The Pocket Pitbull is a very popular dog breed, and recent years have seen exponential growth in home ownership in the United States. They have the characteristics and appearance of a Pitbull, but in a smaller, more manageable size. They are sometimes called Mini Pitbulls or Pocket Pits. Here's everything you need to know about this 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 and a Patterdale Terrier. As it is not purebred, the dog cannot be registered with kennel clubs such as the AKC or CKC. It is actually a designed dog, which combines the large Pitbull with a smaller dog (Patterdale). Patterdales are used because of their relatively simple classic body shape combined with their somewhat recessive genes, which allows Pitbull characteristics to dominate. Generally, they are an equal mix between the two, but sometimes cross-generational crossings occur which can alter the balance.
Don't let the name fool you, these aren't miniature dogs (not the kind A-list celebrities might carry in their purses, that's for sure!) They're smaller than the Classic American Pitbull Terrier, about half his size. They typically reach 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 to 16 inches. Some kennels set the limit to be classed as a Pocket Pitbull at 17 inches for the male and 16 inches for the female.
An adult pocket pitbull will weigh between 30 and 60 pounds. He is a lean, athletic dog with a stocky build and the classic Pitbull wide jaw. Their lifespan is not different than a normal Pitbull lifespan. You can expect your Pocket Pitbull to live an average of 11-13 years.
They are often black, but they are also found in gray, brown, cream or white. They generally have very shiny coats, with short, smooth hairs that tend to be quite thick. Obviously regular grooming is necessary to keep the coat healthy and in good condition, but they are relatively easy to care for in this regard, and grooming and bathing are less frequent than for other breeds. There will be some shedding which can be easily managed with regular brushing, but this will not be more than with other dog breeds.
Living with a Pocket Pitbull
First of all, mini pits have energy beams and therefore require regular exercise. Trips to the park and runs are key to getting your dog in the shape he needs. If you don't have the time or inclination to give your dog the opportunity for regular exercise, it might be better to choose a more sedentary breed. If the dog is not released from exercise, he may begin to display more aggressive behavior or bark more to let off steam. Along with physical training, these smart dogs will also need mental stimulation. Time invested in this area will keep your dog happy and healthy and prevent the onset of boredom.
Pocket Pitbull has big personality. However, these characteristics may vary slightly from dog to dog depending on the dog's parents (the saying that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree is especially true with dogs…), as well as the dog training and treatment. Like humans with the nature versus nurture debate, dogs will have both innate and learned traits. If possible, always try to meet the parents, and even the grandparents of the dog to get an idea of what their future temperament will be.
They are best known for their bravery, being fearless in the face of danger, and if the situation arises they are unlikely to back down from a fight. This, combined with unwavering loyalty, makes them a fantastic companion.
The media and misinformed people may try to portray these animals as overly aggressive and dangerous dogs, but that's not really a fair assessment. Unfortunately, in the early 20th century, many of these dogs were bred solely to fight, so it's important to know their ancestry, making sure they don't come from an overly aggressive background.
A well-trained and disciplined Pocket Pitbull is a perfect family pet, and safe if you have young children. The problems arise when they don't get the mental stimulation or the opportunity to exercise.
No special diet is required for a Pocket Pitbull, so any commercially available food designed for small breeds will do. As they tend to adopt a more active lifestyle, foods designed with this in mind may be favored. The abundance of protein always helps with muscle growth and definition.
Training pocket pit bulls is certainly no more difficult than training other breeds and in some cases much easier. Of course, 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 absolutely recommended and it is advisable to acclimate the dog to social situations as early as possible, as this can prevent him from becoming too dominant when around other dogs.
We know you can't wait to train your pocket Pitbull. When done right, dog training can be a wonderful experience that strengthens the bond between you and your dog. During dog training, you will need many helpful items such as dog crates, dog treats, dog toys. Procuring these products from the right places will also make the education process better.
Miniature pitbulls are generally an intelligent breed, so methods involving more positive reinforcement tend to be more effective. As seen with their personality, good training helps prevent the dog from becoming bored, which can lead to more aggressive behavioral tendencies.
Pocket Pitbulls are generally a fairly hardy dog breed. Naturally strong and muscular, you can expect to have relatively few visits to the vet. One of the benefits of being a hybrid is that these Pitbulls may be less susceptible to inherited conditions from their ancestors.
However, Pocket Pits can still be susceptible to various conditions common to their parent breeds. They can suffer from hip dysplasia. This condition is definitely something you don't want your dog to have.
Your mini-pit may also suffer from allergies, hypothyroidism, conjunctivitis, and heart disease. If your pooch is suffering from any of these issues, it's best to talk to your veterinarian to get the proper treatment.
The coat of the Pocket Pitbull does not require great care. They may need some special treatment on their puppy stage, but it's same as all Pitbull puppies. He has a short, smooth coat that is easy to groom. It is enough to brush the coat twice a week to keep it healthy. The pocket pit bull does shed its coat, but not as much as dogs with thick undercoats.
It is best to brush teeth, trim nails, and clean eyes, ears, and teeth regularly to keep your pet healthy.
Miniature Pitbulls' sense of loyalty and constant desire to please make them great working dogs. They are also often responsible for guard duties. With their natural protective instincts, they are useful in domestic or commercial properties and will be sure to bark if they detect an intruder. (They're usually not excessive barkers, so you're alerted more easily than dogs that can bark more regularly).
Do Pocket Pitbulls have the same reputation as other Pitbulls?
Yes, since mini pits look like regular pit bulls (just smaller), they have the same reputation. Unfortunately, many people may prejudge your dog. If that makes you uncomfortable, maybe another breed would suit you better. Additionally, you need to consider whether your landlord's insurance will cover your pit or whether your apartment complex will allow pitbulls. Due to history, people still believe that Pitbulls are fighting dogs, many insurances don't cover this breed and many apartment complexes don't allow them.