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Adopt an American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


terrier, mastiff (bull)

Area of origin:

United States

Original function:

guardian, bullbaiting

Average size of male:

Ht: 18-19, Wt: 57-67

Average size of female:

Ht: 17-18, Wt: 57-67

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

American Staffordshire Terrier Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable American Staffordshire Terrier dogs available on Petfinder

American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Temperament

Typically docile and playful with his family, the American Staffordshire terrier is also generally friendly toward strangers as long as his people are present. He is generally very good with children. He can be stubborn, tenacious and fearless. For all of his tough persona, the most important thing in life to this breed is his family's fond attention.

American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Care

The Staff needs a daily outlet for his energy, preferably in the form of a long walk on leash or a vigorous game in the yard. This breed is best suited temperamentally to sharing his family's home. Coat care is minimal.

American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: CHD
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: PDA
Suggested tests: OFA, (cardiac)
Life span: 12-14 years
Note: The high pain threshold may mask problems

Interested in the history of the American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed?

The American Staffordshire terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier descended from the same lines. The prototype originally sprang from crossing the old type of bulldog with some old terrier types, probably the English smooth terrier. The result was aptly called the "bull and terrier," later to be dubbed the Staffordshire bull terrier. The dogs gained fame among fanciers of dog fighting, a popular sport despite its having been declared illegal. Their fighting ability gained them passage to America in the late 1800s, where they dominated the fighting "pits". Here they became known as the pit bull terrier, American bull terrier and even Yankee terrier. Americans favored a slightly bigger dog than the English preferred, and with time the two strains diverged. In 1936, the AKC recognized the breed as the Staffordshire terrier (the name was changed in 1972 to American Staffordshire terrier). Docility and tractability have always been vital traits in a powerful dog that must be handled even in the midst of a dog fight; therefore, the Am Staff evolved to have a sweet and trustworthy disposition around people. Unfortunately, this game dog has too often appealed to people seeking him for his fighting rather than his loving abilities. The Am Staff, and dogs similar in appearance, has unfairly been the target of breed-specific laws aimed at banning or controlling certain types of dogs. The breed is widely considered to be good with children and an all-around great family pet.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with American Staffordshire Terrier Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with American Staffordshire Terriers ready for adoption:

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