General Impression: The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. His courage is proverbial.
Head: Medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop; and ears are set high. Ears – Cropped or uncropped, the latter preferred. Uncropped ears should be short and held half prick or rose. Full drop to be penalized. Eyes – Dark and round, low down in skull and set far apart. No pink eyelids. Muzzle – Medium length, rounded on upper side to fall away abruptly below eyes. Jaws well defined. Underjaw to be strong and have biting power. Lips close and even, no looseness. Upper teeth to meet tightly outside lower teeth in front. Nose definitely black.
Neck: Heavy, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to back of skull. No looseness of skin. Medium length.
Shoulders: Strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping.
Back: Fairly short. Slight sloping from withers to rump with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. Loins slightly tucked.
Body: Well-sprung ribs, deep in rear. All ribs close together. Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit of chest development. Chest deep and broad.
Tail: Short in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point; not curled or held over back. Not docked.
Legs: The front legs should be straight, large or round bones, pastern upright. No resemblance of bend in front. Hindquarters well muscled, let down at hocks turning neither in nor out. Feet of moderate size, well-arched and compact. Gait must be springy but without roll or pace.
Coat: Short, close, stiff to the touch and glossy.
Color: Any color, solid, parti, or patched is permissible, but all white, more than 80 percent white, black and tan and liver not to be encouraged.
Size: Height and weight should be in proportion. A height of about 18 to 19 inches at the shoulders for the male and 17 to 18 inches for the female is to be considered preferable.
Faults: Faults to be penalized are Dudley nose, light or pink eyes, tail too long or badly carried, undershot or overshot mouths.
Adopted and approved June 10, 1936
Nose “definitely black”: Before AKC registration, there were registered American Pit Bull Terriers with red noses. These dogs came from different root stock and had a different appearance – including liver coloration. The intention here was to prevent them from entering the AKC breeding pool of American Staffordshire Terriers. The nose should be black – not red or pink. We now know that it is genetically impossible for a blue dog to have a black nose, yet there were blue Am Staffs then, as now, and they were shown and finished championships. The nose should appear darkest charcoal on dogs with blue dilute coloration. Forgiveness can be made for dark charcoal on this color, but the darker the better. The nose should still appear as black to the observer. A dudley nose (flesh coloured) is listed as a fault. For dogs without dilute coloration the nose must appear as written – definitely black. – Staffordshire Terrier Club of America Inc.