Staffordshire Terrier and Pit Bull are breeds of dogs that have many similar features. It is because of the striking similarities that they are often confused with each other. However, when choosing such a pet, the differences between these dogs can be crucial. For this reason, deciding to have an amstaff or pit bull, you should first study the features of each of these breeds.
External differences between the Staffordshire Terrier and the Pit Bull
American Pit Bull Terrier (Pit Bull) - a mix of terrier and English Bulldog. Despite the presence of the word "American" in the name of this breed, its ancestors appeared in Britain. They took an active part in dog battles and were used to harass bears and bulls.
American Pit Bull Terrier
When and how did the American Staffordshire Terrier (staff, stafford, amstaff) appear? In the Middle Ages, the British favorite pastime was watching dog fights with bulls, bears or wild boars. As a rule, bulldogs and mastiffs took part in them. These dogs were very powerful, strong and fearless, but at the same time they lacked agility and speed of reaction, which is why they often died from the blows of hooves or horns of formidable opponents.
To improve the fighting qualities of these dogs, their owners decided to resort to selection. To do this, they tried to cross with terriers with unique dexterity. The choice of a candidate for participation in breeding activities paid off, and at the beginning of the century before last, the first bull terriers appeared.
Dog lovers who opposed their participation in the battles began to develop a standard and improve the appearance of the pit bull. The result was a breed whose representatives looked like a pit bull terrier. It was called the Staffordshire Terrier and it was under him that the AKC was recognized in 1936.
After 35 years, FCI officially registered this breed in its register, assigning it the number 286. Due to differences in weight and height between the American and English branches, in 1972 the AKC decided to change the name of the breed to "American Staffordshire Terrier." Today, staffords are crossed with representatives of other breeds, for example, with sharpei, a naked Mexican dog. Such a mixture of genes gives mestizos an unusual appearance.
There are some differences in the exterior of the Amstaffs and Pit Bulls. Information on what external signs these dogs differ is presented in the table:
|Breed names||Height, cm||Weight, kg||Appearance Features|
|Male||Bitch||Male||Bitch||Nose color||Rib cage||Musculature||Jaw||The ears|
|Amstaff||46–48||43–46||25–30||22–25||Extremely black.||Very developed and wide.||More pronounced.||Powerful, developed.||Standing or semi-standing.|
|Pit bull||46–53||43–51||16–27||14–23||Pigmentation in different individuals may vary.||Less developed, has a moderate width.||Not as pronounced as amstaff.||Elongated.||High set.|
As for wool, it is short, moderately thick and hard to the touch in both varieties. The color of the pit bull can be any (with the exception of merle). White marks are also acceptable. Amstaffs are allowed monophonic, but not white, two-tone, spotted, brindle and piebald color. White spots are possible only if they occupy no more than 20% of the total body area of the dog. To make it easier to distinguish these animals from each other, it is better to study the features of their appearance, at least from a photo.
Aggression and the boundless stiffness of these dogs are nothing more than a myth. However, it has a foundation. The fact is that the high demand for these dogs has led to the fact that unscrupulous breeders did not consider it necessary to pay attention to the appearance and mental stability of the pets. This is precisely the reason why staffs and pit bulls were considered killer dogs. Such notoriety about them went through the fault of the owners, who for some reason raised aggressive and ferocious dogs. At the moment, the trend has changed, and these animals confidently occupy the niche of companion dogs.
A sharper mind, obedient and kind nature is inherent in the Staffordshire Terrier, while the pit bull is famous for its uncontrollability and leadership qualities. To win the love and respect of the latter is possible only with the help of affection and kindness. Generalized information about the nature of these dogs, which will help to understand how they differ among themselves, is presented in the table:
|Breed name||Aggressiveness||Activity||Noise Level||Addiction to learning||Friendliness||Attitude to loneliness||Security skills|
Parenting and care
Despite the innate qualities, from any dog you can either raise a faithful and obedient pet, or make an uncontrollable aggressive creature. Before choosing a dog, you need to understand what role it will play in the family.
When deciding on the establishment of a pit bull, you need to consider that it will not be easy to educate him because of natural stubbornness. On the first day this pet appears in the family, he needs to make it clear who is in charge of the house. Representatives of this breed do not tolerate cruelty and scream. All teams should be given an even calm voice. A dog will obey only a strong and confident person.
To socialize the pet you need to walk in crowded places. If he begins to show aggression on the street, it is recommended to turn him on his back and hold in this position for 4-5 seconds. Pit bull education should be based on the following principles:
- creating a system of prohibitions that all family members must adhere to and which cannot be lifted,
- the use of game elements during training,
- 5 minute class duration.
Staffordshire Terrier puppy
Raising an obedient and smart stafford is much easier. However, this process should not be allowed to drift. The system of punishments and rewards should be built reasonably. If you allow the dog too much, a willful and ill-bred creature will grow out of it, if you limit it in everything, it will eventually turn into a cowardly creature, which under certain circumstances can turn into a vicious aggressive monster. The rest of the education of the Staffordshire Terrier is not much different from the training of other dogs.
Caring for these dogs does not have any specific features. Information on how to do this is presented in the table:
|Hygiene procedures||Frequency of exercise||special instructions|
|Bathing||1 time in 2 months||For water procedures, it is recommended to use a zoo shampoo. After each walk you need to wipe the dog with a damp cloth.|
|Combing||Weekly||It is necessary to comb the dog with a special brush. During molting, do this daily.|
|Claw trimming||As it grows (about 1 time per month)||Claws should be shortened with a claw cutter, and then processed with a file to remove sharp corners.|
|Ear cleaning||Once a week||Ear wax and dust must be removed with a damp soft cloth.|
|Eye brushing||Natural secretions and dust must be removed with a cotton pad dipped in chamomile broth.|
|Teeth cleaning||1-2 times a week||Plaque is removed using a special toothbrush and toothpaste.|
Whom to choose?
One cannot definitely answer the question of who is better to choose from these dogs. Each of them has both advantages and disadvantages. When choosing you need to consider several points. Amstaff is more suitable for a person with insufficiently rigid and demanding character. The leader by nature, not afraid of the difficulties associated with the education of a wayward and stubborn dog, it is recommended to choose a bull terrier. In any case, when choosing a new family member, one must rely not only on intuition, but also on common sense.
- Breed Name: Pit bull
- Country of origin: USA
- Weight: males 16-27 kg, females 14-23 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 46-53 cm, females 43-51 cm
- Life span: 12-15 years old
- Active temperament and phenomenal endurance are the “calling cards” of the pit bull. Playing with aport, running and other similar entertainments does not tire him at all. Physical activity positively affects not only the development of the dog, but also becomes the key to its mental health.
- Pete needs the constant attention of the owner. If you are a busy person, constantly immersed in work, then a dog of this breed will not suit you.
- The socialization of the animal is an important component of its upbringing. Communicative qualities should be developed in him from an early age. Without this, it will be difficult to overcome the natural stubbornness of the pit bull terrier, it can become difficult to manage, which in combination with power is not good.
- American pit bulls may be aggressive towards other dogs. To avoid excesses, walk your pet on a leash. Having gotten into a fight, the pit bull terrier is hard to stop, and he fights to the end. Socialization, although it will not nullify this aggressiveness, will help manage the “emotions” of the fighting dog.
- The legislation of many states, in particular, the European Union prohibits the breeding of this breed, in some countries it is regarded as a cold steel. If you are planning to travel with a pit bull, make inquiries and make sure that where you are going, he will not be “persona non grata”.
- Pit bull terriers love to nibble. So that the furniture in the house does not suffer, buy your favorite strong toys, and the more the better.
- The fighting spirit of this "American" must be constantly curbed, so its owner must be a person with a strong character in order to be able to train a dog and continue to maintain discipline in it. However, bending the stick is also not worth it, excessive rigidity can only do harm.
American Pit Bull Terrier - multifaceted breed. It combines the seemingly incongruous: fighting qualities and poise, wisdom and childish playfulness. Pit bull is devoted to his master and never shows his superiority over him. The breed has established itself as an ideal guard for humans. Its representatives look harsh: the first thing that catches your eye is the unusual shape of the head, wide cheekbones, a strong "bull" neck, wide chest and well-developed muscles. Public opinion in different countries was not in favor of the pit bull, it is considered aggressive, and sometimes it just causes one to fear others. In fact, the character of this dog is calm and friendly. Aggressiveness can develop only after a long stay in a small enclosed space.
Pit Bull Breed History
The word "American" in the name of the breed creates the erroneous impression that the United States is the birthplace of the pit bull terrier. In fact, the first pit bulls hit the Western Hemisphere from Britain. Their appearance was the result of a cross between the Old English Terrier and the Old English Bulldog. Breeders of that time set themselves the task of combining speed, fearlessness and strength of the former and athleticism of the latter in the “new” dog. As you can see, they did it very well.
In Foggy Albion, pit bulls were used in dog fights, set against bears and bulls. In 1835, when animal protection laws began to appear, these four-legged fighters with bulls and bears were no longer pushed “foreheads”. Since dog battles were not directly prohibited by law (besides, they were cheaper), the breed de facto remained widely involved in them. Animal advocates considered such contests frankly “barbaric,” a mockery of our smaller brothers. However, one cannot but recognize the fact that, in addition to a good income to the organizers, these fights gave a lot to the breed itself, revealing its best representatives. The practice of illegal dog fights continues to this day, and not only in America, but also in Russia.
It is regrettable that, according to human rights organizations, the criminal world enjoys the unique virtues of the breed. Pit bulls are involved in drug trafficking, in confrontation with the police and as fighting dogs. Poor animals devoted to their owners, of course, do not even suspect what dark affairs they have to participate in. And although they are not to blame for anything (the dog cannot, like a person, think and consciously leave the owner-criminal), such "activity" has gained notoriety for the breed. In an attempt to get rid of it, the Society for the Protection of Animals of the city of San Francisco (USA) renamed the American pit bull terrier into "St. Francis Terriers. " The organization has set the task of distributing dogs to private individuals. After 60 individuals found a new family, the resettlement program was curtailed. The reason was that several pit bulls were killed at the place of residence of domestic cats. The new name - "New Yorkies" - was given to the breed in the New York Center for Animal Care and Control, which also decided to distribute pit bulls to families. But after negative feedback, the program was canceled without even starting.
Many countries of the world - France, Sweden, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Ecuador, associated with the USA Puerto Rico, Malaysia, Portugal, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Switzerland and Poland - have passed laws governing breed control. In some states, it is completely prohibited; in others, the ability to own pit bull terriers is strictly limited. So, this breed along with three others is prohibited in the UK. Pit bulls are non grata individuals in some US states.
Features of the American Pit Bull Terrier
Television, newspapers and the Internet often provide information about these dogs exclusively in negative tones. Stories about the attacks of pit bull terriers on their own owners, about their killing of children inspire panic and fear. But is it so bloodthirsty pit bull, as presented to the general public by the media?
The American pit bull terrier is very affectionate and gentle towards its family. Due to their small growth and compact size, smooth coat and lack of salivation, representatives of this breed are ideal candidates for maintenance in urban apartments. He will feel comfortable in a private house. Despite the fact that the pit bull has a wayward character and is prone to domination, he is so devoted to his master that he is ready to give his life for him. From it you can raise an excellent bodyguard, but the watchman from him is useless. And all because a friendly attitude towards people was brought up in pit bulls from the moment the breed was born.
It is strongly discouraged to keep these dogs on a chain. Unlike German shepherds, from constantly being stupid on a leash, pit bulls on a chain just become aggressive. They, being attached, of course, begin to guard the territory. But this is more from hopelessness than by “calling”, because the protective qualities of this breed are not inherent. Often on the chain, they even become wild, which can then go sideways to the owner. Hence the myths about the "bloodthirstiness" of pit bull terriers. It is regrettable that, as a rule, the causes of aggression are not mentioned in press reports on real cases of dog attacks on people. But she is alien to the nature of pit bulls and is usually provoked by adverse circumstances.Most likely, reporters simply do not know about these "pitfalls" ...
Appearance and special features of the breed
Since the ancestors of the pit bull terrier are a bulldog and a terrier, it would be logical to expect that the dog that appeared as a result of their merger will combine the features of both breeds. However, in the character of the pit bull, almost nothing remained of the calm and lazy bulldog. In our "American" - fun, playful, restless - the terrier genes won.
Pit Bull Terrier - a dog, as they say, of wide specialization. Do you want to get yourself a pet and an almost full member of the family? He is perfect for this role. Need a sports participant earning medals? Or is a sniffer dog needed? Choosing a pit bull for these purposes, you will not lose. Powerful build and extreme muscularity and at the same time athleticism - these are the main features of the ideal representative of the breed. Pit bulls are bred to perform a variety of tasks, and therefore some individuals may look like a tank, while others remain thin.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a sturdy dog of medium height with a short coat. Sporty and fit, with an attentive look and shiny coat, she combines strength, power and confidence, while remaining mobile and graceful. Real pit bulls that meet the classic standards of the breed do not look lazy, well-fed and heavy, that is, they are never fat. Rather, the opposite: adults are even a bit thin. The other extreme, namely the muscles that are not visible under the skin, is also not about them.
Rectangular, dry, medium length. Flat skull, widened between ears. The muzzle is wide and deep, characteristic of this breed of a square shape, the cheeks are convex. If you look at the pit bull from above or from the side, the outline of the muzzle resembles a wedge slightly tapering to the nose. It looks round only when looking at the dog in front.
The teeth of the pit bull are tightly closed, strong and strong. Scissor bite, correct.
Medium in size, almond-shaped, ellipsoid or round. Located low, set wide.
The ears of the pit bull are small, half hanging. They are characterized by high supply and wide arrangement. At the request of the owner, the ears are left of their natural length or stopped in the shape of a triangle.
Nose and lips
The nostrils are wide open, the nose is large and shiny, its pigmentation in different dogs may vary. The lips are dry, tight to the upper and lower jaw.
The neck of the pit bull is strong and powerful, dry. Expands to the withers.
The length of the American pit bull terriers is greater than the height, which is noticeable to the naked eye. Especially this ratio of proportions can be seen in bitches, which in the body are longer than males. The back of the representatives of this breed is powerful and strong, the top line is slightly inclined. The loin is short, strong and somewhat convex, the croup is slightly sloping. The stomach is moderately tightened.
The tail of the pit bull is of medium length, naturally continues the top line, tapering to the tip. Landing is low. If your pet is moving or agitated by something, the tail rises to the line of the back.
The forelimbs of the pit bull are even, their length, if we count from the floor to the elbow joint, is equal to half the height of the dog at the withers. The backbone is strong. Wide and muscular shoulder blades set obliquely. Metacarpus straight, strong, sheer.
The hind limbs are strong and muscular, long in the thigh. Low hock joint. Medium sized oval-shaped paws, gathered in a lump of fingers.
The pit bull moves quickly and energetically, in a springy step. His movements are light, with a good push and fancy.
Tight, short and stiff. The undercoat is missing.
Here, the breed standards are very democratic, all colors and shades are allowed, including the presence of white spots. The only exception is the color merle - it is unacceptable for pit bull terriers.
Deviations from the above characteristics qualify as flaws. The severity of the latter is indicated by the degree of their severity.
Defects of the breed include a narrow muzzle, a weak lower jaw, and the so-called bryl (wet lips). Lack of a certain number of teeth (with the exception of their loss due to “good” reasons or removal by a veterinarian), as well as overshot, overshot and asymmetric jaw are also considered a deviation.
Pit bull’s malformations include papillopacia, blue eyes, and mismatch of eye color (the so-called oddity). You should pay attention to the neck of your pet. If it is weak and thin or, conversely, excessively thick and short, then this also applies to shortcomings. Do not correspond to the standards of the breed "sheep" neck and suspension.
Look at the shoulders of the pit bull. Are they straight or loaded, and elbows turned either outward or inward? There should be no such defects, not to mention twisted wrists, weak metacarpals, outsize, curved forelimbs, clubfoot, and loose paw. In the same list, underdeveloped muscles, rare, curly and wavy hair, narrow hind limbs, cow, excessive severity or complete absence of the angle of the knee joint, barrel-shaped set, hock-shaped joints.