Nicknamed AmStaff by their fans, American Staffordshire terriers are smart, confident, and courageous dogs.

These guys share much in common with the American Pit Bull Terrier as both breeds have been used in illegal dog fighting rings.

Contrary to their tough appearance, AmStaffs are deeply affectionate, intensely friendly, and joyfully energetic.

  • American Staffordshire terriers make docile, obedient, and loyal pets when they’re brought up in a home with love that gives them proper training and socialization.

Read more: American Staffordshire Terrier Breed Guide

Now, without further ado, let’s dive right into our list of ‘Top 10 Interesting facts about the American Staffordshire Terrier.’

Their History

American Staffordshire Terriers’ roots can be traced through early mastiff warriors, to the original bulldogs in England, which were used in the blood sport of bull-baiting.

They are believed to have been developed from the original bulldog and the now-extinct species such as the white English terrier and the black and tan terrier.

Their mixed heritage earned them many names, including Bull-And-Terrier Dog, Pit Bull Terrier, and Half and Half, and eventually, they came to be known as Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

AmStaffs were used by butchers to manage bulls, hunters to bring down wild boars, and farmers to help with farm work and act as ratters.

Later these dogs were used exclusively to fight in blood sports like bull-baiting and bear-baiting. When these sports were eventually banned, they were used in dog fighting rings, which sadly continues in illegal events to this day.

American Staffordshire terriers made their way to the U.S. by the 1850s and they were later recognized by the AKC in 1936.

Their Appearance

American Staffordshire terriers are a bundle of muscles known for being strong for their size.

These dogs top out around 19 inches tall but pack a solid 60–80 pounds of muscle on those small frames.

  • They have broad heads with powerful jaws, muscular necks, barrel chests, and slender hindquarters.
  • Their intelligent faces usually bear a happy expression with dark-colored eyes, though blue is an occasional exception.
  • AmStaffs have undocked, wagging tails which are rather short, compared to the rest of their body

Their temperament

AmStaffs are incredibly faithful, and affectionate dogs with quick minds and warm hearts.

They are people-driven, so an AmStaff left outside, unattended may develop separation anxiety or dig up your yard out of boredom.

While the breed is naturally friendly to people, they can be confrontational with other dogs when they are not socialized.

These terriers were originally bred to fight, and though many breeders have worked to eliminate these tendencies over the years, the breed can still be standoffish in front of other dogs.

The breed is also a great judge of character and is known to recognize people’s intent, which is why they make excellent watchdogs.

They Are Infamous as Aggressive Dogs

American Staffordshire Terriers were used in the barbaric sports of bull-baiting and bear-baiting, because of their tenacity, courage, and muscular build, they are still used in illegal dog fighting rings to this day.

This is part of the reason why AmStaffs have a bad reputation as an aggressive breed and they are frequently included in Breed Specific Legislation that bans them.

Some insurance companies also refuse to cover households that own one of these terriers. We recommend that you check your local laws and insurance policy before you decide to adopt one of these guys

They Aren’t Recommended for Kids

Although AmStaffs love their people, we recommend that you do not allow children below the age of six to have playtime with one of these dogs.

Their rough play, combined with their stocky build, can make them a bit much for kids to handle.

Since young kids like to poke and prod, the headstrong nature of AmStaffs might result in injuries.

It is especially important to train your dog and socialize them early for that reason. Even with properly trained dogs, you’ll want to make sure that playtime with children is always supervised

They Make Excellent Watchdogs

Amstaff Top 10 Interesting Facts about American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terriers’ muscular build and reputation as aggressive dogs act as deterrents for intruders.

These stocky creatures make exceptional guard dogs, purely because of their intimidation factor and courage.

AmStaffs will bark a healthy amount, no matter what the situation, and they are blessed with loud and deep voices.

The breed is also a great judge of character and is known to recognize people’s intent. Couple that with their powerful frames and their intimidating history, and that’s usually enough to keep any suspicious strangers at bay.

They Were Popular Dogs

These dogs have long been famous in America and some have even earned their name due to their courage, skills, and bravery.

A drug-sniffing Amstaff named Popsicle became famed for sniffing out one of the largest cocaine busts in US history.

In Texas, the dog found a ton and a half of cocaine with a street value of more than $139,000,000!

Well, similarly, an Amstaff named Stubby was the most adorned dog of World War I, climbing to the rank of Sergeant. Stubby was considered a war hero, warning soldiers of gas attacks and surviving 17 battles.

Some of these terriers were also popular on the screen like Petey, the scrappy dog from the “Our Gang” films of the 1930s.

They Need a Strong Trainer

Amstaffs are intelligent, eager to please and they understand commands well which makes them very trainable.

The breed, however, does have a propensity for headstrong behavior. They could also use their strength to pull dog walkers easily wherever they want to go if they aren’t trained properly.

This means that your AmStaff terrier needs a strong, steady, and confident trainer who will set boundaries without being overly harsh.

Given their stubborn and willful nature, obedience training is essential to manage your dog.

With proper training, these terriers can be loyal family companions, as well as competent working dogs.

Their Coats and Grooming

AmStaffs have single-coat furs that are short, sleek, and slightly oily, preventing them from retaining dirt and making them resistant to matting.

These dogs come in a variety of colors, with liver, sable, brindle, and brown being the most common, often with some white on their heads and chests. It is considered a fault by the AKC if more than 80 percent of the coat is white.

When it comes to grooming your AmStaff, their coats should be brushed at least weekly to keep them smooth and shiny.

Similarly, the oil in their hair keeps these dogs from developing any of the traditional ‘dog odors,’ meaning you don’t need to bathe them too often.

Your Amstaff also needs regular nail trimming along with occasional ear checkups for wax buildup or infections.

Their Health Concerns

American Staffordshire terriers are generally healthy dogs, though they are predisposed to a few health issues.

The breed is prone to skin allergies, urinary tract infections, and some autoimmune diseases.

They may also develop hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, heart disease, and luxating patella.

The strong muscles and high metabolism of AmStaffs keep obesity from being a common problem. But the breed is prone to cerebellar ataxia, a condition that weakens muscle coordination and usually manifests between the ages of three and five.