A terrier is a dog breed that is strong and agile. There are different types of terrier dogs, one of which is the American Staffordshire Terrier. They were developed by crossing the Bulldog and the Terrier breeds. The goal was to produce a dog breed with the strength of the Bulldog and aggression of the terriers.
The American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff for short) is a medium-sized dog weighing between forty and seventy pounds. They have a stocky build with powerful jaws and strong legs, making them very agile despite their size. Although AmStaffs can be aggressive, they make great family pets if properly trained and socialized from puppyhood.
Here is everything you need to know about caring for American Staffordshire Terriers:
1. Feed Your Dog High-Quality Food
Health problems such as obesity, hip dysplasia, or osteoarthritis are common in American Staffordshire terriers. The best way to prevent these problems is by providing your dog with the most nutritionally balanced food you can afford. This will help protect your dog from developing health problems later on in life.
2. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Daily
Dogs are prone to dental disease, which can be evident in their bad breath and drooling of saliva after eating or drinking anything. Daily brushing will reduce the tartar build-up on teeth, preventing gum disease and tooth loss. You can also give your dog raw bones (beef bones with marrow) as they act as natural toothbrushes for dogs.
3. Clean Their Ears Twice Per Month
Gritty ear wax builds up in the terrier’s ears, along with any debris from allergies or environmental irritants. Cleaning your dog’s ears twice per month will prevent infection and irritation of the terrier’s inner ear canal.
4. Trim Your Dog’s Nails Once Per Month
The pet has very hard and thick nails, making them difficult to clip without cutting into the nerve and blood supply. If you’re not comfortable clipping their nails, find a groomer who is confident enough to do so.
5. Brush Your Terrier Twice Per Week
The American Staffordshire terrier sheds a lot, so you will need to brush them frequently to remove loose hair and prevent tangles. Brushing also helps distribute natural skin oils that keep their skin healthy and reduce the dander they produce.
6. Play with Your Dog Daily
Your terrier’s breed is very high-energy and playful, so playtime is essential for their mental development and exercise needs. Playing with your terrier at least 30 minutes per day (on top of their regular exercise) will ensure they remain fit and healthy.
7. Train Your Breed With Positive Reinforcement
The breed is very smart but also stubborn at times. This means that it’s important to train them while they’re still young and impressionable. Make training a positive experience for your pet by rewarding good behavior and only punishing bad behavior minimally (if at all).
According to studies on dogs, punishment decreases the likelihood of repeating a given behavior in the future (i.e., the correction doesn’t work), so make sure you stick to rewarding good behaviors instead of suppressing bad ones.
8. Keep Your Terrier Active Throughout Their Lives
The American Staffordshire Terrier breed is high-energy, so they need exercise to prevent obesity and weight gain, leading to several other health problems. Maintain constant activity levels for them by taking them on daily walks or jogs. Just make sure you don’t tire out your dog too much before completing the tips above (e.g., feeding good quality food, brushing teeth, etc.).
9. Provide Mental Stimulation For Your Dog
Dogs are smart creatures which means they require constant intellectual enrichment to be happy and healthy. The AmStaff is especially smart and requires training, mental stimulation, and physical exercise to be happy.
Incorporate different types of dog sports (e.g., agility, flyball, etc.) into your American Staffordshire Terrier’s life, and they’ll love you for it!
10. Give Immense Care and Love
The terrier breed derives a lot of its happiness from human companionship and affection. It means that these dogs feel the best living indoors with their families.
Leaving your dogs outdoors on their own can lead to bad behavior such as chewing or constant barking, so ensure you provide them with the attention they need by keeping them indoors.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is an active and playful dog that needs constant attention. However, if you provide them with the right amount of exercise, mental stimulation, good quality food, and love, your dog will be a happy and healthy pet for many years to come.
They also shed quite often, which means they require frequent grooming to keep their coats in tip-top shape. Maintaining these ten tips will ensure that you are happy with your dog’s health and prevent any bad behaviors from appearing.