Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: Attended conferences / shows
Posted August 19, 2014
Griffey came to me from a high-kill shelter in Manhattan. He'd been used as a bait dog and was found by a Staten Island police officer. At only 6 months old, he was small, skinny and scarred. But look at him now! Not only is he the picture of health and handsomeness, he's a non-aggressive snuggle-bunny. If you want a warm, snoring sleep buddy -- oh my goodness -- this is your breed. Adorable!
Griffey's a fireball of energy still at 2 1/2 years but is very obedient. He's great with the basic commands and is absolutely fun and hilarious. My complaints -- he barks a lot when upset / restrained and he inexplicably, randomly & unpredictably wants to fight with my Golden Retriever. I cannot let them be alone together.
I've had dogs for over 40 years and of several breeds, but my experience with pitties and Am Staffs has been across the past 5 years and I will say, I can't imagine being without one. What personality! I've fostered two previously and both were somewhat high strung and head strong but they, too, have turned into reliably obedient, sweet family dogs.
Despite the bad rap they get, these breeds were once considered the "nanny dog" for their compatibility with children.
No matter the breed, however, there's one thing to always keep in mind -- any dog of any kind may react harshly when ignored, mistreated, startled, or frightened. This breed is muscular and heavy. Griffey has hurt me inadvertently several times just by playfully jumping at me. I strongly urge anyone adopting an AmStaff or pitbull to train them fully and at the start. I would not recommend this breed for someone who is ill, weak or elderly. The breed is inherently strong and intense. Consider your lifestyle and whether you can spend time with a dog. If you work long days, an older dog is a great choice. An AmStaff or pitbull will be your best buddy, the love of your life, but he/she will need to be evaluated for compatibility with other pets. In my experience, they pair best with the opposite sex, and --interestingly-- are Not a good match with a Golden Retriever. It's not fair to say all dogs of any breed are all gentle or all aggressive. It's simply not the case with AmStaffies just as it's not the case with chihuahuas. Train, give attention, give love, and you and your AmStaff will both be very happy.