|The early ancestors of the American Staffordshire Terrier come from England and are directly related to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They are a far stretch from the American bully dogs that you see today. The early ancestors were used for a variety of reasons in England such as farm use, dog fighting, guarding, and companionship. Originally, the Bulldog was bred in England for the specific purpose of baiting bulls. This was the case until around the beginning of the Ninetieth Century. There are photos of Bulldogs dating back to the 1870s that show this breed greatly resembling the modern day American Staffordshire Terriers. These historic Bulldogs looked much more like the American Staffordshire Terriers compared to modern Bulldogs. It is said that the Fox Terrier, the White English Terrier, or the Black and Tan Terrier were the breeds that were crossed with the Bulldog in order to develop the Staffordshire Terrier.|
All three of these breeds share many of the traits of the Staffordshire Terrier, varying between fur color, aggressiveness, and spirit. The mix of the Bulldog and the Terrier created a variety of potential names including Bull and Terrier Dog, Half and Half, Pit Dog, and Pit Bull Terrier. However, later the breed took on the name of Staffordshire Bull Terrier in England. As early as 1870, this breed began to find its way to America. In America, the breed became known as the Pit Dog or Pit Bull Terrier, then later taking on the name the American Bull Terrier and even the Yankee Terrier, eventually becoming the American Staffordshire Terrier. The American Staffordshire Terrier started gaining popularity in the United States in the 1920’s with the help of television debuts. This breed was accepted for registration in the American Kennel Club in 1936 as the Staffordshire Terrier. On January 1, 1972, the breed’s name was changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier. Breeders in the United States had started to develop a variety of the breed that was heavier in weight compared to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England. Therefore, the name change was appropriate in order to distinguish the two breeds are separate dog types.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is an extremely strong dog breed for its medium sized body. Male dogs of this breed stand at about 17 to 19 inches tall, while female dogs of this breed stand around 16 to 18 inches tall. The breed weighs in around 57 to 67 pounds. The American Staffordshire Terrier has a very stocky and muscular body to pair with an extremely powerful head. The muzzle on this breed is generally medium in length and rounded on the upper side, falling away suddenly from the eyes. The American Staffordshire Terrier’s eyes are usually dark and round, set far apart and sunken low into the skull. Its ears are set particularly high on the head and can either be cropped or uncropped. The American Staffordshire Terrier’s coat is made up of extremely thick, glossy, and stiff fur. This breed has been seen to have a variety of different colored coats. The American Staffordshire Terriers tend to have a larger bone structure, weight, and head size compared to the American Pit Bull Terrier.