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Breed History 

Breed Info

Origins

      The Staffordshire Terrier was first bred in the nineteenth century in the English region of Staffordshire. The early ancestors of this breed came from England, where until the first part of the 19th century, the Bulldog was bred in England for the purpose of baiting bulls. Bulldogs pictured as late as 1870 resemble contemporary American Staffordshire Terriers to a greater degree than present-day Bulldogs. Some writers contend it was the White English Terrier, Fox Terrier, or the Black and Tan Terrier that was crossed with the Bulldog to develop the Staffordshire Terrier; all three breeds shared many traits, the greatest differences being in color, aggressiveness, and spirit. The cross of Bulldog and Terrier was called by several names, including Bull-and-Terrier Dog, Half and Half, and Pit Dog or Pit Bull terrier. Later, it assumed the name of Staffordshire Bull Terrier in England. These dogs began to find their way into America as early as 1870, where they became known as the Pit Dog and Pit Bull Terrier, then the American Bull Terrier, and still later as the Yankee Terrier.

      The American Staffordshire terrier is a medium-sized, short-coated American dog breed. In the early part of the twentieth century the breed gained social stature and was accepted by the American Kennel Club as the American Staffordshire Terrier in 1936. The name was changed to reflect difference from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England.

      On June 10, 1936, Amstaffs were accepted for registration in the American Kennel Club (AKC) Stud Book as Staffordshire Terriers, belonging to the terrier and molosser groups. The name of the breed was revised January 1, 1972 to American Staffordshire Terrier; breeders in the United States had developed a variety which was heavier in weight than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England. The name change was to distinguish them as separate breeds.

    
      Courageous and strong, the American Staffordshire Terrier (Am Staff’s) athletic  build and intelligence make him ideally suited to many dog sports such as obedience, agility, tracking and conformation. He is often identified by his stocky body and strong, powerful head. The breed’s short coat can be any color, and either solid colored, parti-colored or patched.

      Right Breed for You?
      The Am Staff is a people-oriented dog that thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do. Although friendly, this breed is loyal to his family and will protect them from any threat. His short coat is low-maintenance, but regular exercise and training is necessary.

      General Impression/Standard
      The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. His courage is proverbial.

      Head
      Medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop; and ears are set high. Ears - Cropped or uncropped, the latter preferred. Uncropped ears should be short and held rose or half prick. Full drop to be penalized. Eyes - Dark and round, low down in skull and set far apart. No pink eyelids. Muzzle - Medium length, rounded on upper side to fall away abruptly below eyes. Jaws well defined. Under jaw to be strong and have biting power. Lips close and even, no looseness. Upper teeth to meet tightly outside lower teeth in front. Nose definitely black.

      Neck
      Heavy, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to back of skull. No looseness of skin. Medium length.

      Shoulders
      Strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping.

      Back
      Fairly short. Slight sloping from withers to rump with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. Loins slightly tucked.

      Body
      Well-sprung ribs, deep in rear. All ribs close together. Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit chest development. Chest deep and broad.

      Tail
      Short in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point; not curled or held over back. Not docked.

      Legs
      The front legs should be straight, large or round bones, pastern upright. No semblance of bend in front. Hindquarters well-muscled, let down at hocks, turning neither in nor out. Feet of moderate size, well-arched and compact. Gait must be springy but without roll or pace.

      Coat
      Short, close, stiff to the touch, and glossy.

      Color
      Any color, solid, parti, or patched is permissible, but all white, more than 80 per cent white, black and tan, and liver not to be encouraged.

      Size
     Height and weight should be in proportion. A height of about 18 to 19 inches at shoulders for the male and 17 to 18 inches for the female is to be considered preferable.

      Faults
      Faults to be penalized are: Dudley nose, light or pink eyes, tail too long or badly carried, undershot or overshot mouths.

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