When the Pit bull breed is mentioned, most individuals who know little about them immediately conjure up negative descriptions about the misunderstood breed. However, those who have experience with Pit Bulls understand that the breed is extremely loyal and highly protective of their family. Pit Bulls do “get a bad rap,” so let’s take a look at why the misinformation around the breed fosters these ideas.
Pit Bull History
Pit bulls aren’t truly a breed. This blanket term is used to describe the different types of Pit Bulls including the American Pitbull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. You have individuals who will say all of these breeds are one and the same; there are just as many who will argue against that idea. Likely, the confusion started in 1930 when the American Kennel Club gave the name American Staffordshire Terrier to what was originally called the Staffordshire Bull Terrier . In truth, the Staffordshire Terrier is slightly smaller than the Pit Bull, and the AKC does not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier as a breed.
The AKC gave a name to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier because the organization wanted to separate the Bull Terrier from those associated with “pit” fighting dogs. However, this is no fault of the dog, but the responsibility of the owners of those dogs. These dogs gained a reputation for fierceness through no fault of their own; rather, these dogs’ own natural instincts as herding and guard dogs were exploited by the very people the dogs trusted the most.
The first bull terrier dogs were brought to America by people who had used them on the farm. They assisted in hunting wild game (even today, pit bulls are utilized when working to trap feral hogs); they were excellent guard dogs as well. It is important to know that these dogs were bred to be extremely loyal to their handlers and their family. However, over time, some people decided to use them to fight bulls and bears, a practice that wasn’t outlawed until the late 1800s. After that, dog fighting became a method of entertainment to replace the bull and bear-baiting, and that’s when people began to misuse the pit bull.
Pit Bull Physical Characteristics
The pit bull is typically eighteen to nineteen inches in height and weighs between thirty and eighty-five pounds.
The red nose pitbull is often slightly larger than a typical pit bull. They are described as agile, athletic, and stocky. The neck and chest are quite muscular, and the jaws of the red nose pitbull are extremely strong and powerful.
The red nose pitbull usually has a red, copper, or reddish-brown color coat; their eyes are usually amber in color. Some will have the white or cream color mixed like splotches in their fur. Of course, their nose is usually pink, reddish, or even copper-colored. This may also appear in the lips and nails of the dog.
It’s important to remember that today, there are few true Red Nose pit bulls with the true Old Family Red Nose Strain. This is already a recessive trait that must be present in both parents; red nose pitbull breeders have now tried so hard to perpetuate the red nose appearance that the gene has actually been diluted. A pit with a copper or red coat does not necessarily mean that you have a true Red Nose pitbull.
Pit Bull Personality
Contrary to anecdotal evidence, the Pit Bull can be a very loving dog that was once nicknamed “the nanny dog” because parents could trust the dog to carefully watch over a child. The pit bull is highly aware of its surroundings, even more so than other dog breeds. When it comes to their “pack” (family), they will stop at nothing to protect them.
Many pit bulls not only let you know there are strangers (to them) present on the property (by the way, pit bulls are very territorial), but they will watch any interactions between you and said strangers. Surprisingly, once the pit bull has determined the strangers mean their pack no harm, the pit bull will relax (even though he’s likely still watching carefully).
Pit bulls actually do love people, even though they have a reputation that seems the opposite. The most important thing is to socialize a dog, any dog, from a very young age so that they understand how to interact with strangers. More on that later.
It is important to remember that red nose pitbulls may look very intimidating due to their muscular build and the size and shape of their heads, but they are not aggressive by nature. The early socialization we mentioned will encourage your dog to be more accepting of strangers; however, this is not a dog for people who won’t spend much time with them. This can backfire on the owners, and this is when one might see the Red Nose become uncharacteristically violent.
Physical Needs of the Red Nose PitBull
Again, if an owner doesn’t take time to not only socialize the Red Nose when she’s a baby, the breed definitely isn’t “the one” for that person. Second, red nose pitbulls need a certain amount of physical activity daily in order to be a happy, healthy dog.
The Red Nose pit needs more than an hour each day of physical activity. These strong dogs love to go for walks, play in the water, and play fetch. However, one game that they absolutely love is playing tug of war. Now, it is highly important that you play this game in such a manner that the Pittie doesn’t become aggressive with his human. Allow your Red Nose to “win” tug of war every once in a while, but never allow the Pittie playing tug of war to become too aggressive during this playtime. When he is young, teach him how to play this game acceptably. Teach your Pittie the “leave it” command so that if she ever gets a little too enthusiastic about the game, you can stop.
It’s also a good idea to give the Pittie some “intelligent” toys that will occupy their minds. Food puzzle toys will keep the dog actively playing and burning off some of that boundless energy. It’s also a good idea to invest in chew toys to keep the Red Nose pit from becoming bored and chewing on more valuable things.
It’s also a good idea to give the Red Nose both indoor and outdoor playtime. Pitties love the idea of a kiddie pool that allows them to splash around in the water; however, if you have a bigger pool, don’t be surprised if your Red Nose ends up taking a swim there! You can also set up an obstacle course outdoors for your Pit. As we mentioned previously, Pits love to play tug of war, and you can set up a PVC pipe in the ground with a tetherball or a durable chew toy that will allow them to play as rambunctiously as they wish. If your Red Nose enjoys fetching, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t drag a huge tree limb up for a game! Keep rope toys that he can fetch; you may have to do a “bait and switch” from time to time.
A tired Pit is a dog who is ready to curl up and rest; she’s less destructive (chewing, etc.), and she is overall much healthier. Pits that do not get enough exercise may gain weight and develop other health problems.
Socialization of the Red Nose PitBull
The pit is a breed that must receive socialization training from the time you bring the puppy home. You’ll want to expose the puppy repeatedly to new people—young people, older people, etc.—plus you want to expose her to a variety of situations that she might encounter as she grows older. Once the red nose pitbull puppy shots are complete, take them out for walks around other dogs. Give them the opportunity to be around cats (pits have a bad reputation for interacting with cats, but socialization can help them to learn to accept kitties as a member of the pack).
It is important to expose the Red Nose to children from a young age. Unfortunately, the pit is a breed that tends to “pick” a person as their favorite. This doesn’t mean the Pittie won’t accept other family members, but they tend to bond with one person. If there is the possibility your Red Nose will be around children from time to time, expose them to kids from a young age. Allow them to be around children who play boisterously; do the same with more reserved kids, too. Do this as much as possible between eight weeks and six months of age—this is the “prime” time for socializing a dog, no matter the breed.
Take your Pittie puppy for walks in different places—in a quiet park, on a busy city street, out in the country, etc. You want him to become accustomed to different sights and sounds.
It is also imperative that you expose the Red Nose to other dog breeds.
1. Are red nose pitbulls more aggressive?
Not at all! They are more muscular and slightly larger than other pit bull breeds, but this has nothing to do with the dog’s personality.
It is important to socialize the Red Nose from an early age. The “window” for prime socialization opportunities is between eight weeks and four months of age, so it’s best to begin exposing your Pittie puppy to different sights, sounds, and people almost immediately.
Red Nose pits, just like any other pet, are actually fiercely loyal. They are very good with children; however, they should be socialized with the child. Pitties that grow up with a child in the home may be more protective of the child than other family members.
2. Is a red nose pitbull a purebred?
No. You may have some breeders who will try to market a red nose pit as a “rarity” or a purebred dog or even a different type of pit bull. The only thing that is true about that statement is that a true, Old Family strain of Red Nose pits is a rare gene. Both parents must have this recessive gene for the puppies to be Red Nose. Plus, the Old Family strain is one that has almost been diminished because of breeding practices.
To be honest, you won’t truly know you have a Red Nose pit unless you have genetic work done to prove the genes of the dog. Many American Pit Bull Terriers may have the amber eyes or the reddish coat of a Red Nose, but they may not genetically be from the Old Family Strain of the Red Nose pit variation.
Keep in mind they are not a different breed of pit bull. Unscrupulous breeders will try to use these physical traits to drive up the price of the puppy.
3. Are red nose pitbulls good family dogs?
With proper socialization, the red nose or any pit bull is a wonderful family pet. They are actually very loving and protective dogs. It is also important to provide enough exercise for pit bulls so that they don’t chew or engage in other destructive behavior.
4. What’s the difference between a red and blue nose pitbull?
The Red Nose pittie has amber eyes, red or copper fur and lips, and a larger head and chest than some other pit variations.
The blue nose pitbull has gray fur that may also have a hint of blue in the coat.