American Staffordshire Terrier. Part 1

American Staffordshire Terrier

The ancient ancestors of the Am Staff are the mastiff type dogs who appear in many breed histories.  Although much of this information is lost in antiquity, we know from early art of the large, heavy-headed strong dogs who were used throughout history for their strength and guarding abilities.  This early group of dogs has left genetic material for all the bulldog breeds and mastiff type dogs of today.

Best dog harness for Amstaff

  Until the early part of the 19th century the Bulldog was bred with great care in England for the purpose of baiting bulls. The Bulldog of that day was vastly different from our present-day "sourmug." Pictures from as late as 1870 represent the Bulldog as agile and as standing straight on his legs-his front legs in particular. In some cases he was even possessed of a muzzle, and long rat-tails were not uncommon. The Bulldog of that day, with the exception of the head, looked more like the present-day American Staffordshire Terrier than like the present-day Bulldog.American staffordshire terrier, dog harness , dog muzzle for Amstaff

Some writers contend it was the white English Terrier, or the Black-and-Tan Terrier, that was used as a cross with the Bulldog to perfect the Staffordshire Terrier. It seems easier to believe that any game terrier, such as the Fox Terrier of the early 1800s, was used in this cross, since some of the foremost authorities on dogs of that time state that the Black-and-Tan and the white English Terrier were none too game, but these same authorities go on to stress the gameness of the Fox Terrier. It is reasonable to believe that breeders who were attempting to perfect a dog that would combine the spirit and agility of the terrier with the courage and tenacity of the Bulldog, would not use a terrier that was not game. In analyzing the three above-mentioned terriers at that time, we find that there was not a great deal of difference in body conformation, the greatest differences being in color, aggressiveness, and spirit.

In any event, it was the cross between the Bulldog and the terrier that resulted in the Staffordshire Terrier, which was originally called the Bull-and-Terrier Dog, Half and Half, and at times Pit Dog or Pit Built Terrier. Later, it assumed the name in England of Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

These dogs began to find their way into America as early as 1870, where they became known as Pit Dog, Pit Bull Terrier, later American Bull Terrier, and still later as Yankee Terrier.

In 1936, they were accepted for registration in the AKC Stud Book as Staffordshire Terriers. The name of the breed was revised effective January 1, 1972 to American Staffordshire Terrier. Breeders in this country had developed a type, which is heavier in weight than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England and the name change was to distinguish them as separate breeds.

The American Staffordshire Terrier standard allows a variance in weight, but it should be in proportion to size. The dog's chief requisites should be strength unusual for his size, soundness, balance, a strong powerful head, a well-muscled body, and courage that is proverbial.

The American Staffordshire Terrier has an unusual lineage in that it was bred with the fighting spirit of the bulldog and the easy-going nature of the terrier. When it was bred down in the U.S., its more aggressive features were de-emphasized into the American Staffordshire Terrier that we know today. The body remained muscular, but its frame was more well-built and agile. Its ears are docked and set almost parallel to the eyes that are dark and round. The neck is the heaviest part of the body. The short coat is typically a large percentage white with any other color; tan and white and black and white are very common.
Aggression is a behavior that was supposedly bred out of the American Staffordshire Terrier, but in some circumstances the dog may exhibit aggressive behavior. Training is key to it learning to coexist with other dogs and how to behave within a home. Training is also beneficial for teaching the dog how to treat guests to the home. Housebreaking it may prove difficult. It will generally behave appropriately with children in the family, but should never be left alone with them because they can inadvertently cause injury to them while playing. As is common with terriers, the American Staffordshire Terrier is assertive, courageous, and loyal. It is the perfect guard dog.
Height and Weight
Height: 16-19 inchesWeight: 57-67 pounds
Health Problems
No major health conditions are associated with the American Staffordshire Terrier. Some types may develop hip dysplasia and cataracts.
Ideal Living Conditions
The American Staffordshire Terrier does not require a significant amount of space. A medium-size apartment with is fine. It is suitable for a yard with ample room for exercise.
Terriers are well-known for their energetic personalities. The American Staffordshire SpanielтАЩs well-developed muscles will require regular exercise. It is fine with a regular walk or light jogging.
Life Expectancy
An average of 11-14 years life expectancy
Litter Size
4 puppies on average
The American Staffordshire Terrier is low maintenance. Its coat will remain in good shape with normal brushing. A regular bathe will also keep the coat healthy.
England is well-known for its early 19th century breeding of aggressive dogs for the purpose of bull
Color: Any color, but white must not cover more than 80% of the coat.

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