Towilla Amstaffs

American Staffordshire Terriers - Australia

Buyer Beware




The reason we have decided to include a Buyer Beware page on our site is to inform the public what is happening to the Amstaff breed in Australia.

The situation is very serious and spiralling out of control at an alarming rate. It is of great concern to myself and other ethical Amstaff breeders.
 If you have recently been looking through the Dogs For Sale section in the local or interstate papers or visiting web sites you may already understand some of the 

problems our breed is facing from unethical breeders. We could see that for a family looking to buy a pup 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 ? Who can I 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.

At Towilla we strongly believe that the survival of the American Staffordshire Terrier in Australia now rests in the hands of their future owners. 

You the puppy buyer have a great impact on the breed and it's future as you have the final decision of who you do, and do not buy from.

Unethical breeders/puppy farmers will ALWAYS be around as long as there is a dollar to be made and unsuspecting people continue buying from them.

These co-called breeders are not concerned about the Amstaffs well-being, they are only concerned about who they can rip off next.


We cannot emphasise 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 lives. 

Not something you will regret which has been the case for so many people lately. By making you aware of some of these so-called breeders and their scams 

maybe we can help ease the stress in selecting that special make it a more enjoyable experience for you, as it should be. 



We cannot emphasise enough that you MUST make sure your Amstaff pup will be sold with Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) Pedigree Papers. 

These can be either on Main or Limited Register and also make sure your pup will be micro chipped. Under no circumstances accept anything less. 

The main reason you must hold pedigree papers is due to the Australian Government introducing Breed Specific Legislation. The laws can vary slightly state by state, 

but basically we have legislation banning a number of breeds in Australia, in particular the pit bull. The sometimes close resemblance between the pit bull and the 

Amstaff can get you in trouble with your local council. The Amstaff is NOT a banned breed, but the owner must be able to prove that their dog is an Amstaff.

 In some circumstances your dog can be seized by Canine Control Sheriffs and may be destroyed if you cannot prove that it is an American Staffordshire Terrier. 

Pedigree papers which contain each individual dogs micro chip number are the only guaranteed way to do this and protect your family pet. 

Some people will try to save a few dollars by purchasing a cheaper pup from a Backyard Breeder and not get papers or a micro chip, but believe me they regret it 

when a Council officer comes knocking at their door. It will be very upsetting for all the family if your dog is seized, especially your children. 


There are two types of pedigree papers for purebred dogs - Main Register and Limit Register. 

Main Register - These papers are for dogs that are intended to be shown or possibly bred from. It does not guarantee that your pup is of show or breeding quality.

Limit Register - These papers do not allow your pup to be shown or bred from. You can still compete in all other dogs sports such as agility, obedience, weight pull, etc. 



Red Nose, Sorrell, Jeep, Bullyson and Reid are "NOT" I repeat, are "NOT" American Staffordshire Terrier bloodlines.

Pit Bull breeders will often advertise Amstaffs with these bloodlines as Breed Specific Legislation bans them from legally advertising pit bull pups for sale.



Don't be fooled by someone who is trying to tell you that one colour is rarer than another, or one colour is more expensive to buy than another, especially a blue Amstaff. 

The blue Amstaff is very common, in fact with the popularity of the colour these days it is the most common colour you see. Please remember colour is only cosmetic 

whether it be BLUE, Black, Red, Fawn, Seal or any other it has NO bearing on the dogs Temperament or Health which are so much more important.



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 ?

Dog breeding can be very difficult and any number of things can go wrong. Matings don't take, very small litters are born, pups die, and all of this can mean there is not a 

pup in that litter for you. If you have paid a deposit you may end up having to take a pup from a different litter that you didn't like the look of the parents. 

Or you may end up with a pup that is a colour you didn't want as they have nothing else and won't return your deposit. 
It is common practice of these puppy farms to take large non-refundable deposits on litters that aren't even confirmed yet and then refuse to refund your money 

when the mating doesn't take. Unless you are willing to let them keep your $500 for nothing, you are now locked into getting a pup from that breeder. 



We were sickened to see people trying to install aggressive behaviour into the Amstaff. Aggression toward humans has been bred out of the Amstaff over decades of

selective breeding. That is what makes him one of the most trustworthy and greatest of all family dogs. A well bred Amstaff will naturally protect his family and property.

The Amstaff Breed Standard states "His Courage is Proverbial",.... Please, please never mistake aggression as courage. There is NO similarity, and aggression often

only masks insecurity. The ideal Amstaff should appear supremely confident in all situations and no excuses can be made for a specimen that lacks this quality.



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)



While the Amstaff is generally a healthy robust dog, it does suffer from a number of serious inherited health conditions. It is of vital important that all breeders do 

the proper health screening tests to ensure they are producing healthy pups or you, the owner, end up paying the price both from your pocket and your heart. 

Basic testing that is essential is Ataxia and Hip/Elbow Dysplasia. Outstanding breeders that truly have the welfare of the pups in mind will also do eye and cardiac certifications. 

According to the Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals ( our Amstaffs are ranked 11th for Cardiac conditions and 21st for Hip Dysplasia. Over 25% of Amstaffs that 

have been tested are dysplastic, that is shocking !! These health tests are not covered in a regular health check by the vet, they are done by specialists in the relevant field. 

Always ask to see copies of the health test results. Don't take the breeders word for it that the dogs are tested, unfortunately some people will lie to you.  

If a breeder tries to tell you the tests are not necessary, walk away and find another breeder. These tests are expensive and quality breeders will be remove a dog from 

their breeding plans if it does not pass the tests. Often you can buy a quality pup from fully health tested parents for the same price as what the untested pups are going for. 



Cerabellar Ataxia is a hereditary neurological disorder that is affecting the Amstaff population throughout the world. In France 30% of Amstaffs have been diagnosed as 

carriers of Ataxia. Once your dog is affected by Ataxia "THERE IS NO CURE" and the only humane way to help relieve your dog from the suffering is euthanasia. 

Before a DNA test for this condition was discovered in 2008, the only way to positively identify it was to perform a brain autopsy conducted within 12 hours of death. 

Many Australian breeders are now testing their breeding stock with a number of dogs already found to be carriers. There is no excuse not to test !! 

It will only be through these dedicated breeders and the continued testing that will help put a halt to the spread of this horrific disease.  



If your breeder asks you to sign a contract, don't panic, but do make sure you fully read and understand ALL of the conditions. The contract may stipulate certain conditions on how 

to raise the puppy and their welfare. You may be offered co-ownership if a puppy is on main register, and the breeder is interested in showing or breeding from them at a later date. 

At all times, ask questions if you do not fully understand the contract you are signing. If you feel uncomfortable with the contract, explain this to your breeder and they should explain

everything to put your mind at ease. If the contract you are being asked to sign is unfair or one sided in your opinion, do not sign and find yourself another breeder. 



We cannot stress enough, when searching for your pup, to look around and compare. Talk to breeders and ask lots of questions. The best places to visit are dog shows. 

That's what they are there for, they were originally started to showcase 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. 

Look for a breeder who is passionate about the Amstaff and has a genuine concern about the breed and it's future within Australia.
Don't buy from the first breeder you come across in the newspaper just because they have pups ready to go. Some puppy farmers will always have pup's ready to go.

Be aware there are just as many cowboys 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.


Thanks for taking time to read through our Buyer Beware page we will continue to add useful information so please call back soon.

We hope you will now be a little bit more educated about the Amstaff and how to choose a quality breeder.
 We are confident that if you do your research and choose your breeder wisely, that your new Amstaff will give you as much enjoyment as we have 

had from ours over the many years that we have been privileged to have them as part of our family.


Adapted from the original Buyer Beware written by Stuart Barber of Runamuk Amstaffs.


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