American Staffordshire Terrier Puppies: Overcoming the Hype
When you think of the most athletic dog breeds that can keep up with your active lifestyle, an American Staffordshire for sale must be on your shortlist of candidates for the job. Enthusiastic and all-in-type dogs, American Staffordshires are medium-sized terriers with a lot of intelligence and personality. They make friendly and affectionate family companions for homes with older children and those who venture on numerous adventures every week. Staffies are also great for dog lovers who enjoy competition.
Is the Staffy a Pitbull? Yes and No
Whether an American Staffordshire Terrier is a Pitbull or not seems to depend on which faction you belong to. Owners and fanciers make the distinction vehemently while some insurance companies eagerly lump all the so-called Bully breeds together under the label Pitbull. Three breeds are considered part of the pit bull family.
In the end, the American Staffordshire’s separation from the APBT began as a political move. It was a Pitbull line that received AKC recognition based on the determination of its proponents. An American Staffordshire Terrier for sale gained the status of the Pitbull variety that had no association with dogfighting. The registry was founded upon 37 American Pitbull Terriers. By the 1990s, the American Staffordshire Terrier became so different from the Pitbull Terrier that its classification as a separate breed was warranted. The casual observer still has trouble telling the difference despite crossbreeding between the two being forbidden for the last time as of the 1970s.
Appearance of American Staffordshire Terrier for Sale
American Staffordshire Terriers are stocky and powerful dogs. The head should be of a block-type shape, medium in length, and deep. You should see high, pronounced cheeks and an abrupt stop. The eyes are wide-spaced and round and the ears high-set and semi-prick or rose. While a Staffie’s ears can be cropped, show rings prefer they be left intact. Much of the Staffordshire’s strength shows in her thick slightly arched neck and broad buff shoulders. Her chest is broad and deep, making her have a wide stance in the front. A Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s body is compact with a short straight back and a topline that slopes slightly. There is a slight tuck-up of the abdomen in the loin area which should be short. The limbs are strong and straight, the hindquarters well-muscled, and the tail rather short and tapering.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a single-coated breed with short, stiff hairs. You should see a healthy sheen or gloss even in dilute colors such as blue. American Staffordshire Terriers shed moderately year-round.
Although all colors are permissible for a show Staffy, the AKC discourages solid white, liver (chocolate in some breeds), and tan-pointed dogs. Tan-pointed dogs include a standard black and tan coat as well as the tricolor. Tricolor Staffies are tan-pointed dogs with white markings. Other varieties of the tan-pointed Staffy exist.
- Blue and tan – Blue replaces black
- Liver and tan – Brown replaces black
- Tricolor base color can be black, blue, or liver
Preferred colors include solid shades, any of which can have white markings.
- Red – distinguished from liver dogs by its black nose
- Blue – dilution gene and ranges from pale silvery to steel gray
- Fawn – tan, light brown or beige with no red or gold tones; may have a dark facial mask
- Blue fawn – fawn with bluish tint (presence of dilution factor); may have dilute mask
- Buckskin – fawn with shaded overlays and a stripe down the back and sometimes the tail; marked by a facial mask
- Seal – possible incomplete dilution; brown highlights show up in what appears to be a solid black coat
Brindle is a base color with an overlay of stripes like a tiger’s markings.
- Black brindle – tan stripes over base color
- Red brindle – dark stripes on red
- Blue brindle – cream stripes on base
- Fawn brindle – dark stripes on fawn
- Blue fawn brindle – dark stripes on dilute fawn
If a breeder starts socialization of their litters within a week or so of birth, as they should, the temperament often shows up by ten weeks of age in their American Staffordshire Terrier puppies for sale. The breeder may even select a puppy that he or she feels will best fit into your family and with your lifestyle based on early personality indicators. You can expect the Staffie’s general disposition to be as follows:
- Friendly and social
- Alert and attentive
- American Staffordshire Terrier puppies should be active and curious.
Socialization is your best chance to overcome negative tendencies such as dog aggression. Some Staffies are among the most popular dog park attendees while others seem to have a genetic predisposition to canine hostility. Neutering can help such tendencies as well as professional training. Staffordshire Terriers can also have a high prey drive exacerbated by their terrier instincts to kill small animals. Trusting your dog can be an issue around small-breed dogs and cats. Finally, constant surveillance is a must around children. Although Staffordshires are generally great around kids, their play can get rough. Overstimulation of a Staffy can lead to excessive nipping that turns into serious biting. Strange kids pose a problem because they may not have learned the proper behavior around dogs, and they may exhibit what a Staffy perceives as prey-like behaviors.
As you consider your various options of American Staffordshire Terrier puppies for sale, one of your primary concerns will be long-term health. Staffies routinely live 12 to 14 years with many individuals even reaching 16 years. Although a healthy breed, you should work with breeders who perform basic screening tests on potential parents of any litters.
- Eye evaluation by ophthalmologist
- Heart evaluation
- Hip certification
- NCL DNA screen – Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis is an accumulation of lipopigments in the cerebellum; different forms of the disease are specific to certain breeds
- Thyroid evaluation
Screening tests recommended by the AKC reflect health issues that can affect the American Staffordshire Terrier.
Staffordshire Terriers require quite a bit of attention, love, and exercise.
You should always assume that any breed with a deep chest is prone to bloat, regardless of size. Bloat, or more accurately gastric dilatation and volvulus, is a life-threatening emergency. The stomach swells with fluid or gas and rotates 45 to 360 degrees, causing organ disruption, heart arrhythmias, and tissue damage, and death. Therefore, you should divide your Staffie’s food allotment into two or more meals per day. American Staffordshire Terrier puppies require 44 to 75 calories per pound of body weight every day. A pup may eat four to six meals daily. Adults should get 222 to 28 calories for every pound of bodyweight daily depending on activity and health. Meat protein should be a top ingredient with the addition of high-quality fats and oils and optional carbohydrates. Various arguments exist for providing antioxidants through fresh produce, potatoes, yams, or grains. If your Staffy has a food allergy, you may have to avoid grains or particular proteins.
With their short coats, Staffies require brushing only once a week to stimulate natural oil distribution through the fur and blood circulation to the skin. Use a brush that accounts for your dog’s sensitive skin and thin coat. You should trim the nails and bathe your dog monthly, brush her teeth every few days, check her ears and wipe her face daily, and swab her ears every 10 to 14 days. Dogs with allergies may require medicated baths one or more times a week.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is an active breed, and you should plan on 60 to 90 minutes of daily exercise. While 20% to 30% should be vigorous, you can also include training and socialization as part of the daily exercise requirement. Advanced training should be ongoing as your dog reaches maturity. Great bonding activities that engage the body and mind are fetching games, tug-o-war, jogging, hiking, agility, Shutzhund, and tracking.
Like most dogs, American Staffordshire Terriers respond positively to a reward-based training system. Their attentiveness, high intelligence, and willingness to please make them quite trainable. Your biggest challenge will be to overcome your dog’s tendency to be headstrong. While persistence pays off in spades, giving in to any temptation to use force will set a sensitive dog like the Staffy back in his training possibly by weeks.