What type of breeds do you think of when the word Terrier comes to mind?
Most people think of little Yorkies, big black and tan Airedales, stately little Scotties, mini-Schnauzers with their bearded muzzles and several other wiry-haired dogs.
These little dogs look a far cry from my short-haired and muscular pit bull, but they’re one in the same. Like the little wire-haired dogs, pit bulls are terriers too.
There are several breeds that count as pit bulls.
There is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is England’s version and the forerunner of the two similar American breeds. That dog is smaller and stockier, and the breed is affectionately referred to as “Staffies.”
Next are the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. For all I can tell, these dogs are pretty much the exact same. The American Staffordshire Terrier, nicknamed the Amstaff, is the only of the two breeds officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The United Kennel Club, however, does recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier, which are usually called APBTs.
Both the Amstaffs and APBTs tend to be larger than the Staffies — taller and though stocky, not quite as stocky as the Staffie.
Next in the line-up are Bull Terriers, of which there are several variations.
The Bull Terrier is most well-known for being the white dog with the football shaped head and big ol’ goofy grin that stars in all the Target commercials.
There is a big size difference between male and female Bull Terriers, with males reaching up to 60 pounds but females usually topping out around 30 or 40 pounds.
A distinction is made between White Bull Terriers, who are nearly all-white, and Colored Bull Terriers, who come in a variation of colors.
There is also a Miniature Bull Terrier.
When a place bans pit bulls, all these breeds are banned.
Here’s a fun fact: A Colored Bull Terrier named Rufus won Best in Show (top prize) at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2006. Think about all the places this A-list dog is banned from.