American Staffordshire Terrier – a tender nanny for children or a killing machine? What is the true face of the legendary Amstaff?
Despite their fair posture and menacing appearance, American Staffordshire Terriers are very sensitive by nature. As extremely active, intelligent and brave dogs will quickly love all household members and never refuse to have fun together. They also have a positive attitude towards strangers and dogs … provided that they are properly brought up!
The high sensitivity of these dogs goes hand in hand with unusual susceptibility to stress and trauma. Lost, scared or frustrated amstaffs can react aggressively. Therefore, applying physical penalties to them, placing them in a bad environment or in a deadlock situation can make them extremely dangerous. However, coming from good breeding, properly raised and understood dogs of this breed will become a great companion not only for adults, but also for children. Still, leaving it alone with your child will not be the best idea.
Amstaff should be properly socialized with other dogs from an early age, for example by participating in dog kindergarten. A dog that, when young, will not learn proper relations with other quadrupeds, will have serious problems in adulthood and may even become aggressive towards other animals. Due to its weight and strong jaws, it will be a great danger for smaller dogs than themselves.
Amstaffs need a lot of traffic. Three short walks a day are definitely not enough! Dogs of this breed love fun and activities with people – dragging toys, wrestling, joint morning jogging or longer trips in the woods. Energy not used in a healthy way will find an outlet in a different way, not always suitable for the caregiver …
American Staffordshire Terrier is a muscular and strong dog. Appropriate training can make him a real athlete, to whom you can not compare a dog of any other breed. For this reason, Amstaffs excel in such sports as weight pulling or high jump.
Dogs of this breed also have an unusual feel. A friendly man will welcome you with enthusiasm and joy. However, the person who threatens the guardian will effectively deter. Thanks to this, amstaffs are the perfect company for an evening walk in the “murky” area.
Training and education
Amstaff is intelligent and willing to cooperate with dog. However, he will not always follow all instructions for a good guardian smile. Fortunately, it will not be difficult to motivate this dog properly with a toy or treat. Dogs of this breed must not be trained using aversive methods, i.e. shouting and physical violence. The use of punishment will quickly affect the sensitive psyche of this dog and make it become aggressive and truly dangerous.
As with any breed, Amstaffs must be brought up very consistently. These strong and extremely physically fit dogs can become a real nuisance not only on walks, but also at home. It is best to require certain rules from a child, such as not jumping on guests or getting out of bed at the command. Thanks to this, an adult, strong dog will not cause much trouble at home.
Who is this race for?
Amstaff is not a dog for everyone. He is a friend for a very active, balanced, resolute and responsible person, but also sensitive. It can also be raised by a novice owner – however, provided that he buys an amstaff puppy in a good, proven kennel and passes classes in a dog kindergarten under the guidance of a proven behaviorist or trainer, and the dog can provide not only orders and prohibitions, but also a sense of security and stability.
Advantages and disadvantages
American Staffordshire Terrier – what is it like? Learn its pros and cons!
poorly brought up can be dangerous
may have devastating tendencies
in winter it will freeze due to the lack of undercoat
devoted to the owner and very attached to the family
intelligent and willing to learn
suitable for dog sports
he doesn’t bark without a need
easy to care for
Amstaffs generally enjoy good health and are long-lived. Because of their high temperament, however, they experience injuries, such as rupture of the cruciate ligaments in the knee, which often require surgical intervention. Dogs of this breed also have a tendency to intolerance and food or contact allergies, as well as to atopic dermatitis. Hip and elbow dysplasia are also possible. There is a risk of deafness in dogs with a lot of white on their heads.
Due to the high activity of these dogs, their nutrition should be based on high-quality food with a high content of animal protein. Amstaffs can be fed with both good dry and wet food as well as meals prepared at home. The strong jaws of this breed of dogs can also easily handle BARF. Turkey necks or rabbit corps will not pose any challenge for them.
Due to the high risk of injury, amstaff can be given to dogs preparations for protecting joints and the musculoskeletal system – chondroitin, glucosamine, MSM and collagen. In the case of sports dogs, it is worth supporting healthy muscle development with preparations such as those created for HMB dogs.
American Staffordshire Terriers are not picky and will usually eat whatever they want. Therefore, they are exposed to obesity. Therefore, they should not be fed between meals and portions of food should be adjusted to the individual level of activity and demand of a given dog.
American Staffordshire Terrier is a dog that does not require intensive care. A pooch without an undercoat will also not molt. However, falling hair cover can be difficult to remove from clothes or bedding – they are stiff, short and easily cut into various materials. Therefore, a dog of this breed should be brushed at least twice a week, using a hard brush with thick bristles.
Amstaffs don’t have to be bathed too often. Their short hair does not collect mud or sand. Therefore, you can only wash an American Staffordshire Terrier dog if it gets seriously dirty. It’s best to use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners for dogs.
Because of their great temperament, American Staffordshire Terriers are better to wear with a harness than with a collar. Comfortable guards will protect the dog from neck injuries if it happens to jerk violently on a leash. Amstaffs should also not be run on flexi – the best will be a long leash or rope leash that will allow the dog to explore the area freely and the guardian to better control the pet.
The amstaff bed should be large enough for the dog to lie on it and stretch out on its side. A comfortable kennel cage, lined with a thicker mattress, can also be a comfortable place to sleep.
Some dogs of this breed can be real destroyers. Therefore, toys intended for them should be solid and do not have small parts that can be bitten off and swallowed. Kong type toys will be a great variety for meals for amstaffs – but it’s worth choosing those for dogs with strong jaws. Because of their tendency to contact allergies in amstaffs, the bowls for these dogs should be made of safe, non-allergenic materials. Heavy ceramic bowls will be the most suitable.
The ancestor of the Amstaffs was a medium-sized terrier bred in England. It was used for fashionable bullfights and later also for dog fights. Although in the UK the organization of such entertainment was officially banned, it still took place.
Apparently, bulldogs with white terriers were crossed for this purpose as early as the 18th century. Thanks to this, the progenitor of many modern breeds was created: bull terrier, boston terrier, staffordshire bull terrier, pit bull terrier and american staffordshire terrier.
In the nineteenth century, the English fighting dog went to the United States with British emigrants. The new sport quickly found supporters, was the favorite pastime of the poor and a way to earn a lot of money. The Americans have improved the English terrier a bit, making him a larger and more agile dog. Probably the no longer existing Blue Paul quadruped quadrupeds shaped the pit bull.
Over the years, pitbull has gained popularity, not only as a fighting animal, but primarily as a domestic dog. At the beginning of the 20th century, breeders who did not want to be associated as owners of fighting dogs, attempted to register a separate breed. This happened in 1936, when the American Kennel Club registered the breed standard, which has been called the American Staffordshire Terrier since 1972.
American Staffordshire terrier – group III FCI, section 3, reference number 286
Country of origin: United States
Character: dog very attached to the family, requires close contact with the owner; he is brave, durable and very physically fit; great guardian and defender
Size: at the withers of dogs 46-48 cm, bitches 43-46 cm
Weight: dogs 28-40 kg, bitches 28-38 kg
Coat: short, close-fitting, hard to the touch, shiny; no undercoat
Ointment: any uniform, brindle or spotted ointment is allowed; undesirable black-tan, chocolate and white color (if the whiteness covers more than 80 percent of the body surface)
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Weather resistance: medium; there is no undercoat, so it is not suitable for keeping outside all year round
One of the most famous amstaffs in history was Sergeant Stubby (born in 1916 or 1917, he died on March 16, 1926), who was the official mascot of the 102nd US Infantry Regiment. For 18 months he took part in battles in the French trenches during World War I, he survived 17 battles. He warned soldiers against gas attacks, found wounded on the battlefield, and once captured a German spy, holding him by the pants until the arrival of the Americans. He received the most awards from all dogs participating in World War I.