8 Things to Know About Pocket Pitbulls

Pocket Pitbulls, although cute and loving, have negative stereotypes and aren’t always bred ethically.

Mar 7, 2024By Jessica Montes
things to know about pocket pitbulls

Just about every breed has a mini or toy version of its standard size! American Pitbulls are no exception. One of the newer additions to the miniature breed world is the Pocket Pitbull. While these pups are cute as buttons, their history and breeding practices are not as innocent. Let’s unpack the Pocket Pitbull’s complicated origins, misconceptions, and key traits.

They Have Many Nicknames!

Pocket Pitbull
Photo by: Wild Earth

We’re using the name “Pocket Pitbull” because the idea of a teeny dog that fits inside a tiny space sounds adorable. However, they are known by several names. Pocket Pitbulls are also called:

  • Pocket-sized Pitbulls
  • Mini Pitbull
  • American Pocket Pitbull
  • Pocket Bully
  • Miniature Pitbull
  • Pocket Pit
  • Teacup Pitbull
  • Pitbull Patterdale Mix

Nearly all of these names highlight the dogs’ American Pitbull genes, and only the last one mentions both of the pocket pit's parents: American Pitbulls and Patterdale Terriers.

These Dogs Are Small

Mini Pitbull
Photo by: AmericanBully.com

These mini dogs are almost half the size of their Pitbull parent. Standard American Bullies are 17-21 inches tall and weigh 30-60 lbs. Pocket pitbulls measure 12-16 inches and barely tip the scales at 11-22 lbs. The smaller size means that they will feel comfortable in cozier living spaces, such as studios, apartments, or homes with a small backyard. You can get away with having playtime indoors or in hallways, and their smaller bodies need less exercise.

Another benefit of owning a small dog is that they are often allowed in new spaces. Building managers are more likely to rent out a residence because your Pocket Pit is under the weight limit. Additionally, hotels and temporary stays welcome petite dogs and might charge a smaller fee depending on their size.

There Are Many Misconceptions About Pitbulls

Pocket Bully
Photo by: World Animal Foundation

Sadly, societal biases view Pitbulls as violent or aggressive when many are loveable, playful, and kind animals. They got their bad reputation from the 1800s and 1900s when people trained them for dog fights and to attack bulls and rats. This created aggressive behaviors toward everyone and everything outside of the ring, and the media portrayed them as dangerous.

Negative stereotypes make it harder for these pups to find a loving home. In shelters, about one in three dogs who are put up for adoption are Pitbulls. They often stay at the shelter longer than other dogs, and it goes back to their name. A study by Gunter et al. found that Pitbulls had a higher chance of being rescued when they removed breed info from their bio.

Pocket Bullies Have a Loving Temperament

Ethical breeders have bred the violent temperament out of their Pocket Pitbulls. Now, you can expect energetic dogs that get along with kids, are loyal companions that protect their owners, and shower their family with affection.

Remember this if you ever encounter a vicious dog: an aggressive Pitbull doesn’t reflect the entire breed; rather, it highlights the owner’s habits. They are likely maintaining the violent temperament through breeding and mistreating the animal so it remains hostile. However, finding a well-bred dog and providing it with a loving home and proper socialization is the recipe for a happy furry companion.

Ethical Dilemmas About Pocket Pitbulls

Puppy Pocket Pitbull
Photo by: Paws and Pups

While these pocket-sized pups are adorable, some are from unethical breeding practices. New breeds increase their population size by producing more litters. With newer breeds, like Pocket Pitbulls, the number of eligible dogs is limited. This can lead to breeders to mate runts with their siblings or parents. Not only is this a disgusting practice, but inbred dogs have a higher chance of developing genetic and health disorders. Essentially, breeders compromise the dogs’ well-being simply for the preferred size.

Just as cruel, puppies are often underfed or starved to stay small. This leads to health issues including low energy, imbalanced metabolism, and not receiving enough nutrients. Hungry dogs may scavenge for food and eat anything they find. They may even consume their stool.

They Have Low-Maintenance Grooming Needs

Miniature Pitbull
Photo by: World Animal Foundation

Pocket Pitbulls don’t take long to groom, which makes them perfect choices for pet parents who don’t want to spend hours washing their dog. Their teeny bodies mean they take less time to bathe than larger dogs. You can get away with having bath time once a month or slightly longer if your pup doesn’t spend much time playing outside.

Thanks to their short, smooth coat, Mini Bullies only need brushings once a week. The only thing to look out for is their moderate drooling levels. Have wet wipes or a damp towel handy to clean up any drool that lands on your shoes, floor, furniture, or car seats.

Pitbulls Are Part of the Terrier Family

Bully Breed
Photo by: Shanna Dugan

Bully dogs aren’t a single breed with specific temperament and appearance standards. It’s an umbrella term that includes over a dozen other terrier breeds. You can spot the related breeds because they have the word “bull” in their name, such as Bull Terriers, Bull Mastiffs, and French Bulldogs.

Some not-so-obvious members of this group are:

  • Boxers
  • Boston Terriers
  • Cane Corso
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Pugs

The American Pitbull also comes in five sizes: Pocket, Classic, Standard, Extreme, and XL. As the largest of the bunch, XL Bullies stand 22-23 inches tall and weigh between 70-130 lbs. That as many as six to 11 Pocket Pitbulls!

Pocket Pits Take After One Parent

American  Pitbull
Photo by: Makarand Sawant

Even though these pups are a mixed breed, they tend to look more like American Pitbulls. The mini-mes often take after the bulky, muscular stature and the wider, rounder face of their Pittie parent. The Patterdale Terrier influence shows more in the fur texture. These canines have a slightly longer, less dense coat that their litter can inherit.

Likewise, Pocket-sized Pitbulls carry the Patterdale fur pattern if they have a solid coat or a white spot on their chest. However, a mostly white torso or large, white colorings on the face, body, or legs resemble the Pitbull genes. The pups can range in colors, including black, chocolate, tan, red, grizzle, cream, fawn, blue, and liver.

Jessica Montes
By Jessica Montes

Jessica is a California-based writer, journalist, lover of animals, and vegan of 17 years. Growing up, she owned parakeets, fish, a rabbit, and a red-eared slider turtle. She currently has a black cat named Marty and a tabby named Jellybean. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, camping, and roller skating to funky tunes.