Updated 21-06-2023

American Staffordshire Terrier Characteristics, Facts & Traits

The muscularity of American Staffordshire Terriers gives the appearance of both strength and grace, despite their small stature. Their strides are brisk. Although they are extremely agile, their low centre of gravity makes it easy for them to stay on their feet. To describe the coat would be an understatement.

Whether they're out on a walk, playing in the yard, or cuddling on the couch, American Staffordshire Terriers love nothing more than spending time with the people they care about. This breed's intelligence suggests that it requires cerebral stimulation, but its eagerness to please and cheery disposition make them an excellent candidate for training. Boredom will drive them to gnaw on everything if they don't understand.

If not properly trained, American Staffordshire Terriers can also be used to pull dog walkers along wherever they want to go. This necessitates a strong, confident trainer who isn't afraid to establish limits but doesn't go overboard. American Staffordshire Terriers are capable of being both a beloved family pet and a hard-working working dog with the appropriate training. See here a full list of dog breed traits and facts about American Staffordshire Terriers.


  • Despite the fact that they have been bred separately for more than 50 years, American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers share many traits.
  • This breed is targeted under Breed Specific Legislation because it's deemed a "Pit Bull." Dogs of this type are not covered by several insurance carriers. Don't adopt a dog without verifying local regulations and insurance policies first.
  • If not properly trained, this breed can be a leash puller, despite its small stature.
  • A large yard with a high fence where they can run around and burn off their excess energy is ideal for these dogs.
  • A Staffordshire terrier’s short, smooth coat is easy to groom, and the breed doesn't have a "doggy odour," so bathing is only essential if necessary.
  • To this day, American Staffordshire Terriers continue to be employed in illegal dogfighting rings for the cruel sports of bull-baiting and bear-baiting. Because of this, they've been dubbed "violent dogs."
  • Despite their intimidating appearance, American Staffordshire Terriers tend to be fairly outgoing around people.



Social Appearance 


A little dog isn't inherently better for an apartment than a larger one, contrary to popular opinion. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to be happy in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. And if you want to offer your dog a bit more privacy in your apartment, this is the place to do it.

Sensitivity Level

Some dogs take a strong rebuke in stride, while others take even the tiniest hint of a sneer into account. It's easier for dogs with low sensitivity to handle a noisy, chaotic home, a louder or more demanding owner, as well as an inconsistent or varied routine. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.

Protective Nature

Alerting you to the presence of strangers. The mailman or a squirrel outside the window won't faze these dogs, which are more alert to potential danger. Dogs of these breeds are more likely to get along with strangers who are welcomed into their homes.

Potential for Playfulness

Some dogs never grow out of their puppy stage, asking to be played with, while others are more reserved and reserved. Think just how many games of fetch or tag your dog will need to play each day, as well as if you have children or other canines who can serve as playmates.

Personality Appearance


In the same way that working dogs designed to run all day need to exercise their bodies as well as their minds, dogs bred for professions like herding livestock need mental stimulation, too. A lack of mental stimulation can cause them to create their own labour, such as digging and chewing, if they don't get it. Dog sports and occupations, like agility and search and rescue, are excellent methods to offer a dog a mental workout.

Energy Level

High-energy canines are always ready for action. They can work all day long herding animals or chasing prey. They'll spend more time jumping, playing, and discovering new sights and smells if they're getting enough physical and mental stimulation.

Dogs with low energy levels prefer to sleep all day. When choosing a breed, consider your own level of activity and whether or not you'd appreciate owning a boisterous, energetic dog.

Easy To Train

Dogs that are easy to train are better at quickly creating an association between a cue (such as "sit"), an action (such as sitting), and a reward (such as a treat). For other breeds, training takes a great deal more time and effort.

It is important to remember that many breeds of dogs are intelligent, but they may approach training with a "What's in it for me?" mentality, so you'll need to utilise rewards and games to get them to comply with your commands.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Even if they've been nurtured by the same person since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others bond strongly with one person and are indifferent to others; and yet others shower the entire family with love. Not only does the dog's breed affect its amount of affection; dogs reared in a home with people around are more at ease with people and are more likely to form bonds with them.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude toward rushing, scream-inducing children. Some of the names on the list may come as a shock to you: Fierce-looking it is widely accepted that boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are excellent pets for families with young children (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, being little, sensitive, and prone to snapping, aren't always the most family-friendly of dogs.

Dog Friendly

There's a big difference between being friendly to dogs and people. Even though they're fine with people, some dogs may attack or dominate other dogs, while others will retreat rather than fight. It's not just genetics. Playing with their littermates and mother from six to eight weeks old increases their social skills.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

To what extent can you expect the breed to leave behind their hair and fur. The more shedding a dog has, the more regularly it will need to be brushed, and the more frequently it will need to be vacuumed and lint-rolled.

Drooling Potential

How prone to drooling is a certain breed? If you're a neat freak, you might want to think twice about getting a dog that slobbers all over your arm or leaves puddles of slobber on your clothes.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and gone, while others require frequent bathing, cutting, and other grooming in order to remain healthy and clean. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to hire someone else to do it for you.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds enjoy a leisurely night ramble around the neighbourhood. The physical demands of some jobs, such as herding or hunting, necessitate daily exercise.

If not exercised sufficiently, they can gain weight and unleash pent-up energy in undesirable ways such as barking, chewing, and digging. Exercise-demanding breeds are perfect for anyone who enjoys the outdoors or wishes to train their dog for a high-intensity canine sport like agility.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


40 to 60 pounds


10 to 15 years


16 to 19 inches


The Staffordshire bull terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are both descended from the same ancestors, the Staffordshire Terrier. The first dog was created by crossing an older breed of Bulldog with an older breed of terrier, most likely the English Smooth Terrier. Bull and Terrier was the outcome, which later became known as the Staffordshire bull terrier.

The Pit Bull Terrier, American Bull Terrier, and Yankee Terrier were some of the names given to these dogs once they arrived in the United States in the late 1800s. Over time, the preferences of the English and Americans varied, with the Americans favouring a slightly larger dog. The Staffordshire Terrier was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1936. (The name was changed in 1972 to American Staffordshire Terrier). 

The Am Staff has developed a kind and trustworthy demeanour around other people. For some reason, these dogs have attracted a lot of attention because of their strength, rather than their ability to be affectionate. Am Staffs have been the subject of breed-specific legislation since the 1980s, when lawmakers sought to restrict or outlaw specific breeds. Despite this, the Am Staff is a popular choice for anyone looking for a dog who enjoys being around other people and having a good time.


For the most part, the American Staffordshire terrier may be a loving and loyal member of any family. It can even get along with children and other pets in the house if properly socialised and trained. There are few physical and grooming requirements for this breed.


This type of dog is normally in good health throughout its life. American Staffordshire terriers are prone to certain types of health issues that run in families.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia impairs the stability and function of the hip joint in dogs and is a common health issue. It can affect any dog, although larger breeds are more likely to be affected by it. Hip dysplasia in dogs can cause pain, lameness, and restricted mobility, among other symptoms. Dogs with hip dysplasia might benefit from a variety of treatment choices that can improve their quality of life.

In dogs, hip dysplasia occurs when one or both hip joints grow abnormally, resulting in joint instability and degeneration. Hip dysplasia can be minor or severe, affecting one or both limbs.

Skin problems

Dogs are notorious for having skin issues. Dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), pruritus (itching), and alopecia (hair loss) are the most common skin conditions in dogs (hair loss). Dogs can suffer from painful skin disorders. A dog's quality of life can suffer if he or she does not receive treatment for skin problems. The good news is that dogs' frequent skin issues can be treated with a wide variety of options.

Heart disease

There are several types of cardiac diseases, and they all impact the heart in some way. More than one part of the body will be negatively affected if the heart isn't working properly. When a veterinarian examines dogs, about 10% of them have heart disease that isn't visible to owners unless it's really serious.


The thyroid gland does not produce thyroid hormones in hypothyroid dogs. Hypothyroidism is absent in dogs, unlike hyperthyroidism, which is rare in dogs and more common in cats. Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland in your dog's neck. One of these processes is your dog's metabolism. Hypothyroidism makes your dog's body struggle to absorb and utilise nutrients from meals, causing various symptoms.


The eyeball is a multi-component system. A protein and water-based lens is located behind the cornea and iris, the coloured part of the eye's front surface. When light hits the retina, it travels through the optic nerve and reaches the brain, where it is processed and interpreted. Additional light-reflecting cells are found in dogs, cats and many other mammals beneath their retinas in a layer called the tapetum lucidum.

Loss of vision can occur if the lens is damaged or no longer able to reflect light effectively. a foggy or milky look to the lens of the eye might be attributed to cataracts. The dog's vision is harmed because of the cloudiness, which prevents enough light from entering the eye.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Cardiac Exam
  3. Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  4. Thyroid Evaluation
  5. NCL DNA Test


It's rare for a Staffy to suffer food-related issues. It doesn't matter if you buy commercially available dog food or if your veterinarian helps you make your own. Protein and meat should make up the majority of the dog's diet because of their large amounts of energy they expend. You should feed them a diet that is appropriate for their size and activity level.

These dogs can rapidly gain weight if they aren't adequately exercised. Many of them will eat until they are sick because they are so driven by food. Keeping track of their food consumption is essential for these reasons. They may easily overindulge if not restrained. A constant supply of fresh, potable water is, of course, a need.


The Am Staff's short, rigid coat requires little care. Brush it monthly with a soft-bristle brush to remove any loose hair and dirt and to disperse oils. It's common for dogs to shed more in the spring and fall, which necessitates twice-to-three-weekly combing to get all the loose hair.

Dogs should be bathed at least once every two months, or more frequently if they get overly unkempt. Trim its nails around once a month as well. Aim to wash your teeth at least twice a day.


This active and athletic dog requires lots of exercise to stay happy. Because they are human-centered, they must be practised with others. Unattended in a yard is not advised. The best option is to play for a long time. Toys like Frisbees and tennis balls should be bought.

These dogs' agility is very impressive. It's a simple way to exhaust these dogs if you're into it.

You must also provide appropriate mental stimulation for these canines. They are highly intelligent but easily bored. So we recommend lots of obedience training and puzzle toys to keep these dogs busy.


The training of these dogs is really simple. They have a keen eye for detail and a passion for helping others. Because of this, they'll be able to understand what you're saying and reply fast to your requests. Taking a puppy-training class is a must. There is less danger of the dog being aggressive against other dogs as an adult if he or she is able to interact with other puppies. In addition, these dogs are known to respond well to training and love it.

As a side note, some of these canines' tendencies are difficult to correct. Due to their strong physical and mental stimulation needs, like chewing and digging, these activities are fairly prevalent. These animals have a propensity to become destructive when bored or under-exercised. You may avoid this problem by making sure your dog is well-fed and well-exercised.

Children and Other Pets

Even with children, American Staffordshire Terriers are loved. So, families with children over six are more likely to gain. This breed's muscle and roughness can lead to damage. It's crucial to educate young toddler’s proper animal behaviour because they tend to poke and prod.

Children should always be supervised when playing with well-trained dogs of any breed. Other dogs are disliked by American Staffordshire Terriers. Despite the efforts of many breeders throughout the years, they might nevertheless be wary due to their origins. Individual dogs may react differently when meeting other dogs in public.

Cats and other pets may fall victim to American Staffordshire Terriers. In a single-pet household, the American Staffordshire terrier has to be reared with other animals from a young age.


An American Staffordshire terrier puppy's excitability is expected to be high. The prevention of chewing and other damaging activities is impossible without constant supervision. Their coat colours, whether blue or another hue, will be available to them quite quickly.

Dog shelters frequently include these dogs, which are common in various locations. You can expect to pay only a few hundred dollars if you choose to adopt from a rescue. However, if you buy from a breeder, you may expect to pay roughly $2,000 for a puppy. You may be asked to pay much more for show-quality puppies.

Buying a dog from a breeder may be more expensive, but there are some advantages to doing so. In many cases, these dogs have been selectively bred for both physical appearance and temperament. This can result in a friendlier and healthier dog. It's not always the case. Non-pedigree Staffies can be just as sweet and healthy as purebred ones.

Dog breeds related to American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire terrier shares a scientific name with the American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, and American Bulldog.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Similar to American Staffordshire Terriers in terms of vitality and activity. These dogs have a low-maintenance coat that requires minimum grooming.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

These dogs have a low-maintenance coat and a strong energy level, making them similar to the American Staffordshire Terrier in terms of family commitment.

American Bulldog

This breed, a descendant of the English Bulldog, is extremely popular as a family pet.