|Breakdown of the UKC American Pitbull, the AKC American Staffordshire Terrier and the Kennel Club Staffordshire Bull Terrier's Breed Standards. Note: All 3 versions of the Stafford standards are below.
|United Kennel Club (UKC)
|American Kennel Club (AKC)
|The Kennel Club
|American Pit Bull Terrier
|American Staffordshire Terrier
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Revised January 1, 1978
Revised May 1, 2017
1st Adopted: 1935
2nd Adopted: 1948
3rd Adopted: 1987
Note: The AKC SBT standard differs slightly again as they do not follow the Country of Origin standards.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, solidly built, short-coated dog with smooth, well-defined musculature. This breed is both powerful and athletic. The body is just slightly longer than tall, but bitches may be somewhat longer in body than dogs. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog’s height at the withers.
The head is of medium length, with a broad, flat skull, and a wide, deep muzzle. Ears are small to medium in size, high set, and may be natural or cropped.
The relatively short tail is set low, thick at the base and tapers to a point.
The American Pit Bull Terrier comes in all colors and color patterns except merle. This breed combines strength and athleticism with grace and agility and should never appear bulky or muscle-bound or fine-boned and rangy.
Above all else, the APBT must have the functional capability to be a catch dog that can hold, wrestle (push and pull), and breathe easily while doing its job. Balance and harmony of all parts are critical components of breed type.
Eliminating Faults: Any disproportionate overdone characteristic (such as short legs, excessive bone or massive head or body) that would interfere with physical activity or working ability.
|The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline.
|The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth-coated dog, standing about 15 to 18 inches high at the shoulder. He should give the impression of great strength for his size, and although muscular should be active and agile.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a smooth-coated dog. He should be of great strength for his size and although muscular, should be active and agile.
Smooth Coated, Well Balanced, of great strength for his size. Muscular, active and agile.
|The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed’s natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.
Disqualifications: Viciousness or extreme shyness.
|From the past history of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the modern dog draws his character of indomitable courage, high intelligence and tenacity. This coupled with his affection for his friends, and children in particular, his off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability, makes him the foremost all-purpose dog.
Traditionally of indomitable courage and tenacity. Highly intelligent and affectionate especially with children.
|Keenly alive to his surroundings. His courage is proverbial
|Bold, Fearless and totally reliable
|Head and Skull
Medium length. Bricklike in shape. Skull flat and widest at the ears with prominent cheeks. Free from wrinkles
Wide open nostrils. Any colour acceptable.
The APBT head is unique and a key element of breed type. It is large and broad, giving the impression of great power, but it is not disproportionate to the size of the body. Viewed from the front, the head is shaped like a broad, blunt wedge. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are parallel to one another and joined by a well defined, moderately deep stop. Supraorbital arches over the eyes are well defined but not pronounced. The head is well chiseled, blending strength, elegance, and character.
Very Serious Fault: Overly large, heavy heads.
The skull is large, flat or slightly rounded, deep, and broad between the ears. Viewed from the top, the skull tapers just slightly toward the stop. There is a deep median furrow that diminishes in depth from the stop to the occiput. Cheek muscles are prominent but free of wrinkles. When the dog is concentrating, wrinkles form on the forehead, which give the APBT his unique expression.
The nose is large with wide, open nostrils. The nose may be any color.
|Head medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop. Muzzle medium length, rounded on upper side to fall away abruptly below eyes. Jaws well defined. Underjaw to be strong and have biting power. Lips close and even, no looseness. Nose definitely black, Dudley nose undesirable.
|Short, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop, short foreface, mouth level.
BlackShort, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop, short foreface, black nose.
Short, Deep through with broad skull. Very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop, short foreface, black nose.
Round. Should be set far apart, low down on the skull. Any colour acceptable.
Eyes are medium size, round and set well apart and low on the skull. All colors are equally acceptable except blue, which is a serious fault. Haw should not be visible.
Serious Faults: Bulging eyes; both eyes not matched in color; blue eyes
|Dark and round, low down in skull and set far apart. Light or pink eyes undesirable. No pink eyelids.
Dark preferable but may bear some relation to coat colour. Round, of medium size, and set to look straight ahead.
Dark preferred but may bear some relation to coat colour. Round of medium size, and set to look straight ahead. Eye rims dark.
Cropped or uncropped (not important). Should be set high on head and be free from any wrinkles.
Ears are high set and may be natural or cropped without preference. Prick, or flat, wide ears are not desired.
Disqualifications: Unilateral or bilateral deafness.
|Set high. Ears should be short and held rose or half pricked. Full drop to be penalised.
|Rose, half prick and prick; these three to be preferred, full drop to be penalized.
Rose or half pricked and not large. Full drop or prick to be penalized.
Rose or half prick, and not large or heavy. Full drop pricked ears highly undesirable.
Square, wide and deep. Well pronuounced jaws, displaying strength. Upper teeth should meet tightly over lower teeth, outside in front.
The muzzle is broad and deep with a very slight taper from the stop to the nose, and a slight falling away under the eyes. The length of muzzle is shorter than the length of skull, with a ratio of approximately 2:3. The topline of the muzzle is straight. The lower jaw is well developed, wide and deep. Lips are clean and tight.
Faults: Snipey muzzle; flews; weak lower jaw.
The American Pit Bull Terrier has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.
Fault: Level bite.
|Upper teeth to meet tightly outside lower teeth in front. Undershot or overshot mouths undesirable.
|The mouth should be level, that is, the incisors of the lower jaw should fit closely inside the incisors of the top jaw, and the lips should be tight and clean. The badly undershot or overshot mouth to be heavily penalized.
Lips tight and clean. Jaws strong, teeth large with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Muscular. Slightly arched. Tapering from shoulder to head. Free from loose skin.
The neck is of moderate length and muscular. There is a slight arch at the crest. The neck widens gradually from where it joins the skull to where it blends in to well laid-back shoulders. The skin on the neck is tight and without dewlap.
Faults: Neck too thin or weak; ewe neck; dewlap.
|Heavy, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to back of skull. No looseness of skin. Medium length.
|Should be muscular and rather short.
Muscular, rather short, clean in outline and gradually widening towards the shoulders.
Muscular, rather short, clean in outline gradually widening towards the shoulders.
Strong and muscular, with wide sloping shoulder blades.
Large, round boned, with straight, upright pasterns, reasonably strong. Feet to be of medium size.
The shoulder blades are long, wide, muscular, and well laid back. The upper arm is roughly equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an apparent right angle.
The forelegs are strong and muscular. The elbows are set close to the body. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are set moderately wide apart and perpendicular to the ground. The pasterns are short, powerful, straight, and flexible. When viewed in profile, the pasterns are nearly erect.
Faults: Upright or loaded shoulders; elbows turned outward or tied-in; down at the pasterns; front legs bowed; wrists knuckled over; toeing in or out.
|Shoulders strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping. The front legs should be straight, large or round bones, pasterns upright. No resemblance of bend in front. Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit chest development.
|Straight, feet well padded, to turn out a little and showing no weakness at pasterns.
Legs straight and well boned, set rather wide apart, without looseness at the shoulders, and showing no weakness at the pasterns, from which point the feet turn out a little.
Legs straight and well boned, set rather wide apart, showing no weakness at the pasterns, from which point the feet turn out a little. Shoulders well laid back with no looseness at elbows.
Short and strong. Slightly sloping from withers to rump. Slightly arched at loins, which should be slightly tucked.
Deep, but not too broad, with wide sprung ribs.
Close. Well sprung with deep back ribs.
The chest is deep, well filled in, and moderately wide with ample room for heart and lungs, but the chest should never be wider than it is deep. The forechest does not extend much beyond the point of shoulder. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung from the spine, then flattening to form a deep body extending to the elbows. The back is strong and firm. The topline inclines very slightly downward from the withers to a broad, muscular, level back. The loin is short, muscular and slightly arched to the top of the croup, but narrower than the rib cage and with a moderate tuck-up. The croup is slightly sloping downward.
Very Serious Fault: Overly massive body style that impedes working ability.
|Back fairly short. Slightly sloping from withers to rump with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. Well sprung ribs, deep in rear. All ribs close together. Chest deep and broad. Loins slightly tucked.
|Short back, deep brisket, light in loins with forelegs set rather wide apart to permit of chest development.
The body should be close coupled, with a level topline, wide front, deep brisket, and well-sprung ribs being rather light in the loins.
Close coupled, with level topline, wide front, deep brisket, and well sprung ribs, muscular and well defined.
Long with muscles well developed. Hocks down and straight.
The hindquarters are strong, muscular, and moderately broad. The rump is well filled in on each side of the tail and deep from the pelvis to the crotch. The bone, angulation, and musculature of the hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters. The thighs are well developed with thick, easily discerned muscles. Viewed from the side, the hock joint is well bent and the rear pasterns are well let down and perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are straight and parallel to one another.
Faults: Narrow hindquarters; hindquarters shallow from pelvis to crotch; lack of muscle; straight or over angulated stifle joint; cow hocks; sickle hocks; bowed legs.
|Well muscled, let down at hocks, turning neither in nor out.
|Hindquarters well muscled, let down at hocks like a terrier.
The hindquarters should be well muscled, hocks let down with stifles well bent. Legs should be parallel when viewed from behind.
Well muscled, hocks well let down with stifles well bent. Legs parallel when viewed from behind.
|The feet are round, proportionate to the size of the dog, well arched, and tight. Pads are hard, tough, and well cushioned. Dewclaws may be removed.
Fault: Splayed feet.
|Of moderate size, well-arched and compact.
|The feet should be well padded, strong and of medium size
Well padded, strong and of medium size. Nails black in solid colored dogs.
Short in comparison to size. Set low and tapering to a fine point. Not carried over back. Bobbed tail not acceptable.
The tail is set on as a natural extension of the topline, and tapers to a point. When the dog is relaxed, the tail is carried low and extends approximately to the hock. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried level with the backline. When the dog is excited, the tail may be carried in a raised, upright position (challenge tail), but never curled over the back (gay tail).
Fault: Long tail (tail tip passes beyond point of hock).
|Short in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point; not curled or held over back. Not docked. Tail too long or badly carried undesirable.
|The tail should be of medium length tapering to a point and carried rather low; it should not curl much and may be compared with an old-fashioned pump handle.
The tail should be of medium length, low set, tapering to a point and carried rather low. It should not curl much and may be likened to an old-fashioned pump handle.
Medium length, low set tapering to a point and carried rather low. Should not curl much and may be likened to an old-fashioned pump handle.
Gait should be light and springy. No rolling or pacing.
The American Pit Bull Terrier moves with a jaunty, confident attitude, conveying the impression that he expects any minute to see something new and exciting. When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful, and well coordinated, showing good reach in front and drive behind. When moving, the topline remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance.
Faults: Legs not moving on the same plane; legs over reaching; legs crossing over in front or rear; rear legs moving too close or touching; rolling; pacing; paddling; sidewinding; hackney action; pounding.
|Must be springy but without roll or pace.
|Free, powerful and agile with economy of effort. Legs moving parallel when viewed from front or rear. Discernible drive from hindlegs.
Glossy, short and stiff to the touch.
The coat is glossy and smooth, close, and moderately stiff to the touch.
Faults: Curly, wavy, or sparse coat.
|Short, close, stiff to the touch, and glossy.
|Short, smooth and close to skin.
Smooth, short and close to skin
Smooth, short and close
Any colour or markins permissible.
Any color, color pattern, or combination of colors is acceptable, except for merle.
Disqualifications: Albinism. Merle
|Any colour, solid, parti, or patched is permissible, but all white, more than 80% white, black and tan, and liver not to be encouraged.
|May be any shade of Brindle, Black, White, Fawn or Red, or any of these colours with White. Black and Tan and Liver not to be encouraged.
Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colors with white. Any shade of brindle or any shade of brindle with white. Black-and-tan or liver colour not to be encouraged.
Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any one of these colors with white. Any shade of brindle or any shade of brindle with white. Black-and-tan or liver colour highly undesirable.
Not important. Females preferred from 30-50 pounds, males from 35-60 pounds.
The American Pit Bull Terrier must be both powerful and agile; overall balance and the correct proportion of weight to height, therefore, is far more important than the dog’s actual weight and/or height.
Desirable weight for a mature male in good condition is between 35 and 60 pounds. Desirable weight for a mature female in good condition is between 30 and 50 pounds.
As a general and approximate guideline only, the desirable height range for mature males is from 18 to 21 inches at the withers; for mature females it is from 17 to 20 inches at the withers.
It is important to note that dogs over or under these weight and height ranges are not to be penalized unless they are disproportionately massive or rangy.
Very Serious Fault: Excessively large or overly massive dogs and dogs with a height and/or weight so far from what is desired as to compromise health, structure, movement and physical ability.
|Height and weight should be in proportion.
Dogs approx 46-48 cms (18-19 ins) at shoulders
Bitches approx 43-46 cms (17-18 ins) at shoulders is considered preferable.
|(Heights listed under General Appearance) Height: 15 to 18 inches,
Dogs 28 to 38 lbs., Bitches 4 lbs. less.
Weight: Dogs, 28lb. to 38lb. Bitches, 24lb. to 34lb. Height (at shoulder), 14in to 16in, these heights being related to the weights.
Weight: Dogs 28lbs to 38lbs. Bitches 24lbs to 34lbs. desirable height (at withers), 14 to 16 inches, these heights being related to the weights.
Scale of Points
General appearance, personality and obediience - 20; Head, muzzle, eyes, ears - 25; Neck, shoulders and chest - 15; Body - 15; Legs and feet - 15; Tail, coat and colour - 10; Total - 100
(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.)
(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
|Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog
|To be penalized, Dudley nose, light or pink eyes, tail too long or badly curled, badly undershot or overshot mouths.
Scale of Points. General appearance and coat condition - 15; Head - 30; Neck - 10; Body - 25; Legs and feet - 15; Tail - 5: Total = 100.To be penalized in accordance with the severity of the fault; - light eyes or pink eye-rims. Tail too long or badly curled. Non-conformation to the limits of weight or height. Full drop and prick ears. Undershot or overshot mouths. The following faults should debar a dog from winning any prize:
|Although some level of dog aggression is characteristic of this breed, handlers will be expected to comply with UKC policy regarding dog temperament at UKC events.
The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.
|Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
|Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.