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Difference Between Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers

Pitbulls vs American Staffordshire Terriers

In the past, one would refer to a canine companion simply as a ‘pet dog’. Well, times have changed because today it’s not good enough to call them that anymore. It is now commonplace to hear someone saying: ‘That is Lucy, my Golden Retriever’ or ‘I have a Poodle back home named Timmy.’ People tend to put more emphasis on the breed. The tricky part, though, is that it takes some extra brain cells to become familiar with the vast array of canine breeds. Some seem so alike that you can’t tell the difference. A case in point is that of the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pitbull Terrier or Pitbull. They, they appear to be the same breed but a range of inconspicuous dissimilarities ‘“ specifically bone structure, size, coat color, ears, and head – prove that these two are indeed different from one another. Both the American Pitbull Terrier (Pitbull) and the American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff) come from the molesser breed group. The term ‘Pitbull’ is, in fact, a general term to describe all those in the molesser family. This makes it very confusing for most people.

Early Amstaff breeds came from England, where they were used as companions, farm helpers, guards, and as participants in dog fights. The Pitbull, a cross between the terrier and the bulldog, comes originally from Scotland, Ireland and England. Pitbulls were used as household companions and as guardians in managing livestock in the early days. Now, they have proved to be effective as police and therapy dogs.
The dominant characteristics of Pitbulls include passion, willingness, high pain tolerance, fighting prowess and aggression. In fact, they are among the breeds exploited in illegal dog fighting around the world. With proper training, Pitbulls can be very obedient and docile. They are also very good at guarding property. By contrast, the Amstaff fares well in terms of affection, gentleness, protectiveness, energy, intelligence and human attenuation. They mingle well with kids when socialized with during their early years. However, they don’t mix well with other pets.
As far as physical size is concerned, the Amstaff, with a height of 17-19 inches and weight of 40-50 pounds, is smaller than the Pitbull. Overall, the Pitbull is more muscular and stocky at 18-22 inches in height and 22-110 pounds in weight. The former is actually the smallest of the molesser class, while the latter is the biggest and heaviest. The Amstaff has more robust front legs, while the Pitbull has more powerful hind legs, which are responsible for its agility and pushing power. Pitbulls can have just about any color or coat pattern, except for merle, while the Amstaff’s coat color is more diffused and very limited in range. Their color can be blue, white, red, brindle, fawn, or black. Both Amstaffs’ and Pitbulls’ ears are usually cropped. Their head structures are very similar as well, typically with pronounced jaws, broad and thick cheeks, and muscular necks.
Summary:
  1. The American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier both belong to the molesser breed group. Both originated in Europe.
  2. The Pitbull is taller, heavier and more muscular than the Amstaff. It also exhibits more aggression and power than its counterpart.
  3. Pitbulls are known to be passionate, aggressive, and physically powerful. Amstaffs are generally affectionate, protective, gentle, energetic and intelligent.
  4. Some pitbulls today are used as police and therapy dogs. With proper training, both breeds make for excellent guardians and companions.

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13 Comments

  1. the difference is the amstaff is ack reg. the staffy club staffy stated in the 1930′s using colby’s primo as the dog to set there standard. and then later in the 1970′s they opend there stud book agian and only apbt can be registard as an amstaff when the stud book is open so what iam trying to say is amstaff are pure apbt. yes the standard is diffrent but thats due to selective breeding. yes the names diffarent and thats do to the time akc accepted the breed. at that time dog fighting was legal and akc didnt want fighing they wanted show dogs. so do ur home work before post crap like this

  2. Since are staffs not good with other pets? I bought my staff at three years old and she is fine with my dogs and cats even though she had never been in contact with cats before

  3. What a hell, amstaffs max weight is 50 pounds? I have 2 amstaffs. One is 15 months old and weight is 70 pounds. another is 4 months old and weight 45 pounds. They are both in good condition and not overweight at all.

    • the max weight listed is for the show quality animal. Many breeders are looking for a heavier animal and have been breeding for this quality. The heavier animal is not a show quality animal.

  4. They belong to the molosser breed, not the molesser breed.

    Otherwise, I don’t understand why you have this page AND . You’re comparing the same two dogs on two different pages, but moreover, the two pages give conflicting information. Which one is correct?

    This could be a useful website if statements were being supported with valid documentation. IMHO, it needs to be moderated and structured more like Wikipedia in order for the information to be useful. It’s a good idea, though.

    • Here’s an idea Kristine….why don’t YOU start a page? That way, your expertise could be better utilized for good instead of criticism

  5. Um. I see a problem in this page. This page states that the Amstaff is a smaller dog than the APBT. Anywhere else you look in the world (at least what I’ve seen) on these two breeds, you will usually see that the opposite is usually the norm. Amstaff’s in general are the larger breed. I was also under the impression with the reading and research I have done on both breeds that in general the APBT is more bred for “game.” While the Amstaff is migrated more towards being a larger breed in general with a more mild temperament. Both if raised properly are great animals, with children, and other animals. If not raised properly some can be animal aggressive. It’s uncommon for both breeds to be human aggressive and if they are, it’s generally because their owners made them that way.

    So I’m a little confused as to why this page states the opposite? Anyone?

  6. This article is rubbish.
    Pit bulls are smaller and more fit. They in fact are “better looking”. Staffords have always black nose, pits usually have red nose or black, when they’re darker.
    Staffords are also more aggressive. They were breed for “looks”, to be more muscular. Pits were breed for fighting and since in every fighting cage owner had to assist, those animals could’t show any aggression towards human. Otherwise they’d be put to sleep.
    God i came here to learn something and instead I have do point the obvious:(

  7. For a more accurate description of these 2 breeds, I recommend this website: http://www.pbrc.net/faq.html from the pit bull rescue center. They have reliable sources listed, and they dispel common myths about the two breeds that are perpetuated on this page.

    • pit bulls are bigger than amstaffs and bull terriers and more aggresive.they are the bigger shaped dogs than the 2 other lines. even the fackt that they were especially bred for that purpose and only and not for shows just to look preety,means that they are the kings and period.like many people say pit bulls for games staffs for fun..

  8. This is most likely the worst “educational” article regarding the differences between the APBT and AmStaff. Please do some better research. Wikipedia does a better job than this…

  9. Ya’ll need to do the research on the real differences between the two dogs for Christ sake NO ONE has been able to prove where that actually came from. If you look up old English dogs there is one that is now extinct and PIT BULL. IS NOT A DOG IT IS A RELATIVE TERM. BLUE BOSE ONLY DESCRIBES THE COAT. NOT THE DOG. BLOOD LINES ARE DRAWN AND PEOPLE GET UGLY. OR HAY HOW ABOUT LOOK UP THE REAL 3 KINDS OF (BULLIES) ONLY 1 IS ACKNOWLEDGED. BLOOD LINES JUST MAKE PEOPLE THINK THAT THERE IS MORE THAN THERE REALLY IS. THANKS FOR NOTHING;

  10. Apparently, both breeds excel at killing young children.

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