Children: Usually trustworthy tolerant and very affectionate towards them, probably a bit too exuberant for smaller kids. They have hard play bite when young so proper supervision at all times is a must.Tehre are of course many other fab dog breeds that are good with children

Other Animals:May kill small pets, may injure cats unless raised and socialised with them from a young age. Tends to be dog aggressive unless properly socialised.

Training: Because it is so protective your Amstaff demands proper dog obedience training, primarily because they are so protective. They will need thorough socialisation, and to know the difference between good and bad strangers, introduce your dog to friends and all sorts of people to show that they are not harmful and don’t forget to do the same with dogs and animals to curb their fighting tendencies. They are  ferocious chewers and have very strong jaws you will need to provide them with tough resilient toys, mouthing humans is a definite no-no and must be discouraged at an early stage.

Health: Generally hardy but can suffer from common canine problems such as hip dysplasia or congenital conditions like  heart disease or cataracts. Finding  a reputable breeder and ensuring adequate pet insurance will of course always bring extra peace of mind regards the well being of your furry friend.

 Exercise:This breed has moderate to high energy levels, a good daily walk and active  play time is required to keep him fit and happy, destructiveness and other common dog behavioral problems arise when you r dog becomes bored or frustrated.

Grooming: Easy to maintain. Those that do not want to spend hours managing their dog's coat will find this dog to be a perfect fit for their time moderate shed.

The Ideal Amstaff Owner Is experienced and strong willed , active, who has the time and dedication to teach this dog to be nice to other dogs when it is still a puppy and who can provide a lot of affection, play and exercise as the dog matures. As always if you like this breed, please do the research  and ensure that you are choosing the right dog for your own lifestyle. For more information, why not visit this breeds national club.

American Staffordshire Terrier

 and Dog Breed Guide

American Staffordshire Terrier Temperament

staffordshire bull terrierEnglish Bull Terrier

Comparable Breeds

The fighting breed is considered to be the American Pit Bull Terrier, while the American Staffordshire Terrier is considered the gentler show version.

Docility and tractability were vital traits in a powerful dog that must be handled even in the midst of a dog fight. The Amstaff therefore has evolved a certain trustworthy disposition around people he knows.

Since the 1980s the controversy surrounding these, and their Bull Terrier cousins has risen to unprecedented levels; an association with criminal activity, dog fighting and unprovoked attacks on people and animals has, (and not entirely unjustified) led these breeds to be vilified in the media, to the point where the breed has found itself the target of local breed-specific laws aimed at banning them.

It is important to remember however that all dogs have the capacity to be aggressive if they are ill treated and conditioned to behave a certain way by deeply unpleasant people. The American Staffordshire Terrier temperament is such that they can make wonderful family pets when properly trained and socialized, this is however not a suitable breed  for inexperienced  or weak willed owners.

American Staffordshire Terrier Temperament

With its powerful stance, it's no wonder that the Amstaff is a natural guard dog, they have a strong protective urge towards their family and anyone that they consider to be part of their pack.

Not as barky as many terriers, the Amstaff is deemed an excellent judge of character. The same dog that rolls around on the floor with kids and greets your mother with a wag is willing and able to back a husky intruder out the door. “Chris Walcowicz-the Perfect Match

For a powerful animal that puts his pack before anything else it stands to reason that you the pack leader must be able to assert your authority and garner their respect, this doesn't mean you should be cruel or physical towards your dog, but if if you are weak willed or do slack off with the training / socialisation they dog will try to dominate and so I say again this is not a dog suitable for inexperienced owners.

Having said that, in the right environment with the right owners the Amstaff  temperament is loving and playful, happy to just to snuggle, goof about or go jogging at your side.

Owners call them ‘Velcro dogs’ because they stick close to you. The American Staffordshire Terrier temperament is such that they have the potential to be not only a very capable guard dog but also a wonderfully affectionate and loving family pet.

The American Staffordshire Terrier originated in England in the early 1800's after crossing various Bulldog and  terrier strains to produce the "Bull and Terrier." Later dubbed the "Staffordshire Bull Terrier", these dogs gained such popularity amongst dog fighting fans they duly gained passage to America in the late 1800's, where they became known as the Pit Bull Terrier, American Bull Terrier, and even the Yankee Terrier.

Americans favored a bigger dog than their English counterparts and eventually the American strain diverged from its predecessor with the AKC recognizing the breed in 1936.  After dog fighting was banned in the United States around the early 1900's, two versions of the American Staffordshire Terrier emerged; one for show and one (still) for fighting.

English Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull


American Staffordshire Terrier information and Breed Notes

Do You Have An Amstaff? We would love love to hear your story - Tell us why they are your favourite breed. Do You Have A Related Question? - Just ask and we will be happy to help .


 The American Kennel Club and Others

The American Staffordshire Terrier temperament is Courageous,Gentle,Friendly and Tenacious.

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© 2010-2015 Choosing-A-Dog-Made-Easy. All rights Reserved.Not intended to replace professional opinion or recommendation. Always consult your vet for advice about the medical condition of your pet.

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Older Children


Ease Of Training

Novice Owners

Breed Popularity

Breed Health




Other Dogs

Shedding Amount

 Younger Children


Active Lifestyle


Apartment Living

Cats Or Small Pets

How many registrations per year that are made for this breed. Generally breeds are popular for a reason and high popularity breeds are often a great place to start your search.

How willing and able this breed is to protect you, your family and your  home , how territorial they are and how dominant they can be. This is not necessarily  a sign of how aggressive the breed is.

Not to be confused with protection/guarding this is how alert , how vocal and how trusting your dog is. Even tiny dogs can make great watchdogs.

Being able to physically manage your dog is a vital consideration, dogs are much stronger than humans pound for pound.

 Breed Stats At A Glance:  1-5 Scale 5 is most or best 1 is least or worst

Nearly all dogs are trainable, some breeds  however are inherently more stubborn, wilful, lazy or less intelligent than others. Stubborn and stupid is a bad combo, Clever and eager is a good combo!

A variable combination of trainability, inherent temperament, dominance or natural aggression make some breeds less suitable for the novice owner  than others.

Older children are much more able to understand how to treat their dog appropriately. Parents must guage the maturity of their own children before choosing a dog.

Very young children are liable to annoy or provoke a dog and can injure smaller ones through rough play. They can themselves be knocked down or accidentally hurt by a larger or over enthusiastic dog.

A combination of how naturally active this breed is and how much daily exercise they will need. Under stimulated dogs can develop unwanted problem behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing and digging.

Some breeds happily live in apartments as long as they get enough daily exercise. Some however need big yards and lots of space. Some breeds bark a lot  so think of your neighbours!

Some breeds love nothing more than snuggling up on the couch with you whilst others are much more aloof.

Playfulness represents how eager, willing and exuberant your furry pal will be when it comes to getting down and joining in the fun.

Representing yearly averages as some breeds only shed seasonally, some shed throughout the year, and some hardly shed or dont shed at all.

How much upkeep you will need to do to keep your dog looking their best and being healthy, grooming, brushing, cleaning and  bathing etc.

All dogs can suffer health problems. Some breeds however, either through over breeding or inbreeding are more prone to serious congenital disorders than others.

How well does this breed naturally get on with other dogs? Proper socialization will mitigate most  intolerance. Intact  males generally are more problematic with other intact  males

Some breeds have naturally higher prey drives than others, however nearly all dogs can live with small animals providing they are introduced young enough and are well socialized.

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