The American Staffordshire Terrier is in fact the same dog as an American Pit Bull Terrier, but registered by a different kennel club. At the turn of the 20th century, the pit bull breeders wanted the respectability of AKC recognition, but the AKC was reluctant to register fighting dogs. The AKC finally recognized the American Pit Bull Terrier in 1936 after decades of lobbying by pit bull breeders. John P. Colby’s champion fighter, American Pit Bull Terrier ‘Primo’, formed the basis for the breed standard of the ‘new‘ AKC breed – but the AKC wasn’t willing to have the word ‘pit bull’ in the ‘ new’ breed’s name. The ‘new’ pit bull breed was dubbed ‘the Staffordshire Terrier’ in order to hide its relation to the pit bull and its origins and history in the fighting pit. The breed’s name was changed again to American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972, to distinguish the larger American version from the smaller English version (which kept the name ‘Staffordshire Bull Terrier’)1,2. In 1972, the breed register was also re-opened for a time to allow people to register their UKC registered pit bull as an American Staffordshire Terrier if they regretted not having done so earlier.
Because of their shared ancestry, history, function and genetics, we refer you further to our page about the American Pit Bull Terrier, since the information you need to have is identical.
In North America, from 1982-2015, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 4,008 humans that resulted in 2,567 maimings and 328 deaths
LIST LINKS to:
1. Stregowski, J, American Staffordshire Terrier at http://dogs.about.com/od/dogbreedprofiles/p/American-Staffordshire-Terrier.htm (accessed March 2014)
2. Jessup, D, History of the Pit Bull at http://www.workingpitbull.com/history.htm (accessed March 2014)
We have some dear elderly friends we affectionately call “Abuela” (grandma) and Tata (grandma’s husband.) Abuela was present in the delivery room a few years ago when our daughter “Sweetpea” was born. We visit these folks several times a week. And our daughter thinks of them as her grandparents.
So one day about a year ago, Abuela and Tata’s long time woman friend, “Gran-dota” (Spanish polite euphemism for large) temporarily moves into their house, due to the sale of Gran-dota’s house. Although it was downplayed as of no significance, it turns out Gran-dota had a house broken American Staffordshire Terrier… that moved in along side her. I immediately gave our regrets to Abuela and Tata that we would not be able to visit while a pit bull was on the premises. There was much back and forth about keeping the AST in a back room, etc. But I simply said no. Gran-dota tried to sincerely say that the AST was not a pit bull; I believe she honestly thought the AST not a pit bull. I tried to gently correct her, but really did not feel the need to push the subject. For me, knowing there is “zero room for error” when dealing with pit bulls, I simply could not take – any risk – with my beloved daughter, who at the time was about 18 month old. Taking my stand upset the relations for a while. After about a month or so, Gran-dota completed the purchase of a condo on Florida’s East coast, and moved to the condo. Ironically, the condo association prohibited pit bulls, and thus Gran-dota gave the dog to her (adult) son. Now that the AST is long gone, we are all one big happy family again.