Boston Terrier vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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Although they may have different traits, both the Boston Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are popular among dog owners. If you’re considering between the two breeds and are unsure which is the best fit for you, this guide on Boston Terrier vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier should help you out.

Boston Terrier vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier: General Overview

In this guide, I look at a quick overview of both breeds, then check out their similarities and differences. Also, you will get to know the major distinguishing factor between them. Finally, I will tell you when you should get each.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is also known as the American Gentleman or Boxwood. This super-friendly breed originated from the US back in 1870 AD. While initially, it was a fighting dog, the Boston Terrier has evolved to be one of the most popular family dogs, being number 21 in the popularity rank by the American Kennel Club.

This dog is a small-sized breed with impeccable energy, in comparison to others. On the other hand, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale takes it for a companion and toy dog in the Small Molossian type section.

The Boston Terrier is either seal, brindle, or black with white markings that imitate the silhouette of a tuxedo, hence the name American Gentleman. It has a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years. The purebred companion dog is hypoallergenic, weighs about 10 to 25 pounds, and has a height of 13 to 15 inches.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier 

This breed is also called Staff, Staffy Bull, or SBT. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier originated from England, in 1935 AD. Just like the Boston Terrier, the Brits fashioned it to be a swift fighting dog. Over the years, it has evolved to become a reliable hunting dog.

In terms of popularity, Staffies are number 82. The low rank is due to some countries having restrictions on their ownership as others ban them. Though the AKC acknowledges Staff as a Terrier breed, its Bulldog ancestry makes people automatically fear them for the assumed aggressive nature.

The medium-sized pup is also recognized by the FCI group as a Terrier in the Bull type Terriers section. It has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, weighs 24 to 38 pounds, and stands at around 13 to 16 inches. It is also purebred, highly intelligent, and hypoallergenic. 


It is clear that these two dog breeds are fairly different especially in terms of temperament. However, they share a few features as discussed below. 

Boston Terrier on a walk
  • Both are Purebred: Both dogs are breeds from known strains. The Boston is a result of an English Bulldog and an English Terrier, so is the Staffy.
  • The American Kennel Club Recognizes Both Breeds: The AKC and FCI groups recognize both breeds. AKC has acknowledged Boston Terriers since 1893, and SBT since 1974.
  • Both are Social Dogs: These two breeds love to feel like a part of the family. As a result, you can’t leave them on their own for long. They also do not thrive so well if they live outside.
  • Both are Apartment-friendly: Are you wondering if either of them will adapt to your little apartment? Yes, both the Boston Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier can comfortably live in an apartment.
  • Both Can’t Tolerate Hot Temperature: Due to the short nose of the Boxwood and the broad, flat face of the Staffordshire, they can’t cope with hot weather. You should ensure they can easily access shade and clean drinking water during such times. Both breeds can, however, tolerate warm to cold weather.
  • Both are Easy to Train: Since they are highly intelligent, training them is not very demanding. They are relatively obedient though playful. However, a novice dog parent might find it challenging.
  • Both are Easy to Groom: Both dogs don’t require a lot of work to keep them neat. They are not notorious droolers. Besides, a Staff sheds none or minimal while a Boston Terrier sheds moderately.


Here are some of the notable differences between the Boston Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

  • Coat: Boston Terrier has a single coat with the colors: white, black, seal, or brindle. Stafford has a smooth coat in the colors: red, white, brindle, fawn, black or blue.
  • Friendliness: While both are friendly with kids and strangers, it is not the same case with cats, pets, and other dogs for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It has the breed mentality of an Alpha, I advise you to have it on a leash each time you take them on walks.
  • Body size: The American Gentleman is a tiny Terrier while the SBT is a medium Terrier.
  • Origin: Boston Terriers originate from the US while the Staffies are from England.
  • Sensitivity: Boston Terriers are very sensitive in comparison to Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They dislike when guests come over often, too much noise, and an irregular daily routine.
Smiling Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Major Distinguishing Factor

Since both have the same ancestral strain and are companion dogs, the main feature you can use to differentiate the two is the coat. A Boston Terrier has the famous tuxedo coat. It can either be black, seal or brindle, with white markings.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, on the other hand, has a smooth coat that can have two or three color combinations consisting of black, blue, brindle, fawn, or white.

When to Get a Boston Terrier

Get a Boston Terrier if:

  • You want them to accompany an elderly person
  • You change living environments from time to time
  • You have a cat, another dog, or other pets
  • You live in an apartment

When to Get a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Go for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier if:

  • You have kids
  • You love canine cuddles
  • You have a fenced yard
  • You have the time and energy to make it exercise
Staffordshire Bull Terrier VS Boston Terrier

Final Verdict

Looking at these two breeds, confusion might arise due to their numerous similarities. However, definite factors like the presence of other pets and living space incline you towards getting a Boston Terrier. I do not advocate either breed if you have never owned a dog before.

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