Amstaff vs Pit Bull - American Staffordshire Terrier vs American Pit Bull Terrier - Dog Breed Comparison
Amstaffs and Pitbulls – two extremely similar, i would say almost identical dog breeds. But are they really the same? And if not, what is the difference?
Before we start, i would like to clarify, that by Amstaff i mean American Staffordshire Terrier and by Pitbull i mean American Pit Bull Terrier. I think it is important clarification, because the term Pitbull can be used to basically any dog breed that was developed from dogs previously known as „bull and terriers“ and this category would include even the Amstaff, American Bully or Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
To make it even more confusing, both breeds are purebred as one can be registered by the AKC and second by the UKC and the confusing thing is, that the breed standards are basically identical. And to make it even more confusing, the American Staffordshire Terrier officially registered in AKC can be dual registered with UKC registry for show purposes. So officially, these two dogs truly are the same.
But in reality, there might be some slight differences. To understand the little differences, it is important to understand the breeds history. Both dogs can trace their origin to dogs that are known as bull and terriers. These dogs fond their way into America in the middle of the 19th century and most often they were used for the cruel dog fighting. The Pit Bull was officially recognized by the UKC in 1898 and the AmStaff was recognized by the AKC in 1936, but even then, these two dogs were still identical.
The real change happened, when the AKC opened a stud book for the AmStaff, which was in 1960s or 1970s. So today, it is more than 60 years since when the AmStaff breeding is completely separated from American Pit Bull Terrier and that is more than enough time to make a slight difference.
Simply put, the American Pit Bull Terrier remained similar to the original dogs, they are typically slightly smaller in terms of weight, but more agile and explosive. They tend to have stronger drive, they are slightly more agressive and energetic.
On the other hand the AmStaff is for decades bred for the show ring. This makes the dog more calm and less drivey. The selective breeding also makes them bigger and stockier, with thicker legs.
American Staffordshire Terriers typically possess a broader head with well-defined cheek muscles, giving them a distinctive appearance. In contrast, Pitbulls often have a more streamlined head shape and a narrower muzzle.
You can see that the Pit bull looks more like a working dog while the Amstaff more like a show dog. The AmStaff is focused more on meeting a specific idealized aesthetics and the APBT should be more focused on functionality and drive.
It is also important to say, that while the Amstaffs are bred strictly to the breed standard and it is not easy to officially register an Amstaff, this is not the case with Pit Bulls. This is causing a big variety in Pit Bulls in their appearance and temperament and clearly a lot of mixed breeds are registered as pure American Pit Bull Terriers in the UKC nowadays.
But in general, both dogs should be confident, intelligent, watchful, alert, self-composed, courageous, and hopelessly devoted to their families. They should NOT be agressive without a reason, contrary to popular belief that all bully breeds are agressive. For decades, pure Amstaffs and Pitbulls are not bred for agression anymore. This said, it is still extremely important to proper socialize and train them from the puppyhood as these dogs are extremely strong and with the wrong guide, they might become problematic. And you dont want to have misbehaved dog with the power of American Staffordshire Terrier or American Pit Bull Terrier. This is a reason why i would never recommend neither of these two dogs to unexperienced owners.
So in conclusion, the American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers are not completely identical, but they are extremely similar and for un-trained eye they are basically the same.
This is one of the oldest of all French dogs, with its history dating back to 13th century. In the past, these dogs were used by both, French nobility and peasants for various purposes, mainly for hunting wild boar. The ancestry of this breed is disputed. One theory claims, that they are descendants of Balkan Hounds, most notably of the Barak Hound, which is extremely similar. The Balkan Hounds were brought back to France by the Crusaders. The other theory claims that they might be descendants of the Gallic Hound, which existed during the ancient roman empire and that was brought to France by the Romans. The Griffon Nivernais was the favourite dog of the King Louis IX and it was very popular back in the days, especially in the Nivernais region.
Sadly, after the French Revolution at the end of 18th century, the Griffon Nivernais disappearaed. But only a century later, the Griffon Nivernais was re-created. The breed reconstruction was done based on the Grand Griffon Vendéen and later these dogs received blood of a Fox Hound and Otterhound. The breed club was formed in 1925 and the breed is slowly gaining its popularity back. The Griffon Nivernais we have today is very similar to the original Griffon Nivernais, but it is important to notice, that the original dog was bigger.
The Griffon Nivernais is a bold hunting breed, who is best known for its courage, excellent sense of smell and adaptability, which enables them to hunt in difficult terrains and in bad weather all day long. Its courage and initiative allow it to be used successfully in small packs for hunting wild boar. It is also intelligent and independent dog, another two extremely important traits for a hunting dog. So it is no wonder that even today, these dogs are very often used for this purpose. And most importatntly, they truly enjoy it and they love the hunt.
But of course, the Griffon Nivernais is not only a hunter, but also excellent active companion dog. It is a happy and friendly dog, that is okay around other dogs, kids and it typically does not have big problems with strangers. Of course, all of this vastly depends on early socialization. As i already mentioned, this is independent thinker and willful dog, which is a reason why they are not for everyone. They will not always obey all the commands, but they are intelligent and they will learn all the basic commands very fast.
It is important to say, that this is rather active dog breed and they need plenty and plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily long walks, jogs, hikes, vigorous playtime and fun training sessions are absolutely essential for Griffon Nivernais. You can also try some dog sport with Griffon Nivernais, which will not only exhaust them physically but also mentally. For example tracking should be a perfect sport for this breed. Without enough exercise, they might become very noisy or destructive.
This is a medium sized dog breed with average height between 55-60 cm, which is 21-23 inch and weight between 46-52 lbs, which is 19-24 kg. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
7) Coat and color
The Griffon Nivernais has a long, shaggy coat that is rough in texture and the coat should never be wooly or curly. These dogs are known to have expressive eyebrows and slight moustache, which gives them, lets say, wise expression. They always look kind of unkept, it is they natural appearance. Their coat color is always grey, from light grey to boar grey and each hair is darker at the base than the tip.
8) Other Griffons
The Griffon Nivernais is not the only Griffon breed. The word griffon is describing all the wiry coated hunting dogs of France, but it is also used in some other countries, such as Spain. There are many other Griffons, such as Griffon Vendéen, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Griffon Fauve de Bretagne, Griffon Bleu de Gascogne, Brussels Griffon or Griffon Astur Cantabro.
The Griffon Nivernais always has the unique unkept like appearance. Even if you brush the coat, they will keep this kind of appearance, but you should still brush their coat regularly, lets say weekly, in order to keep it in good condition. Regular brushing will remove dead and loose hair. The coat itself is dirt repelling and it is not prone to tangling or matting, so the maintenance is not extremely hard.
And what about the health? Well, this is usually very healthy dog breed with average lifespan around 13 years. Of course, just like any other dog breed, they can suffer from some health issues, such as hip dysplasia, some eye problems, different allergies and infections or bloating. But none of these ilnesses should be very common in this breed and it should be pretty healthy and hardy dog breed.
1) Irish Setter
Irish Setter, or sometimes also called as Red Setter is easily recognizable thanks to its beautiful rich mahogany or chestnut red colored coat with flowing locks and feathering. They can have small white spot on the chest. The Irish Setter has a long, squarish muzzle and a distinct stop, which is the place between the eyes where the skull meets the nasal bone. The Irish Setter is known to be more exuberant than the rest of setters.
2) Irish Red and White Setter
The Irish Setter might be more popular today, but the Irish Red and White Setter is the older of the two Irish setter breeds, with its history dating back to 17th century and it is actually one of the ancestors of the Irish Red Setter.
This is the smallest setter, slightly smaller than its irish setter cousin, but with the same athleticism, durability and courage. The breed is easily recognizable thanks to its, well obviously, white coat with red patches. It has visible feathering along the ears, legs, body, and tail.
3) Gordon Setter
Now lets move to Great Britain, to be more specific, to Scotland, which is a home to Gordon Setter. This is the least common setter and it is also the largest one, with males reaching up to 80 lbs, which is 36 kg.
The Gordon Setter is on the first sight more heavily build in comparison to other setters, but it is still an athletic dog breed. It has easily recognizable black and tan coat, which is shiny and it is straight or slightly wavy with feathering on the ears, chest, legs, and tail. The Gordon Setter is known to be little bit more standoffish and alert around strangers, than the rest of Setters.
4) English Setter
The lively English Setter is definitely the most popular of all Setters. It is known for being “the moderate setter”, the English Setter is a little less exuberant than the Irish Setter and is less standoffish around strangers than the Gordon Setter.
The English Setter comes in several color combinations, known as belton. All of them have white base with either black, orange, lemon or liver markings. They can also be tricolor.
5) Llewellin Setter
This is the only setter, that is not officially recognized. And it is because of the fact, that it is a variety of English Setter, rather than a separate breed. But fanciers of this breed very often consider them as a separate breed.
Basically, the Llewellin Setters are special line of English Setters developed by Purcell Llewellin from stock obtained from the breeder who initially refined the English Setter, Edward Lavarack. But the Llewellin Setter is also believed to have some small infusion of Gordon Setter.
Llewellin Setters are typically bred for hunting and by some people, they are the best hunters of all Setters, but they look almost identical to English Setters and even trained eye will have difficult time to recognize one from another.
Today we will be comparing two hardworking herding dog breeds, the Australian Cattle Dog (also known as the Red or Blue Heeler) and the Australian Kelpie. These breeds share similar temperaments and personalities, and we'll explore their main differences and similarities.
Technically, the Australian Cattle Dog is primarily a cattle dog, while the Kelpie is a sheepdog. However, both breeds are versatile and capable of herding various farm animals.
Their origins trace back to British dogs, loosely referred to as collies, which were brought to Australia by early settlers. These dogs faced challenges adapting to the harsh Australian climate. While the exact ancestry is uncertain, it's believed that both breeds may have been crossed with local dogs, and there have been theories about Dingo ancestry as well, but this theory is uncertain.
As you can see, the history, purpose, temperament, and appearance of both breeds are remarkably similar, with more similarities than differences. They are hardworking, lively, somewhat independent, highly alert, loyal, and incredibly intelligent.
Of course, when we talk about the temperament, it is always a big generalization, but on average, it is said, that the Australian Cattle Dog is slightly more independent and lets say stubborn.
The Australian Cattle Dog also tends to have stronger guarding instincts and may be slightly more compatible with other household animals. However, early socialization plays a significant role in shaping their behavior.
But this does not mean, that the Kelpie is better family dog. I would actually say, that the Australian Cattle dog is slightly better for companionship, as Kelpie is just too demanding in terms of exercise and working needs.
Most of them would love to work all day every day. The Australian Cattle Dogs also needs plenty and plenty of physical exercise, but not to the extent of Kelpie.
That said, both dogs will prefer to live in a house with large yard, where they can stretch their legs whenever they want to. Both are extremely active.
Again, this is only a generalization and you will find dogs on both ends of the spectrum, However, Australian Cattle Dogs are generally considered to be slightly better with kids. They are outgoing, relatively gentle, and protective of little ones. Nonetheless, it's important to supervise interactions between any dog breed and very young children.
Now, let's discuss their appearance. The main differences lie in size and coat color. Take a look at the size comparison on the screen. As you can see, the Australian Cattle Dog is generally slightly taller and more robust than the Kelpie.
Both breeds have smooth, short, and dense double coats that shed quite a bit, so regular brushing is necessary. The difference in coat lies in coloration. Australian Cattle Dogs come in either red or blue, with mottled or speckled patterns, hence their nicknames, Red and Blue Heelers.
On the other hand, Australian Kelpies come in a wider variety of colors. They can be single-colored or have tan markings. Colors range from black, red, chocolate, blue, fawn, and cream, and they can also have a black and tan combination. Kelpies are not mottled or speckled.
It is important to say, that we are talking about breed standards. The working lines, particularly in Kelpies, may exhibit variations in coat, size, or facial features compared to the typical standardized Kelpie.