Getting a dog is a big decision. No matter what breed you decide to bring into your home you need the facts. Will this dog be a good fit for you and your lifestyle? American Staffordshire Terriers are an amazing option. They are one of my favorite Bully breeds, and they come with their own set of unique traits you should know before deciding if it’s the right dog for you.
Is an American Staffordshire Terrier right for me? There are several factors to consider here. The American Staffy is a dog that will require lots of exercise, training, socialization, and one on one play time. Your level of time and energy commitment will determine if the Amstaff is right for you.
Determining if you should get an American Staffy comes down to knowing a few facts first. I have worked with American Staffordshire Terriers and they are fantastic dogs, but they will require a lot of time and attention. Understanding of the AmStaff temperament, training, general care, and overall needs is vital.
In this post I will cover some of the facts about the American Staffordshire Terrier to help you better understand if this is the right dog for you. Let’s dig in.
Do American Staffordshire Terriers Make Good Pets?
As a whole American Staffordshire Terriers make good pets. The American Staffy is a loving, loyal, and eager to please dog. A well balanced Amstaff makes a great addition to a family that dedicates the time and attention they require. Amstaffs love their owners and are great with children.
With the right care and leadership the American Staffordshire Terrier is an excellent family companion. These dogs are loyal to the end, but will require the proper guidance, exercise, and socialization to keep them balanced and reliable pets.
Are American Staffordshire Terriers Good For First Time Owners?
As a general rule American Staffordshire Terriers are good for first time owners that are committed to providing the Amstaff with the time and energy they require. Learning as much about the Amstaff prior to bringing a puppy home is crucial. New owners will need to lead and train their Amstaff from day one.
Familiarizing yourself with the breed as much as possible is important. The American Staffordshire Terrier can be a good first dog, but they need strong leadership. A major time commitment to their training, exercise and socialization from an early age is a must.
How Much Exercise Does An American Staffy Need?
On average the American Staffy will require at least 60-90 minutes of exercise every day. American Staffordshire Terriers are energetic working dogs that have a lot of energy to burn. Walks, hikes, and other physical activities must be a part of your daily routine.
Mental stimulation is also an important part of the Amstaffs exercise regime. Brain games and activities will provide your American Staffy with the mental exercise they need and crave. Training, search and sniff games, as well as food puzzles are all excellent options.
Physical exercise can, and should be broken up throughout the day. A few 30 minute walks along with games like fetch, tug of war, and spring poles can all be great physical activities. American Staffordshire Terriers excel in sports such as agility, advanced obedience, and rally. Consider these dog sports as additions to your Amstaffs exercise program.
Do American Staffordshire Terriers Like To Swim?
As a whole American Staffordshire Terriers are not great swimmers. Some American Staffies may like to swim, and be quite good at it, but this is not the norm. American Staffordshire Terriers have a large body and broad chest which makes swimming rather difficult.
Swimming can be an excellent form of exercise for dogs. Training your American Staffy to swim will require time and most importantly safety measures. Always use a life jacket on your Amstaff when playing around water.
Are American Staffies Intelligent?
American Staffies are one of the most intelligent Bully breeds and an above average working dog when it comes to intelligence. The American Staffordshire Terrier is considered a very smart dog and is ranked 34th out of 138 dogs in the Stanley Coren’s Intelligence of Dogs study.
American Staffordshire Terriers are not only intelligent but they are also very eager to please. This makes American Staffies very easy to train under the right leadership. Amstaffs respond very well to positive reinforcement training practices and calm, firm directions.
Source – The Intelligence of Dogs
Can American Staffordshire Terriers Be Left Alone?
As a general rule American Staffordshire Terriers can be left alone for short periods of time. The Amstaff can be prone to separation anxiety due to their strong bond and affinity towards their owners. Training and exercise will be an important part of leaving your dog home alone.
The American Staffy loves being around their people. Long periods of separation can leave them bored, stressed or anxious, leading to various destructive behaviors. Working with your American Staffy to provide them with the peace of mind and relaxation they deserve will require some additional work.
Do American Staffordshire Terriers Like To Cuddle?
American Staffordshire Terriers are extremely affectionate and loving dogs that love to cuddle. The Amstaff may appear very intimidating but they are actually big softies and love to curl up on the couch with their family.
The American Staffy can become clingy when proper boundaries are not implemented. Coddling behaviors and lack of alone time for your Amstaff can cause unhealthy and neurotic attachment behaviors. Teaching your American Staffordshire Terrier how to spend time alone will be important to keep them balanced.
Do American Staffordshire Terriers Shed A Lot?
On average American Staffordshire Terriers do not shed a lot. The American Staffy is a very low maintenance breed of dog when it comes to grooming and shedding. Some seasonal shedding can be expected. A weekly brushing to remove loose hair, dirt, and allergens is all they will need.
Grooming an American Staffordshire Terrier requires very little time commitment or money. Because the American Staffy does not require haircuts you will save a good amount of money. Grooming at home with a good brush and a decent dog nail grinder is a simple and easy way to keep your Amstaff looking and feeling amazing.
How Often Should I Bathe My American Staffordshire Terrier?
As a general rule an American Staffordshire Terrier should bathe every 3 months. The American Staffy does not require bathing often unless they become dirty from playing outside. Avoid over bathing your American Staffordshire Terrier as they do have sensitive skin and this can lead to dry, irritated and itchy skin.
Using a hypoallergenic Oatmeal based shampoo is great for your American Staffy’s skin and coat. It will keep them moisturized, clean, and smelling amazing.
Is An American Staffordshire Terrier Considered An Aggressive Or Dangerous Breed?
As a whole the American Staffordshire Terrier is not an aggressive or dangerous dog by nature. They are a powerful breed of dog that can be dangerous when not properly exercised, socialized or trained however. Due to the size and strength of the Amstaff they can become a liability when not properly cared for.
Any breed of dog can become aggressive or dangerous. I am of the opinion that this is not a breed issue as much as it is an ownership issue. A well balanced dog needs to have the proper amount of exercise, socialization, training and general care to avoid aggressive and dangerous behaviors.
Can American Staffordshire Terriers Get Along With Other Dogs?
American Staffordshire Terriers don’t always get along with other dogs. The American Staffy when properly socialized from an early age can coexist peacefully along other dogs just fine. They can however become aggressive when challenged. An Amstaff is not always looking for a problem, but they rarely back down from a confrontation.
Places like off leash parks are not always the best environments for the American Staffordshire Terrier. Even when socialized from a very young age with a well balanced temperament the potential for altercations still remains at a risky level.
Do American Staffordshire Terriers Have Health Problems?
American Staffordshire Terriers are on average a very healthy and robust breed of dog. There are however a few health problems that they are prone to. Elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism and heart disease are among the leading health problems.
A diet and exercise routine with regular vet visits will keep your American Staffordshire in great shape for many years. The average lifespan of the American Staffy is 12-14 years. The most common cause of death in American Staffordshire Terriers is heart failure.
Source – PetMd
Should I Get An American Staffordshire Terrier?
There are many factors to consider when deciding if you should get an American Staffordshire Terrier. If you are able to dedicate the time needed to give them proper exercise, learn how to give them strong leadership, and practice obedience each and every day, then the Amstaff may be right for you.
Getting an American Staffy will be a lot of work. In return you will have one of the most amazing breeds of dogs I have ever come across in my many years with dogs. The time committed to your Amstaff will be paid back tenfold with the love and loyalty of these beautiful dogs.
I hope these facts have given you a better understanding of the American Staffordshire Terrier and if they are the right dog for you.