American Staffordshire Terrier (Terrier Group)
The American Staffordshire Terrier is an outstanding watchdog and will protect its family at all costs. Equally as efficient in being a fearless guardian, this terrier brings to its owners love and attention. They are generally gentle around children, but may be a bit too rough and dominant with smaller kids.
When it comes to strangers approaching, the American Staffordshire Terrier is bit reserved and may bark to ward off the unknown person. The same goes for other dogs and strange pets. They are true protectors at heart but can be friendly towards people so long as its owner is around. When it comes to training, this dog learns quickly but works best with an owner that has a more dominant personality.
A Brief History of The American Staffordshire Terrier
As its name suggests the American Staffordshire Terrier originated from the United States, dating back to the 1800s. Although there is some confusion over how the dog received its name, this breed also shares the same bloodline as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It all started when breeders crossed an older Bulldog type with the English Smooth Terrier. The creation was a dog referred to as the Bull and Terrier, which was later changed to the Staffordshire bull Terrier.
These dogs’ number one road to fame was the ability to fight in the ring. Although illegal, these fights were very popular among people for placing bets and it was how the Bull and Terrier made its way to the United States, sometime during the late 1800s. They dominated the fighting pits and became known as three different versions in the U.S. – Pit Bull Terrier, Yankee Terrier, and the American Bull Terrier.
The Americans wanted a bigger version of the fighting dogs so they crossed the strains and the breed was officially known as the Staffordshire Terrier, recognized by the AKC in 1936. In 1972 the dog’s name was then changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier.
Upkeep Requirements for The American Staffordshire Terrier
This breed must have plenty of daily exercise to keep up with its high-energy levels. Their ancestors were bred specifically to fight and this means that today’s Stafford still needs to expend enormous amounts of energy. Vigorous games outside and several brisk walks on the leash is ideal. Jogging with your Staffordshire is also a perfect activity.
These dogs can handle both moderately hot and cool temperatures and should be able to spend plenty of time outside. The ideal living arrangement is to have the American Staffordshire Terrier able to access a large fenced-in yard while being able to go inside the house whenever he pleases. Grooming requirements call for a light brushing every few weeks to remove dead hair, nothing more.
The average lifespan of the American Staffordshire Terrier is between twelve and fourteen years. Major Health Concerns that run common in the breed is PRA, cerebellar, and CHD. Minor health issues include hypothyroidism, allergies, and cruciate ligament rupture. Veterinarians suggest that these dogs get specifically tested for potential hip, elbow, thyroid, cardiac, and eye problems.