Puppy Buyer Beware.
The reason we have now decided to include a Buyer Beware page on our Site is to inform the public of what is happening to the Amstaff breed in Australia and to let you know that the situation at hand is very serious and spiraling out of control at an alarming rate.
It is of great concern not only to myself but also for many other ethical Amstaff breeders throughout Australia. If you have recently been looking through the Dog's For Sale section in the local or interstate papers and visiting Web Sites you will understand some of the problems our breed is facing from unethical breeders. We could see for the Novice that was looking to buy a pup that it would be an absolute nightmare to know what is an Amstaff and what is not, what is correct and what is not. Am I getting ripped off? or who can you trust? There are too many people starting to breed and for all the wrong reasons - trying to make a fast dollar is the main one.
We strongly believe that the Survival of the American Staffordshire Terrier Breed within Australia now rests in the hands of their future owners. Unethical breeders/puppy farmers will ALWAYS be around as long as there is a dollar to be made and people continue buying from them. These "breeders" are not concerned about the Amstaffs well-being, they are only concerned about who they can rip-off next.
We cannot emphasize enough that you should be putting just as much thought into choosing the breeder of your new pup, as you do choosing your pup. Selecting, buying and taking home your new puppy should be a happy occasion, something you and your children can look back on and cherish for the rest of your life, and hopefully not something you will regret for the rest of your life as what has been the case for so many people lately. By making you aware of some of these so-called "breeders" and their Scam's. maybe we can help bring a bit of Sanity back into looking for, and selecting that very special pup, to make it a little bit more of an enjoyable experience for you, as it should be.
If current news reports are to be believed, pit bulls have been attacking and biting humans left and right—to the point that many communities are considering breed-specific bans on pit bulls.
Would it surprise you to learn that pit bulls used to be America’s darlings? Before the mid-80s, stories of pit bull attacks are practically non-existent. There is even some confusion over exactly which breed of dog is a pit bull—the definition includes the American pit bull terrier, the Staffordshire terrier and, at times, the bulldog. This confusion seems to have dogged the breed from the beginning, as there is some disagreement over the origin of pit bulls.
Amstaff Red Nose, Sorrells, Jeep, Bullyson and Reid's are "NOT" I repeat , are "NOT" American Staffordshire Terrier bloodlines.
THE BLUE AMSTAFF
Don't ever be fooled by someone who's trying to tell you that one colour is rarer than another, and one colour is more expensive to buy than another, especially a Blue Amstaff. The Blue Amstaff is as common as any other colour, and please remember a colour is only cosmetic whether it be BLUE , Black, Red ,White, Fawn, Seal, or any other it has NO bearing on the dogs Temperament, Health or Conformation which are so much more important.
We where sickened to see people trying to install aggressive behaviour into the Amstaff. Aggression toward humans has been bred out of the Staff over decades of selective breeding. That's what makes him one of the most trustworthy and greatest of all family dogs. An Amstaff will naturally protect his family and property,they do not need aggression installed back into them. The American Staff's breed Standard states "His Courage is Proverbial",.... Please, Please never mistake Aggression as Courage, there is NO similarity, and aggression often only mask's insecurity. The ideal Amstaff should appear supremely confident in all situations and no excuses can be made for a specimen that lacks this quality.
Would you put a deposit down on a House or Car without seeing them? So why do people put a deposit on a pup before they are even born?. You are not be able to see which direction a pup is going to take until they are at least around 3-4 weeks of age, and choosing a pup is a decision that you should not be rushed into. Your new family member may be with you for the next 15 years so you want to make sure the pup you are interested in is definitely what you are looking for and suits your family and lifestyle. Some pups are more active than others, some pups are more dominant than others, some pups are more laid back than others, you cannot see what pup is showing what characteristics until at least 4 weeks of age.The last thing i would ever want for one of my pup's is for a person to be rushed into buying one and it end up being something they did not want, with the end result being the pup will then be past from home to home and more than likely end up in a pound.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a Medium sized dog , NOT a large one, and should be possessed of great strength for his size. He is a Balance of power and agility , a Balance of Bull and Terrier, if you Increase his size, you will Decrease his agility to the detriment of this Balance, they are not supposed to have a MASSIVE head or chest. The American Staff is NOT an American Bulldog!!...
(You can read more about size on the Amstaff Breed Standard page)
A FEW TIPS FOR THE NOVICE
Please we cannot stress enough, when searching for your pup to look around and compare, talk to other Breeders ask questions, the best places to visit are Conformation dog show's that's what they are there for, they where originally started to show-case purebred dog breeds to the public. You will see a great variety of Amstaffs of various types and colours, the breeders you will find there are breeding to the American Staffordshire Terrier Breed Standard as set down by the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America, so you wont find Staff's more true to type than what they are breeding. Give the Amstaff Club in your State a ring and see when they are running a show or holding a Fun Day, these event's are great you will see lot's of Staff's and meet load's of people with the same interest who are as passionate about the Amstaff as you are, and have a genuine concern about the breed and it's future within Australia.
Don't just buy from the first breeders you come across in the paper just because they have pups ready to go, some breeders will ALWAYS have pup's ready to go & more coming! Be aware there are just as many Cowboy's in this business as any other. Don't be talked into something you don't want, they will say and do anything to win your dollar.
The first thing you should ask any breeder is "How many litters do you breed a year?"
If the answer is more than 1 or 2 you've got to ask yourself WHY?
It has also been brought to my attention that a large sum of money was paid for a "Blue" dog with "registration papers". When the "registration papers" were viewed, it was noticed that the "pedigree" was just type written on an A4 piece of paper.
Please, Do your homework.
Ask several other breeders for recommendations. Good breeders only recommend good breeders.
It may save you heartache in the future.
Health Problems in the Amstaff
Go to our Health page.
The Amstaff unfortunately can have many serious health problems, one of the major ones is the CRIPPLING disease called Hip Dysplasia , you will soon find the ethical Breeders. They are the one's with the best intentions for the breed in mind and are testing their breeding stock for health problems such as Hip Dysplasia and others. If you are interested in purchasing a pup from a breeder they will only be happy to show you the results of testing if you request them, never be afraid to ask.
One of the first question's you should ALWAY'S ask a breeder is do they health test their breeding stock for problems such as Hip and Elbow Dysplasia & Ataxia. If the reply is no they dont, or they dont do any testing because their dogs don't suffer from any problems, then please, politely just hang-up or walk away ! There are many other breeders around who do health test and you may save yourself and your family much heartache and some very expensive vet bills in the future.
We cannot emphasize enough that you MUST make sure your Amstaff pup will be sold with Australian National Kennel Council (A.N.K.C) Pedigree Papers either on a Main or Limited Registration and also make sure your pup will be Micro chipped. Under NO circumstances accept anything less. One of the main reason's you should do this, is due to the Amstaffs close resemblance to a Restricted breed in which it is often mistaken for, your Amstaff can be seized by Canine Control Sheriffs and may be destroyed if you cannot prove that it is an AmStaff ! so, having that Paperwork and Microchip is Critical ! Some people will try to save a few dollars by purchasing a cheap pup from a Backyard Breeder and not get Papers or a Micro chip, but believe me they regret it when Shire/Council officer's come knocking at their door, it will be very upsetting for all concerned, especially your children.
Care & Maintenance
The American Staffordshire Terrier is not recommended for Novice owners. I recommend a female AmStaff for people who are new to the breed, but who may have prior experience with the ownership of any breed of dog. I find female dogs less dominant, they have a softer temperament and are easier to manage, train and own.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a strong, determined, intelligent breed, American Staffordshires like to dig, and are also athletic climbers and jumpers, so they need a more secure environment than some other breeds. Be sure to check with city and county authorities to see whether there are any regulations regarding ownership of this breed in your area or in your place of residence. Beware of hip dysplasia; buy only from OFA certified stock. They can do well in most climates with adequate shelter. Be aware of possible overexertion in hot weather and of chilling in cold weather.
Very courageous and tenacious. Loving, affectionate, and sensitive. Active and athletic. Devoted and intelligent, and wants to please his/her master/mistress, but can be willful. Requires a firm hand and an owner willing to invest time and energy in positive, patient obedience training. Responds very well to positive re-enforcement obedience training techniques. Very people-oriented, the American Staffordshire needs lots of interaction with and attention from his owner. Do not get this breed unless you want to spend lots of time with your dog. An unattended, bored AmStaff may find ways to entertain himself that the owner will not appreciate, as it may result in destruction of furniture etc...
Does best in a one-dog household - if you own more than one dog, never leave them together unsupervised. If you want to get two dogs, the best combination is one male and one female. Though some AmStaffs can be trained to get along with cats and other non-canine pets, they do have a high prey drive, so great care is advised.
The AmStaff is a discriminating, intelligent watchdog who is loyal and will protect his family. However, the AmStaff is generally friendly with friendly strangers, so though they look tough, this is one of the most often stolen breeds, and is not considered to be a particularly good property guardian.
Look for information on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) & make sure you can legally own an AmStaff where you live.
Children: Very good with children.
Friendliness: Loves everyone.
Trainability: Moderately easy to train.
Independence: Moderately dependent on people.
Other Pets: Is not dog aggressive but should be socialized at a young age.
Noise: Average barking.
Grooming: Almost no grooming needed.
Trimming & Stripping: No trimming or stripping of the coat needed.
Coat: Short coat.
Shedding: Average shedder.
Docking / Cropping: The Cropping of ears & the Docking of tails is illegal in most countries.
Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise needed.
Jogging: A good jogging companion.
Indoors: Very active indoors.
Apartments: Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised.
Outdoor Space: A small yard is sufficient.
Climate: Does well in most climates.
Owner: Not recommended for novice owners.
Longevity: Fairly long lifespan (about 12-15 years).
Talents: Obedience, agility, watchdog, weight pulling and performing tricks.
This breed needs a vigorous daily workout, along with some mind games, in order to be at its best. A good long run or a rollicking game of ball is a great way to bond with an American Staffordshire terrier. Obedience training is also good mental exercise, and a good defense against public misperceptions about the breed.
Its short coat makes it unsuited as an exclusively outdoor dog, and besides, this breed wants to be a part of all family activities. Coat care could not be easier: simply wash and wear.
BSL aims to restrict and/or ban certain breeds based on their appearance. Under BSL, there is no sale, transfer of ownership or breeding of restricted breeds. Ultimately this will result in certain breeds being culled and eventually eradicated. It also means that any bully breed dog, mixed breed dog, dog without registration or pedigree papers are at risk of being impounded and if the owners fail to comply with the new regulations, possibly put to sleep. This is currently happening in Victoria.
Breed-specific legislation is a law passed by a legislative body pertaining to a specific breed or breeds of domesticated animals. In practice, it generally refers to laws pertaining to a specific dog breed or breeds.
Some jurisdictions have enacted breed-specific legislation in response to a number of well-publicized incidents involving pit bull-type dogs or other dog breeds commonly used in dog fighting, and some government organizations such as the United States Army and Marine Corps have taken administrative action as well. This legislation ranges from outright bans on the possession of these dogs, to restrictions and conditions on ownership, and often establishes a legal presumption that these dogs are prima facie legally "dangerous" or "vicious." In response, some state-level governments in the United States have prohibited or restricted the ability of municipal governments within those states to enact breed-specific legislation.
It is generally settled in case law that jurisdictions in the United States and Canada have the right to enact breed-specific legislation; however, the appropriateness and effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing dog bite fatalities and injuries is disputed.
One point of view is that certain dog breeds are a public safety issue that merits actions such as banning ownership, mandatory spay/neuter for all dogs of these breeds, mandatory microchip implants and liability insurance, or prohibiting people convicted of a felony from owning them.
Another point of view is that comprehensive "dog bite" legislation, coupled with better consumer education and legally mandating responsible pet keeping practices, is a better solution than breed-specific legislation to the problem of dangerous dogs.
A third point of view is that breed-specific legislation should not ban breeds entirely, but should strictly regulate the conditions under which specific breeds could be owned, e.g., forbidding certain classes of individuals from owning them, specifying public areas in which they would be prohibited, and establishing conditions, such as requiring a dog to wear a muzzle, for taking dogs from specific breeds into public places. Finally, some governments, such as that of Australia, have forbidden the import of specific breeds and are requiring the spay/neuter of all existing dogs of these breeds in an attempt to eliminate the population slowly through natural attrition.
The following dogs are restricted dogs...:
(a) American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier,
(b) Japanese tosa,
(c) dogo Argentino,
(d) fila Brasileiro,
(d1) any other dog of a breed, kind or description whose importation into Australia is prohibited by or under the Customs Act 1901 of the Commonwealth,
(e) any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council...to be a restricted dog,
(f) any other dog of a breed, kind or description prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.
Restricted dogs may not be sold, given away, or acquired, and must be spay/neutered. They must be muzzled when in public, wear a special red-and-yellow collar, and may only be handled by a competent adult over the age of 18. The dog must live a secure enclosure when at home, and the owner must post "Warning: Dangerous Dog" signs on their property. The owner must also register the dog with the local government and notify the government if the dog attacks a person or animal, cannot be found, dies, has moved out of the area, or is now living at a different location within the local government's jurisdiction.
A dog of a breed prohibited from importation into Australia under the Australian Customs Act of 1901 is considered "restricted." Breeds currently prohibited under Commonwealth legislation are the dogo Argentino; fila Brasiliero; Japanese tosa; American pit bull terrier (or pit bull terrier); and Perro de Presa Canario (or Presa Canario).
A person who owns a "restricted" dog must:
Keep the dog within a child-proof enclosure.
Display warning signs at the entrance to the property where the dog is located.
Muzzle the dog in public and have it under effective control at all times.
Ensure the dog is spay/neutered, wearing a collar and a prescribed tag, and is microchipped.
Why BSL is not the answer?
BSL does not improve the safety of the public or prevent dog attacks.
BSL does not address the potential victims of non-targeted breed dog attacks.
BSL requires every dog to be identified as a specific breed. This is ineffective as there are no genetic markers for 'pit bulls' as it is a type not a breed. There are also countless crossbreeds that could be deemed to be a 'pit bull' type.
BSL results in innocent dogs being killed because of their appearance and without reason or justification.
BSL punishes responsible owners because of the way their dog looks and makes targeted breeds more desirable to irresponsible or criminal owners.