American Staffordshire Terrier

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40-50 lbs
United States
Am Staff, Bull and Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier

Originally bred as fighters and bull baiters, these powerful dogs are slightly heavier and taller than the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  Over time, the breed was used for entertainment in pits, giving rise to its name, the Pit Bull.  However, it is still debated today whether the Am Staff and Pit Bull are in fact the same.  Despite their unfortunate reputations as aggressive dogs, developed early in the breed’s history, the American Staffordshire Terriers, Am Staffs for short, are gentle, loving dogs that are easily trained and make excellent family protectors.  Am Staffs require a lot of attention and vigorous exercise to keep their minds and bodies healthy as well as preventing them from developing destructive behaviors.

bull baiting, dog fighting
Date of Origin
bull terrier, mastiff

American Staffordshire Terrier Health

Average Size
Height: 18-19 inches Weight: 40-50 lbs
Height: 17-18 inches Weight: 40-50 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Heart Conditions
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Bladder Stones
Occasional Tests
  • Blood And Urine Protein Screens
  • Thyroid Tests
  • X-Rays

American Staffordshire Terrier Breed History

Before the 19th century, the ancestor of the modern day American Staffordshire Terrier was a cross between the old Bulldog and a Terrier or unknown descent, possibly a Fox Terrier or an English Terrier.  The former old Bulldog of England does not resemble its modern day namesake but appears more like a current day Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Initially, these early Staffordshire Terrier dogs were bred for baiting bulls for the butcher and later for sports entertainment as pit fighters, particularly for gaming rats and dog fighting in the pit.  Their strength and spirit gained them passage to the Americas where they continued to fight and compete in the pits, earning them the name of Pit Bull and Yankee Terrier. Americans preferred slightly larger dogs; which was selected for during breeding.  The American Kennel Club accepted the Am Staff for registration in 1936, and its name officially changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972 to distinguish itself as a separate breed from its smaller cousins in England, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Loyalty is a trademark quality selected for in this breed, which was once used for sporting.  Loyalty is a much-needed trait for a tenacious, high-spirited dog with great agility and strength; such is the character of the Am Staff. Unfortunately, the American Staffordshire Terrier has suffered a bad reputation throughout history.  Several breed-specific laws have been passed regarding owning this loyal and loving dog, but the Am Staff continues to appeal to people aiming to use it for fighting and gaming history rather than its ability for love and companionship.

American Staffordshire Terrier Breed Appearance

At once the American Staffordshire Terrier gives the impression of strength, despite being low to the ground.  The Am Staff is stocky and muscular with a medium length head and pronounced cheek muscles.  His ears are set high and at points.  The American Staffordshire Terrier’s eyes are dark and round and set far apart.  His jaws are powerful, and his lips are tight with no drooping.  The American Staffordshire Terrier’s neck is heavy and slightly arched as it tapers from the shoulder to the back of the head. The Am Staff’s shoulders are robust and muscular with his forelegs set wide apart, giving rise to a broad, deep chest.  This breed’s coat is glossy, short, stiff to the touch, and comes in all colors, including brindle with several marking types, such as masks, points, spots, patches, and brindle.  The Am Staff’s tail is short in proportion to the rest of its body and is set low, tapering to a point.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

American Staffordshire Terrier Breed Maintenance

American Staffordshire Terriers have short coats and with early exposure to grooming and brushing are easy to maintain.  Dirt and excess hair are easily removed to once weekly brushing, which will also keep your Am Staff’s coat shiny, but an American Staffordshire Terrier can be quite stubborn about grooming.  Despite having short hair, the Am Staff will shed often, and brushing will significantly help the process. American Staffordshire Terriers are prone to develop more bacteria in the mouths than the average canine and require teeth cleaning at least once a week if possible.  Never use teeth cleaning products designed for people and consult with your veterinarian or local grooming specialist of the best products and methods for cleaning your dog’s teeth at home. The Am Staff is an active dog who loves to dig in the ground and is at his best when he’s got a task to do.  Task-oriented training and playing will help keep his mind sharp, and his interests satisfied.  He doesn’t require a lot of space to run around, so the American Staffordshire Terrier is a good choice for apartment living, so long as he gets his mental and physical stimulation. The American Staffordshire Terrier is considered a medium size dog and should be fed in proportion to his body size and activity levels.  You should always pay close attention to your dog’s dietary needs and consult with your veterinarian to develop a feeding formula that best suits your Am Staff.

Brushes for American Staffordshire Terrier
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

American Staffordshire Terrier Temperament

The American Staffordshire Terrier is an intelligent dog who is extremely loyal to the family.  They are sometimes considered “nanny” dogs due to their patience and love for children but should never be left alone with children.  The American Staffordshire Terrier also makes for a great guard dog and protector of the family.  However, this breed requires early and consistent training, which can be difficult and time consuming given the breed’s stubborn nature. Around people, these dogs are well behaved and calm, but the Am Staff may view other dogs as a threat to him or his family.  This is mainly due to the selective breeding the American Staffordshire Terrier experienced early on when the breed was used for dog fighting and gaming. Some of the Am Staff’s greatest pursuits are to spend time with its people.  They have gentle personalities and can be somewhat shy at times.  The Am Staff also requires a confident owner who will demonstrate leadership and teach him appropriate “respect training.”  It is, therefore, not suggested that a novice dog owner adopts an American Staffordshire Terrier.  With proper love and training, this gentle, people pleasing dog is a great addition to any family.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

American Staffordshire Terrier Popularity

Popularity ranking
Popular Hybrids
Bullboxer Staff
American Staffordshire Terrier
Bullboxer Staff
English Bull Staffy
English Bulldog
American Staffordshire Terrier
English Bull Staffy
Frenchie Staff
French Bulldog
American Staffordshire Terrier
Frenchie Staff
Labrador Retriever
American Staffordshire Terrier
Olde Staff Bulldogge
American Staffordshire Terrier
Olde English Bulldogge
Olde Staff Bulldogge

American Staffordshire Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$2 - $2.3
Monthly Cost
$53 - $68

American Staffordshire Terrier Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 27 lbs
Height: 15 inches Weight: 27 lbs
12 Months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 35 lbs
Height: 16 inches Weight: 35 lbs
18 Months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 45 lbs
Height: 17 inches Weight: 45 lbs

Top American Staffordshire Terrier Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable American Staffordshire Terrier breeders of 2017.
LBK AmStaffs
Spokane, Washington
Explicit American Staffordshire Terrier
Pleasant Garden, North Carolina
Cimar Kennels
Lilburn, Georgia
Major League American Staffordshire Terriers
Acworth, Georgia
Blue Nile Kennel
San Antonio, Texas
Angel Moon Kennel
Crawfordsville, Indiana
DotCom Amstaffs
Houston, Texas
Ironheart Amstaffs
Rosanky, Texas
Rounders Ruffians
Boerne, Texas
Kayo Kennel
Atlanta, Georgia

American Staffordshire Terrier Owner Experiences

5 Years
2 People
Boat ride
Explore the woods
Look out the window
Catch treats
Play keep away
Dog Parks
Explore the city
Dressing up
Laying in the sun
My first dog and possibly will forever be my favorite dog. He’s so sweet and loving of other dogs and people
1 week, 6 days ago