American Staffordshire Terrier, AmStaff Articles
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American Staffordshire Terriers

Aliases: American Staffordshire Terrier, AmStaff

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American Staffordshire Terrier Articles

The American Staffordshire Terrier and Congenital Heart Disease

The American Staffordshire Terrier is not among the unhealthiest of breeds, but it does unfortunately suffer from some serious genetic conditions; some of these conditions were not recognized to affect the breed in a serious manner until recently. For example, more and more reports have been coming in of American Staffordshire Terriers (also called Amstaffs) suffering from a variety of problems classified under heart disease, specifically congenital heart disease. Congenital heart disease, or CHD, is a heart condition that is present when the pup is born; it is different from Acquired Heart disease, which is a heart condition that develops later in a dog’s life. CHD is rare, but it can result in serious heart failure. [...]

Is the American Staffordshire Terrier an Aggressive Dog?

Not many breeds have to deal with the stigma that surrounds the American Staffordshire Terrier. These dogs are put into a vague category called pit bullÂť dogs and stories abound of their extremely aggressive behavior. As with many stories, however, it seems as if the media is involved in hyping up the Amstaffs aggressive tendencies based on a few isolated instances that were the result of very poor dog ownership practices. But is the Amstaff really that aggressive? [...]

The American Staffordshire Terrier and French Ring Sport

Dog owners are always on the lookout for new sporting events in which to register their canine friends; many are looking for outlets to help the dogs work off the energy that comes with being bred for a specific purpose. There are a variety of canine competitive events in which dogs can participate; it’s just a question of finding which one or ones best suit your breed. Amstaff owners are no different and love to show off the skills of their amazing, yet poorly understood, breed. One of the events in which Amstaffs often participate and at which they often excel is French Ring Sport. This sport originally hails from France and was originally developed about one hundred years ago for the purpose of testing breeding stock for their ability to be good protection dogs. [...]

The American Staffordshire Terrier and Schutzhund

There are a number of sports that have been created to test the working ability of protection or police dogs, most notably Belgian Ring, French Ring and Schutzhund, though there are others. Schutzhund was originally developed in Germany at the beginning of the twentieth century to test whether or not German Shepherds had the ability to perform the tasks they were bred for. Nowadays, a variety of countries participate in the sport and it is no longer restricted to German Shepherds; the trials are very difficult and demanding, though, and not many dogs succeed. The Amstaff has been known to participate in Schutzhund as a protection breed and has obtained quite impressive results. [...]

The American Staffordshire Terrier and Hereditary Ataxia

As mentioned previously, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a relatively healthy breed, though it is affected by some unpleasant disorders. One of the most serious disorders from which this breed suffers is called Hereditary Ataxia or Cerebellar Ataxia. This is a neurological disorder of a serious nature and as of yet there is no cure; it seems as if the gene governing the disorder is quite widespread in the breed and often avoiding the breeding of affected dogs is difficult due to the late onset of symptoms. Research to find out the exact mode of inheritance and to find some kind of treatment is ongoing and owners of dogs with the disease are encouraged to allow their dogs to participate in trials and studies. [...]

Complaints about the American Staffordshire Terrier

Many people who choose to add an American Staffordshire Terrier to their household are very pleased with the dog and claim that it is an amazing, unique companion. They claim the Amstaff is a loyal, affectionate, intelligent, protective dog that is wonderful with children. While there are quite a number of pleased Amstaff owners, there are a number of others that are not happy with the breed. Some have owned Amstaffs themselves, while others have merely come into contact with these controversial dogs, but all agree that there are many negative aspects to the breed; extremely careful thought should be put into the decision of adding an Amstaff to the family. [...]

Urban Myths Concerning the American Staffordshire Terrier

Unfortunately, the media has singled out dogs classified under the category of “pit bull”, like the American Staffordshire Terrier, as being highly aggressive and dangerous. To fuel the media hype regarding these breeds, extraordinary claims have arisen regarding the ferocity of pit bulls, their terrible bite and their supernatural jaw strength. But are these claims real? Should people believe all they read in the news or hear on television regarding the inherently evil nature of these dogs? Incredibly, many of the claims that center around pit bulls amount to not much more than urban myths, perhaps as a justification as to why certain dogs do bad things; rather than put the blame on the owner or on the humans that bred the dog, the dog was singled out and has now become the convenient scapegoat. [...]

Legislation Regarding the American Staffordshire Terrier

Communities are justifiably concerned with the amount of dog attacks that are registered each year, also because they know that just as many go unregistered. In order to protect people, local and national governments have taken to instituting breed-specific legislation, which can include policies or laws that only affect one or more specific breeds. Often, the legislation deals with restrictions concerning both owning and breeding targeted breeds. The dogs that have most been under attack with this breed specific legislation are the pit bull type dogs, which at times include the American Staffordshire Terrier. [...]

The American Staffordshire Terrier and Weight Pulling Contests

There are a number of activities and events in which you can involve your American Staffordshire Terrier to make sure he gets enough exercise and is also mentally stimulated while he’s at it. Many of these events involve activities similar to those that the dog was called on to do at the beginning of his development; indeed, many activities recreate the purpose for which the Amstaff was bred. One of these events is weight pulling. In this event, a dog is called on to pull a loaded cart or sled over some kind of non-smooth terrain, including carpet, grass or unpacked snow. In a weight pulling contest, a special harness is used to hitch the dog to a cart; this harness ensures that the risk of injury for the dog is minimal. [...]

Weird Facts/Did You Know?

Hal Roach’s “Our Gang” comedies, later known as “The Little Rascals” filmed in the 1920s and 1930s feature the famous Pete the Pup, who was originally played by Pal the Wonder Dog; the original dog had a natural black incomplete ring around one eye, while later dogs would have a complete ring drawn on by a make-up artist. After Pal passed away, one of his offspring was used in the series; this dog’s name was Lucenay’s Peter and was actually dual registered with the AKC and the UKC as an American Staffordshire Terrier and an American Pit Bull Terrier. Lucenay’s Peter was the most famous dog to play Pete the pup, though other dogs were also used for the role. [...]

Differences of Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is popular breed that is commonly confused with several other types of dog. When they are not being pegged as their cousin the Pit Bull, they are also frequently confused with their other cousin the American Staffordshire Terrier. While each originates from similar beginnings, over time the breeds have evolved into their own; similar in some features but very different in nature. Many have come to find the great benefits of owning a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, insisting that for all its similarities to other like Terrier varieties, this breed is truly one of a kind. [...]

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