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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Red Nose Pitbull: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Red Nose Pitbull: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

american red nose pitbull dog

Red Nose Pitbulls are one of two major color variations in the American Pitbull Terrier breed. Red Nose Pitbulls have a more earthy red or brown coat, with a warm pink or red nose. The Blue Nose has a cooler, blueish coat, but both have the same loving, energetic, and affectionate personality.

Sadly, the Red Nose has gotten a bad reputation among some circles as being aggressive. Some places prohibit owning them altogether—more than 80 cities in Ohio, for example.

Breed Overview


17–22 inches


30–70 pounds


12–15 years


Copper, red, brown, rust

Suitable for:

Active, energetic families with children, people with access to a large outdoor space


Affectionate, devoted, gentle, playful, intelligent, outgoing

When it comes down to it, Red Nose Pitbulls are sweet, loving dogs if trained and socialized properly. We understand the curiosity about them, so if you think this might be the dog for you, keep reading to learn even more about their temperament, background, and needs.


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The Earliest Records of Red Nose Pitbull in History

The Red Nose Pitbull is a type of Pitbull Terrier, which was bred from now-extinct English Terriers and Bulldogs. Unfortunately, many Pitbulls were bred for blood sports like bear baiting and fighting. Their ancestors are thought to trace back to working and hunting breeds, but we can’t be sure.

They came to the US with Irish immigrants in the early 20th century, where they became popular family dogs. They were so friendly with kids that they were even sometimes dubbed “nanny dogs.” Sadly, some were used to fight, and those bloodlines are thought to be where a minority of aggressive Pitbulls come from.

a red nose pitbull puppy looking in the camera
Image Credit: A. Laengauer, Shutterstock

How Red Nose Pitbull Gained Popularity

The Red Nose Pitbull was popular with families when they first arrived in the US but declined over time. By the 80s, Pitbulls were often used to fight in underground dogfighting, and they got a bad rap for being aggressive. Some cities reacted by banning the dogs altogether, despite their loving, loyal nature.

Today, organizations like the American Pit Bull Foundation and BADRAP do a lot to spread awareness and combat misconceptions about Pitbull aggression everywhere. Their image has slowly been rehabilitated,1 2and Pitbulls are a popular family dog where legally allowed.

Formal Recognition of Red Nose Pitbull

The Red Nose Pitbull is a variation of the American Pitbull Terrier, which isn’t formally recognized by the AKC. However, organizations like the United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeders Association recognize the Red Nose Pitbull as an American Pitbull Terrier.3

Generally, the Pitbull isn’t recognized because they’re a mixed breed, but their association with unsavory dogfighting doesn’t help. Similar muscular dogs with large heads have been confused with actual American Pitbull Terriers, but they’re not at all the same breeds.

pit bull dog with red nose at rest
Image Credit: David Cohen 156, Shutterstock

Top 7 Unique Facts About Red Nose Pitbulls

  • Red Nose Pitbulls need lots of socialization and positive reinforcement to prevent undue aggression toward strangers.
  • Pitbulls aren’t usually considered trainable dogs, but they’re very bright and can quickly learn a number of simple commands and tricks.
  • Pitbulls have a much lower chance of being adopted in shelters than any other dog breed.
  • Due to their loyal, affectionate nature, Red Nose Pitbulls are a popular choice for service and therapy dogs.
  • The Red Nose Pitbull isn’t formally recognized by the AKC because they didn’t want to be associated with dog fighting.
  • The Pitbull was commonly featured on US Army recruitment posters for both World Wars.
  • Red Nose Pitbulls are sometimes used in law enforcement and the military as drug and bomb-sniffing dogs.

Do Red Nose Pitbulls Make a Good Pet?

Yes, with some caveats. Pitbulls are great with kids, but they’re best for older kids or teens who aren’t easily pushed around by their bulk. On top of that, they need lots of socialization and a vigilant eye to curb extreme jealousy or aggression. They’re a handful, but worth it.

With that said, we wouldn’t suggest a Red Nose Pitbull for a first-time dog owner simply because they’re a big, smart dog with a stubborn streak. They’re not as bright as some other big dogs, but Pitbulls do require some patience. They especially benefit from professional dog training, which specifically aims at minimizing aggression while teaching obedience and social skills.



Red Nose Pitbulls have a signature warm, reddish-brown coat with a lovable face and big personalities. They’re very loyal, affectionate, and playful with their family but guarded and sometimes jealous around strangers. Active families wanting a big bear of a dog and willing to put the work in to have a friend for life with Red Nose Pitbulls.

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Featured Image Credit: Maayan Kuperstein, Shutterstock

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