American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a breed originating in the United States in the 19th century and bred for dog fighting. One of its distinguishing characteristics is its strong, athletic build. The breed has a strong head with well-defined cheek muscles that give it a powerful appearance. They are family affectionate and protective dogs.

General details

The breed is of medium size, but appears strong due to its muscular and agile constitution. Males can weigh between 25 and 32 kg, while females range between 18 and 25 kg. The height in males is between 46 and 48 cm and in females between 43 and 46 cm. Their life expectancy is 12 to 16 years. The American Staffordshire Terrier belongs to Group 3 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which groups Terriers.

Breed history in brief

The origin of the Staffordshire Terrier American breed goes back to Great Britain where the dogs were bred for fighting, among themselves or against other more robust animals. In the mid-19th century, the Staffordshire Terrier was exported to the United States, where it is believed to have been crossed with breeds such as the White English Terrier and the Black-and-Tan Terrier (now extinct). The result was a larger dog than the English version. Even so, it was not until 1936 that the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the American Staffordshire Terrier as a unique breed. In the United States, the breed was developed for various purposes such as herding, hunting or guarding. In the 20th century, the American Staffordshire Terrier gained popularity, however, its origins still defined it as an aggressive dog. Today, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a common breed, recognized for its loyalty and affection and used for different functions such as: search and rescue dog, therapy dog and family companion.

Breed characteristics

The Staffordshire Terrier American shows a deep, broad chest and a short, slightly sloping back from withers to croup. The head is of medium size, with well marked cheek muscles and dark, round, wide-set eyes. The ears are high set and preferably uncropped. The tail is short, low set and tapers as it reaches the tip. It does not show curvature and is not docked. The coat is short, stiff to the touch and compact. The coat coloration can be of any color or pattern, however, the breed standard proposed by the AKC recommends no more than 80% white, black and tan or liver color. Dogs of this breed are intelligent and self-confident. Despite its origins as a fighting dog, the breed is gentle and affectionate with the family. In addition, they are characterized by being loyal and protective. They are energetic dogs that require proper socialization and training to prevent unwanted behavioral behaviors, such as aggression.

Common health problems

As with other dog breeds, the American Staffordshire Terrier may have a certain disposition to health problems. Some of the most common disorders and diseases are patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, testicular retention, cataracts and heart failure. In addition to the aforementioned conditions, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends a cardiac and eye screening examination, as well as a series of tests to assess the following diseases: autoimmune thyroiditis, cerebellar ataxia and elbow dysplasia.

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