American Staffordshire Terrier
A Loyal and Affectionate Companion!
Background and Description
The American Staffordshire Terrier gets an underserved amount of bad press in our view, and
contrary to what its critics say, it is not the dogs the press should be targeting,
but rather those who have been irresponsible in their training.
The American Staffordshire Terrier (AST), is a stocky, muscular and agile dog that is related to its
cousin, the English Staffordshire Terrier. The English line was most likely developed by crossing
the bulldog with various terriers, including the Fox Terrier.
Originally this breed was
trained for the bloody sport of bull baiting and later, dog fighting. Unfortunately this breed
line is sometimes negatively associated with this early history. If you want to get the true
facts about ASTs, I have recommended some books at the end of this page, written by credible authors.
After arriving in the United States, the breed was differentiated by its American name and
developed into two strains of the breed - one for show and one for fighting, the latter being
give the name American Pitbull Terrier. Today, while responsible owners are breeding and
socializing these dogs for their positive traits as well as to subdue dog-aggressive traits, sadly there
are still some who are not.
Don't bypass this wonderful breed because of media sensationalism.
breed can go haywire if it has been subjected to detrimental training by irresponsible
owners. If you're interested in the breed, seek out reputable breeders and learn the dog's
Height: 17-19 inches Weight: 40-50 lbs
Color variations: Red, fawn, white, black or blue, with white, any shade of brindle
Coat and Care:
The AST has a smooth coat that is both short and dense.
Grooming needs are moderate - brushing and rubbing down with damp chamois will keep the coat
healthy, and bathing need only be done as necessary.
Personality and Traits:
Contrary to some harsh criticism, the majority of American Staffordshire Terriers are not
aggressive to humans, but are affectionate, obedient, loyal and intelligent companions with a
devotion to their families. They are without doubt a strong and powerful dog and early
socialization and training is a must, preferably with an experienced owner who can establish
firm, but not harsh, leadership.
They are also noted for their fun loving high spirits
and unswerving protection to owners. It is a sad situation that the few victimized dogs that have
been aggressively trained and mishandled, have maligned many dogs associated with this breed line.
What Owners Of The Breed Say:
Read a great account of the breed from the proud owner of
Zoe and Buzz pictured above.
have an AST you'd like to tell everyone about? You can tell your dog's story here
This is a very active dog and is best suited for a family that enjoys an energetic lifestyle. The
AST needs a family that has sufficient time for regular daily exercise.
It should be no surprise that this active breed is best suited to a house with securely fenced yard and
room to run. Although, in addition, it still needs plenty of exercise outside of the yard.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is considered good with older considerate children, mainly for
the reason that they are very strong dogs and could accidentally knock over a small child. As
always any play between children and dogs should always be supervised by an adult.
This breed would be too active for a sedentary environment even though their appearance likely
makes the wonderful protectors!
Don't be mislead by the media that tend to shed the worst light on all Pit Bull type dogs.
Get an honest and complete understanding of the breed from experts and then decide for yourself.
Here are some worthwhile books to get you started: