Are you looking for a guard dog who can be a great family dog? American Staffordshire Terriers can be your potential furrmate! Many natives love these dogs, and we get the hype!

Everything has a unique essence, from their loyalty to their affection. If you are considering adopting this breed, you must know everything about it. And from their personality traits to their grooming needs, we have everything you need!


Height17-20 inches
Weight40-70 lbs
Life span10-14 years
Exercise needs1 to 1.5 hours daily
TemperamentAlert, Social, Fearless
GroomingLow maintenance
OriginStaffordshire, England, United Kingdom

Origin of the American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terriers originated back in the 19th century in England. They were initially bred to be the fighters. This dog breed has descended from bulldogs and terriers. 

Bulldogs, the champion of fighting grounds, passed the same genes to American Staffordshire Terriers. Today as well, this dog breed is famous for its guarding skills. They fear no one and go beyond their limits to protect their owners. 

Appearance of the American Staffordshire Terrier

Let’s start with their appearance. American Staffordshire Terrier is a medium-sized dog breed. They are a perfect size for cuddling and do not take up too much space in your house. This majestic breed stands at a height of 17-20 inches and weighs around 40-70 pounds. Generally, female dogs are smaller and shorter than the males throughout their lives. 

1. Athletic build

Despite the sexual orientation, the American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed has an athletic body. They are so muscular that you can even imagine them being a part of a wrestling team. When you look at their face, you know they come from a rich history of scaring away the predators with their strong expressions. These dogs always have their heads up and alert ears. 

2. Majestic

You can smell proudness in their demeanor as they walk so powerfully. Another fascinating feature is their edgy jawline and strict face structure. With dark, charming eyes, they can win anyone’s heart. 

Moreover, American Staffordshire Terriers have a unique pattern on their neck and bottom part of their body. This mark is usually light in color and covers their heads to the front legs. In some dogs, the head is not covered. Just the nose or the neck is.

3. Soft coat

This dog breed has a short and dense coat that is very soft to the touch. This coat helps protect them and makes it easier for the owners to keep it clean. American Staffordshire Terriers can intimidate anyone with the flare of confidence they carry. They never fail to impress, be it their “runway walks” or staring at the threat.

Personality and Temperament

The American Staffordshire is definitely a dog you’ll want to know. Despite their size, they are super warm towards people, making them easily a likeable breed. Their other traits include:

1. Friendly and family dogs

If you live with a family and want a dog that fits well with the chaos—AmStaffs is for you. These dogs blend well with children. Once familiar with family members, they like to spend quality time and be a part of family funtivities.

If you keep them engaged, they can entertain the children as well. Yet, we recommend not to leave them kids alone as they can get a bit out of control sometimes. 

2. Alert

The American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed is highly alert to its surroundings. If they smell something fishy or a threat, they get dedicated to finding it. You may even observe them barking a lot. This could mean they are trying to alarm their owners for a potential threat.

These behaviors should be corrected by training. It is not suitable for dogs to think of everyone as a threat. 

3. Smart and Intelligent

The American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed is a quick learner and loves to be trained. You can teach them efficiently by starting with obedience training. As they are loyal to their owners, they respond well to commands.

They can often self-analyze challenging situations due to their excellent problem-solving skills. To keep their mind fit, you must mentally stimulate them.

4. Social bunnies

Another fantastic trait of this dog breed is that they love to socialize. If you talk about parties in front of them, they would be the first to be ready! They love to meet new people, smell them, and spend time with them.

Even though they might suspect some as threats, if you train them in their early years, they can socialize well. As a responsible parent, you must give them socialization classes.

5. Powerbomb of energy

American Staffordshire Terriers are born with a lot of energy. They love to burn it by roaming around, playing with kids, and even barking. To channel their energy effectively, you must indulge them in physical activity.

Agility training will work best for them. But with lots of energy comes lots of dietary requirements as well. Hence, you should feed them nutritious food items that help their muscles to grow. 

6. Fearless

The American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed is also known for its bravery. They are fearless and do not mind climbing even the biggest mountains. If their owners are ever in danger, they will not think twice before acting against the threat. Their fearlessness scares the people as well as other dog breeds

So, if you have this dog breed at home, you can take a massive leap of faith in them. Not even ghosts can harm you!

7. Leadership

When we say that American Staffordshire Terriers are loyal, we mean they play their role with utmost responsibility. They can even lead their fellow canine companions if appropriately trained to perform tasks.

This dog breed has strong leadership skills that can impress their owners. Never be afraid to leave your house under their supervision; they will take care of it all!

Due to their gentle and protective nature towards children, the American Staffordshire Terrier is also nicknamed the “nanny dog.”

Grooming Needs of the American Staffordshire Terrier

As you can tell by their looks, American Staffordshire Terriers, aka AmStaff dog breed, do not have much fur coat. They also have a short and dense fur that is evident in other terriers. This breed is essential to know because it is not hypoallergenic, which means it can spread allergens and cause allergic reactions in sensitive people. 

1. Groom to remove dander

Even though the American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed only sheds occasionally during shedding seasons, they also shed danders. Danders are dead skin tissues that can cause allergies to other animals and humans. To avoid getting allergies, you should groom your dog.

American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed has fewer grooming needs than the other dog breeds. There is less fur coat, so you can groom them once a week. Ensure you are using a soft bristle brush that is not spikey on their skin.

2. Use shampoo

You must keep their fur and skin clean with the help of shampoos and conditioners. Many dog parents make the mistake of bathing their pooch with human shampoos. However, this can cause severe skin irritation in dogs.

Hence, always choose dog-friendly soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. This will maintain the natural oils in their skin and keep them shiny. 

3. Love bubble baths

Bathing regularly also takes away the foul body odor from dogs. So, if they have a date, remember to give them a bubble bath! But the list of grooming does not end here. Overall cleaning also includes ear and paw cleaning.

4. Clean ears and nails

Dogs can catch infections in the ears and paw nails. As these areas can collect sweat and debris, you should clean them regularly. If you see that American Staffordshire Terriers have long nails, trimming them off will be like therapy for them.

Learning so much about their grooming can be overwhelming for a new dog owner. This is why you should never shy away from taking the help of professional grooming services. They will ensure your dog has no debris, inflammation, or fleas and ticks.

an American Staffordshire dog and puppy sitting at the dog park

Exercise and Training Needs

Just so your dog doesn’t get destructive with excess energy, it’s important to exercise and train them:

1. Basic obedience training

Every dog’s first training must be obedience training. This includes teaching them the basic commands. You can easily prepare your dog to respond to instructions like “sit,” “come,” “go,” etc.

2. Positive reinforcement

American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed responds well to positive reinforcement techniques. You can start with obedience training; if they respond well, you should treat them. As they learn that their owner will treat them for doing positive work, they will be motivated to do it. This is one of the best ways to teach dogs good habits.

If your dog has behavioral problems, you can show gestures by not treating them instead of punishing them. When they behave well, you can pat them!

3. Patience and consistency

One of the most important things you can do as a responsible dog parent is to be patient. As American Staffordshire Terriers are difficult to handle, it requires time and patience. Only with the help of a consistent routine can you develop positive behavior in these dogs.

An irregular schedule can lead to many problems. Hence, you should take your dog out daily and do the training chores. 

4. Agility training

The American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed requires rigorous training every day. As they have big muscles, you should provide them with heavy exercises. Agility training is the best for them. They can play and train at the same time. 

5. Anger management

It is essential to note that American Staffordshire Terriers have anger issues. They might get aggressive with other dogs and strangers. Due to their guardian instincts, they are very protective and can take unfamiliar situations as threats.

It would help if you enrolled them in anger management programs to help them recognize right and wrong situations. With such training, they will only be aggressive when needed.

6. Mental stimulation

As mentioned above, the American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed is smart. They are intelligent and often use their problem-solving skills. If you do not allow them to use their brain, they might get lazy and have behavior problems.

You can give them puzzles and riddles to stimulate their mind. Such activities will contribute to keeping them healthy and fit.

Things to Keep in Mind Before You Adopt an American Staffordshire Terrier

1. Lifestyle

Every dog has unique lifestyle requirements. When it comes to the American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed, they admire having a rich lifestyle. They have challenging training needs that one should cater to. Also, as they love playtime hours, you must have access to big spaces to run.

2. High maintenance for training

American Staffordshire Terriers require agility training. They have the power and energy to spend on challenging physical activities. If it is not utilized well, it can turn into anger issues. This dog breed also has high nutritional needs.

To train them properly, you must take at least 1 hour daily. It would help if you took them on long walks. Such routine is the only way to release their energy effectively and keep them fit. 

3. Medical finances

You must consider the finances! The American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed needs a routine veterinary appointment. They are prone to health problems like hip dysplasia and skin infections (article). Also, it would help if you considered neutering them and giving them the required vaccinations. 

Final Thoughts

The American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed is a majestic breed. However, it requires a certain level of care and attention. You must provide them with the training and nutrition that keeps their fitness at its best. They might not have high grooming standards, but for training—they can quickly tire you!

You must be willing to keep these dogs active and help them gain skills. Once they trust you, they can be one of the most loyal breeds you have ever seen!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an American Staffordshire terrier be left alone?

Yes, but only for a short time. You should only leave a dog alone for 4-5 hours occasionally. The American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed is a guard dog breed, so they can care for themselves and the house. However, it would help if you did not leave them alone outside the home. Leaving them alone for long periods can cause separation anxiety in dogs.

Is American Staffordshire terrier hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, American Staffordshire Terriers, aka, AmStaff, are not hypoallergenic. Even if they have small and dense fur coats, they shed occasionally during the shedding seasons. They also shed dander, which are the main allergens for humans. If you or anyone in your household is sensitive to allergies, this breed might not be for you.

Are American Staffordshire terriers aggressive?

American Staffordshire Terriers are not so aggressive towards humans. Unless they sense a threat, they do not go crazy and bite anyone. But, they can be territorial and competitive towards other dogs. They may not always win the fight but can be aggressive fighters who don’t stop until they bleed. You can always train them to reduce anger issues if they are too aggressive.

Are American Staffordshire terriers good for first-time owners?

This dog may not suit you if you are a new dog parent. You will need to be willing to train them rigorously, give them a convenient lifestyle, and handle their body strength. Usually, new dog owners should go for dogs with a calm temperament and less maintenance. But as American Staffordshire Terriers are great with people, you can consider adopting them as your first dog. But you might need professional help to train them.

Are American Staffordshire Terriers clingy?

Absolutely, yes. We consider it a positive sign for the American Staffordshire Terrier dog breed to show affection. They can lick you to death! Due to their strong emotional bonds, they can cling to their owners or family members. If they do not give you space, you can train them to spend time alone and not be too clingy.

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