American Staffordshire Terrier
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|The AmStaff is an athletic,
powerful, highly intelligent breed, adaptable to almost all conditions of
indoor and outdoor living, as long as he can be close to his owner. This
is not a breed that thrives when locked away in a kennel or left to his
own devices. He needs, craves human companionship and love, as well as a
firm but gentle hand. Perhaps not suited for a first-time dog owner, as he
is unbelievably clever and he may well out-maneuver the uninitiated owner.
Even those who have owned and trained other breeds before will be
astonished at the AmStaff's ability to think things through and to get
what he wants. Left too much to his own devices, the AmStaff may well find
ways to amuse himself - likely to the detriment of your garden, furniture
The AmStaff needs to be socialized from
an early age and any signs of uncalled-for aggression must be discouraged
most firmly right from the start. When considering to bring a young
AmStaff into a family which already has dogs, it may be a wise move to
chose the AmStaff to be of the opposite sex of the dog already in the
family to avoid friction later.
The AmStaff does not recognize the concept of "defeat" - he will figure out a way of getting through, over, under, or around any seemingly insurmountable hurdle or problem. Yet he is not likely to charge at anything blindly. He will check things out cautiously before making up his mind what to do about them. He will climb a tree if you're up there, scale a mountain or swim with you in the sea. His coat is easily cared for and it doesn't pick up burrs and blackjacks. Coat care generally consists of a weekly brushing.
In his very own way, he is incredibly handsome. He seems to be truly "custom-built", his well muscled athletic and muscular body ready for any challenge. There is nothing excessive about this breed, he is not extra large or extra small, does not have a fancy coat or special needs to stay fit and healthy well into old age. Yet he is the ultimate athlete, capable of immense bursts of speed, long distance running, pulling heavy weights, climbing, swimming, attack work, tracking, agility exercises. He is relatively indifferent to the extremes of our climates and can tolerate both heat and cold, taking it all in his stride, as long as he can be with you.
The AmStaff is easily trained, but it's not so much a matter of "do as you're told" but rather a matter of explaining, showing him what is required firmly but gently, and he will be delighted when he gets it right. He thrives on approval and praise, a harsh word will hurt him as much as physical punishment. Still, he is a Terrier, and as such he will be easily distracted, he has this need to know what's going on within his hearing/seeing/smelling range. BUT: if strict, precision obedience is your 'thing', if you expect him to sit, down, heel, stay with absolute precision - maybe this is not the breed for you. He may soon get bored with the whole affair and is likely to start clowning around just to put some fun back into the exercise.
Should you consider buying an AmStaff puppy, look around carefully first, check out the breeder and his breeding stock. Don't be in too much of a hurry and buy from the first litter available. This breed is known for its longevity, 12 to 15 years on average, and you don't want to get stuck with an animal that does not fulfil your expectations. If the breeder does not ask you a lot of questions, he probably doesn't care where his dogs are going. If he doesn't care about that, how can he genuinely care about the breed? More expensive does not necessarily mean: better!
Also, please be aware that there are people out there who would not hesitate to steal your AmStaff from you, with the aim of fighting it in a pit. Be sure that you have proper secure walling around your property and a properly lockable gate before bringing your pup home. They may even try to convince you that you need to let your dog have "just one fight" to prove he's got guts… Please! Don't fall for such cruelty. Any dog will fight - that does NOT make him a winner!!
Living with an AmStaff is never dull or boring, he will keep you laughing with his antics, amazed with his sheer enthusiasm, agility and strength, moved with his willingness to please and touched at his constant desire to be close to you. He will rather sleep on a wooden plank with you than on a soft mattress by himself. Well trained and properly treated, this dog will be the perfect companion dog, willing to do anything you ask of him, able to defend you against anything or anyone. Perhaps not a dog for everyone, but those who are lucky enough to be owned by an AmStaff are not likely to ever want any other breed again.
Mrs Timmy Ralfe.
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