The Pocket Pitbull is a very popular breed of dog, and recent years have seen exponential growth in the U.S. family ownership. They have the characteristics and look of a Pitbull, but in a smaller, more manageable size. Sometimes they are referred to as Mini Pitbulls or Pocket pits. Here’s everything you need to know about the breed and whether it may be right for you and your family.
What is a Pocket Pitbull?
A Pocket Pitbull is a cross breed, combining an American Pitbull Terrier with a Patterdale Terrier. As it is not a pure breed, the dog will not be able to be registered with kennel clubs such as AKC or CKC. It is a designer dog in effect, breeding the large Pitbull with a smaller dog (Patterdale). Patterdale’s are used because of their relatively plain classic body shape combined with their somewhat recessive genes, allowing the Pitbull features to dominate. Generally they are a 50 50 mix between the two, but intergenerational breeding does occur which can alter the balance.
Don’t let the name mislead you, they are not miniature dogs (not the sort A-list celebrities might walk around with in their handbag that’s for sure!). They are smaller than the classic American Pitbull terrier though, roughly about half the size. They usually grow to a height (the measurement from the bottom of a front paw to the center of the back, in the middle of the shoulder blades) of 12 – 16 inches. Some kennels set the limit for being classified as a Pocket Pitbull at 17 inches for the male and 16 inches for the female.
A fully-grown Pocket Pitbull will weigh between 30 and 60 pounds. They are a lean, athletic dogs with a stocky build and they have the classic Pitbull wide set jaw. You can expect your Pocket Pitbull to live for an average of 11 to 13 years.
They often come in black, but can also be found in grey, brown, cream or white. They typically have a very shiny coat, with short and smooth hairs that tend to be quite thick. Obviously, regular grooming is required to keep the coat looking healthy and in good shape, but they are relatively easy to care for in that respect, and the grooming and bathing are required less frequently than other breeds. There will be some shedding which can be easily managed through regular brushing, but this will be no more than other dog types.
Living with a Pocket Pitbull
Firstly, mini pits have bundles of energy so require regular exercise. Trips to the park and going for runs are essential to give your dog the fitness it needs. If you do not have time nor inclination to provide the opportunity for this dog to exercise regularly then perhaps a more sedate breed would be advisable. If the dog is not getting the release from exercise, it may start to display more aggressive behavior or increased barking as an outlet. As well as a physical workout, these intelligent dogs will also require mental stimulation. Time invested in this will keep your dog happy and healthy and prevent the onset of boredom.
Pocket pitbulls have a great personality. However, these characteristics can vary slightly from dog to dog depending on the parents of the dog (the saying the the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is especially true with dogs…), plus the training and treatment of the dog. Like humans with the nature versus nurture debate, dogs will have inborn and learnt traits. If possible, always try to meet the parents, and even grandparents of the dog to help get some idea of what they their future temperament will be like.
They are especially known for their bravery, being fearless in the face of the danger, and should the situation arise, they are unlikely to back down from a fight. This, combined with an unwavering loyalty make them a fantastic companion.
Media and ill-informed people may try to portray these animals as overly aggressive and dangerous dogs but this is not really a fair assessment. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the 20th century, many of these dogs were bred solely to fight, so it is important to know the ancestry, making sure they do not come from an over aggressive background.
A properly trained and disciplined Pocket Pitbull is a perfectly pet for a family, and no danger if you have young children. The problems arise when they are not given the mental stimulation or opportunity to exercise.
There is no special diet required for a Pocket Pitbull, so any commercially available food designed for smaller breeds will do just fine. As they tend to towards a more active lifestyle, food designed with this in mind may be preferential. Plenty of protein always helps with growth and muscular definition.
Training Pocket Pitbulls is certainly no harder than other breeds and in some cases a lot easier. Obviously, it takes time and effort and the rewards can be very gradual but they are all worth it in the end. Being a confident and outgoing dog, early training is definitely recommended and acclimating the dog to social situations is advised as soon as possible, as this can prevent them becoming too dominant when around other dogs.
Miniature Pitbulls are generally an intelligent breed so methods involving more positive reinforcement tend be most successful. As discussed with their personality, good training will prevent a bored dog which can leads to the more aggressive behavioral tendencies.
If you want to see more pictures of pocket pitbulls, check out this video:
As a specifically designed, and relatively rare cross breed, these Pitbulls do not come cheap. You can expect to pay about $1000 for the privilege of owning one of these impressive canines. The price depends on the age of the puppy and parental bloodlines.
Pocket pitbull is considered a hybrid so the cost may vary. The breed is not officially recognized as its own breed. Just make sure to find a reputable breeder since this hybrid is pretty popular and wanted.
Don’t forget that there are other costs of owning a dog. These costs include registration, vaccines, vet visits, toys, food, pet furniture, obedience training if necessary etc. Additionally, you may have shipping costs if you are acquiring a puppy that is out of state.
Pocket Pitbulls are generally a pretty sturdy breed of dog. Naturally strong and muscular, you can expect relatively few visits to the vet. One of the benefits of being a hybrid is that these Pitbulls can be less susceptible to hereditary conditions of their ancestors.
However, pocket pits may still be susceptible to various conditions common with their parental breeds. The biggest problem they may face is hip dysplasia. This health condition is caused by a malformation of the hip’s ball and socket joint. Hip dysplasia is painful and is often compared to arthritis in humans. This ailment is definitely something you don’t wish your dog to have.
Other conditions your mini pit may experience include allergies, hypothyroidism, conjunctivitis, and heart disease. If your pooch has any of these issues, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian to get the appropriate treatment.
Pocket pitbull’s coat doesn’t require extensive care. They have a short and smooth coat that is simple to maintain. Brushing the coat couple times a week should be enough to keep it healthy. Pocket pits do shed but not as much as dogs with thick undercoat.
It’s best to practice regular brushing, nail trimming, eye, ear, and teeth cleaning to keep your pet healthy.
Miniature Pitbulls sense of loyalty, and their continual eagerness to please means they can make great working dogs. They can be used for hunting which will come very naturally to them. They are also often tasked with guard duties. Due to their naturally protective instincts, they are useful in domestic or commercial properties and will be sure to bark if they sense an intruder. (They are generally not excessive barkers so you are alerted more easily than those dogs that may bark more regularly.)
Do Pocket Pits Have the Same Reputation as Other Pitbulls?
Yes, since mini pits look like regular pitbulls (just smaller), they have the same reputation. Unfortunately, many people may pre-judge your dog. If this may make you uncomfortable, perhaps another breed may be more suitable for you. Moreover, you have to consider if your homeowner’s insurance would cover your pit or if your apartment complex will allow pitbulls. Because of the history, people still believe pitbulls are fighting dogs, many insurances won’t cover that breed and many apartment complexes won’t allow them.
Other Pocket Pitbull names
- Pocket Pit
- Pittbull patterdale mix
- Mini pitbull
- Miniature pitbull
- Pocket bully
The Pocket Pitbull can make a great family dog. American Pitbulls are one of the most popular pet dogs in the United States, and their smaller cousins are now highly sort after, which can make them a relatively expensive option. A well-trained Pocket Pitbull, from a good family can be a fantastic member of the family, loyal and very playful, protective and courageous. Ensure they get enough exercise and mental stimulation and they can be a fantastic canine companion.