American stafforshire terrier

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Here, you will find all the useful information about american stafforshire terrier. This descriptive profile will allow you to discover the aspects of this breed. You can notably consult information about the average price, monthly and annual upkeep expenses, their health, name ideas, as well as their official recognition by competent authorities.

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Overall description of the breed

The American Staffordshire Terrier, often abbreviated to "Amstaff", is a breed of dog that originated in the United States. Its history dates back to the 19th century, when American breeders began selecting terrier-type dogs to create a powerful, athletic and dedicated breed. The Amstaff is the result of a cross between Bulldogs and Terriers.

In the early days, the Amstaff was used primarily for rat hunting, herding and farm protection. Over time, however, the breed also became involved in dog fighting, which gave it a controversial reputation.

In the early 20th century, Amstaffs were exported to England and Europe, where they became known as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. In the United States, the breed retained its original name, "American Staffordshire Terrier".

The morphology of the American Staffordshire Terrier is that of a medium to large dog, well muscled and compact. It has a broad head, rose or half-prick ears and dark, wide-set eyes. The tail is of medium length, tapering towards the tip. The coat is short, dense and smooth, with a glossy sheen.

As far as character is concerned, the Amstaff is a brave, confident dog that is loyal to its family. They are known to be affectionate with children and are often described as a 'gentleman' among dogs. Despite its past as a fighting dog, the Amstaff is now renowned for its stable, friendly temperament, making it an excellent companion dog and a good working companion.

Because of its powerful character, the American Staffordshire Terrier requires socialisation and early training to channel its energy and teach it good manners. With consistent, positive training, they can become reliable, obedient partners.

The average weight of the American Staffordshire Terrier is between 25 and 35 kg (55 and 77 pounds) for males, and between 20 and 30 kg (44 and 66 pounds) for females. The height at the withers is around 46 to 48 cm (18 to 19 inches) for males and 43 to 46 cm (17 to 18 inches) for females.

The breed standard recognises different colours, including black, blue, red, brindle and fawn. Combinations of white with any of these colours are also permitted, but more than 80% of the colour must be present to be considered acceptable.

The American Staffordshire Terrier's founding breed club is the American Kennel Club (AKC), which established the breed standard in 1936. In the same year it was recognised by the FCI on 10 June and the most recent update of the official standard in force was published on 3 September 1996.

In 1936, the American Kennel Club finally recognised the American Staffordshire Terrier breed, marking an important development since the recognition of the American Pit Bull Terrier, which had taken place 38 years earlier. The breed was originally known as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but to avoid confusion with its smaller English counterpart, the name was changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier in 1976.

This name change was essential to clearly distinguish the larger, more imposing American dog from its English relative. The American Staffordshire Terrier had developed distinct physical and behavioural characteristics, giving it its own unique identity.

The history of the American Staffordshire Terrier is closely linked to that of the American Pit Bull Terrier. The two breeds share common ancestors and a passion for dog fighting, which was unfortunately a common practice at the time of their emergence. Although dogfighting is now a thing of the past, it has left its mark on the history of these dogs.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is classified in Group 3 (Terriers) by the FCI. However, it is important to note that the breed may be subject to regulations and bans in certain regions due to its past reputation and specific laws on dog breeds in certain countries. Despite this, the Amstaff continues to grow in popularity as a loving and protective companion dog, ready to defend its family with dedication and loyalty.


The American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as Amstaff, originated in the 19th century in the United States. It comes from crosses between Bulldogs and Terriers, with the aim of creating a powerful and versatile dog. Initially used for dog fighting, breeders began selecting these dogs for their companion qualities and balanced temperament. Amstaffs evolved to become loyal and protective family dogs. Through strict breeding, the American Staffordshire Terrier has retained its physical robustness while developing an affectionate and loyal character, making it a beloved companion in many homes.


The American Staffordshire Terrier has a rich and complex history. In the early 19th century, Bulldogs and Terriers were crossed in England to create robust and tenacious fighting dogs. These dogs were imported to the United States where they evolved as workers and farm guardians. In 1936, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed as the Staffordshire Terrier, before changing its name to American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972 to distinguish American dogs from their British counterparts, the Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Over the years, selection has favored a more stable and friendly temperament, allowing the Amstaff to establish itself as an excellent companion dog. Today, it is appreciated for its loyalty, courage, and affection towards humans, while retaining an athletic and impressive appearance.


The American Staffordshire Terrier breed standard is defined by several distinctive characteristics. According to the AKC, the Amstaff should be a medium-sized, well-proportioned and muscular dog, expressing strength and agility. The head is of medium length, with a wide skull and pronounced stop. The ears can be cropped or uncropped, but are generally short and semi-erect. The eyes are round, dark in color and well-spaced. The muzzle is of medium length with a powerful jaw. The neck is thick and slightly arched, widening towards the shoulders. The body is compact with a broad and deep chest. The legs are strong and straight with good bone structure. The tail is short in relation to the body size, carried low and tapers. The Amstaff should demonstrate a perfect balance between power and grace, without excess weight or thinness.

Physical characteristics

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a medium-sized dog, well-proportioned and muscular. Males generally measure between 45 and 48 cm at the withers and weigh between 25 and 30 kg, while females measure between 43 and 46 cm and weigh between 20 and 25 kg. Their coat is short, tight, and glossy, requiring little maintenance. Accepted coat colors include black, blue, fawn, red, brindle, and white, with or without white markings. The head is broad with powerful jaws, short and semi-pricked ears, and round, dark eyes. The body is compact with a wide and deep chest, strong limbs, and a short, tapered tail. All of these characteristics give the Amstaff an athletic and imposing appearance, while maintaining a certain elegance.


The American Staffordshire Terrier is known for its balanced and affectionate character. It is a very loyal and devoted dog to its family, often described as an excellent companion. The Amstaff is intelligent and courageous, making it a protective dog, ready to defend its loved ones. Despite its reputation as a guard dog, it is generally very sociable and loving with children, showing great patience and a gentle nature. It is also social with other pets if well socialized from a young age. The Amstaff is energetic and needs a lot of exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy. It is a dog that loves to play and interact with its family members. With proper training, it can be very obedient and respond positively to training.

Life expectancy

The American Staffordshire Terrier enjoys a relatively long life expectancy for a dog of its size, typically ranging from 12 to 16 years. This longevity is the result of rigorous selection aimed at promoting healthy dogs free from serious hereditary diseases. To maximize the Amstaff's life expectancy, it is crucial to provide it with a balanced diet, regular veterinary care, and a stimulating environment that meets its physical and mental needs. Special attention should be given to daily exercise, dental care, and parasite prevention. In general, well-maintained and loved Amstaffs by their owners can live a long and happy life, bringing joy and loyalty to their families for many years.

Exercise and activity needs

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a very energetic dog that requires a lot of exercise and activity to stay healthy and happy. It is recommended to provide him with at least one hour of intense exercise per day, including walks, runs, and interactive games such as frisbee or fetch. Amstaffs also enjoy mental challenges, so agility training or puzzle games can be very beneficial. Exercise not only helps to maintain their physical condition, but also helps to prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors. These dogs are naturally active and enjoy having tasks to accomplish, whether it's playing with their owners or engaging in more structured activities. Providing regular sessions of physical and mental activity is essential for their overall well-being.

Recommended diet

To ensure optimal health for the American Staffordshire Terrier, balanced and high-quality nutrition is essential. A diet rich in protein is recommended to support its dense musculature. Specific premium kibbles for active breeds, combined with portions of lean meat, vegetables, and rice, are a solid foundation. It is important to monitor quantities to avoid overweight. On average, the monthly cost of feeding an Amstaff ranges between 50 and 80 euros, depending on the quality of the chosen products. It is also advised to include supplements such as omega-3 for healthy skin and coat. Always provide fresh water and regularly consult a veterinarian to adjust the diet according to the age, weight, and activity level of the dog.

Training and obedience

The American Staffordshire Terrier is an intelligent and eager to please dog, which makes training and obedience easy. Starting training at a young age is crucial to establish strong behavioral foundations. Early socialization is essential to help him interact positively with other animals and people. Training should be based on positive methods, such as rewards and encouragements, to reinforce desired behaviors. Consistency and patience are essential, as the Amstaff can sometimes be stubborn. Structured training classes can be beneficial for owners, especially those with no experience with this breed. By incorporating play sessions and stimulating activities, training can be both effective and enjoyable for the Amstaff, contributing to a harmonious relationship between the dog and its owner.

Behavior with children

The American Staffordshire Terrier is generally very gentle and protective with children. Known for its patience and tolerance, it can be an excellent playmate. However, as with any dog breed, it is crucial to supervise interactions between the Amstaff and young children to ensure everyone's safety. It is also important to teach children how to interact respectfully with the dog. Thanks to its affectionate nature and desire to please its loved ones, the Amstaff often develops close bonds with family members, including children. With proper socialization and training, the Amstaff can be a wonderful addition to a family with children, bringing joy, protection, and affection into the home.

Compatibility with Other Animals

The American Staffordshire Terrier can coexist harmoniously with other pets if well socialized from a young age. Due to its origins, it may have a tendency towards dominance, but with proper training, this characteristic can be managed. Gradual and controlled introduction to other animals, as well as continuous supervision, are essential to develop peaceful cohabitation. It is particularly important to monitor interactions with small animals, as the hunting instinct can sometimes manifest itself. In general, a well-socialized Amstaff will be tolerant and even friendly with other animals, especially if exposed to them from a young age. Owner supervision and patience are key factors in ensuring a successful integration of the Amstaff into a multi-animal household.

Grooming needs

The American Staffordshire Terrier has a short and dense coat that requires minimal maintenance. A weekly brushing is usually sufficient to remove dead hair and keep its coat shiny. During shedding periods, more frequent brushing may be necessary. Bathing should only be done when necessary, to avoid stripping the natural oils from the skin that keep the coat healthy. Ears should be checked regularly and cleaned to prevent infections. It is also important to trim the nails regularly and brush your Amstaff's teeth to prevent dental problems. Although the grooming needs of the Amstaff are relatively low, a regular care routine contributes to its overall health and well-being, while strengthening the bond between the dog and its owner.


The American Staffordshire Terrier is generally a sturdy breed, but can be subject to certain health conditions. Common problems include hip dysplasia, skin allergies, and some heart diseases. Choosing responsible breeders who conduct health tests on their breeding dogs is crucial to minimize the risk of hereditary diseases. Amstaffs may also be predisposed to certain types of cancers. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and periodic veterinary check-ups help maintain their health. Owners' vigilance regarding abnormal symptoms and regular veterinary follow-up can help detect and treat health problems at an early stage, ensuring a long and healthy life for the Amstaff.

Average price

The price of an American Staffordshire Terrier can vary significantly depending on several factors, including lineage, pedigree, breeder reputation, and region. In general, the cost of a quality Amstaff puppy ranges from 800 to 1500 euros. Puppies from champion bloodlines or reputable breeders can cost up to 2000 euros or more. It is important to choose a responsible breeder who conducts health tests on their dogs and raises their puppies in a healthy and stimulating environment. Initial costs may seem high, but investing in a quality puppy from a good breeder can reduce future veterinary expenses and ensure a healthy companion.


Monthly expenses for an American Staffordshire Terrier include food, veterinary care, accessories, and activities. On average, it is necessary to budget between 60 and 100 euros per month. Food represents a significant portion of this budget, with quality kibble costing around 50 to 80 euros per month. Routine veterinary care, including vaccines and parasite control, can cost between 10 and 20 euros per month. In addition, there are costs for accessories such as collars, leashes, toys, and potential expenses for training classes or leisure activities. Depending on the specific needs of each dog, these costs can vary, but it is important to budget adequately to ensure the well-being of your Amstaff.

Name ideas

Choosing the right name for your American Staffordshire Terrier can be a fun process. Here are some name suggestions that may suit this dynamic and affectionate breed: Rocky, Bella, Duke, Luna, Max, Daisy, Thor, Ruby, Zeus, Rosie, Diesel, Nala, Ace, Stella, Rex, Athena, Bruno, Lola, Titan, Molly. Picking a name that reflects your Amstaff's personality and appearance can strengthen your bond with them. Opt for short and easy-to-pronounce names for better responsiveness during training. Take the time to observe your puppy and see which name seems to best fit their unique character.

Legislation and regulation

In France, the American Staffordshire Terrier is classified in category 2 according to the law on dangerous dogs. This means that owners must comply with certain obligations, including obtaining a detention permit, sterilizing the dog, and taking out civil liability insurance. Amstaffs must also be kept on a leash and muzzled in public places. Owners must undergo specific training on managing category 2 dogs. Similar measures exist in other countries, but details may vary. It is crucial to inquire about local legislation before adopting an Amstaff to ensure full compliance and avoid potential sanctions.

Official recognition

The American Staffordshire Terrier is recognized by several canine organizations around the world. In the United States, it is registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC). In France, the Société Centrale Canine (SCC) also recognizes it. In the United Kingdom, it is registered by the Kennel Club. Other organizations include the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which brings together many international canine clubs. This official recognition allows the Amstaff to participate in dog shows and working competitions, providing a platform to demonstrate its abilities and its compliance with breed standards.


There are several recognized breed clubs around the world for the American Staffordshire Terrier. In France, the French Club of the American Staffordshire Terrier (CFAT) is a reference for breeders and owners. In the United States, the American Staffordshire Terrier Club of America (ASTC) plays a similar role. In the United Kingdom, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club is involved in promoting the breed. These clubs provide information on pedigrees, quality breeders, and events related to the breed. They also offer resources for education and support for owners, contributing to the preservation and improvement of the breed.

Destination and usage

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a versatile dog used in various fields. Traditionally, it was bred to be a working dog, capable of guarding and protecting properties. Today, due to its intelligence and desire to please, it is often used as a therapy dog, providing comfort and support to people in hospitals and nursing homes. It also excels in dog sports such as agility, flyball, and competitive obedience. Because of its protective and loyal nature, the Amstaff is also an excellent family dog, offering both affection and security to loved ones.


Due to its classification as a Category 2 dog in France and other countries, the American Staffordshire Terrier faces certain restrictions. For example, it is prohibited in some public places without a leash and muzzle. In addition, municipal regulations may prohibit its presence in parks or beaches. Owners must also comply with strict legal obligations, such as obtaining a holding permit and subscribing to civil liability insurance. Some insurance companies may refuse to cover households with an Amstaff. It is crucial to understand and respect these regulations to avoid fines and ensure harmonious cohabitation with your dog and the community.

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