Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pitbull

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

If you are considering getting a pet for yourself or your family, you may find yourself stuck between the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Pitbull. To the untrained eye, these two look almost the same, and it may prove challenging to have to choose which one to get.

Furthermore, this article will explain Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pitbull.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pitbull General Overview

Understanding what makes these two dogs different will ultimately help make the best decision on which one to get. When you know the best environment, their temperament, nutrition, and life expectancy, you will make a more informed decision.

Staffordshire terrier resting on dried leaves

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a breed that is recognized by the  American Kennel Club (AKC).  They are energetic and lively dogs that love cuddles and company from their owners. They are adorable and short, measuring 14-16 inches at the shoulder.

Males weigh around 28-38 pounds, while the females come in at 24-24 pounds. They have a broad skull with pronounced cheek muscles. Their necks are short and muscular and gradually widen towards the shoulders.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are popularly known as “Staffies’”  or “Staffords’” come in a wide range of colors such as black, fawn, white and red. The colors may be mixed with including shades of brindle with white.

The Pitbull 

The Pitbull is recognized by the American Dog Breeders Association and the United Kennel Club. The American Kennel Club does not recognize it.  They are highly intelligent dogs with short hair, solidly built, and have a lot of strength.

They measure from 17-21 inches at the shoulders. The males weigh approximately 35-60 pounds, while the females weigh 30-50 pounds. Emphasis has been placed on maintaining their balance in height and weight to avoid broad dogs that are overly squat or prevent them from becoming leggy dogs.

It has to be powerful and agile. They have a large, broad head that is in proportion to the size of their body. Their ears are high set.

They come in different colors such as tan and white, black, blue and white, white, backskin, blue, and white with blue or black spots.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pitbull

Let me look at the similarities, differences, and significant distinguishing factors in this Staffordshire Bull Terrier and  Pitbull comparison.


  • Both breeds have evolved from horrible sports of the previous years, such as bear-baiting, bull-baiting, and pit fighting, where people would place bets on them.
  • They are proper wash and go dogs due to their short and dense fur that has no undercoat making them less expensive when it comes to grooming.
  • They are both easy to train. If you have a firm hand, it is going to take you a considerably short time to teach them.
  • They are both very active, so they need a lot of calories to go hand in hand with their energy.


  • Pitbulls are more prone to allergies compared to Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
  • While both dog breeds may have the same type of fur and require almost the same grooming procedures, you have to be extra careful with Staffords. This is because they have sensitive skin.
  • Pitbulls are more aggressive toward other dogs compared to Staffordshire Bull Terriers. However, this does not mean that you should be carefree about it. Make sure that both are socialized from a young age to avoid any form of aggression towards other dogs.

Major Distinguishing Factor

Their bone structure, ears, and head distinguish between the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Pitbull. The cheek muscles of Staffords are very pronounced, and they have broad skulls. Their ears are either half pricked or rose and not large.

Pitbulls have a broad flat head, and their ears, which are medium-sized, are high on the head. Their jaws are the most defining physical characteristics.

Staffordshire terrier having fun on grass

When to Choose a Staffordshire Bull Terrier


Your budget is an essential factor to consider when it comes to picking a pet. It is important that you choose a breed that fits well in your budget. Buying a puppy from a breeder will cost more than adopting an older one from a rescue center.

You have to check if the adopting agency you are getting your Staffordshire Bull Terrier expects some sort of donation from you.

If you are looking to purchase from a breeder, it would be best to make sure that they are compliant with the breeder programs facilitated by the American Kennel Club. This way, you will ensure that the dog meets high health standards and has passed the necessary screening tests.

In your budget calculations, ensure you include set-up costs such as:

  • Equipment such as grooming brushes, toys, dog beds, dog toothbrushes, toothpaste, harness, tags, dog bowls, and leash. Remember that when they wear out, you will have to replace them.
  • Neutering – If you have no idea how to go about it, ask a vet. If you are rehoming the dog, it may have already been neutered at the rescue center.
  • Vaccines, especially if you are going for a puppy. Ensure you get booster vaccinations so as not to interfere with their immunity. Some reputable centers have this covered, so you do not have to worry about it.

Other costs that will come later on include:

  • Training, where you may need to hire a professional to train your dog.
  • Food which be store-bought, or you can prepare it.
  • Preventive health care includes routine visits to the vet, worming and flea treatments, and annual checks spread out throughout the year.
  • Pet insurance – Compare policies to know what is covered and what is not.
  • All the help you are going to need. It can be from the dog walker, dog sitter, or boarding when you are on holiday and cannot take the dog with you.

Staffies and Children

Staffords are known as “Nanny dogs” because of how much they love children. They tend to be very sweet-natured and tolerant when it comes to children. If you have young children, be watchful of their body language as they are often not aware of their strength, and they can become too excitable.

If you are watchful, you will be able to identify situations that look like they are heading towards a dangerous zone. They may become aggressive when they feel the need to defend their property or their family.

Diseases and Disorders

As much as you are going to try and ensure that your dog remains healthy and is vaccinated, there are some diseases that he is going to be susceptible to.

They include:

  • Cataracts can cause the dog to be blind. They can occur in one or both eyes.
  • Arthritis.
  • Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joints that causes lameness, arthritis, and excruciating pain.
  • Urolithiasis affects the urinary tract and forms bladder stones.
  • Bloating is associated with air filling the stomach and twisting.

Exercise and Training

Staffords require exercises to stay physically fit and mentally healthy. It does not have to be something complicated. Running in the yard, chasing a ball, and a hike in the woods will do just fine.

If you are athletic, take them with you when you are doing your runs. However, they are heat intolerant, so avoid overworking them during humid and warm weather. Staffords are quick learners as they are intelligent.

They are eager to please and comply with your requests; this is why you have to get them consistent training from a young age.

Pitbull playing on the grass

When to Choose a Pitbull 


On average, it will cost approximately $500 and $5000 to get a pit bull puppy from a breeder. If you opt for a puppy from a premium heritage, you may have to spend up to $50,000. Some of the factors that contribute to this high price include:

  • The track record of the breeder
  • Its appearance
  • The location of the purchase
  • Freebies that come with the purchase
  • Guarantees from the breeder such as vaccines

If you feel like getting a puppy from a breeder is above your budget, get one from an adoption agency. It will cost between $100 to $500. Getting a puppy pitbull from an agency is difficult because most of them will be senior dogs or adult dogs.

Do not lose track of other things you have to spend on, such as a dog bed,  feeding bowls, water bowls, sleeping crate, chew toys, dog shampoo, poop scooper, and others. Pay attention to services such as dog walking, dog sitting, grooming, and vet charges. This will help you avoid any surprises in the amount of money you will end up spending.

Diseases and Treatment

Like any other dog breed, Pitbulls may also end up with health issues that you need to be well aware of before you decide to commit.

These include:

  • Cataracts may be brought about by genetic faults or age. Treating cataracts will have you spending between $3000 to $5000 for surgery.
  • Aortic Stenosis is a common heart problem in Pitbulls. The dog will have a murmuring heartbeat and a weakened pulse. This is because a ring of fibrotic tissue develops in the subaortic region.
  • Fish Scale disease, also known as Ichthyosis, is a skin disease in dogs. It may not be life-threatening, but it will affect your dog’s well-being. Treatment for this condition is in the form of conditioners and shampoos that will cost approximately $350.
  • Bloating, which is very dangerous as it may kill your pet in a few hours. This is because it cuts off blood flow to the stomach due to internal tangling. You will need an emergency treatment that will cost up to $6000.

Pitbulls and Children

Pitbulls are friendly in situations where they do not feel threatened. It is, however, not advisable to get a pitbull if you have young children. No matter what the dog trainers and breeders advise, there is evidence that shows how dangerous they can be, especially when young children are involved.

If you have older children or no kids at all, then you do not have to worry about this.

Pitbull resting on the floor

Exercise and Training

When it comes to training, you have to train your pitbull from a very young age. This is because they tend to be strong and muscular from a young age. Obedience training is essential, especially if you want to be the one walking your dog and not the other way around.

If your exercise regimen involves swimming, you may find it challenging to do this with your dog. This is because of their muscular build. If you want to, however, you can get them a life vest.

Other exercises that include running are good for them. However, you should minimize them during winter as their coats may not offer sufficient warmth.

Final Verdict

Both the Stafford Bull Terrier and the Pitbull are amazing dogs. They are warm, affectionate, and loyal, especially towards their owners.  If you have older children, making the decision will the tough as both breeds are perfect for family pets.

However, if your kids are young, go for the Stafford Bull Terrier.