American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Breed Profile Information by Scott Lipe

Description: The American Staffordshire Terrier is a medium sized dog that is surprisingly powerful for its size. The dog will be between 17 and 19 inches at the shoulder and the bitch 16 to 18 inches. The weight of this breed is found in the range of 55 to 70 pounds. The coat of the American Staffordshire Terrier is short and found in any color, solid or parti-colored. The ears of this dog can be left natural or cropped. The tail, however, is not docked. This dog will live for 10 to 15 years. It is also known as the Staffie, the Am Staff, and the Stafford.

History: The American Staffordshire Terrier originated in England and was a result of crossing Bulldogs with Terriers. When the dog was brought to the United States by immigrants, it was bred to have heavier musculature and a larger head. It was used at first as a fighting dog, but also was valued as a dependable guardian of farms and homes. The American Staffordshire Terrier found use as a companion dog as well.

Temperament: The American Staffordshire Terrier is extremely loyal and protective of its human family. It bonds strongly to all its members and will defend them with its life if need be. This dog is very good with children and used to be called the nursemaid dog. Reports of undesirable behavior have arisen in recent years, but the fault for this can be laid at the feet of irresponsible people who breed dogs irrespective of their temperament, which should be paramount. It is best to socialize the American Staffordshire Terrier while it is young to other animals and people. Remember, this dog is much stronger than its size would indicate and should be taught to heel when at leash while young.

Health Issues: The American Staffordshire Terrier can be subject to hip dysplasia. Congenital heart problems and heart murmurs can also arise in this breed. Cataracts and other eye problems can be present. The breed can also suffer from tumors. The American Staffordshire Terrier can suffer from skin irritations and allergies. As so much has been said about aggression with this breed, it would be wisest to make sure that the temperament of the dog or puppy is normal when considering a purchase.

Grooming: The short, neat coat of the American Staffordshire Terrier does not need extensive grooming, but regular brushing will keep it glossy and remove dead hairs. A ‘buffing’ with a chamois cloth will add extra shine. This dog does not need to be bathed often, but should be done only when the dog really needs it.

Living Conditions: The Staffordshire Terrier will be happiest if surrounded by its human companions. This dog needs to interact with its people on a daily basis and should not be kept outside, even in pleasant weather. It can live in an apartment with no trouble as long as it is given a long walk or jog every day. This is a very playful dog and will be energetic in the house, and so can satisfy some of its exercise needs in this way.

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