Hi, my names’s Irena and I love dogs. I have four of them myself, all cross breeds, but nevertheless wonderful companions. I wouldn’t be without any of them.
However, I’m here today to talk about the differences between Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Pit Bulls, two breeds which are much maligned because of their history.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull: Introduction
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Pit Bull are similar in lots of ways. Both originated in Europe and became fighting dogs.
Now however, with proper training both breeds make excellent guardians and companions and are great as family dogs. They even take to children well.
One of the more noticeable differences between the two breeds is that the Pit Bull is taller and heavier than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Both dogs have short coats which make for easy grooming and they are prone to the same kinds of illnesses.
However, Staffordshire Bull Terriers do have a higher tolerance level when it comes to health problems.
There are a few more differences between them however. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are thought of as show dogs, while Pit Bulls aren’t.
Staffies do well in canine sports such as weight pulling, while Pit Bulls excel in agility training.
Overview of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier first appeared as a breed in 19th century England, initially being used for bull and bear baiting.
This was outlawed in 1835, but dog fighting sprung up in its place. However, when they made their way to America, they became family pets.
They took to this role well, showing that it was irresponsible owners who turned them into fighting dogs. It certainly isn’t in their nature.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers have plenty of energy, are highly intelligent, trustworthy, and affectionate.
They are great with kids and other animals in the household, but they are a little wary of strange dogs.
Overview of a Pit Bull
The Pit Bull had a similar start in life to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
They began as farm dogs in England, but then were used as fighting dogs in both England and America. This has given them a bad name which still sticks today.
However, if they are trained properly with a firm hand, they will not be aggressive. They are good-natured dogs and make loyal and affectionate family pets.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull: Which is Bigger?
Pit Bulls are bigger than Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Males are roughly between 17 and 21 inches tall and weigh between 35 and 60 pounds.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers on the other hand stand between 14 and 16 inches and weigh between 24 and 38 pounds. Females weigh slightly less.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull Temperament: How do They Behave?
There are a lot of similarities in temperament between the two breeds.
Both are people-friendly dogs. However, because of their size they need to be the lowest pack member in the household and it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure this.
As long as this rule is followed they will get on well with everybody, including children.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers do everything at maximum speed. They have absolutely masses of energy.
They are obedient when trained properly, as well as very affectionate. As puppies they tend to chew a lot so you need to ensure that they have plenty of toys.
They are completely fearless so you will need to keep an eye on them to ensure that they don’t do anything silly and injure themselves.
Pit Bulls have a strong desire to please their owners. They won’t be aggressive if they are trained properly, but then this can be the same with any breed of dog.
Pit Bulls are good-natured, loyal, and affectionate and are nearly always obedient. They want to protect both their owners and their property.
They will put up with rough play from the kids, but as with most breeds, should not be left alone with unfamiliar children.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull Life Span: What’s Their Life Expectancy?
The lifespan of Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Pit Bulls are very similar. Both have very good genes and can easily live to the ripe old age of 14.
Providing them with good healthcare can extend their life expectancy and many live beyond the age of 14.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull: Are They Prone to Health Conditions?
These two breeds suffer from some of the same illnesses. They are both prone to getting hip dysplasia which is an abnormal formation of the hip socket. This can lead to lameness or even arthritis.
In addition, they can both experience hereditary cataracts. However, in the UK, DNA work is close to finding a cure for this.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers can also suffer from other eye complaints such as PHPV which results in blurred vision.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers can get mast cell tumors. These are mainly skin tumors, although they can attack other parts of the body like the liver or spleen. They can be benign, but sometimes they are fatal.
Pit Bulls are prone to congenital heart disease. This is a problem with the structure of the heart which happens at birth. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, delayed growth, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies can develop elongated soft palates which can cause difficulty in breathing.
Other problems include noisy breathing, snoring, snorting, and coughing. This is remedied by surgically shortening the palate.
Pit Bulls often have allergies to grass, fleas, pollen, and dust. Changing their diet to fresh meat and no grains can help.
In addition, why not try a medicated shampoo? It will do wonders for their skin.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers vs Pit Bulls: What do They Look Like?
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Pit Bull have similar body types. They are both strong and well-muscled in proportion to their size.
They both have deep chests. However the Pit Bull is heavier and taller than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
The color of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is red, fawn, white, black or blue, or a mixture with white.
Their noses are black and their round eyes are dark in color. Their teeth meet in a scissors bite and they have medium sized and well-padded paws.
Pit Bulls can be any color except for merle. The most common colors are deep brown, white, black, bluish, and brindle.
You will find that they often come in 2 to 3 colors. They have big noses, broad nostrils, round eyes, and thick necks.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull: What Kind of Coat Do They Have?
In this respect, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Pit Bulls are very similar.
They both have short, firm, and shiny fur which needs very little maintenance.
Despite this, they do shed, especially in early summer and late fall.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull Grooming: How Much Do they Require?
Grooming is pretty straight forward with both breeds because they have such short hair.
A daily brush with a firm bristle brush is all that’s needed.
Bath or shampoo now and again won’t go amiss.
If you rub down the coat of either breed with a piece of toweling or chamois, their coat will gleam.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull – Can They be Trained Easily?
It isn’t difficult to train either a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or a Pit Bull as long as you have a firm hand.
They are strong sturdy dogs so they need to be trained not to use their power aggressively.
They need to know that they are at the bottom of the pack and then they will act accordingly.
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Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull: Are They a Rare Dog Breed?
It isn’t too difficult to get a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or a Pit Bull; just make sure that you go to a reputable breeder.
You can find them in shelters as well. Some people adopt these dogs and have no idea how to train them. When they fail, they just drop them off at a shelter
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull Diet: What do they Eat?
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are undemanding dogs to feed. They generally don’t have any specific dietary requirements and they have good appetites. They can be fed commercially produced dog food.
Pit Bulls often have allergies and this could mean eliminating corn, wheat, and rice from their diets as these are empty fillers and don’t do much for the health of your dogs.
Because of this it may be better to feed your Pit Bulls with home-cooked food rather than commercial.
Both breeds are very active so need quite a lot of calories to feed this energy.
However, it is a good idea to make sure that they don’t get overweight. You should still be able to see their waist and to feel their ribs.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull Family Dog: Are They Good With Children?
Both Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Pit Bulls are excellent with children as they are loving and affectionate.
They enjoy rough play which children generally love. However, no dog should be left alone with very young children or with unfamiliar children.
A way to create a solid bond between you as a family and your dogs is to take them on long walks.
Both Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Pit Bulls have masses of energy and need to be taken out for walks and playtime. They will love it all the more if the whole family gets involved.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier v. Pit Bull Environment: Where are They Best Suited?
Both breeds can live in an apartment as long as they get taken out for long walks each day.
If this isn’t possible, a house with a yard is more suitable as then they can run and play outside to their hearts content. They can live in most climates.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull Running Costs: Are They Expensive to Look After?
Both breeds are not terribly expensive to keep.
Yes, they do eat a lot so food costs may be high and Pit Bulls may have to have home-cooked food because of allergies.
However, they don’t have too many health care issues nor will you have to pay out for grooming costs due to their short hair.
Final Thoughts: Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs Pit Bull
Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Pit Bulls may be different breeds, but they are very similar in a lot of ways.
They are both strong sturdy dogs although the Pit Bull is slightly bigger in height and weight than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
They are both loving and affectionate and full of energy.
Both breeds are maligned because of their history of fighting. However, it is not in their nature, and with the right training they can become loving family pets.
Both particularly love children. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to adopt either one of these breeds.