..... Amstaffs are calm and balanced dogs, in which they differ from Pitt bulls. Thus, they do not require any psychological tests to gain breeding rights, unlike some "dangerous" dog breeds.
They are characterised by their versatility and intuition. They are incredible protectors but not murderers. They have a great instinct and they can sense when we're scared or afraid of someone. Even without training they know how and when to protect the members of their pack.
.....Those observations relate to the dogs from our kennel, as dog's character and behaviour is influenced to a certain extent by how it was brought to the world and brought up as a puppy.
All our dogs are together, they are very social and they enjoy human company. They often like to follow us around the house if they see we go somewhere.
But let's start from the beginning.
.....Puppies are very curious, but relatively calm, they don't run around all the rime, but they play with their siblings and parents. They are very friendly towards people and love affection. For example, when you're watching tv they'll come and lie down next to you, or on you.
..... Our puppies learn extremely fast, although once they get a bit older, they may be a bit more 'picky' and require a bit motivation to do certain commands. However, if they see that we're a bit anxious or that it's a serious time rather than play, they'll always listen immediately.
They learn hygiene almost on their own, as their mother often shows them how to behave and where to pee. All new owners are always impressed by how clean and smart they are.
Adult dogs can handle longer periods of time without requiring to go for a walk. It doesn't mean that they don't need it, however, in special circumstances they can handle having a bit of a later walk without having to pee on the carpet.
..... Once they replaced all their baby teeth (which is around 5th month of life), they are not a threat to the furniture anymore. Generally, if they have enough toys, they are rarely interested in consuming other things.
..... Our amstaffs don't have a true hunting instinct like some other terriers and hunting dogs, because since they were little they've been playing with cats and rabbits. Older dogs, if nothing happens, can sleep all day waiting for the owner to come back from work. When they're with a human, they always try to spend time with us, they walk behind us, and wait for cuddles or a walk. Sometimes they'll bring you a toy or a leash, suggesting it's time to take care of them now. They are fairly calm and they don't tend to bark constantly for no reason at all.
.....When we have guests, dogs get very curious and unusually active but friendly. Unless, they see that we're afraid, which doesn't usually happen, since when you have an amstaff, uninvited guests tend to stay away. Anyway, they generally tend to like guests and they try to get as much attention as possible without being annoying. They like to be petted and acknowledged. Although, they may be more concerned and react if someone is trying to open our fridge or closets, or when people start to argue.
..... However, kids are 'saint'. Amstaffs generally care about our feeling, and when we perceive something or someone as very important and delicate, they'll treat it that way too. This includes kids. Although, females may be a bit better with little kids, as they're more patient.
Rarely, it may happen that the dog will try to dominate us. They usually prefer to work with us, and from obedience training they know what they can and cannot do. However, it is important to distinguish when the dog is actually trying to dominate, and when it's in fact just being social. For example, when they come to lie in bed with us, they're just trying to cuddle and spend time with us, not take our place. Similarly, when they sit in our armchair when we're not there, they're trying to feel closer to us, and protect the house while we're absent. Domination, on the other hand, is when the dog is growling when we're trying to sit down, or when is trying to gain something (a treat or a biscuit) via growling. It doesn't really happen to us, nonetheless, if it happens to the reader, I strongly recommend attending obedience training with the dog. Of course, if it's the dog from our kennel, I encourage you to contact us immediately. We'll recommend what to do and we can suggest some of the best training schools in your area.
.....While on a walk, amstaff's transform greatly. All of the sudden, from those adorable couch potatoes they become true terriers. They are disciplined, but they love to sniff, follow a trace and play. They will play with anything, from a ball to a stick, or even a laser pointer. They also enjoy swimming. Hence, they're good for many different sports, including agility.
They also tend to behave very well on training, as they seem to enjoy pleasing their human. They learn very quickly and may even help teach other dogs. Their great potential allows them to work in different circumstances. They can work in dog therapy or even as police dogs, sniffing for drugs.
..... We never had a problem with any of our dogs running away, as they're simply too social. And even if they run away a little bit further, they always manage to find their way back soon.
..... I truly believe that they're amazing dogs. They're great for anyone who enjoys freedom and walks. They don't mind if we have to stay later at work, they are friendly with kids and other animals. They always try to please us, and make sure we're happy. They learn fast and are great companions.
.....We always try to inform every future owner about all the details of proper upbringing. We always try to show how to do things and we always welcome them to come and visit their puppy as often as possible before they can bring him home. Training type, pace and form depend on both the dog's character and the owner's engagement. Here I'll give some basic principles.
.....The most important of which, is consistency. You have to be careful because they learn very fast, and that includes bad habits, which are always hard to quit. Our dogs have special commands they react to when they do something bad. A good idea is a 'divine punishment' meaning, when the dog is doing something he's not supposed to, suddenly, some small light object falls on the puppy. Not hard, so it won't hurt, but enough to shock him and make him stop. There are some very important commands that can even save a dog's life (like stop, or stay), that I believe every dog should know. Those will stop your dog from running into the street or eating a possibly dangerous thing while walking around.
.....A dog isn't supposed to be a problem, and thus, it's good to teach him certain commands that will make our lives easier. Those include walking on the leash, coming back when called, etc. Of course the more the dog learns, the smarter it gets, we are more comfortable, and the dog enjoys being helpful.
..... I wish you all many proud and happy moments with your amazing dogs.