A Pocket Pitbull is a combination of two purebred dogs, namely the Patterdale Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. It’s a mixed breed dog, the way many are these days, but this type of combination has gained serious ground in recent years. It’s a designer dog, which combines two purebreds in order to obtain a certain type of dog.
The reason why people might want a hybrid is because it has many of the benefits of a Pit Bull, but not the size and the prejudice that comes with this breed. Since the aim is to obtain a smaller dog, and there is a size difference between the two parents, the mix is always done with a Pit Bull as a mother (larger, can carry the pregnancy better) and a Patterdale Terrier as the father (the smaller dog).
Another name for this mixed dog breed is a Pitterdale.
A Pocket Pitbull is a dog that will usually reach sizes of up to 11 inches/28 cm (withers height) if it’s a male, or a bit smaller if it’s a female.
The average weight of one of these mixed dogs is somewhere between 11 and 22 pounds (5 to 10 kg) in most cases.
The lifespan for a dog of this type is usually between 11 and 13 years.
The typical Pocket Pit Bull is not only a short dog, but also a compact one, so the chest to rear length is quite small as well.
Quick – Pros & Cons of the Pocket Pitbull
These dogs are great for both single people and families with children. They’re good as watchdogs, and they do great in houses which have a backyard.
You will find that Pitterdales/Pocket Pitbulls are considered highly intelligent, protective, energetic and friendly.
That being said, pay attention when you’re choosing a dog of this type, and try to avoid those that have been bred with more aggressive/fearful lines of Pit Bulls.
Pros of Mixed Patterdale Terrier & American Pit Bull Terrier
- Highly intelligent.
- Smaller size.
- Good watchdogs.
- Easy to groom.
Cons for Pitterdales
- Active dogs, most would do better in a home which has a fenced yard.
- Require plenty of socialization/training early on, not good for first-time dog owners.
Temperament of the Patterdale Terrier and Pitbull Mix
While most terriers are quite noisy, the Patterdale is a different story. He doesn’t make as much noise and even though he’s small, he’s no toy dog. He is tough and determined and he’s a good hunting dog. They are designed for that purpose alone, so they’re great at that job.
As for the Pit Bull, this is a dog that wants to make sure his master is pleased. A lot of people talk about the Pit Bull like it’s a dog that hates humans, but that’s simply not true. The truth is that these dogs are aggressive when it comes to other animals, not towards people, but this can all be fixed.
The Pocket Pitbull needs to be socialized properly for that very reason and the owner has to be the pack leader in order to make sure that the aggressiveness stays hidden.
Overall, it’s considered a dog that loves his owner, provided that he’s taken care of properly. He’s protective, playful, loyal and brave, and he can be a great dog for all those reasons.
Is it good with children?
As long as a bully breed is properly socialized, trained and cared for, it will be a wonderful pet to have around, including for children. Kids tend to be a bit rougher and their pets can suffer, but the Pocket Pitbull will not care about that. It’s a good nanny dog, playful and excellent for older children. They’re not always as careful around small kids, and may knock them down while they’re playing, so it’s not always a good idea to mix the two.
Of course, kids also need to learn how to behave around dogs, how to handle them and treat them. While they may hit adults while they’re children, before they learn that this is not acceptable, doing the same to a dog is never OK.
Behavior towards strangers
This type of dog is going to do well as a protector. He wants to defend his family and territory, and he can be an excellent watchdog.
Training is required for this though. A dog may defend his territory through barking, to let you know that a stranger approaches, but he mustn’t bite him. Proper training needs to be implemented from the beginning, to avoid any such issues.
How it does with other pets/dogs
While these dogs can live together with other pets or large animals, they are also bred to hunt big creatures, and you should once again train and socialize it from an early age.
You need to keep your Pocket Pit socialized in the long run, making sure he remains a well behaved and civilized pet.
If he is raised around other pets and you train him, it should do fine. Bringing a new dog or pet on the territory of an untrained Bully could be asking for trouble though.
One thing to keep in mind though, is that you also have to make sure that he gets plenty of socialization and good training.
If well raised, the dog will be great, and there will not be any of the aggressiveness that the pitbull is often associated with. Oftentimes, it’s the owners fault if the dog behaves that way.
Does it bark a lot?
A small pitbull mix such as this one, is not likely to bark a lot, at least not without reason. It’s not the type of dog to make a lot of noise, which a lot of people will appreciate, especially if they live in apartments.
Appearance and Grooming of Pocket Pitbulls
The Pocket Pitbull is relatively small, with short hair, and generally it tends to be a fairly low maintenance dog. More on that below, but for now I will mention that it’s not the type to require a lot of work.
How big does a Pocket Pitbull get?
There are two different breeds involved in making a Pocket Pitbull, and so there can be a serious size difference between two different mixed dogs of this type. It might take more after the American Pitbull side, which is larger, or it might be closer to the Patterdale Terrier, which makes him smaller.
The typical size range mentioned for this dog is somewhere between 11 and 22 pounds (5 to 10 kg) in weight, with a height to the withers reaching somewhere around 9-11 inches (22-27 cm).
It’s not typically a large dog then, but its muscular frame will make it difficult to ignore.
What does it look like? The Patterdale Terrier and Pitbull Mix
As its very names mentions, the Pocket Pitbull is a smaller version of the regular-sized Pitbull. Muscular, compact, wide in body and a big head, the look of a dog that comes from the Bully side is unmistakable.
Appearance and color
There is a lot of variety of potential colors that a Pocket Pitbulls can have. Many of them will have a solid color coat, but others can have markings.
The potential combinations of coat colors include:
- Black Brindle
- Blue and Tan
- Black and Tan
- White and Seal
Type of coat
Most dogs of this type will feature a shorter coat, which is smooth, typical for a Pitbull.
However, one can’t completely rule out the Patterdale side of the family, which has a coat which is wirey and coarse, with an undercoat which is dense.
How easy it is to groom?
It’s not going to be a long coat, so the grooming process is not very elaborate. Weekly brushing is typically sufficient.
Bathing doesn’t need to be done, unless the dog gets dirty outside. If he smells fine, leave him be.
Teeth brushing is something that can also be done, but you need to start it fairly early, while he’s a puppy. If not, you’re going to find it very difficult to get him used to it later on. If that’s not possible, give him dental chews that are designed for this very purpose.
Care Guide – Diet, Exercise & Health Issues
Taking care of a Pocket Pitbull is not that difficult, as both grooming and dietary needs are fairly straightforward. You do need to be an active person though, and you need to integrate him in your life and give him plenty of attention. It’s not well suited to a life where he’s mostly ignored, and could quickly get into trouble if that happens.
Diet Tips: What does a Pocket Pitbull eat?
Regular kibble, of high quality of course, will be enough to get him going.
It’s not a large dog, so you need about 1-2 cups of kibble daily. You should give him two meals per day, with about 10-12 hours between them.
Exercise Requirements: Keeping a Pocket Pit in shape
Spend plenty of time exercising your dog and taking him for walks and even running. Be ready to invest one hour per day or more, in making sure he’s well exercised.
It’s great if you also have a backyard in which he can spend time. Make sure you play with him as well, it’s a great bonding experience.
Common Health Issues
When it comes to the health issues that can appear in a Pocket Pitbull, a couple of them are more likely to appear. The dog will likely inherit them from one parent or the other.
Low hormone levels can occur in some of these dogs, which can lead to lethargy and weight gain. Certain supplements with iodine, along with a proper diet and oral hormone replacements will fix it though. You can learn more about hypothyroidism here.
It’s an issue with certain Pitbulls, which can become a bigger problem as the dog gets older, when he can feel pain while walking. It involves an abnormal hip joint, and it’s a good idea to get that checked out.
If he has this problem, make sure you keep him at the right weight and give him proper food, in order to put less strain on the joints. Surgical interventions are also a possibility, but that’s something that a vet can recommend.
This is mostly an issue that can appear because of the Patterdale side of the mix, and the vet will likely listen for symptoms of that happening. Typically, one checkup per year will be enough to look for this type of problem appearing.
Give the dog some attention here as well, and have the vet check him each year on how well his eyes are. These dogs can have eye problems, but most can be treated or prevented, if seen early enough.
Other health problems
Some health issues can appear because of breeding as well. Responsible breeders will use only healthy dogs, without big issues, but puppy mills might not care as much about that. It’s one more reason to look for high quality breeders, which make sure that they’re offering healthy puppies.
There is more to health than just genetics though. The dog’s owner plays a role as well. Give him high quality food in proper quantities, exercise him regularly, take him to the vet and give him all the shots, and he’s likely to be a healthy and fun member of the family.
Training a Pocket Pit
This particular mix breed will typically result in an intelligent dog, which should be easy to train, but that’s not always the case.
The problem is that this dog is independent and strong, and often enough you might need to teach him that you’re the master, and he needs to follow you, not the other way around.
It’s definitely possible to train him and get a proper well-behaved dog, but you should start as early as possible, while it’s still a puppy. We’re talking both about regular obedience training, and socialization with other dogs and humans.
Obedience Training for a Patterdale Terrier and Pitbull Mix
Training a dog is best done while it’s still young, but it’s possible for older ones as well. It’s not as easily done, as they’re more set in their ways and they will not adapt as quickly, but that’s true of humans as well, if we try to learn new things in our later years. Bully breeds will do very well with clicker training, and you can combine that with vocal cues and rewards, to let the dog know that he did alright.
If you’re not experienced with dog training, you can also get some help from a trainer, or you can look for a book/videos on this method.
It’s a breed that you need to start socializing as early as possible, because he needs to get used to other people and to pets/dogs. If not properly socialized, issues may appear down the line.
Exercising Pocket Pitbulls
As far as daily exercise goes, the Patterdale Terrier needs quite a bit of it, and they’re not dogs that should be kept in apartments. Their owner needs to make sure their needs are taken care of, or they might get into fights with the other dogs from the household. The American Pit Bull Terrier needs plenty of exercise as well, so the resulting Pocket Pitbull will also need it, since both parents are active breeds.
Expect for the dog to require a lot of daily exercise, and it’s recommended that you play with it. They have a lot of energy that they need to get rid of, and I’d recommend them only to owners that can give them a lot of attention.
If you neglect them, you risk finding out that they get bored and start making problems, getting into types of destructive behaviors that you wouldn’t appreciate.
Pocket Pitbull Puppies
If you get a Pocket Pitbull puppy, it’s highly recommended that you start training and socialization as early as possible. These are dogs with a lot of energy, quite smart, which need to be trained to act properly around dogs and people.
Socialization will help with that aspect, and through training you can make sure that it will be a well balanced dog.
And now, it’s cuteness overload time, with a picture of a puppy Pocket Pitbull.
Kennels & Pedigree
Choosing a kennel to buy your next Pocket Pitbull from is not something that should be taken lightly. From the gestation period, to those initial few months before the dog gets to you, there is a lot that can influence a dog’s development. A breeder that treats his dogs properly, gives them the medical care that they need, and doesn’t mishandle them, will sell you a more balanced and healthy puppy, which is what you want since it will be with you for a very long time.
Always make sure that it’s not a puppy mill and that the breeder actually cares about his dogs. This means that the bitch isn’t forced to have too many pregnancies, that she is well fed and gets all the right shots, even if they can be a bit expensive. The same goes for the puppies, in those first few months, when they need certain shots in order to be protected.
Ideally, look for dogs that are available for adoption. There are plenty of options available out there.
Since this breed is mixed, not pure, it is not recognized by AKC (American Kennel Club). The organization which recognizes the mix is called Dog Registry of America, Inc.
Now, when you’re looking for such a dog, ideally you want one where the two parents are purebreds, each one contributing with 50% to it. As I mentioned previously, the mother is typically the Pitbull, while the father is the Patterdale Terrier.
They are not typically bred with other Pocket Pitbulls, because there are a number of health issues that could become much more likely to occur. Multigenerational breeding is typically avoided then.
How much does a mixed Pocket Pitbull cost?
Though this is not a pure breed, it’s not a very common mix either, and you might have difficulty locating one in your area. Prices will obviously vary, but they can get up to $1,000, for a puppy.
Pocket Pitbull’s/Pitterdale’s History & Origins
While plenty of other mixed breeds have a longer history behind them, this particular mix is not one that’s received a lot of attention over the years.
It’s likely that dogs from the two breeds have crossed paths and made babies together plenty of times in the centuries that passed, but only in recent decades has the combination received the name Pocket Pitbull, and it’s been cultivated as a designer dog.
The aim is to obtain a smaller Pitbull, and this has happened a lot more frequently in the last couple of decades, and especially in the United States.
A Pocket Pitbull can be a great member of the family, even for those with children. A smaller dog, which doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, he’s muscular and can be a good watchdog.
It’s a good idea to socialize him early on, and to train him. If you’re not experienced with dogs, then this might not be the dog for you.
Don’t neglect him, or he might end up being a lot of trouble, and make sure you give him about one hour of exercise daily.
It’s a dog that I’d recommend to active families, especially those that have a backyard for him to run around in.
FAQ – Related Questions
Are pocket pitbulls dangerous?
As with any other dog breed, it’s not a good idea to generalize. Some Pocket Pitbulls can be dangerous, but that’s something that can be the result of improper training, or even a lack of any training. Overall, this mixed breed is one that is considered gentle and family friendly.
How big can a pocket pitbull get?
Typically, a male can be as big as 17 inches (43 cm), while females will reach 16 inches (40 cm), at the withers. As the name implies, this is the pocket/smaller variant of a pitbull, which is why the reason why it’s mixed with a Patterdale Terrier.
How many types of purebred pitbulls are there?
There are four types of Pitbull breeds, if we’re talking about pure variants. The four are the American Pitbull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and American Bully.
What are some of the other names used for a Pocket Pitbull?
The American Pitbull & Patterdale Terrier mix can also be found under names like Pocket Pit, Pitterdale, Mini Pitbull, Pocket Bully or Pitbull Patterdale Mix.