Amstaff is a man in dog's clothing
American Staffordshire Terriers were registered by the American Kennel Club in 1936, and since then the breed standard has not changed.
If you briefly characterize the American Staffordshire Terriers, we can say that they are strong, brave, arrogant, active, funny and always ready to play.
When I took the first amstaff to myself, I did not know anything about their reputation as “killer dogs”, and in general about the breed, I just liked them outwardly. And only then she began to study the information and understand what kind of dogs it was.
There is one problem with this breed: if you make one staff, you will surely get a second one sooner or later. These are human dogs, they subtly feel your mood. If you are sad, they will keep you company, if you have fun, they will play with pleasure. These dogs always try to please the owner.
Breeder's Observation: Amstaffs are very intelligent, and they have a very strong connection with a person. This can be considered both a plus and a minus of the breed. They can’t be locked, for example, as an “attendant” in an aviary - staff will suffer greatly and be bored. They constantly need a host presence.
They require a lot of attention, but give a hundred times more. This is a constant interaction. Therefore, after staff it is difficult to get another breed. I tried to “switch” to the bassenji, but it didn’t work out.
Amstaff is very dependent on the owner, and this sometimes ruins the dogs, because if the owner is dysfunctional, the staff still tries to please him. And if they say to him: “Let's eat the cat,” - he, unfortunately, will do it.
Amstaff can not be called monogamous. Very rarely found dogs, "sharpened" on one owner. You can calmly lead any of my staffs on a leash, give commands (and he will execute them), and if you show a yummy thing ... True, they test each new person, checking the boundaries of what is allowed: is it possible to climb onto the bed or to get a piece of cake?
A small amstaff puppy will surely chew on everything that comes to his tooth if he is left alone at home and bored. Therefore, if a puppy spends a lot of time alone, I advise you to get a cage. In addition, the cage is the key to the puppy’s safety, because he can bite the wires. If the puppy is properly accustomed to the cage, then he perceives it as his house.
Amstaffs are silent. Neighbors will not complain that your apartment is too noisy. They practically do not bark, and they greet guests as if they are sincerely convinced that new people come to the house solely to feed and pet them. With self-esteem, they have complete order.
Breeder's Observations: Amstaff is a great nanny. Firstly, they have no aggression towards people. Secondly, they have a high pain threshold, and children can tug on their ears and tail, ride a horse - the staff is only glad that they pay attention to it. And thirdly, staff is always ready to play. Therefore, if a representative of the breed is taken to a family with children, everyone is happy.
Aggression towards a person in a breed is considered culling. I do not sell a puppy if a potential buyer plans to use it as a security guard or bodyguard.
Although you can’t call Amstaff a coward. A normal, healthy stuff is not afraid of anything and anyone at all.
Amstaffs are smile dogs, all emotions are written on their faces. They are very happy about your return home and will fight with other pets for your attention - but in exclusively peaceful ways.
Amstaff's aggression towards other animals: myth or truth?
My dogs live quietly with cats, and I specifically did not accustom them to cats. They do not have to be trained NOT to eat cats. Rather, it would be necessary to work so that they attacked the cat. Yes, Amstaff can be taught bad, but this is already a question of the sanity of the owner.
As for communication with other dogs, everything here also depends on the owner. They often ask me if my dog is fighting. I do not know! Because I’m not trying, I’m not provoking such situations, for example, I won’t let two adult males walk with the “girls”. They can be aggressive towards relatives, like all terriers, but there is nothing purely "stuffy" in this. Scotch terrier, staff, akita, dachshund, and a representative of any breed may not be friends with other dogs. Conscious breeders are now working to ensure that amstaff does not have aggression towards relatives. Because even at the exhibition it’s difficult to get a champion title for a cocky dog - she simply won’t be able to show herself right.
Observation of the breeder: There is an opinion that the American Staffordshire Terriers have a "blurred" ritual behavior, and this increases the risk of zoo aggression. However, I did not notice this. They, especially males, have all their thoughts written on their foreheads. And they, like other dogs, reel hair at the withers, grin and show other warning signals.
And the fighting skills of American Staffordshire Terriers are greatly exaggerated. If now the exhibition staff is "thrown into battle" - it will simply be torn ...
Most often, cases of zoo aggression are associated with the fact that other dogs attack the puppy, bite, it learns to defend itself and enters the taste. I initially exclude situations in which staff can fight. If the amstaff is not bullied and he has not had a sad experience, there will be no problems.
Breeder's Observations: Amstaff gets along easily with other pets. He can coexist peacefully in the company of another staff, York, dachshund, cats - anyone. And one of my wards in co-ownership lives in a family where the cat does not let him into the kitchen! And the dog "cries", calling on the owners for help.
The education and training of Amstaff
In addition to high intelligence, the Amstaffs have very well developed social instincts: gaming and food. Normal staffs with a good temperament love to play and eat. Therefore, it is easy to “sell” for both a ball and a yummy one.
Breeder's observations: Amstaffs are very easy to educate and train, so they are suitable for the role of the first dog. I often get American Staffordshire Terriers people who had no dogs before, and in families with children. I ask them to go to the dog handler for at least 10 lessons: not to teach the dog, but to teach the owners how to handle the pet.
In addition, I give advice for life to all puppies from my kennel. They can call me when the dog is 7 years old and I will deal with the problems that have arisen. But those who listen to competent advice have no problems. If you do not filter the information and follow the recommendations of not very knowledgeable advisers, difficulties may begin.
Amstaff is so educated that he can even be trained, and in this case, the little puppy completely loses its ability to be distracted by the outside world, and is absorbed solely by the execution of commands. For example, a 3-month-old puppy is already “working” at a shutter speed of several minutes. This is not very good, because the dog begins to be afraid.
Amstaff is very sensitive and easy to score. Tough breeding methods are not suitable, they will make staff intimidated. Question: Do you need such a pet? Cowardly dogs are very dangerous, they are almost impossible to control.
Breeder's recommendation: Best parenting methods: attention, play and goodies. Also, the family should have clear rules. If one owner allows you to climb on the bed, and the second forbids, the dog will not understand what is happening. What is possible should always be possible. That which is impossible is always forbidden. When there is a clear framework, the dog lives easier.
Be sure to chat with Amstaff on walks! If you just let the pet out in the field, he will become bored, and he will certainly find adventure. When I walk with dogs, we are sure to do something together. And they are not leaving me.
Amstaffs are very active, like any terrier. They need increased loads, but rather not physical, but mental. 30 minutes of independent running on the field will tire them less than 10 minutes of active play with you and the execution of teams.
Amstaff is more interested in the quality of attention on the part of the owner than the quantity. Even if you work for 10 hours, but after work you can give the pet full attention (at least 1 hour), the dog will be quite comfortable.
Amstaff can be taught anything. It can be agility, frisbee, freestyle, bike joring, stunts - the limitation is only your imagination. They are all extremely interested and enjoy working.
There are amstaffs with poor appetite, but this is rather the exception. In general, they love to eat, and the more and more varied, the better. Therefore, the pet must be limited in the amount of food so that there is no obesity.
Amstaffs are smooth-haired dogs and, therefore, are sensitive to cold. Some of my dogs are very reluctant to walk even in rainy weather. I am not a supporter of dressing dogs, I prefer active walking in the winter, because the paws are the first to freeze, and no fur coat will save them. If it is very cold (below -20 degrees), we walk very actively, and when I see that the paws are freezing, we go home. In this case, it is better to go for a walk more often.
Amstaffs do not tolerate heat very well, but they do not suffocate, like dogs with a shortened muzzle. Naturally, I do not recommend going out with amstaff to cycling in intense heat.
Sometimes it’s more difficult to care for a smooth-haired dog than a long-haired one, so don’t be seduced by the apparent simplicity of grooming this breed. Amstaffs molt, and wool, like needles, gets hammered into carpets. Shedding takes place 2 times a year: in spring and autumn. But now there are special brushes, furminators that make life easier for owners.
As for swimming, I wash my dogs just before the shows. But they are "clean", so there is no need for frequent water procedures.
The smell of wool from amstaffs is, but not as pronounced, as in many other breeds.
The average life expectancy of the American Staffordshire Terrier is 10 years, however there are dogs who live to 15. It all depends on the dog’s constitution, health and living conditions.
There are genetic diseases: ataxia and dysplasia of the hip and elbow joints (as in all large breeds).
Genetic diseases are being tested. I only knit clean dogs. But if ataxia is inherited in a direct way and it can be avoided, then the inheritance of dysplasia has not been proven by any study, therefore, tests for the absence of dysplasia even in several generations of ancestors, unfortunately, do not guarantee the absence of problems, although dysplasia is very rare in Amstaffs.
How to choose a puppy?
Be sure to pay attention to the registration of the nursery, documents of parents (including pedigrees). There must certainly be a pedigree on the puppy. If the puppy is discarded on the exterior, the seal “Not for pedigree use” is put, but the pedigree is still issued. This is not a guarantee of quality, but a birth certificate and proof that you are taking a thoroughbred dog, not a cross.
Look if the baby’s hair is shiny, if the abdomen is swollen, if the legs are bent, specify what the puppy is fed with.
The puppy can be taken at the age of 2 months. By this time, the kids already stop sucking their mother and are ready to move into a new family, moreover, they actively “demand” their man, because they need a lot of attention.
Breeder's Observation: It doesn't matter who you take, male or female. Males are generally more honest and simple, bitches are more cunning. But, rather, it is a matter of personal preference. I personally do not see the difference.
What kind of host amstaff needs?
Active, who will be happy to walk and engage with the dog. Amstaff is not a “bun”; you cannot put it on a sofa.
This may be a novice - provided that he will consult with the breeder and dog handler, at least for the first time.
Amstaff does not feel very well in large kennels and can not live in an aviary, so in such conditions I try not to sell puppies.
Photo of the Amstaffs from the personal archive of Maria Abduragimova