Best American Staffordshire Terrier- Chocolate Labrador Mix

Dakota decides to hang out on the toilet.
Dakota decides to hang out on the toilet. | Source
Dakota waiting for a bath.
Dakota waiting for a bath. | Source

Best American Staffordshire Terrier Mix-A Beginning

If you’re looking for the best American Staffordshire Terrier mix breed, you've come to the right place. Below is a complete review of our AmStaff and Chocolate Labrador Retriever mixed dog that we have owned for the past two years. There are many aspects of this mixed breed that you must know before owning one and if you don’t do your research, you could end up with a bad match.

My wife and I about two years ago decided one warm spring sunny Saturday to stop by the local pet shop because we were bored and we had discussed buying a fish. I don’t know why we wanted a fish but for some reason that day it seemed like a good idea to shop for one. We arrived at the pet shop and behold it was a day when a local breeder had several puppies for sale. My wife and I had discussed buying a dog but always ended with the same conclusion; we didn’t want the hassle right now with caring for one. Well, I headed over towards the bird section because for some reason I had decided I wanted a bird upon entering the store. Meanwhile, my wife migrated over to the puppies and eventually stepped inside the little wire fenced perimeter to play with them. She called me over to look at them with her.

As I approached I saw five little puppies running around, biting each other, peeing on the floor and just have a great time. I didn’t think much of it at first but as we both stayed and played with the puppies, we began to ask questions about caring for one, the cost to buy one, what breed they were and so on. I didn’t pay much attention or take seriously our questions to the breeder because they were asked more out of curiosity but as we continued to play with the puppies and ask questions, our curiosity grew to commitment. Two hours later we walk out of the pet shop with a brand new puppy, a crate, dog food, a collar, a leash, a few squeaky toys and $500 less in our bank account.

Here we are with our first real dog as a married couple. We had only been married for about two years at this point. We found out our puppy, Dakota, was a mix of a Chocolate Labrador Retriever and American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff) and we had no idea what we were in for!

We signed Dakota up for some puppy classes for him to learn basic commands and proper training techniques. Dakota was a shy puppy for about the first day and then all hell broke loose and his little personality started to show.

Temperament and Training

As we learned how to care for his little guy I learned that his breed falls into the class of bully breeds which are associated with boxers, pit bulls and bull dogs. These breeds traditionally have a bad reputation however are very loyal and loving dogs. I also learned since he is half Labrador, he has high energy and needs exercise. Dakota has the body of a Chocolate Labrador and a head like an AmStaff. From a distance he looks like he could be a ferocious guard dog but in reality he’s scared of his own shadow.

This mixed breed has given us an energetic, loyal, loving dog. The AmStaff side of him comes out when I wrestle with him as he is solid muscle and loves to play rough. We taught him a command of “enough” when he’s becoming too rough. The lab side of him comes out everyday when he wants to spend all day outside running around. I take him on long runs with me otherwise he can become bored and destructive.

This type of mixed breed also needs lots of instruction as a puppy because without it, the AmStaff side will attempt to take control as the pack leader, which is bad. Teaching Dakota commands from an early age has saved us headaches and it makes others feel at ease around him because we have control. Plus, the lab side of him loves mental exertion; it really stimulates him and wears him down much quicker than regular exercise. In fact I can spend fifteen minutes a day stimulating his mind with commands and training and it will equate to almost an hour of physical exercise before he starts to get tired!

Dakota at around 12 weeks old.
Dakota at around 12 weeks old. | Source
Dakota caught red handed eating a tape measure!
Dakota caught red handed eating a tape measure! | Source

Families and Discipline

This mixed breed is a great family dog. We have a 10 month old son that will crawl on Dakota, pull his ears, poke his head, and pull his tail and all Dakota will do is either get up and move or look at me as if pleading for me to step in and save him. At night when he’s tired, he’ll curl up right on top of my feet and fall asleep until I go to bed. We recently taught him to stay off the furniture and our bed because he did sleep with us for awhile. Having an 80 pound solid muscle dog on your bed does tend to make sleeping at night challenging.

Discipline with this mix of breed must be carried out swiftly and in a non-threatening manner. Dakota has growled at me twice and both times were because he had another dog’s toy in his mouth and wanted to play. He was disciplined right away so there was no question in his mind what he did wrong. This is done by placing him in his crate for a few minutes and a stern “uh-uh” instead of "no" since that word becomes like white noise to dogs. He loves other dogs and people. He’s not a very good watch dog because he rarely barks; a trait of the AmStaff. He also would probably invite a burglar inside and give him a full tour of our home.

Typical terrier-Refuses to look at the camera.
Typical terrier-Refuses to look at the camera. | Source


I strongly believe that the American Staffordshire Terrier mixed with the Chocolate Labrador Retriever provides a well rounded type of dog. However, they are not for everyone and if you're not active outdoors then I would suggest another breed. The lab side loves being outdoors and the AmStaff side loves a good rough housing every now and then. Next time you are looking for a great energetic, loving, loyal, intelligent dog, make sure you check out this mix of American Staffordshire Terrier.

If you liked this article, check out my other ones about training your dog.

Loose Leash Walking: Your Dog's Freedom, Your Peace of Mind

4 Tricks You can Teach Your Dog

Shawn Yeager

Comments 6 comments

jerseyhulagirl 3 years ago

Thank you for the great info! My family just adopted a 5+ month old AmStaff-mix today from our local animal shelter. Not sure what the mix is yet, but I'm hoping that our vet can help us out. We had a Rhodesian Ridgeback for over 9 years until kidney disease forced us to put her down. She was a very energetic, loyal, intelligent, protective dog...and we are looking forward to having a great relationship with our AmStaff!

yeagerinvestments profile image

yeagerinvestments 4 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Thank you for your comments and for reading my article!

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

We owned a Staffie named Molly and she was everything you mention: loyal, energetic and lovable. They are dominant dogs, though, so training is a must. The photos of Dakota are adorable! Thanks for a great review on this mixed breed dog.

lindalou1963 profile image

lindalou1963 4 years ago from Texas

I too have a staffordshire/ pitbull girl. They are the most loyal dogs ever, loving and protective.

Please check out my story, its called Silly Pets.

howardyoung profile image

howardyoung 4 years ago from California

"Now if I could only figure out how to lift the lid" ...

Conservative Lady profile image

Conservative Lady 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

Oh my goodness - I love this Hub! My most favorite and loyal dog ever was Keze, a female Am/Staff black lab mix. She was so energetic until she turned 2 years old then she mellowed down and was an awesome family pet. I miss her so much. Thank you for the great memories.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article