red nose pitbull breed guide
Category_Dog Knowledge

Red Nose Pitbull Breed Guide: Everything You Need to Know

by Andrew Ehlert

Muscular, intelligent, and affectionate pitbulls are beloved everywhere for their stocky look and winning personalities. Despite the fear in some societies about this dog’s perceived aggression - and some isolated incidents of violence - most pitbulls make great family pets and loving companions.

The dog we call a pitbull actually has several subtypes. The red nose type is a bit of a misnomer as it’s is actually rust-colored all over its body. Even within this muscular family, it also tends to be thicker built than other pitbulls.

Falling under the AKC American Staffordshire Terrier registration, red noses and bluenoses are simply a color variation that doesn’t change their genetics or temperament.

Keep reading to learn more about this lovable dog and why it’s so valuable to those who own one!

History of Red Nose Pitbulls

Descended from a line of early mastiffs, pitbull-type dogs can be traced all the way back to the culture of ancient Greece. Their hefty build made them excellent working animals, perfect for carrying weighty loads or even search-and-rescue efforts. Pitties were also wartime dogs, trained to fight enemies and protect their masters.

The red nose variety, in particular, comes from Ireland. In the mid-1800s, they were called Old Family Dogs and then the Old Family Red Nose Strain. Today, we know them as OFRN of Ireland.

In the mid-1900s, pitbulls came to the U.S. with Irish immigrants. Despite their affectionate nature, they were unfortunately thrown into eyebrow-raising fighting rings and other violent activities, which contributed to their negative reputation (more on this later).

Red Nose Pitbull Appearance

Like most pitbulls, the red nose is a medium-sized breed, standing about 20 inches tall and weighing up to 60lbs. Some males may get as large as 65lbs, with females slightly smaller than average. They are powerfully built, making them look bigger and more fearsome than they actually weigh.

The difference in the red nose’s appearance from other pitbull varieties is its color. Ranging from dark shades of rust and chocolate to a bright copper, the red coat extends to its muzzle and lips (hence its name) as well as its nails. They may also show a splash of white or cream on their chest and toes.

Unlike other types of pitbulls, the red nose has stunning amber-yellow eyes. Its boxy face and powerful jaws are characteristic of a pitbull and run down to a thick neck and highly muscular body. The red nose tends to be more stocky than the average pitbull, giving them a preference as fighting dogs (though most sports of this nature are now illegal).

A red nose’s ears may be cropped later or not, but they are born with the short folded ears typical of pitbull breeds. One of their most endearing features is their adorable face wrinkles!

The coat is short and relatively low-maintenance, though they do shed twice a year. A bath once a month will help them look and feel good between shedding patterns. They also enjoy brushing, though due to the shortness of the coat, it’s best to avoid high-intensity fur brushes or combs so as not to scratch their skin in the process.

Both pitbull parents must have a specific recessive gene to get a red-nose puppy. Simply having a reddish-tinted coat doesn’t necessarily make a pittie a red nose, as there are dozens of color variations within the breed spectrum.

Red Nose Pitbull Temperament

These dogs are intelligent and trainable, with an eager-to-learn disposition. They crave closeness to their humans and work hard to prove their loyalty. Pitbulls are protective of their family, but not more so than any other dedicated dog - and with proper training, you can appropriately control this nature.

Confident towards people, pitties often intimidate strangers due to their size and bulk, but they usually have a friendly demeanor. Their energy makes them a great companion for outdoor exercise, but they are just as happy to snuggle on the couch with their humans at the end of the day.

Red nose pitbulls are incredibly athletic, requiring at least one hour of activity every day so they can healthily release steam. Many pitbull owners engage their dogs in agility programs or take them on outdoor adventures like hiking or swimming. Their muscular physique is built to expend energy, and without an outlet, they will act out in boredom.


The pitbull breed is saddled with misunderstanding and skepticism. Some residential communities set up breed bans against them on the basis that they are violent or dangerous dogs. In 1991, the UK actually outlawed owning them for this reason.

The breed also has an unfortunate history with bear-baiting, fighting rings, and other aggressive “bully” sports. Most of this has since been outlawed, but the reputation persists.

The reality is that when they are adequately trained and socialized, these dogs make wonderful family pets. Many parents say pitbulls are among the sweetest dogs they’ve owned and find them to be patient and gentle with small children. However, this breed is best for humans with experience owning large dogs, as their muscular figure can be hard to control.

As with any dog, it comes down to their training from an early age. Socialization with humans as well as other dogs is vital, as is taking measures to discourage reactive behavior. But in the absence of abuse, and when a dog feels comfortable and balanced, there is minimal chance of a violent incident.

Adopting A Red Nose Pitbull

Unless you intend to breed or have a specific purpose for wanting the red nose color, you might consider other pitbull varieties and colors - especially if you’re on a budget. The rarity of these dogs means they fetch a high price. You may also have to travel some distance to find a breeder, as these are specialty dogs not widely available.

Suppose you have reasons to look for a red nose pitbull, in particular. In that case, you will be rewarded for many years with a loving, loyal companion with a striking appearance and vibrant personality.

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