Difference Between AMSTAFF and APBT

Terrier breed is one of the common and enthusiastic dog breeds. In that case, AMSTAFF and APBT are two well-known types of Terrier breed that often confuse people.

However, APBT is an American Pit Bull Terrier dog, while AMSTAFF is both an American and British bred breed. Subsequently, AMSTAFF is an abbreviated name for American Staffordshire Terrier dogs. 


The main difference between AMSTAFF and APBT is that AMSTAFF is the American Staffordshire Terrier breed, which is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as show dogs, while on the other hand, American Pit Bull Terrier breed is aggressive and recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) as game dogs.


American Staffordshire Terrier breed is also known as AMSTAFF. These dogs are bred in the fighting pits of America and the United Kingdom for combats.

Originally, it was only a Staffordshire Terrier breed, however, after 1972, it was termed American Staffordshire Terrier to honor its dual origins (UK and America). It has a thick, shiny, and short hair coat. 

On the other hand, APBT is the short form of the American Pit Bull Terrier breed. These dogs are initially bred in the British Isles during the nineteenth century.

However, APBT got its recognition after being landed in America. Since then, APBT was acknowledged as an American breed. It has a thick, soft, and short hair coat. 

Comparison Table Between AMSTAFF and APBT

Parameters of Comparison AMSTAFFAPBT
Definition AMSTAFF stands for American Staffordshire Terrier breed. APBT stands for the American Pit Bull Terrier breed. 
Origin It is bred in America and the United Kingdom. The breed was originally from the British Isles and landed in America in the late 19th century. 
Features It ranges from 17-19 inches and 40-50 pounds with a shiny, thick, and short hair coat. It ranges from 18-22 inches and 30-90 pounds. It is fibrous and has a short, smooth hair coat. 
Colour Black, fawn, blue, sable, brindle, and brown. Black, white, brindle, fawn, grey, brown, red, and blue. 
TemperamentTenacious, devoted, loyal, friendly, attentive, and courageous. Stubborn, friendly, affectionate, gentle, obedient, intelligent, clownish, loyal, and courageous. 

What is AMSTAFF?

AMSTAFF is also known as Am Staff or American Staffy, which is an American Staffordshire Terrier breed. It is a medium-sized, short-coated American Terrier-bred dog.

American Staffordshire Bull Terriers typically stand between 17 and 19 inches (43 to 48 cm) and weigh between 40 and 70 lbs (18 to 32 kg).

It is bred in the way of warlike in America and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, it was originally named as Staffordshire Terrier breed, however, after 1972, it was termed American Staffordshire Terrier.

The name of the breed is to acknowledge its ancestors from the Staffordshire of UK and America. 

Subsequently, in 1936, it was accepted by AKC (American Kennel Club) to lessen confusion between American and Staffordshire Terriers of the United Kingdom.

They have a feature of short-legged, stocky, and muscular build bodies. Their head is medium in size, with ears cropped upward. 

While their noses are usually black. AMSTAFF’s life expectancy is approximately around 12-16 years. According to the AKC description, AMSTAFF dogs are smart, confident, and good-natured breeds. 

In the abstract, AMSTAFF temperament follows tenacious, loyal, devoted, friendly, attentive, courageous, and good with children personalities.

Besides, they’re vulnerable to skin allergies, UTI, osteoarthritis, or spondylosis in older dogs.

Whereas hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, demodectic mange, cerebellar ataxia, heart disease, and luxating patella are commonly seen in the breed.

What is APBT?

Meanwhile, on the other hand, APBT is an American Pit Bull Terrier breed, acknowledged by both UKC (United Kingdom Club) and ADBA (American Dog Breeders Association).

Comparably,  APBT is larger than AMSTAFF, males normally range in height from 18 to 21 inches (45 to 53 centimeters) and weigh 35 to 60 pounds (15 to 27 kilograms).

Females usually range from 17 to 20 inches (43 to 50 centimeters) and weigh 30 to 50 pounds (13 to 22 kilograms).

Their coat is short, polished, stiff, and smooth with a well-defined muscle outline. And their eyes are almond-shaped, and the ears are usually half prick or rose-shaped.

By the nineteenth century, it was bred in the British Isles and titled ‘Pit and Bull’. 

Soon after, between 1845 and 1860, the APBT breed was landed in America. And for this reason, it was named after the country USA. APBT is widely bred for fighting purposes.

Coming to their temperament, APBT dogs are stubborn, friendly, clownish, affectionate, intelligent, loyal, courageous, gentle, and very much obedient.  

They are vulnerable to many bone diseases such as hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and kneecap dislocation.

In addition to that, due to short hair coats, they are highly susceptible to numerous skin allergies, and common diseases including thyroid and congenital heart defects.

Main Differences Between AMSTAFF and APBT

  1. AMSTAFF breed is less aggressive than APBT. AMSTAFF is bred as show dogs, while APBT is a game dog. 
  2. APBT is more athletic than AMSTAFF since they have more energy than the formers’. 
  3. AMSTAFF is heavier and a little taller than the muscular build APBT. 
  4. AMSTAFF is in height of 17-19 inches and a weight of 40-50 pounds. On the other hand, APBT is in height of 18-22 inches and a weight of 30-90 pounds. 
  5. American Staffordshire Terriers are recognized by the American Kennel Club, while American Pit Bull Terriers are recognized by the United Kennel Club.
  6. AMSTAFF has thick, shiny, short hair, while APBT has a thick, smooth, and short hair coat. 
  7. AMSTAFF is much friendlier than APBT given that they are bred for dog show games. 


On the whole, a terrier is a type of dog bred for fighting and game purposes. In this regard, AMSTAFF and APBT are two well-known bull-type Terriers, originally bred in America.

Meanwhile, AMSTAFF is recognized by AKC (American Kennel Club), while APBT by UKC (United Kingdom Club). 

Nevertheless, the International Canine Federation acknowledges these breeds as Bull-Type Terriers, as they are crossbred between bulldog and terriers.

Besides, both these breeds are recognized by their short and thick hair coat, with powerful and muscled body features.

However, both AMSTAFF and APBT breeds are friendly, playful, and enthusiastic companions, and are commonly thought of as good family dogs. 


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168159115001240
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1751-0813.2007.00220.x
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