American Bully VS. Staffordshire Terrier (6 Differences)

american staffordshire terrier dogs

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With so many bully breeds out there, it can be hard to distinguish them from one another. This is true for bully types that share ancestries, such as the American Bully and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

So, what are the primary differences between the American Bully and Staffordshire Bull Terrier? 

The average size of an adult American Bully is bigger than a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They both have different head and body shapes, with the Bully appearing stockier than the Staffy. The American Bully originated from America, while the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was first noticed in England. 

This article will show you the main differences between these breeds, and I will explain how you can distinguish them by their appearance, demeanor, and the breed’s history. 

1. Size and Stature

bossy bloodline american bully
XL Bully

You can tell an American Bully and Staffordshire Bull Terrier apart from their size and body shape. Generally, Staffies are smaller than Bullies. The former should not be confused with the American Staffordshire Terrier, a slightly larger dog and a different breed. 

The average height for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is between 14 to 16 inches (36 cm to 41 cm).

An American Bully can grow between 16 to 20 inches (41 cm to 51 cm). XL Bullies can grow up to 23 inches (57 cm) when measured at the withers, making them much bigger than the largest SBT! 

Since both breeds have muscular builds, they can look similar at first. However, a standard American Bully has a bulkier and more compact body compared to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The former also possesses slightly wider shoulder blades.

2. Facial Structure

american staffordshire terrier
American staffordshire terrier

Although both breeds look the same with their prominent cheek muscles and wide jaw, several distinct facial features set them apart. Firstly, the Bully has a square, stocky head compared to the Staffy, who has a rounder head shape. 

You will also notice that the stop in the Staffy’s muzzle is more pronounced than that of a Bully’s. Stops refer to the angle of the spot where a dog’s forehead meets its muzzle. A Bully’s stop is more of a steep slope compared to the angled stop of a Staffy. 

Additionally, both dogs have different eye shapes. American Bullies have round eyes, while Staffordshire Bull Terriers have oval or almond-shaped eyes. 

3. The American Bully Is Not Recognized as a Purebred

american bully xl stack
XL Bully

The American Kennel Club (AKC) and The Kennel Club (KC) do not recognize the American Bully as a purebred. On the other hand, the SBT is recognized by both registries as a legitimate breed, partly due to its long history. 

However, many Bully associations have been set up to recognize the legitimacy of the American Bully breed. Most of these organizations also allow owners to register SBTs since they are also part of the pit bull lineage. 

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier also experienced problems with breed recognition in the past. Previously, the SBT had an inconsistent breed mix, making it challenging to preserve its lineage. Only after breeders refined the SBT’s pedigree was the breed added to the AKC’s roster in 1974. 

4. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Originated in England


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier hails from England sometime during the 1800s. As its name suggests, the breed originated from Staffordshire County and northern parts of Birmingham. 

While the Bully and Staffy are related to the pitbull, they were bred for different purposes. The Staffy was initially bred as a fighting dog — back in the 19th century, bullfighting and dog fighting were popular activities that were subsequently banned. 

The American Bully was purpose-bred to be a companion breed by combining the best traits of the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. Unlike the SBT, the American Bully was first introduced in America during the 1990s. 

However, both dog breeds are popular choices for families because of their friendly and affectionate personalities. Bully dogs are known to be gentle, while Staffies are good with children. 

5. The Bully Is the More Temperamental Breed

Even though the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has roots as a fighting breed, the American Bully is the more temperamental dog. According to the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS), American Bullies have a positive score of 86.9%, while Staffordshires have a final score of 90.9%. 

However, this shouldn’t put you off if you’re looking to adopt a Bully dog. Bullies are highly trainable and do well around people if they are socialized. They are not aggressive by nature, and they are less energetic than an american staff, but they have a bit of guard-dog blood. 

If you’re worried about an aggressive Bully puppy, check out my guide on what you can do to alleviate aggressive behavior in Bullies. The key is to start socializing when they are young, so they learn to be comfortable around humans.

In my guide, I provide you with training tips on how to stop Bully puppies from biting. 

On the other hand, SBTs have naturally gentle temperaments and are known to be very good with young children. This quality has earned them nicknames such as “The Nanny Dog” or “The Children’s Nursemaid.” 

6. The Amstaff Has a Stronger Bite Force

A Staffordshire has a bite force of 328 PSI, while a Bully has a bite force of 305 PSI. Although the American Bully is the bigger dog, this is one case where the smaller dog wins in terms of jaw strength. 

This is likely due to the tasks the dog had been bred for. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was originally a dog breed for fights, so breeders would have chosen strong and aggressive dogs to increase their chances of success. The Bully, however, was bred for companionship rather than fighting.  


Although the American Bully and Staffordshire Bull Terrier share part of their DNA from the Pitbull, they are entirely different dogs. You can tell them apart mainly from their appearance — the American Bully has a stocky, compact build with a square head, while the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is smaller with a round head. 

Historically, the Bully comes from America, while the Staffy originated from Great Britain. Temperament-wise, both dogs are not naturally aggressive, but the Bully is the more temperamental canine. 

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