American Staffordshire Terriers are intelligent, hard-working, and stoic. Their loyal nature fosters a strong bond to a family. However, the American Staffordshire Terrier's suspicious nature with strangers and its use as a guard dog implies some degree of aggressive tendencies, but the protectiveness attributed to the breed may actually be a self-defense response, with socialization being able to minimize the development of fear-based defensive aggression. American Staffordshire Terriers are commonly quite food motivated which facilitates learning and training, thus furthering the dog's bond to the family. However, as with other terrier breeds, the American Staffordshire Terrier may tend to be difficult to disengage from an activity or behavior.
The American Staffordshire Terrier can trace its roots all the way back to the nineteenth century in England. The English Staffordshire Terrier was created when various terriers were crossed with the Bulldog. The crossbreeding resulted in the active and powerful breed that came to the attention of the United States public in 1870. American breeders then focused their attention and efforts to increasing the size and weight of the American Staffordshire Terrier. These breeding efforts resulted in a Staffordshire Terrier that was recognized as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club in 1936. In 1972, the current name of "American Staffordshire Terrier" was adopted. The American Staffordshire Terrier was once used primarily for fighting. That practice, however, was banned in the early 1900's and two separate variations of the breed were gradually developed.