The American Staffordshire Terrier breed

Dogs Human Classroom

The American Staffordshire Terrier is an athletic muscle machine that sadly has been used over the years to a mean end giving them a slightly bad reputation related to dog fighting quite similar to the Rottweiler, but when raised properly, they can be more than a loyal and reliable companion. This is something I highly recommend since breeds that have this type of demeanor are often seen as dangerous and bad dogs so it’s better if you are fully committed to this challenge that not only will depend on defending your new family member but to satisfy its needs so it can reach its full potential. They are great with kids and other animals, but due to certain bad habits of training along with history some can become problematic with other breeds of dogs so you should take some precautions to avoid any inconvenience in the future, nevertheless, they remain as a trustworthy dog breed. American Staffordshire Terriers are gentle, tolerant, loving, and playful so you need to keep up with his athletic nature to make them a happy dog since they so deserve it, every pet does. Use playtime as a workout and obedience training for physical stimulation so you can get an outstanding loyal companion, the only true face of Pit Bull terriers.

HISTORY

    The story of the American Staffordshire Terrier may not be a happy one but there are still some dog companions with the luck of being part of a family that truly loves them and treasures them as a living being that also has his rights, sadly enough, through its history, it’s been seen and used for meaner ends than they were made for since Pitbulls are a mixed breed (Terrier with Bulldog) creating many different names as well for these misunderstood wonderful creatures. Humans are capable of some wonderful things as they created what we know today as the American Staffordshire Terrier as a sport or farming pet, but some people took them for their treats as something completely different with the sole purpose of entertainment and source of income. 

    According to some data, they were first seen with the Romans as sport dogs, hence why they require the workout daily dedication, and also as the time passed by, people began to realize the potential they had to be farm dogs to help with the herd, having the agility and intelligence to do so was very difficult to let such a magnificent creature pass by. Sadly the problems started with this breed from this time onwards as other people started to train and use them for other ends as they saw how they controlled and dominated the cattle creating something called Bull baiting with the sole purpose to determine which one had the best and later created other similar bloody sports with the same end. For obvious reasons, in England, it wasn’t accepted these types of events that were seen as illegals but this didn’t stop them looking for a better generation or type of dog for these kinds of events they crossed an agile dog breed with a strong one being the terriers and bulldogs respectively. People still used them as farm dogs in the early 1800s and due to the crossing, they were called by many names until they finally came to a conclusion and started to refer to this dog as English Staffordshire Bull Terrier. 

     Since people kept illegally using this dog breed, some groups or associations wouldn’t register nor accept it because they thought it would encourage these bloody sports or Bull baiting after the arrival of the breed to the United States near the 1850s. At this point, people still referred to them by other names until they finally began to address them as American Staffordshire Terriers. After the American Kennel Club (AKC) refused to register this dog breed, other were created to this end by the end of the 1800s, those were the United Kennel Club (UKC), and the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA) but it was under the name of American Pit Bull Terriers until later mid-1900s the AKC finally accepted this breed under the name of American Staffordshire Terriers. TIll this point, they are still being crossed for fighting but some remain under their true purpose working as farm dogs or competing in athletic sports or being a nice, gentle, loyal, and loving family member. The Pit bull breed became popular over the years thanks to some advertisement in movies or Tv shows, but there are still events such as dog attacks of fights that people related this breed with, even more, when they are used as guard dogs with a mean training because that’s what most people see them as, a bad dog that was made to attack and protect. Despite being three dog breeds that belong to the Pit bull Family only the American Staffy or AmStaff is registered and recognized by the AKC, the other two are the American Pit Bull Terriers and the Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Now it would be up to you and the reason why you look for this incredible dog breed. Certainly, a Pitbull can look like a mean dog, but that’s mostly due to all of these clandestine events involving fighting dogs, that keep happening that gives them such a bad reputation when they are such a lovable and caring dog. Don’t let these types of urban tales discourage you since you’ll be missing an exceptional experience that is living with an American Staffordshire Terrier, as long as you keep it as a family member and not a guarding tool. We all deserve a second chance and you can easily avoid many of these issues by providing the best life quality you can provide to such a noble living being. 

ABOUT THE STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER

     As said before, the American Staffordshire Terrier dog thrives on most sports. They were partly made for this and it is your job to make it so, to ensure your new pet would get everything it needs for his nutritional and the negative behavior and idea most people have for any dog breed that resembles any Pit bull, or any other breed that’s bigger, people will only judge for the cover before knowing the truth about most things since it is easier for them than taking the time and trouble themselves.

This is a dog full of muscle and very agile, ideally for active people so they can use these features from the Staffordshire to its fullest potential and of course to provide the time and space they would need to drain all that energy. If you’re not an active person then it’s better to look for another dog or a breed that adapts better to your time and needs, NEVER get a breed just because you like it, think about its needs and don’t force him to get used to yours. This is an athletic dog breed, meaning that you’ll need to spend at least one hour to workout with him.

While his features certainly give him a face to fear, they are full of love and most of the time he’ll have a happy expression resembling a smile while it waves his short tail out of joy, but you can’t blame the people from being scared since it has a big head with powerful jaws. When they are properly taken care of they tend to weigh more than they should regarding his size, this may be for the amount of muscle mass they can get with a sufficient amount of workout to maintain his body structure as most athletes do. The male American Staffordshire Terrier gets to about 18 to 19 inches in height and 55 to 70 pounds in weight, the female gets about 17 to 18 inches and 40 to 55 pounds respectively.

    The hair had to be short to diminish as possible anything talk could set them back or make them slower, so the American Staffordshire Terrier has short and flat hair with practically any color presentation but the vast majority of the body is usually white with another color. They tend to shed a little bit of hair but nothing to worry about that much, same goes from the grooming requirements, since it’s so short with just a bath should be good to go but a weekly brush can come in handy and he would certainly appreciate, helping keep it sleek besides the nutrition. With his short coat, he may endure some low temperatures but his coat isn’t made to withstand a prolonged amount of time outside the house, they aren’t made as an outside-only dog and besides, they are happier when they are around the people they love.

Provide them the best health and care dedication, time, and investment and you might get them for about 16 years beside you, but on average they get till 12 more or less. This could depend on many things, starting with the right care and breed alongside with the health program in case he gets any disease as every living being is exposed to many of these, which is why most on every article or post you get to visit you’ll find that it’s highly recommended that you get any pet from reputable breeders only. 

PERSONALITY

    Dogs became part of people’s lives to be their companions and help them with work making it slightly easier and faster, they are called pets for a reason, a reason that was given by humans, so if they are used for other means and gain bad reputation is due to humans as well, not the dog. Humans made the good dog breeds and the bad ones, but the truth is that there don’t exist two types of pets, it’s just one, it all comes down to what the owner makes out of their pets, that’s why every dog deserves a home but not every home deserves a pet. The American Staffordshire Terrier is well known by those who treat them as they are, getting a gentle, extremely loyal, smart, playful, loving, and joyful companion. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, they are great with children but they should be kept under surveillance just to ensure that there’s no trouble. If you are worried about strangers, this would only apply with other dog breeds and possibly other small pets, but they don’t have any issue with people as they have a reliable temperament especially with his family, nonetheless, you should allow your American Staffordshire Terrier to relate, socialize, or interact with both, humans and other pets at an early stage so he can grow up with this mindset, they will still be calm but alert guard dog. 

    Sadly enough, you should keep him out of any dog parks or any other spot dedicated to pets since your American Staffordshire Terrier could be the main suspect if anything gets to happen with any affected dogs like the result of a dog attack, regardless he was a part of it or not, simply put, there are some people enjoy getting others into trouble as if it were a sport and find it somewhat satisfying, probably envious of your beautiful Amstaff to get you involved in any legal aspect. Be sure to take him outside only when it’s fully prepared and trained to prevent this type of situation at all cost to help remove that image and predisposition towards this kind of breed and not so much to show but to present them what they are capable of doing, how loving and gentle they are. Even when the American Staffordshire Terrier breed is good for the family environment, there should be one person that becomes close to him, because of his training, despite being a smart dog, they might get stubborn or behave differently. You don’t need to be mean with him, learn to properly use at your advantage the positive reinforcement or treats whenever he gets done something you want him to, but always maintaining a firm and hard composure and behavior towards your dog or else you’ll lose his respect in this manner. They can be gentle and soft on the inside but look mean and strong on the outside, you must be likewise and learn how to manage it for the greater good.

HEALTH AND CARE

    Food, care, and training are always fundamental with every pet, so, if you are planning on becoming a good American Staffordshire Terrier owner and to fully cover these and many other aspects you need to document and inform yourself in the best possible way before taking such an important step since it is a responsibility to have a pet under your care and one as special and unique as the American Staffordshire Terrier. A good and reputable breeder will get you some tips or information you may need the first few weeks and maybe afterward, there is something of their interest as they look to keep their pack as healthy as possible for their convenience at times but also because they truly care about their little ones, but it’s also recommended that you take your new American Staffordshire Terrier puppy to the vet to start a healthy program and schedule regular checkups depending on your pets needs. If there is anything special about your new Amstaff pup he will let you know and indicate the best plan of action. At a young age, there are several things to keep in mind and those are the vaccines, deworming, nutrition, and training, all of these aspects you can cover them up with the veterinarian, maybe not so much for the training part but he might point you in the right direction or set you up with a trainer. 

    Even if they aren’t part of the large dog breeds, you should feed your American Staffordshire Terrier puppy with large-breed growth food, this way he will grow in a slower rate but it won’t affect the size at all, he will reach the same height and size as he would with other dog food of good quality as an adult dog, the idea behind this is that you diminish the probability to contract some diseases that these medium-sized and especially the large and giant-sized dogs suffer like elbow dysplasia or hip dysplasia like with the Labrador Retriever for example. Your veterinarian should be the only person that determines which food suits best to your new Amstaff and when it’s the time to change it according to his age or any given condition, ensuring that it covers his nutritional needs, always consult before doing something, not just with the food but with everything that concerns his health. Something else related to his diet is the hygiene of his teeth, just like us they need regular cleaning to prevent and avoid dental diseases that could develop into more serious health concerns that could easily be avoided. 

    Following the idea of diseases related to the growth of your pet there’s another one that’s also related to some inherited diseases your Amstaff could develop alongside the previous ones about dysplasia, is another one related to the knee and that’s the luxating patella, which in case he has one of these diseases, you should treat them as soon as possible since he is an active and athletic dog and this type of injury can limit him or harm him greatly. Overweight is also something that you should avoid at all cost and will also limit his workout time of your American Staffordshire Terrier, even if it may be hard for them to gaining some extra weight you should always be aware of this since just like with humans, it brings a cascade of health concerns that they don’t deserve to experience and you’ll end up spending more money than you may spect. Other alterations or complications that you’ll need to look out for are related to the cardiovascular system, like heart murmur, or even bloat.

FINAL THOUGHTS

    Being the best dog owner doesn’t mean that you fill him with toys or accessories, you just need to have a true love for your pet, the dedication and everything else that comes with it will be part of this package, this is something that applies for every animal or even human being. If you want to be part of the dog sports world be sure to cover the essential part first before attempting one of these events, in case you aren’t thinking about this or simply don’t want to be part of it then remember to cover his workout daily time with a jog, long walk or a dedicated playtime to also reinforce part of the obedience training. 

Don’t let most of the mean comments discourage you from obtaining this magnificent, clever, loyal, trustworthy animal that can make the best companion in your household. If you treat them and fill them with love, they will always reply the same way, just remember to ask for help whenever you are in need to avoid any other issue and to clear any concern you may have. 

I hope you’ve found this article helpful and that might have helped you understand a bit more this misjudged yet magnificent dog. Adopt an American Staffordshire Terrier and I’ll promise you’ll get an experience that you’ll never forget. If you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below.

Professor Whiskers
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