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What's the difference between an American Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and a (English) Bull Terrier?

Some eight or nine varieties of dogs come within the general classification of Bull Breeds. Although all lay claim to the Bulldog as a common ancestor, there are physical differences that make each distinct from the other:

  • Size - The American Staffordshire Terrier is a much larger, leggier dog - often twice the size of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier! The Bull Terrier standard does not include size restrictions and dogs from 35 to 100 pounds have been seen. However, the breed generally weighs in between 40 and 55 pounds, making it larger then the Stafford. Pit Bull Terriers also range widely in size; the early breeders preferred a smaller dog the size of a Stafford and today the American Pit Bull Terriers which are registered and exhibited seem to run on the smaller side. Others, dually registered as American Staffordshire Terriers with the AKC (Pit Bull with UKC) are larger.

  • Ears - The American Staffordshire Terrier is exhibited in the United States with cropped ears, as are some Pit Bull Terriers. The ears of the Bull Terrier are naturally erect and supposed to be thin and erect. Erect(or prick) ears are a serious fault in Staffords, whose ears should be "rose" (like those of an English Bulldog) or half-pricked.

  • Head - The heads of American Staffordshire Terriers, Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are similar, although the cheek muscles on most Staffords seem to be more pronounced, and the head deeper through. The head of the Bull Terrier is entirely different. When viewed in profile, it resembles an egg turned on its side and is much longer than that of the Stafford. The cheeks of a Bull Terrier are not pronounced.

How are Staffordshire Bull Terriers with children?

In England, the Stafford is known by the affectionate nickname, "The Children's Nursemaid" or "The Nanny Dog." Their tolerance of, and affection for, children is well known. That doesn't mean, however, that it's a wise idea of put the puppy and child together without supervision. Children should learn to respect the dog and neither should indulge in play that is too rough. Some Staffords - even the males - have a "mothering instinct" and will stick right by the little ones, whether they are puppies or kids. A Stafford, "tough" and not as quick to react to pain or discomfort, is likely to make allowance for the attentions of toddler, finding a refuge only when things become too overwhelming.

Can I keep a Staffordshire Bull Terrier in an Apartment? How much exercise will she require?

Staffords can make a home with you anywhere; they are happy as long as they are with you. They are an athletic dog, however, and need more exercise than most dogs. Bursting with energy, they need vigorous exercise every day! A long, brisk walk on leash (or harness - a useful alternative for some) will give you both a workout. Staffords love the heady freedom of being allowed offlead for a run, hike or romp and it's delightful to watch them. Of course, it's a good idea to make sure that they'll come back when you call them, first.

Are Staffords a noisy breed?

Staffords, in general, are not noisy dogs. They may bark or "talk" while playing, or to alert you of a visitor. However, they are "quick studies" and if you have another dog in residence and THAT dog is a barker, your Stafford will probably pick it up.

Can I keep a Staffordshire Bull Terrier with another dog or with a cat?

Staffords, like members of any other breed, are individuals. While some may live peacefully with other animals, some will not. Puppies brought up with cats and other dogs generally do well. If bringing an older Staffordshire Bull Terrier into your home, first introduce the dogs away from the house in a neutral area. It should be easier to bring a Stafford into your home than bringing a strange dog into the home of a Stafford. Encounters should be supervised and the dogs observed to determine how a heirarchy develops.

Should I consider a male or a female?

Both will offer much love and affection. Females tend to be better watchdogs; males tend to be larger. No matter which sex you select, spay or neuter if you have decided not to breed or exhibit your Stafford.

What sorts of toys are safe to give my Stafford?

There are no such things as "indestructible dog toys" for Bull and Terrier breeds. But some have tried these: Bowling balls or big Nylabones. Anything else might be chewed up, swallowed or destroyed in short order.

- www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/breeds/staffords.html

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