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American Staffordshire terrier - A breed that leaves no one indifferent

American Staffordshire terrier - Una raza que no deja indiferente a nadie

Lobo Azul |

The American Staffordshire terrier is a breed that leaves no one indifferent. Those who live with one of them adore these dogs, while others cross the sidewalk when they see him passing by.

  • Weight : 25 to 30 kilos
  • Hair type : very short and straight
  • Character : balanced and sociable
  • Health : good, with a tendency to several genetic diseases
  • Life expectancy : between 12 and 14 years


Although the American Staffordshire terrier is a breed that was created in the United States, the truth is that its origin is very far away, specifically in England .

In this country, “sports” that consisted of harassing bulls and bears were very popular. In 1835 they were prohibited, but dog fighting was still allowed, so the type of dog must change.

Larger animals are sought, so by crossing the Old English Bulldog (which has nothing to do with the current one) and the Old English Terrier, the Bull and Terrier emerges. This breed is extinct and should not be confused with the Bull Terrier that we have now.

This Bull and Terrier arrived in the United States in that same 19th century and continued its selection there. This was intended to make the specimens larger and the result was the birth of the American Pit Bull Terrier .

The breed was already recognized in 1898 by the United Kennel Club, gaining great popularity in a very short time.

Although he was selected for fights, the truth is that he soon dedicated himself to guarding houses, livestock, etc., and the American Kennel Club came up with the idea of ​​naming some strains of the breed Staffordshire Terrier.

It seems that the idea was to pay honor to the province where this dog originated, selecting specimens from the Colby and Corvino bloodlines, which were among the best in the American Pitbull Terrier.

In this way the American Staffordshire terrier emerged, selecting the most representative Pitbull specimens.

From there, the breed goes through an enormous journey that ends in 1972, when the International Cynological Federation admits it .

Main characteristics of the American Staffordshire terrier

The American Staffordshire terrier is immediately recognizable, even if we don't know about dogs, since it has a plump and very muscular body. That does not take away his agility, since he can run and move like an athlete.

The head is very wide and denotes strength . The same thing happens to the jaw, something to which his cheeks contribute, since they are bulging and appear muscular.

To complete his very particular expression, his eyes are low and very far apart, which makes his face unrepeatable and expresses kindness, even though we see that he is a very strong dog.

The ears are set high and are usually rose-shaped. Years ago they were cut, which gave the dog a more aggressive appearance when he picked them up. Today that is prohibited.

The muscles stand out on the body, with a very short back. The chest is wide, with muscles that are usually quite marked.

Its tail is thick at the base and becomes thinner. As with the ears, it is no longer cut under any circumstances.

If we look at the hair we will see that it is lustrous, that it shines . It is very short and rigid, allowing any color or combination of them.

They weigh between 25 and 30 kilos, with their height at the withers being between 43 and 48 cm, with males and females very similar in this aspect.

American Staffordshire Terrier Origins

Character of the American Staffordshire

This is where the controversy comes in, since there are many opinions. Despite this, the truth is that the American Staffordshire terrier is a curious, friendly and happy dog, trusting with everyone.

It is extroverted and sociable , which can bring us more than one problem if we are the owners of one. Due to the bad press it has, most people are afraid of it and that will make them alert if they see our dog approaching.

Inside the house he is very calm and creates a strong bond with his family members, especially with the young children whom he idolizes.

Outside he is more active, which is often not interpreted well. He only seeks to have fun, but only people who have been able to enjoy the breed know that.

Educating him well is essential

A dog behaves as he has been taught since he was little. Hence the importance of educating the American Staffordshire terrier, since we are dealing with a very strong animal with a powerful jaw.

Aggression must be put aside, because it doesn't work with this dog . For this reason, we are going to use positive reinforcement when educating him, starting when he has the vaccines and can go outside.

Must socialize with other dogs and people. With the first ones he has to learn to play, understanding that he can't bite whenever he wants and that when he plays he shouldn't hurt.

Then we will have basic obedience, which will help us keep him safe at all times. This type of obedience must be repeated until it is assimilated, reviewing the orders weekly.

Because of his predisposition to learn, it won't take him long to do what we ask of him. In fact, we'll even be able to teach you some tricks.


Starting with the hair, in this aspect the American Staffordshire terrier is going to give us little work. Being smooth and very short, the only thing you have to do is brush it once or twice a week .

For this task, we will choose a brush with soft tips that have some protection. Otherwise, we will end up causing wounds on the skin, so the best idea may be to comb it with a rubber mitt.

It does not accumulate much dirt, so we can space out the baths, although it will not make it difficult for us in this regard, since it dries quickly even in winter.

His character makes him quite bored, so if he is alone for too long it is not unusual for the well-known separation anxiety to appear. We can avoid this by leaving him a few varied toys.

Among them, one of the best is the KONG. It won't break it and if we fill it with food it will have a good time trying to get it out.

Yes, it is more demanding with exercise . He needs it both to maintain his physique and to have good mental health, although he is not a dog that should spend all day running.

He will settle for three walks of half an hour each, better if there are dogs on the route that he can play with.

Thus, although due to its size it is not a good candidate to live in a small apartment, it will be able to do so without problems.

Feeding the American Staffordshire terrier

Food is very important in all breeds, but it is even more so in the American Staffordshire terrier, since if we want it to maintain such spectacular muscles it will need “fuel” to feed it.

As with people who do bodybuilding, protein is required for muscles to grow and be maintained . This is not cheap if it is quality.

What does that mean? That he needs the best feed we can buy, since with the supermarket feed he will gain weight and lose muscle mass.

The ingredients are what determine the quality of a feed

If we buy a bag of feed from a supermarket, the typical one we find on sale when we go shopping for the week, and we read the label, we will realize why it is so cheap.

Among its first ingredients we find wheat or corn, and then chicken meat in the form of by-products. That means that they put their beaks, legs and feathers there, something that is not good at eating time.

On the contrary, in a quality dog ​​food , the first thing we are going to see is chicken, beef, lamb , etc., for human consumption and highly available. In other words, the American Staffordshire terrier will be able to obtain the quality proteins it needs.

There are quite a few brands on the market, but we always have to keep that in mind so as not to make a mistake when choosing, limiting the purchase to quality food. Within this we can try different compositions or brands.

In the end, the one who chooses the feed is the dog himself, since that bag from such a great brand, which makes the neighbor's dog have spectacular hair, can make our dog vomit.


This breed has very strong health, but there are some diseases that can occur with some frequency. Therefore, it is recommended to make a visit to the veterinarian every six months.


Under this strange name hides a skin disease that usually affects the breed , and that in fact is quite common.

It is characterized by skin problems such as scales, itching, the appearance of bald spots or pustules, all of which are caused by parasites, which is why we are talking about an infectious disease.

Treatment may combine baths, injections and other medications. It's a little heavy, but quite effective.

Hip dysplasia

Due to its size, the American Staffordshire terrier is at risk for dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a disease that affects the hind legs and the hip , when their bones do not “seat” well in the accommodation they have in both hips.

It is genetic, so the best way to prevent it is to buy a dog from a responsible breeder , who can demonstrate with x-rays that their animals are free of dysplasia.

If the dog develops it, it can suffer it in different degrees, from mild to more serious, in which case the only solution is for it to undergo surgery.

Eye conditions

You also have to be careful with your eyes. The first problem is cataracts, which will appear as the dog gets older and are noticeable because the eye is covered, gray.

Another is progressive retinal atrophy and it is more serious because it has no cure . For this reason, check-ups are very important, because thanks to them this disease is detected and the evolution is delayed as much as possible.

By ingesting antioxidants and vitamins, its progress is somewhat slowed, but we have to get used to the idea that blindness cannot be avoided. In addition, it sometimes causes problems such as lens dislocation or glaucoma, so the dog must undergo surgery.

Disorders of sexual development

Sometimes, the breed suffers from this type of problems that usually manifest themselves with excessive sexual attitudes, which is not pleasant with an animal of this strength and size.

Here the treatment is simple and economical, since it will be enough to sterilize the dog as soon as the veterinarian gives us the go-ahead.

Other medium dog breeds that you should know:

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