Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier vs American Pit Bull Terrier - Breed Comparison

Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is originated from Ireland but American Pit Bull Terrier is originated from United States. Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier may grow 8 cm / 3 inches shorter than American Pit Bull Terrier. Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier may weigh 12 kg / 26 pounds lesser than American Pit Bull Terrier. Both Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier has almost same life span. Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier may have less litter size than American Pit Bull Terrier. Both Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Terrier dog
Terrier dog
Origin:
Ireland
United States
Height Male:
43 - 48 cm
16 - 19 inches
43 - 56 cm
16 - 23 inches
Height Female:
43 - 48 cm
16 - 19 inches
40 - 53 cm
15 - 21 inches
Weight Male:
14 - 18 kg
30 - 40 pounds
16 - 30 kg
35 - 67 pounds
Weight Female:
14 - 18 kg
30 - 40 pounds
14 - 27 kg
30 - 60 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 14 Years
8 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 7
5 - 10
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Irish Staffie
Staffordshire Fighting Dog, Pit Terrier, Pitbull, Pit, Half and Half, Bull Baiter Dogs, Old Family Dog - the Irish name, Yankee Terrier - the Northern name, Rebel Terrier - the Southern name
Colors Available:
Fawn, black or brindle - bi-colored, tan
Red, Black, Fawn or Bucksjin
Coat:
Short and smooth
Smooth, Shiny, Short, Single layer
Shedding:
Moderate
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Aggressive, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Courageous, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Stubborn
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier comes from Staffordshire, England, but the Irish Staffie was later developed by Irish breeders so its origin is essentially Ireland. They were developed from bulldogs and different terrier breeds.

The dog was always used for bull baiting, but when this sport died out, the Irish breeders wanted to create a taller, leaner dog suited for dog fighting. When dog fighting was banned the breed became rare again, but today it has been restored and is essentially a popular companion pet.

The history of the American Pit Bull Terrier might be a confusing one to some dog lovers and certainly to the general public that tends to lump all the “bully” breeds into a category called “pit bull”. This is because of the negative reputation this group of breeds has acquired over the past 30-50 years due to misuse and mis-breeding by the dog fighting industry. This categorization includes the American Pit Bull Terrier, The American Staffordshire Terrier, the Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

There is major confusion and disagreement on the difference between the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. The AKC does not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier as a separate breed, but its founder and the UKC, ADBA do so. In the 1930’s the American Pit Bull Terrier was a recognized breed and in response to the negativity of pit-fighting, they renamed it as the American Staffordshire Terrier.

The American Pit Bull Terrier was developed to be a little larger in size than the Staffordshire in both height and weight. This breed comes from crossing various Bull and Terrier breed to get a working dog. The Amstaff for the most part is bred to be a show dog and is not usually a “street dog” used in dog fighting rings. The direct ancestors of the APBT are the Old English Bulldogs and the Old English Terriers. These dogs are great family dogs, gentle beyond comparison unless raised to fight. They make great therapy dogs as well as police dogs. They are not by nature cruel, aggressive or attack dogs.

Both professional confirmation breeders and street fight breeds have developed new strains of the American Pit Bull Terrier. A few are worth mentioning here.

Old Family Red Nose

One of the oldest strains of the American Pit Bull Terrier they are red in color and that red is a very unique tone. They have a copper colored coat and nose with red nails, red lips and amber or red eyes. These dogs were originally from Ireland and when they came to America they had the red nose. Originally bred for gameness, it is the red color that is sought after now.

Colby Pit Bulls

These are another old breed, but they have black noses and were initially bred by John P. Colby in the late 1800s. These dogs were known to be indominable fighting dogs and were bred into almost every line of American Pit Bull Terriers that exist today. The line is still maintained by the Colby family.

Description

The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a medium sized pure-breed dog standing at roughly 43 to 48cm and weighing anything from 14 to 18kg.

He has a short, smooth coat which can be a mix of colors such as fawn, tan, black or brindle. The coat can also be bi-colored such as in fawn and white or black and white. He is a powerfully built dog with short legs which are fairly wide apart.

He has a large head and short muzzle with powerful jaws.Sometimes when he pants after a hectic bout of exercise he gets a comical, grinning look on his face. The ears are semi-erect, semi-upright and he has a long tail.

Temperament:

Your Irish Staffy is a feisty, confident dog that has been known to have a temperament which leads towards aggression. It is why he should be trained and socialized to make him more amicable and obedient. He is an intelligent and alert dog, so won't have difficulty with training.

A well trained and socialized Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier will get on well with children in the home as he is a playful, jovial dog, always ready for a game.

True to their reputation as fighters, the American Pit Bull Terrier looks like one – powerful, strong and well built. This belies their gentle disposition but too often they are judged by their looks. With a broad, brick shaped head, thick neck and deep chest, they are stocky, muscular and agile. They usually have cropped ears, but the tails are not docked. Their legs are strong and hindquarters especially muscular. These dogs are much stronger than they look. Round soulful eyes are one of the traits that people who keep these dogs as companion animals love about them. They have a scissor bite and one of the strongest jaws of all domesticated canines.

Health Problems

The Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier, just like with any other dog, has a good chance of living a good number of years if he is fed properly. He can live to be anything up to between 10 and 16 years.

Say what you like, good nutrition and the lifestyle you provide for your Irish Staffie will determine how long he lives. An unhappy dog that has to beg for love and attention won't do well. Your Irish Staffie can live to a ripe age but he is still at risk for certain health problems.

Mastocytoma:

These mast cell tumors are graded according to their location in the skin. Certain dogs like Boxers and bulldogs are more susceptible to mast cell tumors than other breeds, and the Irish Staffie isn't immune either. Most times the tumor develops in an older dog, though young dogs have also been known to develop the tumor. These tumors can be inactive for a while and then experience some rapid growth with some redness and fluid build up. Immediate veterinary intervention will be required.

Though the American Pit Bull Terrier is healthier than most large dogs, they do have an issue with hip dysplasia. Breeders have been working to breed this out of the APBT and their work in this area has helped with the other issues with the patella, heart and thyroid. The APBT can have skin allergies and Demodex Mange. This condition can be either deadly or just a localized skin issue. Immunizations and testing is essential for this breed. When not immunized, American Pit Bull Terrier puppies have a greater incidence of parvovirus than other breeds. They also might have cataracts and congenital heart disease.

Caring The Pet

Exercise:

The Irish Staffie is an active dog, who is always game for anything. He will certainly need active owners who include him in all their activities. He has a lot of stamina and endurance and will want to join you on your walks, hikes and swimming. Ignoring his exercise needs can turn him into a restless, unhappy, frustrated, destructive dog.

Grooming:

Having a short, smooth coat means your Irish Staffie being a low maintenance dog. He does shed a bit so his coat will need to be brushed at least twice a week to get rid of all those loose hairs. Its always a good opportunity to check him for fleas and ticks too.

If the short coat gets too dirty, a wipe down with a damp cloth can keep the coat bright and shiny. Certainly avoid bathing him too often as this can aggravate the skin.

Check his nails and trim them if they get too long. Check his ears and teeth as these are all problem areas which can contribute to your dog becoming ill.

Diet:

Your Irish Staffie is such an energetic dog that he will need excellent food that promotes this energy. Whether you buy him the best commercially manufactured kibble, you want to also add in some home-made food such as cooked chicken, rice and vegetables as well as including some raw meat occasionally. The food you provide your Staffie with needs to be full of vitamins and minerals to avoid illness. Always make sure he has access to fresh, cool water.

Feeding

How you feed your American Pit Bull Terrier puppy is important to her health as an adult and long life. The adult dog should be fed one and a half to two and a half cups of high quality food twice a day. Puppies should be fed more often as they grow. DO not feed your APBT soft or canned dog food. Their food should be dry. Be careful not to feed too much as you do not want an obese American Pit Bull Terrier.

Health issues

As previously mentioned this is a healthy breed with problems with:

Cataracts

These are usually inherited, and the pup may show signs early, or they could be developed later in life. They can be removed.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia as in many larger, stronger breeds this can be a major problem. Breeds should test for it and APBT breeders are attempting to breed it out of the APBT.

Congenital Heart Failure

This is a congenital issue that breeders are also breeding against and if they have it your American Bit Bull Terrier was likely born with it.

Allergies

Many APBT are allergic to grasses or out outside allergens. Shots or medication can deal with these.

Exercise and games

This is an athletic, joyful breed that loves to play, love sports and loves any activity that bonds it with its family. Some of the many sports the American Pit Bull Terrier likes to participate in include: agility, obedience competition, weight pulling, lure coursing and fly ball. He also needs backyard exercise and daily walks.

When walking your American Pit Bull Terrier, make sure she is on a leash as the breed has a tendency to be aggressive with other dogs coming into their space. The APBT loves to work. They are good therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, even service dogs.

Characteristics

The older Irish Staffie has always been an aggressive type dog used for fighting, but today the modern breed is capable of being a splendid, entertaining, amicable pet with an even temper. He is feisty for sure, being brave, fearless, loyal and loving with his human family members.

All it requires with this dog is to have a firm, loving upbringing, some training and socialization as well as good food and plenty of love and attention. Many dogs get labelled wrongly because of the humans that rear them the wrong way. When done correctly, the Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier promises to be a wonderful, loving, loyal pet.

For those who live with the American Pit Bull Terrier there is no better dog. The APBT loves people and loves children. They think they are lap dogs, and they certainly are watch dogs. They love their people but their barks at strangers at home are not because they are protecting their people but rather they are greeting the strangers into their home. Unfortunately, they will not greet another dog in the same way. However, when their people are seriously threatened they will give their lives to defend them.

These are strong, confident dogs who want to please their people. They love children and make great family dogs but require a strong owner and a strong pack leader. The need to be under control around other dogs and because of their strength, need a strong owner. It is their aggression towards other animals that must be controlled.

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