The Am Staff is an athletic breed that makes an excellent partner for cyclists, joggers and runners. The American Staffordshire Terrier’s high threshold for pain may often mask certain problems. This breed is susceptible to certain health problems including heart murmurs, skin allergies, thyroid problems, tumors, hereditary cataracts, congenital heart disease and hip dysplasia. This dog has a life expectancy of approximately 9-15 years and its litter averages at five to ten puppies. Although not one of the largest dogs, this breed can weigh up to 75 pounds. The height and weight measurements of the American Staffordshire Terrier are as follows: Height: Males 17 – 19 inches (43 – 48 cm) Females 16 – 18 inches (41 – 46 cm); and Weight: 57 – 67 pounds (25 – 30 kg).
Remember that when you take a new puppy home, you have the power to protect them from one of the most common dog health problems: obesity. One of the easiest ways of extending the life of your dog is by keeping him at an appropriate weight. Do all you can to prevent your dog from suffering illnesses such that they are able to lead a healthier life. Whether you have a puppy or adult, a rescue or a breeder purchase, be sure to take your Am Staff to the vet as soon as you adopt it.
The rest of his grooming needs are basic care. This dog is an average shedder with a low maintenance smooth coat that is easy to groom. Simply brush it regularly using a firm bristle brush, and bathe or dry shampoo it as necessary. To make its coat gleam, rub it with a chamois or piece of toweling. For minimal shedding, be sure to brush its coat a few times a week, and ensure that its nails are trimmed and his ears are clean. Trim their nails as required – which is typically once a month. Brush their teeth frequently to ensure that they have fresh breath and overall oral health. Every week, check their ears for dirt, bad odor or redness which are indicators of an ear infection. If their ears look dirty, wipe them out with a damp cotton ball that is dipped in gentle ear cleaner recommended by your vet.
The dog is able to do well in an apartment, as long as it receives sufficient exercise. Very active indoors, the dog is able to do okay without a yard, although it prefers warm climates. It has a medium tolerance to both cold and heat.
Breeders must consent to have all test results – whether negative or positive – published in the CHIC database. A dog does not need to receive good or even passing scores on these evaluations in order to obtain a CHIC number, therefore CHIC registration by itself is not proof of the absence of disease or soundness. However, all test results will be posted on the CHIC site and are accessible to anyone who wishes to check the health of the parents of a puppy.
Carefully research breeders and be sure to meet either one or both of the parents of the puppy. The breeder should be a person that you trust to have given the puppy the best start in life, not only in terms of socialization and good nutrition, but also in breeding parents with health clearances whose temperaments have been tested. Your research on a responsible and knowledgeable breed rescue organization should be taken very seriously. It is important for their dogs to have been evaluated and availed for adoption only to the most ideal homes. If they inform you that a particular dog is not ideal for you, take their advice and continue searching.
“Buyer Beware” should be your motto, whether you are planning to get your dog from a pet store, breeder or another source. It may be difficult to distinguish between disreputable breeders who are involved with puppy mills and the reliable operations. You can never be 100% sure that you are not purchasing a sick puppy, but researching on the breed will enable you to know what to expect. In order to avoid getting yourself into a disastrous situation, you will need to check out the breeding facility for purposes of identifying sick animals or unhealthy conditions, and also be sure to ask the right questions. Don’t forget to ask your veterinarian for recommendations on reputable breeders, breed rescue organizations, as well as other reliable sources for healthy puppies. It is also easy to find this breed in shelters and rescue groups across America.
Just like humans, all dogs have the potential of developing genetic health problems. Avoid breeders who refuse to offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tell you that your breed is 100% healthy and has no known problems, or who tell you that their puppies have been isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. Reputable breeders will be open and honest about health problems in the breed, as well as the incidences in which they occur in their lines.
With the goal of controlling genetic diseases that already affect this breed and preventing new ones from emerging, the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America, which is the AKC parent organization for the breed in the United States participates in a program initiated by the Canine Health Information Centre – CHIC. Breeders that wish to have their dogs CHIC-certified will need to have their pets tested for thyroid, heart, neurological and hip diseases that typically occur in the breed. The breeder should possess written documentation from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or the University of Pennsylvania (PennHip) that the parents of the puppy are free from dysplasia, a genetic deformity of the hip that may require expensive surgery to repair and which may lead to arthritis later on in the life of your dog. You should also ask for OFA certification that the parents are free from heart and thyroid disease, as well as Optigen test results for a genetic condition known as cerebella degeneration, which may cause the dog to develop difficulties walking. Although not required as part of the CHIC program, documentation from the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) that breeding dogs have their eyes tested in the last one year, along with evaluations of their elbows by OFA are recommended.