Search Menu

Lacey and Luisma Benítez, of LBK American Staffordshire Terriers, are the first and only Platinum Breeders of Merit of the American Staffordshire Terrier. They are a married couple, navigating life between Spain and St. Augustine, Florida, and have been deeply involved in this breed for 20 years.

Luisma, who is from Spain, is a software architect who owns an IT company, and Lacey has a BS degree in biology and works as a veterinary technician. Dedicated to health, temperament, and the AKC standard, they ensure their AmStaffs embody these qualities through a rigorous selection process.

Their commitment extends beyond breeding, advocating for responsible ownership and lifelong learning for pets through training and socialization. Lacey serves on the board for the STCA, is head of the health committee and the corresponding secretary for the parent club.

They strive to raise confident, adaptable puppies, prepared for a seamless transition into their new homes.


AKC: How did you get started in breeding dogs? 

Lacey: I got started in breeding dogs through a serendipitous moment while in college. My significant other and I were watching Westminster on our new flat screen TV when we saw the American Staffordshire being presented. He expressed a desire to get an AmStaff, and in a spur-of-the-moment decision, we returned the TV and used the money to bring home our very first American Staffordshire Terrier puppy. Little did we know that decision would set us on the path to where we are today, passionately breeding and raising these wonderful companions.


AKC: What is the most important thing to know about your breed? 

Lacey: The most important thing to know about AmStaffs is that they are exceptional family companions. They truly become integral members of the family, deeply attuned to the emotions of their owners. Their capacity to love their families wholeheartedly makes them not just pets, but loyal and cherished life family members.


AKC: What is your favorite question to ask potential puppy buyers? 

Lacey: My favorite question to ask potential puppy buyers is about their approach to raising their children, specifically their parenting style. This insight often reflects on their potential to provide a caring and structured environment for a terrier puppy. Additionally, I inquire about the breeds of dogs they’ve previously owned and the status of those pets, as this helps gauge their experience and commitment to long-term pet care.


AKC: What are the main qualities you look for in potential owners? 

Lacey: The main qualities we look for in potential owners are responsibility and stability. We prioritize individuals and families with established homes and careers, as these factors often contribute to providing a nurturing and secure environment for our dogs, ensuring they are welcomed into a setting where their well-being is prioritized.


AKC: What is the best advice you would give to novice breeders? 

Lacey: The best advice we could offer to novice breeders is to seek out a mentor, but more importantly, to find the right mentor — one who prioritizes the well-being and health of the dogs above all else and who can steer you away from the distractions and drama that can sometimes surround the breeding world. This guidance is crucial not just for your development as a breeder, but for ensuring the integrity and future of the breed.


AKC: Do your dogs participate in AKC sports? 

Lacey: Yes, our dogs actively participate in a variety of AKC sports including conformation, coursing, dock diving, obedience, rally, and barn hunt. These activities not only showcase their versatility and intelligence but also strengthen the bond between them and us.


AKC: What do you like best about breeding dogs? 

Lacey: What we value most about breeding dogs is the joy of providing quality, healthy American Staffordshire Terriers with proper temperament to our community of dog lovers. We take pride in seeing children and families embrace the companionship of our dogs, learning valuable life lessons through their care. Witnessing our pedigree evolve closer to the ideal AmStaff brings us immense satisfaction as breeders committed to excellence.


AKC: Do you have a favorite breeding story? 

Lacey: We don’t have a single story because our breeding program is akin to a book filled with distinguished achievements. Highlights include becoming the first and only AmStaff Platinum Breeder of Merit, owning the top-winning dog in the breed’s history, 44 AKC Best in Show wins, and breeding winners across major shows including the World Dog Show and Westminster Kennel Club group winner. Each achievement represents a favorite chapter in our ongoing story of excellence and passion for the breed.