Note: Starting in 1936, the American Kennel Club accepted for registration in the AKC Stud Book, the breed known as Staffordshire Terrier. However, to avoid confusion with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the name was changed effective 1 January 1972 to the American Staffordshire Terrier. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier gained official acceptance by the AKC in 1974. The Canadian Kennel Club does not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier, however both the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are officially recognized in the Terrier group. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is acknowledged as a breed of British origin and was officially recognized by the CKC in 1953. In North America, the American Pit Bull Terrier has been recognized under this name by the United Kennel Club (UKC) since 1898.
* — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.
Males: 18 to 19 inches at the shoulder; – Females: 17 to 18 inches
Ranges from 50 to 75 lbs
Height and Weight should be in proportion.
The American Staffordshire Terrier originated sometime in the 1800s, when dog fighting was a popular sport in the U.S. The Am Staff was also used for farm work, hunting large game such as wild pigs and bears, as a guard dog, and for general companionship. The breed, known over the years as the Half-and-Half, Yankee Terrier, Pitbull Terrier and American Bull Terrier, was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936 as the Staffordshire Terrier. The name was changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972 to avoid confusion with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Although the American Staffordshire Terrier resembles the American Pit Bull Terrier, it is a separate, distinct breed.
Today’s Am Staff is mostly seen as a companion and show dog. He is courageous, muscular, and agile. His working abilities, intelligence and high activity level make him well suited for many dog sports and activities. He is very loyal to his family and makes a good guardian. The Am Staff is very people oriented and requires interaction and plenty of attention from his family. The breed is not naturally aggressive towards humans. However, because they are extremely loyal, if trained by an owner to be aggressive toward humans, there is a possibility that the dog may become aggressive toward humans.
The American Staffordshire Terrier comes in all colours — brindles, parti, patched, or any combination. His short coat is easy to maintain and requires little grooming.
The term “Pit Bull” is often used to refer to a breed type as well as different breeds of dogs, including the AmStaff. Other breeds commonly referred to as “Pit Bulls” include: the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Some believe that all of these breeds of dogs originally came from the same pit fighting stock over 100 years ago but have been bred to differing standards and are now known as distinct and separate breeds. Others believe that these dogs are simply different strains of the same breed. History aside and whether or not they are distinct breeds, if well bred, they all share a natural love for people and the Bulldog as a common ancestor.
Every pit bull on the street who’s greeted with a smile instead of a flinch marks progress. When pits are adopted into new homes, or legislation is passed in their favor, lives are saved. Here are tips on helping your community say no to stereotypes and yes to action.
1. Say It Ain’t So
You know all the myths – pit bulls are vicious, trained to fight, dangerous around children… Need help setting the record straight? Bad Rap, an organization devoted to improving the breed’s reputation, provides excellent in-depth responses to these major myths and more on their website: http://www.badrap.org/monster-myths.
2. Tell, and Show
Since pits are often misunderstood as unsafe to have in the home, use visuals to promote pits as the wonderful family companions they are. Start by sharing Bad Rap’s slideshow of vintage photos — one powerful image after another displaying a history of families with their beloved pit bull pets.
3. On Their Best Behavior
Well-trained, well-socialized dogs make the best pit bull ambassadors, as they show even the most skeptical adopters how well-behaved the breed can be! Learn valuable training skills from this Canine Communications webinar series presented by ASPCA behavior experts Trish McMillan Loehr and Heather Mohan-Gibbons.
4. Network, Network, Network! Want to give your pits an extra push? Take a page from one agency’s book — they created a Facebook page just for their bully breeds: Pit Bull Ambassadors of Hillsborough County Animal Services. The photo and caption below are an example of successful storytelling that educates. The image is oh so sweet, the story is engaging, and HCAS emphasizes the positive relationship that pits can have with other dogs.
“This pair is something else… they didn’t come in together, and are in no way related, but to watch the two of them together is like watching Forrest and Jenny, Peas and Carrots, Lucy and Desi, and all those other famous couples or things that go together like one.” -HCAS.
5. Seize the Day— National Pit Bull Awareness Day that is, coming up on October 27. A few ideas on building a bully buzz:
- Offer adoption discounts on pits
- Hold a pit bull-related event and register it here:http://www.nationalpitbullawarenessday.org/
- Visit classrooms and spread awareness to kids
Whatever you plan, don’t forget to alert the media!
6. Put On Your Creative Marketing Hat Nothing is too out-of-the-box when trying to capture the public’s attention. For inspiration, take a look at the pit bull promotions we gathered here on Shelters’ Edge. Pick-a-PITunia campaign from Seattle Humane Society — Never underestimate the power of a pun.”
7. Get Them in Therapy What better way to promote the breed’s lovebug potential than certifying them as therapy dogs? Staff or volunteers can show off your pits’ TLC skills in places like schools, hospitals and nursing homes.
8. Enlist Your Lobbyists Have you rallied supporters who want to end breed-specific legislation in all forms? Awesome – next step is to give them specific action to take. CheckStopBSL.org to find out if legislation is pending in your state. The good news – a number of states have already prohibited BSL!
9. Hold an Event in Their Honor Invite your community to say “we love bullies” loud and proud by putting on an awareness event. It can be an adoption event, a fundraiser – anything goes, as long as your pits are the stars of the show!
10. Grab Your Virtual Megaphone 2-4-6-8, get online and educate! Here are some great resources devoted to improving the pit’s rep and spreading the word:
P.S. #11 – Want to get the ball rolling on promoting your pits? Share this blog post! Do you have pit bull ambassadors at your agency? Let us know what they’re up to in the comment box.