American Staffy dog breed information

The American Staffordshire Terrier a.k.a ‘American Staffy,’ is a medium-sized, short-coated dog known for its loyalty, courage, and companionship. Originating from the United States, the American Staffy was bred for farm work and overtime for dogfighting.

Known as a ‘bully breed,’ there’s a misconception that American Staffordshire Terriers are dangerous dogs. While muscular and strong, Staffies are an affectionate breed that thrives in a family environment. Staffies are often confused with their cousin, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. While Staffies and Staffordshire Bull Terriers have some similarities, they are different dog breeds.

Want to learn more about this courageous but gentle breed? Read our guide below to see if American Staffordshire Terriers are the pet for you.

American Staffordshire Terrier breed information

If you’d like to get to know the breed a little more closely, here are a few key traits and facts about the American Staffordshire Terrier:

How long do American Staffordshire Terriers live?

American Staffordshire Terriers have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

How big do American Staffordshire Terriers get?

American Staffordshire Terriers usually reach their full weight and height by 12- 18 months old. Healthy male and female American Stafford Terriers are between 45.7 - 48.4 cm tall and weigh between 25 - 30 kgs.

Do American Staffordshire Terriers shed?

American Staffordshire Terriers are a short-haired breed and shed a low to moderate amount of fur.

  Should I get an American Staffordshire Terrier?

Want an intelligent companion that is alert, vigilant, and a whole lot of fun? The American Staffy might be the perfect fit for you. Suited to families, American Staffordshire Terriers are protective and eager to please their humans. In fact, they fit into the "nanny dog" class, along with Newfoundlands, as they love to play with and protect all members of the family. 

American Staffies are a very trainable breed and should be socialised from an early age. Taking your puppy to meet other dogs and people is a great way to instill positive behaviours and ensure they're comfortable in a variety of settings. 

Families living in larger spaces are the ideal place for an American Staffy to live. It’s a plus if someone is home throughout the day, as staffies can get lonely and tend to chew things out of boredom.

American Staffordshire Terrier personality

Don’t let their tough exterior fool you. American Staffordshire Terriers are big sooks that crave attention and pats from their owners. They are a smart breed and need a stimulating environment to roam, play games or even work.

As staffies are strong (and sometimes stubborn), they need a firm and experienced owner that knows how to set boundaries. Obedience training from an early age is a great way to curb these behaviours.

Taking care of an American Staffordshire Terrier


American Staffordshire Terriers have short-haired, shiny coats that come in a variety of colours including - red, fawn, black, white, and blue. Brushing your American Staffy once a week is enough to keep their coats healthy. Unfortunately, they are prone to bad breath, so brush their teeth once a week to stop tartar and food buildup.


American Staffies have moderate exercise needs, so aim for around 60 minutes per day. Playing, walking, and running are great ways to keep your Staffy stimulated.


Like most dogs, the American Staffordshire Terrier needs a well-balanced diet made up of protein, fats, and vitamins. Staffies are medium-sized with moderate energy levels, so incorporate lean meat and vegetables into their meals to keep them healthy. Scheduled feeding over free feeding is a way to ensure your American Staffy doesn’t overeat and gain unnecessary weight.

Common American Staffordshire Terrier health conditions

Like most dog breeds, American Staffies are susceptible to certain health conditions. Here are some examples:

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary skeletal condition seen in medium to large dog breeds. The condition creates a deformity in a dog’s hips as they grow, leading to reduced mobility and range of motion. American Staffies have a higher chance of developing hip dysplasia because of their genes. Early signs of hip dysplasia in a dog can be limping, abnormal walking patterns, and loss of muscle in the hind legs.

Follicular Dysplasia

Follicular dysplasia is a genetic skin disorder that causes alopecia and hair loss in dogs. This condition occurs when hair follicles have structural abnormalities. Signs of follicular dysplasia in American Staffordshire Terriers are scratching, bald patches across the fur, and red skin. If your American Staffy suffers from this condition, make sure you put sunscreen on the affected patches if they’re going outside.

The cost of insuring an American Staffordshire Terrier

If you’re thinking about getting pet insurance for your American Staffy, factors like age and location will affect the cost of your premium. Woolworths Pet Insurance offers Basic, Standard, Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus cover that helps protect you and your furry friend. Check what each insurance cover includes.

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