American Staffordshire Terrier: Dog Breed Profile

Country of origin: USA
Shoulder height: 43 – 48 cm
Weight: 18 – 30 kg
Age: 10 – 12 years
Color: any color, solid, multicolored or spotted
Use: companion dog

The American Staffordshire Terrier – also known colloquially as ” AmStaff ” – belongs to the group of bull-like terriers and originated in the USA. The strong and active dog needs a lot of activity and clear guidance. It is not suitable for dog beginners and couch potatoes.

Origin and history

The American Staffordshire Terrier has only been internationally recognized under this name since 1972. Before that, the naming was inconsistent and confusing: Sometimes people spoke of Pit Bull Terrier, sometimes of American Bull Terrier or Stafford Terrier. With today’s correct name, confusion should be avoided.

AmStaff ‘s ancestors are English bulldogs and terriers that were brought to the United States by British immigrants. The well-fortified animals were used to protect against wolves and coyotes but were also trained and bred for dog fights. In this bloody sport, crosses between Bullmastiffs and terriers were particularly important. The result was dogged with a strong bite and fear of death, which attacked immediately, bit into their opponent, and sometimes fought to the death. With the ban on dog fighting in the middle of the 19th century, the breeding orientation also changed.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is one of the so-called list dogs in most of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. However, over-aggressive behavior in this breed is controversial among experts.


The American Staffordshire Terrier is a medium-sized, powerful, and muscular dog with a stocky build. His head is broad and with pronounced cheek muscles. The ears are rather small compared to the head, set high and tilted forward. The American Staffordshire Terrier’s coat is short, dense, glossy, and hard to the touch. It is absolutely easy to care for. The AmStaff is bred in all colors, whether monochromatic or multicolored.


The American Staffordshire Terrier is a very alert, dominant dog and is always ready to defend its territory against other dogs. When dealing with his family – his pack – he is absolutely lovable and extremely sensitive.

It is a very athletic and active dog with a lot of strength and endurance. Therefore, the American Staffordshire Terrier also needs a corresponding workload, i.e. a lot of exercise and activity. The playful AmStaff is also enthusiastic about dog sports activities such as agility, flyball, or obedience. He is not a suitable companion for lazy and unsportsmanlike people.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is not only equipped with a lot of muscle power, but also with a large portion of self-confidence. Unconditional submission is not in his nature. Therefore, he also needs an experienced hand and must be trained consistently from an early age. Attending a dog school is a must with this breed. Because without clear leadership, the powerhouse will keep trying to get its way.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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