A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

The ANKC Extended Breed Standard

American Kennel Club - Approved 10 June 1936

FCI Standard No 286

  • Group: Group 2 (Terriers)
General Appearance The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline.
Characteristics (Not specified.)
Temperament Keenly alive to his surroundings. His courage is proverbial.
Head And Skull Head medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop. Muzzle medium length, rounded on upper side to fall away abruptly below eyes. Jaws well defined. Underjaw to be strong and have biting power. Lips close and even, no looseness. Nose definitely black, Dudley nose undesirable.
Eyes Dark and round, low down in skull and set far apart. Light or pink eyes undesirable. No pink eyelids.
Ears Set high. Ears should be short and held rose or half pricked. Full drop to be penalised.
Mouth Upper teeth to meet tightly outside lower teeth in front. Undershot or overshot mouths undesirable.
Neck Heavy, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to back of skull. No looseness of skin. Medium length.
Forequarters Shoulders strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping. The front legs should be straight, large or round bones, pasterns upright. No resemblance of bend in front. Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit chest development.
Body Back fairly short. Slightly sloping from withers to rump with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. Well sprung ribs, deep in rear. All ribs close together. Chest deep and broad. Loins slightly tucked.
Hindquarters Well muscled, let down at hocks, turning neither in nor out.
Feet Of moderate size, well-arched and compact.
Tail Short in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point; not curled or held over back. Not docked. Tail too long or badly carried undesirable.
Gait/Movement Must be springy but without roll or pace.
Coat Short, close, stiff to the touch, and glossy.
Colour Any colour, solid, parti, or patched is permissible, but all white, more than 80% white, black and tan, and liver not to be encouraged.
Sizes Height and weight should be in proportion.

Dogs approx 46-48 cms (18-19 ins) at shoulders
Bitches approx 43-46 cms (17-18 ins) at shoulders is considered preferable.
Faults Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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