How Closely Related Are an American Bull Terrier and a Staffordshire Terrier?

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American Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Terrier are often confused breeds because of their appearance. But both of these breeds are unique in their way, and I wanted to know more about them. So, I did quick research, and here’s what I found.

How Closely Related Are an American Bull Terrier and a Staffordshire Terrier?

These dog breeds look similar because they are closely related, but they have gone separate ways. As compared, Staffordshire Terrier is smaller in size than the American Bull Terrier.

Besides the size, many other aspects separate these two dog breeds. This article will try to highlight all the essential features so that you can quickly identify between Staffordshire Terrier and American Bull Terrier.

Black Staffordshire Terrier in the forest

What’s the History of Both Dog Breeds?

Before we proceed further, here’s a quick question- did you know that Staffordshire Terrier results from a cross between Bulldog and Terrier?

Both these fighting dogs were bred to hunt vermin, but later people made them take part in bear-baiting and the bloody sport of bull. Even after the sports were stopped, people continued breeding them.

While these dog breeds were used for ugly purposes, they are not that of a killer. In fact, these intelligent and energetic dogs are loving in nature. Thus, they make an excellent family dog.

Nowadays, Staffordshire Terrier is known as American Staffordshire Terrier because the name of this dog breed was similar to American Bull Terrier. Also, American Staffordshire Terrier is registered under the American Kennel Club, but this club does not recognize the American Bull terrier.

Appearance of American Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier

Whether American or Bull, getting a Terrier dog requires you to know a few things about them so that you can easily understand who’s who.

While both these dog breeds mature very quickly and are medium-sized, a few things separate them.

An American Bull Terrier is between 17 to 21 inches, measuring from shoulders to paws.

As far as the weight is concerned, this dog breed weighs around 30 to 65 pounds. Overall, this dog breed is slender and taller. Also, it has large heads and muzzles with defined muscles.

An Americal Bull Terrier with a red or blue nose variant is rare. Also, the merle gene is getting popular, but it’s not a traditional color. You can check the entire information provided by United Kennel Club to know about Pitbull breed standards.

For the American Staffordshire Terrier, the height ranges between 17 to 19 inches. In general, this dog breed is shorter than the Americal Bull Terrier.

Although Am Staff is shorter, it weighs more, i.e., around 40 to 70 pounds. Thus, it looks more stocky. Generally, this breed has chopped ears, and if not, they will have half-pricked and rose-shaped ears.

Moving further, AKC does not accept Am Staff in these versions:

  • black
  • tan
  • merle

You can even check the American Kennel Club’s information to know the entire Am Staff breed standards.

American Bull Terrier with tongue sticking out

Do These Dog Breeds Have Temperament Issues?

One of the important things that you might want to consider when getting either of these dog breeds is whether it has a temperament issue or not? Well, none of these breeds are inherently vicious.

Frankly speaking, Pitbull and Am Staff are not more viscous than Chihuahua. But it also depends on their upbringing. That’s because a dog is as good as its owner.

Another thing that can help you understand the behavior of these two dog breeds is the temperament test.

Every year, the American Temperament Test Society conducts a test to note their behavior. The latest result of this test shows that 87% of Pitbull have passed, and 86% of Am Staff have passed.

Although these canines are happy-go-lucky and sociable, people usually compare them with aggressive dog breeds like Rottweiler and Presa Canario because of their similar appearance. But Am Staff and American Bull Terrier have a soft spot for children.

Happy black Stafforsdhire terrier

Breed Comparison

American Staffordshire Terrier American Pitbull Terrier 
Height: 17-19 inchesHeight: 17-20 inches
Weight: 40-70 poundsWeight: 35-70 pounds
Temperament: Smart and confidentTemperament: Energetic and loyal
Grooming: WeeklyGrooming: Weekly
Lifespan: 12-16 yearsLifespan: 12-16 years
Energy: IntenseEnergy: Intense
Price: $1,000+Price: $1,000+
Health: Above averageHealth: Above average

Related Questions

Will Am Staff Protect Its Owner?

While American Staffordshire Terrier is mostly calm, they get aggressive while protecting their owners and family from danger. But it is not something you should be worried about because most dogs act this way when protecting their families. 

Are American Bull Terriers Hard to Train?

Some dog breeds can be easily trained, but Bull Terriers are not one of them. They need more time and patience to acquire the basic dog commands. While training, make sure that the session does not last longer than 20 minutes.


If you are a novice dog owner, you might find American Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier the same. But once you educate yourself, you will get to know both of these dog breeds in a better way.