The American Staffordshire terrier can be traced back to the 18th century England. The breed originated from the White English Terrier and the Old English Bulldog. The first Staffordshire terrier came to America in the early 1850, where they evolved into two separate breeds, now known as the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. The British Kennel Club recognized the official breed in 1935 as the American Staffordshire Terrier. This Breed is affectionate and reliable with people; In fact the high tolerance which served them well in years gone by gives them unusual patience with children. They barely notice an infant chewing on their ear or a toddler playing "horsie". An occasional bump with a crutch or wheelchair is taken with good humour, making them good companions for the handicapped, Despite this amiability with humans, Some AMSTAFFS retain their terrier like pugnacity towards other animals, and owners must be capable of maintaining control.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a unique breed and has one of the richest and most well documented histories in the dog family. The American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier is not the same breed and we feel it is time to clear up this misconception. The American Staffordshire Terrier did spring directly from the American Pit Bull Terrier roots, but since its acceptance and the breeding, the breed now stands alone. With the acceptance into the American Kennel Club in 1935 the breed has been breed along completely different lines than its predecessors, (the pit bull). The American Staffordshire Terrier has been bred as a pet, family dog, child's guardian, and show dog and obedience competition.
Today 65 years after the breeds acceptance by the AKC, he has, like his cousin the Bulldog emerged from his past history as one of the most reliable, trustworthy and loyal of all dogs. Probably one of the most famous early American Staffordshire Terrier was "PETE" out of the little rascal's movies. The trainer stated that Pete was one of the brightest, easiest to train.
The current Buster Brown is a American Staffordshire Terrier, William Koehler regards the American Staffordshire Terrier as one of the finest and most reliable of all breeds of dogs. Today the Amstaff (American Staffordshire Terrier) is used for many purposes. He is an excellent family pet, companion and watchdog, and by just appearing on the scene he will deter most intruders. The breed is very competitive in the show ring and obedience ring. The Amstaff is a proud and noble of bearing, he combines power with grace and agility, he is bright and alert and has boundless courage. The Amstaff is intelligent and outstanding in training and discipline, he will adapt to most situations. The American Staffordshire Terrier is sleek short coated and requires minimum care with the variety of colours this makes the Amstaff one of the most spectacular breeds of dog.
The American Staffordshire Terrier was introduced into Australia in 1989 and has since competed in dog shows, obedience trials.
The Amstaff's temperament is that of the loving and loyal family pet. They are excellent natural guardians, and are able to discriminate between strangers that mean them or their family members harm, and those who do not. The Amstaff combines power with grace and agility. He is bright and alert and his courage is proverbial. They do have the tenacity of the terriers, but also posses a wonderful sense of humour. The breed is very intelligent and as with many breeds is best suited to an owner with some knowledge of animal behaviour, some basic obedience background and understanding of terrier traits and personality. They are wonderful as working dogs, competitors in conformation, obedience, Schutzhund, agility, and weight pulling competitions to name a few. They are not always a breed for everyone; can be too much dog for the inexperienced, and are not generally a good choice for first time dog owners. The Amstaff is a clean, quiet dog that doesn't bark without reason. They don't make much noise unless they feel the need is urgent. They like to lie in the sun, are somewhat sensitive to temperature extremes, and don't care much for water, although many Amstaffs enjoy swimming. With regard to exercise, the Amstaff is quite adaptable. If he is accustomed to a lot of physical activity, he will crave it, but if you make him more sedentary, that will likely be fine too. They are wonderful Athletes, they will run for miles with you if you are a runner, they'll play Frisbee, hike, swim, but they are also good house pets, and can be acclimatized quite easily to being couch-potatoes. The Amstaff is superbly gentle with children and the injured or infirm, and is intensely loyal and affectionate. The Amstaff's tolerance to pain makes him the ideal companion for children, remembering of course that all breeds of dogs should not be left unsupervised with children. Amstaffs are also capable of easily getting along with cats and other pets. The American Staffordshire Terrier should never be shy or uncontrollable aggressive. He is expected to be friendly, out-going and well behaved. These are the qualities which have endeared him to his loyal fanciers.
Choosing This Breed
This breed will make a great companion for an owner who plans to spend a lot of time with his dog and wants a close companion. He is not a good choice for a pet that will receive little or no attention. He is a strong, determined and intelligent animal. If left to his own amusement and untrained a bored Amstaff can do great damage to house or yard and can be hard to keep fenced. He may not be allowed to run loose because he will get into much trouble. Be sure that you are ready to devote the time and energy to this dog that it requires. This dog demands and thrives on a great deal of attention. Your relationship will benefit greatly from obedience training your dog. Due to his inquisitive intelligence and great strength for his size, this breed may require a more secure environment than some other breeds. If in doubt ask your breeder for advice.
Because of anti-dog legislation in recent years, it would be wise to check the county or municipalities in which you will live with this dog to make sure there are no laws or ordinances prohibiting ownership or limiting the maintenance of this breed. The life expectancy of this breed may be 12 - 16 years with good care. Take this into consideration when Purchasing a dog. Generally, health of an Am Staff is good, and the dogs have exceptionally strong constitutions.
Never purchase an Am Staff from a pet retailer. Buy from a breeder. Contact reputable breeders by attending dog shows, asking at your local dog clubs, reading breed or all-breed dog magazines. Visit more than one breeder if possible and compare their dogs rather than buying the first puppy you find. The right dog will be with you for a long time. Consider an adult or rescued dog - they may make a fine pet and are often available.
Some possible problems to watch for would be hip dysplasia, skin allergies, thyroid dysfunction, heart murmurs, and cancers. Ask your breeder what health screening they do on their breeding stock, and the results of that screening.