STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER vs AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER
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Let's talk about the history and the basic differences between the Staffy and AMStaffy. The
English Staffordshire Bull Terrier was originally bred in England and very commonly used by
the lower class for blood sports. After the United Kingdom banned dogfighting in 1835 the
breed started to find new life as canine companions. The breed was taken to America where
their lines split and a new breed was developed.
The American Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the descendent of the original English Staffy, but
is typically 4-5” taller and 20 plus pounds heavier than their English counterparts. The
American Staffy has a longer face and muzzle compared to the English Staffy which has a
shorter and flatter face.
One note before we get started because there is always some confusion around the
difference between the AM Staff and Pit Bulls...
The American Staffordshire Bull Terrier is extremely similar to the American Pit Bull Terrier
and other than in very high competition areas, many consider them to essentially be the
same breed even though they are registered as two distinct breed by the Continental Kennel
Club and United Kennel Club. The American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize the American
Pit Bull Terrier as a registered breed but includes the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
The English Staffy has a reputation here in the UK similar to the Pit Bull in America but the
American Staffy has mostly escaped the negative connotation. In some areas of the US, it’s
completely acceptable to have a Staffy where Pit Bulls are banned.
The most important thing I want you to take away from this video is that aggressive and
badly behaved dogs aren’t born that way. It’s through training and leadership, or lack
thereof, that causes a dog to behave badly.
Alright, now with that out of the way, let’s take a look at the differences between the English
and American Staffy.
Both the English Staffy and the AM Staffy are compact, agile dogs with high energy levels
and a tenacious spirit. They excel at athletic canine sports and can easily keep up with your
active lifestyle when conditioned properly. Because of their size and agility, they are easy to
travel with and don’t take up much room in the home. Since the English Staffy is smaller,
they obviously take up less space and are better suited to smaller living situations provided
they still get enough time to exercise outside.
Both breeds are considered fairly intelligent and easily trained by experienced handlers.
They form strong bonds with their canine leaders and are very eager to please them. They
love having a job to do and consistent boundaries. They need to be socialized early and
often throughout their lives with other people and animals or they can become aggressive
when meeting others. Due to their tenacious nature, they aren’t always the best breeds for
first-time dog owners who haven’t learned how to be calm, consistent canine leaders.
They make wonderful family dogs, despite their ancestor's blood history, and in the past
have been known as ‘nanny dogs’ because of their patience with small children. They are
very devoted and gentle canine companions that do well with children of all ages. They are
very close with their children and also protective of them without being overly aggressive or
possessive when socialized regularly.
They have short sleek coats that shed minimally, but they do shed seasonally slightly more
like many other breeds. You may need to trim their nails on a regular basis to keep the sharp
points ground down, but with an active lifestyle, their nails tend to file themselves fairly well.
Both breeds can be a bit sensitive to their environment and hives and other allergies that
affect the skin are not uncommon in either breed.
One of the most notable traits you'll see in both the Staffy and AMStaffy is their extremely
loving and affectionate nature. They bond very closely with their family and are fiercely loyal.
They have a lot of patience for young children and are happiest when they are able to be
with their families. Both breeds will spend hours cuddling with you and your children and
prefer to be close at all times.
Like I said in the beginning, there are very few differences between the English and
American versions of the Staffy other than a few physical characteristics. Of course, I’m
biased towards the English Staffy since I’ve been around them more and grew up in
Staffordshire England but I still believe that both breeds are wonderful canine companions
when socialized well and don’t deserve the negative reputations they have in either country.