American Staffordshire Terrier

Zack Huberty


When you see the following dog above, what is your immediate reaction? What kind of dog do you think it is? One of the common reactions to the picture above is fear. Why fear? The dog above gets a bad reputation as it does look like a pitbull. In the United States, pit bulls have a horrible reputation as the fighting dog or an overly aggressive dog. This is not a pitbull though, it is the American Staffordshire Terrier. While researching for a new dog to add to my immediate family next year when I live in state college, I came across this dog. I was searching for the top ten best family dogs that are good around children. Oddly enough, this was one of the dogs on the list which shocked me. I immediately thought, yes thats just the fancy name for a pitbull, but its not. After further research, the American Staffordshire Terrier is actually a great family animal and is renowned for its great behavior with children. This dog may be small, but it has the heart of a lion and is not afraid to defend its family.


The American Staffordshire Terrier began as two different breeds. At one point, a bulldog and terrier were mixed which resulted in the Staffordshire Terrier. This dog was originally called the Bull-and-Terrier dog, Half and Half, Pit Dog, or Pit Builterrier. Once they made their way to the United States, they were renamed by the American Kennel Club as the American Staffordshire Terrier. These dogs are known for a strong build that is low to the ground and has a weight in proportion to its height. It is well-known for proverbial-courage as it will do anything or save anyone no matter what harm or challenge it must overcome.


Males are around 17-19 inches in height while the females range from 16-18 inches in height. They usually weigh between 57 and 67 pounds. They come in a variety of colors such as red, fawn, white, black, blue, with white, or any shade of brindle. They have a smooth, short and dense coat.

Ambassadors of the Breed

I am sure we have all seen the movie, The Little Rascals. Before The Little Rascals movie, they had a TV show that featured an American Staffordshire Terrier. As seen in th shows, the dog was very friendly towards children.

Another dog that has been a key icon for the multiple terrier breeds that has gotten the popularity of the dogs up more recently is Junior. If you have ever watched the show, The Dog Whisperer, then you probably know what I am talking about. The original amabassador of the terrier group was a dog called Daddy who showed impressive patient and calmness for a pitbull. He made these dogs seem more friendly and gave people hope that these could become good family dogs. Because the American Staffordshire Terrier gets such a bad reputation for looking so similar to a pit bull, dogs like Daddy and Junior have given hope to those that were unsure of the breed.

Since Daddy passed away, Junior has become the ambassador and Cesar Millan (a dog whisperer) used Junior to cure the fear in people and deal with aggressive dogs. Junior has a power to bring a smile to anybody's face but also brings happiness and calmness to other dogs.

Junior from Cesar Millan


These animals are known as great family animals and pets to have around your children. They need regular exercise and it is often good for them to have a daily job or routine that they can take part in. They are also known for great courage and altough they are not known to be aggressive, they will protect children and family members. They are very smart, intelligent, happy animals that love nothing more than to please their owner. They can be dog agressive if not properly raised when they are young. It is reccomended that you socialize them with other puppies or dogs when they are young to avoid any aggression towards other animals when they are older.



The American Stafforshire Terrier has a normal life expectancy of 12-16 years. Some inherited disorders that they may have are congenital heart disease, elbow displasia, canine hip dysplasia, luxating patella knee complication, thyroid dysfunction, and cataracts. Other disorders include skin allergies, urinary tract infections, and autoimmune diseases.