American Staffordshire Terrier

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American Staffordshire Terrier
(2) Ch Rowdytowns Hardrock Cafe - AmStaff.jpg
American Staffordshire Terrier at a dog show
Common nicknames
  • AmStaff
OriginThe United States of America
Foundation stockAmerican Pit Bull Terrier
Weight 50–80 lb (23–36 kg)
Height 19–23 in (48–58 cm)[1]
Coat Smooth
Color Any color, solid, part or patched
(All-white, 80%+ white, black and tan, and liver are not to be encouraged)
Classification / standards
FCI Group 3 Terriers, Section 3 Bull type #286 standard
AKC Terriers standard
ANKC Group 2 - (Terriers) standard
CKC Group 4 - Terrier standard
NZKC Terrier standard
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as the Amstaff (in the United States), is a medium-sized, short-coated American dog breed.[2][3][4] In the early part of the twentieth century the breed gained social stature and was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1936 and should not be confused with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of the United Kingdom.[5]


One of the earliest AKC Champion American Staffordshire Terriers.
American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier with cropped ears
American Staffordshire Terrier

The Staffordshire Terrier's ancestor, the bull and terrier was first bred in the nineteenth century in Birmingham. The early ancestors of this breed came from England where, until the first part of the 19th century, the Old English Bulldog was bred. Bulldogs pictured as late as 1870 resemble the Staffordshire Terrier's descendant, the contemporary American Staffordshire Terrier, to a greater degree than present-day Bulldogs. Some writers contend it was the English White Terrier, Fox Terrier, or the Black and Tan Terrier that was crossed with the Bulldog to develop the Bull and Terrier; all three breeds shared many traits, the greatest differences being in color and spirit. The cross of Bulldog and Terrier was called by several names, including Bull-and-Terrier Dog, "Pit Bull Terrier" (Bull terrier used to fight on pit), or Half and Half.[6] Later, it assumed the name of Staffordshire Bull Terrier in England. These dogs began to find their way into America as early as 1850. It became a new breed and was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 10 February, 1898, with the name American Pit Bull Terrier. In 1936 50 UKC registered pit bulls were accepted for registration in the American Kennel Club (AKC) Stud Book as Staffordshire Terriers with a new standard and purpose, belonging to the terrier and molosser groups.[citation needed] The name of the breed was revised January 1, 1969 to American Staffordshire Terrier; breeders in the US had developed a variety which was heavier in weight than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England and the American Pit Bull Terrier. The name change was to distinguish them as separate breeds.[5][7]

The breed's popularity began to decline in the United States following World War II. In 2013 the American Kennel Club ranked the American Staffordshire Terrier as the 81st most popular purebred in the United States.[8]


According to the American Kennel Club "The Am Staff is a people-oriented dog that thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do.[6] Although friendly, this breed is loyal to his own family."[9]


The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. Height and weight should be in proportion. A height of about 18 to 19 inches (46 to 48 cm) at shoulders for the male and 17 to 18 inches (43 to 46 cm) for the female is to be considered preferable.

American Staffordshire Terrier pups should not be bought weaned before they are 8–10 weeks old. Their life expectancy is generally 12 years with good care. The breed may be vulnerable to skin allergies, urinary tract infections (UTI), and autoimmune diseases. Spondylosis and osteoarthritis are common in older dogs.

Notable issues related to health and-well being include:

Breed-specific legislation[edit]

Worldwide, the American Staffordshire Terrier has been subject to breed bans that target the Bull and Terrier family in response to incidents involving pit bulls or similar dog breeds. This legislation ranges from outright bans on possession to restrictions and conditions of ownership.[10] The appropriateness and effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing dog-related fatalities and injuries is disputed.[11]


The 8th most popular dog according to Australian National Kennel Council.[12] According to Société Centrale Canine it is the 6th most popular dog in France.[13] According to American Kennel Club, it is the 83rd most popular dog.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FCI - Nomenclature des races". Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  2. ^ Campbell, Dana (July–August 2009). "Pit Bull Bans: The State of Breed–Specific Legislation". GP-Solo. American Bar Association. 26 (5). Retrieved July 30, 2009.
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Pit Bull Rescue Central. Retrieved 2015-06-17.
  4. ^ "The Truth about Pitbulls". ASPCA.
  5. ^ a b Club, American Kennel. "American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Breed Information".
  6. ^ a b "Get to Know the American Staffordshire Terrier", 'The American Kennel Club', Retrieved 29 May 2014
  7. ^ "A Breed That Came Up the Hard Way". 19 September 1971. Retrieved 16 May 2019 – via
  8. ^ American Kennel Club 2013 Dog Registration Statistics Historical Comparisons & Notable Trends Archived February 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, The American Kennel Club, Retrieved 29 May 2014
  9. ^ "American Staffordshire Terrier Page". Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  10. ^ Archived November 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "".
  12. ^ "What are the top 10 dog breeds in Australia 2017? Here's a list". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Le chien de race en 2018 : Bousculades dans le Top 20 du LOF". Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  14. ^ St, 24/7 Wall. "There are 192 registered dog breeds — here are the 100 most popular in the US". Business Insider. Retrieved 7 February 2019.

Further reading[edit]

Listed by year of publication

  • Fraser, Jacqueline. The American Staffordshire Terrier, 1990
  • Ormsby, Clifford & Alberta. The American Staffordshire Terrier, 1956
  • Nicholas, Anna Katherine. Staffordshire Terriers: American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, 1991, 256 pages; ISBN 0-86622-637-0
  • Foster, Sarah. The American Staffordshire Terrier: Gamester and Guardian, 1998, 139 pages; ISBN 0-87605-003-8
  • Linzy, Jan. American Staffordshire Terrier Champions, 1988-1995, 1998, 84 pages; ISBN 1-55893-054-X
  • Linzy, Jan. American Staffordshire Terrier Champions, 1996-2001, 2002, 84 pages; ISBN 1-55893-102-3
  • Janish, Joseph. American Staffordshire Terrier, 2003, 155 pages; ISBN 1-59378-248-9
  • Off the Chain, 2005, Bobby J. Brown[1][2][3]
  • Beyond the Myth: A Film About Pit Bulls and Breed Discrimination, 2010, Libby Sherrill[4]

  1. ^ "Info" (PDF).
  2. ^ Merida, Kevin (31 August 2007). "Dogs finally having their day". Retrieved 29 September 2018 – via LA Times.
  3. ^ Merida, Kevin (28 August 2007). "A Documentary With New Bite". Retrieved 1 October 2018 – via
  4. ^ "Beyond the Myth - a film about breed discrimination". Retrieved 29 September 2018.