Pitbull vs American Staffordshire Terrier: Difference and Comparison

Animals are an essential part of diversity; from the times of early humans, animals have played a significant role and have been beneficial for humans in one or the other sense. They were earlier used for their flesh, but with the development of the human mind, animals served more purpose.

When agriculture was established, animals started rearing; cattle were reared for purposes like meat, poultry, dairy products, protection, companionship, fieldwork, and transportation. Later on, animals were also used as pets, wherein their function was to provide protection and be used as companions.

From the times of kings and queens, pets like dogs, horses, cats, cows, buffaloes, etc., were kept. In the modern world, one popular species is now common as a pet.

Dogs are known as best friends of humans, as they are loyal to their masters and act as friends to people, which curbs their loneliness. Sometimes people who do not have a family own dogs as their family.

Having a dog as a pet is one of the best therapies for people suffering from mental illness. The life of dogs is not more than 15 years though exceptions are always there. Their protective nature is admirable.

Dogs are even useful in police or forces in the country. Thus, proving themselves as the most beneficial animals.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pitbull is a term that can refer to several breeds of dogs, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They all shared similar physical characteristics and were originally bred for bull-baiting and dog fighting.
  2. The American Staffordshire Terrier is a specific breed recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), characterized by a muscular build, broad head, and short coat. It is included under the umbrella term of “pitbull.”
  3. Both pit bulls and American Staffordshire Terriers have a history of being bred for strength and tenacity. Still, the term pitbull can encompass multiple breeds, while the American Staffordshire Terrier is a distinct breed recognized by the AKC.

Pitbull vs. American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier is a medium-sized breed, over time, it has become more of a family companion and is known for its loyalty, courage, and affectionate nature. The Pitbull, which is short for American Pit Bull Terrier, is also a medium-sized breed that was developed in the United States for dog fighting.

Pitbull vs American Staffordshire terrier

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Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonPitbullAmerican Staffordshire Terrier
Basic natureAggressiveCalm and intelligent
Suitable forPolice and homes (security)Companion for household
Variety of coat colorsA large variety is foundLimited variety is found
SizeBiggest and heaviestSmallest


What is Pitbull?

Pitbulls are members of the molosser breed group. They cross between terrier and bulldog, originally from Scotland, Ireland, and England. Pitbulls are known for their qualities; some of their admirable qualities include passion, willingness, high pain tolerance, fighting prowess, etc. there is one more quality that is desirable for police and the army, and that quality is aggression.

Pitbulls are used as household companions, guardians in managing livestock (early time), police, and therapy. They benefit people out and want security in their homes; they are aggressive but not toward humans.

Pitbulls are turned extremely obedient and docile with proper training; they are reliable and have high energy, so they are considered fit for guarding and police work. They are properly employed as police and even retire after a few years.

Their lifespan is 12 to 16 years on average; they are the biggest and heaviest Molossus breed, having a height of 18 to 22 inches and weighing approximately 22 to 110 pounds; they are muscular. They have powerful hind legs making their pushing power strong.

Some critics claim pitbulls are inherently dangerous as they have violence in their genes. Therefore regardless of their training and treatment, somehow, they will turn dangerous.

There is a large variation that can be seen in pitbulls in terms of their color of coat and pattern of the coat. They have pronounced jaws, broad and thick cheeks, and muscular necks, giving them a somewhat dangerous appearance.


What is American Staffordshire Terrier?

American Staffordshire terrier is a molosser breed group member, originally from England. Sometimes it is seen as a type of pitbull.

In early times they were used as helpers in farms, guards, and dogfights. And in the modern world, they are used as companions for the household and to guard the house.

They are mostly known for their friendly nature. American Staffordshire terriers are known for their affection, courage, friendly behavior, loyalty, devotion, etc.

They are famous for mingling with kids easily, but they do not get mixed with other pets. Their non-aggressive nature makes them suitable for friendship with children, and thus, they are not used in any violent spheres like the police.

They are cute, cuddly, and affectionate. In terms of appearance, they are less dangerous than pitbulls.

American Staffordshire terriers are the smallest of the Molossus breed, having a height of 17 to 19 inches and weight 40 to 50 pounds less than pitbull. Their life expectancy is 12 to 16 years. Their weight may vary from 28 to 40 kgs.

Their front legs are more robust and are found in a limited color range that is blue, white, red, brindle, or black. They appear somewhat similar to pitbull, like they have pronounced jaws, broad and thick cheeks, and muscular necks.

American Staffordshire terriers are not friendly with other pets. Thus, this makes them bark a lot when they cannot socialize. They tend to chew, dig, pull, or bark when bored.

american staffordshire terrier

Main Differences Between Pitbull and American Staffordshire Terrier

  1. Pitbulls are aggressive, whereas American Staffordshire terriers are known for their friendly and calm personality.
  2. Pitbulls are available in many colors and coat patterns, but American Staffordshire terriers have a limited range of colors in coats.
  3. Police or the army majorly use pitbulls, whereas American Staffordshire terriers are used for households only and are suitable for homes with kids.
  4. Pitbulls are the heaviest and most extensive of the molester breed; on the contrary, American Staffordshire terriers are the smallest of the Molossus breed.
  5. Pitbulls are known for their passion, physically powerful, and aggression. On the contrary, American Staffordshire is famous for its affectionate, cuddly, gentle behavior.
Difference Between Pitbull and American Staffordshire Terrier

  1. https://meridian.allenpress.com/jaaha/article-abstract/39/6/551/175703
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S109002331500310X

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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25 thoughts on “Pitbull vs American Staffordshire Terrier: Difference and Comparison”

  1. It’s fascinating how animals have evolved from being used for basic purposes like food and protection to serving as companions and even therapy for mental illness. The role of Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers as police and guard dogs is truly impressive.

    1. I agree, it’s amazing to see the different roles animals have played throughout history. The evolution of their relationship with humans is quite inspiring.

    2. Interesting point. I had no idea about the historical roles of these breeds. Thanks for sharing this information.

  2. The depiction of Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers highlights the need to address the unfounded biases and fears associated with these breeds, especially when their historical and modern roles offer so much more to appreciate.

    1. Indeed, educating people about the true nature and capabilities of these breeds can help combat prejudice and foster a more informed perspective.

  3. The varying roles and qualities of Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers throughout history demonstrate the complexity and adaptability of these animals.

    1. Avatar of Sally Phillips
      Sally Phillips

      It’s intriguing to see how these breeds have navigated different roles over time and adapted to human needs.

  4. The comparison between Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers serves as a reminder of the importance of acknowledging the diverse attributes and roles of these breeds. It challenges common misconceptions and invites a more comprehensive understanding of their nature and history.

    1. The comparison emphasizes the need to appreciate the complexity and individuality of these breeds, rather than relying on stereotypical assumptions.

    2. Avatar of Justine Anderson
      Justine Anderson

      Absolutely, this comparative analysis sheds light on the multifaceted nature of these breeds, encouraging a more nuanced perspective.

  5. This comparison between Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers highlights the complexity and diversity within the breeds, dispelling common misconceptions about their nature and behavior.

    1. The comparison sheds light on the nuances of each breed, emphasizing the need to look beyond generalizations.

  6. The information provided about Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers offers valuable insights into their historical and contemporary significance. It’s essential to understand the complexities and contributions of these breeds.

  7. Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers have faced unfair prejudice and discrimination, despite their admirable traits and diverse historical roles.

  8. The portrayal of Pitbulls as inherently dangerous overlooks their potential for loyalty, intelligence, and positive contributions, both as companion animals and in professional capacities like police work.

    1. It’s important to recognize the positive attributes of these breeds and challenge the misconceptions that perpetuate negative views.

  9. It’s troubling to see the misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding Pitbulls. The fact that they can be docile, loyal, and even serve as police dogs is often overlooked due to the prejudices associated with this breed.

    1. The stigma surrounding Pitbulls is unjust. It’s important to educate people about the true nature of these animals.

  10. The history and characteristics of Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers are truly intriguing. It’s remarkable to observe how their roles have shifted over time from working animals to beloved companions.

    1. Indeed, the transformation of these breeds’ purposes reflects the changing dynamics between humans and animals. It’s a rich aspect of history.

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