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American Staffordshire Terrier

Courageous and strong, the American Staffordshire Terrier (Am Staff)’s athletic build and intelligence make him ideally suited to many dog sports such as obedience, agility, tracking and conformation. He is often identified by his stocky body and strong, powerful head. The breed’s short coat can be any color, and either solid colored, parti-colored or patched.

A Look Back

Until the early 19th century, the Bulldog used for bullbaiting in England was more active and longer-legged than the breed as we know it today. It is thought that the cross of this older Bulldog and a game terrier breed created the Staffordshire Terrier. Originally called the Bull-and-Terrier Dog, Half and Half or Pit Dog, it became known as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in England. When accepted for AKC registration in 1936, the name changed to American Staffordshire Terrier to reflect the heavier American type and to distinguish them as separate breeds.

Right Breed for You?
The Am Staff is a people-oriented dog that thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do. Although friendly, this breed is loyal to his family and will protect them from any threat. His short coat is low-maintenance, but regular exercise and training is necessary.

If you are considering purchasing an American Staffordshire Terrier puppyClick here.

  • Terrier Group; AKC recognized in 1936.
  • Ranging in size from 17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • General purpose dog.

American Staffordshire Terrier Breed Standard

Terrier Group

General Impression
The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. His courage is proverbial.

Head
Medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop; and ears are set high. Ears – Cropped or uncropped, the latter preferred. Uncropped ears should be short and held rose or half prick. Full drop to be penalized. Eyes – Dark and round, low down in skull and set far apart. No pink eyelids.Muzzle – Medium length, rounded on upper side to fall away abruptly below eyes. Jaws well defined. Underjaw to be strong and have biting power. Lips close and even, no looseness. Upper teeth to meet tightly outside lower teeth in front. Nose definitely black.

Neck
Heavy, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to back of skull. No looseness of skin. Medium length.

Shoulders
Strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping.

Back
Fairly short. Slight sloping from withers to rump with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. Loins slightly tucked.

Body
Well-sprung ribs, deep in rear. All ribs close together. Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit chest development. Chest deep and broad.

Tail
Short in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point; not curled or held over back. Not docked.

Legs
The front legs should be straight, large or round bones, pastern upright. No semblance of bend in front. Hindquarters well-muscled, let down at hocks, turning neither in nor out. Feet of moderate size, well-arched and compact. Gait must be springy but without roll or pace.

Coat
Short, close, stiff to the touch, and glossy.

Color
Any color, solid, parti, or patched is permissible, but all white, more than 80 per cent white, black and tan, and liver not to be encouraged.

Size
Height and weight should be in proportion. A height of about 18 to 19 inches at shoulders for the male and 17 to 18 inches for the female is to be considered preferable.

Faults
Faults to be penalized are: Dudley nose, light or pink eyes, tail too long or badly carried, undershot or overshot mouths.