The English Staffy and the American Staffy are often mistaken for each other. However, there are several differences between these two dogs despite their similar appearances.
English Staffy vs American Staffy – At a Glance
|Characteristics||English Staffy||American Staffy|
|Height||35 – 40cm||43 – 48cm|
|Weight||11 – 17kg||18 – 32kg|
|Lifespan||12 – 14 years||12 – 16 years|
|Good With Young Kids||Excellent||Above average|
|Coat Texture||Smooth, short||Smooth, short|
|Grooming||Once every week||Once every week|
|Shedding||Low to medium||Low to medium|
What Is an “English Staffy”?
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the official name of the English Staffy (and yes, they are Terriers). According to the Staffy’s history, they descended from the old English ‘Bull and Terrier’ long-extinct breed. Back in the 1800s, bullfighting and bear-baiting were common pastimes for ‘Bull and Terriers,’ their owners breeding them for their aggressive dogfighting abilities.
Staffordshire coal miners fought their dogs for entertainment while not at work. The dogs they bred and trained for this terrible sport were called the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
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Even though aggressive in the dogfighting ring, the Staffy owners bred the dog to be kind and gentle to its human family. These dogs often lived in the same accommodation, too.
So, the modern Staffy is an affectionate, friendly dog who likes spending time with its family. An aggressive Staffy is not an accurate representation of the breed but rather the result of an irresponsible owner.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier owners took their dogs to the United States to work their farms when they emigrated in the late 1800s. The Staffy became the basis for the American Staffordshire Terrier, a taller, more muscular cousin.
What Is an “American Staffy”?
Pit Bull Terriers, American Bull Terriers and Yankee Terriers were some of the first names given to these dogs on arrival in the United States. The United Kennel Club (UKC) first recognised them as American Pit Bull Terriers at the start of the twentieth century. The American Kennel Club (AKC) approved the Staffordshire Terrier in 1936.
However, because the Americans had created a larger dog than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the AKC (American Kennel Club) changed the name to the American Staffordshire Terrier in 1976. This was to properly separate the two breeds and avoid further confusion.
Some breeders didn’t want this change and preferred to keep the name American Pit Bull Terrier. Despite being separated for more than half a century, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier still have a lot in common today.
English Staffies vs Amstaffs [Similarities + Differences]
Similarities Between the Amstaff and Staffy
- Both types are devoted and affectionate to their owners, making them ideal family companions. Selective breeding has played a significant role in achieving this. The sociable nature of these dogs makes them excellent companions for families with children.
- They exhibit modest prey drive instincts even when chasing smaller animals like cats or dogs. However, this doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but it will be unlikely.
- Both breeds are highly adaptable and may easily transition to a new home or way of life.
Differences Between the Amstaff and Staffy
- Amstaffs tend to be easier to train than the Staffy. An Amstaff picks up the connection between commands and action pretty quickly. Staffies are not challenging to train, but they need more patience and consistent training before getting the message.
- American Staffordshire Terriers have a relatively low emotional level and are not overly sensitive compared to other dog breeds. They cope well with breaks from their routine, and even if you have many strangers or noisy kids over, these dogs take it in their stride.
- There is a tendency for Staffordshire Bull Terriers to react poorly to an unstructured daily schedule, loud noises in the house, and frequent visitors. Staffies tend to be in tune with their owner’s emotions.
- Staffies do not tend to bark very much, so they are an excellent choice if you prefer quiet dogs. Amstaffs will bark considerably more than the Staffy and can be compulsive barkers when left alone for long periods.
English Staffy vs American Staffy: Temperament
There is little to choose between the Amstaff and Staffy in temperament. Both are devoted to family, intelligent and courageous dogs. The Staffy is perhaps a tad more affectionate and fearless than the Amstaff, but they are more tenacious dogs. Amstaffs enjoy playtime a little more than the Staffy, especially when they are still young.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Vs American Staffordshire Terrier: Size
By quite a large amount, the Amstaff is a bigger dog than the Staffy. The size difference is the first thing you will notice if they were to stand side by side.
Staffy males are on average 15 inches and females 14 inches. In comparison, the Amstaff male is on average 18 inches and females 17 inches.
Amstaffs are the heavier dog with an average weight of 27.5 kg, the Staffy averages around 14 kg.