AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIERS
American Staffordshire Terriers are affectionate lively dogs. They are close coated naturally kept dogs; they are cropped for show and have their dew claws removed. I bathe mine weekly, trim their nails and clean their teeth and ears at the same time. AmStaffs are velcro dogs, always near you or on you. They will lick you. Constantly. Did I say constantly? They tolerate toddler and child shenanigans quite well.
American Staffordshire Terriers need a LOT of early dog socialization and will need continual socialization throughout their life. This doesn't mean you can turn them loose with any dog willy nilly. Introduce them to nice gentle dogs of varying sizes and types. You will also need to make behavior rules and enforce those rules. If you don't, they can be hyper, unruly, and dog aggressive.
They do have a lot of energy. AmStaffs will need mental and physical stimulation. The intelligence, willingness to please, high drive and energy mean they will excel at anything you ask them to do. Please find something fun to do with your American Staffordshire Terrier. There are so many sports out there to choose from.
AmStaffs range from sensitive to stubborn. Make sure your corrections match the personality of YOUR particular dog. Positive reinforcement training works best to teach them new things. Physical correction will always work best for stopping dominance. And, just like disciplining children-Don't do it while angry.
This is NOT a dog park dog. Dog parks are full of out of control rude dogs and irresponsible owners. Do not take your AmStaff to dog parks.
They also need to be close to their people. Do not keep them outside all the time. If you don't want a house dog; you don't want a American Staffordshire Terrier.
AmStaffs are prone to skin/food allergies. A raw diet works best, but high quality grain free kibble is second best. They can overheat quickly in warm climates, though not nearly as quickly as Staffords. They have tremendous ball drive and will fetch until they pass out from heat exhaustion. Please be mindful and have them quit before they reach that point. Limit time spent playing, working, and exercising while its hot out.
Please pay attention to the heat and take preventative measures. I walk mine early or late once the temperature goes over 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I also soak mine down with the hose before we walk. Check the asphalt with the back of your hand or your bare feet prior to asking them to walk on it. You can put booties on them to protect their feet too. Musher's Secret will keep their pads in good condition.
If you're looking for an older dog, consider a retired show dog. If you're looking for a puppy, please look for puppies raised on Puppy Culture. Regardless of what age American Staffordshire Terrier you get, the training content on PuppyCulture.com will be an invaluable resource.
You may notice that they are very similar to the Staffords. They are. The differences are as follows:
They are less excitable and settle quicker than Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They are bigger. Staffords are in the 30s and 40s for weight; Amstaff females are in the low 50s and males run in the 70s and 80s.
Because ears are trimmed between 9 and 10 weeks, and ears do not permanently set until they finish teething, show breeders cannot breed for a correct rose ear. Keep this in mind if you choose to keep your AmStaff natural eared. Those ears may go crazy. You can tape and use hair glue on the ears to help train them to fold (like conditioning a new part in your hair). We can help you with this.
Once they reach adulthood and you have a good relationship, they will watch you walk around the house as they sit on their throne (the couch or dog bed) instead of following you constantly.
You will definitely need to earn their respect and trust. As long as you do, they will be an invaluable and well behaved companion. With their brains and body, they can do ANYTHING you ask them to do. I absolutely adore this breed! If the things mentioned above don't scare you away, you will love them too.
Please email or call me anytime about dog questions. I'm always happy to help.