The American Staffordshire Terrier is a direct descendant of the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is famous in its homeland and around the world. The English Staffordshire Bull Terrier originated from a cross between a bulldog and a fox terrier, and was also used, contrary to popular belief, not only as a fighting dog. It was popular among hunters, in order to knock down wild boars, was used as a protector and guard, and these dogs were often kept by butchers.
In the mid-19th century, many were transported to the United States, where dog owners and breeders established their own breeding program and created their own club. In America, these dogs began to be called amstaff to somehow distinguish them from the English Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Moreover, in America, breeders bred larger individuals, which led to certain consequences.
In 1976, the official organizations (AKC, UKC) decided to change the name of the breed, and clearly separate the Staffordshire Terriers raised in America from their English brothers, since American dogs have already acquired their own characteristics, including larger ones. size, although they still have much in common with the English individuals.
American Staffordshire Terriers are now widely used as watchdogs and help in law enforcement. They participate in weightlifting and agility competitions, but they are loved all over the world primarily as pets.
Although, there is also a reputation for aggressive fighting dogs, due to which in some countries there are laws restricting the maintenance of the Amstaff breed. Also, there are frequent cases of problems with insurance companies in Europe and America. Be that as it may, today it is a very popular, versatile breed that enjoys success all over the world.
The Amstaff dog breed has a muscular body, short stature, but strength and power are guessed in every movement of the animal. The chest is wide and voluminous. The limbs are short, muscular, the neck is massive, the mouth is large, powerful (the Staffordshire Terrier has a bite force of about 22 atmospheres, if the mouth has the correct scissor bite and a full set of teeth, and this is despite its modest size).
The ears are usually docked or folded, the tail is not always docked. The coat is short and can be any color other than white, but the most common are black, brown and auburn.
Contrary to popular belief, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a very kind, sympathetic and friendly dog. Of course, there are many owners who are aware of the power of the jaws and the capabilities of their pet, and therefore consciously cultivate negative qualities in him and cultivate an aggressive perception of others.
However, if you are a normal person, then you will raise your dog accordingly, which means you should not be afraid that it will behave inappropriately and bring unreasonable harm to people or other animals. On the other hand, you must understand the degree of responsibility, and try to keep your dog from conflicts with other dogs (and they are possible – the amstaff is fearless and dangerous). Or, even more so, people, even if they are asking for trouble.
In the bosom of his family, the American Staffordshire Terrier, or as it is also called – amstaff, is a loving, extremely loyal and open dog. He will follow you to the ends of the world, will be a devoted friend and with amazing tenacity will endure any hardships. And if the owner educates his dog correctly, and takes care of early socialization, introduces him to his friends, visits her, introduces other dogs and tries to be friends with cats since childhood, his dog will be the soul of any company. This is absolutely certain. Although, sometimes there are cases when negative genes take over and the dog has incorrigible aggression.
In fact, in the early stages of development, it is extremely important to develop in an animal trust in people, not just in their owners. At the same time, you do not have to worry that when intruders enter your apartment or private house, the dog will want to make friends with them. This is not that breed at all. Most likely, an attacker will have to endure the most difficult moments in his life.
The Amstaff breed of dogs perfectly understands the situation, is distinguished by high intelligence, perfectly understands people and is aware of its responsibility if it is entrusted with the protection of the territory. Although this breed does not have a tendency to bark at anything that moves within its sight and hearing, at the right time it will react as it should.
These dogs are excellent protectors, and many owners train them specifically for such tasks, or hire a professional trainer for such purposes. They are categorically not suitable for keeping on a chain or in an aviary, they need contact with people.
Needs walks and physical activity, a variety of active games. She perceives children well, especially if they are children from her family. Then it will be the best protector, best friend, and the best nanny ever. In fact, you will be surprised how affectionate and kind this seemingly frightening fighting dog can be. But, if the owner is unfair, or cruel, the dog will express his resentment.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is very good at physical activity, exercise and training. In general, this breed is distinguished by obedience, and stubbornness usually manifests itself only in adolescence, when the dog begins to actively position itself. At this moment, the owner must show strength of character and show himself in the role of a leader.
Amstaff can learn many commands, but the basic ones must be learned without fail. The owner must be consistent, remain patient, be strict when necessary, but above all – wise, reasonable and kind. To reinforce commands, you can use them in everyday life, for example, when you are going to give your pet a toy or a treat. Also, try to maintain discipline regarding sleeping places and feeding times, especially if it is a male dog.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a smooth-haired breed. Therefore, you can brush your dog once a week and that will be enough. The eyes are usually cleaned daily, and the ears are cleaned 2-3 times a week. The animal is bathed once a week, the claws are trimmed 3 times a month.
The breed can get used to living in an apartment if it gets daily walks and exercise.
The American Staffordshire Terrier breed is generally in good health, but some problems do occur. Among them:
- skin allergies;
- urinary tract infections;
- autoimmune diseases;
- dysplasia of the hip joint;
- elbow dysplasia;
- cerebellar ataxia;
- heart diseases;
- dislocation of the patella.