American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire terrier is a medium-sized, short-coated dog breed whose early ancestors came from England. In the early part of the twentieth century, the breed gained social stature and was accepted by the American Kennel Club as the American Staffordshire Terrier. They are not to be confused with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
The early ancestors of this breed come 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 says that Tan Terrier was crossed with 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. Some writers contend it was the White English Terrier, Fox Terrier, or the Black and Tan Terrier that was crossed with the
American Staffordshire terriers gained in popularity in the 1920s with “Pete the Pup’s” appearances in the Our Gang (The Little Rascals) comedies, contributing to the spread of the breed. Dogs began to find their way into USA 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.
The breed’s popularity began to decline in the United States following World War II. In 1936, they were accepted for registration in the AKC Stud Book as Staffordshire Terriers, belonging to the terrier and molosser groups. The name of the breed was revised January 1, 1972 to American Staffordshire Terrier; breeders in the United States had developed a variety which was heavier in weight than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England – the name change was to distinguish them as separate breeds
The American Staffordshire Terrier routinely ranks well above many “popular” breeds such as the Beagle, Collie, Doberman Pinscher and the Cocker Spaniel. Intelligence, human attenuation, energy, and affection are characteristic of the breed. American Staffordshire Terrier pups should not be brought weaned before they are 8-10 weeks old. Their life expectancy is generally 12 to 16 years with good care. The American Temperament Test Society conducts tests every year on thousands of dogs to determine the soundness of their temperament.