pocket pitbull breed guide
Category_Dog Knowledge

Pocket Pitbull Breed Guide: Everything You Need to Know

by Andrew Ehlert

Pocket Pitbulls, also affectionately known as Pitterbulls, Mini Pits, and Pocket Bullies, are a hybrid dog breed. They are a cross between the American Pitbull Terrier and the Patterdale Terrier. While both parent breeds are considered purebreds, Pocket Pitbulls are not. They are considered to be a designer breed that is highly sought after.

Where Did Pocket Pitbulls Come From?

Let’s first take a look at the parent breeds of the Pocket Pitbull, the Patterdale Terrier, and the American Pitbull Terrier.

Patterdale Terriers are considered to be one of the last true working terriers of today. They are known to be hard-working and possess high energy, and their desire to please their owner is only topped by their desire to hunt.

The breed originated in Northern England and was initially not considered to be “companion” dogs because of their usefulness in the field. Today, they are incredibly loyal pets when trained and given the proper mental and physical exercise.

American Pitbulls Terriers were first recognized as a breed in 1898 by the United Kennel Club (UKC). The name is applied to other bull-type breeds, such as the bull terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Originally Pitbull Terriers were bred for hunting, specifically for the purpose of capturing and restraining semi-feral livestock. While they were expected to be aggressive as game-working animals, their aggression toward humans was not encouraged. Breeders would not choose to use those who displayed aggression to maintain their pleasant personalities.

Once in America, these breeds drew attention by their usefulness as well as good temper. Breeders wanted to maintain these qualities, especially those in the American Pitbull Terrier, yet at a smaller size more equipped for households rather than farms.

Characteristics of the Pocket Pitbull

Now that you are familiar with the pocket pitbull’s lineage, let’s look at the main characteristics of the breed, including its appearance and overall temperament.

Pocket Pitbull Appearance

According to the AKC, Pocket Pitbulls are considered a small breed as they do not get taller than 16” and weigh between 11-22lbs. Their size does fluctuate, though, depending on the parent sizes.

Although they are considered a “small” breed, do not let that confuse you into thinking you are getting a small dog. They maintain the American Pitbull Terrier physique with a broad and deep chest, well-developed muscular legs and hindquarters, and overall stocky appearance.

Their coat is short, relatively stiff, and glossy. However, if they take more after their Patterdale parent, they may exhibit a slightly longer, wiry coat. Their color can range from white, tan, cream, black, brown, and gray.


The Pocket Pitbull’s parent breed, the American Bully, are known for their friendly and gentle demeanor. They are rarely aggressive and are particularly athletic, making them a great choice for a family dog.

These traits are carried over to the Pocket Pitbull. Any owner of a Pittie can attest to the fact that they are one of the sweetest breeds. They enjoy being held, are playful, and maintain the “nanny” dog trait Pitbulls are known for. Some owners even believe that their Pocket Pitbulls smile back at them.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of stigmas that comes with owning a Pocket Pit. Although aggression was once being bred out, an increase in illegal dogfighting both in the United States and England brought backyard breeding and aggression into the eye of the public.

Breed Specific Legislation has become commonplace in many countries, which forbid ownership of certain breeds. In recent years, this stereotype is slowly being broken as educational resources in dog training become more available. Aggression largely depends on the owner, not on the breed. Dogs that are adequately trained and cared for are unlikely to be hostile.

Living with a Pocket Pitbull

Will a Pocket Pitbull suit your household? Here are some major considerations to help you decide.


Keep in mind that every breed has certain tendencies. Pocket Pitbulls have hunting and guarding tendencies that must be managed. Otherwise, there is a possibility to become territorial and aggressive towards strangers in your home.

According to Stanley Coren, a psychologist leading canine intelligence research, American Staffordshire Terriers are in the third tier of most intelligent breeds. This means they are “above-average and can learn new tricks in 15 to 25 repetitions and obey at least 70% of the time.” Pocket Pitbulls can tend to be stubborn, as they are very energetic, and that is a possibility for the lower score in obedience.


Pocket Pitbulls are known to live for 11 to 13 years. They have a variety of health problems that can occur, as is the case with most breeds.

Some common issues are:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Heart Disease
  • Eye Related Issues
  • Skin Allergies

Good quality food is imperative to maintain and prevent many of these issues. Pocket Pitbulls inherited skin irritations from their American Pitbull parent, so it's important to monitor any food allergies that may occur.

When looking to purchase a Pocket Pitbull, always go with a reputable breeder. Poor breeding can lead to a host of health problems.


Pocket Pitbulls are what you would consider a “low-maintenance” dog when it comes to grooming. Seeing as their coat is short and naturally shiny, they do not require a lot of time or energy to maintain. Yet, it’s still important to brush their coat regularly and continue to check for skin conditions.


Most puppies are very active, but Pocket Pitbulls will maintain their youthful energy for their lifespan. They require a significant amount of vigorous exercise and a minimum of one hour a day. It’s no surprise that they require a lot of outdoor time, as they were bred from working dogs that spent most, if not all, of their time outside.

Are You Ready to Own a Pocket Pitbull?

Despite not being purebred, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $4000 for your new Pocket Pitbull puppy. When searching, speak with friends or members of the community for reputable breeders. If you are more interested in adopting, you may find that there are not many Pocket Pitbulls. If there are, they may not be the crossbreed that you’re expecting, as it is hard to ascertain pedigree in these cases.

This breed is a good match for anyone who is active and has the time to dedicate to them. Their small size is suitable for smaller living quarters, such as apartments, yet the best situation for a Pocket Pit is someone who has a yard or a dog park nearby. Pocket Pitbulls are also well suited for families because children also have just as much energy as they do. This makes them good companions for each other.

Despite their stocky build and aggressive look, Pocket Pitbulls are very dear to their owners. If you think this breed is a good match for yourself, you won't regret adding them as another member of your family.

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