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Dog Breed Comparison: American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull

Today, we’ll delve into a comparative analysis of two dog breeds: the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Pitbull. Both breeds share numerous characteristics and unfortunately, often face unjust labels as aggressive and perilous dogs. In truth, their behavior primarily hinges on their upbringing and socialization.

Now, let’s embark on this canine conversation!

Distinguishing between American Staffordshire Terriers and Pitbulls can be a challenge for many, as these two breeds share robust and athletic physiques, tenacity, and strength. However, there are crucial distinctions that set them apart.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the contrasting characteristics between American Staffordshire Terriers and Pitbulls to help you differentiate between these two breeds more effectively.

A Quick Comparison: American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull

American Pit Bull Terrier. One of the dog breeds already on the banned list in the UK. Image by: Realironman – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70483719
American Staffordshire Terrier Pitbull
Weight50 to 70 pounds24 to 80 pounds
Height18 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder
Form– Their head are small but wide, with many forehead wrinkles.
– They’re middle-sized but bulky and powerful.
– They have broad and challenging chests.
– They are thin and robust and are well-proportioned.
– Their tail is small and athletic, that works like a lash.
-Their ears are high set on a slightly rounded head
Looks– They have a properly-rounded head.
– The Head is small yet wide, becoming more apparent in the width of the forehead.
– They possess a face that’s narrowly spherical and high-set ears.
– The jaws are broad, and the nose is pointed upwards.
– Their face is free from wrinkles.
ColorA terriers’ hair comes in solid colors white, black, fawn, brindle, or redPitbulls have various shades such as white, red, brown, or fawn
Personality– Typically more compassionate than Pitbulls, although they may have angry faces.
– They are eager to please and are sometimes to friendly to be good guard dogs.
– They are bold and courageous, yet stubborn, with little patience regarding other animals.
– Sometimes adopt a more hostile manner towards small animals such as cats and dogs.

Literal Meaning Of The Word ‘Terrier’:

American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier via unsplash

The term ‘Terrier’ originated from the Latin word ‘terra,’ which reflects the meaning ‘Earth.’

Purpose Of The Terriers:

Example of AM Bully XL. Image by Josie Clark – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=124452109

Most terrier dogs were originally bred for their skills in hunting and controlling pests, utilizing their tenacity and agility to chase and capture small game. In the 19th century, breeders did incorporate bulldogs with terriers, not solely for the purpose of dogfighting and bull baiting, but for a variety of reasons. These included enhancing traits such as strength, courage, and athleticism, which were valued for tasks like working on farms, property guarding, and participating in different canine sports.

Over time, these breedings led to the development of various breeds, including the American Staffordshire Terrier and other types of Pitbulls. It’s important to note that while these historical sports existed, they are now illegal and widely condemned due to their cruelty. Present-day responsible breeders prioritize the production of well-tempered, healthy dogs that can serve as loving family companions and excel in a variety of dog sports and activities

First Banned In England:

In 1835, England passed the Cruelty to Animals Act, which outlawed dogfighting and bull-baiting, among other forms of animal cruelty. While these activities were restricted, some instances of dogfighting continued in certain regions.

In 1898, the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) as their first breed. The American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff) are distinct breeds, although they share a common ancestry.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes the American Staffordshire Terrier as a distinct breed. However, it is worth noting that the AKC does not officially recognize the term ‘Pitbull’ as a specific breed. The term ‘Pitbull’ is often used broadly to refer to various breeds, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and others.

Name Change:

Pitbull
Pitbull via Pexels

Name Change of the Staffordshire Terrier:

The American Staffordshire Terrier was originally known as the Staffordshire Terrier. In 1972, the name was changed to American Staffordshire Terrier to differentiate it as a separate breed and honor its American heritage.

While the American Staffordshire Terrier and certain types of Pitbulls share a similar fighting history, it is important to note that they are distinct breeds. The confusion arises from their shared traits and physical similarities. However, the American Staffordshire Terrier and Pitbulls are recognized as separate breeds with their own breed standards and are acknowledged as such by kennel clubs and breed registries.

Pitbulls:

Pitbull
Pitbull via unsplash

Pitbull-type breeds did originate from terrier and bulldog crossings to create dogs with specific traits, it’s important to recognize that these dogs are not inherently aggressive, and responsible ownership and breeding are crucial for their well-being and positive integration into society.

Usage of the Term ‘Pitbull’:

It’s important to note that “Pitbull” is not a recognized breed but rather a broad term used to describe dogs that share similar physical characteristics and have historically been involved in dogfighting. The Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier are two specific breeds that are often referred to as Pitbulls.

While some individuals may use the term “Pitbull” to describe any dog with similar physical features, it’s important to recognize that these breeds have distinct breed standards and are recognized by kennel clubs and breed registries under their specific names.

Purpose of the Pitbulls:

In the past, Pitbulls were utilized for dogfighting. Today, the same dog fights are still prevalent despite being illiegal and immoral.It is important to clarify that dogfighting is illegal and widely condemned in most countries, including the United States. It is considered a cruel and inhumane practice that inflicts harm on animals.

Why Did Pitbulls Get Banned?

Pitbull-type dogs have, been subjected to stereotypes and misconceptions regarding their temperament due to their historical association with dogfighting. As a result, some countries, regions, or municipalities have enacted breed-specific legislation (BSL) that imposes restrictions or bans on certain breeds or types of dogs, including those commonly referred to as Pitbulls.

Breed-specific legislation and breed bans have, however, been a topic of controversy and debate within the dog community and among experts. Many studies and experts argue that breed-specific legislation is not an effective approach to addressing dog-related issues, as it fails to consider individual temperament and behavior, and instead penalizes dogs based on their appearance or breed label.

The perception of Pitbull-type dogs as inherently aggressive or dangerous is not supported by scientific evidence. Responsible ownership, proper socialization, and individual behavior assessments are key factors in determining a dog’s temperament and behavior. Many Pitbull-type dogs are affectionate, friendly, and well-behaved family pets.

It is crucial to approach the topic of breed-specific legislation and breed stereotypes with caution, promoting responsible pet ownership, and considering each dog on an individual basis rather than making assumptions based on breed labels.

American Staffordshire Terriers:

American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier via unsplash

Am-Staffs, short for American Staffordshire Terriers, are a breed that originated from the crossing of Bulldogs and Terriers. The goal was to create a dog with the strength and determination of Bulldogs and the agility and speed of Terriers.

While dogfighting and bull-baiting were historical practices for which certain breeds were bred, it is important to note that these activities are now illegal and widely condemned due to their inhumane nature. Today, responsible breeders focus on promoting the American Staffordshire Terrier as a well-tempered and versatile companion.

While both American Staffordshire Terriers and some dogs referred to as Pitbulls share certain physical traits, it is crucial to recognize that there are distinctions between different breeds. Each breed, including the American Staffordshire Terrier, has its own unique characteristics, temperament, and breed standards

Despite being closely related, the Staffordshire terriers and pitbulls differ in size, color, form, look, personality, and biting power. In this next section we will assess all of their differences:

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull: How Do They Differ In Size?

Pitbull
Large Pitbull via pexels
  • Both Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers have a size range that overlaps. Typically, they are medium-sized breeds.
  • American Pit Bull Terriers generally weigh between 30 to 60 pounds, with males tending to be larger than females. They stand about 17 to 21 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • American Staffordshire Terriers also typically weigh between 40 to 70 pounds, with males generally being larger than females. They stand around 17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder.

American Staffordshire Terriers vs. Pitbull: How Do They Differ In Form?

American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier via unsplash
  • Both Pitbulls and Staffordshire Terriers (specifically, American Staffordshire Terriers) are known for their tough and athletic form and structure.
  • Pitbulls are often described as muscular and robust. However, it is worth noting that the term “Pitbull” encompasses various breeds and mixed breeds, so their exact physical characteristics can vary.
  • American Staffordshire Terriers, also known as Staffordshire Terriers, are characterized by lively personalities. They typically have small but wide heads, reflecting their breed standard.
  • Staffordshire Terriers are considered medium-sized. While they are muscular and well-built, they should not be excessively heavy or overweight according to the breed standard.
  • Both breeds generally have broad chests, which contribute to their athletic appearance and provide space for powerful shoulder muscles.

American Staffordshire Terriers vs. Pitbull: How Do They Differ In Looks?

Pitbull
Pitbull
  • Pitbulls heads are often described as broad and well-defined. The shape of the head can vary depending on the specific breed within the Pitbull category.
  • While Pitbulls typically have high-set ears, it is important to note that ear carriage can vary within the breed. Some individuals may have ears that stand erect, while others may have ears that are semi-erect or folded.
  • The term “Am-Staffs” refers to American Staffordshire Terriers. Their heads are often described as properly-rounded, and they have a small yet wide head. The width of the forehead can contribute to the appearance of a broad head.
  • American Staffordshire Terriers generally have lower-set ears compared to some Pitbull breeds. Their ears are set at a lower position on the head.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull: How Do They Differ In Color?

American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier

The variety of colors in both the breeds Pitbull and Staffordshire Terrier ranges widely.

American Staffordshire Terrier and the Priority Color of Kennel Clubs:

  • Staffordshire Terriers, specifically American Staffordshire Terriers, can come in various solid colors such as white, black, fawn, brindle, or red. These colors are recognized and accepted by kennel clubs as part of the breed standard.
  • Some specific color variations, such as black and tan or white mixed with other colors, are not accepted by kennel clubs for American Staffordshire Terriers. These variations do not conform to the breed standard and are considered non-standard colors.
  • Additionally, the merle pattern, which is characterized by patches or streaks of diluted pigmentation, is generally discouraged in American Staffordshire Terriers. Merle is not a recognized or accepted color pattern in the breed.

Pitbull and the Priority Color of Kennel Clubs:

The Pitbull is accepted and encouraged with any color but merle. A Pitbull with a red nose is the second most unique color, along with a blue nose. The outbreeding of the Pitbull has invited a new addition to the new gene pool, i.e., merle. Although it’s a beautiful rare color, it’s not widely accepted since it’s not a conventional color.

Albino Breeds:

These dog breeds commonly have pigment patches over their bodies. Albino dogs are overall very uncommon. It results from a genetic condition causing a complete lack of pigmentation of a dog’s skin, fur, and eyes. 

American Staffordshire Terriers vs. Pitbulls: How Do They Differ In Personality?

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull
Pitbull

Due to unfair misconceptions, a popular question that’s being asked frequently is; are they dangerous and cruel? Well, they are not dangerous by birth. It depends on the dog owner and how they raise their Pitbull or Staffordshire terrier.  

Pitbull’s Temperament:

Pitbulls are bold and courteous, yet rebellious, with little patience regarding other animals. This behavior explains why they have been used for dogfighting a little too much. That aggressive behavior becomes prevalent in them if encouraged, which leads them to have the urge to prey on more animals. They adopt a more hostile manner towards small animals such as cats and dogs.

American Staffordshire Terriers’ Temperament:

Staffordshire terriers are more compassionate than Pitbulls, although they may have angry faces. They are robust and wild but are fond of playing and anxious to have fun.

American Staffordshire Terriers behave well with animals that they are familiar with. However, their behavior can be unpredictable with strange and unknown animals. Both dog breeds are social and friendly, not only with their owners but also with other people – and especially with kids. However, they can assault those animals by which they feel threatened.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull: Exercise Requirements

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull
American Staffordshire Terrier

Both the dog breeds, the American Staffordshire Terrier vs. the Pitbull, have the exact exercise requirements. These dogs are spirited and robust breeds that need hour-long exercise daily.

Seeing as the Pitbull is more powerful, it requires a bit more exercise, although this varies from case to case. 

Staffordshire terriers and Pitbull have considerable energy, and the best way to tire them out is to play with them via games like fetch or professional courses. To keep them distracted and to prevent them from becoming bored or harmful, you need to keep them occupied with such games.

American Staffordshire Terriers vs. Pitbull: How Do They Differ In Training?

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull
Pitbull

Both dog breeds are handy when it comes to training them. The American Staffordshire terrier and the Pitbull dogs are the same in that they require early socialization to lessen aggression among other animals.

Owners believe that the American Staffordshire and the Pitbull are friendly with other dogs while visiting a local park. This is due to the training that has been given to them. Training plays a very crucial role in getting them to behave appropriately.

Due to their intellect, they acquire training fast. The experts suggest training these dog breeds early and discouraging them from aggression, which can result in a happy, healthy, and non-aggressive dog.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull: How Different Are Their Healths and Lifespans?

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull
American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Lifespan: Both Staffordshire Terriers and Pitbulls can have a lifespan of around 12-16 years, which falls within the average lifespan for medium-sized dog breeds.
  • Health: While Staffordshire Terriers and Pitbulls can generally be healthy breeds, it’s important to note that individual dogs can still experience health issues. They are not immune to common health conditions that affect many other breeds.
  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia: Both breeds can be prone to elbow and hip dysplasia, which are common orthopedic conditions that affect many dog breeds. Dysplasia refers to the abnormal development or formation of the joints, leading to potential discomfort, lameness, or arthritis. Responsible breeding practices, including health screenings and proper care, can help reduce the risk of these conditions.

Health Concerns Of The Pitbull:

If we talk about the Pitbull’s health concerns, they can acquire Cerebellar Abiotrophy. Cerebellar Abiotrophy is a condition that occurs when a portion of the brain responsible for the equilibrium of the body gets harmed. It causes them to have trouble in their movement.

Health Concerns Of The American Staffordshire Terrier:

The American Staffordshire terrier can suffer from issues related to the heart. Cardiac issues occur more often in the American Staffordshire than in the pitbull.

Apart from these, terrier dogs can also acquire skin allergies from their ascendants. However, they are minor ailments and can be cured with medications and nutrition. Furthermore, you can consult a veterinary expert as well.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull: How Different Is Their Nutrition?

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull
Pitbull

Owners can give Staffordshire terriers and pitbull kibble, which is good for their skin, robe, and combined health. You can feed them around 2 cups of food a day. Depending on the health and activity of the dog, they can get hungry after a heavy game activity or would need frequent feeding if they are weak health-wise.

Experts say that it’s essential to keep their skin and coat healthy. Therefore, the owners must feed them fortified food and Omega fatty acids to these dog breeds.

If your doggo, whether it’s a Staffordshire terrier or a pitbull, likes sports, then he must be fed food with high calories to develop his muscles.

One thing to note is that regardless of the breed, Am-staff or pit bull, both have fairly sensitive stomachs. Therefore, be careful not to overfeed them. If your am-staff or pit bull shows symptoms of allergy towards poultry, then you must look for food that contains proteins since they will not be taking it through natural sources.

Generally, the quality and quantity of food will affect your doggy’s health and lifespan. Therefore, always go for high-quality food if your pockets allow it.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull: How to Groom them

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull
American Staffordshire Terrier

Clever dog breeds are much more convenient to train and groom comparatively. Their owner should bathe them after every two months at least. Brushing them once a week is enough to make them look polished and sleek.

Other grooming practices include brushing their teeth, cleaning their ears, and training them a bit on their behavior is also part of their grooming.

The American Staffordshire terriers and Pitbulls are light, single-coated dogs and will not shed much hair the whole year. However, they are sadly not hypoallergenic dogs.

American Staffordshire Terrier Vs. Pitbull: How Do They Differ In Prices

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull
Pitbull

Regardless of what breed you plan to buy, whether it’s a Staffordshire terrier or a Pitbull on your list, choose a reputable breeder. Purchasing from a reputable breeder will assist you in giving you the best option and the healthiest pupper. They will not risk their reputation and hand you over a dangerous breed, but a friendly one.

Both breeds will cost you about $1,000, although the price ranges depending on the breeder and the genetics of the dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

YouTube video

#1 Can we detect American Staffordshire Terrier and Pitbull as different through a DNA test?

Their difference can be spotted when they are tested through DNA. The test can cost you around 50 to 200 bucks, but quality tests are precise and give you accurate results.

#2 Is a Pitbull larger than an American Staffordshire Terrier?

Pitbulls are enormous as compared to Staffordshire terriers. Pitbulls are measure 24 to 80 pounds heavy and 17 to 20 inches tall. In contrast, Staffordshire terriers have just 24 to 38 pounds of weight and have a height of 13 to 16 inches.

#3 How different is it to train an American Staffordshire Terrier and Pitbull?

Both the dogs, the American Staffordshire terrier and the Pitbull, are the same in the context that they require early socialization to lessen aggression and hostility towards other animals and humans.

#4 What are the prices of an American Staffordshire Terrier and Pitbull?

Purchasing from a reputable breeder will assist you in giving you the best option. He will not risk his reputation and hand you over a dangerous breed, but rather a friendly one. Either way, it’s the dog’s upbringing and socialization that is decisive when it comes to its temperament. Both species can cost you in the range of $1,000.

The Final Verdict

Pitbull
Pitbull
American Staffordshire Terrier VS Pitbull
1. Pitbulls possess a face that’s narrowly spherical and high-set ears.
2. The males dominate in size over females, which goes for both breeds.
3. Pitbulls are enormous when compared to Staffordshire terriers.
4. In the past, Pitbulls were utilized for dogfighting and bullfighting.
5. Staffordshire terriers are more compassionate than Pitbulls, although they may have angry faces.
6. Staffies’ ears do not defeat the high-set standard of Pitbulls.
7. Pitbulls are bold and courteous, yet rebellious, with little patience regarding other animals.
8. Pitbull with a red nose is the second most unique color, along with a blue nose.
9. The American Staffordshire terriers and Pitbulls are light, single-coated dogs and will not shed much hair the whole year.

In a nutshell, Staffordshire Terriers and Pitbulls are similar in many aspects, such as their nutrition and health, and their lifespan is identical. Moreover, they are available in the market with roughly the same price tag. They can also be groomed in the same way. They have the same level of intellect, are easy to train, and have a great need for exercise.

Nonetheless, you can differentiate between them by looking at some prominent and differentiating aspects.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull

The two dog breeds’ traits differ when it comes to size, form, looks, colors, personality, and temperament. If we look at the size, pit bulls are larger than Staffordshire terriers. Pitbulls are thin, robust, and well-preserved, whereas Staffordshire terriers have lively personalities if their form and structures are considered. The pitbull possesses a face that’s narrowly spherical and high-set ears. On the other hand, American Staffordshire Terriers have a properly-rounded head 

Thank you for reading this article on the American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull! Are you maybe searching for the perfect dog-breed to welcome into your home? If so, then continue your investigation and have a look at our post on the German Shepherd vs. Belgian Malinois!

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