When we first adopted our American Staffordshire Terrier, or more commonly known as the Amstaff, we didn’t know what to expect or know much about the breed. All we knew is that she had the most loving face and eyes that melted us. After researching and owning one ourselves, it’s easy to see that here is a lot of misinformation about these dogs on the internet.
Amstaffs are a great breed. They are very gentle, loyal, confident and loving. However, people will still cross the streets when they see you walking with this dog. There is a stigma with this breed so you have to make sure you are committed to putting in the extra time needed. We decided to write an article about it, and hopefully, it will help people understand this breed better.
Differences between Amstaffs and American Pit Bulls
It’s very easy to confuse these breeds. They look very similar, (some people might even consider it as the same dog) but the American Staffordshire is a little shorter and a little more muscular and bulkier. They are both very gentle and good natured dogs.
They are very sensitive to human emotions. It’s hard for us not to feel bad when we discipline our Amstaff, she always looks so sad after! However, they do need rules and boundaries. You need to show them “who is the boss”, so they see you as a pack leader and not someone who they need to protect. They are very good with humans but they can get dog aggressive if they are not socialized as puppies with other dogs (like any other dog). We didn’t have the chance to socialize our dog since we got her when she was 3, so we were more careful while approaching other dogs.
American Staffordshires are very loyal, sweet and affectionate. Our Amstaff will whine, talk and barks at us to give her some love and attention. They really have a great temperament. They are happy and confident. Through the years, I have owned many breeds and dealt with many breeds when working and volunteering with pets but this breed, it’s definitely special.
Your Amstaff will need moderate exercise. They are the perfect combination between a couch potato dog and an energetic dog. They can lay around and sleep for the most part of the day but they still need exercise. Daily long walks or runs are preferred around 30-45 minutes at the very least. Daily walks also help to keep them in great shape.
They are easy to train. American Staffordshires really like to please their owners and are very smart, so it’s easy to train them. However, they can be very stubborn, make sure to be calm and confident always with this breed to help them break off their stubbornness. Don’t let your Amstaff get his way. It’s very recommendable to give them basic training, they like to be trained, it keeps them their mind busy and it will ensure they listen to you better.
Barking is not natural to this breed. Isn’t that awesome? If you are like me and love a full night of sleep, this breed is for you. I’m still so surprised to NOT hearing her bark. She doesn’t bark when someone knocks at our dog or when she hears other dogs barking, she only barks when she wants something from you. Like when she barks because she wants for us to give her attention. They can get quite vocal when they get bored, so make sure you exercise them enough to avoid boredom or you can also teach them not to whine by ignoring them or training them to be quiet.
Make sure to feed them good quality food and check that your dog food has protein as the first ingredient. Look at the label and check for words like Salmon, Beef, Chicken to be the first item of the ingredient list. For more information about what to look when choosing dog food, you can check this article. The quantity depends on of the height and food brand but they will need about 2 or 3 cups of food a day. Our dog does better with dog foods that contain higher protein content. Our dog food of choice is Orijen because they use quality products from local farmers. If you are looking to try Orijen for your dog, you would probably have to check smaller dog food stores because they only sell their product as independently owned pet supply stores.
They are usually very healthy dogs. There is a small predisposition for hip dysplasia and some heart problems.
Puppy faces forever! Maybe I’m too in love of my Staffy but her face is so sweet and every other Amstaff I have seen have this puppy face no matter their age. Just look at her! I could never understand why some people are so scared of them. It’s probably mostly about the misinformation of the media and how they have manipulated the news to make them look bad.