American Staffordshire Terrier

Athletic, Energetic, and Dependable

American Staffordshire Terrier

One minute plopping his 50-pound frame into a lap, the next following his owner from room to room, the formidable-looking American Staffordshire Terrier often receives a bad rap. The Am Staff is a direct descendant of the American Pit Bull Terrier that originated from terrier and older Bulldog breeds used for pit fighting and bull-baiting. Given this history, people assume the AmStaff is a vicious guard dog, but nothing could be further from the truth.

With a people-loving personality, a strong prey drive, and versatile hunting skills, the breed is an all-around helper for farming and guarding. A member of the Terrier Group, the Am Staff enjoys digging, playtime, and participating in agility, obedience, rally, and tracking.

Bred in Staffordshire, England, it was originally known as the Staffordshire BullTerrier. After coming to the U.S., some of these dogs evolved into a heavier-boned breed and were renamed the American Staffordshire Terrier. The smaller dogs retained the moniker Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or Staffy Bulls.

An early AmStaff was Lucenay’s Peter, or Pete the Pup from the Our Gang comedies.


Breed Standard

Official Standard of the American Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Terrier Club of America

General Impression:

The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. His courage is proverbial.

Medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop; and ears are set high.

Cropped or uncropped, the latter preferred. Uncropped ears should be short and held rose or half prick. Full drop to be penalized.

Dark and round, low down in skull and set far apart. No pink eyelids.

Medium length, rounded on upper side to fall away abruptly below eyes. Jaws well defined. Underjaw to be strong and have biting power. Lips close and even, no looseness. Upper teeth to meet tightly outside lower teeth in front. Nose definitely black

Heavy, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to back of skull. No looseness of skin. Medium length.

Strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping.

Fairly short. Slight sloping from withers to rump with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. Loins slightly tucked.

Well-sprung ribs, deep in rear. All ribs close together. Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit chest development. Chest deep and broad.

Short in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point; not curled or held over back. Not docked.

The front legs should be straight, large or round bones, pastern upright. No semblance of bend in front. Hindquarters well-muscled, let down at hocks, turning neither in nor out. Feet of moderate size, well-arched and compact. Gait must be springy but without roll or pace.

Short, close, stiff to the touch, and glossy.

Any color, solid, parti, or patched is permissible, but all white, more than 80 per cent white, black and tan, and liver not to be encouraged.

Height and weight should be in proportion. A height of about 18 to 19 inches at shoulders for the male and 17 to 18 inches for the female is to be considered preferable.

Faults to be penalized are: Dudley nose, light or pink eyes, tail too long or badly carried, undershot or overshot mouths.

Approved June 10, 1936

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American Staffordshire Terrier by Pennys Paw Prints

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