Any dog lover will be aware that there are hundreds of different kinds of dogs out there, and each breed is quite likely to have subspecies and variations, and knowing every one of these is pretty much impossible, even for the most dedicated dog fan.
A Pocket Pitbull, as its name suggests, is a type of Pitbull, but is a considerably smaller dog, though it shares many of the other characteristics. It’s the result of a pairing between an American Pitbull Terrier and a Patterdale Terrier (both pure-bred). They themselves would not be considered a pure-breed, but fall under the term ‘designer.’
These dogs are known by a few other names, including the Pocket Bully, Mini Pitbull, Pocket Pit, Patterdale, American Pocket Pitbull, and Pitbull Patterdale Mix.
Where Does The Pocket Pitbull Come From?
It’s difficult to trace where Pocket Pitbulls were originally bred, and whether they came about by accident, or as the result of a deliberate cross between American Pitbulls and Patterdale Terriers; they’ve been in existence for a long time, and finding out which kennel or breeder first created them is impossible to say.
It’s also worth noting that there is not a strict ruling on their parentage: they can be the result of a mating between an American Pitbull Terrier and another breed of small dog.
What Sort Of Character And Behavior Do Pocket Pitbulls Show
Being a mix of two different breeds means that Pocket Pitbulls can have quite varied temperaments, and of course a lot of it will be down to their handling and treatment, as puppies as well as adults. Parentage may also have a lot of influence, so pairing dogs that are generally gentle, responsive, affectionate animals may well result in calmer, more trainable puppies.
However, they do show a general trend of characteristics, one of which is their loyalty towards their family and home. This often translates to protectiveness, and Pocket Pitbulls tend to make excellent guard dogs, with attentive, watchful natures.
They are highly intelligent dogs, and can be trained to do many different things. They often have quite a dominating nature, so you will want to ensure the dog is well-socialized from a young age, both with people and other dogs.
If you are introducing the dog to a family with children, this will be even more important to ensure the dog is gentle and trustworthy. Pocket Pitbulls like to be the head of the pack, so it’s important that they knew who is boss, and listen to your commands.
In terms of their parentage, both the American Pitbull Terrier and the Patterdale Terrier (unless a different small dog has been used) are known for being quite tough breeds, both in looks and character. American Pitbulls suffer from a bad reputation, but can be very protective and gentle dogs if well-handled and not mistreated.
Patterdale Terriers are more commonly found in England, and are less well known in the USA, but are great working dogs, and were originally made popular by their skill in hunting. Their small size allows them to drive out prey such as badgers and foxes, and they enjoy being exercised and worked regularly.
American Pitbulls, perhaps a more familiar breed, have become almost synonymous with dogfighting. This is mostly due to their ferociously protective nature, particularly with regards to their families. They will fight to the death if they feel threatened, but enjoy a long history as family-friendly dogs, great with children, and highly tuned to the mood of the surrounding humans.
This means they pick up on negative emotions very quickly, and will respond to perceived threats. However, with good training and gentle handling, they are not aggressive or unmanageable, and make great pets.
The Pocket Pitbull seeks to combine the best of both worlds, giving you a dog with a short, easy to care for coat, buckets of loyalty, and a very intelligent, empathetic nature that can be trained to show affection to anyone.
What Do Pocket Pit Bulls Need?
Because they are such an intelligent breed, Pocket Pitbulls are very active dogs, and will require a lot of time and attention. You will have to be prepared to work on a good training regime, ensuring that your dog knows how to obey commands, and does so promptly. Training from a young age, with consistent expectations and cues, will be essential to making sure your Pitbull is stimulated and happy.
Outside of training, regular exercise is a must, and you need to be prepared to invest the time in this, or you may find your dog becomes unmanageable through boredom and frustration. Long walks and plenty of outdoor exercise will keep your dog happy and healthy.
Both American Pitbulls and Patterdale Terriers like to be outdoors, especially given the Patterdale’s history as a hunting dog, and you must provide your pet with plenty of opportunities to run about and work off excess energy, or you may find they turn to destructive behaviours as an outlet. This is true of any breed of dog, not just Pocket Pitbulls and their parents.
What Sort Of Aesthetic Characteristics Can I Expect?
Pocket Pitbulls are, obviously, smaller than regular Pitbulls. They have a similar appearance to the American Pitbull Terrier, with folded ears and a sweet, slightly mournful expression, but only grow to about 16 inches tall at the most, and only weigh up to 60 pounds.
Anything taller than 16 inches would not come into the category of a Pocket Pitbull, so this is the absolute tallest they can be while still being considered as this breed.
They share the sturdy build and stubby characteristics which both their parents have, and can have various markings, depending on their genetics.
What Are The Potential Health Issues a Pocket Pitbull Can Face?
All dogs can suffer from a variety of different health issues, just like people, but it’s true that some breeds are more prone to injuries or diseases than others, often as a result of breeding from aesthetic. Most are treatable, but it’s worth knowing what to look for and when you should see a vet to get something sorted out. Below are just a few of the things which you might want to watch out for.
Like pretty much every kind of dog, and even humans, Pocket Pitbulls can suffer from a variety of heart-related diseases. Among these are heartworm, which is treatable, but your dog may also suffer from valvular heart problems, or myocardial ones, where the muscles in their heart are affected.
There are no cures for these, but with careful management, you can ensure that the effect of them is minimized and your dog can still enjoy exercising and playing without too much discomfort.
Another health issue is hip dysplasia, where the hip joint’s ball and socket rub against each other, causing the dog pain and leading to long-term health problems if untreated. You might notice this in a dog’s unwillingness to get up or down, in lameness, or in other signs that they are in pain.
It is often a genetic condition which is inherited from the parents, and is one which must be managed rather than cured – although surgery can be performed in serious circumstances.
You might also find that, like you, your Pocket Pitbull suffers from allergies. These could be related to anything from diet to pollen, so finding the cause is key, and eliminating it if possible is the best form of treatment. A vet can help you in diagnosing the allergy (or allergies), and will be able to advise you on the best prevention methods or other treatments.
Should I Get A Pocket Pitbull?
Getting a dog is always a very serious commitment which you should think about long-term. It’s important to budget, and to weight the impacts it will have. If you travel a lot, or your house is empty all day, you are unlikely to be good for the dog, even if the dog might be good for you.
It’s always nice to have a friendly face to greet you on your return home, but you need to remember that a dog which is cooped up and alone for hours will not be happy. Be sure you have the time to walk them and play with them, as Pocket Pitbulls are very energetic and require plenty of stimulation to be happy.
Remember that a dog is expensive, and you must have the finances to pay for things like emergency vet bills, as well as everyday expenses like food, toys, kennels, blankets, and many other things. Consider that if you go away, you may need to pay to house the dog somewhere.
Being responsible and not rushing into buying a dog makes it much more likely to work out. Pocket Pitbulls are a great breed, offering you a smart, empathetic companion, who will be responsive to training.
If you’re interested in teaching them tricks, their intelligence is a definite recommendation, and you are likely to find that they’re great family dogs, especially if properly socialized at a young age. Their short coats make them easy to brush and wash, and require minimal attention.