American Staffordshire Terrier

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American Staffordshire Terrier

Canis Lupus

Last updated: May 9, 2022
Verified by: IMP
Image Credit Rita_Kochmarjova/

The American Staffordshire Terrier got its name to distinguish it from the English Staffordshire Terriers that these dogs are originally descended from.

American Staffordshire Terrier Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis Lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

American Staffordshire Terrier Conservation Status

American Staffordshire Terrier Locations

American Staffordshire Terrier Locations

American Staffordshire Terrier Facts

Fun Fact
The American Staffordshire Terrier got its name to distinguish it from the English Staffordshire Terriers that these dogs are originally descended from.
Dominant and stubborn yet loyal
Should be trained from a very early age using assertive techniques and should be intensively socialised with other dogs
Average Litter Size
Common Name
American Staffordshire Terrier
Bred to be extremely friendly!

American Staffordshire Terrier Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
Skin Type

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American Staffordshire Terrier as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
$800 – $2,000
Dog group
Male weight
65-70 lbs
Female weight
50-55 lbs

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Despite their often tough appearance, American Staffordshire Terriers are not ideal guard dogs.

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The American Staffordshire Terrier is a friendly, loyal companion and will usually get along with other pets when well-trained. Since they are bred to get along well with people, these dogs are responsive to training. An owner willing to train and socialize one of these dogs will find their pet a delight.

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3 Pros and Cons of Owning an American Staffordshire Terrier

Pros! Cons!
Easy to groom: Short coats in colors from blue to brindle make these dogs a breeze to groom! They shed very little, and you just need to do a quick weekly brushing to keep them looking their best. Not great with all dogs: A Staffy is not necessary the most dog-friendly breed out there. These dogs are likely to see other dogs as threats, instead of potential friends.
A great family dog: The American Staffordshire Terrier has a well-deserved “nanny dog” reputation. These dogs are good with children and enjoy a family setting. Socialization time is a must:

Early, consistent socialization is necessary for these dogs to be happy and well-adjusted. These dogs are not best for those unwilling to devote the time to socialization.
A natural family protector: Part of the temperament of an AmStaff is a strong protective instinct. They’ll go the distance to keep your family safe! Unsuitable for novice owners:

A novice owner is unlikely to understand the typical temperament of this dog that is similar to a pit bull. Although a gentle, loyal companion, these dogs have quite a stubborn streak!
Two American Staffordshire Terriers sitting in the park

American Staffordshire Terriers need to be socialized early for these dogs to be happy and well-adjusted. These dogs are not best for those unwilling to devote the time to socialization.


American Staffordshire Terrier Size and Weight

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a medium short hair terrier with an average height of 19″ for males and 18″ for female dogs. Fully-grown males weigh about 70 pounds, while fully-grown females weigh 55 pounds on average. AmStaff puppies weigh about 19 pounds at eight weeks and will reach their full size by about three years.

Height (Male): 19 inches
Height (Female): 18 inches
Weight (Male): 65-70 pounds
Weight (Female): 50-55 pounds

American Staffordshire Terrier Common Health Issues

The Staffy is susceptible to a few health problems. Elbow dysplasia is one of the most common issues that these dogs might face, impacting their mobility over the longer term. Hypothyroidism can lead to excessive weight gain and decreased activity, making your dog more likely to experience additional health problems. Heart disease is another condition that these dogs are unfortunately prone to developing. Lastly, these dogs can develop progressive retinal atrophy, an eye disease that can lead to vision loss. These issues are relatively easy enough to diagnose with regular veterinary care. In short, the most common issues that American Staffordshire Terriers might experience include:

  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart disease
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

American Staffordshire Terrier Temperament

American Staffordshire Terriers are well-known for their confident, good-natured temperment, as well as intelligence. Their good nature makes them perfect companions for all activities that take place in your household. Since these dogs like getting mental challenges, that keep their minds busy. These dogs, like most breeds, live up to their scientific name of canus lupus familiaris when given the chance to indulge their outdoorsy side.

Health and Entertainment for your American Staffordshire Terrier

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Although these dogs are active, they also enjoy downtime. Although these dogs like to learn and do so very willingly, they require constancy in training. Staffies enjoy going on walks but are quite capable of getting overexcited and pulling a lot. You need to find a balance where your dog has boundaries, without your being needlessly harsh.

How To Take Care of an American Staffordshire Terrier

New pet owners who want to bring an AmStaff into their life will need to keep a few important matters in mind. From the time they are puppies all the way through adulthood, they will require training, plenty of physical stimulation, and attention to health needs.

The Best Dog Food for AmStaffs

American Staffordshire Terrier puppies, in particular, have dietary needs that are suited to their strong builds. Choosing food that helps these dogs grow and develop well is key to your dog’s health throughout life.

American Staffordshire Terrier puppy dog food: Puppies of this breed are very active, requiring food that offers 22% protein. Puppies also require 8% fat. A puppy food rich in vegetable ingredients, as well as meat, will help meet these requirements.

American Staffordshire Terrier adult dog food: Adult AmStaffs require 18% protein in their dog and 5% fat. Limited-ingredient foods free of refined grains and additives can help your dog look and feel its best. Alternately, read up on legume-free dog foods and the link between dog food containing legumes and heart failure, since the American Staffordshire Terriers can develop heart disease.

Therefore, at A-Z Animals, we think the best dog food for American Staffordshire Terriers is Stella & Chewy’s Wild Red Dry Dog Food Raw Blend High Protein Grain & Legume Free Prairie Recipe.

This unique formula uses not just muscle meat, but quality animal protein from organs and cartilage as well. While this food avoids grains, it doesn’t use potentially harmful legumes as an alternative like many grain-free dog foods. Instead, there’s ample taurine to aid AmStaffs’ heart health. Your American Staffordshire Terrier will crave the raw-coated kibble, and can thrive from its well-rounded nutrition.

You can get Stella and Chewey’s Wild Red Raw Blend High Protein Grain and Legume Free Dog Food on amazon.

Stella & Chewy’s Wild Red Dry Dog Food Raw Blend High Protein Grain & Legume Free Prairie Recipe, 3.5 lb. Bag

  • Love Is Raw: Our Raw Blend dog food offers the protein-rich taste dogs crave with the nutrition they deserve; the flavor and nutrition of raw is in every bite with freeze-dried raw coating, plus freeze-dried raw chunks
  • Feed Your Dog’s Wild Side! Our Prairie Recipe includes six animal protein sources: chicken, turkey, quail, guineafowl, goose and duck
  • Whole Prey Ingredients: Feeding your pet a diet similar to what their ancestors enjoyed in the wild helps your pet thrive; 93% of the recipe’s protein comes from animal muscle meat, organ meat and cartilage
  • Grain-Free: Our nutritious, grain-free recipe is easy for dogs of all life stages to digest, with no unnecessary fillers and only the finest ingredients
  • Supports Whole Body Health: Fortified with vitamins, minerals and amino acids, our Raw Blend formula helps improve your dog’s entire well-being, with fiber and probiotics for digestive support and taurine for heart health

Maintenance And Grooming

An easy answer to the question of how much does the American Staffordshire Terrier shed is: not very much. A weekly brushing, using an ordinary dog brush, is sufficient, along with baths every four to eight weeks to keep their coats that inck=lude shades like blue, looking good. However, should your dog has allergies or sensitive skin, consider using shampoos with soothing ingredients like aloe and tea tree oil.


American Staffordshire Terriers are eager to please and intelligent, both of which make them great companions. However, proper mental stimulation is a must to avoid boredom-based or destructive behavior. Owners also need to take care when introducing this breed to other dogs.


A Staffy requires regular daily exercise, such as play in the yard or a brisk walk, to stay healthy. Fenced-in yards are preferable to apartments for these dogs because they need the space. Playing fetch or taking your dog along on a jog are great ways to keep your pet well-exercised.

American Staffordshire Terrier Puppies

An American Staffordshire puppy is likely to have a high energy level. Supervision is essential to help prevent chewing and other destructive behaviors. They will have their coat colors, regardless of whether they are blue or another color, early.

American Staffordshire Terrier puppy standing in the grass while out playing

An American Staffordshire Terrier puppy is likely to have a high energy level. Supervision is essential to help prevent chewing and other destructive behaviors.

Sergey Lavrentev/

American Staffordshire Terrier and Children

AmStaffs are good with children, having an energy level that allows them to keep up with kids’ demands. However, their large size makes supervision during play necessary to avoid the risk of injury.

Dogs similar to American Staffordshire Terrier

Some other breeds similar to the American Staffordshire Terrier include the American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bulldog, all of which share a common scientific name.

Famous American Staffordshire Terrier

Pete, of Little Rascals fame, was probably the most famous Ameeican Staffordshire Terrier that ever lived. Another famous dog of this breed was Stubby, the 102 Infantry Regiment mascot that served with the U.S. Army in World War I.

Popular names for American Staffordshire Terriers include:

  • Lucky
  • Mac
  • Oscar
  • Diesel
  • Maya

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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American Staffordshire Terrier FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are American Staffordshire Terriers herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

American Staffordshire Terriers are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do American Staffordshire Terriers belong to?

American Staffordshire Terriers belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do American Staffordshire Terriers belong to?

American Staffordshire Terriers belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to American Staffordshire Terriers belong to?

American Staffordshire Terriers belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do American Staffordshire Terriers belong to?

American Staffordshire Terriers belong to the family Canidae.

What order do American Staffordshire Terriers belong to?

American Staffordshire Terriers belong to the order Carnivora.

What genus do American Staffordshire Terriers belong to?

American Staffordshire Terriers belong to the genus Canis.

What type of covering do American Staffordshire Terriers have?

American Staffordshire Terriers are covered in Hair.

How many babies do American Staffordshire Terriers have?

The average number of babies an American Staffordshire Terrier has is 6.

What is an interesting fact about American Staffordshire Terriers?

American Staffordshire Terriers are bred to be extremely friendly!

What is the scientific name for the American Staffordshire Terrier?

The scientific name for the American Staffordshire Terrier is Canis Lupus.

How much does American Staffordshire Terrier cost to own?

These dogs will cost anywhere from $800 to upwards of $2,000 to buy. The lifetime costs that include veterinary costs, food, training, and grooming average about $22,000.

Is American Staffordshire Terrier good with kids?

The breed is good with kids, but care must be taken during play because of their size.

How long does American Staffordshire Terrier live?

12 – 14 years

What is the difference between an American Staffordshire Terrier vs. a Pit Bull?

The main difference between these dogs is that the American Staffordshire Terrier is an AKC-recognized breed, while a pit bull is a type that includes several breeds.


Dedication to family

Moderate energy level

Short coat with several color varieties


No uniform size, as the pitbull is a type, not a breed

Some pitbull-type dogs are more animal-aggressive

Trainability varies among different breeds

What is an American Staffordshire Terrier?

An American Staffordshire Terrier is a dog similar to other pitbull-type dogs that makes a perfect companion for an active family.

How big do American Staffordshire Terriers get?

These dogs reach 18″ to 19″ tall and weigh 65 to 70 pounds.

Are American Staffordshire Terriers aggressive dogs?

This breed is not aggressive to people if properly socialized, but may have aggression issues with other dogs.

Are American Staffordshire Terriers banned?

American Staffordshire Terriers are banned in some locations, including cities or towns, that restrict breeds similar to pit bulls.

What are the key differences between Amstaffs and Pit Bulls?

The key differences between Amstaffs and Pit Bulls are physical characteristics, personality, and behavior.

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