Pocket Pitbull: Are These Mini-Sized Pitbulls Right for You?

Pocket Pitbull lying on grass

Let’s be honest, not all of us can handle standard-sized dogs, especially if they have consistently high energy like Pitbulls.

It’s a good thing that aside from the usual breed size, a much smaller version has been developed for people who have busy lifestyles and live in small apartments.

The canine variety I’m talking about is none other than the Pocket Pitbull. It goes by many names, but the most common is the Pocket Pit and the Mini Pitbull.

If you want to learn more about this dog, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Below is an in-depth guide to the Pocket Pitbull’s appearance, temperament, health, and many more.

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What Is a Pocket Pitbull?

A Pocket Pitbull is a small, stocky dog made from crossing the American Pitbull Terrier and the Patterdale Terrier. As their name implies, they aren’t actually pocket-sized, but just a bit smaller than the Standard Pitbulls.

In recent years, their popularity has skyrocketed because they are easier to maintain.

Since Pocket Pits are an offspring of two dog breeds with different but equally stable dispositions, they have inherited traits that made them perfect family companions. They are smart, easy to train, and obedient.

Other Names of the Pocket Pitbull

The Pocket Pitbull has many names since breeders tend to prefer one over the other. Here are some of the different aliases of this dog breed:

  • Mini Pitbull
  • Miniature Pitbull
  • Pocket Pit
  • Pocket Bully
  • Pitbull Patterdale Mix
  • Micro Pitbull
  • Teacup Pitbull
  • Teacup Mini Pitbull
  • Pitterdale

Even though Pocket Pitbulls are called differently, they only go by a single size. Do not expect to own a Mini Pitbull who can actually fit in a teacup or a pocket because that just isn’t possible.

Pitbull genetics do not allow such a thing, and these names that are used to address this canine variety generally mean smaller-sized dogs.

Important note: I will be using these names interchangeably in this article, considering that they refer to the same Pitbull type.

History and Origin of the Pocket Pitbull

As I have shared early on this guide, Pocket Pitbulls are a mix of two canine breeds: the American Pitbull Terrier and the Patterdale Terrier.

It is not clear where they were first developed or who started breeding them, but most canine experts assume that they have been long-existing, albeit naturally.

On another note, breeders of these Mini Pitbulls believe that they were first purposefully bred sometime in the past 20 years.

They also contend that the first-generation pups originated in America, which is highly possible because their parent breeds have been popular in the U.S. since time immemorial.

Aside from where and when the Miniature Pitbulls came from, another point of interest is how they were bred.

The American Pitbull Terrier always serves as the mother, while the Patterdale Terrier, who has a smaller build, is the Pocket Pit’s father.

Ideally, every Micro Pitbull is a 50/50 cross of its parent breeds. But it is also possible that one breed has a greater percentage due to breeding the first generation Pocket Pitbull to either a Patterdale Terrier or an American Pitbull Terrier.

Do not be alarmed that your puppy may have an uneven percentage because reputable breeders aren’t fans of multigenerational crossbreeds.

They are aware that these puppies may carry specific genetic issues, so they stick to the regular 50/50 cross.

What Does the Pocket Pitbull Look Like?

Since the Pocket Pitbulls are bred to emulate American Pitbull Terriers, their appearance appears almost similar. In fact, to the untrained eye, the subtle differences aren’t noticeable.

Here’s a detailed look at the physical features of this breed:

  • Head: It is broad and proportionate to the size of the body. When viewed from the front, it is shaped like a blunt wedge. Meanwhile, when viewed from the side, the muzzle and skull are parallel.
  • Eyes: The eyes are round and set apart. The iris may have any color as long as it isn’t blue.
  • Nose: The nose has wide-open nostrils. It may be any color, but the most common ones are blue, black, and brown.
  • Neck: The neck is muscular and has a moderate length. It widens gradually as it meets the shoulders and the skull.
  • Chest: The chest is well filled in and deep.
  • Body: The body is firm, broad, and strong.

Some minor differences between the Mini Pitbull and the Standard Pitbull are the following:

  • The Pocket Pitbull is slightly leaner.
  • The Pocket Pit’s skull is more wedge-shaped, and their muzzles are narrower.
  • The Pocket Pitbull’s ears are short to medium in length.

Despite the changes in the Mini Pitbull’s appearance due to crossbreeding, they still generally look like their Pitbull parents more than the Patterdale Terrier.

What these pups inherited significantly from the Patterdales are their behavior and temperament. Watch this video to see how they look like compared to the Pocket Bully.

A "Pocket PitBull" Compared to a "Pocket Bully"

Pocket Pitbull Coat Colors

Pocket Pitbulls come in a wide range of coat colors. Here are some of them:

Black Pocket Pitbull

This black Pocket Pitbull has a white mark on its chest, which is pretty typical for this breed.

RELATED: Black Pitbull: An Ultimate Guide To The Most Feared Dog

Tan Pocket Pitbull

The tan Pocket Pitbull is a variation of the red coloring brought about by the dog’s pheomelanin.

White Pocket Pitbull

This white Pocket Pitbull has black spots that resemble a dairy cow. For some dogs, this covers the whole coat and eyes.

RELATED: The Truth About the White Pitbull: An In-Depth Guide

Tri-Color Pocket Pitbull

This tri-color Pocket Pitbull looks stunning with his blue, tan, and white coat.

Black Brindle Pocket Pitbull

This black brindle Pocket Pitbull has a reddish-brown base color and “tiger stripes” that are black in color.

Blue Brindle Pocket Pitbull

The blue brindle Pocket Pitbull shown in the picture below has a brown base and blue blotchy coat pattern.

Do Kennel Clubs Recognize Pocket Pitbulls?

Even though the Pocket Pitbull resembles the American Pitbull Terrier, this dog is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. Technically, the Mini Pitbull is not a purebred dog, so major kennel organizations aren’t inclined to acknowledge them.

You might also come across a lot of articles claiming that the Pocket Pitbull is registered on the Dog Registry of America.

This organization is not legitimate and considered bogus by many breeders and pet owners, so we cannot conclude that this recognition has enough bearing.

How Big Do Pocket Pitbulls Get When Fully Grown? Are They Really Pocket-Sized?

Many pet enthusiasts fancy owning Miniature Pitbulls because they thought they are actually pocket-sized. They spend days and weeks looking for a micro dog or a Teacup Pitbull that is the size of their palm.

Well, I don’t want you to take the path they have taken and pitifully reach a dead-end. Here’s the exact size of a Pocket Pitbull:

  • Height: 12 to 16 inches (30.5 to 40.5 centimeters)
  • Weight: 11 to 22 pounds (5 to 10 kilograms)

These actual sizes may still vary depending on their parents, but once the Pitbulls grow taller or more massive than this, they are no longer considered as Mini Pitbulls.

Another point I want to come across is that this Pitbull Patterdale mix is still relatively heavy despite its name. It weighs much like an infant, so you will be very disappointed if you expect that they’re just a few grams.

Are Pocket Pitbulls Rare?

Pocket Pitbulls aren’t rare since breeders are expecting litters for this pup throughout the year. However, because they are all the rage these days, people place their reservations early to own them.

If you haven’t reserved one, you’ll probably go home empty-handed once you visit a breeder.

Having said this, I also want to remind you to be cautious in choosing the person you are transacting with. Avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders at all costs, even if you already run out of options.

Pocket Pitbull Temperament

Pocket Pitbull running with owner at the park

For so many years, Pitbulls are viewed as aggressive dogs because they were originally bred for dog fighting and bull baiting.

This is why many people are wondering whether the small Pitbulls who are currently gaining popularity can become companion pets.

The only one who can really answer this is the breeder and the pet owner. Why? Pitbulls or dogs, in general, have a bit of aggressiveness with them.

They only grow to be puppies with a balanced temperament if they are given proper training, and they are socialized early by their breeder or owner.

In connection, a Pocket Pit who is raised well will probably be your greatest friend. Don’t believe me? Here are the answers to the most common temperament questions about the Mini Pit:

Are Pocket Pitbulls Great Guard Dogs and Family Pets?

Pocket Pitbulls have a natural instinct to guard and protect, thanks to their parent breeds’ genes. They are also very much intelligent, so they can quickly assess whether someone approaching your property is an intruder or not.

In terms of being a family pet, I must say that they do a marvelous job. They are very affectionate and loyal, but they also have an easy-going nature in them. Tagging along to their owner is something that they really enjoy.

Are Pocket Pitbulls Friendly to Strangers?

Mini Pitbulls are friendly to a fault. If they are properly bred, they seem too exuberant to meet their owners’ friends and even pedestrians during their walks.

This is an amiable behavior, but it sometimes interferes with their guarding stance.

Do Pocket Pitbulls Do Well With Children?

Pocket Pitbulls are generally friendly, so they get along well with kids. Their energy level matches a children’s activeness, and you’ll often see them running and playing with them without any problem.

However, despite being called small Pitbulls, they are still very powerful, so it is suggested that their playtime with kids is supervised.

You should also keep a newborn baby or a small child away from them because they may accidentally injure them due to their high energy.

Do Pocket Pitbulls Get Along with Other Dogs and Animals?

Unfortunately, Pocket Pits aren’t that amicable to other dogs and animals because they have a strong prey drive. They also don’t do well with dogs of the same gender because they have alpha tendencies.

Are Pocket Pitbulls Dangerous?

The fact that many people believe that Pocket Pitbulls are dangerous is actually frustrating. Mini Pitbulls are indeed powerful pets, but they won’t pose any harm if they are trained early and socialized.

Do Pocket Pitbulls Bark a Lot?

Micro Pitbulls are moderate barkers. They aren’t as quick to bark as other guard dogs, but they know when to alert you for potential intruders.

If you are worried that they may cause trouble to your neighbors, save your anxiousness for another time because they don’t bark for no reason, especially if they are well-taught.

RECOMMENDED READING: Male vs. Female Pitbull: Which Is Better?

Pocket Pitbull Health Issues

The average lifespan of a Mini Pitbull is 11 to 13 years. However, it is a well-known fact that most crossbreeds are predisposed to a lot of diseases.

Some of these are inherited, but there are also many ailments brought about by improper care and neglect.

Below is a thorough explanation of all of the health issues of Pocket Pitbulls:

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease: This disorder causes loss of limb function, loss of feeling in the limbs, and paralysis. The neck, the middle of the back, and the lower region of the back are commonly affected by this condition.
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy (Ataxia): Ataxia is a severe neurological disorder where the part of the brain responsible for movement and coordination of the body is targeted. Since this disease is progressive, most dogs who are affected by this are euthanized. Some of the symptoms of this condition are poor balance, unsteady gait, and loss of coordination.
  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome: This is a condition brought about by Pocket Pitbull’’s features. Since they have shorter bones on their nose and face, they may suffer from upper airway abnormalities. The signs that your Pocket Pitbull is suffering from this are increased effort to inhale, noisy breathing, coughing, retching, and vomiting.
  • Hip Dysplasia: The assumption that hip dysplasia only occurs in large dogs is incorrect. This deterioration of the hip joints brought about by grinding of the ball and socket is also experienced by Mini Pitbulls and other small dogs due to genetics, excessive growth rate, improper weight, poor nutrition, and exercise type.
  • Hypothyroidism: Mini Pitbulls are prone to hypothyroidism, a condition that occurs when a dog does not secrete enough thyroid hormones responsible for their metabolism. Have your dog checked for this illness once they experience mental dullness, exercise and cold intolerance, obesity even though their appetite is the same, increased hair loss, shedding and thinning of hair, thickening of the skin, and reproductive disturbances.
  • Mitral Valve Disease: The mitral valve disease occurs when heart valves leak, making blood pumped backward. Symptoms of this disease include coughing, exercise reluctance, increased blood pressure, and fainting.
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy: This condition is caused by heart muscle failure. Pocket Pitbulls with this disease experience shortness of breath, panting, coughing, exercise intolerance, collapse, and appetite loss.
  • Cataracts: This is a defect in the eyes’ lens, which can lead to vision erosion and blindness if not treated.
  • Cherry Eye: This happens when a tear gland in the third eyelid of your dog becomes inflamed. This would lead to conjunctivitis if not diagnosed early.
  • Corneal Ulcers: This eye problem is primarily caused by a deeper erosion in the layers of the dog’s cornea. This is quite painful as some discharge collects at your dog’s eye corner.
  • Conjunctivitis: Dogs with this condition have inflammation at the lining of their eyes, which causes mucus or pus. Other signs of this include excessive blinking, squinting, and red eyes.

RECOMMENDED READING: Blue-Eyed Pitbull: Do Pitbulls With Blue Eyes Really Exist?

How to Care for Your Pocket Pitbull’s Basic Needs?

Bringing home a Pocket Pitbull is a big responsibility. You should know how to look after their needs so they’ll grow to be healthy and active puppies.

If you want to learn how to take care of them, I suggest you take note of the following guidelines I will be sharing.

Food and Diet

Unlike the Standard Pitbull, this Pit and Patterdale mix does not require too much food. They only need 400 calories a day, which translates to two cups of high-quality kibble.

To ensure that what you’re feeding them is appropriate for their age and size, I recommend that you visit your vet at least twice a year.

Your vet will be able to assess your dog’s exact food and nutrient requirements and even suggest some dog food that is proven to contain enough protein for your pup.

Moreover, if you want to feed your dog with human food, here are the items you need to avoid.

  • Almonds
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Ice cream
  • Macadamia nuts

If you want to learn more about how to feed your Pocket Pitbull with human food, check out AKC’s article, which focuses on this.

Living Conditions

The small size of the Pocket Pitbull allows it to thrive in apartments, especially in cities. However, there are some tips that I need you to keep in mind so you can coexist with them more peacefully.

  • Do not let your Mini Pitbull sleep in a cold, wet area. Ensure that they are in a clean, comfortable, and quiet place to rest well.
  • Every few hours, let your dog access the toilet or an area where he can pee.
  • Set up an area where your dog can hide if ever they are afraid.
  • Give him objects to chew on so he doesn’t get bored.
  • If you have other pets in the house, provide enough beds, toys, and hiding places, so they do not become aggressive towards each other.
  • Make sure that wherever you leave your dog, the temperature is appropriate.
  • As much as possible, do not leave your pup unsupervised and keep him away from potential hazards.

Training and Socialization

It is imperative that you have your Pocket Pitbull trained and socialized at an early age because this has a significant impact on their overall temperament.

Here are some reasons why I strongly suggest that you enroll them in obedience training or teach them personally if you are knowledgeable in the process.

  • You’ll be able to manage them efficiently.
  • They’ll be more polite towards others.
  • You’ll develop a closer bond with them.
  • Teaching them is fun and stimulating both for you.
  • Your journey to pet ownership will be a breeze.
  • Your dog will not manifest aggression.


Your Pocket Pit is highly athletic and energetic, so it would be better if they are given an hour of vigorous exercise every day. If you are someone with a busy lifestyle, you can split this one hour into two or three sessions.

You can walk or jog with them around your neighborhood, or you can engage them in agility training and frisbee because they are very competitive.

What I don’t suggest is bringing them for a swim because they find it difficult. They’ll probably enjoy playing around shallow waters but make sure that you are there to look after them.

Cleaning and Grooming

Pocket Pitbulls have a smooth, short coat. They are only required to be brushed once a week using a comb with a rubber mitt to eliminate their loose hairs.

If in case, they have inherited the double coat of the Patterdale, they may shed a lot more, so combing should be frequent.

In terms of cleaning, Mini Pitbulls only need to be bathed several times a year unless they get stinky by doing some activities.

Their nails need to be trimmed, and their nose and ears should be checked for any dirt every now and then. Aside from all these, you should also check and clean their teeth to avoid dental decay.


If your Pocket Pitbull were bred responsibly, you wouldn’t have much of a problem with their health.

A reputable breeder would have his breeding stock screened for the most common diseases for this dog, which I have discussed at some point in this guide.

Here are the health tests recommended for Pocket Pitbulls:

Pocket Pitbull Puppy Price: Do They Cost More than the Other Pitbull Sizes?

Two mini Pitbull puppies

A Pocket Pitbull is more expensive than its parent breeds. If an American Pitbull Terrier and a Patterdale Terrier only cost around $500 to $700, the Mini Pitbull is around $1,500 to $2,000.

This is because they are more in demand, and there aren’t many breeders who solely focus on breeding them.

Aside from this initial amount that you have to invest when buying the Micro Pitbull, you would also need to spend a significant chunk of your savings for their needs, which include the following:

Food$30 to $50
Startup Supplies, Including Leashes, Bowls, Bed/Crate, Toys, Etc.$50 to $300
Veterinary Checkups and Vaccinations$50 to $300
Preventative Medical Visits for Heartworm, Ticks, Etc.$50 to $100
Spaying or Neutering$20 to $300
Licensing$10 to $20
Pet Insurance$10 to $100
Pet Deposit Fee (for Those Who Are Living in Apartments)$25
Total$295 to $1,245

Places to Find a Pocket Pitbull for Sale and Adoption

Here are some kennel facilities you can check out if you want a Pocket Pitbull:

  • Bossy Kennels: Bossy Kennels has an extensive gallery of their dogs that you can browse if you are interested. They have sold Pits to a list of high-class athletes and celebrities over the years.
  • Manmade Kennels: Manmade Kennels is also another famous breeding facility that offers different Pitbull sizes. They are located in Mississipi, Delaware, California, and the Netherlands.
  • Bayou Blood Kennels: Bayou Blood Kennels is specializing in companion Pitbulls. They haven’t been around for quite a long time, but they have already established their name in the Pitbull breeding industry.
  • Mugleston’s Pitbull Farm: Mugleston’s Pitbull Farm is located in Eastern Oklahoma and has been around since 1993. You can pick up your puppy from their facility or they can deliver it to your doorstep.
  • Hurricane Pit Bulls: Hurricane Pit Bulls is a family-owned kennel in North Florida. All their pups have been around small children from birth so they are perfectly socialized.

Here are the top Pitbull rescue organizations that you can visit if you want to adopt a Pocket Pit:

  • Bobbie’s Pit Bull Rescue: Bobbies’ Pit Bull Rescue has been around since 2016, and they aim to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome all the dogs included in the Pitbull category.
  • Angel City Pitbulls: Angel City Pitbulls was founded by Pitbull fans, but it has grown to a much larger rescue who aims to become the number one Pitbull resource in Los Angeles.
  • Missouri Pit Bull Rescue: Missouri Pit Bull Rescue promotes responsible Pitbull ownership and finds homes to neglected Pits in Missouri.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Pocket Pitbulls Shed?

Pocket Pitbulls shed year-round, but there are two seasons of the year that they shed the worst. This is during late winter and late fall. Regularly brush your Pocket Pit’s coat to manage this shedding.

Are Pocket Pitbulls Stubborn?

Since Pocket Pitbulls are bred through two smart working dogs, they may have an independent streak that might make them stubborn at times. If they are trained early, this won’t really be a problem.

Is the Pocket Pitbull the Smallest Pitbull Variety?

Yes, the Pocket Pitbull is the smallest variety of this dog breed. Do not be confused if you read articles on the internet that say Mini Pitbulls, Teacup Mini Pitbulls, and Micro Pitbulls are smaller because these are just some of the many aliases of the Pocket Pit.

There is no such thing as a Pitbull that can fit in the palm of your hands.

Is the Pocket Pitbull and Pocket Bully the Same?

There are two possible answers to this question. The first is yes because American Bullies fall under the umbrella of Pitbull dogs, so technically speaking, a pocket-sized Bully can be called a Pocket Pitbull.

On the other hand, they can also mean a different crossbreed, just like in this article’s context. When I referred to the Pocket Pitbull, I am pertaining to the hybrid of the Patterdale Terrier and the American Pitbull Terrier. Not the cross between the Patterdale and the American Bully.

What Are Other Sizes of Pitbull?

Aside from the mini size, Pitbulls come in standard, large, and even extra-large varieties. Most breeders call these unusually large Pitbulls XL and XXL, and their average cost is well over $10,000.

Final Thoughts: Is the Pocket Pitbull the Right Dog for You?

If you are after a dog that is not as high maintenance as the standard Pitbull, this small Pitbull variety is clearly made for you.

They possess almost the same temperament as the ordinary Pits, but they don’t take up too much space, and they can thrive peacefully inside your apartment.

The only downside of getting this puppy is that they cost relatively higher than their parent breeds since they are currently in demand.

But, if budget isn’t an issue for you, you can acquire one easily from reputable breeders I have included in this guide.

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