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American Staffordshire Terrier Vs Pit Bull

At first glance, you might find it hard to spot any difference between an American Staffordshire Terrier and an American Pit Bull Terrier. If this is the case, you’re not alone!

As descendants of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, both the Amstaff and the American Pit Bull Terrier are among the so-called bully breeds. Interestingly, the American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier as a breed, while the United Kennel Club does. This brings us to:

American Staffordshire Terrier Vs Pit Bull – what is the difference? Both the Staffy and the American Pit Bull Terrier are medium-sized dogs, with a short smooth coat and well-developed musculature. The Amstaff is slightly shorter, weighs more, and overall has a bulkier appearance. On the other hand, the Pit is more athletically built being taller and slimmer. 

Due to their similar appearance and personality traits, you can have trouble deciding which of these two breeds is the best for you. Luckily, we are here to help and will compare the Amstaff and the Pit for you!

Breed Comparison Chart

BreedAmerican Staffordshire TerrierAmerican Pit Bull Terrier
Weight50-80 lb30-60 lb
Height16-19 in17-21 in
PersonalityTenacious, Friendly, LoyalStubborn, Silly, Friendly
Lifespan10-15 years12-16 years
GroomingWeekly brushingWeekly brushing

Difference Between American Staffordshire Terrier vs Pit Bull

Difference Between American Staffordshire Terrier vs Pit Bull

Before we go into details, you should know that the Pit Bull isn’t a dog breed, but a catchphrase for many bully breeds. Hence, the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American bulldog, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier all fall under the term “Pit Bull” (source).

So there won’t be any confusion, in this article we’ll compare the American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as Amstaff or Staffy with the American Pit Bull Terrier, known as Pit or APBT.


The Amstaff and the Pit are both medium-sized dogs with a similar, and to some, rather intimidating appearance. Both breeds have well-balanced bodies with clearly defined muscles, large square heads, and muzzles.

The only real difference in terms of size is that the Amstaff is slightly shorter, being on average 16 to 19 inches tall. On the other hand, Pits are slightly taller, measuring on average 17 to 21 inches.

These few inches make a big difference when you compare the two dogs close to each other. Being slightly taller, Pits look slimmer whereas Amstaffs are shorter and bulky.


On average the American Staffordshire Terrier weighs between 50 and 80 pounds, with males being heavier than females. On the other hand, Pits on average weigh between 30 and 60 pounds but can weigh more.


Both breeds have similar exercise needs and are active dogs that need at least 60 minutes of exercise each day.

Being more athletic, the Pit enjoys exercises more and is a better choice if you are looking for a jogging partner. On the other hand, while they love vigorous play sessions Amstaffs also enjoy afternoon naps on the couch.

Nevertheless, both breeds have a lot of extra energy that needs to be properly channeled and expelled every day. Hence, you should consider taking your dog to agility courses, play fetch, and invest in puzzles and chew toys that will help prevent boredom and destructive behavior.


Due to their unfortunate past and the use in bull-baiting and dogfighting, both the Amstaff and the Pit are labeled as dangerous and aggressive dogs with an unstable temperament (source). However, nothing can be further from the truth!

Neither of these two breeds is inherently vicious nor will exhibit any aggressive behavior if properly socialized and trained from a young age.

In truth, both the Staffy and the Pit are people-loving, friendly, and eager to please dogs that are the happiest when they are around their family.

They are highly protective and gentle towards children, so it’s no surprise that the American Pit Bull Terrier is nicknamed the “nanny dog” (source). But while he acts like a nanny, it’s highly unlikely that your pooch will change your toddler’s diaper any time soon!


The American Staffordshire Terrier is a persistent, friendly, loyal, devoted, and courageous dog. They are naturally friendly towards people but are extremely devoted to their owners and family whom they will defend at all costs.

While the Amstaff has a reputation of being a guard dog, he is more likely to greet people with a wagging tail and lots of affection. However, its size and look can be enough of a deterrent to keep intruders away.

While a true family dog, the Amstaff needs an experienced and dedicated owner who will work and train him from a young age. While stubborn at times, these intelligent and eager to please dogs excel at obedience training.

Personality-wise you can expect the American Pit Bull Terrier to be clownish, affectionate, obedient, and strong-willed. Also naturally friendly towards people, Pits are good watchdogs, just because they are eager to greet everyone with a wagging tail.

Due to their people loving nature, Pits aren’t a good option if you’re looking for a guard dog. However, their courage and devotion towards their owners are unmatched and they will defend the people they love no matter what.

While they can be stubborn, Pits respond well to an assertive owner who knows how to train a dog and reinforce the rules. Early socialization and training are a must and will prevent any unwanted behaviors such as pulling on the leash and destructive chewing.


Being people loving and affectionate breeds, both the Amstaff and the Pit don’t like to be left alone a lot. These dogs are the happiest among people and can easily develop behavioral problems if they feel left out.

Without human companionship and regular interaction, both breeds will exhibit some type of destructive behavior, or become depressed. Thus, consider how much time you’ll be able to spend with your dog before you decide to bring one of these breeds home.

Keep in mind, that while both breeds are extremely friendly towards people, they might not be so fond of other dogs. Thus, early socialization is a must for both breeds, and it will help your dog to be less standoffish when meeting other animals.


Both the Amstaff and the American Pit Bull Terrier are generally healthy breeds that can live up to 15 years or more. However, both breeds are predisposed to some health conditions you should know about.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, skin allergies, hypothyroidism, heart disease, and urinary tract infections (source). Furthermore, they can develop osteoarthritis and spondylosis later in life.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, allergies, hypothyroidism, cerebral abiotrophy, and aortic stenosis.

Your best chance to avoid many of these conditions is to get your dog from a reputable breeder who has done all the necessary tests and checks. Reputable breeders will ensure that their dogs are above all healthy and will eliminate any sick dogs from their breeding programs.

Related Article: American Bulldog vs Pit Bull: A Comparison, which of the two would suit you well!

American Staffordshire Terrier vs Pit Bull Price

American Staffordshire Terrier vs Pit Bull Price

The price of any type of dog, including the Amstaff and the Pit will depend on the breeder, gender, coat color, and lineage.

A purebred American Staffordshire Terrier puppy will cost on average from $1200 to $2000. However, be prepared to spend a lot more if you are looking for a show quality dog with a distinctive lineage.

On the other hand, you can expect to pay from $500 to $1000 for a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier puppy. Then again, the cost can rise significantly if you are set on particular coat color or lineage.

Where To Get American Staffordshire Terrier?

Since most bull terrier and American Pit Bull type of breeds end up in shelters, you should seriously consider adopting. If you want an Amstaff as a family pet, adopt one and give him a chance to experience the joy and comfort of having a forever home!

Where To Get Pit Bull?

If you are serious about getting a Pit, research your local shelters and rescue organizations that specialize in terrier and the American Pit Bull dogs. Most of these breeds wait a long time to be adopted and eventually end up euthanized.

Related Questions:

Is Staffordshire a Pit Bull?

The Pit Bull isn’t a dog breed but a term used as a description for a type of dog. The American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, the American bulldog, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier all fall under the term “Pit Bull”.

Are Staffordshire Terriers an aggressive breed?

American Staffordshire Terriers aren’t naturally aggressive. However, in the wrong hands, any dog can become aggressive. The only difference is that the Amstaff can cause more damage than an aggressive Chihuahua.

Which is the bigger Pit Bull or Amstaff?

There is a big difference between a Pit and an Amstaff. While American Pit Bull Terriers are slightly taller they weigh less than an American Staffordshire Terrier. The Amstaff is bulkier and as such might look bigger despite being shorter.

Is a Pit Bull Terrier the Same as a Pit Bull?

There is no such thing as a Pit Bull breed. However, there is a breed called the American Pit Bull Terrier. The term “Pit Bull” is used to describe many different bully breeds.

How can you tell if it’s a Pit Bull?

Look at your dog’s appearance, American Pit Bull Terriers have well-built, muscled, and powerful bodies and a short coat. The head should be extremely wide, ears can be rose-shaped or cropped, and the muzzle should be slightly narrow.


Unjustly regarded by many as aggressive and dangerous, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier are people-oriented, friendly, and happy-go-lucky family dogs.

While they might look the same, there are slight differences between these two breeds. The Amstaff is shorter, stockier, and prefers lounging than vigorous exercise. On the other hand, the Pit is slightly taller, more athletically built, and a fan of running, playing, and agility courses.

Ultimately, both breeds are people-friendly, smart, loyal, and will defend their owners and families regardless of the cost. In the hands of an assertive and dedicated owner, both breeds make loving and amazing pets.


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