The class of dogs known as ‘pit bulls’ and the Staffordshire Terrier
“1 In 1935, the American Kennel Club (AKC) agreed to register pit bull dogs, but only under the name Staffordshire terrier. This was done to distance the breed from its continued use in dogfighting. Thus, the pit bull and the Staffordshire terrier was one in the same, yet held two different names.
2 In 1972, the AKC renamed the breed to the American Staffordshire terrier. Though the American Staffordshire terrier is by definition a pit bull, many owners claim they are different breeds and shelters adopt out pit bulls under the Staffordshire name to fool unsuspecting members of the public.
3 In 1996, the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals renamed pit bulls to “St. Francis Terriers.” The hope was to make the breed more adoptable. After much screening, about 60 pit bulls were placed. The program was suspended after several of the re-dubbed dogs killed cats.
4 In 2004, while serving as the director of New York City Animal Care and Control, Ed Boks tried to rename pit bulls to “New Yorkies” also in hopes of making the breed more adoptable. Boks’ idea failed, as did his tenure in New York City, which only lasted from 2003-2005.
5 Meanwhile, dogfighters historically and presently refer to pit bulls as “bulldogs.” The American bulldog, which is unrecognized by the AKC, was only recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1999.
6 Furthermore, the breed was called the “American pit bulldog” up until the 1970s.
7 The many names of the pit bull over the course of history is why breed-specific legislation defines the pit bull as a “class of dogs” that includes the following breeds and their mixes: American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and American bulldog.
8 Despite pit bull owners, animal groups and dogfighters attempts to obscure the name of the pit bull breed, well-written breed-specific laws always encapsulate the pit bull’s many names.”
The difference between UKC pit bulls and AKC Staffies is basically nothing...UKC says as much....staid AKC insists but I cannot tell and I know these dogs well