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7 Crazy Things That Are Perfectly Normal for American Staffordshire Terriers

Written by: Ejay Camposano
A college graduate with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Ejay has a diverse background that combines technical expertise with a passion for pets and is now one of the content writers at IHD. Read more
| Published on May 10, 2024

American Staffordshire Terriers, affectionately known as AmStaffs, are a bundle of contradictions wrapped in a glossy coat of enthusiasm. These dogs carry a tough exterior that belies their often goofy and loving nature, making them the subject of much amusement and sometimes befuddlement for their owners. Whether they’re performing gravity-defying leaps to catch a Frisbee or deciding that your lap is the perfect spot to sit—even at 50 pounds—they have a unique way of turning everyday normalcy into a circus act. Here are seven crazy yet perfectly normal behaviors that any AmStaff owner will recognize and likely have a love-hate relationship with.

1. The Art of the Full Body Wag

For an AmStaff, a simple tail wag just won’t suffice. When they’re happy, which is most of the time, their entire body gets into the action. This full-body wag often looks like a fish flopping on dry land or like they’re trying to floss their spine. It’s not just their tail that wags; their heart, soul, and all adjacent muscles join in. This enthusiastic shaking can send small items flying off coffee tables, so consider their wag radius when placing drinks!

2. Olympic-Level Counter Surfing

AmStaffs are known for their impressive vertical and horizontal leaps. If there’s something edible (or questionably edible) left unattended, it’s fair game. Their ability to reach heights no one would suspect can leave you baffled and your dinner jeopardized. To these cunning acrobats, kitchen counters are mere extensions of their food bowls. The motto of an AmStaff might as well be, “What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is also mine.”

3. Mud Magnetism

If there is a single puddle within a 100-mile radius, your AmStaff will find it and roll in it. Their affinity for mud is nothing short of magnetic. A clean AmStaff is merely an AmStaff in between mud baths. They seem to believe that mud has exfoliating properties and consider a good roll in the dirt as essential as any spa day. This behavior ensures that doggy bath time is never too far off, making your bathtub just another accessory in their beauty regime.

4. The Chewnado

Every dog chews, but AmStaffs elevate this to an art form—hence, the Chewnado. From furniture legs to your favorite shoes, nothing is safe. Their powerful jaws can turn a brand-new toy into a pile of debris in mere minutes. While this might sound like a destructive habit, it’s actually a sign of a healthy, active mind. Providing a variety of chew toys can sometimes protect your household items, but with an AmStaff, it’s always a gamble.

5. Squirrel! And Leaf! And Butterfly!

The prey drive in an American Staffordshire Terrier is strong. They are hilariously distractible by movements, be it a squirrel, a floating leaf, or even a butterfly. This often results in sudden lunges during walks, transforming a peaceful stroll into a test of strength and agility. For the AmStaff, every walk is a potential adventure, a series of short sprints triggered by the slightest motion.

6. The Snuggle Paradox

Despite their burly appearance, AmStaffs are convinced they are lap dogs. Their concept of personal space—or your personal space—can be hilariously misguided. The Snuggle Paradox is the term for their need to be as close to you as possible, often resulting in a full-grown dog trying to perch on your lap as if they weighed nothing. Their determination to fit into small, cozy spaces just to be close to you is both an endearing and a mildly crushing experience.

7. The Guard Clown

AmStaffs are often considered good guard dogs, and they take this job seriously but with a twist. While they will bark to alert you of someone at the door, the moment the person enters, it turns into a greeting party. Their guarding technique might intimidate initially, but it quickly shifts to enthusiastic tail wagging and offering the intruder a toy. It’s as if they’re saying, “I must protect my humans, but oh, do you want to play fetch?”

Learn More About the American Staffordshire Terrier Dog Breed: Information, Facts & Pictures

In short, living with an American Staffordshire Terrier means embracing their loving, goofy, and often perplexing behaviors. These quirks make them a constant source of entertainment and affection. Their zest for life is infectious, ensuring that life with an AmStaff is never dull. Whether they’re redecorating your home with the contents of your pillow or inviting themselves into your bath, they do it all with such charm and enthusiasm that it’s hard not to just laugh and join in the chaos.