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Description of American Staffordshire Terrier

´╗┐The Breed History

The powerful Greek Mollossian dogs gave rise to the Mastiff strain of dogs. Early Mastiff lines were used to produce fighting dogs. The very early original English Bulldog-type was similar to the modern American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, though the Staffordshire muzzles are longer. It is thought that the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier resulted from a bulldog crossed with Fox Terrier, extinct English White Terrier and/or Manchester terrier. First AKC registry occurred in 1936, but the American breed had changed in stature (heavier and taller than English version) and those larger dogs were now called American Staffordshire Terrier instead of Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The increased size may have resulted from outcrosses in those lines. There is considerable confusion regarding the American Pit Bull Terrier (American Pit Bull, Pit Bull Terrier) and this breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier. Some registries separate them (such as the UKC); others such as the AKC do not. In stature, the Pit Bull is generally heavier (10-30 lb) and taller (2") than the American Staffordshire Terrier, though since overall body type and temperament are very close, they can be considered a size variant. Those that separate out the Pit Bull point out that additional fighting bulldog outcrosses may have occurred in those lines, and the Pit Bull is not the older, original breed developed for bull baiting as was the Staffordshire, but a fighter dog of more recent origin developed in the US. Facial features vary slightly between Pit Bull and Staffordshire.

Breeding for Function

Hallmark characteristics for the breed fully reflect his original function as a fighting dog and bull baiter, and include exceptional courage, aggressiveness, lightning quickness and agility, remarkable strength, a very strong tenacious bite and powerful head and jaws with a muscular neck to back it up. In America, the breed was helpful around the farm as hunter and guard dog. In recent years, increased companionability has been stressed in breeding programs.

Physical Characteristics

Height at Withers: female 17-18" (43-45.5 cm), male 18-19" (45.5-48 cm). Weight: 40-50 lb (18-23 kg).

Coat: The short glossy hard coat lays flat and any color or particolored is permitted. All-white or all black-and-tan are not favored.

Longevity: 12 years.

Points of Conformation: A stocky, very muscular dog, the head is deep and broad, with a massive masseter muscle bulge. The high set small ears may be held half prick or lightly folded back (rose). They possess a distinct stop. In America, the ears are often cropped to prick up. Round, small, deep-set eyes are low down on the skull, and they have a dark iris and palpebral margins. The nose is black. The muscular heavy-set neck is slightly arched, not throaty. The thorax is broad and deep, and the rib cage stays deep. The topline slopes gradually towards the rear. The powerful tail is short, tapers, and is low set. Limbs are straight-boned, feet are well knuckled, compact and moderate in size. The gait is springy, but moderate in reach.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of American Staffordshire Terrier