What Were American Staffordshire Terriers Bred For? (Explained)

I'm a passionate writer, a blogger and a web designer. I spend most of my time surfing the internet and writing quality articles.

I’m sure you know at least one person who is absolutely crazy about their American Staffordshire Terrier. These people are always talking about how smart and friendly their dog is, but what were American Staffordshire terriers bred for?

The American Staffordshire Terriers were bred as fighting dogs. They were also used as hunting dogs, guard dogs, and police dogs. These dogs are known for their strength, agility, and intelligence.

They are also known for being very loyal and protective of their family. American Staffordshire Terriers make great family pets, but they need to be well-trained and socialized from a young age.

So, If you’re thinking about getting an American Staffordshire Terrier, keep reading as we are going to dive deep into the background of this breed.

Let’s get into it!

American Staffordshire terrier breed history

American Staffordshire Terriers were originally bred in England in the early 1800s. They were created by crossing Staffordshire Bull Terriers with various other breeds, including the English Bulldog, the Irish Wolfhound, and the Manchester Terrier.

The resulting dogs were larger and more aggressive than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and they quickly gained popularity among dogfighters.

In the late 19th century, American breeders began to import these dogs and developed their own version of the breed, which they named the American Staffordshire Terrier.

Today, the American Staffordshire Terriers are still used for dogfighting in some parts of the world, but they are also popular as companion animals.

Thanks to their loyalty, courage, and affectionate nature, American Staffordshire Terriers make excellent companions for those who are willing to provide them with enough exercise and socialization.

Aggression toward humans was not to be tolerated

The dogs bred for fighting their own kind were genuinely friendly to humans. They had to be in order for these high-stakes matches to go off without a hitch. According to the harsh rules of the fighting pit, any dog that bit humans, whether the opponent’s handler, the referee, or anyone in the area, did not live to fight another.

The American Staffordshire were popular among farmers

They were popular among farmers and ranchers who used the dogs as all-around working dogs on the farm. They were bred to be tough and tenacious, with a strong work ethic. In fact, many of the traits that make Amstaffs great family pets today are the same traits that made them good workers back in the day.

Are they considered an aggressive breed?

The short answer to this question is yes, American Staffordshire Terriers were bred to be an aggressive breed. However, it’s important to understand what aggression really means when we’re talking about dogs.

Dogs are naturally social animals and they have a hierarchal structure within their pack. This hierarchy is established through behaviors like growling, barking, and biting. In the wild, these behaviors are what help keep a pack together and protect them from predators.

When we domesticated dogs, we took them out of their natural environment and into our homes. This means that they no longer needed to use these behaviors to establish their place in the pack. However, some of these behaviors are still ingrained in their DNA.

American Staffordshire Terriers were originally bred to be fighting dogs. This means that they were bred to be aggressive and to use their teeth. Unfortunately, this also means that they are more likely to show aggression towards other animals.


The American Staffordshire Terrier is a people-oriented dog that thrives when it is made part of the family and given plenty of attention.

They are outgoing, eager to please and take well to training. Socialization is important for this breed, as they can be territorial and protective if not properly introduced to other people and animals.

The American Staffordshire terriers are also known for their courageous and even-tempered nature. AmStaffs, as they are sometimes called, are confident dogs that are quick to learn new tricks. They also have a lot of energy and need plenty of exercises.

Despite their reputation as tough dogs, American Staffordshire Terriers are actually very gentle with children. They are also good watchdogs and will bark to alert their owners of strangers or unfamiliar noises.

Is a Staffordshire terrier a pitbull?

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a direct descendant of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which was originally bred in England in the early 19th century.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was created by crossbreeding bulldogs and terriers for the purpose of hunting vermin and other small animals. In 1873, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was recognized as a separate breed by the English Kennel Club.

In the early 1800s, some Staffordshire Bull Terriers were brought to America and bred with other breeds, such as the American Pit Bull Terrier. The resulting mix became known as the American Staffordshire Terrier.

Public opinion about American Staffordshire Terriers

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a controversial breed. Some people believe that they are too aggressive and dangerous, while others believe that they are gentle and loving dogs. The truth is, American Staffordshire Terriers were bred for two different purposes: as fighting dogs and as companions.

In the late 1800s, these dogs were brought to America, where they were used in dogfights, which were popular entertainment at the time.

Fortunately, dogfighting is now illegal in the United States, as in most parts of the world

What did the original AmStaff look like?

The original American Staffordshire Terriers were smaller than the ones we see today. They weighed between 30 and 50 pounds and stood about 18 inches tall at the shoulder.

What is the difference between American and British Staffordshire Terriers?

The American Staffordshire Terrier (Am Staff) is a direct descendant of the British Staffordshire Terrier (Staffy).

The main difference between the two breeds is their size; Am Staffs are larger and heavier than their British cousins.

The two breeds were developed for different purposes; Am Staffs were bred as working dogs, while Staffordshire Terriers were originally bred for fighting.

In the early 1900s, Am Staffs were imported to America and used in dogfighting.

The breed was later recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and given the name Staffordshire Terrier.

In 1972, the AKC changed the breed’s name to American Staffordshire Terrier to distinguish it from the British Staffordshire Terrier.

In case you’re curious about one of the biggest dog breeds in the world, I’ve written a recent article on the reasons why the cane corso was bred for.

Is the American Staffordshire Terrier a banned breed?

The American Staffordshire Terrier is banned in many countries because of their reputation as a fighting dog.

Countries with restrictionsCountries have forbidden owning the AmStaffs
GermanyUnited States
MalaysiaNew Zealand
SpainUnited Kingdom

How much exercise do they need?

American Staffordshire Terriers need a lot of exercises. They were bred for physical labor, so they have a lot of energy. A good rule of thumb is to give them at least an hour of exercise every day. This can be in the form of walks, runs, or playing fetch. If you don’t have time for that, consider getting a dog walker.

They are also very intelligent dogs and need mental stimulation.

Is an Amstaff a good family dog?

While they may have a reputation as being aggressive, American Staffordshire Terriers are actually very loving and gentle with their family. They are also great with children. However, they can be aggressive towards other dogs, so it is important to socialize them from a young age.

Breed traits

If I were to describe the perfect dog breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier would be it.

They are:

  • Loyal. American Staffordshire Terriers are incredibly loyal to their family and will do anything to protect them.
  • Loving. They are very intelligent and easy to train.
  • Devoted. They are devoted and affectionate, making them great companion dogs.
  • Intelligent. They are very intelligent and easy to train
  • Agile. They are agile and athletic, making them great for dog sports such as agility trials

Despite their strength, they are gentle dogs that enjoy spending time with their families.

Final thoughts

The American Staffordshire terrier breed is often misunderstood. People may think they are an aggressive breed, but they actually have a very good temperament. 

Hopefully, the public’s perception of this breed is improving gradually, but there is still a long way to go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What were bichon frise bred for

Previous Post

What Were Bichon Frise Bred For? (Explained)

Next Post

Can A Jack Russell Kill A Fox? (Explained!)

Can a jack russell kill a fox