American Staffordshire Bull Terrier
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States of America.
SPECIAL SKILLS: Watchdog and family pet.
ORIGIN: The early ancestors of this breed came from England, where applications included farm use, guarding, dog fighting, and companionship. 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.
SIZE: The preferred shoulder-height is 45.7 - 48.4cm (18 - 19in) for dogs and 43.2 - 45.7(17 - 18in) for females. The correct relationship between height and weight is more important than these specific heights.*
COAT: The coat of this dog is short and shiny. Any color is permitted, although black and tan, liver, plain white, or more than 80 percent white are less favored than broken red and beige with highlights, either with and without white patches.
CARE REQUIRED: Remove the dead and loose hairs from time to time with a rubber brush.
CHARACTER: This is a brave dog which is loyal to its family, tenacious, and tough on itself. It makes a good watchdog, is boisterous with tremendous stamina, and tends to dominate other dogs.
TRAINING: The American Staffordshire is not suitable for anyone with little experience of dogs. These dogs must be taught when they are young not to pull on the leash because they are amazingly strong when fully grown. This breed can learn a great deal if well trained with a consistent approach. They often succeeded very well in obedience trials.
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR: These dogs can make good family dogs provided the family is always consistent and can cope with a boisterous dog. Enthusiasts for these dogs claim that they are loving with children. This dog will protect house and home and accept cats and other household animals provided it has become acquainted with them when young. Some examples of the breed can be rather eager to fight with other dogs.
EXERCISE: If you own an American Staffordshire Bull Terrier make sure it gets plenty of exercise. These dogs like running alongside a bicycle and playing ball games; they also enjoy retrieving things.
* Note: The size and aesthetic characteristics indicated are the general goals of most breeders and may vary among the breed.
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