When it comes to the exercise needs of the American Staffordshire Terrier your first thoughts might be “that dog looks like it spends all day in the gym!” The American Staffordshire Terrier, or AmStaff, is a strong, energetic, and all around exuberant dog that needs plenty of exercise. But how much exercise does an American Staffordshire Terrier need?
American Staffordshire Terriers need at least 60-90 minutes of exercise each and every day. This can be broken into separate 30-45 min sessions, but they will need the full hour plus. AmStaffs are extremely athletic and energetic, so setting aside time to meet their exercise needs is very important.
American Staffordshire Terriers are not the type of dog you can just let run around in the backyard, for several reasons. Firstly that is not enough to burn off the energy they have when it comes to their exercise needs.
Secondly they are very people oriented dogs and would much rather enjoy some play time, walk or a hike with their family. Meeting your AmStaff’s exercise needs is important, and it can be a whole lot of fun for everyone!
American Staffordshire Terrier Exercise Needs – How Much?
The American Staffordshire Terrier can seem like they have no off switch some days. They are full of energy and love to play with anyone who is willing, but especially with their family.
Oftentimes it doesn’t matter what the activity might be, so long as they are able to blow off all that extra energy, so it is important you have a good regime of exercise for at least 1 hour per day setup.
The most basic and easiest form of exercise is a nice walk with your AmStaff. Not only does your dog love to be outdoors with you enjoying all the sights and smells in your neighborhood, the health benefits for you, the human, are also a great added bonus.
One hour long walk, or a couple shorter 30 minute walks is a great way to ensure you have a happy, healthy, and well balanced AmStaff. When these dogs get bored, and have all that extra energy pent up it can often lead to destructive behaviours.
If you would rather they didn’t eat that new pair of shoes, or dig up your back garden, probably best you both get off your butts and go for a walk.
Your walks can also be a great opportunity for additional training and mental challenges for your American Staffy.
They are highly intelligent dogs that love to please their owners, so working in some additional leash manner exercises, stop/stay commands, and general focus can be a great benefit to give them that extra bit of mental stimulation.
Exercise Caution At Dog Parks With An American Staffordshire Terrier
Dog parks can be an option as well, but because of the strength and size of AmStaffs you should exercise precaution. They can be aggressive towards other dogs, especially when challenged, so be sure if you do select the dog park as an option your dog has been well socialized and is completely trustworthy around other animals.
The dog park can be a great place for a well socialized AmStaff to meet and play with all sorts of other dogs and people. They can burn off a ton of energy playing games like tag and chase with each other, and the social aspect of the environment itself can provide some great mental stimulation.
Always monitor the play activities happening with your AmStaff and be able to recognize signs of when it might be time to take a break from play.
Are American Staffies Good For Running?
American Staffordshire Terriers can make great running partners. They have heaps of stamina on top of their huge amounts of energy and going for a run is a great way to really make sure you are burning off as much of that energy as you can in a shorter period of time.
The American Staffordshire Terrier has been noted as one of the best running partners in the dog world by both Outdoor Magazine and Runners world. Sure they aren’t quite up there with the herding breeds, but that’s still a big shout out.
Running for American Staffies is a great way to promote overall health and wellness. They are very muscular dogs, and taking them out for a run will ensure you are keeping those muscles in top condition.
Keeping your American Staffies muscle strong will help with supporting their joints and tendons to prevent any possible injuries or ailments down the road.
Another reason the American Staffie is such a good running partner is they are tenacious and highly driven dogs. If you are looking for some motivation to do that one extra mile, they will have no problem supporting you along the way.
Just be careful in the heat as Staffies don’t always fair well in hot temperatures.
Before you begin your marathon however, it’s always a good idea to work up to the long distances run with your dog. See what they are capable of doing, and if they can keep up.
They might have short legs, and look more like bodybuilders than marathoners, but they should be able to give you a run for your money. Just be safe about it.
Are American Staffies Good For Hiking?
Good for hiking? American Staffies are great for hiking. The fresh air, the smells, and the uneven terrain can be like a giant playground for you American Staffy.
Not only is it great physical fitness, but it can be great mental stimulation for them to sniff around all the various trees, ponds, rocks, and animal trails along the way.
If you are lucky enough to live nearby some great hiking areas I would take full advantage whenever you can. Some parks and trails allow your dog to be off leash and free to roam around and explore the environment.
If your American Staffy has great recall skills and won’t go tearing off into the woods after a rabbit, squirrel, or skunk, it can be an afternoon of pure joy for you both.
There are some great options in every State and City to get out for a nice 1-2 hour hike, and your Amstaff will definitely thank you for it. Now I am about to sound like my Mother here, and for good reason, but it is important that when you are going for a hike, especially a long one you pack a water dish and a few bottles of water.
It’s important to stay hydrated, but you don’t want your Staffy drinking from the puddles and ponds either. That can make them a little sick for a few days at best.
There are a few great collapsible water dishes, as well as some first aid supplies, that I always bring with me on my hikes with my Staffy Ruby, I would highly recommend you check these out. Super convenient and very compact.
Can American Staffies Swim?
Swimming can be a great activity for dogs, but when it comes to the American Staffordshire Terrier, it might not be. Some AmStaffs love water, and can be taught how to swim no problem, but this is not a natural activity they take too easily. In fact they are some of the worst natural swimmers in the dog world.
Keeping that bulky frame afloat with that cinder block of a skull on top above the water can be a difficult task for your American Staffy. Unless you are dedicated to swimming lessons, or are willing to dive in to rescue them when they start to sink, probably a good idea to skip the deep end on this one.
7 Exercise Activities For American Staffordshire Terriers
I’ve gone through some of the more basic exercise activities you and your American Staffordshire Terrier can do, but there are plenty more. These are just a few fun, and more importantly, energy burning exercises you can do with your AmStaff.
Tug Of War
American Staffies love a good game of tug. This not only tires them out, but they get to play with their favorite people. Training commands to release are an important part of this game, so be sure you practice that a lot. Some great tug toys are:
Yes that is a thing, and your American Staffy would probably be great at it.
A flirt pole is a great way to get your AmStaff running and chase by tapping into that terrier prey drive instinct. This can keep your dog busy for a while. Some top rated flirt poles are:
A good old fashioned game of fetch is always a great energy burning activity for your American Staffordshire Terrier. Balls, Frisbees, whatever really! So long as you can throw it, and they bring it back, it’s a great game to play.
Great toys that will keep your AmStaff playing and stimulated for a while. They are fun, nearly indestructible, and really affordable. You can easily grab one on Amazon today.
Installing a Spring Pole in your backyard can provide some great entertainment for your AmStaff. A spring pole basically lets them play tug of war with themselves. They are easy to use and setup. These are a few highly rated ones you can grab online.
- Dibbatu Spring Pole – Amazon
- Muscle Builder Spring Pole – Amazon
- Outdoor Hanging Bungee Spring Pole – Amazon
American Staffordshire Terriers can be GREAT at agility. That athleticism, strength, and tenacity can be laser focused into this sport. Pair that with the AmStaffs willingness to please and impress their owners, it is a winning combination. Need some inspiration? Here is AmStaff Super Dog TreT from the Ukraine.
Meeting the exercise needs of your American Staffordshire Terrier is your responsibility as an owner, and your duty as their friend. This should never feel like a chore, and there are plenty of options to choose from that will keep things interesting, keep you active, and most importantly keep your dog tired and content at the end of the day.
A tired dog is a happy dog.
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