At first sight, the American Staffordshire Terrier (Am Staff) and the Staffordshire bull terrier (Staffie) seem to be identical. However, a seasoned eye will immediately see the difference. Furthermore, even though they have common origins, these two dogs each have a specific breed standard. What is the difference between the American Staffordshire and the Staffordshire bull?
Difference in standard
The American Staffordshire terrier, also called Am Staff originates from the United States. In the dog breed classification, its FCI breed standard is N. 286.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, also called Staffie, Staffi, Stafford and SBT originates from the United Kingdom. Its FCI standard is registered under number 86. These two dogs are therefore quite separate, even though they are distant cousins.
One of the physical differences is their weight. A male Am Staff will weigh between 25 and 35 kg versus between 11 and 17 kg for a Staffi. A female Am Staff will be between 20 and 30 kg versus 10 to 16 kg for a female Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The Am Staff weighs almost twice as much as the Staffi.
The size of the Am Staff male varies between 45 and 48 cm at the shoulder versus 36 to 41 cm for the Staffi. Female Am Staffs reach between 43 and 45 cm versus 33 and 38 cm for a Staffie. In other words, the biggest Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the size of the smallest Am Staff.
Whilst an Am Staff can be any colour, except for white (80% max.), a real Staffie is limited to red, fawn, white, blue or brindle. Black and tan are not allowed.
Their common base is their origins. Both come from a mix of setters and bulls. As distant cousins they belong to the same category of dogs: terriers (3). They both share the same average life expectancy and common character traits.