American Staffordshire Terrier
This young pup is small at the moment but will grow up big and strong. She comes from a past where her ancestors were made to fight. She is so happy she doesn’t have to do this anymore, she much prefers cuddles with her human. She hopes she can show this to everyone because some people think she looks scary! But she knows she can win them over.
Strong and confident, the American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as the Amstaff, may look big and scary but they’re actually incredibly loving and affectionate. Their great size and strength comes down to their history, an unfortunately bloody one. Combining two breeds, bulldogs and terriers, 19th century breeders in England created a dog for one of their most horrific sports, dog fights. Thankfully this barbaric practice was made illegal and the dogs could begin their lives in a more loving way, becoming one of the most popular dog breeds.
With the ban on dog fighting, Amstaffs, then known as pit bull terriers, began to be used more frequently as work dogs on farms, hunting dogs, or even just as companions. With breeding, the dogs separated into two distinct breeds, the shorter English breed (the Staffordshire terrier), and the longer-legged American breed.
A long way from it’s fighting past, the Amstaff is now one of the most beloved breeds in the US. They have been seen throughout popular culture, from a pooch on a cross-country drive (Horatio’s Drive), to a member in the 1930’s “Our Gang” comedies, to the most decorated American pup in WWI, Sgt. Stubby. They have been a favourite breed for show business because of their intelligence and high trainability but are also loved by the public as one of the family. These dogs are very strong and need a pack leader so new owners must be ready to be firm yet loving in the perfect balance.
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