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The difference between Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers

I am sure this will open up a great battle but I need to post this. I wanted to share all my research on the differences between American Staffordshire Terriers (AST) and American Pit Bull Terriers (APBT).

As you all know I joined the Austin “Pit Bull” -hate that term Task Force. At our last meeting I volunteered to create an educational video/demo for the staff at TLAC in hopes we could help lower incorrect breed identification. Here is where it gets interesting.

I decided to hit the national breed registrations groups in order to compare the breed standards of the AST and the APBT. The end result is not only frustrating but saddening to me as well.

There is only ONE breed registration group that see the two as seperate breeds, the North American Kennel Club. So it is the only registry that can be used to compare the two as separate breeds. Since NO other registry lists the two seperately.

The differences in the breed standards they list are completely geared to the APBT being the “fighting” dog of the two and they BOTH have the same breed standards. The only difference they state, is that conformation of the head of a APBT is not as important and varies because it has the LEAST to do with whether they WIN or LOSE a FIGHT!! They proudly state in their conclusion of the breed standards, when referring to the APBT : “In his winning form he is a fighting machine…a thing of beauty.

The only other national breed registries that view APBTs are the UKC (Started solely for the purpose of registering his “fighting” dog) and ADBA again started for APBTs and as far as I can tell, has no other information of ANY other breed on thier site. Enlighten me if this is not the case.

Now lets see the breed standards for both the AST & the APBT:

The Comparison of American Staffordshire Terriers (AST) & American “Pit Bull” terriers (APBT)

General Appearance: (AST) Strength for size (APBT) Square

Size: (AST) Height and Weight in proportion (APBT) Height and weight ratio same (or proportionate)

Head: (AST) Broad Skull, pronounced cheeks, Lips close and even (no looseness) Jaws well defined, underjaw to be strong (APBT)2/3rd of the shoulder (Broad), 25% wider at cheeks (pronounced cheeks), Not “Lippy” (close and even),Lower jaw- wide and well developed (Strong)

Neck: (AST) Heavy, no looseness of skin (APBT) Moderate length and muscular (heavy) Skin should be tight with no dewlap (no looseness of skin)

Shoulders: (AST) Strong muscular, blades wide (APBT) Blades are wide and muscular

Body: (AST) Chest deep and broad (APBT) Chest is deep, moderately wide (or broad)

Tail: (AST) Short to size (APBT) Stops at hock (short)

Legs: (AST) Front- straight, no bend Rear-well muscled, let down at hocks

(APBT) Front- elbows set close to body (straight) No bowed legs (bend) Rear- strong and musuclar well bent at hock (let down at hock)

Coat: (AST) Glossy, stiff to touch

(APBT) Glossy, smooth, moderately stiff

Color: (AST) Any color

(APBT) Any color

These were taken from the registry breed standards. Where is the difference?

So you tell me if you have a APBT ( Only seperated from ASTs by a site that clearly welcomes fighting dogs and how to make a “fighting machine”) or an AST . I have an AST, a handsome and loving one.

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