American bull staffy and American Staffordshire terrier

The American Bull Staffy Cross is very protective and an amazing companion.

© Shutterstock

Everything you need to know about the American Bull Staffy Cross

By Dawn Parrish Content Writer

Updated on the

The American Bull Staffy Cross is a relatively new crossbreed that embodies a great combination of strength, intelligence, and affection. The breed's protective yet friendly nature makes them a great family pet.

Originating several decades ago, the American Bulldog Staffordshire Cross is a strong and affectionate mix breed dog that stands out from the rest. It combines the strength of American Bulldogs with the tenacity, charm, agility and energy of Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and friendliness and for being good with children.

Origins and history of the American Bulldog Staffordshire Terrier

The American Bull Staffordshire Cross originates from parent breeds, the American Staffordshire terrier and the American Bulldog, which descend from the same ancestors, although 200 years apart. The two breeds are known for their energy, strength, confidence and loyalty. The American Staffordshire originated with a diverse range of tasks, from managing bulls to hunting large game such as wild boars and excelling at ratting. Unfortunately, the breed later gained notoriety for involvement in cruel sports such as bull-baiting and dogfighting, contributing to its lingering reputation for aggression. Despite this, lovers of the breed appreciate their intelligence, playfulness, and unwavering loyalty. On the other hand, the American Bulldog, initially utilised for bull-baiting, evolved into a predominantly farm-working dog. Their enduring drive and loyalty persist, and they thrive when engaged in tasks or jobs, bringing joy to their owners.

While most of its physical characteristics come from the American Staffy, the Bulldog lineage contributes to its role as a very effective guard dog. The Bulldog and the American Staffy Terrier are immensely loyal breeds, a trait ingrained in them from their history as pit-fighting dogs in England and the US.

Some years ago, breeders recognised the potential of this crossbreed, leading to a surge in their popularity. Despite no current American Bull Staffy breeding standards, the hybrid rarely results from a 50/50 purebred ratio. Instead, breeders typically use multi-generational crosses to create the mix-breed. While it’s not recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the American Bull Staffy is recognised by the Dog Registry of America, which registers mixed, rare and pure breeds.

Now, let's look at the individual parent dog breeds:

American Bulldog

The American Bulldog dog
The American Bulldog ©Shutterstock

American Bulldogs are large, muscular dogs with stiff, short coats. Descendants of the English Bulldog, the standard for the American Bulldog, according to the AKC, is a well-balanced, muscular and athletic dog. While males are typically larger and bigger boned than females, both have sturdy, powerful frames. It's believed that the bulldog was originally brought to America in the 17th Century to work on small farms as guard dogs and to drive cattle

Before American Bulldog became the standard name for the breed, in different locations in South America, the dogs were known as the White English Southern Bulldog, but more often simply bulldog. Today, while more commonly associated with being a family pet, the American breed still maintains its protective instinct which is why so many people like them. This protective nature can be seen in the intense bond that American Bulls form with their owners and the instinctive desire to protect them.

American Staffordshire terrier

American Staffordshire terrier dog
American Staffordshire Terriers ©Shutterstock

Otherwise known as Amstaffs, the Staffordshire terrier breed goes back to 19th century England and was bred to provide companionship and help on farms and guard property. Selectively bred for their strength, agility, and courage, these terriers are also loving and affectionate with their families and have a particular fondness for children. An American Staffordshire Terrier loves nothing more than being around their people and will enjoy accompanying their owners for a jog, playing in the park or cuddling on the sofa. 

Their ability to adapt to a new location and intelligence and eagerness to please make them highly trainable pets. These dogs enjoy having a purpose and excel in obedience training and even therapy work. The physical appearance of the American Staffordshire terrier is of medium build, with a strong head and a stocky build. They are often referred to as a pit bulls, but pit bull is a broad term encompassing several breeds, and there are some differences in temperament and appearance.

Physical characteristics of the American Bull Staffordshire hybrid

The American Bull Staffy, a mixed breed of the American Bulldog and American Staffordshire Terrier, predominantly inherits its appearance from the latter. This medium-sized dog showcases a sturdy, muscular build with a deep, broad head and a medium-length, rounded muzzle beneath the eyes. Its small, round, dark eyes are set low and spaced apart. An American Bull Staffy dog typically has high-set ears, sometimes cropped to stand erect. The broad and deep chest and strong, straight forelegs contribute to its robust physique, emphasised by heavily muscled hind legs and a short, tapered, low-set tail.

Height: Adults grow to 17 to 19 inches
Weight: Adult male weighs between 55 to 70 lbs, with the female slightly less
Lifespan: Between 12 to 14 years

American Bull Staffy mix puppies

Bull Staffy Mixes exhibit remarkable growth and development in their early weeks of life. From their earliest weeks, these pups showcase a blend of playful energy and innate curiosity that sets them apart. As puppies, these energetic, loyal dogs thrive on consistent routines and positive reinforcement, while their innate friendliness enables them to create instant connections with their human family. Regular exercise is vital to curb their high energy. Establishing firm leadership helps in shaping their well-balanced temperament. These pups form strong bonds with their owners, making them excellent family pets. Introducing them to various environments and people early on promotes sociability. 

The temperament of the American Bull Staffy Cross

Much like the breeds of its parents, an American Bull Staffy Cross thrives on love and friendliness, making them great family companions. Their loyalty knows no bounds, and they instinctively grasp the importance of protecting their loved ones. This extends to their patience with children, making them ideal family pets. However, their protective nature might make them wary of strangers, always on guard for potential threats. 

Early socialisation is key to preventing aggression toward other dogs. These dogs showcase a remarkable blend of strength and affection at just a few months old, emphasising their potential as devoted companions. However, this breed is prone to developing separation anxiety, so it's well-suited for new dog parents who are frequently at home or have the flexibility to bring their pups to work.

Common health issues of the American Bull Staff Mix

The American Bull Staff Mix is generally a healthy breed. However, some dogs of this breed can be prone to certain health issues, such as elbow and hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Regular veterinary check-ups, occasional X-rays, and thyroid testing are crucial for early detection and help keep these dogs in great health. Owners should monitor for symptoms like lameness, skin irritations, and changes in behaviour. A balanced diet, exercise, and proactive care contribute to the overall well-being of these dogs.

Exercise needs of an American Bully Staffy Cross

American Bully Staffy crosses are a lively blend of Bulldogs and Terriers, leading them to be highly energetic canine companions that love nothing more than being active. Originally bred for tasks like retrieving and herding, they possess the stamina for a full day's work. While they can adapt remarkably well to various locations thanks to their versatile nature, these dogs thrive on engaging activities, requiring ample exercise and mental stimulation. Ideally, they should be walked for at least 45 to 60 minutes a day. 

Their love for play, jumping, and exploration makes a loving home, an active lifestyle and the right location for daily walks, playtime and exploration are crucial for their happiness and well-being. However, it's also important to recognise their need for rest. Amidst their spirited antics, these companions appreciate moments of relaxation, enjoying downtime with their owners. A well-balanced routine that combines active pursuits with ample opportunities for rest ensures a content and healthy dog.

How to feed an American Bull Cross Staffy

To help Bull Staffy Crosses be healthy and maintain a good weight, they need a balanced and nutritious diet tailored to their size, age, and activity level. Pet parents should opt for high-quality dog food with real meat. As with bulldogs and terriers, good nutrition is essential, so opt for high-quality dog food with real meat

Divide daily portions into two meals to maintain energy levels, but avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity, a common concern in this breed. While most dogs love treats, keep in mind that these should contribute to the daily caloric intake to help avoid unhealthy weight gain. Freshwater should always be available.

Training the American Bulldog Staffy

American Bull Staff Mix dogs are relatively easy to train but require consistent routines from an early age, beginning when they are a puppy. Training should start the week you bring a puppy home, usually around eight weeks old. At this age, puppies can quickly grasp basic commands such as stay, stand, sit and come. They thrive on mental stimulation, enjoying challenges that engage their mind and showcase their problem-solving abilities. These intelligent dogs respond well to gentle yet firm guidance, which helps them to develop a healthy respect for their owners. 

Through dog training, owners should establish themselves as a confident leader to effectively channel their high energy. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential to prevent potential boredom-related behaviours. Plenty of patience, praise and a loving approach are key to developing a well-trained and harmonious relationship with this robust and affectionate breed. If the dog shows any behavioural problems, specific training will be required to correct them.

Grooming needs

Grooming an American Bulldog Staffy mix is relatively easy thanks to its short, glossy, dirt-resistant coat and the breed's good temperament and inherent friendliness towards people. A soft-bristle brush is likely all you need for occasional grooming sessions to keep the coat clean and shiny. Be mindful that despite the tight-knit fur, some shedding will occur, so regular brushing will also help to minimise it. Some have facial wrinkles that require regular cleaning as part of their grooming routine to prevent the accumulation of dirt or oil. However, bathing should only occur as needed, seldom exceeding once a month. Given their rapidly growing strong nails, it's essential to trim them frequently. Dental care is crucial, too, requiring brushing each week to prevent plaque buildup and oral infections. It's also essential to regularly check and clean the ears with a vet-approved solution to ward off potential infections. Whether you've had your furry friend for months or years, incorporating these grooming practices into your routine ensures a happy and healthy pet.

How to get an American Bull Staffy Cross

To get an American Bully Staffy hybrid, you can contact your local rescue shelter or research reputable breeders. Ensure you choose a reputable breeder who follows responsible breeding practices and prioritises the dogs' health and well-being. Research their reputation, check references and ask to visit their facilities. It's also important to learn about the parents as this will tell you important information about the lineage and insights into potential health and behavioural traits the puppy may inherit

. It's also good to keep in mind that knowing the parents' size, temperament, and health history can also help you better assess whether a dog is compatible with your lifestyle. A reputable breeder should readily share this information with you. Puppies should only be available to buy from around 8 to 12 weeks old. This age range ensures that the puppies have had sufficient time with their mother and littermates, allowing for proper socialisation and the development of crucial canine behaviour.

American Bull Staffies, children and small pets

While American Bull Staffies typically enjoy the company of children and their innate friendliness can make them great family pets, they may not always be the best fit for households with very young children. Despite being typically good-natured, their high energy levels could unintentionally overwhelm young children, making them better suited to families with responsible older children. American Bull Staffies do generally get along well with other canine family members, although they may exhibit dominating personalities. Additionally, due to the breed's potential high prey drive, smaller animals like hamsters may not be great matches, but larger animals such as cats can thrive following proper introductions.

There are other mixed breeds, check them out:

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