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The American Staffordshire Terrier has an impressive, muscular, broad and athletic build, weighing between 18 and 30 kg. With a shoulder height between 43 and 48 cm, he is also one of the medium-sized dogs.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is an unfortunately still misunderstood, extremely smart, loving and bright dog. Although it has a calm, gentle nature in itself, its former abuse as a fighting dog can have severe consequences if it is poorly trained and irresponsibly bred.
The head of the dogs is large, wedge-shaped and strong and his nose black. Although there are also non-pigmented noses, they are rather undesirable according to breed standards, because they are more attributed to the American Pit Bull Terrier.
The Staffordshire Terrier’s round, dark eyes are wide apart and have pigmented eyelids. The high set ears of the dogs are usually half erect, drooping floppy ears are undesirable. Unfortunately, it still happens that the ears of terriers are clipped to give them a more dangerous appearance. However, this practice is fortunately prohibited in this country.
The coat of the terrier is dense, short and shiny. It fits snugly and can be found in many different colors. Standard color does not exist for this breed. The coat can be solid, multicolored, brindle or spotted, only too much white is undesirable, as it is associated with a susceptibility to deafness.
The gait of the dogs is considered upright and proud, which gives them an impressive, elegant and sublime appearance.
Staffordshire Terriers live on average between 10 and 14 years, and they are usually very fit even at an older age.
Contrary to many prejudices, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a very balanced, loving and calm dog with a high stress tolerance. He seeks a close bond with his people and is extremely loyal and affectionate to them. Once you have gained his trust, he will obey you to the letter and do everything to please you.
Its adaptability makes it the perfect family dog. The dogs are also extremely lovable towards children and take care of them gently.
Towards strangers and other dogs, the dogs usually behave neutrally and are difficult to provoke. However, should a threatening situation arise, especially if there is danger for the dog’s family, the calm but nevertheless very courageous companion knows how to use his strength. To avoid serious confrontations, the dog needs clear and experienced leadership.
Terriers are also very sensitive, intelligent and active dogs that are always on the move and want to be challenged both mentally and physically .
First and foremost, before you get an American Staffordshire Terrier, you must remember that the dogs are on the breed list in all three of Austria’s listing states, Vienna, Lower Austria and Vorarlberg. Be sure to find out in advance what the requirements are and what you need to do to keep a Staffordshire Terrier. Also keep in mind that a greatly increased dog tax may apply.
In general, be prepared for skeptical looks and some rejection and prejudice.
When traveling, also note that in some countries, just the appearance of the dogs can be enough to deny them entry.
So the American Staffordshire Terrier is not a dog that you should get just like that.
The American Staffordshire Terrier possesses enormous strength, which absolutely must be kept in check by consistent training. The dog is therefore absolutely not a beginner dog. It is extremely important to show your dog his limits already in puppyhood and to make it clear to him that you give the instructions. The extremely intelligent dogs recognize any weakness or exception and take the opportunity to express their dominance. Therefore, loving consistency is essential. Attending a suitable dog training school is also an absolute must.
However, once your dog has accepted your leadership, he readily submits and is very obedient.
So be aware of this great responsibility, because poor education can have dangerous consequences.
The terrier is a very active and playful dog that definitely needs enough physical exercise. Due to its urge to move, it is rather not suitable for apartments. Optimal would be a garden of his own, where he can let off steam. Note, however, that the dogs can jump unexpectedly high and thus need a fence of at least 1.60 meters.
In addition, the terrier needs a lot of exercise, which you can offer him with long walks, hiking, jogging or cycling or with various dog sports. Sports that also challenge your dog mentally would be best. These smart little guys can even be trained as therapy dogs. However, it is not advisable to use the dog as a guard dog, because the protective instinct of the dogs could promote aggressive behavior.
A well-used Staffordshire Terrier is a cuddly, cozy and affectionate family dog that barks little and loves to spend time with his people.
The diet of the American Staffordshire Terrier is very uncomplicated. They are satisfied with both dry, wet and fresh food. Only enough protein should be in it. It’s best to match your dog’s food to his activity level and age.
Grooming the dogs is also unproblematic, as occasional brushing is quite sufficient.
Terriers are an extremely hardy and healthy breed, with no diseases typical of the breed. Only occasional allergies can occur, which can usually be controlled by adjusting the diet, as well as problems with the hips, which do not occur frequently.
The American Staffordshire Terrier traces its origins to a mix of bulldogs and terriers, sadly bred specifically for dog fighting. When these were banned in Britain, the dog came to the USA in the 19th century, where further attempts were made to make him as aggressive as possible, although he is actually very gentle and calm by nature.
Gradually 2 lines developed, one used for fighting and one to serve as companion and show dogs.
Dogfighting is now banned in the U.S. as well, but is unfortunately still practiced illegally. In order to distance themselves from these barbaric fights, the two lines were definitively separated, giving rise to the distinction between the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, named after its place of origin in Great Britain. The former was recognized only by the United Kennel Club in the United States, but it is said to have connections with dog fighting that still takes place. The latter, on the other hand, has been officially recognized by the major governing bodies and, unlike its relative, is subject to strict breed standards and controls.
In the USA, the Staffordshire Terrier is nowadays mainly used as a family dog and is still very popular there. In this country, however, the breed is rather rare to find, not least because of the strict requirements that complicate the attitude and acquisition.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is an unfortunately still misunderstood, extremely smart, loving and bright dog. Although it has a calm, gentle nature in itself, its former abuse as a fighting dog can have severe consequences if it is poorly trained and irresponsibly bred. So, when keeping the dog, you have a great responsibility that you should not underestimate. But if you are up to it and have the necessary experience, you will gain a friend for life who will be loyal to you.