American Staffordshire Terriers are powerful but playful dogs that are both loyal and affectionate with their owners.
The American Staffordshire Terrier originated from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which was bred in Britain in the 19th century to be a fast and small fighting dog. They made their way to America in the late 19th century, coinciding with the rise in popularity of dogfighting. However, Americans preferred slightly larger dogs than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which led to the development of the American Staffordshire Terrier. This powerful breed’s ability to be easily managed became a valued characteristic. Thankfully, this characteristic evolved into a sweet and trusting disposition around people. Eventually, the American Staffordshire was recognized by the AKC in 1936.
Today, this breed is a playful and people-oriented dog. This is a stocky and muscular breed, possessing great strength, but it also portrays grace and elegance. The American Staffordshire has a short coat, requiring only weekly brushing, that appears either solid or with patches. These dogs are generally playful and friendly, showing affection to new people in the presence of their owner. On the other hand, American Staffordshire’s can be aggressive towards strange dogs. Their protective nature may lead to aggression if they feel they, or their family, are being threatened.
The American Staffordshire is an intelligent breed that can pick up training without much difficulty; however, this training must be conducted with authority to show this powerful breed who is in control. This lively breed currently ranks as the 77th most popular in the United States.
It's been estimated that up to 20% of dogs in American shelters contain some American Staffordshire ancestry.
Explore some Embark dogs that share American Staffordshire Terrier ancestry.