Learn, Don't Return - American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Breed

Posted by Brian Aho on

This history of the American Staffordshire Terrier begins in England - where most terriers do - Terriers were designed to hunt pests, like rats.

But, the American Staffordshire Terrier lineage is even more controversial than the breed, which is saying a lot.

Do you know what I mean?

Well, enough dancing, let's get into it!

The American Staffordshire Terrier lineage is pure warrior because in the early 1800s, they were bred to be bait dogs for bears and bulls.

Ethically that sounds very sleazy.

But, thankfully baiting became illegal in 1835.

Whew, that was a close one, right?

Unfortunately NO, that was just the beginning - the shady characters continued the debauchery by developing the American Staffordshire Terrier stock into a dog-fighting breed for the amusement of industrial workers and miners in Staffordshire, England.

So how did they become "American"? If you want, click the link below for the full episode.

The American Staffordshire Terrier has evolved from its early days of being a bait dog, after this video click the link below for the full run-down on the American Staffordshire Terrier.

But today, the American Staffordshire Terrier; also known as a"Pit Bull" - which I hate!

The name, not the dog.

I love all dogs, mixed breeds and pedigrees, all dogs having something to offer.

But in the case of the American Staffordshire Terrier - we humans obviously fall short.

The American Staffordshire Terrier has the presence and ego of a large dog breed!

Shhh- don't tell them they are only medium-sized.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is athletic like a gymnast, balancing:

  1. strength
  2. endurance
  3. coordination
  4. flexibility, and
  5. finesse...
which makes them the perfect companion for hikers, walkers, and joggers - but also great cuddlers and sleep-in buddies.

Let's STOP stereotyping the Pitbull and start LEARNING about dog breeds, by SUBSCIBING to Learn, Don't Return.

The building blocks for the American Staffordshire Terrier were the extinct

  • 1) Old English Black and Tan Terrier, the
  • White English Terrier, the
  • 3)not-extinct bulldog, and quite possibly the
  • 4) not-extinct scrappy Fox Terrier.

The American Staffordshire Terrier which is also known as "AmStaff" for short, is in the Terrier Group with its brother the:

  1. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  2. Sealyham Terrier, and the already mentioned
  3. Fox Terrier.

We've covered the Sealyham Terrier - I'll put a link up here at the end of this video for you.

In the 1800s lineage of the American Staffordshire Terrier was being developed in England to be a bear bait dog.

Well, that's not nice!

But thankfully in 1835 English Parliament outlawed bear baiting with the Humane Act.

Well, that is nice!

But, because bear baiting became illegal, it created a whole new problem for the American Staffordshire Terrier forefathers :-(.

The American Staffordshire Terrier bloodlines and their industrial laborer and miner owners would now engage in underground dog fighting matches in the seedy underbelly of industrial Staffordshire, England.

But, some industrial laborers desired better opportunities in a world full of possibilities and they would find hope for a better life in the United States.

And would you bring your beloved and faithful dog with you?

Heck yes!

And they did too.

Meanwhile, in Staffordshire, England dog fighting was a lucrative business, and business was good!

The dog breed that was winning dog fighting matches was the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the brother of the American Staffordshire Terrier - who decided to stay in England.

In the meantime a new United States dog breed from the "Pitbull" was being developed - they were not specifically used just for dog fighting in this new country, "they" needed a utility dog that could:

  • watch the livestock
  • kill rodents
  • monitor children, and
  • be a loving family pet.

However, the same can't be said for its rough and tumble brother the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which continued its dog fighting ways back in Staffordshire, England.

The American Staffordshire Terrier proved its worth to its owners and the popularity of the American Staffordshire Terrier grew in the United States.

But in the late 1800s the passionate American Staffordshire Terrier fanciers begged the American Kennel Club to allow their beloved dog breed into the AKC;  while they themselves hunted wild game with dogs and guns - still, their response was a hard, No!

Back in England, the British Kennel Club had the same objection to introducing the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in their kennel club.

Rules for thee, and not for me.

The road finally cleared in 1935 - 100 years after the original Humane Act, in England, that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier became recognized.

Progress moves very slowly in the English Parliament when it takes a dog 100 years for a dog breed to be recognized!

I wonder how long it took the Fox Terrier, which the aristocracy used for Fox hunting, to be approved?

You can be it didn't take 100 years!

But paving the way with Britain's approval of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier into their album; now allowed the American Kennel Club to recognize its American brother, the American Staffordshire Terrier.

The AmStaff was recognized by the AKC in 1936 and the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America (amstaff.org) also began in 1936.

So is the American Staffordshire Terrier a Pitbull?

In lineage yes; even technically probably yes.

It's just that its brother the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the undisputed Pitbull dog breed - and you can't take that away from him, he's earned the moniker.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a medium-sized dog breed that weighs 40-70 pounds and has a height of 17-19" depending if it's a boy or girl.

And if it's a boy or girl they love to be snuggled with - and who can blame them!

The American Staffordshire Terrier has the body of a gymnast:

  1. lean
  2. muscular
  3. strong, and
  4. agile, making them the perfect dog for...
AKC agility competitions.

But they also like to behave and follow your commands - perfect for AKC obedience.

Plus, they are very intelligent - making them perfect for AKC rally competitions.

Do you like to go for long walks, jog, or hike - then you'll have a friend in the American Staffordshire Terrier because they also like to do all those things too!

What a coincidence!

The AmStaff can be high energy, but they also like to lay around - if you're considering an American Staffordshire Terrier ask the breeder about their drive level, or if you're considering adopting ask the staff, they'll know.

The AmStaff comes in many different colors too - so it's okay to collect them all - they'll love their new home!

But if you want to show an AmStaff in a conformation competition - dog shows - they must have white markings that are less than 80%.

Also, it's smart to consider the sporting events you will do together, before contacting a breeder.

Because of the AmStaff genetics - get your puppy into training classes quickly, and this also helps with socialization. Very important!

What isn't important is the shedding - because they don't!

And if your AmStaff gets a little heavy, they can shed some weight by feeding a high-protein dog food from a 1-quart stainless dog bowl.

The American Staffordshire Terrier, or "AmStaff", is okay around kids and other dogs - but they prefer your undivided attention.

And I appreciate your undivided attention while watching this Learn, Don't Return ;-).

The AmStaff:

  • doesn't drool
  • has a smooth coat, which requires limited grooming, and is
  • very clean...

like petzpaws dog walking apparel.

And for your attention get 10% off at petzpaws.com discount code "AmStaff"! Shh.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a very social dog, they love everybody, but the burglar - then they become alert; if you like to play at the park today, and go for a run tomorrow they don't care, they'll follow you anywhere!

The AmStaff only barks when necessary, enjoys being trained, and is playful.

And all your love will last a long time too, the AmStaff can live to be 12-15 years old.

Is your perfect dog the American Staffordshire Terrier?

Leave your comments below.

Thank you for watching this episode of Learn, Don't Return, and consider subscribing to learn about dog breeds - thank you for letting me make this video for you!

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