The American Staffordshire Terrier can be an intimidating breed of dog due to their stocky, muscular build. The appearance of this breed speaks to the agile and strong nature of the dog. The broad head, short muzzle and demanding jaw bone are offset by the short cropped ears. Together these characteristics create the distinguished look of the American Staffordshire Terrier.
The American Staffordshire Terrier has a tough look, but at heart is affectionate and loving. The look of the dog, though, often reigns supreme on how people judge this breed. They have a thick bone structure, sturdy weight and scissor bite teeth. The eyes are round in shape and black in color which give them a stern and attentive look. They make both a wonderful guard dog and a loving family dog.
The American Staffordshire Terrier’s coat is short with a glossy look. It is shiny and easy to care for. The color can be a variety of different shades. The coat is also thin and not well suited for colder climates.
This breed originated in the 19th century. It comes from Staffordshire, England and is a mix of bulldog and terrier. During breeding the American Staffordshire Terrier has developed the strong muscular build for which it is known. They were often used a fighting dogs, but when that was banned they became more of a show breed. They have also always been used as guard dogs.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a protector. As a pack dog, he will protect his family with every ounce of his strong body. Once this breed identifies its family and becomes committed to them he will do anything to protect them. If they feel threatened or see their family threatened they will become rather aggressive which most often leads to biting. They are not only protective of people but property as well, which is why they are often used as guard dogs. They are persistent in their efforts and will not give up in a fight. There is no way an intruder will get away from this dog.
As such a protective breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier must be guided and taught the difference between good and bad strangers. They need to be introduced to friends and taught they are not harmful. They also need proper socialization with other animals to curb the fighting tendencies. Once they become familiarized with people, they will be loving and caring. They are quite good around children as well.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is eager to please. They will try hard to impress and make their owner happy. They need to have a bit of an authoritive handling to help ensure they listen and behave.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a hardy dog breed, but can fall victim to common canine health problems. Hip dysplasia is a common problem that can cause lameness. It can usually be discovered through x-rays. Congenital heart disease is another concern. This condition is something the dog is born with and can either cause symptoms that make the heart work improperly or cause no symptoms at all. Cataracts are another genetic disorder that should be watched for as it will disturb the dog’s vision. Hives can often plaque the American Staffordshire Terrier due tot heir short coat. Keeping them well groomed can help to prevent this problem.
Grooming of the American Staffordshire Terrier is not too difficult. The short coat only needs brushing regularly with a firm bristle brush. Dry shampoo is preferable to a wet bath. However, on occasion they may require a wet bath to get them really clean. A car shining rag is a great way to give the dog a shiny coat. Simply rub the coat down regularly.
Regular exercise is important to his muscular breed of dog. They should have daily walks and be encouraged to play and be active in general. Lack of exercise can lead to a fidgety or bored temperament. Training or an obedience classes can be a good idea to keep this highly intelligent dog from getting bored.
The American Staffordshire Terrier’s training should always be done with the idea that this is an extremely diligent pack dog. This means that training has to be done with an obvious authoritive approach so to gain the respect of the dog and ensure who is in charge. Early training is essential to incorporate dominance by the trainer. Discipline and consistency are a key component in training this breed. The best training methods will also incorporate allowing the dog to please the owner by doing tasks. They love to please and will eagerly learn something new if they see it pleases their trainer.
They will need to be taught to bark even though they are natural guard dogs, barking is not something that comes naturally. House training is another area of concern. It has to be done in a firm manner or they will be difficult to train. As long as training is handled where the dog knows exactly who is in control it should be easy to teach this intelligent breed.