Pocket Pitbull

25-45 lbs
American Pit Bull Terrier
Patterdale Terrier
Pitterdale, Miniature Pit Bull, PocketPit

There are several reasons why someone might prefer a hybrid dog over a purebred alternative, but it very often comes down to size. Frequently, one breed is mixed with a smaller one to create a more manageable-sized animal — like the Pocket Pitbull.

A cross between the American Pit Bull Terrier and Patterdale Terrier, Pocket Pitbulls are a relative newcomer to the canine world, but have quickly won legions of admirers for their infectious energy, cute looks and ease when it comes to maintenance.

Know little about the Pocket Pitbull? Read our guide to discover:

  • It might be called a Pocket Pitbull, but this type of dog can still weigh up to almost 50 lbs
  • Health risks include Intervertebral Disc Disease and Cerebellar Abiotrophy
  • Pocket Pitbulls have a muscular physique and a short, straight coat 
  • They have can be protective, but with socialization and training can grow to be friendly dogs

Pocket Pitbull breed overview

What is a Pocket Pitbull? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like — a smaller version of the American Pit Bull Terrier. This diminutive size comes from a shared parentage with Patterdale Terriers, a breed with a long history in the north of the UK.

This smaller size is tempting to those who are fond of a Pitbull, but need a pet that’s a little easier to control. That’s not to say they require no effort whatsoever — a Pitbull of any size requires hours of training and socialization to eliminate undesirable traits and behaviors.

If this is done successfully, however, parents will find themselves sharing their lives with a dog that’s loyal, affectionate and playful in nature.

Regardless of the breed you choose, every dog parent should strongly consider getting a pet insurance policy in case the worst was ever to happen — Wag! can help you find a rock-solid option.

purpose Purpose
Watchdog, Companion Animal
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
American Pitbull Terrier and Patterdale Terrier

Pocket Pitbull Health

Average Size
Male Pocket Pitbull size stats
Height: 14-17 inches Weight: 30-50 lbs
Female Pocket Pitbull size stats
Height: 14-17 inches Weight: 25-45 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Invertebral Disc Disease
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy (Ataxia)
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Demodectic Mange
  • Lens Luxation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cleft Lip or Palate
  • Zinc Responsive Dermatosis
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Atopy
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Ichthyosis
  • Heart Disease
Occasional Tests
  • Eye Examination
  • Skin Evaluation
  • Electrocardiograph (ECG - measures rate and rhythm)
  • Myelography (Dye And X-Ray to Assess The Spinal Cord)
  • Hip and Elbow X-rays

Pocket Pitbull Breed History

There was a time when dogs of mixed lineage were looked down upon as mutts or mongrels. However, that’s no more. Since the end of the 20th century, the trend for hybrid dogs has exploded and it’s possible to find many new canine variations with positive attributes from both sides of the family.

The Pocket Pitbull is just one of these new crossbreeds and the most common combination of parentage is an American Pit Bull Terrier and a Patterdale Terrier — some breeders might use a French Bulldog or Boston Terrier in place of the latter, however.

The first of these breeds is itself a hybrid animal, having been bred from fighting bulldogs and terriers in 19th-century England. The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the breed in 1898, although the American Kennel Club (AKC) has never followed suit. However, the AKC has set breed standards for the American Staffordshire Terrier, which is a very close relation.

American Pitbull Terriers quickly proved themselves as exemplary working dogs thanks to their boundless energy and ability to learn new tasks — anything from hunting vermin, herding livestock or even just providing some much-needed companionship during the long winter months.

The Patterdale Terrier also has British ancestry and is one of several breeds believed to be descended from the Fell Terrier, a dog bred to hunt in packs and be small enough to chase prey down tunnels.

Although they are thought to have been around a distinct breed in their own right since the middle of the 20th century, they weren’t recognized by the UKC until 1995.

Pocket Pitbull Breed Appearance

It’s fair to say that the Pocket Pitbull looks like an American Pit Bull Terrier, only a little more petite in size. That being said, they’re not the smallest hybrids around — you can expect this miniature Pitbull to reach up to a foot high and close to 50 pounds in weight. 

When it comes to appearance, a Pocket Pitbull shares the same muscular physique covered by a short, straight coat as their American antecedents. They can be found in a huge array of colorways, including pied, cream, brindle, gray, black, white and brown.

A Pocket Pitbull’s skull is often more wedge-shaped with a narrower muzzle than your typical American Pit Bull Terrier. The ears generally sit high up on the head, and can be short to medium in length. When uncropped, they fold forward or to the sides. Eyes are typically brown or amber, while noses are usually blue, black or brown.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Pocket Pitbull eyes
amber Pocket Pitbull eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
blue Pocket Pitbull nose
black Pocket Pitbull nose
brown Pocket Pitbull nose
Coat Color Possibilities
pied Pocket Pitbull coat
brindle Pocket Pitbull coat
white Pocket Pitbull coat
gray Pocket Pitbull coat
cream Pocket Pitbull coat
brown Pocket Pitbull coat
black Pocket Pitbull coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Pocket Pitbull straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Pocket Pitbull Breed Maintenance

Good news for those averse to hours of grooming — the Pocket Pitbull requires little by the way of preening. In many cases, a couple of minutes a week with a slicker brush or grooming glove should suffice, although a bit longer might be necessary if the dog in question has a double coat. This can sometimes be passed down on the Patterdale side.

Although they don’t need lots of brushing, parents will still need to check their pet frequently for signs of skin complaints, be that rashes or swelling. Similarly, Pocket Pitbulls with light or white fur should be covered with suncream on summer days to reduce the risk of skin cancer developing.

This is especially vital when you take into consideration the fact that this is a dog that will be outside for long periods, expelling their mighty supply of energy. This athletic hybrid should have at least an hour’s activity every day — split up into two or three sessions if need be — and around nine miles of walking throughout the week.

You might find your Pocket Pitbull is keen on agility training or competitive frisbee. Some even like swimming, although many others are more than happy to keep away from water.

Pocket Pitbull Health Risks

Proponents of intermixing dog breeds point to a concept called ‘hybrid vigor’, which asserts that dogs — along with other animals and plants — from mixed backgrounds have better health outcomes than pets that have emerged from the same gene pool.

Some scientific papers have found evidence to back up this theory, while others are more doubtful. One thing that can be said for certain is that hybrid dog breeds aren’t immune from hereditary disease and there are several health conditions that Pocket Pitbulls are more susceptible to developing at one point or other in their lives.

As such, it’s important that parents only work with breeders that perform thorough health screenings on their dogs — this isn’t a failsafe method, but it certainly lowers the likelihood of nasty problems emerging in your dog.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Intervertebral discs are found between the bones of the spine and act as a shock absorber for this extremely delicate part of the body. When they stop functioning as intended, it can spell bad news for dogs.

As you can guess from the name, this is what happens in cases of intervertebral disc disease, or IVDD for short. Discs become swollen or ruptured, leading to potential damage to the spinal cord. Unfortunately, a mini Pitbull is more prone to being diagnosed with this than other breeds.

If this occurs in your dog’s body, they’ll often experience severe pain, a reduction in mobility and a new inability to urinate. In more extreme cases, they might not be able to feel pain at all.

Once a vet is sure a dog is suffering from IVDD, they will either prescribe medication or recommend surgery in more serious instances. In the majority of cases, the prognosis is good, although recovery time can be lengthy.

Cerebellar Abiotrophy

Another condition that Pocket Pitbulls are slightly more predisposed to is cerebellar abiotrophy. This is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system that affects the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for movement and motor control.

As a result, dogs with the condition often display incoordination, exaggerated movements, muscle tremors and an absence of a menace reflex (the instinctive blinking or turning of the head in response to an incoming object).

There are several types of cerebellar abiotrophy, but all are sadly incurable. A vet will normally recommend euthanizing a dog with the condition to prevent further suffering. Fortunately, the condition is relatively uncommon.

Patellar Luxation

This condition is common in smaller breeds like the Pocket Pitbull and occurs when a dog’s kneecap regularly dislocates. Sometimes the affliction is present at birth, but in other instances, it develops later in life.

Either way, parents will usually spot their dog limping, moving their leg in an awkward fashion or crying out in pain.

Depending on the severity, your vet will either opt for medication or surgery. Thankfully, a full recovery can be expected in the majority of cases.

Every pet parent needs a good vet to keep an eye out for their dog — a wellness plan covers routine examinations and testing that can often spot worrying signs at a crucially early stage.

What to feed a Pocket Pitbull?

Given their size, Pocket Pitbulls should be served recipes designed with smaller breeds in mind. These will include a combination of nutrients and minerals catered towards their specific needs and the biscuit size will be more suited to tiny mouths as well.

If you’re in need of a little inspiration, our partner Dog Food Advisor has done the hard work and picked out some of the best options available to buy today.

Brushes for Pocket Pitbull
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Pocket Pitbull requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Pocket Pitbull Temperament

We won’t deny the fact that Pitbulls come with a bit of a reputation for being aggressive. Some of this is lazy stereotyping based on their forebears who were involved in dog-fighting a couple of centuries ago, but it’s also true that the breed has a high prey drive and can be overly protective. 

It’s important to reflect on this if you’re contemplating introducing a Pocket Pitbull into a family with young children — all interactions between small pitbull breeds and small children should be supervised to prevent harm coming to either.

Having said that, Pocket Pitbull puppies that have been effectively trained and socialized will grow up to be fun and friendly dogs with an easy-going nature.

They are often not so amicable with other animals and prefer to be the only animal in the household.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
9 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Pocket Pitbull Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Pocket Pitbull Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Pocket Pitbull size stats at six months
Height: 14.0 inches Weight: 30.0 lbs
Female Pocket Pitbull size stats at six months
Height: 14.0 inches Weight: 26.5 lbs
12 Months
Male Pocket Pitbull size stats at 12 months
Height: 15.5 inches Weight: 40.0 lbs
Female Pocket Pitbull size stats at 12 months
Height: 15.5 inches Weight: 35.0 lbs
18 Months
Male Pocket Pitbull size stats at 18 months
Height: 15.5 inches Weight: 40.0 lbs
Female Pocket Pitbull size stats at 18 months
Height: 15.5 inches Weight: 35.0 lbs

Pocket Pitbull Owner Experiences

8 Years
4 People
House & Yard
She is funny adorable was easily trained..enjoy s people has a big sister regular pit and a younger sister Pug…enjoys playing with both..extremely loyal and plays with my nephews that are 3 and 6
1 year, 3 months ago
2 Years
4 People
House & Yard
She loving but young very well trained
2 years, 2 months ago
Lola the Lowrider
9 Months
3 People
House & Yard
Tunning around the ya
Always full of energy and so loveable
6 years, 2 months ago
3 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Adopted her from the animal shelter, she is the sweetest ting ever. I've had her for under a week, so far so good!
6 years, 1 month ago
2 Months
6 People
House & Yard
She is wild and you have to have nothing expensive near her or it will be gone. I’ve lost 2 pairs of earbuds this past week!i love her to death but she is driving me crazy!!
5 years, 7 months ago
2 Years
5 People
House & Yard
Car rides
I love her. My whole family loves her. Everyone who meets her falls in love with her! She is so cute and loving, she gives everyone kisses and is so gentle with all children. She’s a big baby though, she has so much personality lol best dog I’ve ever had 💯
3 years, 5 months ago
Savage blaze
8 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Playing tug of war
Car rides
One of the best pits ever
3 years ago
3 Years
1 People
Lady, my pocket Pitt is a huggable, full of emotions and cuddling affectionate dog I've ever owned. She holds hand, gives lots of hugs and kisses and very laid back. Needs a lot of affection.
2 years, 9 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd