Do American Staffordshire Terriers Bark A Lot? 8 Bark Facts

american staffy amstaff goofy smile

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a wonderful family pet. The Amstaff is a loyal companion that will keep you active outside, and keep you company inside on the couch. Before getting an American Staffy you should have a good idea of how much they bark, and potential reasons why.

Do American Staffordshire Terriers bark a lot? As a whole American Staffies bark a moderate amount. They rarely display behaviors of excessive barking and are relatively quiet. Amstaffs are natural guard dogs and will alert to potential threats. They may also bark when bored, anxious, or excited.

I have worked with a few American Staffordshire Terriers over the years. In my experience the well balanced American Staffy is a fairly quiet dog and will only bark when there is a reason. In cases where a lot of barking is taking place there are a few reasons why.

Why Is My American Staffordshire Terrier Barking A Lot?

There are several potential reasons your American Staffy is barking. In some cases it may be a single bark, a series of barks, or excessive barking. These are some of the reasons why you American Staffordshire Terrier is barking, and how to address any unwanted behavior.


american staffy amstaff with ball in mouth

American Staffordshire Terriers are highly intelligent and very energetic. Physical and mental exercise are very important to maintain a well balanced dog. Boredom because of lack of exercise and mental stimulation can result in barking.

American Staffordshire Terriers require about 60-90 minutes of daily exercise, as well as mentally stimulating activities. When your Amstaff seems restless, bored and begins to bark a lot, it’s time for a walk, some trick training, or a fun activity.

Related ArticleAmerican Staffordshire Terrier Exercise Needs – How Much?


The American Staffordshire Terrier is known to be a loving, loyal, and affectionate dog. They love to cuddle, be at your side, and getting lots of attention. When your Amstaff begins to bark at you it could be a request for attention.

Giving your American Staffy affection when they are barking for attention is not the best idea. Reinforcing this behavior will lead to barking anytime they want your attention. Instead reward them with affection after ignoring their barks. Once they stop barking, then you can reward them with some cuddles, belly rubs, and massages.


american staffy amstaff good smile family dog

Much like children, an excited American Staffy might bark out of pure excitement and joy. When you return home, or when you are headed to their favorite park you may notice them get excited and bark for joy.

This type of barking can be okay so long as you are in control of your Amstaff. Over-excited behavior can lead to accidents, and excessive barking can be annoying and scare bystanders. 

Don’t reward an over excited American Staffy with affection or setting them loose in their favorite park. Calm them down, bring their focus back to you, and reward them once they have reached a calmer state.

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Much like attention and boredom an American Staffordshire Terrier will let you know when they need something. In this case it’s food. When dinner time is approaching and you have lost track of time, your Amstaff will bark to get your attention that it’s time to eat.

This behavior can be acceptable if it is legitimately time to eat. A single bark to let you know you’re late is fine in my books. Barking excessively outside meal time however is not, and should not be rewarded. 

Alerting & Warning

leave a AMerican Staffordshire Terrier alone looking out window

The American Staffy is a natural guard dog and will protect their family and environment. When an Amstaff perceives a threat they will both alert you to a potential problem, and warn that potential problem they are watching. This takes the form of barking.

This can be a desirable behavior for your family. Warning of intruders, prowlers, or unwanted guests in the house or yard is a very useful trait. Excessive barking and over territorial behavior can become an issue however.

Control your environment and work with your American Staffy to avoid excessive barking behavior. Reward the correct types of alerts. Redirect and reassure when the wrong types of warnings occur. Your Amstaff needs to know you are in control of the situation and they are a helper, not the other way around.

Fear & Anxiety

American Staffies can suffer from separation anxiety. This type of fear and anxiety can lead to excessive barking and other destructive behaviors. Work on your American Staffordshire Terriers anxiety and fear issues to reduce the amount of barking.

I have a full post with a ton of really helpful tips and tricks on how to manage and prevent separation anxiety with your Amstaff. 

Related ArticleAmerican Staffordshire Terriers Home Alone? 7 Anxiety Tips

Pain & Injury

Barking can occur when your American Staffordshire Terrier is experiencing pain or discomfort from illness or injury. When your American Staffy appears to be in distress, showing signs of injury, or is generally out of sorts they may bark.

This bark is a mix of expressing their pain or discomfort as well as trying to get your attention. Take your Amstaff to the vet immediately when they are barking and appear to be in pain or discomfort.

Medical Issues

american staffy amstaff laying down sad face

When your American Staffordshire Terrier reaches their senior years they can begin to show signs of Canine Dementia. This disorder will cause an otherwise quiet dog and have them begin barking excessively at seemingly nothing.

Barking excessively or barking when nothing is happening can be signs of Canine Dementia onset in your American Staffy. Consult with your vet when you notice these types of out of character behavior changes.

Final Thoughts

Though the American Staffordshire Terrier is a moderate barker there are ways to prevent unwanted barking, as well as encourage wanted barking. Discovering the reason behind your American Staffy barking will help you be a better dog owner. Not to mention guide your Amstaff towards being a well balanced dog.

Learn from your American Staffy and apply the proper techniques to correct or reward that behavior. I hope this post has been helpful in your decision to either get an American Staffordshire Terrier, or how to stop them from barking a lot.

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