Pocket Pit Bull: Everything You Should Know About Pocket Bully Dogs

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The pocket pit bull, or miniature pit bull as this breed is sometimes known, is a more compact version of the well-known American pit bull terrier.

A Pocket Bully is bred by crossing a Patterdale terrier with an American pit bull (or American Staffordshire terrier) to produce a dog who is friendly, loyal and loving.

This breed is a miniature version of the American pit bull terrier weighing around 11 to 22 lb compared to their purebred parent at 30 to 60lb.

Short, stocky and muscular, the pocket pit bull is clever, loyal and as playful as any other dog breed who enjoys plenty of activity and human interaction.

A very recent crossbreed, suited to more experienced owners with an active lifestyle, read on to find out more about this breed.

What Is a Pocket Pit Bull?

Pocket Pitbull Dog
Despite common misconceptions, this breed makes a loving and gentle family pet.

The pocket bully is a mix between the American pit bull terrier and the smaller Patterdale terrier.

This crossbreed was developed in the hope of harvesting the active and friendly traits of the American Staffordshire Terrier into a more compact and manageable size exhibited by the Patterdale dog.

The resulting hybrid is a companion dog standing between 9-11 inches, compared to the average height of the original American pit bull standing at around 18-21 inches.


Like most recent crossbreeds, we cannot be sure when the first pocket pit bull was bred.

The likelihood is that there have been a few accidental litters resulting from Patterdales and American pit bulls over the years.

However, the first intentional litter occurred somewhere in the last twenty years in an attempt to merge positive traits from two different dog breeds.

Unfortunately this is rarely the case, and prospective owners of any crossbreed must be aware that their pup can inherit a mix of both negative and positive traits from either parent breeds.

Patterdale Terrier

Patterdale Dog

The Patterdale Terrier was bred as a hardy and scrappy little dog who was trained to protect livestock and chase small quarry.

As a breed, they are usually intelligent and focused, loyal and sweet-natured with strangers and children.

American pit bull

American Pitbull Terrier Sleeping

Similarly, the American pit bull is also well-known for being great with children, despite some outdated views that they are notoriously aggressive.

While it is true they were originally trained as fighting and baiting dogs in the 18th and 19th century, they have come a long way since then and are actually highly trainable, obedient and a lover of mental and physical challenges.

Kennel Club Recognition

The pocket pit bull is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or the Kennel Club as it is a hybrid dog.

They are also not currently registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club, The National Hybrid Registry or the International Designer Canine Registry.

As of yet, there is no official breed club for the Pocket Bully, however there is plenty of social media attention and likeminded people who adore this mix.

Similarly, there is not a breed-specific rescue organization yet as they are such a recent crossbreed.

Pocket Pit Bull Facts Table
Size 9 to 11 inches
Weight11 to 22lb
Lifespan11–13 years
Breed TypeMixes and More
Suitable ForMore Experienced Owners, Active Owners, Families With Older Children
Color VariationsRed, Fawn, Blue, Black, Black And Tan, Blue And Tan, Black Brindle, Brown, Buckskin and Chocolate
TemperamentLoyal, Friendly, Intelligent, Active, Energetic
Other NamesMiniature pit bull, micro pit bull and pit bull Patterdale mix

Pocket Pit Bull Puppy

Pocket Pitbull Puppy
These puppies can come in virtually any color or color combination.

Typically one of these puppies will cost between $1,500 – $2,500 USD, compared to the average $500 USD for a purebred American pit bull terrier.

The average litter size is likely to be between 2 and 5.

If the dam is the pit bull and it is not her first litter the average size of the litter is likely to be slightly higher averaging between 5 and 9 puppies.

John Truitt from California owns ‘Queen Califa’, a pocket pit bull he claims is the best representation of the breed. He owns a collection of pit bulls called The Collectibulls and claims his pocket bully puppies will be sold for no less than $20,000 each.

American pit bulls can take around 2 or 3 years to fully mature, while Patterdales mature at around 14-16 months.

Therefore, prospective owners should be aware that it can take up-to three years for their dog to fully mature:

Age (months)
Size (lb)
33 to 4.5
66.5 to 11.5
99 to 17
1211 to 22

Pocket Pit Bull Temperament

American Pitbull Terrier

It is a common belief associated with the pit bull name that this breed is scary and aggressive.

This however is not the case at all, and is disproved everyday by pit bulls who make loving family pets.

The pocket pit bull is no different from its relatives and levels of aggression among the breed are low.

Your Pocket Bully is more likely to exhibit positive traits which are common to both parent breeds: energy, playfulness, loyalty and intelligence.

This dog’s prey drive is generally quite low, however they may inherit the high drive of the Patterdale Terrier.

If this is the case, this canine is highly trainable so you don’t need to be worried about them chasing after other pets.

This hybrid is likely to be intelligent and confident enough to distinguish between a threatening and non-threatening situation.


This dog is very clever and requires lots of mental stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored and exhibiting destructive behavior.

Their intelligence combined with their strength can be a recipe for disaster, so training is essential to mold a well-rounded and confident dog.

Training will also help keep their alert mind stimulated and help to prevent boredom and undesirable behaviors which often result from a lack of training.

They are naturally quite guarded and protective of their family as both of their parent breeds are commonly used as watchdogs.

That being said, undesirable barking and protectiveness can often be combated with early socialization at a young age, appropriate training and lots of reassurance.

Compatibility with Families

The pocket pit bull is very good with children due to their gentle and sweet nature, often earning them the title of ‘nanny dog’.

Despite this laid-back attitude towards children, prospective owners may want to wait until the family’s children are a bit older as these dogs can be quite boisterous when excited.

Generally, Pocket Bullies can be quite protective of their family, but with plenty of proper dog socialization training, they can learn to be just as friendly towards strangers as they are towards members of their family.

They are often seen to be good alert dogs, sounding a warning with a deep bark.

Pocket Bully Appearance

Pocket Bully
This pit bull can come in virtually any color or color combination.

The pocket pit bull is a very compact small breed dog.

Known for being incredibly muscular, with a very low, wide chest and short muscular legs they have a low-level back with a bulky neck and a large head.

This breed usually exhibits a brachycephalic skull shape with wide-set small floppy ears and a solid, strong rear with a medium-length thin tail.


Pocket pit bulls are a crossbreed so it is very difficult to estimate their size for both males and females.

Generally, for males and females, this mix will weigh around 11 to 22 lb and will grow to measure between 9-11 inches to the withers.


This mixed breed can come in many different colors and combinations:

  • Red
  • Fawn
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Black & Tan
  • Blue & Tan
  • Black Brindle
  • Brown
  • Buckskin
  • Chocolate
  • White & Seal

They can be solid in color or have white or tan markings or blue ticking.


This canine is a mix, so you can never reliably predict their coat type.

Patterdales have a coarse, wiry coat with a dense undercoat to protect them from the elements.

In contrast, American pit bulls do not have an undercoat but have a short smooth coat.

Usually, this breed exhibits more of a short and smooth coat, however this cannot be guaranteed and grooming will depend on the coat type they have.


As a general rule, this dog will require brushing weekly, this is because their coat is usually a short, shiny, single coat.

Brushing once a week, with a rubber mitt to remove excess hair from the short coat, will be sufficient in keeping them well groomed.

Bathing will only need to occur as and when it is necessary, if for example they roll in something they shouldn’t!

Brushing the teeth of your pocket pit bull is also an option to reduce tartar build up and help prevent gum disease but if this has not been introduced since puppyhood, it may be difficult for them to get used to later in life.

Abrasive chews or daily dental chews are usually sufficient alongside a kibble diet in keeping their teeth clean and healthy.

Pocket Pit Bull Care Guide

Pitbull Dogs

Quite low on maintenance, this canine only needs their daily exercise and not much else. They don’t require heavy grooming, feeding or training.

They are more suited to active owners, families with older children and preferably someone with previous experience of dog ownership.

Food and Dietary Requirements

Daily Food Consumption
Guide 400 calories
Cups of Kibble One Bowl of Kibble Required per Day

A high-quality kibble diet is appropriate for this dog, feeding them twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening.

Because of their smaller size, they require far less than their full-grown parents and one or two cups of kibble each day is enough.

Exercise Requirements

Daily Exercise Requirements
Minutes 60 minutes
Activity Level This is a high activity dog breed

Pocket pit bulls require at least an hour of exercise each day, preferably consisting of some off leash running around to burn off pent-up energy.

This muscular and athletic canine needs room to be able to run around and let off energy.

They are unlikely to get their required exercise from leash walks and will prove to be very difficult if restrained to just a leash.

Interactive play with their owners, with games such as fetch, will also help to physically stimulate them and strengthen the bond between dog and owner.


It is essential that training begins from day one. There are numerous puppy training tips available to help with training.

Positive reinforcement is the preferred method for training, with recall being a vital behavior to learn as soon as possible.

People who aren’t familiar with dogs may not know how to react or behave around a muscular and powerful dog in the park and can react in unpredictable ways.

For this reason, and for the safety of your dog, it is important your pooch knows when to return to their owner on cue.

The socialization period is essential for any dog to expose them to different situations, strangers and unfamiliar dogs to help the dog develop confidence and learn how to be social.

If their experiences are negative or are particularly restricted during this 12-16-week period, the result could lead to a protective, fear reactive or aggressive dog.

Health Problems

Generally, the lifespan of a pocket pit bull is between 11 and 13 years, however there are unfortunately a few common ailments which affect the crossbreed.

Hypothyroidism – this is a condition which affects hormone levels, specifically causing low hormone levels.

This can lead to your canine gaining weight, feeling lethargic and having a duller coat. Oral hormone replacements are an option to manage the condition in conjunction with a healthy diet and iodine supplements.

The skull shape may vary between litters as they are a hybrid, however the general consensus is that they usually inherit a brachycephalic skull shape.

This shape usually means they have a very short snout which causes breathing difficulties when over-exercised, excited, stressed or hot

Care should be taken to keep your dog calm and cool and prevent them from over-exercising.


The pocket pit bull is a muscular and compact small crossbreed with a sweet and loving temperament who would suit a more experienced owner with an active lifestyle

This intelligent dog requires plenty of exercise and training to challenge him both physically and mentally to prevent the development of any undesirable behaviors.

For this reason, they are better suited to more experienced owners with an active lifestyle who are more practiced and confident at handling a powerful and strong-willed dog.

You can be rest assured, if you look after your dog, he will look after you too. What are your thoughts on this breed? Let us know!

About John Woods 300 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.


  1. I have a 6 month old pocket pit bull. Love me this pup we call Sadie. She is about the funniest pup I’ve had in a long time. Before her some 15 years ago I shared my life with an American bulldog the most intelligent dog. We hope that she and our family have the experience of a life time with Miss Sadie

  2. We have had our pocket bully ruger since he was 5 months old. He is so smart and loveable. He is my emotional support animal. And ruger is great at his job. He knows us so well he sleeps with me in my bed and cuddles all night..i was reading in the article about the weight. It sounds like ruger might be over weight.

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