American Staffordshire Terrier vs Pitbull – Main Differences

Interested in the American Staffordshire Terrier vs Pitbull comparison when choosing your next dog companion? Although they share some similarities, the two breeds are unique in their own ways.

So if you want to know and learn more about them, you are in the right place.

Read on to discover the differences and similarities between these affectionate, trustworthy, and intelligent dogs and determine which one may be the best fit for you.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. American Pitbull Terrier – Breed Comparison

The American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff) and the American Pitbull Terrier have very similar appearances.

They both display a muscular build, sturdy bone structure, short hair coats, and a wide array of color patterns.

The most notable physical difference between these two breeds is their height and weight.

Breed Comparison – 2 Main Differences

American Staffordshire TerrierAmerican Pitbull Terrier
Height: 17-19 InchesHeight:  17-29 Inches
Weight: 40-70 lbsWeight: 30-70 lbs

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull Terrier – History

The American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pitbull Terrier come from different bloodlines.

The American Staffordshire Terrier was bred as a cross between the Bulldog and the terrier breed to increase its speed and agility, while the American Pitbull Terrier evolved from England’s now extinct Old English Bulldogge.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull – Temperament

The American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terriers are both loyal, protective, and trustworthy dogs that make great family pets.

American Staffordshire Terriers Temperament

Some Staffordshire Terriers may be more easy-going and docile, while others may be very assertive. This breed will typically show more reserved behavior around strangers but should not act overly aggressive or timid.

American Pitbull Terriers Temperament

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a breed known for its bravery and courage, making it an excellent guard dog. In fact, the AKC describes the American Staffordshire Terrier as “equable in temperament, resolute in courage.

pitbull wearing blue scarf

American Pit Bull Terriers are more likely to be aggressive towards other animals (but not towards humans). This breed may show signs of dog aggression, especially towards dogs of the same sex.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull Terrier – Nutrition

Both the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pitbull Terriers can suffer from similar health problems, such as:

  • hip dysplasia,
  • heart disease,
  • epilepsy,
  • allergies, or
  • eye diseases

American Staffordshire Terriers Nutrition

You should feed the American Staffordshire Terrier two times a day with a high protein, low-fat diet consisting of:

  • lean meats,
  • whole grains,
  • vegetables, and
  • calcium supplements.

American Pitbull Terriers Nutrition

The American Pitbull Terrier requires a high protein, moderate-fat diet with some vegetables and fruits.

Make sure to provide the best Pitbull dog food while monitoring your dog’s caloric intake daily to avoid obesity.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull Terrier – Exercise & Training

The American Staffordshire and Pitbull are nearly identical when it comes to their exercises.

To avoid guarding instincts and aggression with other animals or dogs, you need to socialize them early.

Owners often report that their Pitbull and American Staffordshire Terrier are good with other dogs at the dog park. However, this is a result of proper training.

If you want your dog to be well-mannered, it is important that you train them. They are intelligent and very trainable, so it’s a good idea to start training your dog with a harness as soon as possible.

Also, make sure to offer treats as a reward for good behavior (they both love snacks!)

Any pitbull-size harness should work while training. This should be done after the first round of shots to discourage aggression.

Staffordshire terrier running with a stick

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull Terrier – Size

American Staffordshire TerrierAmerican Pitbull Terrier
MaleHeight: 18-19 inches
Weight: 55-70 pounds
Height: 18-19 inches
Weight: 35-70 pounds
FemaleHeight: 17-18 inches
Weight: 40-55 pounds
Height: 17-18 inches
Weight: 30-60 pounds

The adult male American Staffordshire Terrier is typically between 18-19 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 55-70 pounds.

The adult female American Staffordshire Terrier is approximately 17-18 inches tall with a weight of 40-55 pounds.

The height of a male American Pitbull Terrier is between 18-19 inches, while the weight ranges from 35-70 pounds.

The height of a female American Pitbull Terrier is between 17-18 inches, with a weight between 30 and 60 pounds.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull Terrier – Common Health Problems

The American Staffordshire Terrier and the Pitbull Terriers suffer from similar health problems. Both breeds tend to suffer from:

  • skin allergies,
  • hip dysplasia,
  • eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts, and
  • Hypothyroidism (thyroid causing metabolism to slow down)

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull Terrier – Lifespan

The American Staffordshire Terriers life expectancy is 12-16 years, while the Pitbull lifespan is typically between 12-15 years.

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull Terrier – Grooming

tan and white pitbull wearing blue collar

These pups are much easier to groom than the average dog.

They should be bathed once every two months (great, right!) and only need to be brushed once per week. This will help keep their skin healthy and shiny.

The general grooming duties, such as brushing their teeth and cleaning their ears, are the same as in all medium-sized dogs – once a week is enough.

Both breeds shed very little. Pitbulls and Amstaffs have a single coat, so they shed minimally throughout the year but will drop more hair during their shedding seasons (spring and fall).

American Staffordshire Terrier vs. Pitbull Terrier – Price

The average cost of the Pitbull and Amstaff will be about $1,000, depending on the breeder. Puppy costs will go up significantly if you want a puppy from a specific bloodline.

When looking for these breeds, it’s important that you only work with reputable breeders. If the breeders are reputable, they will breed gentle, friendly dogs and won’t breed any aggressive puppies.

However, if you are thinking about buying a dog from another source, you risk your pup being bred from a violent dog that has been actively fighting. Remember, a reliable breeder will never sell a vicious puppy.

There are also thousands of Pitbull-type dogs at rescue shelters all across America.

You could consider adopting one.

You may not be able to know the history of your dog if you adopt him, but if you are a good and firm pet owner, your puppy will grow happy and healthy. 

People Also Ask

What Is The Difference Between An American Staffordshire Terrier And Staffordshire Bull Terrier?

The American Staffordshire Terrier is much larger than its cousin, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The Amstaff has a rounder head and wider body with heavier features that make it appear intimidating – sometimes even more so than many other similar breeds.

The head structure and chewing muscles are similar in both breeds, but the American Staffordshire Terrier has deeper skulls due to more developed jaw musculature, which can make for an aggressive nature in some cases against other dogs or animals.

Both breeds share an elongated nose bridge typical among dogs who do not breathe through their mouth but rather regulate temperature using nasal passages due to their warmer blood flow.  

Is An American Staffordshire Terrier Considered An Aggressive Breed?

Though the American Staffordshire Terrier is not naturally a violent dog breed, they can have aggressive tendencies and may be more prone to aggression than other breeds.

The Amstaff dogs are originally bred as fighter dogs, and that’s why it’s important to establish a proper training routine from a young age to help prevent this behavior from developing. This can be achieved by socializing your pet from an early age along with strict obedience training using positive reinforcement techniques.

It’s up to you as a responsible owner to train and socialize your dog from a young age to avoid any problems with aggressive behavior in the future.

Are Staffies Smarter Than Pitbulls?

Because Staffies and Pitbulls share a common lineage, it’s natural for them to have similar behaviors and high intelligence. Both breeds are highly intelligent dogs who tend to be easy to train, so we really can’t distinguish which is smarter.

Staffies and Pitbulls also tend to get bored easily. They need a high level of mental stimulation and may even resort to destructive behavior if they are not engaged enough throughout the day.

It’s recommended to provide them at least an hour of exercise every day and feed them with high-quality dog food rich in nutrients they need to stay physically and mentally fit.

It is important for both breeds to begin obedience training when they are still puppies. The earlier you start training your puppy, the easier it will be for them to learn new tricks and follow commands.


Although the American Staffordshire Terrier and an American Pitbull Terrier share similar characteristics, there are few differences.

In appearance, the Amstaff has a rounder head and wider body with heavier features. In comparison, the American Pitbull Terrier has a more square-shaped head and flatter snout.

Both breeds have a similar height, while Amstaff tends to be a little heavier than the American Pitbull Terrier. 

American Staffordshire TerrierPitbull Terrier
Height: 17-19 InchesHeight: 17-19 Inches
Weight: 40-70 lbsWeight: 30-70 lbs
Lifespan: 12-16 YearsLifespan: 12-15 Years
Cost: $1,000+Cost: $1,000+
Temperament: clever, good-naturedTemperament: loyal, energetic

Ultimately they are both great dogs as family pets.

Personally, I love the appearance of the American Staffordshire Terrier, but many will find the temperament of the American Pitbull Terrier very enjoyable. Either way, you won’t make a mistake with either choice.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to share it with someone you know who may buy one of these loyal and intelligent dogs.

So, which of these two breeds is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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