American Staffordshire Terrier, popularly known as Amstaff, is a short-coated, medium sized dog breed. This American dog breed gained much of its social stature in the beginning of twentieth century. It is for this reason that Amstaff got accepted by the famous American Kennel Club in 1936; hence acquiring the name American Staffordshire Terrier, which was originally Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England
Despite the name, the Staffordshire Terrier was initially bred in 19th century in Birmingham and only later in Staffordshire. The first breeds came from England where the bulldogs were also included. Compared to the bulldogs then, Staffordshire looked more or less the same.
Different people have different perceptions concerning the origin of the dog. Some say it was the Fox Terrier crossed with the bulldog, others the White English Terrier, and for others they contend that Staffordshire Terrier came from Black and Tan Terrier crossbred with a bulldog.
The fact is that all the above three Terrier breed share many traits with the noticeable traits being the color as well as the spirit. The crossbred Terrier dogs started to find their way to the U.S in 1870.
Coat and Color
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a dog breed that comes in variety of colors as well as markings, solid, partial or patched, all of which are clearly permissible. This breed comes in a soft coat together with a range of colors. No color is listed in the record of faults.
Color shouldn’t be detrimental since Amstaff is a very good specimen. It is just a cosmetic consideration that has little to do with the temperament or conformation of the breed in question.
According to AKC, American Kennel Club, The Ameircan Staffordshire Terrier is basically people-oriented, making it thrive mostly when he is included in a family.
The Am Staff is intelligent, outgoing, happy, confident and stable. It loves all people, but is very loyal to his own family. It is considered good with both children and adults alike.
They may be aggressive towards other dogs, so it needs early socialization and training. When properly trained and socialized it makes an excellent family dog and companion.
A healthy American Staffordshire Terrier should show great strength, be muscular, be well composed. Although strong the breed should also be agile and poised, and lastly keen to his/her surrounding. The dog should be stocky, not racy or long-legged. The height including the weight should be proportional; about 18 – 19 inches at shoulders and 17 – 18 inches for male and female respectively.
It is important to note that the puppies should never be purchased weaned before 8 to 10 weeks old. Life expectancy of Amstaff is usually 12 years. Health related issues affecting the breed may result from inherited disorders including other disorder such as skin allergies and urinary tract infections.