About Amstaffs

Popularity

In 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.

Images of the breed were used to represent the US during the 1900s as a depiction of strength and dignity.[citation needed] The breed’s popularity began to decline in the United States following World War II.

Temperament

According to the American Kennel Club:
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.

The American Temperament Test Society conducts tests every year on thousands of dogs to determine the soundness of their temperament. These tests measure various aspects of temperament such as aggressiveness, friendliness, stability, as well as the dog’s protectiveness toward its owner. ATTS breed statistics show that American Staffordshire Terriers consistently score above average for all breeds tested. However, Schaffner notes in this book that “This, of course, must be taken with a grain of salt, as the numbers tested of each breed varied widely. But it helps belie the view that all pit bulls are vicious.”

Duffy et al. (2008) investigated dog breed temperament via an online survey. They found that the breed group represented by American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull terriers had an above average level of aggression directed toward other dogs and a below average level of aggression toward humans. Also, as this was a voluntary study the authors admit that their results may be influenced by self-selection bias.[5] The heightened level of dog-directed aggression is consistent with the history of the breed and quality of “gameness” (or game) described by the America Kennel Club.

Health and well-being

American Staffordshire Terrier pups should not be bought weaned before they are 8–10 weeks old. Their life expectancy is generally 12 to 16 years with good care. Notable issues related to health and wellbeing include:

Inherited disorders

• Congenital heart disease (OFA rank: 11; normal 95.1%, abnormal 1.6%)
• Elbow dysplasia (OFA rank: 12; normal 81.4%, abnormal 17.8%)
• Canine hip dysplasia (OFA rank: 21; normal 71.7%, abnormal 26.0%)
• Luxating patella knee complication that imparts a bow shape to the leg (OFA rank: 72; normal 98.7%, abnormal 1.3%)
• Thyroid dysfunction (OFA rank: 19, normal 80.0%, abnormal 8.0%)[6]
• Minor incidence of other conditions, such as senior ataxia and hereditary cataracts.

Other disorders

The breed may be vulnerable to skin allergies, urinary tract infections (UTI), and autoimmune diseases. Spondylosis and osteoarthritis are common in older dogs.

From Wikipedia: www.wikipedia.org