American Staffordshire Terrier Information

use keyboard arrows for additional information about this breed

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a strong and powerful dog for its size. The breed has a stocky, muscular body that is agile and athletic. Their broad head features a short muzzle and a commanding set of jaws. Their erect ears are typically cropped. American Staffordshire Terriers have round black eyes, a tail that tapers to a point, and teeth that close in a scissors bite. The coat of this breed is thick, glossy, and short, and it exists in a variety of colors. The breed is classified by AKC as the “American Staffordshire Terrier”, and is referred to as the “American Pit Bull Terrier” by the UKC. Generally, American Staffordshire Terriers have larger heads and are heavier than American Pit Bull Terriers.

add info


American Staffordshire Terriers are gentle and good-natured towards people. They are happy, social, and excellent with children. The breed makes a great companion, as they are affectionate and protective over their families and owners. They constantly aim to please, and are highly obedient. American Staffordshire Terriers are natural guard dogs, and they are highly intelligent and courageous. Selective breeding has produced American Staffordshire Terriers that are trustworthy, stable, and especially good dogs with children. It’s important for owners to properly socialize this breed to prevent the onset of aggressive behavior. When sufficiently obedience trained, American Staffordshire Terriers will get along well with other animals and dogs. This breed requires an owner that is active, understanding, and patient.

add info


16 – 19 inches
add info


57 – 67 pounds

13wks old puppy weight
add info

General Health

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a comparatively healthy breed. Some known concerns include hip dysplasia, cataracts, and congenital heart disease. American Staffordshire Terriers typically live for 9 to 15 years. They average 5 to 10 puppies per litter.

CRITICAL STAGES OF PUPPY DEVELOPMENT 0 to 7 Weeks Neonatal, Transition, Awareness, and Canine Socialization Puppy is with mother and litter mates. During this period, puppy learns about social interaction, play, and inhibiting aggression* from mother and litter mates. (*Note: Some lines of dogs don't begin to get incisors until about 7 weeks, so this time period may last two additional weeks in those dogs--one can't learn to inhibit his bite if he has no teeth.) Puppy learns to use species specific behaviors that make him a dog. Practices body postures, facial expressions, and vocalizations and learns their effects on siblings. Plays chase games to learn coordination and timing, greeting behaviors to learn body postures and fight games teach him use of his body, learns to accept discipline during this time from his mother. Learns bite inhibitions and weaning. Mother dogs set up the puppies for these lessons. Very important to let mother dog stay with pups to teach these lessons. Puppies must stay with their mother and litter mates during this critical period. Puppies learn the most important lesson in their lives - they learn to accept discipline. 7 to 12 Weeks Human Socialization Period The puppy now has the brain waves of an adult dog, but his attention span is short. This period is when the most rapid learning occurs. Learning at this age is permanent so this is a perfect time to start training. Also, this is the ideal time to introduce the puppy to things that will play an important part in his life. Introduce the puppy to different people, places, animals, and sounds in a positive, non-threatening way. 8 to 11 Weeks Fear Imprint Period Avoid frightening the puppy during this period. Any traumatic, frightening or painful experience will have a more lasting effect on the puppy than if it occurred at any other time in its life. Avoid any elective surgery* at this time. 13 to 16 Weeks Seniority Classification Period or The Age of Cutting Puppy cuts teeth and apron strings! Puppy begins testing who is going to be pack leader. From 13 weeks on, if puppy attempts to bite, even in play, it is an attempt to dominate. You must discourage any and all biting because such biting is a sign of dominance! (*Note: A quick pinch of the puppy's lip while staring him in the eye and having a stern voice in his face works well in most puppies.) Pup is attempting to clarify and resolve the question of leadership. Establishing rules for pup extremely important at this time. It is important that you are a strong and consistent leader. Formal training must begin. Such training will help you establish your leadership. 4 to 8 Months Play Instinct Period Flight Instinct Period Puppy may wander and ignore you. It is very important that you keep the puppy on a leash at this time! The way that you handle the puppy at this time determines if the puppy will come to you when called. At about 4-1/2 months, the puppy loses his milk teeth and gets his adult teeth. That's when puppy begins serious chewing! A dog's teeth don't set in his jaw until between 6 and 10 months. During this time, the puppy has a physical need to exercise his mouth by chewing. 6 to 14 Months Second Fear Imprint Period or Fear of New Situations Period Dog again shows fear of new situations and even familiar situations. Dog may be reluctant to approach someone or something new. It is important that you are patient and act very matter-of-fact in these situations. Never force the dog to face the situation. DO NOT pet the frightened puppy or talk in soothing tones. The puppy will interpret such responses as praise for being frightened. Training will help improve the dog's confidence. Use treats and positive methods to coach dog at this time. Any training classes began at this age needs to be fun and non-stressful for the dog. Neuter or spay the dog now. 1 to 4 Years Maturity Period You may encounter increased aggression and renewed testing for dominance. Continue to train your dog during this period.

add info


American Staffordshire Terriers were developed in the nineteenth century in the English region of Staffordshire. The combative, active breed was constructed from the Bull and Terrier types of years past. It was brought to the United States, where the breed was given increased size and a more powerful head. American Staffordshire Terriers make very loving companions, but this breed (along with its cousins) has gotten a bad wave of press from the media. It’s important for people to be aware that many of the news stories (like attacks involving “Pit Bulls”) are performed by ill-bred, mixed dogs that are a different breed altogether. The American Pit Bull Terrier is an excellent companion dog and excels in many different canine talents and abilities. Few breeders are able to list characteristics (besides bloodline) that distinguish the American Staffordshire Terrier from the American Pit Bull Terrier. For this reason, many dogs of these breeds are dual registered as Amstaffs with the AKC and Pit Bulls with the UKC.

The American Staffordshire terrier is not a new breed. Although it gained American Kennel Club registration and recognition in 1936, it has been developed since the early 1800's as a result of crosses between the bulldogs of that time and game terriers. One of the early and very famous AKC registered Staffs was Pete the Pup, (real name Lucenay's Peter), dog star of the original Our Gang comedies of the 1930's. Although the early ancestors of this breed came from England, the development of the American Staffordshire terrier is the story of a truly American breed. This type of dog was instrumental in the success of farmers and settlers who developed this country. They were used for general farm work, hunting wild pigs, bears, and other large game, guarding the homestead, and general companionship. A number of the early ancestors were also developed for the "sport" of dog fighting. The extraordinary vitality of this breed is a direct result of breeding for successful fighting dogs. This now illegal activity is, unfortunately, more often cited as the early purpose of the dogs rather than the general farm work. Although ancestors of the American Staffordshire were fighting dogs, the selective breeding since the 1930's has been away from the fighting heritage. The American Staffordshire terrier of today is a companion and show dog, rather than a gladiator. Although more rarely used on the farm now, the talents that made him a good all purpose dog are still to be found in the breed. The American Staffordshire terrier is one of the oldest of the terrier breeds. It originated in the early part of the 1800s, the result of crosses between the bulldog of that time and the game terrier. We can say that our breed is truly American. The American Staffordshire terrier is now being developed in accordance with the AKC Official Standard established in 1936, the year in which the breed gained ARC recognition. The Staffordshire comes in all colors: brindle, parti, patched, or any combination. In this breed it is easy to find a color you like. They are flashy dogs whose beauty and power immediately win the admiration of onlookers. Just a glance at one is enough to convince you that here is a dog possessed of great class plus strength unusual for his size. The versatility and temperament of an ideal American Staffordshire terrier are unsurpassed. They will hunt, go to ground with the same zest as other terriers, make excellent family guardians or stock dogs, and are not too large for the apartment. Moreover, because they have never been a pampered breed, have always been "all dogs," they have exceptionally strong constitutions. They seem almost immune to all the trivial dog ailments.

add info


American Staffordshire Terriers have a short coat that is easy to groom and maintain. A regular brushing and dry shampoo are all that is necessary. Rubbing the coat of this breed with a cloth will add a glossy sheen. This breed is an average shedder.

add info

Ideal Environment

American Staffordshire Terriers can live in a small household or apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. This breed is very active indoors and prefers warm temperature climates.

Most owners choose to use boots and sweaters during walks in cold weather. This breed is very vulnerable to extreme cold.

add info

Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

Find your new Pooch

Puppies For Sale Find a Breeder Rescue a Dog
Be the First to take out an Ad! Affenpinscher
Berlin, DE
Die Hobbyzucht im „Butzemannhaus“ ist geprägt von Liebe und Respekt gegenüber den Tieren. Ich sehe meine Tiere nicht...
Be the First to take out an Ad!

American Staffordshire Terrier Q&A

Ask a Question

Does anyone know if it would be ok to leave my 4mo old amstaff alone with another 4mo old german shepard pup by themselves or do you think they will be aggressive with each other when i am gone? They play well together while i am there but i don't know.

Both dogs have a history of aggresive behavior. Though your dogs are young, and sound to be well socialized. I would not recomend leaving them together while you are gone though they may be just fine. I firmly believe that if the dogs are raise correctly and well socailized that they could be left alone without any problems, but it is not recomended if there are other options. Also as the dogs grow up they may naturally become more agressive. I do not believe that either breed is more agressive than any other breed just that they have unfortunately had bad press due to bad ownership. Both breeds need a dominant owner, and to be well socialized from the time they are very young. I wish that the press would focus not on the dog but the ownership of the dog when problems arise.


i have 2 female staffordshires that are aggresive towards eachother. catie we had for about 2 yrs before blue came to live with us. any suggestions to regain control?

I have a part Staffordshire Terrier and part Rhodesian Ridgeback female called Tess. She goes 80lbs now at 2 yrs old. We also have a Shortie Jack Russel [Brin] that is 10lbs. I would never leave them alone together while I'm not here . . . but a good way to control Tess was an electronic collar to train her. These collars can be used in a good way without harm to the dog. Works great. I only low shocked her once . . . [I tried it on myself and wasn't bad] . . . after that the beep warning works . . . never shocked her again.


Is this breed okay to be around small children? I just got one that is about 8 weeks old.

I have had my Amstaff since she was 8weeks old and my daughter was 6mths they grew up togeter and now my dog is more protective of her that anyone in the family. It takes time and patients, but as my daughter got older she became the dominate owner at the age of 3. Its not impossible my dog knows who's in charge and that is most important.


I have a 2 year old American Staffordshire Terrier. How long does her menstruation cycle last? How often does it occur?

Every six months. Typically, it lasts three weeks, but there is individual variations of course.


are american staffordshire bull terriers illegal in britain?



Are American Staffordshire terriers ok with living with another animal(like a cat)? (the dog is about 3 month old)

we have 2 am staffs, one is14 and the other is 9. We also have 2 cats. if you raise them with cats usually the cats become part of the pack. The male am staff is a little less tolerant of the cats, and chases them around, and sometimes growl when they are in his face, but he tolerates them. keep the cat away when the dog is eating.


My am staff is 7 months old and he is still quite hyper and nipps at the kids occasionally. he also likes to chew everything. What can I do to change this

Apparently your dog is bored out of his mind. Mine is still a pup and with lots of stimulation and walks he is not destructive. They are an active breed and thus wanting to play all the time. I suggest that you teach him that nipping is wrong by squealing like a pup when he does, this this teaches him that he is hurting one of his pack members. They also become very vocal when they want to do something. I suggest playing ball, which they love to do, and going on long family walks. This will help out with the frustration he feels, also they do become tired after a hard day of play. If doing so, this dog will become a family oriented dog who loves a lot and wants to please his owners.


I have a family with two children 6 and 3. From my experiences with dogs, I want to get TWO AM Staff. We live in house with a fairly large compound. I am seriously in love with this breed but I want to know if I am making the right choice?

If you get two make sure that they are male and female, or else they could become very aggressive with each other.


I just became an owner to a rescued AmStaff. He has a broken jaw and tooth from abuse. He's 5 y/o and as gentle as the day is long. Anyone have any ideas or tips on how to get him to eat/drink? The vet has been giving him IV's so that he will have some nutrients and fluids.

I have two american staffords and whenever mine do not want to eat I add just a little bit of milk sprinkled on thier food or I buy the can food and mix it with thier regular food. May want to try to get him started that way.


I became the owner of a 3 y/o AmStaff last year. Over the last year she has become kind of aggressive towards people who enter the house. Is there any way to make her more welcoming towards people who come in the house?

There are several possible reasons for this type of behavior: 1. She is being terrirorial over your house or you. 2. She may not like the person entering your house. 3. If she has any emotional baggage she may have an inherent distrust of some people especially when they come into her home. Talk to your vet or a behaviorlist if it persists

View all Q&A

American Staffordshire Terrier Photos

Upload a Photo

Recent Products

Relevant Blogs