7 Reasons You Should Own A Red Nose Pitbull

Like the Blue Nose Pitbull, what many think of as a completely separate breed, the Red Nose Pitbull is actually just a different colored Pitbull Terrier.

With it’s checkered history of bull and bear baiting and ties to the illegal sport of dog fighting when found in unscrupulous hands, we have decided to share with you seven reasons why you would want to own this magnificent dog.

1. A Red Nose Pitbull Will Melt Your Heart!

Red Nose PitbullWho would honestly fall in love with this guy? Well, I would.

They look just like all other pits, they are stocky and muscular. Female red nose pitbulls grow anywhere between 17-20” in height and can weigh anywhere between 30 and 50lbs. A male will grow slightly larger, up to 21” in height and anywhere up to 60lbs in weight. They are classed as a medium sized breed.

Red nose pits are exactly that, red. A Red Nose Pitbull Puppy from birth is very easily identified. They have red/brown/copper tones to their fur, eyes, toenails and nose! It is believed that the red nose originated from the Irish.

The Red Nose Pitbull Terrier was historically used in Britain for bull and bear baiting. The Irish started to notice those Pitties with red/copper tones and decided to cross-breed those dogs. The result, more red noses which eventually found their way into the States, just like the rest of the Pitties.

Some deem the red noses as a rare color, so they are more expensive to buy. Red Nose Pitbull Puppies can range between $500-$2000 but there have been some sold for as much as $11,000! As always, look for a reputable breeder that is breeding for health and temperament.

They aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club, most likely due to their checkered past and the fact that they are banned in a number of countries and municipalities here in the States.

2. They Are Relaxed, Sociable and Friendly

Red Nose Pitbull SmileWhilst we acknowledge that Pitbulls as a breed are involved in more dog bite related fatalities than any other breed this has to be considered in context:

  • Any dog has the ability to be aggressive.
  • Most dog bite injuries are caused by a dog unknown to the victim.
  • Due to their history, a lot of Pitbulls get into the wrong hands.
  • Dog bites are often a fear response.

We know that all dogs require early socialization and training, this is no different with the Red Nose Pitbull.

Early socialization introduces your dog to the world; those noisy machines, that really tall person wearing a hat and please don’t forget next door’s cat. He learns that he can experience those things and survive. The idea behind this is exactly the same as in humans where each time we learn something new our brain makes a new connection. Every time it is repeated, the connection gets stronger.

If your Pitty has a bad experience with the dog across the street – that’s the connection he makes. However, just like our brains, dog brains are somewhat plastic, which means they are changeable. Neural pathways (those connections) can get stronger or weaker.

In short, we need to expose our pooches to positive experiences regularly and if they do have a bad experience, do our best to counter it, whether this is ensuring they don’t experience it again, or through counter conditioning and desensitization.

Whilst on the subject of socialization, introducing your Pit to children is crucial. Children are unpredictable at the best of times, they run, jump, shout and scream. Create a safe space for your guy, a den under the stairs or a covered crate in the corner of a room. Teach him that if the world is getting too much for him, he can retreat to his safe space.

Safe space training:

  • Ideally, you should start safe space training from puppy hood. Find a space under the stairs, in a separate room or in a crate.
  • Set up the safe space with blankets, bedding, cushions, soft toys, chew toys etc. Just allow your red nose to explore around it for a few days.
  • Intermittently throw a treat into the safe space.
  • Build up to having a chew/stuffed puzzle toy in the safe space.
  • When he starts taking himself into the safe space of his own accord, you could label the behaviour “den” or similar.
  • Keep it a family free zone – it’s his den.

A well socialized Red Nose is the most friendliest dog you could ever wish to meet. They will suit any family with experience of larger breeds and love everyone and think everyone should love them.

3. They Are Very Intelligent Search and Rescue Dogs

Red Nose Pitbull TerrierRed Nose Pitbulls are actually incredibly intelligent making them a dream to train. You will notice that some service dogs are actually Pitbulls; they excel at search and rescue. Take the amazing Pitbull Dakota, who was commissioned by NASA, to recover debris and crew after the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded in 2003.

Pits are obedient, loyal and people pleasers who respond best to positive reinforcement and reward based training. Praise them when they are doing what you ask them to; use rewards to encourage positive behaviour.

You’ve probably heard about dopamine before, it’s a neurotransmitter associated with the reward center in the brain. You can think of it like a save button. We know that when dopamine is present in the brain, we learn new things, when it’s absent, it goes in one ear and out through the other. When we are interested and motivated, more dopamine is released and therefore we remember it. The take home – if we want our dogs to learn, we have to make it interesting and motivating.

Start training young and ensure you continue it throughout their life; as we mentioned, their brains are forever changing!

4. They Have Good Health and a Strong Temperament

Red Nose Pitbull PuppyThis one is true – but in reality, which dog doesn’t have any health issues?! Unfortunately, there are some health issues that we are noticing in the Red Nose Pitbulls.

Hip Dysplasia – this is when there is abnormal development in the hip joint. Depending on the severity, it can often be managed through therapy and medication but surgery is an option. Dogs will present with lameness, altered gait and pain.

Degenerative Myelopathy – Previously known as CDRM, is a progressive disease of the spinal cord. Most common in older dogs. They will present with loss of coordination of the hind legs, often wobbling or knuckling over.

Kneecap Dislocation – also known as luxating patella. This is when the kneecap doesn’t sit in the trochlea groove. There is evidence which suggests some genetic component to this condition, therefore those dogs showing a predisposition should not be bred from.

5. They Crave Human Companionship and Interaction

Red Nose PitRed nose pitties do not cope with being left alone. As an adult you should not be leaving your guy for any longer than he can cope with, especially no more than 3-4 hours.

It’s not because there is anything wrong with red nose pitties – all dogs are separation averse. Think about how we have ended up with our pet dog – humans domesticated them. Dogs are therefore used to human interaction and not particularly enamored by the idea of being away from them. Dogs will tolerate isolation – if you make it as short and as least boring as possible.

Red Nose Pitbull Terriers love being with you, playing in the yard or just following you to hang the washing out. Watching TV? They will be curled up right next to you.

If you can give upwards of 60 minutes exercise per day with some extra time spent working on some training or brain games and as little time alone as possible you will have the most loyal and loving comrade.

6. Red Nose Pitbulls Require Little Grooming

Two Red Nose PitsWet paws, slobber and dog hair. All in a day’s work for any dog owner.

Thankfully the Red Nose Pitbull is pretty low on the grooming front. A couple of brushes a week will be ample to keep his coat in tip top condition. Pitties have a short, smooth coat which will have two major blow outs per year.

Keep an eye on his teeth, eyes and ears, regularly cleaning them. Introducing health checks and grooming from a young age is an important part of his socialization and makes it much easier when he needs to be handled at the veterinarians office.

If your puppy is reluctant to be handled or groomed, pop some dog friendly peanut butter (no added xylitol as this is toxic to dogs) on the kitchen cupboard (or any wipe able surface) for him to lick whilst you are handling him.

If you have a helper, you can ask them to hold a chew to keep him busy for longer. This can help with those puppies who can’t stop themselves trying to chew the grooming brush.

7. They Love To Eat With You

American Pit Bull TerrierSteak dinner evening and those eyes are looking up at you. Although not renowned for scavenging, just like any other dog, the red nose pitty likes his food.

Whilst the odd safe table scrap isn’t of detriment to your red nose, he really needs to be gaining his nutrients from his own diet. On average, a pitty will consume around 30 calories per lb of body weight per day. So if he’s weighing in at 55lbs, he will need around 1650 calories per day. A high quality dog food should have good sources of protein and fat as your guy will need 2.62g of protein per kg of bodyweight and 1.6g of fat per kg of bodyweight.

Red nose pitties are supposed to be muscular and stocky – you quite often see the definition in their muscles.

Ensure you don’t confuse this stocky appearance with being overweight. You should be able to feel his ribs and from a birds eye view his body should have an hour glass figure.

As we have mentioned previously, there are a number of skeletal issues that Red Nose Pitties are prone to, obesity is a risk factor in a number of them. If you have any concerns with the health of your Pitty, speak with a veterinarian.


Have we put you off this affectionate, friendly, and loving guy? Thought not.

The Red Nose Pitbull still has a way to go to dispel those misconceptions many people have about them. We aren’t denying their barbaric history – they were used for bull and bear baiting and then this was outlawed.

However, most Pits are the most loyal and obedient dog you could ever wish to meet, they will do what you ask them to.

When raised right, with early socialisation and positive and consistent training, the Red Nose Pitbull is a faithful, majestic and confident dog. They suit any family who has experience of larger breeds and who have time to spend exercising, playing, training and curling up on the sofa.

They will hike through woods or play ball in the yard – they’re just happy being with you. We know they don’t cope with being left alone, so try to keep this to a minimum.

Have you owned a red nose before? Or do you have experience with this dog? Leave us a comment below to let us know!

John Woods Headshot
John Woods is the Founder of All Things Dogs and leads our editorial team as our Editor in Chief. A member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, he has been a dog lover since he was 13 years old. John is parent to Nala, a working lab retriever. John has also volunteered at multiple animal shelters, where he gained firsthand experience of rehabilitation and force-free positive reinforcement training methods.
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  1. My red nose is the best thing & best friend in my life. Totally amazing. We exercise at least 2 hours per day, he keeps me in shape. He is very intelligent, loving, fun, the perfect dog. I want to protect him as much as he wants to protect me. Great with kids, likes the snow, likes the water, can be stubborn sometimes, and is well mannered. Perfect 10

  2. My Rednose was a stray I picked up hiding under my truck. She was about three months old. Shes one of the best dogs I’ve ever had and gets along with my other dogs great.

  3. I have a red nose pitbull her name is Lilo and she just love’s everyone the only thing she will do is lick you to death, she is my baby.

  4. First dog I got was a female red nose from a rescue few years later picked up a male red nose for her they are good friends love them so much

  5. My sister had the most loving and playful red nose that you could ever imagine. He could sense a squeaky toy from 20 paces and always knew when you had one. He loved to play and be fussed and would always wag his tail no matter what.
    His temperament was always the best but could always protect the home if needed. He made my sister always feel safe and she loved her “baby boy”. Sadly after giving him the most amazing life after being rescued and him loving her to bits he sadly died from a tumour that ruptured. He was the best dog you could ever wish to have and was loved by everyone. He will be sadly missed

  6. Leada is my 11 week old red nosed pit. She is sweet and smart an I enjoy her very much. I have 2 cats and so far so good, I also have 5 grand kids that she is not sure about, only she is spooked very easily by almost every noise new; or loud voice, kids playing, other dogs barking. She hides under my bed and that worries me greatly. Any suggestions?

    Kim & leadda

    • Hi Kim,

      Great news that things are going well so far with your puppy. She’s likely feeling overwhelmed at at all the recent changes in her life. She’s probably decided that under your bed is a great place to stay safe. We need her to learn that she can be safe in other places too.

      Have you considered crate training? This isn’t a punishment, it’s giving her a safe place to retreat to. Somewhere she knows is hers and you can teach your Grandkids that it’s a no-go zone. As she grows she’ll still need a place to go to, but she’ll soon be too big to fit under your bed.

      You also need Leada to associate all those things she’s wary of, with good things. So if your Grandkids are making noise and movements in one room, head into another room with Leada and give her a chew or some treats. You may be better having a barrier or partition separating the kids from her, so she knows she’s safe and she can get used to them from a distance. Let her watch and be patient.

      Introduce the kids one at a time, but on Leada’s terms. If she’s running away, she’s not ready. Let her watch from a distance again and give her a chew or a slow-feeder. She’ll be distracted enough to stay in the general area and hopefully start to associate the kids with good things!

      Only introduce Leada to the kids when she’s ready. This may take longer than you’d hoped, but we want to set her up to succeed!

      Always supervise the kids with Leada and teach them how to interact with dogs. For example: kids need to give dogs space, never take toys/chews from them, never interrupt their eating and let the dog come to you. This is where crate training can be a saving grace. Teach the kids that if Leada chooses to go to her crate, she just wants some quiet time and to leave her be.

      Be patient, arm yourself with plenty of treats and chews. Leada just needs to learn that all these new things aren’t as scary as she thinks. If you are concerned about her behaviour, please see the advice of a qualified trainer or behaviourist.

      • Hi. I have 2, 1 red nosed and 1 blue. My red I rescued (or she rescued me) was from Chicago animal control. She is just the sweetest girl. My blue I rescued as well only from a young couple who couldn’t handle her. I see no difference in my girls as far as their nose color. My red is APBT and my blue is straight up Staffy. I can’t imagine my life without them.

      • Others gave great info. What I will say though, is it’s all on you. You have to be active in using all of these situations as an opportunity for training. For example, don’t want your dog to bite? Then get the dog going with a toy and keep putting your hands in the mix, when the dog touches skin, correct the action and then congratulate immediately after the listen. I would use this technique as often as possible with everything. It’s alot easier to do this while a puppy then a full grown dog. Good luck!

      • We just got a 5 month old red nose pitt. I love him he’s great with my kids. How do I get him to where he stays sweet and good with other dogs? We camp alot and I want him to be my camping buddy any suggestions

      • That was very good advice, I loved reading your story, and yet I have a Tonkinese kitten. Ha Ha. He was frightened of going in the car. I just persevered and took him out for a little drive every day. Now he runs to the front door when I tell him we are going out in the car. He loves it now, 😀

    • Professional training saved me. I have had dogs for 40 years but never a pit. I went for training because she is so powerful & can be stubborn. Training is always on going but has work perfect. She is 19 months, well behaved, socialize, friendly & lovable. Good luck.

      • My wife was driving home last winter at dusk saw an animal laying in a drainage ditch. She took him to our vet, weighing 26 lb and about a year old took him home. Put him in our heated garage so he could heal in peace. We planned to find him a good home. Today at the vets he weighted 65lb, sleeps between my wife and I, head on pillow. Buddy sleeps with his paws on my shoulders or head on my wife’s chest. Buddy is the sweetest, loving, funniest dog we’ve had in our home. Not a mean bone in his giant body. When we speak to him he shakes his backside like he’s going to break his back with excitement. We are so thankful God brought this Angel to live with us. Pitts are the best friends. Kevin

  7. I a have a 4 year old female rednose snuggle bug. Very friendly to people and children and loves the vet, however she’s picky with dogs and only gets along with some. This is a breed for experienced dog owners as they also tend to bit stuborn at times.

  8. I’ve currently had my red nose pitbull for 2months he sleeps in my bed, loves my 4 year old nephew to pieces loves playing and is overall the best puppy I have ever had. Whoever came up with the theory that pitbulls are dangerous for kids clearly didn’t know how to take care of his doggie and in any case humans would be the ones making them aggressive because they are naturally the cutest dogs ever

  9. I got my first pup about 3 weeks ago. A lady had found their litter on the side of the road and shared the babies on Facebook. The vet said they were only about 6 weeks old at the time. My little red nose has been an adventure already and this article really helped explain a few of his tendencies to me.

  10. My girl is almost 5 yrs and I couldn’t be happier. Very sociable with people and other dogs. A little more work than other breeds (training, exercise requirements etc) but well worth it. Intelligent, loyal, great companion. Also a great hunting dog.

  11. I have had Pitbulls (red nose blue nose American) for 28 years. When I was less than a year old my parents rescued Bruno (red nose) from a sheler in FL and immediately took him to the vet for all shots and check up. He was about 6 months old and had lived on the streets. Bruno raised me, my brother and sister for 14 years. Best dog ever growing up and really set the bar high for Brutus (blue nose) and Chief (American). All 3 are and were the best of friends you could imagine. Brutus would travel the country with me for work. I could look at him and it was as if he could read my mind. Chief is almost 2 now and is the best big brother to my 5 year old son and 8 week old jack Russell (Max). He’s quite the talker and speaks his mind! All 3 we got as puppies Bruno (6 month), Brutus and Chief (6 weeks). My family will always have at least 1 Pitt bull in our home for their love and loyalty. All of my Pitts have always slept in my bed or in my son’s bed even tho they all had there own. Just an all around great breed that unfortunately have been abused or misused for bad instead of the great that they are.

  12. I have a red nose APBT/Staff mix and he’s the best dog I’ve ever owned! (I also have a 5mo old red nose who is pretty awesome). He’s getting better over time, but people are still so amazed at how wonderful, calm, gentle and loving he is because he is a Pitty. I’ve had a Shepard/ Norwegian elk hound/ mutt rescue dog/ and a few small dogs (Yorkie mixes). As an adult I’ve chosen three Pitties and would never live life without one! By far the most complete dog I’ve ever owned. From temperament, loyalty, training, and protection for my family and mostly children, by far the most well rounded dogs. I’ve also only had one medical issue with all of my Pitties!!! 😁

  13. I had my pit from three weeks old. He’s never been in a fight, or bitten anyone. I’m gone 10 to 12 hrs a day, when I get home my dog is the same way as I left, truly the best dog I ever had.

  14. Khaos is the best Red Nose boy in the whole world. He is 12 years old now and has been right beside me through thick and thin. He has had many kitty cat brothers and sisters; Kozmo is his best friend. His instinct as a pup was to chase the cats but using crate training and treats succeeded in little to no time. He is very stubborn but very smart and nothing took very long to train. Consistency and firmness are key. You must use as much positive reinforcement as possible. Trying to control a grown, untrained Pit is a feat not to be taken lightly. It’s best to get that out of the way when they’re pups.

    I have never felt love for any being quite like I do for my Khaos. He is ALWAYS happy to see me and in his younger days he pranced so proud and handsome!

    He still wants to prance but he isn’t as flexible as he used to be. I have never seen a dog smile as big or as often as he does. He loves everything and expects everything loves him.

  15. Just got two 7 week old (boy and girl) red nose pitties. I have 3,4,7 and 10yr old kids running around the house. I will start the socialization classes once they’re at about 12 weeks. Do I really have to separate them, as some suggest, even after them receiving socialization classes?

    • It’s great that you are planning on attending socialization classes with your pups.

      Will any of the kids be able to attend with you? Whilst it’s essential to get the pups used to the world, the kids also need to know how to manage them.

      Let the kids get involved in their training, so they understand how the pups learn and how to ask them to behave. Dogs and kids don’t need to have separate wings of the house, they can co-habit, but they should always be supervised when together.

      If you can’t supervise for a moment, this is where baby gates or room barriers come in handy. Just pop the dogs in one room whilst you get sorted. Teach the kids about dog body language, so watch for signs the pups are getting stressed (kids can get a little rowdy with pups sometimes).

      Make sure the pups have their own dens or space where the kids won’t be allowed. The dogs will soon learn that if they just want some peace, they can pop off to their den (play pens or open crates are great).

      It also helps the kids understand that dogs have their own needs and to respect their space. Always let the dogs eat in peace and teach the kids not to take toys or food/chews off them. If you have any more questions about your pups, please feel free to ask.

  16. I currently have my first Pitbull, he is a SharPei Cross Red Nose Pitty. He is the most loving, loyal and caring dog I’ve ever had. I love him so much

  17. I have rescued 3 Pits, 2 of them Staffies and my current Red Nose. They have all been angels in disguise. Don’t think I would have any other breed. They are very strong walkers and mine takes me for a walk twice a day. As far as biting or being mean the worst mine have done is to nearly lick me to death. Very Loving Friends.

  18. I’m a owner of 4 rednose pitts. My rex is the oldest, he brought me so much love and joy. Then came my girl Sheeva, she a great snuggler and she had pups I kept 2 of her 6; a boy call boogie and a girl name altheena. They are all my babies, my grandsons love them and they give so much love to our family.

  19. I have a female red nose and she is my first pit. She’s my best friend and is now 6 yrs old. I pray she lives a very long life,for she will probably be my last as I am 70 now. I have had many a fur baby in my life, but this little girl has captured my entire soul – she’s the sweetest, most loyal and best friend I’ve ever had.💖

  20. We rescued a red nose (after reading this article and seeing pics I believe she is) almost a year ago in Jan. She is a sweetheart! Her temperament is very mellow with a lot of energy. She doesn’t seem to bark or jump up when the door bell rings or if we walk in from outside; she doesn’t bark much either.

  21. We adopted a red nose female pitbull from our local shelter. We LOVE her so much. So affectionate and loving. kisses and hugs we get from her, she is a sweet heart.

  22. It is so nice to see positive posts about any Pitts. My Frank is a red nose they made us put a sign in window saying “Warning Pittbull on property” at least they are not outlawed in my city. We have never been separated since 7 years, and he wont leave my side still. Best dog I have ever owned loyal loving obedient and takes to training easily.

  23. I owned several red nose Pitbulls – best dogs ever! Very smart, loyal and very affectionate. They were my best of friends. I have one now named Lil Bear and he is a big baby boy. Had him since the day he was born from a litter of 12 puppies, he just loves my grandson who is now 5 and Bear is 8.

  24. My red passed in march this year and she was the kindest, friendliest, loving creature on earth. We had 8 lovely years with her, anyone, actually everyone should get a pit, they are highly intelligent, loyal and loving!

  25. Had a chocolate red nose female she was 93lbs at her biggest. She lived 15 years she was stage three obedience trained. She was so smart she would use the bathroom on command.

  26. We have a our first pittie and she is a red nose. She has about 1/8 Sharpei in her as well. Her name is Carmelita Ginger A.K.A. “Cookie” Harrison. With the chocolate highlights blended into her beautiful rusty coat she is gorgeous. She is the happiest and sweetest dog. She ALWAYS greets us in the morning, or coming in the door or out of a room, with a gift (a toy of some sort) in her mouth, while also saying hello. We love her so much and recommend everyone have a Cookie in their lives!

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