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What’s the Difference Between the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier?

Know your dogs! The American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are frequently confused breeds. Get the low down on the differences between these similar-looking dogs

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Featured Photo Life on White/Bigstock & eriklam/Bigstock; Body Photographs by Mary Bloom

The American Staffordshire Terrier vs. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Here’s how to tell the difference between these commonly confused breeds. (For the record, neither are Pit bulls, which is not an officially recognized breed, but rather a bit of a catch-all for bully breeds in general). Read on for the difference between the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

American Staffordshire Terrier: Loyal, Smart, Confident & Good-Natured

American Staffordshire Terrier

Courageous and strong, the American Staffordshire Terrier, aka the Am Staff, has an athletic build and intelligence that make him ideally suited to dog sports. He is often identified by his stocky body and strong, powerful head. This people-oriented dog thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do. Although friendly, this breed is loyal to his family and will protect them from any threat. Regular exercise and training is necessary.

At a Glance – The American Staffordshire Terrier:

  • Terrier Group; AKC recognized in 1936
  • Ranging in size from 17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing somewhere around 45 to 70 pounds
  • General purpose dog
  • Life expectancy: 12 -16 years

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Playful, Courageous, Brave & Tenacious

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, aka the Staffie, is a smooth-coated, active, and agile dog with great strength for his size. This is a courageous, extremely obedient, highly intelligent, and affectionate breed possessing a sense of humor. This, coupled with the breed’s affection for its friends—children in particular—its off-duty quietness, and its trustworthy stability, makes it a foremost all-purpose dog. He looks forward to daily exercise, and his powerful jaws enjoy a supply of sturdy chew toys. While he is a sweet-tempered, affectionate dog, his strength and determination require an experienced owner who can work with him in a firm but gentle way. The American Kennel Club notes that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has “a special feel for kids.”

At a Glance – The Staffordshire Bull Terrier:

  • Terrier Group; AKC recognized in 1975
  • Ranging in size from 14 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder and 24 to 38 pounds
  • Game sports
  • Life expectancy: 12 -16 years
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