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Always Faithful AmStaffs

OWNING AN AMSTAFF

He is your friend, your partner, your defender,
your dog.  You are his life, his love, his leader.  He will
be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
 
Anonymous

OUR DOGS

 
Always Faithful Amstaffs are dual-registered with the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club.  The AKC refers to this breed as the American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff) while the UKC still recognizes the original name of American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT).  Before you seriously consider adding an Amstaff / APBT to your life, take time - a lot of time - to understand what this breed is and what it is not.  The following excerpts are taken from Joe Stahlkuppe's The American Pit Bull Terrier Handbook which refers to this breed entirely as the APBT.  In understanding the complete APBT, a potential owner should take into account all facets of sharing one's life with a pet of complexity.  
 
Know The APBT
 
Understanding the APBT requires acceptance of the total package.  The strength and power cannot be seen clearly without acknowledging the personality and charm.  The toughness of the breed cannot be fully reckoned with without assessing the gentleness of the breed.  The APBT's harshly real background should not be a focal point without considering the funny, clownish antics of the dog.  Unless you know what owning an APBT truly involves, you are setting yourself (and an innocent dog) up for what could be a failure of monumental proportions.  Owning an APBT can be a wonderful experience, but never be deluded that this is just another dog. 

Are APBTs and Amstaffs the Same Breed? 

The AKC allowed APBTs to be registered as Amstaffs for a number of years until the studbook was closed.  This meant that from the closing of the studbook on, the AKC would register only dogs whose parents were registered as American Staffordshire Terriers.  Since that time, the Amstaff has gradually changed from what it had been as a renamed American Pit Bull Terrier.  It is correct to state, in general terms, that the AKC Amstaff and the APBT of the UKC and ADBA is now not the same breed.  They look quite similar, but there have been changes in the Amstaff after 65 years of breeding purely for conformation.

The differences between the Amstaff and the APBT would be even greater if there had not been dual registration.  Some of the APBT breeders who opted for their dogs' inclusion in the American Kennel Club as American Staffordshire Terriers, kept their dogs registered in the United Kennel Club as APBTs.  There are still some dual-registered dogs today.  Several years ago, the top APBT of the United Kennel Club was also the top American Staffordshire Terrier of the American Kennel Club!  All claims and dramatic protestations to the contrary, in some cases, the Amstaff and the APBT are the same breed.

Aggressiveness Toward Other Dogs
    
Many breeds of dogs are animal-aggressive to one degree or another.  The popular Jack Russell Terrier, often animal-aggressive, as other members of the terrier group usually are, was originally bred to do battle with rats, badgers, foxes, and other animals.  Jack Russells were bred to help deplete the huge number of rats in the days before other reliable extermination processes.  To expect the average JRT not to go after a stray cat or trespassing dog is to be unrealistic, but that is not to say that dogs can't be trained and socialized to ignore other animals.  This is possible with the Jack Russell and it is possible with the APBT.  Dogs that grow up with other animals generally reach an accommodation of their own.
    
It is important to recognize that APBTs, as a fighting breed, don't respond to challenges in the same way that nonfighting breeds do.  Most dogs are merely trying to establish dominance over their opponent.  When that opponent gives in and strikes classical submission positions, cowering or rolling over onto its back, most dominant dogs are satisfied and the fight stops.
    
When game-bred dogs confront each other, neither of them will submit to the other.  Gameness requires that they never give up.  When a fight begins between two game dogs, whether either has never been in a pit before or not, the fight will not stop unless death or human beings stop it.  Gameness brings a whole new dimension to a dogfight.  No bristling and dominance displays here.  There is very little time for a human to intervene after the aggressiveness starts.  This is no contest to see who will be top dog, leader of the pack.  This fight is more serious with life or death hanging in the balance.
    
Some game-bred dog breeders have dogs that are perfectly safe around other dogs when out and away from the yard.  One breeder, the owner of ten dogs, stated, "I have one dog that I can walk on the streets or in parks and he won't be aggressive unless another dog acts in a threatening manner."  This same breeder has nine other dogs that he doesn't feel comfortable in taking out to places where they may encounter other dogs.
 
Lack of Aggressiveness Toward Humans
    
Contrary to the avalanche of public opinion, APBTs from properly bred litters with proper socialization and proper training are much less a threat to bite humans than are most other breeds of dogs and mixtures of breeds.  In the earlier discussion about dog-aggressive behavior, an APBT breeder pointed out that nine of his ten dogs weren't really safe to handle around other strange dogs.  Ironically, this same breeder has had several American Pit Bull Terriers stolen right from his backyard!  Strangers have been able to walk in and unchain friendly APBTs and lead the not human-aggressive dogs away.  Some APBT breeders have even gone to the expense of buying dogs of other breeds to keep around their property to serve as a guard system to protect the APBTs from being dognapped.
 
    
Loyalty
 
Another positive attribute that has been instilled in the APBT is incredible loyalty.  Perhaps an offshoot of the well-documented gameness attribute that is legendary within this breed, loyalty in an APBT is focused and directed toward a specific aspect of a dog's life.  The APBT whose ancestors fought in pits with survival as the main focus now find protecting the members of it's immediate family worthy of intense concentration.  Old APBT breeders are fond of saying that you and your children are never safer than when with a game-bred APBT.
 
 
Companionability
 
A logical attachment to gameness and loyalty is a high companionability quotient for the American Pit Bull Terrier.  They are accustomed to being near their people.  They really enjoy human attention and they enjoy spending time with their owners.  The APBT is a strong and confident companion whose main purpose in life is to serve its master or mistress, even if it means stress, even if it means discomfort, and even if it means death.  The right APBT in the right home setting will be an exceptional canine companion.  Far from a menacing beast, the average American Pit Bull Terrier is a loving, trusting, and often very funny pet.  
 
The APBT can be the most complete of family dogs.
 
Without proper training and socialization, an APBT can be a great liability.
 
Properly housed, an APBT will be less trouble than many other breeds.
 
Improperly housed and controlled, the APBT can be more trouble than you can ever imagine.
 
The APBT is ready to give its life for its family.  
 
The APBT requires time with its family.
 
The properly bred APBT can be a total joy to live with.
 
The properly bred APBT will need to be protected from situations that could cause harm.
 
The APBT is many times less likely to bite a human than most other breeds of dogs.
 
If an APBT does bite someone, it could be much more serious than a bite from other breeds.
 
Know Thyself
 
Before you even consider owning an American Pit Bull Terrier, you must take a fearless and searching moral inventory of yourself and your family.  No dog deserves an inadequate or incomplete owner, and this is many more times true for the APBT.  Unless you and your family can live up to a fairly stiff list of qualifications, get another breed of dog - or perhaps get no dog at all.  Try to answer the following questions truthfully and honestly.
 
Are you willing to spend the appropriate amount of time, money, and energy finding the right APBT for you and your family?
 
Are you willing to make certain that the living arrangements you plan for your APBT will be more than just adequate and will provide 100 percent for safety and well-being of your pet?
 
Do you have the self-discipline to see that your APBT is properly trained, properly socialized, and properly cared for throughout the dog's life?
 
Is each member of your family fully committed to providing the care that an APBT will require?
 
Are you able to resist the childish propensity to gloat about having "the toughest dog on the block?"
 
Can you make absolutely certain that no one in your family will ever be tempted to let your APBT get into a fight with another dog, no matter how abnoxious that other dog may be?
 
Are you ready for the closer scrutiny that may come your way from insurance companies and from some governmental agencies?
 
Can you allow an APBT to become a complete companion animal to you by becoming a complete companion human to the dog?
 
Know Thy Situation
 
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a tough and adaptable dog, but even the smartest APBT is still just a dog.  Before you own an APBT, you must make sure your family situation, home environment, work schedule, circle of friends and relatives, and lifestyles are appropriate for such a dog.  The APBT has great potential to be a great pet, but only in a setting that is conducive to maximizing its attributes and minimizing its negatives.  Unless you can assure such a pet of a safe and loving home, then the APBT is definitely not the dog for you!  Some questions about your personal situation should be answered prior to any serious thought about obtaining an APBT.
 
Can you, and will you, allow your APBT to live inside your home with your family and you?
 
Do you have room in your schedules to give an APBT some quality time several times each day?
 
Do you fully realize all that is required in owning any dog, as well as what is required in owning an APBT?
 
Can you constantly safeguard your APBT from getting away from your control and into harm's way?
 
Does your lifestyle have enough appropriate room for an APBT?  Are things you enjoy doing going to be things in which you can safely and comfortably include your APBT?
 
Does your household lend itself to the inclusion of an APBT with ample room for the dog to be comfortable and kept from dangerous or troublesome situations?
 
Can you, in good conscience, honestly state that an APBT will find a good and safe home with your family?
 
Not only is much to be gained - by the right individual or family under the right circumstances - by owning an APBT/AST, but much is required.  In seeking to know all you can about this breed, take the high road and learn from a wide variety of sources.  Included in our website is a Breed History summary and several Care & Training links containing a conglomeration of knowledge, interesting facts, current news and extensive breed information.  We have also compiled a list of books, below, available through Amazon.Com and various pet supply stores.  Although we haven't read all of them, we found quite a few to be very informative.

 
The American Canine Temperament Testing Association, which sponsors tests for temperament titles for dogs, reported that 95% of all APBTs that take the test pass, compared with a 77% passing rate for all breeds on average.  The APBT's passing rate was the fourth highest of all the breeds tested.

AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIERS
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By Anna Katherine Nicholas

AMERICAN PIT BULL & STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIERS
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By Joe Stahlkuppe, Michele Earle-Bridges

AMERICAN PIT BULL / STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIERS
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By Joe Stahlkuppe, Michele Earle-Bridges

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER
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By Liz Palika

FIGHTING FOR LIFE - AN ENDANGERED SPECIES
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By Frank C. Rocc III

PIT BULLS FOR DUMMIES
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By D. Caroline Coile, PH.D

THE AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER HANDBOOK
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By Joe Stahlkuppe

A NEW OWNER'S GUIDE TO AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIERS
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By Todd Fenstermacher

THE GUIDE TO OWNING A PIT BULL TERRIER
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By J.D. Pierce

PIT BULLS & TENACIOUS GUARD DOGS
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By Dr. Carl Semencic

THE WORKING PIT BULL
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By Diane Jessup

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER
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By Richard F. Stratton

THE STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIERS
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By Anna Katherine Harris

THE AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER
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By Sarah Foster
THE AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER
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By Jacqueline O'Neil

THE ULTIMATE AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER
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By Jacqueline O'Neil, Jacqueline Fraser

FIGHTING DOG BREEDS
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By Dr. Dieter Fleig

THE ESSENTIAL PIT BULL
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By Ian Dunbar (Editor), Howell Book House

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This site is intended to be informative and, somewhat, entertaining. 
Additionally, we take pleasure in sharing our fondness for this awesome breed. 
Your comments/constructive criticism are welcome and appreciated.
 
"Life Is More Accurately Measured by the Lives You Touch than by the Things You Acquire"
May God Bless You and Be With You Always
 
 Web Site
Created & Maintained By
Sandra Gallo Regnaert
Paw Tracks LLC
 
UPDATED MARCH 13, 2013

 
Copyright 2001-2009 Paw Tracks, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
NOTHING IS TO COPIED FROM THIS PAGE WITHOUT MY WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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