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Amstaff vs Pitbull: Key Differences Between the Breeds

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Amstaff vs Pit Bull is an easy question to answer because Amstaff are pit bulls! But the American Pit Bull Terrier is considered the "original" Pit Bull and at first looks the same as the Amstaff. According to the AKC, the main difference between these breeds is their size standards.

Although these two breeds otherwise look the same, they are completely different dogs! It can be difficult to tell the two apart just visually, but knowing what makes each unique will clear up any confusion!

Key Differences Between Amstaffs and Bulldogs

Amstaffs and Pit Bulls differ in physical characteristics, personality, and behavior.

© AZ-Animals.com

The main differences between Amstaffs and Bulldogs are physical characteristics, personality, and behavior.

Let's explore these differences in detail!

Amstaff vs American Pit Bull: Physical Traits

Amstaff and American Pit Bull are so similar that they are often mistaken for each other. Their similar height, build, and skin color make it difficult to tell them apart at first.

Generally speaking, the Bulldog breed is a medium-sized dog with a short coat that requires little grooming. Ears are traditionally docked, but are naturally long and set on top of the head. Bulldogs have large heads, thick bodies, and thick legs. They have long tails, which may be the same length as the rest of the body, or may not be docked with smooth fur.

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While Amstaff and American Bulldogs are very similar physically, there are key differences in each of these pit bull breeds!

Amstaff is shorter and stronger

Black American Staffordshire Terrier sitting in the park
The American Staffordshire Terrier has less variation in height than the American Bulldog and has only four color variations.

©Olesya Nickolaeva/Shutterstock.com

Amstaff may be a little shorter than American Bulldogs, showing less variation in height for show dogs. Males stand between 18 and 19 inches tall and can weigh up to 70 pounds. Females stand between 17 and 18 inches tall and can weigh up to 55 pounds.

Amstaffs are generally heavier than American Bulldogs and have less pronounced muscle tone. This breed comes in four breed standard color variations with "pibalt" or solid color markings on the body. Standard coat variants are black, brown, white, and tan.

American Bulldog looks more athletic

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American Pit Bulls vary considerably in size than Amstaffs and are significantly more muscular.


American Bulldogs are leaner than Amstaffs and have noticeable muscle tone in their bodies. The breed also has a wider gap in height and weight. Male American Bulldogs stand between 18 and 21 inches tall and can weigh up to 50 pounds. Females stand between 17 and 20 inches tall and can weigh up to 60 pounds.

Armstaff vs Bulldog: Personality and Behavior

Both the Amstaff and American Bulldog have great potential as family dogs. These breeds are very loyal and adaptable and do well with children. Both of these dogs will require quite a bit of obedience training from an early age to tame their natural stubbornness. They are also friendly, but require training and a lot of socializing to bring out the best in them!

Potential owners of the Amstaff or American Pit Bull should also keep in mind that these dogs are strong and energetic. As any pit bull breed owner will attest, play and exercise are key to a happy pit bull! Additionally, both breeds are very attached to their owners and can develop separation anxiety.

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Amstaff friendly but reserved

Two American Staffordshire Terriers sitting in the park
Amstaff are friendly and affectionate, but tend to be calmer than American Bulldogs.

© Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com

Amstaffs are calmer and less athletic than American Bulldogs, but are just as loving and affectionate. This breed is reserved with non-family members but open to meeting new people.

American Staffordshire Terriers are great family dogs that can get used to other pets with proper socialization. They are smart, confident, properly trained, and perform very well!

American Bulldogs are very friendly!

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American Pit Bulls are friendly and more energetic and athletic than Amstaffs.


American Bulldogs are a far cry from their unfairly earned reputation for being aggressive. The American Pit is an energetic, friendly, and great family dog! This breed is athletic, loves to play, and needs plenty of regular exercise. American Pits learn obedience well through positive reinforcement and consistent training.

The American Pit needs regular socialization from puppyhood to maintain its friendly and outgoing personality. While pit bulls have earned the nickname "nanny dog," young child supervision is recommended for all breeds. Additionally, American Pits have been known to be aggressive towards other pets, especially smaller animals. However, they will adapt to other dogs if introduced early in life.

About Pit Bulls and Possible Aggression

Breeds that fall under the umbrella term "pit bull" have a negative reputation, and in most cases, this is undeserved. This reputation is due to their use in dog fighting, where aggression is fostered through abuse. In fact, any dog breed can be dangerous or aggressive, even the smallest of breeds.

Amstaff and American Bulldogs are known to be significantly less aggressive than many other breeds. According to the American Temperament Testing Association, 86% of the 743 Amstaffs tested passed and 87% of the 931 American Bulldogs tested passed. In contrast, only 81 percent of collies passed the same test.

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While every breed has the potential to make a great pet for the right owner, some breeds suffer from a negative reputation. Pit bull breeds are likely to end up in animal shelters or abandoned due to poor training, socialization, or just plain fear. When choosing a new best friend, reputable resources are key to finding the right dog for you!


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More from AZ Animals

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Pit Bulls may be the most feared dogs in America. They have been associated with dog fighting, assaulting people, and acting as watchdogs for drug dealers.

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