Amstaff is very loyal and forgiving. And it may seem like your dog is never bothered by anything. But there are some things humans do that American Staffordshire terrier secretly hate.

Avoid doing any of these things to your dog. And also dogs you may just meet out and about.

Let’s get into it

Using Words More Than Body Language

Many humans talk to their dogs verbally which is fine.

In fact, dogs can actually learn the meaning of some words if they’re used in the right context. But dogs will not understand every word you say to them. Source

In fact, a better way to communicate with your furry friend is using body language.

But be warned there is one thing Amstaff can’t stand when it comes to body language. That is when people send mixed messages.

For example, if you tell your dog to stay while putting your hand out. This will be very confusing. That’s because your hand gesture will make them want to walk towards you. This can be confusing and distressing for dogs. So don’t do it.

It’s good to be clear with your dogs both verbally and visually. And make sure what you’re saying. And your tone of voice matches your body language.

Tight Leash

American Staffy doesn’t like to be on a tight leash literally.

According to canine experts, one of the things dogs dislike the most is when their owners keep them on a tight leash.

  • A tight leash keeps an Amstaff from exploring which is its natural instinct.
  • Tight leashes will also cause tension between dogs and their owners.
  • It will keep them in a very alert state and will stress them out.

Having a slack leash will keep them calm. And also enable them to explore their surroundings.

Tight leashes are a sign that you’re tense and nervous. And your dog will secretly dislike this. That’s why American Staffordshire often pulls back when their leash is tight.

They have High Prey Drive. This means AmStaff loves to chase small animals. A tight leash restricts their wonderlust.


Food Interruptions

If you have interrupted human eating it would be considered very rude. Well, the same should be true for you and your dog.

Amstaff terriers can’t stand it when humans touch them or move their food while they’re eating.

The best practice is to put your dog’s food in a very quiet area of your house. And make sure any family members or visitors stay well away from your dog while it’s eating.

American Stafford also hates it when humans try to clean around them while they’re eating. It’s much better to wait until your dog is finished before you try to clean up.

Excessive Cleaning

Nobody likes a dirty dog but it turns out many pet owners clean their dogs far too frequently.

American Staffordshire actually keeps themselves clean in their own way. This is normally by licking themself. But this does not stop some people from cleaning their dogs way too often.

Cleaning your Amstaffy when it’s not even dirty is not helping them. And could actually be harming them.

Dogs actually use their body’s smell to communicate with other dogs. 

When you wash your American Staffy Terrier you should never use scented products. This will often cause dogs to run outside and roll around in the dirt. That’s because they want to replace the unnatural smell with a more natural smell.

Also, certain shampoos and cleaning products are not safe for dogs. So take extra care when using those.

For more read: Their Coats and Grooming

No Rules and Structure

You might not like being told what to do but dogs actually do like this. Your American Staffordshire will dislike it if you’re too easy-going and relaxed.

Amstaffs are incredibly loyal to their owners and crave their discipline and guidance. They actually really enjoy this. 

American Staffy seek out a strong leader and guidelines from their owners. That’s because it makes things much less confusing and stressful for your dog.

After all, dogs simply won’t understand some rules. For example why they’re allowed in the house when they’re clean. But not allowed in the house when they’ve been rolling around in dirty mud.

They won’t question this as long as you give them clear rules and structure.

Recommended: Is American Staffordshire Terrier Easy to Train?

Excessive Teasing

Everyone loves playing around in roughhousing with dogs. But sometimes humans take this too far. And you might not even realize it from your dog’s reaction.

Making loud noise behind an American Staffy to scare. It is very annoying to dogs. Other things American Stafford dislike include

  • people pulling their tails.
  • Also waving at them through windows.
  • Oftentimes young kids annoy dogs with excessive roughhousing and playing.
  • Some kids may pull on a dog’s ears or poke their eyes.
  • And some kids have even been known to try and ride dogs.

These are all things dogs seriously hate.

If you have kids around your Amstaff make sure that you explain to them not to roughhouse with your dog too much.

In some cases, it may be best to never leave kids unsupervised with dogs. That is unless they know the protocols of how to respect your furry friend


So we’ve already covered that dogs like discipline and rules but what happens when they break one of those rules.

Some people think that they need to give their dog a scolding. But you should actually never do this.

You may be very upset or angry at your dog but they won’t understand why.  By being angry and negative around your dog can actually harm their mental well-being.

So without scolding how do you train an American Staffy?

Well, it’s simple you

  • use positive reinforcement
  • Simply ignore their bad behaviors
  • and reward the behaviors you do like

Friend or Foe

I’m sure there are people in your life that you’re not particularly fond of. Well, the same is true for your dog.

You should avoid forcing your American Staffordshire to spend time with dogs or people they don’t like. Otherwise, your dog could get upset or even aggressive.

For more on this topic read: They Are Infamous as Aggressive Dogs



What is hugging? Everyone knows the action but what really is it.

Well, the answer is a human social construct. We like hugs because we know that they’re a sign of love and happiness. But a dog does not know this because in a dog’s world hugs don’t exist.

Dogs only ever place paws on each other to assert dominance. So when you hug an American Staffordshire it may tense up and be a bit nervous.

Some dogs can learn to tolerate and sometimes even enjoy hugs. But that is not a dog’s natural state. So don’t be surprised when an American Staffordshire Terrier tenses up or backs off when you try to hug it.

It’s best not to do this unless you know the dog likes to hug. Otherwise, Amstaff could feel threatened or upset.

Unfamiliar Eye Contact

Imagine walking down a street one day when a stranger makes excessive eye contact with you. You would likely be creeped out and wonder what’s going on.

Well, dogs feel the exact same way.

If you see a dog you’ve never met before on the street; don’t make eye contact with it for too long.

American Staffordshires dislike it when strangers stare at them. And if you stare at a strange dog while walking towards it, it could feel threatened even if you’re smiling. This won’t help.

That’s because dogs aren’t good at interpreting human facial expressions. If you do this to an Amstaff they may get scared and run away. And in some cases even get aggressive and try to bite you.