The American Staffordshire terrier was bred in England originally. Developed from bulldogs that were used for baiting larger animals and dog fights in the 1800s, this breed entered American soil in the latter parts of the 19th century and was recognized in 1936 by the American Kennel Club. It was during this time that the name of the dog breed was changed to what it is now today. Although the American Staffordshire terrier is different from the American pit bull terrier, they belong to the same pit bull family so the former also has a reputation for being aggressive. With proper American Staffordshire terrier care though, problems with aggression should be easily taken cared of.
To help you better take care of your dog, here are some American Staffordshire terrier care tips you can keep in mind:
- It is best if you socialize a puppy as young as seven weeks by exposing it to as many people and other dogs as possible. The most critical socialization period is between seven and 16 weeks, but continuous socialization is recommended through regular interaction with other people and dogs.
- Basic obedience training is required for American Staffordshire terriers as this will allow you to firmly control your dog using verbal commands while at the same time engaging your dog’s mind as well to prevent destructive behavior. Use reward-based training since punishment-based training will foster and encourage aggression. A well-behaved and polite dog at all times will also help put you in a good light in the eyes of insurance companies and potential landlords.
- An important aspect of an American Staffordshire terrier care schedule is feeding time, where it is recommended that your dog be fed two or more smaller meals in a day in order to prevent gastric torsion or bloating. Opt for canned instead of dry dog food as much as possible and stay away from fats and oils.
- Before your American Staffordshire terrier turns six months, you must have it neutered or spayed to avoid the development of aggressive mating behavior that involves territorial marking, the urge to fight over mating rights, and the desire for roaming.
- Regular exercise is important but best to avoid dog parks as much as possible because other dogs can agitate your American Staffordshire terrier. Don’t forget to keep it in a leash at all times too when in a public place.
- This dog breed is low maintenance so the most that American Staffordshire terrier care will call for will be buffing with a soft, damp towel and brushing once a week. Bathing is only needed when necessary.