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American Staffordshire Terrier

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American Staffordshire TerrierDescription: The American Staffordshire Terrier, nicknamed 'Amstaff', is a stocky, muscular, and courageous dog. Its powerful stance and appearance can be intimidating, however, a properly trained dog is loving, devoted and affectionate. They're often trained for use in community service tasks such as pet therapy and search and rescue.

The breed is of a square build; its chest is deep and broad and its neck should be strong and well-arched. The coat which is thick, short -haired, and glossy, can be easily maintained.

The American Staffordshire origins date back to the 19th Century when early Bulldog and Terrier breeds were crossed in the Staffordshire region in England. The result was a larger, more muscular version of the Bulldog Terrier. Originally referred to as a Bull-and-Terrier Dog, Half and Half, Pit Dog or Pit Builterrier, England later renamed the breed Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

British and Irish settlers brought the breed to the United States after the Civil War and used them primarily as fighting dogs. However, they was also utilized as hunting, farm and guard dogs. Once in the US, the breed was recognized as Pit Dog, Pit Bull Terrier, American Bull Terrier, and then later as Yankee Terrier.

After dog fighting was banned in the US in 1900, two strains were developed thus creating two separate breeds: a show strain and a fighting strain. The show strain was referred to as the Staffordshire Terrier and the fighting strain, the American Pit Bull Terrier.

The Staffordshire Terrier was accepted for registration in the AKC Stud Book in 1936. It was not until 1972 the name was changed to American Staffordshire Terrier. Why? Because the US type was bred to weigh more than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England and the name change was necessary to distinguish them as separate breeds.

Height: The American Staffordshire Terrier's height and weight should be in proportion. Preferable height ranges: 18 to 19 inches (45.7 - 48.3cm) at shoulders for dogs and 17 to 18 inches (43.2 - 45.7cm) for bitches.

Weight: The weight for the American Staffordshire Terrier is 45–70 pounds (25–30 kg)

Coat Type: The American Staffordshire Terrier's coat is short-haired, smooth, stiff to the touch, and shiny. Grooming is easy.

Color: The color of the American Staffordshire Terrier's coat is of any color, solid, partial, or patched, but all white, more than 80 per cent white, black and tan, and liver are not to be encouraged.

Temperament: The American Staffordshire Terrier is courageous, protective, confident, very loyal and affectionate. It is very intelligent and wants nothing more than to please its master. Good with children and adults. The American Staffordshire Terrier is bred to be extremely friendly towards people, but overly protective and/or aggressive behavior, accompanied by fearlessness, generally raises a red flag. Proper training and socialization beginning at a young age is very important. This breed can be aggressive if not socialized and trained properly. In addition, an owner must take part in training and must be consistently firm to show that he is the one in charge. The breed can easily pick up on a bad or weak example and will not respond if the owner is not firm and consistent. A typical training regimen should begin at 8 to 10 weeks of age. Improper training can result in excessive barking, an overly dominant dog and issues with house training. This breed is a persistent fighter if provoked and a natural guard dog.

Health Problems: The American Staffordshire Terrier is generally a healthy breed. Some health concerns include hip dysplasia (common disorder in canines), cataracts - caused by genetic factors and congenital heart disease. This breed is prone to hives caused by stress or insect bites.

Special Interest:
• American Staffordshire Terriers were first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936.
• During WWI, an American Staffordshire Terrier by the name of 'Stubby' became the most decorated war dog an earned the rank as Sergeant.

AKC: Terriers
ANKC: Terriers Group 2
CKC: Terriers Group 4
FCI: Group 3 Section 3 Bull type Terriers
NZKC: Terriers

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