Myths and Truths about the Pocket Pitbull

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It’s ironic that at a time when everything can be answered with just one click of a button, there are still myths and misconceptions about the Pocket Pitbull.

In this article, we will debunk myths and reinstate facts about this playful, loyal and low-maintenance dog breed.

Myth #1: Pocket Pitbulls are tiny dogs.

Pocket Pitbull standing in the snow
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I understand how the name might lead people to believe that Pocket Pitbulls are a tiny-sized breed that can fit in their owner’s pocket, but that’s not really the case.

Pocket Pitbull is also called Miniature Pitbulls or Mini Pitbulls.

Whatever you might prefer to call this breed, they are far from being pocket-sized as their name suggests. These hybrids are small to medium-sized dogs.

A full-grown Pocket Pitbull can weigh from 11 to 22 lbs (5 to 10 kg) and can measure from 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm). So they are .

They are simply named Miniature because they are smaller versions of their larger parent breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier (Pittie).

If you want to have a Pit Bull but cannot care for a large dog, the Pocket Pitbull might just be the one for you.

How are breeders able to create a Mini Pitbull?

A mini Pit Bull is a designer dog or a crossbreed between a Patterdale Terrier and an American Pit Bull Terrier.

A Patterdale Terrier is a small dog that weighs about 11 to 13 pounds (5 to 6 kg) and measures 9 inches to 15 inches (25 to 40 cm) in height while an American Pit Bull Terrier is a large breed that weighs 35 to 60 pounds (15 to 17 kg) and measures 18 to 21 inches (45 to 53 cm) in height.

This video will give you an idea of how big a Pocket Pitbull pup is:

Myth #2: Pocket Pitbulls are mean.

Pitbulls have gotten the reputation of being mean and aggressive over the years as they were initially bred and trained for bull baiting, bear baiting, and dog fights.

But as time passed and the need for fighting dogs decreased, Pitties were trained to be more domesticated.

The truth is any dog can be aggressive depending on how they are trained and raised. It is not dependent on size or breed.

When a Pocket Pitbull is trained properly, it is loving, obedient, and affectionate.

Pocket Pitbull smiling
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These dogs love to be surrounded with their family. When you combine a Pit Bull’s “nanny dog” side and a Patterdale Terrier’s playfulness, you are sure to get a dog that is good for your child.

While the Mini Pitbull may be good for your child, I would never recommend leaving any child with any dog. Not because the dog is dangerous, but because things may get out of hand.

The dog might get over-excited and jump at the child or the child may not be able to handle a dog properly.

For everyone’s safety, it’s always best to have adult supervision when the dog is playing with kids.

Myth #3: Pocket Pitbulls are stubborn.

Mini Pit Bull looking up at its owner
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Pocket Pitbulls are bred from two smart working dogs, so it is not surprising that they’re easy to train with the right techniques.

However, this Bully breed may also have an independent streak, especially when they take after their Patterdale Terrier parent.

Patterdale Terriers were bred to hunt and have to rely on their instincts as they work.

Mini Pitbulls have to be trained early before the puppy gets used to doing things its own way.

Potty training, obedience training, and early socialization are musts for Pocket Pitbull puppies.

A few things to remember when training your Mini Pitbull

Be the pack leader.

Dogs are natural pack animals. They are used to doing everything with their siblings and following one pack leader at an early age. If your Pocket Pitbull does not see you as the leader of the pack, he may step in and fill the position of one.

But what does it take to be the leader of the pack?

Here are some examples of how you can be the pack’s alpha:

  • Be calm and assertive. Do not show any sign of emotional or nervous energy.
  • Set boundaries. Set areas in the house where he’s not allowed to go, like your bedroom.
  • Eat first as your canine watches. This would show him that you’re the boss and that he should wait for his turn to eat, just like he would for a pack leader in the wild.
Pocket Pitbull at the beach
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Positive reinforcement

Mini Pitbulls respond better to positive reinforcement compared to discipline. So when he can follow commands, always compliment him and tell him he did a good job. You can give him a treat and really show him that what he did made you happy.

Pocket Pitbulls may also inherit their Pittie parent’s eager-to-please nature so expect that they will take every opportunity to make you happy.

Myth #4: Pocket Pitbulls are dangerous.

Miniature Pitbulls can be mistaken as a dangerous breed because they look fierce.

Although they are a crossbreed and may take physical features from either parent, most Pocket Pitbulls look more like a American Pit Bull Terrier than a Patterdale Terrier.

Pocket Pitbull sitting down with one ear up
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Their body looks stocky and muscular. They have a square head and a strong jaw, and their ears fall forward unless chopped.

Pocket Pitbulls look very intimidating to someone who doesn’t know its temperament.

They are also very loyal and protective of their human family. They make good watchdogs as they will bark when they sense an intruder.

If your Pocket Pitbull is not trained to socialize, Pocket Pitbulls may inherit the Pittie’s territorial tendencies and the Patterdale Terrier’s jealous streak.

These territorial tendencies would make them suspicious of strangers, which can be perceived as a dangerous trait.

Your Mini Pitbull might also inherit the Patterdale Terrier’s tendency to have separation anxiety when left alone for too long a time.

Truth #1: They are high-energy, agile, and active.

Pocket Pitbull running outdoors
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If you think that getting a smaller version of the Pittie and Patterdale Terrier  means having a laid-back pet, you thought wrong.

Pocket Pitbulls are as energetic and active his parent breeds.

The Patterdale Terrier is a hunting dog that loves to be outdoors while the American Pit Bull Terrier is also as enthusiastic and agile.

Be ready to spend plenty of time playing with your Pocket Pitbull. They need at least an hour of active play a day to use all their pent-up energy.

You also have to keep in mind that an American Pitbull Terrier needs to have a consistent exercise routine to keep their mind stimulated to avoid having unwanted behavioral issues.

Truth #2: They are low-maintenance.

Pocket Pitbulls are relatively easy to care for, especially with their short coats. You may have to pay special attention to their diets, though.

Here’s what you need to know to take good care of your Miniature Pitbull.

Grooming a Pocket Pitbull

Grooming your Pocket Pitbulls will be the least of your worries. Their coats are naturally short and shiny and look good even without daily grooming.

Once-a-week brushing should be sufficient for keeping the Mini Pitbull’s coat clean and healthy.

The Pocket Pitbull should also be bathed on an as-needed basis to prevent drying out their skin and causing skin problems.

The proper diet for a Mini Pitbull

It can be a challenge to look for nutritious food for an active and athletic dog such as your Miniature Pitbull.

This crossbreed is prone to suffering from allergies from the food they eat so high-quality kibble is essential for this beloved canine.

Pocket Pitbull with treats
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A Pocket Pitbull needs plenty of protein because of its energy levels, along with fat and carbohydrates.

You have two options on feeding your beloved canine; you can choose between feeding your Mini Pitbull 2.5 to 3 cups of premium dog food daily or putting him on the BARF diet.

The BARF (Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet or refers to feeding your canine raw muscle meat, bones, organic meats, vegetables, and fruits.

Some owners claim that having their dogs on this diet results in a shinier coat, healthier skin, and higher energy levels.

Truth #3: They can inherit several health issues.

Just like any other crossbreed, Pocket Pitbulls can inherit several health issues from their parents.

Here are some of the health issues your Miniature Pitbull is prone to:

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a thyroid problem occurs in canines when the thyroid glands fail to produce a hormone called thyroxine, which controls metabolism.

This causes hair loss, weight gain, muscle loss, sluggishness, intolerance to cold, and infertility.

Allergies

There are a lot of things that can trigger the allergies of a Pocket Pitbull, especially since its Pit Bull parent is prone to skin problems. They can be allergic to pollen, food, fleas, cigar smoke, and perfume, among others.

If you notice your Pocket Pittie sneezing or coughing, having runny eyes, scratching itself, or having ear infections, your canine might be suffering from allergies.

It’s best to check with your vet for the best possible remedy for your dog’s skin conditions.

Pocket Pitbull wearing a sweater while outdoors
Pocket Pitbulls should wear protective clothing when going outside on sunny days. (source)

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a deformity in the canine’s hip joint so instead of having the ball and socket of their hips glide and work together smoothly, their bones grind against each other, causing pain to the affected dog.

Heart diseases

Heart diseases for a Pocket Pitbull include heartworm and might be valvular or myocardial.

You may see symptoms when your Pocket Pitbull is doing physically vigorous activities, when he exhibits difficulties in breathing, or when he is having sleeping problems.

Make sure that the vet checks your Pocket Pitbull’s heart for any potential issues.

Eye problems

Pocket Pitbulls may have several eye problems that may cause blindness if not treated early.

Some of these eye problems are cherry eye, corneal wounds, dry eye, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, and cataracts.

Pocket Pit enjoying the outdoors
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Pocket Pitbulls may be prone to these conditions, but do not be discouraged.

When you give him the proper nutrition, exercise, and care, your beloved Pocket Pitbull has a better chance at having a long and healthy lifespan of 11 to 13 years. 

Truth #4: They are more expensive than their parent breeds.

Yes, you read that right. It’s one of those rare times when a designer dog breed is more expensive than his parent breeds.

A purebred American Pit Bull Terrier and a purebred Patterdale Terrier cost about $500 to $700 each, but a Pocket Pitbull puppy may cost around $1500 to $2000.

Their price is probably due to their increased popularity in recent years, and it’s also not easy to find a breeder who focuses on breeding Pocket Pitbulls.

If you are looking into getting your own Pocket Pitbull and not having any luck finding one, you may check the following American Pit Bull Terrier and Patterdale Terrier breeders.

Is the Pocket Pitbull the right dog for you?

Pocket Pitbull in the middle
Pocket Pitbull in the middle (source)

Owning a dog is a commitment, and I believe that a dog owner needs to choose a breed that is compatible with his lifestyle.

A Pocket Pitbull is a smart and high-energy breed and it needs an owner with similar interests.

This hybrid will be best for owners who also love being physically active and spending time outdoors.

Mini Pitbulls also need someone who pays attention to any symptoms of the health issues they could inherit.

If you have the time and energy to devote to properly caring for your pet, then the Pocket Pitbull may be the dog for you.

What do you think of this crossbreed? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Further reading: Pitbull crossbreeds

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