American Staffordshire Terrier

General Appearance/Impression

The American Staffordshire Terrier should present itself and give the impression of a strong yet graceful, agile, muscular dog, bright eyed, alert and aware of his surroundings.. He should be stocky not long legged or racey (no severe look to underline) possessing strong character exhibiting courage determination and intelligence. The American Staffordshire Terrier is confident, gentle and loving toward people and a loyal affectionate family pet, with a desire to please his master.

HEAD

Medium length, deep through skull broad and powerful with a very distinctive stop and pronounced cheek muscles. The nose should be of a dark color, black being preferred, but blue and charcoal gray are acceptable. The muzzle should be of medium length, rounded on upper side to fall away abruptly below the eyes, the lips close and even no looseness (not lippy) . A well defined strong underjaw, teeth meeting tightly outside the lower teeth in front is preferred, however a level bite is acceptable. Eyes set far apart and low down in skull. All colors acceptable except blue. Ears set high, cropped or uncropped

NECK

Neck slightly arched, medium length no loose skin

BODY

* Topline, back fairly short, slight sloping from withers to rump with a short slope from rump to base of tail

* Loins slightly tucked

* Chest Deep and broad, well sprung ribs close together deep in rear

TAIL

Short, reaching the hock tapering to a point not carried curled over the back (gay tail) not docked

FOREQUARTERS

* Straight front legs, set wide allowing chest development

* Shoulders strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping

* Pasterns strong and upright

HINDQUARTERS

Well muscled hocks turning neither in or out

FEET

Moderate size, toes short arched and compact

GAIT/MOVEMENT

Strong and springy without roll, no pacing

COAT

* Short, stiff to the touch with glossy sheen

* All colors acceptable with the exception of merle

SIZE

Height and weight should be proportionate, 18 to 19 inches preferred for males and 17 to 18 inches preferred for females.

HEALTH CONCERN

* The American Staffordshire Terrier is a relative healthy breed though it can be affected by some unpleasant disorders.

* Ataxia (NCL-A) Cerebellar Ataxia of American Staffordshire Terrier is a severe neurological disease. This disease is hereditary and can be prevented. There is a DNA test for Cerebellar Ataxia in the American Staffordshire Terrier which consists of a simple cheek swab. The first signs of the disease usually appear between 3 and 5 years of age in affected dogs. They are: loss of balance, difficulty cornering, and falling when shaking their head. As the signs progress most dogs have difficulty with movement. When they become unable to walk without falling most owners make the difficult decision to euthanize. Test results will determine if a dog is Ataxia Clear, Carrier or Affected. The breeding of two affected dogs will result in the disease. The breeding of a Clear to a Carrier will result in 50% of the puppies being Clear and 50% Carriers, testing of the litter would then be required. The breeding of two carrier dogs creates the potential for all affected puppies.

FAULTS

* Undershot or overshot mouth

* Pink eyelids

* Long tail, badly carried

DISQUALIFICATIONS

*******Males must have two normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum*******

* Exhibiting aggression towards humans

* Failure to stand for examination

* Extreme shyness