The Pocket Pitbull: What to Expect from This Crossbreed
The pocket pitbull is a crossbreed that is quickly becoming a favored alternative to the full-sized American pitbull terrier. Individuals who seek the pocket pitbull are usually those who like the temperament, athleticism, and body style of the traditional pitbull without the massive size. Although the pocket pitbull is nowhere near being pocket-sized, it is significantly smaller than the parent breed which makes it a good choice for individuals who are looking for a compromise in the pitbull breed with a less intimidating stature. The following sections serve as a guide to this crossbreed and provide unbiased information regarding this miniaturized breed.
Pocket Pitbull Breed Information
First and foremost, it is important to understand that the pocket pitbull is not a purebred dog and therefore it cannot be registered with clubs like the AKC or the CKC. Unlike toy and teacup variants of other dogs such as Yorkshire terriers and chihuahuas, pocket pits are not the result of breeding the smallest dogs from purebred litters. Pocket pits are created by breeding a pureblood pitbull with a smaller-sized dog. In most cases the cross involves a pitbull and a patterdale terrier. The patterdale breed is preferred because it has a very plain and traditional body style that easily allows dominant pitbull features to take over. The goal is to produce puppies that look like American pitbulls, only a bit smaller in height and lighter in weight.
Regardless of the fact that pocket pits are not purebred animals, they are still considered a designer dog breed. This means that anyone on the hunt for this particular type of dog should be prepared to pay just as much–or sometimes more–than what they would pay for a purebred pitbull. The cost is often justified by breeders who claim that both parents of the puppy are purebloods in their own breeds, therefore the resulting puppy is still “of good blood,” it just isn’t purebred within a singular breed. The fact that this type of crossbreed is not as easy to find as other designer breeds makes the high price tag even more justifiable in the eyes of a breeder.
The physical traits of a pocket pitbull can vary depending on the breed of the non-pitbull parent. When the parents are pitbull and patterdale terriers, the general result tends to be a proportionate, lean dog with a wide-set jaw and lean musculature that is typical of the pitbull breed. Some breeders cross their pitbulls with Boston terriers or French bulldogs in order to produce puppies that retain a very stocky and intimidating presence. Puppies from this kind of crossbreeding tend to have a rectangular shape with a large head and jaw, a short nose, and a heavy, wide frame, particular around the chest and shoulders.
According to the American Bully Kennel Club, in order for a pitbull to qualify as a pocket variety, it must be less than 17 inches tall for a male or less than 16 inches tall for a female. The measurement should be taken once the animal has reached adulthood and has generally stopped growing. The height is measured from the bottom of a front paw to the middle of the back between the shoulder blades. There is no official limit for weight, although most pocket pits weigh between 35 and 60 pounds.
Temperament and Personality
Anyone considering a pocket pit is right to wonder what kind of temperament and personality they could expect from this kind of dog. Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that can affect these characteristics in any breed of dog. The most primary influence on these factors will be the temperaments and personalities of the parents and grandparents of the dog in question. The non-pitbull breed type will also have a great deal of influence on the puppy’s personality and temperament.
The standard pitbull is expected to be loving, affectionate, and playful. He should be well socialized from a young age to discourage aggressive tendencies towards other dogs. Although pitbulls seem to be extremely trainable and they are definitely willing to please their owners, this breed is said to never back down from a fight and will viciously protect their home and family. In general, a dog from good pitbull bloodlines should be happy, easy going, and polite.
The Good and the Bad
The welcome of any type of pitbull into the family, pocket or otherwise, should not be extended lightly. There are so many pitbull bloodlines that have been “tainted” with aggression that dates back to the early 1900’s when these dogs were bred solely to fight and kill other dogs. Finding a pitbull that comes from non-aggressive lineage can be difficult and one cannot be 100 percent sure about what kind of temperament a puppy is going to have. As a result, there is a significant gamble in choosing a pitbull. One should always insist on meeting the parents (and grandparents, if they are available) of any pup that might be adopted or purchased. Think of the parents of a dog as being ambassadors; the behavior that they exert is a good indicator as to what their pups will be like.
On the good side, meeting happy and sociable parents can be very comforting to a potential pocket pit buyer. A well-rounded pocket pit can be a very playful and entertaining companion. Although they do require a lot of activity and mental stimulation, they are also loveable, loyal, and protective. As long as one takes care in choosing a pocket variety pitbull, this can be a wonderful breed to own.