The first and most important impression should be the dog’s temperament. No matter what the dog looks like, it cannot be a proper Am Staff without the proper temperament. The official standard is spare and is often faulted for not giving enough information to the student of the breed. However, the words used below are beautifully descriptive of the breed’s temperament.
“Keenly alive to his surroundings” describes a lively intelligent disposition that watches what is going on around him and misses nothing. Further, he not only watches, but interacts – he is quite aware of and very responsive to his surroundings. He is ready for whatever comes his way – in all the best sense of this term.
“His courage is proverbial” : Proverbial, according the Webster’s dictionary is defined as follows: The embodiment or representation of some quality. The byword for it. A commonplace truth. A common reference for some quality.This is perfectly apt to describe the correct temperament of this breed. They are nothing if not courageous. This courage is inherent in their history. These dogs have faced death in all its forms, and have long ago had fear bred down.
They should appear supremely confident in all situations. NO excuses can be made for a specimen that lacks this quality. Courage has no similarity to aggressiveness, which often masks insecurity. The ideal Am Staff should not display aggression toward other animals or humans. They should only appear confident and interested, prepared to deal with and take part in whatever situation develops. Many legends have grown surrounding this breed’s courage.
The Ideal specimen must always display courage and confidence to a marked degree. Absolutely no consideration should be given to an exhibit that lacks this quality.
Although not specifically addressed by the standard, this breed has been long domesticated, as a farmer’s and family dog, and even with the early fighting background, should absolutely never appear aggressive toward humans.They are not a guarding breed by nature, and trust most people to be their friends, confident in these relationships. They develop strong bonds with humans and are eager to please them – thanks to their working background.