About the American Staffordshire Terrier
Background 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 1800s and 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 Lucenays Peter), dog star of the original Our Gang comedies of the 1930s. 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 that 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 this "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 1930s 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.
Average Lifespan The average lifespan of the American Staffordshire Terrier is approximately 11 years.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The American Staffordshire Terrier is stoic and reliable. Powerful looking, well-protective instinct should make strangers beware, yet with his own family he is devoted, gentle and loving. He should never be confused with the Pit Bull Terrier.
He is courageous and a tenacious fighter if provoked. Training can be a challenge because of his pushy yet sensitive character. His natural temperament toward people is gentle and loving, unfortunately some have been improperly handled giving the American Staffordshire Terrier an unfounded reputation. He is also an intelligent dog, and through this intelligence is vey determined, tough and totally devoted to his human companions, willing to do just about anything to please.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is also a good companion for children, especially if raised along with the child from puppyhood. As with all dogs, young children and pets should always be supervised when together.
He is generally a very active dog, being muscular and quite strong. As a result exercise is an extremely important element to his lifestyle, although he is equally at home lazing in front of a heater on a cold winter day. He also excels as a guard dog or watch dog, due to his strong protective instincts over his human family.
Compatibility with other pets The American Staffordshire Terrier has a well-developed prey drive, and therefore can, under some circumstances show some aggressive tendencies towards cats, rabbits and other household pets. With other dogs, he needs to be socialised correctly over a period of time to establish a lasting relationship. The owner of an American Staffordshire Terrier should be ever aware that he will respond to a challenge offered by another dog, and for this reason great care should be taken in the surrounds of an unfamiliar dog, especially if both are male.
Care Requirements The American Staffordshire Terrier is a relatively low maintenance dog, requiring minimal grooming of his coat, dry shampooing or bathing only when necessary. Rubbing his coat will bring out a good shine. In terms of exercise, he requires daily exercise, being a quite active dog. Lack of exercise may lead to boredom. He will demand attention from his human family, given his desire to please whenever possible, and will require training to become a good member of the family. A home with a fenced yard or kennel is essential. Not a breed for the placate or the overbearing personalities. Adapts well to both urban and country living.
Ideal Owner/s As the American Staffordshire Terrier is a strong, muscular and active dog, his ideal owner is someone who has an active lifestyle and will spend time with him in forming a mutually satisfying relationship. He will demand attention and in return will provide plenty of affection. An American Staffordshire Terrier is a good family dog and will want to spend a lot of time with his family. If he is left to his own devices, he may become unhappy and bored.
In Conclusion Now you know a little about the American Staffordshire Terrier and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs