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Pocket Pitbull Breed Info

The Pocket Pitbull is a crossbreed between the American Pitbull Terrier and the Patterdale Terrier.

It is smaller than an American Pitbull Terrier but combines traits from both its parents to be a great family dog. 

However, the name is also sometimes used by breeders who combine American Pitbulls with other breeds like Boston Terriers, and French Bulldogs, which give the hybrid dog a smaller size as well.

While some people may seek these combinations, it’s important to know exactly what breeds the parents are before you purchase a Pocket Pitbull, as some can be more prone to fearful behavior. 

That said, for the sake of simplicity, we will be referring to the Pocket Pitbull, which stems from the Patterdale Terrier and the American Pitbull. 

The Appearance of the Pocket Pitbull

Due to being mixed with the American Pitbull Terrier, the Pocket Pitbull has a muscular build and stands around a foot tall from paw to shoulder.

pocket pitbull
American Bully Europa, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Weighing up to 50 lbs, this breed has a powerful set of jaws set in a broad head inherited from its Pitbull parent.

However, it is more slender along the neck and body, giving it a slightly leaner appearance. 

The Pocket Pit is usually found with either brown or amber eyes, although it can have a wide variety of fur colors.

Black, cream, brown, brindle, white, grey, and pied are all potential colors that the Pocket Pit can be found in. 


Pocket Pitbulls have short to medium-length fur that isn’t exceptionally dense.

This makes grooming very simple, and usually, they will only require bathing a couple of times a year, unless they get into a mess. 

Brushing is also really easy and can be done once a week in a few minutes with a grooming glove or slicker brush. 

While grooming can be easy, there is a possibility that they can inherit skin conditions from their parents.

The American Pitbull doesn’t have a lot of health concerns, but skin sensitivity is one of them.

Make sure to check for rashes or swelling while grooming them, and you may even want to use a canine sunblock on them to help protect their skin from ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancers. 

If your Pocket Pit does end up having skin allergies, management with regular formulated shampoo washes is usually all that is needed.

However, you should always consult your vet to get the appropriate treatment. 

Pocket Pitbull Temperament

Because the Pocket Pit is mixed with the American Pitbull Terrier, some people may worry about their temperament due to the latter’s (unwarranted) reputation.

However, a well-bred, socialized, and trained Pocket Pitbull can be remarkably easy-going, but protective of their owners. 

They can be socialized to be friendly with people of all ages, although younger children should still be supervised around them.

Especially since young children are more likely to accidentally aggravate the dog until it lashes out. 

Due to their high prey drive inherited from their parents, they are happy to be the only pet in a household.

Although they can get along with others if introduced early enough. 

Knowing the exact parentage will be important as Pocket Pits breed with French Bulldogs or Boston Terriers will have different temperaments, as well as different health concerns. 


The biggest health concerns facing this breed are intervertebral disc disease and cerebellar abiotrophy (ataxia). 

Intervertebral disc disease is a condition that causes one or more discs in the spine to break down. This can cause chronic pain in many dogs.

Ataxia, on the other hand, can cause abnormal movements in the head, torso, and legs of the dog, and it signifies incoordination in the nervous system.

Although there are different forms of ataxia, they all depend on where in the system the abnormality is located.

If you notice any coordination, it’s important that you take your Pocket Pit to the vet so that a proper diagnosis can be made and treatment can be started. 

Some other common issues include skin sensitivity, mentioned above, and elbow and hip dysplasia. 

Although they do have health concerns, Pocket Pits can live, on average, between 11 and 13 years.

This means that you can have lots of years to spend with your Pocket Pit if you choose to adopt one into your family. 

Exercise, Activity, and Training

Pocket Pits are active and energetic dogs that require plenty of exercise every day.

If you’re unable to devote some time every day to playing with and exercising your dog, you may want to consider another breed with less energy.

When it comes to training, you can expect these dogs to be both independent and confident.

Because of these traits, it’s important to begin training and socialization early so that it’s easier for them to adapt and learn. 

However, this breed is eager to please and very intelligent, making the process of training easier than some other breeds.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to teach them new commands and behaviors, and it should always be prioritized.

Never use aggression or physical punishment to attempt to train them.

This can break the bond of trust between you and can result in your dog lashing out in aggression and fear. 

If you’re unsure how to get started with training, reach out to a certified training facility near you to learn about training classes that your dog can take part in.  

A Good Companion Dog

If you are looking to bring a Pocket Pit into your home, consider all of the care and training that they will need.

While they do require regular exercise and training is a must, when done properly, these dogs can be some of the best companion animals you can hope for. 

If you want to learn more, speak to an adoption center or breeder near you.

But keep in mind, that it’s important to learn the exact parentage when purchasing from a breeder so that you know the genetic predispositions your dog could inherit. 

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National Canine Research Association of America