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Pocket Pitbull

Nicole Cosgrove

pocket pitbull

The Pocket Pitbull is a mixed dog the result of breeding a Patterdale Terrier with an American Pit Bull Terrior. He is a medium-sized dog who has talents in hunting and guarding. He has a life span of 11 to 13 years and is also known as a Pitterdale, Pocket Pit, or Pocketpit. He is a territorial, loving, and protective dog who is perfect for people who love the look, temperament, and style of the purebred pitbull but want a smaller version!
Here is the Pocket Pitbull at a Glance
Average height 12 to 16 inches
Average weight 35 to 60 pounds but can be smaller
Coat type Shiny, short, smooth, thick
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Moderate
Brushing Twice a week
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Good
Tolerance to Cold Moderate
Good Family Pet? Good to very good with socialization
Good with Children? Very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Moderate with socialization – does not do well with same-sex dogs
Good with other Pets? Prey driven so moderate to good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Fairly high
A Good Apartment Dweller? Good – can adapt with enough activity
Good Pet for new Owner? Moderate – best with people with experience
Trainability Moderate – need to firmly establish as pack leader
Exercise Needs Very active
Tendency to get Fat Average
Major Health Concerns Hypothyroidism, Heart disease,
Other Health Concerns Joint dysplasia, allergies, eye problems
Life Span 11 to 13 years
Average new Puppy Price $500 to $3000
Average Annual Medical Expense $475 to $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $510 to $600

Where does the Pocket Pitbull come from?

The Pocket Pitbull is a designer dog. Designer dogs are the deliberate mix of usually two purebreds to create a mixed breed. Many are given names that are a blend of the two parents, some have intent to them and a lot do not, the latter being created in large numbers to appeal to the trend and make money for disreputable breeders and puppy mills. The Pocket Pitbull is created using the Pit Bull with another smaller dog. So in some cases, you may find some so-called Pocket Pitbulls that use a different dog to a Patterdale. Most breeders opt for this dog as the second parent though because usually the Pit Bull features and traits dominate so you get what most people want, a smaller-sized pit bull. Prices for designer dogs such as these can vary widely and it is important to research to get a good breeder. Here is a quick outline of the two parents so we can see what is going into the Pocket Pitbull.

The American Pit Bull Terrier

In England, up until 1835, a popular spectator sport was bear and bull baiting. Dogs were bred and used to bait these animals and then later became dogfighters when that was banned. This meant they were bred to be aggressive, courageous, tenacious. But they were also bred to never bite their handlers so that the humans involved did not have to worry about being attacked. When they were brought to America they were used on farms to hunt game and to guard the property. They were bred to be larger too. Breeders also focused on developing a dog who remained strong and courageous but was also family-friendly and gentle.

Today we see their success. The dog when he comes from a good breeder is confident, alert, friendly, courageous, and very loyal and affectionate. This dog too would happily try to be a lap dog despite his size. He will protect you and his family if something is putting them at risk.

The Patterdale Terrier

The Patterdale Terrier is not a common dog. He was developed in England to hunt rabbits, rats, and aid in fox hunting by a breeder called Joe Bowman. Various Northern terriers were used in his breeding around the Lake District area. He came to the US in 1978 but is more prevalent in northern England still than in the US. Those in the US are used to hunt badgers, groundhogs, and raccoons as well as fox still. His name comes from a village in Cumbria and he is very much a working dog bred for skills, not looks.

He is a laid-back dog, small but still very able. He is not yappy and you can often find him curled up in the warmest part of the house when it is nap time. He is determined and a good watchdog. He is fierce and is meant to still be more a working dog than just a companion dog. He is hard to train though and needs very firm leadership otherwise being so string willed he will develop small dog syndrome. He also does not get on well with other pets.


Key to the temperament of this dog is what the parents are like and early socialization and training. A well-bred and well raised Pocket Pitbull is a loving and loyal dog. He is smart, protective, brave, and loveable. He is affectionate and playful, eager to please but very territorial about his home and his people. He can be aggressive towards other dogs and that socialization and training will help control that. He is wary of strangers but not aggressive towards them unless they are a genuine threat. He needs to be kept engaged with enough physical and mental activities or he can become disruptive. Well-trained and socialized pit bulls of any kind are not aggressive to people and do not need to be feared, in fact, they can be extremely gentle and loving family pets.

What does the Pocket Pitbull look like

The Pocket Pitbull is a medium-sized dog – sometimes bordering large, weighing 35 to 60 pounds and standing 12 to 17 inches tall. He should resemble a Pitbull in appearance, but just be smaller! While he may be called a Pocket Pitbull he is not a truly pocket-sized dog, it just indicates that he is smaller than the purebred. Remember also that appearance may vary depending on what other purebred is used in the mix. Based on the Patterdale Terrier he is well proportioned, muscular, and lean, has a wide set jaw, almond-shaped eyes, ears that can look like either parent, and a scissor bite. His coat is shiny, short, smooth, and thick. Colors common to the Pocket Pitbull are cream, black, gray, white, and brown.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Pocket Pitbull need to be?

He needs to be kept active with plenty of physical and mental exercise each day. Things like trips to the dog park are a great idea as long as he is well socialized with other dogs. Playing the usual dog games like tug of war, fetch, and taking him for brisk walks or runs with you are also good. He needs owners who are physically active themselves so that fitting his exercise in along with theirs is not something they struggle with or begrudge. Access to a yard is handy to give him somewhere else he can play and burn off some energy and make sure some games or toys are mentally challenging too. He can adapt to apartment living with no yard as long as he gets out a couple of times a day.

Does he train quickly?

Training is moderately easy, he is smart and eager to please but he is also stubborn and independent. He also needs an owner with experience in training as it takes a very firm but still fair hand to make it clear who is the boss. If he becomes willful or is not responding to positive methods like reward and praise seek professional help. Early socialization and training for this breed are very important to control the aggression and poor behavior.

Living with a Pocket Pitbull

How much grooming is needed?

His coat is easy to brush and needs less brushing to keep it looking healthy than many other dogs. His sheds moderately should be brushed a couple of times a week. He will need to be bathed just when he needs it using a dog shampoo. His ears should be checked and wiped once a week. Cleaning does not mean inserting anything into them. Use a dog ear cleaner with a cotton ball or cloth, or just dampen them with water. Clip his nails when they get too long being careful not to cut too low or it will cause bleeding and pain. His teeth will need brushing two to three times a week at least.

What is he like with children and other animals?

As mentioned with socialization and training he is great with children, gentle, affectionate, and playful. Make sure they are taught how to play nicely with dogs and when to back off when they are had enough! Younger children should be supervised in case the play gets too rough and tumble for them. He is less accepting of other dogs especially ones of his own sex and he has a strong prey drive that socialization and being raised with other pets can help tamper.

General information

He is a good watchdog and will bark to alert intruders and act to protect should it be needed. He is otherwise an occasional barker. He needs to be fed at least 2 1/2 to 3 cups of dry dog food each day. That amount should be split between at least two meals and the food should be of good quality.

Health Concerns

To get a puppy of good health and one who is more likely to grow into a healthy adult you should buy from a trustworthy breeder. Ask to see parents as well as puppy health clearances. There is a chance he can be prone to the same health issues that his parents are which would include Hypothyroidism, Heart disease, joint dysplasia, allergies, and eye problems.

Costs involved in owning a Pocket Pitbull

The Pocket Pitbull puppy will cost between $500 to $3000. He is a new mixed breed and the Pitbull is a very popular dog so the chance at getting a smaller version appeals to a lot of people. The price range goes so high because there is a lot of demand for them but not as much supply. Initial basic costs you may need to prepare for too fall between $450 to $500 which would be for things like a collar and leash, a crate, blood tests, deworming, microchipping, and neutering. Yearly costs for basic medical things like vaccinations, flea prevention, check-ups, and pet insurance come from $475 to $600. Yearly costs for basics that are non-medical in nature like training, treats, license, toys, and food are $510 to $600.


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The Pocket Pitbull is a sweet, protective dog with a big heart but needs to be taken into the right family. He needs owners who know how to train and socialize him, can give him the physical and mental challenge he needs, and are prepared for everything else that comes with him. He is also just as deserving as any dog to be loved and added to your family.

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Featured Image Credit: casso, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.