The American Staffordshire Terrier, or AmStaff, is a mid-sized Pit Bull breed that doesn’t have the best reputation since it was used for dogfighting in its early days. Yet with training and socialization, the AmStaff can be a loyal, friendly, and loving four-legged friend.
Do they shed much?
The American Staffordshire Terrier has short fur and a stiff, wiry coat that doesn’t shed much. Hair cell turnover throughout the year, however, will cause some very moderate shedding, but nothing too noticeable. Grooming the AmStaff is easy too, as the dog typically only requires brushing about once a week.
Read on to learn more about the AmStaff before deciding if it’s the dog for you. Ahead, I’ll talk about the American Staffordshire Terrier’s shedding behavior and what grooming this dog is like, as well as discuss some interesting points about its characteristics as a breed.
American Staffordshire Terrier Shedding
The AmStaff is a mostly low-shedding dog breed.
In that regard, it’s a lot like the other Terriers I’ve discussed on the blog recently, including the Lakeland Terrier and the Manchester Terrier. Yet that’s where those similarities end, as the AmStaff is more Pit Bull than Terrier.
Why does this breed shed so little? You have its coat to thank for that.
Like other Pit Bull breeds, the American Staffordshire Terrier has a close-cropped coat.
Although the texture is stiff, it still feels smooth, making the AmStaff a pleasure to pet. The wiriness of its coat is a big part of why this breed retains so much of its fur.
As discussed in this article about dog coat types, dogs with rougher outer coats will shed less frequently.
This is sometimes a double-edged sword, as wiry-coated dogs can be more time-consuming to groom, but that’s not the case with the American Staffordshire Terrier, as you’ll learn a little later.
It’s not only the coat texture that makes the AmStaff an infrequent shedder but the length of its coat as well. Since it’s a Pit Bull breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier has a short coat.
Short-haired dogs definitely do shed, but the hairs they drop are typically just a lot less noticeable than those from a long-haired dog.
On top of all that, the AmStaff is a single-coated breed, so it has less fur than a double-coated dog.
Keep in mind that all dogs shed at least somewhat, and that goes for the AmStaff as well. Rather than shed seasonally though, the American Staffordshire Terrier will lose fur in moderate amounts year-round.
Either way, shedding is normal among most healthy dogs, as dog hair goes through four stages. Anagen is the beginning of hair growth, which continues to catagen, where the growth stops. In telogen, the fur is inactive, but by the fourth stage–exogen–shedding occurs.
Even with this regular hair cell turnover, the amount of dead fur around the house from your AmStaff won’t be enough that frequent vacuuming is required.
Grooming Your American Staffordshire Terrier
As if it wasn’t great enough that American Staffordshire Terriers barely shed, their grooming is about as easy as can be.
Using a soft bristle brush and combing the AmStaff’s body will suffice in collecting the dead hair before it falls off your dog. You don’t have to brush this breed often, only once per week.
As you brush, you spread the AmStaff’s oils throughout its body. This will improve the look of its coat.
Some American Staffordshire Terrier owners finish their dog’s weekly grooming by wiping at the dog with a moist cloth. This is supposed to make their coat even more alluring and shiny.
Since it grows short and remains so close to the body, you shouldn’t have to trim your AmStaff’s fur often. That includes the hair around their face, paws, and elsewhere. I told you grooming this Pit Bull breed is easy!
Keeping your American Staffordshire Terrier clean shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge either. If yours is more of an indoor dog than an outdoor dog, then you’ll bathe your AmStaff maybe every three months if not more seldom.
Most dog owners wait until their pup begins exhibiting that funky dog smell. You know the one! Then they plunk their AmStaff in the tub.
For outdoor American Staffordshire Terriers or indoor dogs who like to get down and dirty at the dog park, you might find yourself bathing this breed more regularly.
You should always brush your AmStaff before you bathe them, so even if you just brushed them yesterday, do it again. Use lukewarm water in the tub or sink that won’t scald your dog or leave them cold.
Keeping your AmStaff’s nails tidy might not require more than a trip to the groomer’s when their nails start to get long. You can also trim the nails yourself if you feel comfortable doing so.
Is an American Staffordshire Terrier Right for You?
If you’ve gotten to this point and you’re still debating whether you should adopt an American Staffordshire Terrier, allow me to paint a clearer picture of this breed for you.
The AmStaff’s ancestors are British Isle Bull-and-Terriers, which were imported to America around the 1850s. The United Kennel Club (which is not the same as the American Kennel Club) called this breed the American Pit Bull Terrier.
By 1936, the AKC decided to register the breed, renaming it to the Staffordshire Terrier after that part of England. Yet the British Staffordshire Terrier already existed, so the AKC called the breed the American Staffordshire Terrier instead.
The rest is history.
The AmStaff, like other Pit Bull breeds, was used in dog fighting until that activity was banned. That gory history is what gives some people trepidation about American Staffordshire Terriers and other Pits.
Yet the AKC calls the AmStaff confident, good-natured, loyal, and smart. To enjoy those personality traits in your dog, you’d need to socialize them from an early age.
This video shows how fun-loving and amusing an AmStaff can be!
If you have an apartment, could you bring home an American Staffordshire Terrier? As a mid-sized dog, adults grow to about 18 inches tall, but they’re heavy. Females might weigh up to 55 pounds and males around 70 pounds.
Plus, AmStaffs require 30 to 40 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. For those reasons, apartment dwellers might want to rethink this dog breed.
Homeowners with a large yard can easily provide the exercise requirements for the American Staffordshire Terrier.
A socialized AmStaff can befriend other dogs, but it helps if they’re the same gender. If you have smaller pets in the house such as rabbits or cats, American Staffordshire Terriers can coexist with these animals as well.
The AmStaff was once known as a nanny dog, in that people in the 1900s would leave their children alone with the dog. That part of its reputation has not endured to quite the same degree today, but the American Staffordshire Terrier is still great with children.
I wouldn’t ever suggest leaving your AmStaff (or any dog) alone with small children, but this breed can easily keep up with rambunctious, energetic kids.
Even better is that AmStaffs don’t bark any more often than your average dog. If they do bark though, pay attention, as it’s a sign the dog is bored, unhappy, or trying to warn you of something.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a mid-sized Pit Bull breed that migrated to the United States for dogfighting. A socialized AmStaff is very sweet and great around children, pets, and even other dogs.
AmStaffs shed minimally and grooming them is as easy as brushing them once per week and bathing them every couple of months.
Although some people will automatically discount an American Staffordshire Terrier because of its Pit Bull roots, if you give one of these dogs a try, you might be pleasantly surprised!