By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 17th March 2023

American Staffordshire Terrier


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 17th March 2023

Stocky and muscular, the American Staffordshire Terrier, popularly known as Amstaff, is a medium-sized dog characterized by a broad head, well-pronounced jaws, prominent cheekbones, dark, round, well, set eyes, short, half-pricked or rose ears, strong shoulders, and low set tail tapered to a point. They are a different breed and a taller version of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which has its roots in the United Kingdom.

American Staffordshire Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

Other namesStaffy, Staffie, Stafford, Staff, Am Staff, Amstaff, American Staffy
CoatShort, close, glossy, stiff
ColorBlack, blue, black brindle, blue brindle, blue fawn, blue fawn brindle, bronze, brown brindle, fawn, fawn brindle, fawn sable, liver, liver brindle, red, red brindle, red sable, seal brown, white (markings of black mask, blue mask, patched, spotted, tan points, white markings, white mask)
Breed typePurebred
Average lifespan 12 to 16 years
Size (How big do they get)Medium
Height of a full grown AmstaffMale: 18 to 19 inches; Female: 17 to 18 inches
Weight of a full grown AmstaffMale: 55 to 70 pounds; Female: 40 to 55 pounds
Litter size5 to 10 puppies
Behavioral traitsGentle, affectionate, intelligent, outgoing, loyal
Good with childrenYes
Barking tendencyMinimal (only on hearing or sensing something unusual)
Climate compatibility Tolerant to temperate climate, though most comfortable indoors
Shedding (Do they shed)Minimal
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationAKC, CKC, ANKC, NZKC, FCI, ACA, ANKC, APBR, DRA, NAPR, NKC

American Staffordshire Terrier Puppies Video

History and Origin

The breeds of bull origin were initially popular for all the wrong reasons since they were pitted against each other in the fighting ring or even with bulls and bears. Post the period when dog fighting was deemed illegal in England, enthusiasts had come forward to create a kind possessing the stocky built and fierce jaws of the bulldog alongside the courage, gameness, and agility of the terrier. The Staffordshire Bull terrier was a product of this endeavor. Upon its arrival to the United States of America, breeders attempted to create a dog that was a little larger as well as heavier than its English counterpart. The new dogs were a breed of its own and distinct from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with AKC also registering both separately. Their numbers lessened after World War II, and in 2013 it ranked 81st in AKC’s list of the U.S.’ popular breeds.

Is the American Staffordshire Terrier Dangerous

Though they share the Bull Terrier’s bloodlines, these dogs are not as aggressive as the latter but much mellowed and subdued compared to the latter. It is because of their lineage that they are thought to be dangerous, but in actuality, they have known to excel as great companion dogs.

Where are they banned

Countries banning breeds of the bull and terrier families have imposed restrictions on the possession and ownership of these dogs too. The list of countries where owning an Amstaff is limited or forbidden are as follows:

  1. United States of America – Arkansas, Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
  2. Canada – Manitoba

Temperament and Personality

They are a people-oriented breed, loving to spend time with their near and dear ones. The Amstaff is best suited in households where someone of the other is always present to cater to their needs as prolonged loneliness could make them bored and destructive. They are reputed for their guarding skills, but as per those who dwell with the Amstaff, these dogs are not always wary with strangers and even end up licking or greeting them warmly. However, to justify this trait of theirs many owns have admitted that these digs can judge a person well, possessing the ability to distinguish a foe from a friend, which makes them excellent watchdogs. They share a comfortable rapport with kids but are suitable for homes with children above six years of age. Since their ancestors have the reputation of fighting dogs, they good be quite reserved or aggressive towards other canines unless socialized. They could perceive cats and smaller pets as their prey and might go after them, especially if they do not belong to its family.



They have high exercise needs, so take them out for a daily walk, though leashed, and even arrange for sufficient playtime in a fenced yard. They love to participate in dog sports, hence, you may enroll them in agility, obedience and dock diving. They do well in apartments, provided they are kept busy, and their daily exercise requirements are met.


Its short, stiff coat is easy to maintain, requiring a weekly brushing using a brush with soft bristles once a week to help the oils to be distributed properly as well as ensure the removal of dirt and dust. Bathe it only when the need arises, apart from which you also need to trim its nails, brush its teeth and clean its ears as well as eyes.

Health Problems

Some of the common health issues that they may suffer from are autoimmune diseases, urinary tract infections, skin allergies, osteoarthritis, spondylosis, hip and elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, cerebellar ataxia, and thyroid dysfunction.


They are an intelligent and cooperative dog and could grasp the training process well, provided the trainer is firm and tactful in his approach.

  • Socializing the Amstaff puppies would help them understand the difference between a threat and pleasant experience better. To help it get over its aggression with other canines, you can take it to a dog park, leashed, Do not get in and allow your Amstaff to watch the other dogs play from a safe distance. Each time a dog moves up to the fence, give your Amstaff a treat to keep it calm and pacified. If you see it getting aggressive, move away till the time he is silent. Doing this from its puppy days might gradually help it attain a friendly attitude till the time he grows up.

Note: They have an inherent fighting and territorial instinct, hence even if it is socialized never leave it unsupervised and unleashed with other dogs.

  • Leash training them is a must owing to their aggressive and fighting instincts.


Dry dog food of a high quality sans any colorings and preservatives would be an apt choice for your pet. If you intend to add homemade food to its kibble. make sure it does not exceed 10% of its daily diet.

Interesting Facts

  • Stubby, an Amstaff was said to have been elevated to the position of Sergeant, also being one of the most decorated canines of the First World War.
  • Of the many films and books they have been featured in, the prominent pine includes a documentary by the name of Horatio’s Drive: America’s First Road Trip, and Our Gang (comedy series of the 1930s).

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