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.
- The American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier both belong to the molesser breed group. Both originated in Europe.
- The Pitbull is taller, heavier and more muscular than the Amstaff. It also exhibits more aggression and power than its counterpart.
- Pitbulls are known to be passionate, aggressive, and physically powerful. Amstaffs are generally affectionate, protective, gentle, energetic and intelligent.
- 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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