Everything You Must Know About Pocket Pitbulls Before Getting One

White and Brown Pocket Pitbull

Some people want to own a Pitbull, but they either can’t or don’t want to have a large dog. Luckily for these people, the Pocket Pitbull is a new designer dog that is quickly becoming extremely popular with dog owners around the world.

But, what is this breed and how do you get one? We’re going to answer this question along with other important points like the dog’s behavior, health issues, characteristics, price, and much more.

How do You Get Pocket Pitbulls?

You usually get this smaller Pitbull by crossing an American Pitbull Terrier with a Patterdale Terrier, and the result is a Pitbull that is significantly smaller than a traditional Pitbull. While they’re not necessarily small enough to fit into your pocket, they typically weight between 11 and 25 pounds and stand between 11 and 16 inches high.

Despite their smaller stature, you’ll get the strong muscling that is common with standard Pitbulls, and their personalities match. So, you don’t want to go into getting one of these dogs thinking that it’s going to be simple or easy just because they’re a smaller size and lighter weight.

Characteristics of Pocket Pitbulls

There are several excellent characteristics that come with this breed, and these characteristics are major influences on the breed’s popularity as a designer breed.

Energy Levels

Both breeds that you cross to get Pocket Pitbulls are higher energy breeds or working dogs that require both physical and mental stimulation each day to prevent them from getting bored and engaging in destructive behaviors. You should plan on taking your dog on a daily walk, run, jog, or scheduling a 30 to 45 minute play session each day to wear them out.


Your dog’s lifespan will depend on several things including whether or not they have health issues, their weight, lifestyle, and more. However, most Pocket Pitbulls have a lifespan that ranges between 11 and 14 years, and they can live longer or shorter depending on the things we mentioned earlier.

Low Maintenance Coat

You’ll usually get a dog that has a very low maintenance coat that is very short, shiny, and thick in a variety of colors ranging from white, brown, black, and gray to cream. They don’t have heavy shedding seasons like other breeds, and it’s very easy to lightly brush the coat once a week to remove any debris that gets stuck in the coat.

Muscle Tone

Although this is a more compact Pitbull, they should still have the classic muscle definition that is synonymous with the breed. You want to see broad shoulders, a deep chest, wide head, strong neck, and powerful hindquarters as well as a more lean waist that make this dog a powerful working dog.


Despite what the media may portray about this dog, Pocket Pitbulls and Pitbulls, in general, have an excellent temperament that makes them great family dogs as long as they have good socialization when they’re puppies. You can expect a loyal and confident dog that loves to stay close to their family, and they can be protective.


Both Pitbulls and Patterdale terriers love to please their owners, and this makes them slightly easier to train than other breeds. It’s important to note that these breeds do have a reputation for being stubborn so it may take positive reinforcement and consistent training until your dog understands what you want them to do.

Watchdog Tendencies

Even though these dogs have a smaller and more compact size, they make up for it in their protectiveness and watchdog tendencies. They aren’t prone to barking often, but they will bark to alert you if someone or something is around your family or your space that shouldn’t be there.

Other Names Pocket Pitbulls Go By

Many people simply call this breed Pocket Pitbulls, but there are several additional names that you may hear people referring to this breed with. These additional names include:

  • Designer Pitbull
  • Dwarf Pitbull
  • Micro Pitbull
  • Mini Pitbull
  • Pitbull Patterdale Mix
  • Pitterdale
  • Pocket Bully
  • Pocket Pit
  • Small Bully
  • Teacup Pit
  • Tiny Pitbull

How to Find a Reputable Breeder and Price Ranges for Pocket Pitbulls

Pocket Pitbull on leash showing off build

As these are “designer” dogs and they’re in high demand, you can expect to pay more for this dog than you’d pay for a purebred Pitbull. A purebred Pitbull usually costs around $500 or so, and Pocket Pitbulls start at $1,000 and easily to up to $2,400 per puppy if you get them from a reputable breeder.

Most people don’t mind paying more for a dog that comes from a reputable breeder because these puppies usually come bred for good health, and the puppies usually come with some sort of health guarantee that helps to protect the buyers. If you don’t know anyone who can refer you to a quality breeder, start at the AKC Marketplace and look for local breeders with great reputations.

Once you locate a local breeder and contact them, ask if you can meet them in person and look at the past litters as well as the parents. A few other things that you want to see in a reputable dog breeder include but are not limited to:

  • Dogs have a healthy and clean environment
  • Breeder is happy to show you around
  • Dogs on site are in good health and good condition
  • Provide documentation that the puppy’s parents and grandparents are free of genetic mutations and healthy
  • Puppies have their first shots and worming medications
  • Breeder will provide you their veterinarian information
  • Breeder will ask you how you plan on taking care of the puppy and is interested in their welfare
  • Will have you sign a spay/neuter contract unless you plan on showing your dog
  • May offer you a health guarantee and will either refund you or switch the puppy if something happens

Common Health Problems of Pocket Pitbulls

Just like any dog breed, Pocket Pitbulls are prone to certain health problems, and these health problems can impact your dog’s quality of life as well as how long they live if you let them go unchecked. It’s important that you contact your vet if you notice something wrong with your dog because a small issue can turn into a huge health problem very quickly.


Pitbulls are prone to developing allergies that can be seasonal or they can last all year round, and this means that Pocket Pitbulls are also prone to allergies. Typical signs that your dog has allergies or is suffering from an allergy flare would be itching, licking, runny eyes, sneezing, stomach upset, diarrhea, and ear infections that just don’t seem to go away.

Dogs can have allergic reactions to dust, dander, pollen, smoke, mold spores, fleas, and certain food ingredients just like humans can. A veterinarian can not only diagnose exactly what your dog is allergic to, but they can also give you a good idea on how severe the allergies are and how to best treat them.

Eye Issues

You’ll want to have your dog’s eyes checked every year at their annual checkup because Pocket Pitbulls are prone to developing a variety of eye issues, and these eye issues can develop into severe and painful problems if they go unchecked. Feeding your dog certain foods may help decrease your dog’s risk of developing eye issues, but common eye problems that are relatively easy to fix include:

  • Cataracts – Your dog’s lens in their eye gets cloudy and makes it difficult for them to see. Surgery can fix this problem.
  • Cherry Eye – A small gland comes out of the corner of your dog’s eye and looks a little like a cherry. Surgery is a fast way to fix it.
  • Corneal Abrasions – If your dog rubs at their eyes, they can scratch the cornea. It will heal on it’s own, but it needs antibiotics to prevent infections.
  • Conjunctivitis – Also known as pinkeye, this issue is usually a symptom that there is something bigger going on with your dog. Antibiotics can heal it.
  • Dry Eye – Your dog’s tear glands don’t produce enough tears to keep your dog’s eye moist. Medications or drops can stimulate tear production, and surgery is a last resort.
  • Glaucoma – Glaucoma means that your dog’s natural balance between eye drainage and tear production gets interrupted. Vet treatment is essential because leaving it untreated can cause blindness.

Heart Issues

Certain types of heart issues or problems can plague this breed of dog, and you do want to check for any heart murmurs or abnormal rhythms at your dog’s annual checkup. If you notice your dog having trouble exercising, coughing, fatigue, appetite loss, trouble sleeping, weight loss, or breathing problems, these are signs that your dog has something wrong with their heart.

Keeping your dog’s weight within a healthy range is critical to helping maintain their heart health, and you also want to feed them food with Omega-3 fatty acids to help support a strong heart and circulatory system. If your dog does develop heart issues, medications can help to treat the symptoms along with a low sodium diet.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is common in Pitbulls, and it refers to a malformation in your dog’s hip as they grow that can result in the ball and socket rubbing and grinding against one another instead of sliding smoothly as they should. It can make it difficult for your dog to get up, walk, run, or go up and down stairs.

Unfortunately, hip dysplasia can’t be prevented because it’s considered to be a genetic problem that these breeds of dogs suffer from. You can manage it by keeping your dog’s weight at an optimal range, pain medications, and surgery is a last resort to help give your dog relief.


Pocket Pitbulls are prone to developing hypothyroidism, and it can occur in both young and old dogs. When this happens, it can lead to a variety of issues like low energy levels, dull coat, weight gain, and lethargy because it can drain your dog’s system of essential vitamins and nutrients.

Your vet is the only one that can diagnose this problem, and they can prescribe a treatment routine to help keep your dog balanced. Additionally, feeding your dog a balanced diet with quality ingredients can also help to ensure that your dog gets all of the nutrients that they need.


Pitbulls, in general, are a breed that likes to eat, and if you don’t exercise them enough, you can very quickly get a dog this is overweight or obese. This puts more stress on their joints because their bodies aren’t meant to carry a lot of excess weight around, and it makes them more prone to hip issues.

When You Shouldn’t Buy Pocket Pitbulls

As we said earlier, Pocket Pitbulls are an active breed that needs areas to roam around and preferably a larger yard to run in. You shouldn’t get one of these types of dogs if you have restricted space or if you don’t have enough time to dedicate to taking them out to exercise each day.

You also want to avoid getting this breed if you don’t have time to socialize them when they’re puppies because this can lead to aggressive behaviors when your dog ages. Finally, you may want to pick another dog if you have very small children because a rambunctious puppy could accidentally knock your kids over.

Tips for New Owners with Pocket Pitbulls

It’s essential that you form a strong bond with your dog when they are a puppy because this can help you set up a routine that carries well into your dog’s life. A few quick tips for new owners include:

  • Always use positive reinforcement throughout the training process.
  • It’s essential that you’re consistent with your training and discipline.
  • Socialize your new puppy early and often to avoid aggressive tendencies.
  • You have to have a strong will because your dog has a strong will.
  • Brush or wipe your dog’s coat with a damp cloth once a week.
  • Exercise your dog every day for at least 30 to 45 minutes. Include physical and mental stimulation.
  • Feed your dog a healthy and balanced diet.

Your Pocket Pitbull can be a wonderful addition to both large and small families as long as you have the time and the patience to meet their needs. Buy from a reputable breeder, be consistent and firm with them, get a routine, and you’ll end up with a healthy and happy dog that’ll quickly become an important part of your family.