Dog Breeds

American Staffordshire Terrier Advantage and challenges


  • Loving, friendly, confident and easy-going
  • Very courageous and protective
  • Great with kids and adults alike
  • An excellent guard dog
  • Does OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Requires little grooming


  • Never allow to walk off-leash – can be aggressive with other dogs or strangers
  • Banned in some areas of the country and around the world
  • Can be difficult to housebreak
  • Requires a fair amount of exercise
  • Early and thorough socialization and obedience training are a must
  • Not a good choice for a timid or inexperienced owner

American Staffordshire Terrier Physical Characteristics


  • Medium, stocky build 16-19”


  • 57-67 pounds


  • Thick and short


  • Any color or combination

Life Expectancy

  • 9-15 years
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American Staffordshire Terrier Personality

The American Staffordshire Terrier (or “Staffie”, to its many fans) and the American Pit Bull Terrier are closely related breeds, sharing a common ancestry with the English Staffordshire Terrier. This powerful and confident dog is the 65th most popular breed registered with the AKC in the United States. Be aware, however, that in some parts of the country (and the world) ownership of both Staffies and Pit Bulls is banned or restricted.

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American Staffordshire Terrier History and General Information

History and Origin

In 19th century Staffordshire, the muscular, aggressive English Staffordshire Bullterrier was developed by crossing the Bulldog with various terriers. In the United States, the breed was further tinkered with by American breeders who beefed up its weight and head size, in the attempt to create an ideal fighting dog. When dogfights were banned in the USin 1900, the breed became split in two: a showdog strain and a fighting dog strain. The show strain was called the American Staffordshire, while the fighting dog strain was known as the American Pit Bull Terrier. Today both the Staffie and the Pit Bull are being bred for gentleness rather than fighting characteristics, and both breeds make wonderful pets for the right kind of owner.

General Information

A cheerful, outgoing and confident dog, the Staffie is also gentle, trustworthy and very loving towards its people. Sadly misunderstood at times, this dog is extremely loyal and affectionate with kids and adults alike. Wanting more than anything to please you, the brave and intelligent Staffie makes a wonderful guard dog as well as a delightful playtime companion. A courageous and tenacious fighter if provoked, the Staffie will literally fight to the death to protect its loved ones from harm. As with any fighting breed, early socialization and obedience training are a must to curb overly aggressive tendencies toward strangers or especially other dogs. This breed requires a confident, experienced owner who isn’t afraid to show the dog who’s boss; firm, patient training and socialization are absolutely necessary from early puppyhood, to help your Staffie grow up to be a good citizen and valued family member.

The Staffie’s smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom: brush regularly with a firm bristle brush, and bathe or dry shampoo as necessary.

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American Staffordshire Terrier Health

Health Ailments

A generally healthy breed, some Staffies are prone to hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts and congenital heart disease.

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American Staffordshire Terrier Community

Your American Staffordshire Terrier

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American Staffordshire Terrier Discussion Group

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