Book First Walk Free!
The Root of the Behavior
Like most terriers, Amstaffs will create their own fun in the absence of other things to engage their minds and wear out the energy in their bodies. Because American Staffordshire Terriers are very strong dogs with powerful jaws, they can wreak a lot of damage in a short amount of time. This breed is born with a penchant for chewing things; perhaps even more so than some other breeds. Because of this, it is critical to ensure that your Amstaff has access to a lot of toys that can stand up to the regular, intense chewing that is a hallmark of this particular type of dog. Dogs love to chew not only because it is a means of alleviating boredom but also because it provides a sense of stress relief. It is a natural habit for a dog, and it feels good to them to chew. If there are not adequate items provided for Fido to chew on, he will begin to source his own items in your house. This invariably is never good. Fido's top choices might include the legs on your grandmother's antique dining set or the headboard of your cherished maple sleigh bed. Also satisfying to the Amstaff is tearing apart items that are stuffed with foam, down, or fluff.
Encouraging the Behavior
It's easy to see the bigger picture. Your Amstaff likes to chew either because he is bored or needs to burn off some energy. The best way to combat this problem is by making sure your Amstaff has access to a lot of toys to keep his mind and his mouth engaged in appropriate activities; otherwise, your furniture might bear the brunt of his attention. As with most destructive behaviors, chewing inappropriate items is usually far worse during puppyhood when your dog is both teething and still discovering his world with his mouth. It is important to always fill your home with toys in diverse shapes, sizes, and colors. You want to encourage him to become an enrichment seeker. This is rarely difficult to achieve in any terrier since this group of breeds is known for their independent spirit and problem-solving capabilities. However, you want to teach your dog while he is young that there are things that are intended for his fun and things in your home that are off limits. It is best to accomplish this during puppyhood. The key is to provide toys that do different things and challenge your dog's brain. Amstaffs are a very smart breed, and they lose patience with things that aren't very interesting or that don't test their intelligence. This is why having diversity and variety in your selection of toys is so important.
It is not necessary to break the bank by investing thousands of dollars in toys to keep your dog from becoming bored. Simply select a few toys that you can add to an ongoing repertoire then rotate them daily to keep your dog's interest piqued. While Amstaffs do possess stronger than average jaws and thus go through toys more quickly than smaller, less powerful breeds, you do not have to spend a fortune to build your dog's toy box. Making use of services like Bullymake that send a monthly shipment of toys designed specifically for tough chewers can be a wise investment and form the basis for toys that will stand up to abuse. You can then round out your toy selections with things from your local dollar store. Nothing will last forever so spend your money on things that you think will keep your dog's attention but don't spend a fortune on any one item as it is not likely to last. With Amstaffs, toy acquisition is an ongoing conquest.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Be certain to include a variety of toys in your dog's crate to prevent boredom; otherwise, your Amstaff might take it upon himself to shred and eat his blankets and even his crate! It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and Amstaffs take this adage as a personal challenge when they are bored. Another positive way to channel your Amstaff's energy is through training. Amstaffs are incredibly smart and are highly trainable dogs. They excel in many different sports including Rally, obedience, and weight pull to name a few. Amstaffs are generally both food and toy driven, making training a fun prospect for you both. Because this breed has been the subject of Breed Specific Legislation, it is also a great idea to prepare your dog to take the Canine Good Citizen test. This award is based on assessing several different basic obedience commands that evaluators deem essential qualities dogs should have in order to be considered well-mannered neighbors. This is a great opportunity to showcase a wonderful breed and your dog's solid temperament.