Pitbull vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Pitbull vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier: similar but different?
A lot of people that aren’t very familiar with the Bully breeds would likely have a hard time telling the difference between Pitbull vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The two breeds are certainly similar, and they have the same ancestors (Bulldogs).
However, for a trained eye, there are quite a few differences. Let’s look at what these differences are and which dog could be better for you. The reputation of both of these breeds has been questioned, to put it mildly, due to some misinformation being circulated in the media (Pitbulls are even banned in many countries!) But if you have any experience with either Pitbull or Staffordshire Bull Terrier, you know that they aren’t ruthless killers that they are said to be. They might just ruthlessly kill you with their slobbery kisses though!
Pitbull vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier: a quick comparison
|Pitbull vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier: a comparison|
|Pitbull||Staffordshire Bull Terrier|
|Country of origin||USA||UK|
|FCI Registration||Not accepted by FCI||1987|
|Height||40-50 cm||30-40 cm|
|Weight||15-30 kg||10-17 kg|
|Breed purpose||Fighting/ Service dog||Pet/Companion|
|Colors||Any color||Red, tan, white, blue, black and brindle + white markings|
Size is probably one of the biggest differences that become immediately obvious if you put a Pitbull and a Staffie side by side.
Pitbulls are definitely larger dogs. An average Pitbull will grow to be about 40-50 cm tall and weigh up to 15-30 kg.
A Staffie, on the other hand, will probably be closer to 30-40 cm tall and weigh closer to 10-17 kg.
Both are large, muscular dogs but a Pittie is definitely larger. This is probably due to the fact that Pitbulls have been bred specifically to display excellent fighting qualities and when it comes to fighting, size is an important factor. Staffies have been bred mostly as pet and companion dogs where large size does not only not offer any benefits but may actually be a bit of a disadvantage.
If you are looking for a more compact dog to accompany you in your city adventures and share your apartment with you, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier might be better suited for you than a Pitbull. (Although both breeds require sufficient levels of exercise to be happy. None of these two are couch potatoes!)
Pitbull vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier: anatomy differences
Anatomy-wise, these breeds are very similar, except for the fact that, as stated above, Pitbulls are usually quite a bit larger than Staffies. Both breeds are stalky, muscular dogs, quite wide in their “shape”, with shorter, stalky legs. In terms of the head anatomy, Pitbull nose should be shorter than their skull (according to AKC) whereas Staffies don’t have that specification.
According to AKC, Pitbulls can be of pretty much any color or color combination. Staffordshire Bull Terriers, however, have only a few accepted colors and combinations. They can be red, tan, white, blue, black and brindle. Any of these colors can combine with white. In terms of coat quality, both Staffies and Pitbulls have very similar short shiny coats that don’t require much grooming and don’t tend to have too much “doggy” smell.
Pitbull vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier: personality differences
When it comes to temperament, it’s important to remember that all dogs are different, and their personality can be defined by their genetics, their health, the conditions they have been raised in, their current situation, etc. Just like with people, there is a lot that can impact your mood and personality.
But generally speaking, Pitbulls have been bred for centuries to be an excellent fighting dog. According to AKC, such “fighting” personality qualities as boldness, confidence and enthusiasm are still very important. Pitbulls are also described as friendly towards people, assertive but outgoing and very lively. They shouldn’t be gloomy, passive and definitely not aggressive!
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are described as confident, outgoing, friendly and loyal dogs that, at the same time, can easily stand their ground. In terms of personality, these two breeds are really very similar. Although some experts definitely state that Pitbulls tend to do a bit more aggressive while Staffies are very patient and well-tempered.
Pitbull vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier: pain tolerance
Both breeds have this in common. They have a very high pain tolerance compared to other dogs, likely because both breeds have bulldogs in their predecessor lines. As fighting dogs, Bulldogs have a significantly higher pain threshold than most other breeds. This doesn’t mean your dog (be it Pitbull or Staffordshire Bull Terrier) will be dog aggressive.
It’s just that, if the fight does happen, your Pitbull or Staffie have higher chances of coming out on top due to this interesting trait. It can also be a dangerous trait in a dog: a dog with high pain threshold will be less likely to stop the fight even if they are getting badly wounded (and can seriously hurt the other dog).
Both Pitbull and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are extremely intelligent dogs that also like to please their owners. However, they are also very confident and can sometimes be stubborn. They need to really trust and respect the owner to obey them.
Training is extremely important starting from a young age. This will allow your dog to learn that you are the leader and also that you have expectations from them. A strong, powerful dog like Pitbull or Staffie can be a real danger if the owner doesn’t invest enough time in training the dog and making sure that the Pittie and Staffie are always under control.
If you do train them, you will get a much more disciplined, predictable dog, but also simply a pleasure to be around. If you are having issues in training, you may find advice from an experienced dog trainer very valuable. They may also discuss a general approach of training with you, which sometimes needs to be different when it comes to Bully breeds. (As opposed to, say, German Shepherds).
Pitbull vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier: everyday life
It’s probably safe to say that there shouldn’t be any significant differences in your everyday life with a Pitbull or a Staffie. Both breeds are lovely, loyal, friendly dogs that get very attached to their family members. This will be the dog that loves everyone in the family, and that a whole family will love.
Because Staffies (and Pitties) are so attached to their owners, they need to live in the house with you. It’s an extremely bad idea to keep either of these breeds outside or on a chain. Living in such conditions, without enough attention and interaction with the family, can make your dog frustrated, bored and aggressive. You don’t want that in your Pittie or Staffie.
Apart from close contact with their family, both Pitbulls and Staffordshire Bull Terriers also need enough exercise every day to stay physically and mentally happy and healthy. An adult dog needs at least 2 walks a day just to potty. If you don’t walk them at least twice a day, they can develop kidney issues or other health issues. Apart from “toilet” walks, your dog will also need a good hour of active walking/hiking/free play in the park where they can really let loose and run/play as much as they want. Of course, if your pup tends to display dog aggression (which can happen with Pitbulls) you need to make sure your dog is safe for others and consider a muzzle or perhaps taking them out to the park when no one else is there.
Other than that, whether you choose a Pitbull or a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with the right training and socializing you will have a wonderful dog and a great companion for years to come.