28 Questions То Consider Before Getting An American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terriers are a highly intelligent breed that loves to please its human pack members. At the same time, however, these dogs are also incredibly strong for their size and quite energetic. This means that you still need to stress their training with a firm and well-meaning approach. Otherwise, a poorly trained American Staffordshire Terrier can be quite a handful.
Also called Staffies or AmStaffs, these dogs can make for phenomenal family pets for the right people. Yet, they can also feel impossible to deal with for some folks. To find out if these dogs are right for you, here are the main 28 questions to consider before getting an American Staffordshire Terrier.
1. Is an American Staffordshire terrier a good family dog?
Loyal, smart, and affectionate, a Staffy can be the perfect family companion. Adequate training is required to avoid any behavioral problem but that’s fairly standard for many dog breeds.
2. Are pit bulls and American Staffordshire terriers the same?
No, but also – kind of. The first point here is that there’s no real breed called “pit bull” – this is a common term used for a lot of different bull terrier breeds. And is the Staffy one of those breeds?
Well, almost. Staffies are very similar to the American pit bull terrier breed so they are almost the same. Additionally, Staffies were used and bred for dogfighting rings too, unfortunately.
3. Is an American Staffordshire terrier good with kids?
Very much so, at least with the kids of their owners. Staffies have a strong pack instinct and will love and protect all their family members, regardless of age and size. Be careful with your kids’ friends, however, as they may accidentally trigger these dogs’ protective instincts.
4. Are AmStaff aggressive?
These dogs can have aggressive tendencies toward strangers and other dogs. Adequate socialization is an absolute must for these dogs if you want to avoid any problems.
5. Are Staffies smart dogs?
AmStaffs may have the brawn but they have the brains too. As a working dog breed, they have been bred to do all kinds of work tasks around the property. In fact, they are even often used as police dogs because of how clever and obedient they are.
6. Are Staffordshire terriers easy to train?
Yes and no. Staffies are smart, loyal, and eager to please. This, logically, would make them easy to train. At the same time, however, their high energy and intensity, as well as their potential aggressive tendencies toward strangers can make their training somewhat challenging. That’s why this breed is often not recommended for beginners. Still, if you do your research and know what you’re doing, you can manage. Either way, obedience training is an absolute must for these dogs.
7. Do American Staffordshire terriers like to cuddle?
Staffies may be a bit too big to be lap dogs but they do love to cuddle. They are an incredibly affectionate breed that loves their people unconditionally. So, especially after a long play session in the dog park, your Staffy will gladly cuddle on the couch.
8. Are Staffies a one person dog?
Not necessarily**. You can get a Staffy if you live alone but you can get one too in a large family.** Unlike many other breeds, Staffies bond with their entire families, regardless of how big they are.
9. Can Staffies be left alone?
Not unless you want your pillows torn open. As a strongly affectionate breed, AmStaffs need to be with their people. If you plan on leaving your dog home alone for too long, you can absolutely expect its separation anxiety to kick in.
10. How do you socialize a Staffy?
The same way you socialize any other dog, just with some extra patience and persistence. Additionally, it’s smart to do the first interactions of socializing your Staffy with other people be outside of your home. Once your dog is comfortable with them, then you can start inviting them in to continue the socialization process.
11. Are American Staffordshire Terriers good with other dogs?
Not really. Like most pit bull breeds, Staffies don’t get along well with other dogs. This doesn’t mean that they can’t be friends with other dogs but it does mean that a lot of socialization will be required. If you want a second dog pet, raising the two together will help a lot.
12. Do Staffies get along with cats?
These dogs do have a strong prey drive – they are a terrier breed after all. Still, they are known to live well with cats. Obviously, proper socialization and training are required. It’s also advisable that the two animals are raised together.
13. What is the average lifespan of an American Staffordshire Terrier?
10 to 15 years is standard for most American Staffordshires. Good health and proper care are a must and then the dog can even live beyond that average.
14. Is 7 old for a Staffy?
Not really. If your dog is getting “old” or starts having too many problems at this age, it may have some nasty genetic predispositions. Or you’re just not caring for your pooch well enough.
15. What problems do Staffies have?
Staffies are a pretty healthy breed overall as is evident by their long lifespan. Still, if you get such a dog from the wrong breeder, if you don’t take good care of your pooch, or if you’re just unlucky, you can expect to see some of the following conditions:
- Skin allergies
- Urinary tract infection
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
16. How much exercise do Staffies need?
Most dogs of this breed will need at least an hour to an hour and a half of exercise a day. This should be divided into two separate trips outside. Anything less and you’ll get an anxious, disobedient, and – in the long run – unhealthy dog.
17. Do Staffies like long walks?
No – they love them. Still, just walking isn’t enough for these dogs. They need a bit of running and some playtime as well.
18. Can you walk Staffies off the lead?
Only if you’ve trained your dog as best as humanly possible. Staffies are energetic and easily excited. This alone makes them difficult to control. Add the risk of aggression toward other dogs in the park and you’ll need to definitely be the alpha in your relationship.
19. What type of coat do Staffies have?
AmStaffs have a short and smooth coat that comes in multiple colors, including white, black, fawn, red, blue, and many bi-color and tri-color combinations. Being short, however, it doesn’t protect them too well against extreme heat or cold.
20. Can I shave my Staffy?
A close-cut can be fine but never shave your dog to the skin. This is important against bug bites, sunburns, and even skin cancers.
21. Are Staffies high maintenance?
These dogs are low maintenance when it comes to grooming but pretty high maintenance in regards to their attention and training needs. So, you’ll need to be ready for that before you get a Staffy.
22. Do Staffies shed a lot?
Not really. Plus, what little shed they have is made up of short hairs so it’s easy to handle. One weekly brushing is all you need with this breed.
23. Why do Staffies have a bad reputation?
As with pit bulls, Staffies’ bad rep is due to inexperienced or ill-intentioned owners training them to be bad and aggressive dogs. In the hands of the right person, however, these dogs can be absolutely adorable and well-mannered.
24. Why are Staffies so needy?
That’s almost entirely due to their affectionate nature and predisposition to separation anxiety. This is pretty normal for all highly affectionate breeds.
25. Why do Staffies make funny noises?
While an allergic reaction is sometimes the correct explanation, often the huffing and puffing of Staffies is just due to overexcitement.
26. Do Staffies bark much?
If this dog is trained and socialized properly, it won’t bark too much or at all. If your dog barks too much you’ve quite simply “missed a step” in the raising of the pup.
27. Do Staffies fart a lot?
This is not an uncommon problem. However, it can usually be solved with a quick diet change.
28. How much do Staffy pups cost?
The average price of these pups in the US is $2,000. You can find them for anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000, depending on the quality of the breeder and the health of the pup. The higher price is compensated by the much better health later on.
Active, smart, and affectionate – AmStaffs have everything we love in a dog! They also need adequate care and training, however, and are far from a low-maintenance lap dog? So, would you say this breed is right for you? Or do you need a calmer and easier to deal with pet instead?