The American Staffordshire terrier sure is an all-American dog that’s won the hearts of just about everyone that meets these powerful pooches. And while they are a joy to be around, some may say their high-maintenance lifestyle is just a bit too much for one person to handle.
What if you’re looking for something similar to these energetic machines? Well, you’re in luck because it’s time to learn about the American Staffordshire Terrier similar breeds that may just be your cup of tea.
Besides, who doesn’t want an American Staffordshire Terrier alternative that’s also the perfect emotional support dog?
- 1 A Quick Note on Breeds Similar to the American Staffordshire Terrier
- 2 21 American Staffordshire Terrier Similar Breeds
- 2.1 1. American Bulldog
- 2.2 2. American Bully
- 2.3 4. American Pitbull Terrier
- 2.4 4. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
- 2.5 5. Ambullneo Mastiff
- 2.6 6. Boerboel
- 2.7 7. Boxer
- 2.8 8. Bullmastiff
- 2.9 9. Bull Terrier
- 2.10 10. Cane Corso
- 2.11 11. Dogo Argentino
- 2.12 12. Dogue de Bordeaux
- 2.13 13. English Bulldog
- 2.14 14. Fila Brasileiro
- 2.15 15. French Bulldog
- 2.16 16. Leavitt Bulldog
- 2.17 17. Patterdale Terrier
- 2.18 18. Perro de Presa Canario
- 2.19 19. Rhodesian Ridgeback
- 2.20 20. Rottweiler
- 2.21 21. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- 3 FAQS About American Staffordshire Terriers
- 4 Final Thoughts on Similar Breeds to the American Staffordshire Terrier
A Quick Note on Breeds Similar to the American Staffordshire Terrier
Before you get stuck in, you must know a few things. Firstly, this list isn’t solely based on how similar the breed looks to an Amstaff. Although many of them look pretty alike, the dogs are also picked based on their similarity in temperament, build, and overall personality.
It’s also important to know that American Staffordshire Terriers are a traditionally aggressive dog breed. So if you’re looking for something a little bit easier, consider looking at these low-maintenance dog breeds. You may even find some Amstaff alternatives there too.
You might enjoy reading my posts on Tallest Dog Breeds, Low Maintenance Dog Breeds, Teddy Bear Dog Breeds, Ugly Dog Breeds, Fastest Dog Breeds, Best Small Dog Breeds for Cats and Dog breeds that don’t smell.
21 American Staffordshire Terrier Similar Breeds
Time to dive right into the breeds that are a lot like the American Staffordshire Terrier but also unique in their own right!
1. American Bulldog
Image by Kvnga on Unsplash
Getting the ball rolling, we have the not-so-distant cousin of the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Bulldog. These hardy dogs were initially bred as work dogs on farms for their innately protective nature, making them afraid of nothing.
Similarly to the Amstaff, these muscular hounds look like Pitbulls and have the same ice-cold temperament. Their smooth short coat hardly needs any grooming. Just the occasional bath will help keep these 60 to 100 lbs (27 to 45 kg) pups in tip-top shape.
If you have a family, then you’ll be glad to know these big boys are great with kids, but you’ll need to be careful when guests visit as they don’t take kindly to strangers.
Similar to the English Bulldog, this American variant can also suffer from hip and joint issues. But on the whole, they’re a very healthy breed when taken on their daily run.
Tip: These are easy-to-train dogs but will need a firm and loving trainer to establish early boundaries.
2. American Bully
Image by Trent Jackson on Unsplash
If there was ever a dog that personified a tank, it’s the American Bully. These stocky, low-to-the-ground hounds are as muscular as they come, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they could survive an artillery round like a tank.
Okay, not quite. But these 70 to 120 lbs (30 to 54 kg) dogs are pure power and need plenty of exercise to burn off all that energy. Breeding began in the 1990s to create the ultimate family companion, and boy do they love their pack.
Similar to other Pitbull-like breeds, the Bully needs strict training to become a friendly pup. The most important thing is to ensure all humans in the house have an authoritative presence over the Bully. Otherwise, they can become dominant and difficult to handle.
Note: Ensure the breeder you purchase your Bully from isn’t using steroids to make their dogs have larger muscles. Unfortunately, this does occur, so be vigilant, as it can cause health issues in the long run.
4. American Pitbull Terrier
Image by Mike Burke on Unsplash
These mighty pups are often confused with Amstaffs as they look very, very similar. Possibly the only defining difference by sight is the size, as American Pitbull Terriers tend to be a lot leaner and toned.
They also tend to reach a maximum of 60 lbs (27 kg), whereas Amstaffs get as big as 70 lbs (31 kg). As with other Pitbull breeds, these pups have a tenacious and fearless nature to them, but also a loving and soft side for their family.
As they were bred in the past for dogfighting, the American Pitbull Terrier isn’t great around other dogs. That said, if you start socializing them from a young age, they can quickly become accustomed to other dogs, but keeping them on a leash when walking is always better.
Fact: American Pitbull Terriers are often compared to the extinct Greek Molossian war dogs., an ancient breed renowned for its fierce and tough nature.
4. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
Image by Bryan Hanson on Unsplash
It’s far easier to mistake this breed for English Bulldogs, but far stranger things have happened. Their short coat and stocky body is the main reason people often shout “Amstaff!| when they see these big boys walking the streets.
Although they have the same protective nature and approach to strangers as the Amstaff, the Alapaha is far better with kids. They’re also very loud and proud pups and aren’t afraid to alert the family of any danger.
Born and bred in the Southern regions of America, these Georgian-based pooches are also extremely territorial, so if you’re looking for a guard dog, you’re in luck.
They’re also relatively healthy dogs, but they can inherit genetic health issues like any breed. A good breeder will test their pups for potential health issues like hip dysplasia. Unfortunately, they can’t test for some conditions such as entropion. Always double check the breeder conducts health testing before getting your puppy.
5. Ambullneo Mastiff
Image by DeJaVu Designs on Freepik
For an Italian version of the classic Bullmastiff, the Ambullneo Mastiff is as gentle with children as they are protective and oftentimes unstoppable. Ranging between 115 to 155 lbs (52 to 70 kg), these massive dogs are comparable to Amstaffs thanks to their low and muscular build.
Their small poky ears almost appear invisible compared to their enormous muscular bodies. You can get them in a beautiful golden brindle coat, but pure black is the most popular.
They’re very healthy K9’s but can develop hip dysplasia if over-exercised when pups. So try to keep it to gentle walks until they’re fully matured. Ambullneo Mastiffs are also relatively new dogs, having only been acknowledged by the National Kennel Club (NKC) in the late 1990s.
Image by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels
Wander over to South Africa, and you’ll find the perfect family dog with some personality traits to the Amstaff. The Boerboel is a big brute getting up to 27 inches (68 cm) tall and weighing up to 200 lbs (90 kg).
That’s right, they’re a lot bigger than Amstaffs but still have that undying love and affection for their tribe. Boerboels are also great with kids and are open to strangers if socialized from a very young age.
As they are massive dogs, you can imagine training from a young age is essential, as untrained adults can quickly become uncontrollable. But if you put in the time and effort, these protective pups will be super laid-back and love everyone in the house.
Boerboels are traditionally healthy dogs but need daily exercise to avoid obesity. When in prime physical condition, it’s easy to see why they’re often mistaken for Amstaffs.
Image by Sean Foster on Unsplash
If it’s a bright and fun-loving dog you seek, the Boxer may just be the best Amstaff alternative. Boxers are often compared to the American Staffordshire Terrier due to their similar build, weight, and patterning. But other than that, they couldn’t be more different.
These pups are one of the best dogs for a protective guardian that is gentle and patient with kids. They’re also relatively good with other dogs, and, if trained properly, you’ll find them running through the park with other energetic pups.
With notably high intelligence, they’re also easy to train and are known as real people pleasers. While Boxer coats generally come in white, fawn, and brindle coloration, plus you can find some pups with blue eyes.
They make good indoor dogs with short coats, but will still need daily exercise to keep them from bouncing off the walls.
Note: Boxers are prone to some hereditary health issues, but responsible breeders will screen their stock for any potential concerns.
Image by Lifestyle Farmer on Pexels
Another big boy that packs a protective punch is the ever-popular Bullmastiffs. Like most dogs, they need early socializing to become easygoing dogs, but they have that natural instinct to protect their pack.
Although Bullmastiffs have similar short coats to Amstaffs, they do drool a fair bit, which is a telltale sign of the breed. Bullmastiffs’ saggy faces can result in eye issues (entropion), but the most significant problems these large dogs have are cardiovascular.
Breeders generally keep track of any issues, but if you take your energetic pup for walks regularly, they shouldn’t have any health scares. Exercise is great for them, but don’t be surprised if you find them in unique sleeping positions pretty much all the time.
Their most prominent similarity to Amstaffs has to be their fearless nature, so if it’s a guard dog you seek, Bullmastiffs are the way to go.
9. Bull Terrier
Image by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash
These adorably ugly dogs are a unique blend of the Old English Terrier and Bulldog. Bull Terriers originated in the 19th century in England and were bred for pit fighting. Hence their similar build and attitude as the Amstaff.
Their toned, stocky bodies pack one hell of a punch, and while they’re not great around other dogs, they welcome strangers with open paws. Bull Terriers’ short and glossy coat comes in a myriad of colors and also requires minimal grooming.
Although they’re not the most protective pups, a Bull Terrier is extremely vocal, so you can expect frequent serenades. They can suffer from kidney, heart, and skin issues, but on the whole, they’re healthy dogs.
With a Terrier’s free spirit and a Bulldog’s courage, these dogs aren’t the easiest to train. But a little positive reinforcement and continuous encouragement will go a long way with Bull Terriers.
10. Cane Corso
Image by Shubham Sharan on Unsplash
These big guys are possibly the scariest dogs around, but don’t let first impressions taint your view of them. Cane Corso males and females range in size and weight, but in general these are alert and large-headed dogs built like a freight train.
They go as far back as Ancient Roman times and have been a staple breed for centuries thanks to their unwavering protective nature. Cane Corsos are also highly intelligent dogs and can be easy to train as long as you train from the start.
As a large, deep-chested breed, they are susceptible to bloat, but on the whole, they are very healthy dogs. Being big dogs, Cane Corsos need regular exercise to maintain their muscular, Amstaff-like bodies.
Note: Being such a powerful breed, it’s essential you take your Cane Corso to social and behavioral classes from a young age.
11. Dogo Argentino
Image by Христо Георгиев on Pexels
If you want a big white dog breed that reminds you of an Amstaff, consider getting the boisterous Dogo Argentino. As the name suggests, these magnificent creatures were first bred in Cordoba, Argentina.
Although they have a strong dogfighting past, Dogos are friendly pups that do well around strangers and other dogs when socialized early on. They naturally have a playful nature, so whether it’s a walk in the park or hide and seek in the house, Dogos are always down to play.
These dogs largely resemble Amstaffs due to their muscular build and similarly shaped faces, but their laid-back temperament is completely different. Dogo Argentinos still make fantastic guard dogs and have hardly any health concerns.
What makes them even more unique is that they only come in a pure white coat.
12. Dogue de Bordeaux
Image by David White on Unsplash
Sure, at first glance you can mistake a Dogue de Bordeaux for an Amstaff, but you’ll quickly realize how different these two dogs are. The French beauty has the same muscular body as its American counterpart, but its face is far more droopy and loose.
First bred as a hunting dog in the 12th century, these mahogany-colored hounds quickly became man’s best friend. Their affectionate nature means they’re good with children and can accept strangers and other dogs if introduced correctly.
Dogue de Bordeaux are 110 lbs (50 kg) of raw power, so training them to obey is a must. They learn best with consistent and firm commands and do best when there’s a strong level of trust between you.
Gastric dilatation and volvulus are a big concern for this bread, so it’s important you become accustomed to having the vet on speed dial. Also, keep a paper towel at the ready. These guys can drool, that’s for sure.
13. English Bulldog
Image by Sebastian Lavalaye on Unsplash
From one slobber monster to another, the English Bulldog is a not-so-distant relative of the American Staffordshire Terrier. Their stocky bodies and wrinkly faces are just some of their defining features.
If it sounds like a lawn mower is going in the middle of the night, it’s probably just your snoring pup behind the couch. Aside from being loud sleepers, they also drool, like a lot, but their laid-back and charismatic personality more than makes up for the occasional wet lap.
Unlike Amstaffs, they are great with kids, other dogs, and pretty much anyone they meet during your leisurely walks in the park. They don’t require a lot of exercise either, making them the perfect Amstaff alternative for those living in an apartment.
Note: English Bulldogs regularly suffer from hip and joint dysplasia due to their body structure and shape.
14. Fila Brasileiro
Image by Andrescarlofotografia on Pixabay
The Fila Brasileiro may not look like an Amstaff, but they have other characteristics that are very alike. Originally bred in Brazil as farm dogs, Filas are resilient, alert, and fearless pups, all of which the Amstaff is also known for.
They also have short, smooth coats and need plenty of exercise to stay healthy and lean. You can also get them in three distinct colorations: fawn, black, and brindle.
Fila’s most notable characteristic is that their hind legs (rump) are higher than their front legs (shoulders). As they get up to 180 lbs (81 kg), training and socializing them early on is essential. The last thing you want is to get one of these majestic beauties and not have control over them.
Like other large dogs, they are prone to hip dysplasia and bloat, but thorough breeders will screen these concerns before selling their litter.
15. French Bulldog
Image by Alexandru Sofronie on Unsplash
If you want a low-maintenance dog breed like the Amstaff, then the French Bulldog is right up your alley. Stocky, small, and playful are just some words you can use to describe these endearing canines, and that’s just scratching the surface.
They’re fantastic around other dogs, kids, and strangers, so this is the Amstaff alternative for you if you have a busy household. French Bulldogs come in various colors, from white and brindle to pure cream. You are spoilt for choice.
Due to their flat face and front-heavy build, Frenchies are accustomed to several health concerns, from breathing issues to things like cherry eye. But their can-do attitude and lovable nature make them the perfect fit for any household.
Top Tip: Avoid taking them on long walks in humid or hot weather as they can suffer breathing issues during this time.
16. Leavitt Bulldog
Image by Chris Shafer on Pexels
Take it or Leavitt. These unique Bulldogs are a fantastic breed that isn’t too dissimilar to Amstaffs. Also known as the Olde English Bulldogge, David Leavitt first bred these pups to create a more robust, healthy version of the English Bulldog.
And boy, did it pay off. The only health scare they face is bloat. Other than that, they can breathe properly, and say goodbye to bad hips. As a cross between a Bulldog and a Mastiff, they have a muscular body and a similar facial shape to the Amstaff.
On the other hand, Leavitt Bulldogs are protective but docile pooches, making them great for family homes. They also adapt to just about any lifestyle, but it’s still a good idea to give them regular exercise.
17. Patterdale Terrier
Image by Leni Yuva on Unsplash
For a tiny pup with immense Amstaff energy, the Patterdale Terrier is the way to go. With a maximum weight of 14 lbs (6 kg), these little ones have the same fearlessness and determination as an Amstaff.
Their narrow face shape and lean body made them perfect for rabbit hunting, so expect an energetic hound that always wants to play. They are free thinkers, though, which makes them challenging to train. But if you’re as determined as these little guys, then you’ll be just fine.
In general, they are healthy pups, but it’s not rare for them to get patellar luxation, which is when the kneecap pops out or moves. Patterdales aren’t great with kids but do well with other dogs — especially those as energetic as them.
18. Perro de Presa Canario
Image by Miniu on Pixabay
Confident, strong-willed, and the ultimate working dog are just some ways you can describe the Perro de Presa Canario. Yes, these are big dogs weighing in at a whopping 110 lbs (50 kg), and most of it is just pure muscle.
That’s not too dissimilar from Amstaffs, who are also all muscle, and the likeness doesn’t end there. They’re also fantastic watchdogs with a protective and attentive nature.
Unfortunately, they’re not great with kids or other dogs, but their undying loyalty and care for their owner more than makes up for that. They can face the usual health issues of large dogs, but are generally healthy.
Tip: It’s essential you learn how to socialize a puppy, especially with a breed as big and dominating as the Presa Carnario.
19. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Image by Ilona Frey on Unsplash
Southern Africa has some pretty unique breeds, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback is no exception. Originally bred for hunting lions — yes, lions — these dogs are as loyal as they come.
Their large, slender, muscular body is seriously impressive, and their watchdog mentality makes them the perfect guardian. Ridgebacks are also great family dogs and will protect everyone in their tribe with all their might.
These big pups can have the usual joint issues, but on the whole, they are healthy dogs. They only require a moderate amount of exercise, but you do need to take them for walks. Remember, they are powerful pooches, so a strict training regime with positive reinforcement is essential.
Top Tip: Like Amstaffs, they are independent and strong-willed, so keep this in mind when training them.
Image by Akash Banerjee on Unsplash
Confidence is key, and the Rottweiler has that trait in abundance. They fall in love with their family very quickly, and like the Amstaff, they are always ready to protect. They are slightly better than Amstaffs with kids and other dogs, but strangers can expect a loud, deterring bark.
Rottweilers are also pretty big German dogs, weighing up to 135 lbs (61 kg) with a height of around 27 inches (68 cm). These pack hounds love spending time with their owners. Whether it be swimming or running, they’re always game.
Cancer can be found in these pups, but on the whole, Rottweilers are healthy dogs that don’t need copious amounts of exercise. Early socializing and intense training are also a must with this domineering dog breed.
21. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Image by HRDL on Pixabay
If you see an Amstaff but half the size, you’re probably looking at a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Staffies’ body shape, coat, and running style are all pretty much identical to the Amstaff, but these breeds differ when you look at their temperament.
These cute puppies are some of the best-behaved dogs around children and strangers. Their playful and energetic nature makes them an absolute joy, and to make things even better, they’re super easy to train.
Staffies are also tenacious little pups and definitely think they’re bigger than they actually are, but that’s what makes them so lovable. Health concerns primarily center around skin and eye conditions, with persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous being a common occurrence.
Aside from this, these energetic bundles of joy are the perfect Amstaff alternative for any household.
FAQS About American Staffordshire Terriers
Before picking out your ideal Amstaff alternative, you should know a few things about this American dog.
1. What Two Breeds Make an American Staffordshire Terrier?
American Staffordshire Terriers are a mix of Mastiffs and Bulldogs. Similarly to these two breeds, Amstaffs are eternally loyal to their family and have a strong protective nature.
2. Are Amstaffs and Pitbulls the Same?
Technically speaking, American Staffordshire Terriers are Pitbulls. But things get complicated when looking at the origins of Pitbulls. It’s believed the American Pitbull Terrier is the original Pitbull.
Although they may seem identical, Amstaffs and American Pitbull Terriers differ in their size, as Amstaffs are a naturally bigger breed.
3. What Are the Five Types of Pitbull?
It’s pretty interesting to note that there is no actual breed known as Pitbulls. Rather, there are five dog types that fall under the title of pitbull.
These include the American Pitbull Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Bulldog.
4. Is it Safe to Have an American Staffordshire Terrier?
How your dog is trained, brought up, and their environment plays a huge factor in their temperament. That said, it’s widely acknowledged that American Staffordshire Terriers are one of the most dangerous dog breeds due to their historic breeding for dog fighting.
If you intend on getting an Amstaff or any dog breed that’s similar, it’s essential you socialize and train them from an extremely young age.
Final Thoughts on Similar Breeds to the American Staffordshire Terrier
So there you have a comprehensive list of similar breeds to the American Staffordshire Terrier. Which dog are you most drawn to? Okay, you don’t need to answer that now, although it will help to understand what you like.
Anywho, once you’ve found your perfect pooch, it’s a good idea to learn about the most common dog behaviors and what they mean.
Knowing why your puppy follows you everywhere or why they lick their paws will make the whole dog-owning experience just that bit easier.
I covered all of the costs associated with writing this post on low maintenance dog breeds. However, it does contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links in this article and end up making a purchase I may receive a small commission. It won’t affect the price that you pay. Just wanted to let you know.