Many people do not know that there is a distinction between the Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Although they share the Pit Bull genes‚ today, they classify as separate breeds. Staffordshire Terriers are often known as AmStaff for short. They are originated from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier but with some genetic modifications to give them a bulkier appearance and a bigger head. The American Pit Bull Terrier is said to have also originated from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I suppose you could say that both of these dogs are cousins of each other.
It is also interesting to note that the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not register the American Pit Bull Terrier as a recognized breed in their dog breed listing, but the United Kennel Club (UKC) does.
Staffordshire Terrier vs American Pit Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Terrier is bred for show purposes while the American Pit Bull Terrier is a non-show type dog. There is a significant difference in the size of these two dogs‚ the Amstaff is a much heavier and bulkier dog than the American Pit Bull Terrier. The Amstaff shares a more massive bone structure than its cousin the American Pit Bull Terrier. A male Staffordshire Terrier can weigh up to 90 pounds whereas the male Pit Bull Terrier weighs around 70 pounds. You may find some Pit Bull Terriers weighing more than this, and it only means that they have a mix of another dog in them such as a Mastiff.
The Amstaff will do great in canine sports such as weight pulling, and Pit Bulls will do well in agility training. In both breeds, the female dogs weigh slightly less than male dogs. Both breeds share good genetics and can live up to 15 years if well cared for.
Common diseases affecting both dog breeds include hip dysplasia, cataracts, and heart disease. The Staffordshire Terrier is more prone to heart murmurs and thyroid issues. Grooming is effortless on both dog breeds‚ only a light brushing is needed every week or so. Both dog breeds are capable of producing five to ten puppies in a litter.
Staffordshire Terrier vs Pit Bull Temperament
Both the Staffordshire and the Pit Bull Terrier are people friendly dogs. It is the dog owners responsibility to keep the dog as the lowest pack member in their family. As long as you follow this rule, they will get along with everyone in your household, including kids. Staffies and Pit Bull Terriers are both also very courageous dogs and will go to extreme measures to protect their human family. As an American Pit Bull Terrier owner myself, I know that these dogs are very protective of their owner’s property. These dogs have a high tolerance for pain so you will find some Pit Bulls not even bothered by electric fences. From what I observed, females in both breeds are more protective and stay closer to their owners than males.
Staffordshire Terrier vs Pit Bull | Which Dog to Get?
While deciding between the Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pit Bull, it merely comes down to personal preference. These are both excellent dogs that only know to love their human owners. Both dogs will return twice the love an attention that you show them.
Don’t be fooled by the media that says every dog who bites a human is a Pit Bull. I can vouch for the American Pitbull Terrier because I am an owner of one. My American Pit Bull Terrier is now eight years of age, and she has yet to bite a single human being or animal.
Ultimately, you, as the dog owner, help shape canine behavior. It is due to this fact it is much harder to train an adopted or abused adult Pit Bull vs. a Pit Bull puppy. With some persistence, nothing is impossible. I have seen many dogs from abused backgrounds that have made a full recovery.
Staffordshire Terrier Vs. Pit Bull: My Personal Favorite
I very much like the American Pit Bull Terrier compared to the muscle-bound build of the Amstaff. I also own a piece of history by owing the American Pit Bull Terrier.
Did you know that the Pit Bull Terrier served in the military during World War I and World War II?
I know of many people who love the muscle-bound look of a Staffy more, so it all comes down to personal likes. If you are into showing your dog or sports such as weight pulling, then get a Staffy. If you want a loving dog and a family companion, stick with an American Pit Bull Terrier. Both of these dogs are amazing, and please spay and neuter your dogs at a year of age to avoid unwanted pregnancies. It is heartbreaking to see that so many of these loving dogs end up in shelters. Many dogs wait a very long time for their forever homes, and if none comes forward, they are often euthanized.
So if these two breeds were human could one say that the American Pit would be a professional Athlete where the Staffordshire would be massive for no reason like nobody builders?
Hel me out of you will.
I have 2 daughters. I want an all around dog for them. By all around I mean:
Guard Dog (at least alert when it hears something)
Strong (guarding what is most precious to me a father would only desire the king of dogs, the strongest of dogs. So is all of the mass on the Staffy strength OR exaggerated size with equal strength to the lesser massed Pit Bull?).
lol you put it quite right, I think an American Pit Bull terrier or better yet a Labrabull would be great for your daughters. They are both high energy dogs but the Labrabull has a bit mellow personality than a purebred Pit Bull Terrier.
I’d recommend a Boxer. A wonderful breed they are, and unlike pit bulls and staffys , they usually don’t require special homeowners insurance in many localities. Good luck with your choice, I hope you find a breed fitting of your family 🙂
for Companionship. Yes. But for a guardian boxer does not do well as a choice. The short snouts doesn’t give them much bite power More engineered As a show dog.
Hello, Minnie (our AmStaff mix) , is the sweetest, good natured family member. one could ask for. She was rescued by an elderly lady when she and her litter- mates were unceremoniously dumped in front of the lady’s property when the puppies were shy of six wks. old. My daughter was told about them. My dog, Nellie, (Bassett-Blue Heeler mix) ad to be put down, and of course I was inconsolable.
Before I knew it 11/21/18, a cute brindle puppy with a teddy bear face, and a white heart on her chest was placed in my arms. That time I cried tears of joy. Minnie also has a wicked sense of humor. Everyone that visits falls in love with her personality. I am learning more about these dogs !
I have 2 Amstaffy and they’re amazing with my kids and we have kids over all of the time and they’ve never acted up. Even though the kids have. Lol
Hi Amy, thank you very much for your input, maybe it will help change people’s mindset about the breed. Please consider joining our facebook group @ Canine Owners.
Thank you, Amy! The more I learn about these dogs the more I understand about them.
Thanks to all for tips about them!
Pitbulls are not know for guard dogs, they can be good gaurd dogs but not the best. Because they were bred for diff purpose or at least for long times using them in game made this line something differently.
So choose between-
If you want larger one-
Blue bay shepherd,
And vivid veriety of breeds are there.
Amstaff or APBT is not best choice as gaurd dog but it can be fine family dog which protects it’s owner.
My girlfriend and I are thinking of getting a dog, but we haven’t decided if we want an AmStaff or a Pitbull. I’m a college football player so I don’t worry about exercise, but I want a dog who is affectionate and playful.
American Pit bull Terriers are high energy dogs, they are very affectionate and playful. They are probably best suited for your lifestyle.
I have a puppy that is a mix of these two breeds. He is 10 1/2 weeks old and was the runt of the litter. So I guess I have the best of both worlds. Right now he is sleeping on my lap. He is a sweetheart (when he isn’t biting-gotta love puppy teeth lol). We have had him for 2 weeks and he is learning not to bite and to go to the door to be let out. He is mt first bully dog (he loves to hog covers and pillows).
Can you please tell me what you’re doing to teach him not to bite? I have an Amstaff mix Whose 10 weeks old and he bites my hands constantly! I have tried EVERYTHING I know to get him to stop. He’s in his crate right now for biting uncontrollably!
Reach into his mouth with your thumb and grab hold of his lower jaw with the rest of your fingers. Press down on his tongue firmly and reasonably far back into his mouth without gagging him too much – then give a verbal command such as “No”. He will not like it one bit and will stop the unwanted behavior in a very short time.
HI Melanie, how’s your pup doing with the biting? We had the same problem with our guy when we first brought him home from the shelter at 10 weeks. He was small (14 pounds), but a little Tasmanian devil. Fast forward to now he’s 15 months (lean 77 pounds) and OMG, he’s a total cuddle bug. We love him so much and he has shown signs of protection as early as 9/10 months. If someone approach the door he goes beast mode. My daughters were playing and one of them let out a huge scream just now and he quickly sat straight up and took off to see what was going on. I hope you are experiencing the greatest part of them at this point.
I own the sweetest Staffordshire Terrier. She’s grey with white and a few dark spots on back. We walk a few miles every day, but get Leary around other country pack dogs, so gar we’re good she’s passive, but curious. She’s five years old and mellow tempered. Will she be aggresive while harnessed?
Did you ever figure this out? Our Staffordshire Terrier is also 5 yrs old. Also very affectionate, but not been properly puppy trained and has a nervous disposition. She reacts to other dogs so much that we have to keep her near on the lead. She really is very sweet and playful. Any ideas on how to support re-introducing a dog like this to other dogs so that there may be hope of her one day being able to play off lead?
We adopted a 6-year-old doggo in July – they told us she is an Amstaff, which seems about right since she’s short and built like a barrel. She is extremely affectionate and generally loves all people. She still protects and barks at the door. She is extremely protective around other dogs and doesn’t do well with more than one other dog in the room and she has to dominate. Does anyone have experience with this? We would love it if she could go to the dog park and play, but we’ve only seen her play one time with another dog, and it was a 3-month old yellow lab. The vet said she’s had several litters in her life, so we think that she’s better with puppies because they’re not a threat. Is it possible to train her to enjoy the company of many dogs at the park? thanks Guys!
The apbt Is a better weight puller actually.
Are there any really good videos on how to correctly train a two year old Staffy/ Lab rescue . To start …basic obedience and then more advanced.
You keep referring to the American Staffordshire Terrior as a “staffy”. That is incorrect. Staffy is a nickname coined to the Staffordshire Bull Terrior. Also, when American breeders thought that bigger was better, they created the American Pitbull Terrior (later adopted by the AKC as an American Staffordshire Terrior) by breeding the Staffordshire Bull Terrior with various bigger breeds to form the APBT which took away from the tenacity and pound-for-pound strength of the dog. Dog fighters noticed after doing so that these bigger dogs (apbt’s) didn’t have the tenacity, pound-for-pound strength, or agility of the Staffordshire Bull Terrior which caused a heavy and widespread backlash in the American fighting rings because of the folly of mixing the Staffordshire Bull Terrior with random bigger dogs. Pitbulls have been labled the pound-for-pound strongest dog in the world but in reality it’s their distant cousin the Staffordshire Bull Terrior (Staffy). The are nicknamed the “nanny” dog according to the American Kennel Club because of their nature of being good with children, similar to the Amstaff an APBT but with even more diligence and protectiveness. In conclusion, they’re all fantastic dogs but the unadulterated Pitbull is without controversy the Staffordshire Bull Terrior.
The author of this doesn’t seem to know the difference between a Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Staffy), a American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff), and a American Pit Bull Terrier.
Genetically they are the same DoG period.. Stop pretending they are different. Show me the Genetic difference? None of you can? Show breeders vs game breeders? In 935 the AKC aknowgledged the breed, They called the APBT ann Am staff. THERE was no breed infused which caused a separate breed, IT IS THE SAME DOD PERIOD. Until you can show me different GENES it is the SAME DOG. Sorry game bred vs show breeders. In terms of tempermant APBT run brom marshmaillows to sphycopaths and every thing in between. So please stop the tempermant differential
Douglas where is the love dude?
It’s simple buddy. They started out the same in every way, but the APBT breeders were matching dogs for gameness and mouth. The amstaff breeder was matching for show, to meet the defined breed standard. They were not being matched for gameness and mouth.
APBT = Gameness, mouth. Not concerned with the show standard at all.
AmStaff = breed standard, meeting the specs in appearance. Not concerned with gameness, mouth.
So, although you are correct concerning genetics, you are going to end up with two completely different dogs in appearance, to some degree temperament, and a pronounced difference in gameness.
APBT and AmStaff of old were same in every respect
APBT today= working dog
AmStaff today= Non working show dog
Bring your AmStaff to Reno with $1000 to lose and my APBT will provide the proof you think you want and do it decisively. We’ll put them to work. We can fix your attitude in the process. Your correct, same genes,,, but your wrong because they are two different dogs. Athlete vs runway model. K buckaroo. What r u mad about, kid?
I would love to get one of these smaller Sweethearts, but my husband and I are seniors. Aren’t they too strong and pull on the leash for us ⁉️
I am 68 yo. I have a male Pittbull. He is 6 1/2 mo.old weighs almost 60 lbs. He is very strong and almost too strong to walk. However, if you research the collars you can purchase, there are some that would make them be easier to control. I don’t remember if it was a choke chain or something with spikes but in reading I’m inclined to purchase. The dog gets the message real quick and will adhere to the collar quickly. I walk 2 pits a male and a female. When they people or dogs they tend to want to pull on the leash strongly, so I will be making this purchase soon out of self defense. Good luck.
I have a 50 pound pit and she pulls me when she wants to really get to something. My parents are 72 years old and I would never let them take her for a walk, she would have them on the ground. My girl is a rescue and was never walked on a leash prior to me. I used a prong collar for a year while training her on leash. Now I use a harness and she listens to specific commands but there are times when she is focused on something and she will pull, it takes my arms, legs, and core muscles to hold her back.
I have a American Staffordshire terrier most people don’t know that the meanness was bread out there the most people friendly dog breed out there the will bark at the door or when something is amiss there not recommend as guard dog s because there to friendly I like this breed because there smart but bull headed there a great family pet won’t eat your brother all the American Staffordshire Terrier wants is to be loved n lick people to death
thank you for sharing your input!
I am unable to differentiate between the breeds other than just saying pit bull. I’m unsure if mine is APBT or AmStaff. I think APBT because she is smaller in size at 50 pounds. She is the most lovable, kissable, needy dog I have ever had. She wants to be friends with everyone. Now if I walk her at night, that’s a different story. If someone is walking towards us at night I have to tell them to stop walking and I will cross the street because she is super protective and will start to lunge, snarl, and bark. Same goes if you are threatening a child in front of her, she will protect that child at all costs.
My Staffordshire is the same Don she is a BIG lap dog that loves everyone but she is a good guard dog though, but if I let them in she is cool.
I have a Staffy – Dane mix and he’s the very best with children. 100% reliable. Kind. Gentle. He will eat a cat, no questions asked. And he’s 98% great with other dogs however doesn’t like labs for some reason. A dog this size requires professional training and due to strength, we work with him daily. Untrained they can pull and are hard to control.
I think that all dog’s are safe as house dog’s or pet’s providing the owner is a responsible person. Any dog can be trained to be violent and equally any dog can be trained to be friendly. Dog’s should not be bred by irresponsible people who can inadvertently cause the dog to become aggressive. Dog’s need to be exercised and socialised to prevent bad and aggressive behaviour. I have 2 Staff’s crossed bred with god only know’s what, I took them in as rescue’s along with a Jack Russell. I treat them all the same but i never leave any of them alone with my gransdon’s, it’s an unnecessary risk for both the children and the dog’s. Just be responsible, in the long run it’s safer than suffering the loss of a child or a dog.
My Staff’s are good with people and other dog’s, the Jack Russell is unpredictable with people and wont entertain any other dog’s at all.
The American Staffordshire terrier and American pitbull terrier are the same breed. The difference in the name of the breed is because the different kennel club that it’s registered under. The amstaff is recognized as a breed by the akc and the apbt is recognized by the ukc and adba. The (English) Staffordshire bull terrier is a different breed, recognized by the akc. So technically, the American pitbull terrier is a nonexistent dog breed under the akc.
American Pitbull Terrier depending on bloodline Are on standard? 22 to 30 lb lighter the American Staffordshire Terrier and, completely different head and body structure American Pit Bull Terrier is a down breed of the English Mastiff and british bull terriers… true Staffordshires are not pit bulls …. I personally I have a 9 week old. American Staffordshire Pitbull Terrier the father registered AKC American Staffordshire the mother registered UKC Pitbull Terrier interesting enough the pups Are recognized by the AKC. As blue American Staffordshire bull terriers…
My Stafford Delilah is different than a pitbull in the way she looks her head is much bigger she’s more muscular I don’t believe that they are the same breed at all she will lick you to death but she’s not Aggressive towards other dogs she’s very strong and will pull me if she sees a squirrel on a walk I’m working with her on that and she’s getting better about listening when I tell her no don’t pull it’s so fun to watch her and my miniature pincher and Chihuahua play the Chippin thanks he’s as big as Delilah’s and isn’t afraid of her they are great friends and a sight to see alongside each other playing.
research nanny dogs … some Pitbull breeds Were bred specifically asgardians for children and families..
“Keep them the lowest member of the pack” … you guys realise that it’s not 1960 anymore, the dominance theory has been disproved by the same people who came up with it and statements like this make you look beyond stupid. The responsibilities of a dog owner are to treat them with respect and use scientifically proven training methods that don’t hurt them.
I’ve had both American pitbulls, American Staffordshire Terriers both breeds are excellent!!!! Total goofballs and in general happy dogs!!! I’m madly in love with both!!
I currently have an Amstaff female that just happens to weigh 80lbs, super friendly to everyone!!! Her Besty is a 4lb dog, both breeds are loving and very special dogs!!!
Thank you for sharing, We always love to hear from owners of these dog breeds, they are so misunderstood!
Get an English Staffy (Staffordshire Terrier). Amazing, loving, protective people dogs. Very fast learners and always eager to please. Energetic and lazy. Depending upon what you are doing.
For the love of God and my sanity. Can someone SERIOUSLY KNOWLEDGEABLE tell me what kind of dog I have? I don’t know if my cherished Raj is an AmStaff, a American Pitbull Terrier or what. He was homeless on the corner; the local bail bond woman took him as collateral and Dad went to the Big House… he was 10 months and had clearly been loved and was a special puppy… He is that gorge- she couldn’t keep him and asked if we’d take him- he’s even got a patch over one eye- maple and white; head like a shovel; strong as an ox; sweet as a sugar cube, felonious food stealer and nice to other animals but don’t mess with him is my vibe (I keep him away from other dogs however, because it will always be “his fault” due to his breed). He looks like the dog from Little Rascals. He is 62 lbs… I have a champion, European line GSD who was lonely (during the workday) and needed a full time dog to shepherd and babysit! They are perfect companions. complete BFFS- wonderful breed pairing! But please someone tell me what kind of dog I have?