ingenuity.
- Unpretentiousness in care and food.
- Adaptation to apartment maintenance.
- There is no specific unpleasant smell.
- The American Staffordshire Terrier rarely barks.
- Excellent detective ability.
- The American Staffordshire Terrier is absolutely not suitable for inactive people and people with an unbalanced psyche.
- Needs serious education and training courses.
- Stubbornness, willfulness.
- Needs daily long walks and physical activity.