9 Facts About Pocket Pitbulls (Miniature Pitbulls)
The Mini American Bully is becoming more and more popular.
More and more breeders are sprouting from the ground. Is it serious to suggest to future owners that there are no problems with this breed in the US?
“Are there really NO problems with this breed in USA? We try to find answers to these questions.
The Mini American Bully (Pocket Pitbulls)
The Mini American Bully finds its origin in America in the 90s.
Since 2004, the “breed” is domiciled in the A.B.K.C, the “Mini American Bully Kennel Club” and is selectively bred according to the information on their website since then.
As European counterpart the E.B.K.C was founded in 2008 (European Bully Kennel Club).
Both “breeding associations” understand themselves as such for all “bull-like” breeds.
The mentioned associations organize shows in America as well as in Europe (often in the Netherlands), where the Mini American Bully is shown, measured by the breed standard, judged and priced.
The breeding goal or “breed standard” is also clearly defined theoretically by the A.B.K.C.
The Mini American Bully is divided into four subspecies: Standard, Pocket, XL and Classic.
The individual subspecies differ in body size or, in some cases, in the expression of the required bulky build.
They are united by the striving for a massive, muscular appearance which should give the impression of great strength.
In addition to a large and massive head, the Mini American Bully places great value on a heavy bone structure and a brawny overall impression.
The character of the Mini American Bully should be friendly and gentle, with an exuberant willingness to please both children and strangers.
The breed is intended as a companion and family dog.
Any kind of aggression towards animals or humans is atypical, extremely undesirable and would lead to breeding exclusion.
The exact and detailed breed standard can be read on www.abkc.org.
Meanwhile the Mini American Bully is also led outside the A.B.K.C / E.B.K.C by the UKC (United Kennel Club) as an independent breed.
Among others, the Mini American Pit Bull Terrier and the Mini American Bulldog are defined and registered as such.
Origin of the Pocket Pitbulls
Both the UKC and the A.B.K.C. describe the ancestry of the Mini American Bully in the origin of the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier respectively.
This can hardly be denied by a neutral view of the “breed representatives” or only the optical requirements in terms of the “breed standard”.
Furthermore, other molossoid breeds have been crossed in.
The UKC, A.B.K.C. or E.B.K.C. have not defined in detail which of these breeds they were.
Upon request of some breeders, the Pocket Pitbulls and other bull-like breeds are named for the American Bully XL or the French Bulldog for the Pocket American Bullys.
Recognition of Pocket Pitbulls as an independent breed
In the US, at least in the legal sense, the VDH or the FCI is decisive for the recognition of an independent breed as such.
However, since this has not been the case so far, the Mini American Bully is and will always be a mixed breed/hybrid dog from a purely legal point of view.
Therefore pedigrees of the already listed and possibly further associations are not meaningful from a legal point of view.
Even if it lacks any logic in this respect, that e.g. in the US regulation about dogs with increased aggressiveness and dangerousness, numerous dog breeds are listed as such, which are also not recognized by the FCI and therefore VDH (e.g. the UKC recognized Pocket Pitbulls and American Pit Bull Terrier).
Legal problems in the USA associated with this
Due to the mixed breed characteristic with its characteristic appearance, keeping an Pocket Pitbulls in the USA will always be problematic and risky.
If the competent authorities require a breed certificate for such a dog, the breed must be certified by a veterinarian authorized by the government of the state of appointed and sworn building expert or a recognized person (who fulfills the professional requirements)
If the dog shows clear phenotypic characteristics of a Category 1, it can be classified in Category 1, e.g. as Pit Bull Terrier- or Staffordshire Terrier Mix.
According to the US regulation on dogs with increased aggressiveness and dangerousness, a justified interest is required for keeping these dogs.
However, this legitimate interest is almost never affirmed by the responsible authorities.
The consequence in this case would be the requirement of a timely delivery or an immediate seizure of the dog. The confiscated dog would then be taken to an animal shelter.
A switching in the USA is then factually not possible due to missing permission.
The dog can then only be placed outside the USA. Here there are further problems, we will deal with these in one of the next issues.
In general, potential buyers of Bullys from abroad should also be aware that the import of an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier or even a hybrid of these breeds to USA is a criminal offence.
How US “breeders” got their breeding animals from, for example, the United States, remains to be seen.
“Breeding of Pocket Pitbulls” in English speaking countries
At this point it should be mentioned that these are purely subjective perceptions of the authors.
Furthermore, the following listed, partly negative experiences definitely do not apply to all “breeders” of the Pocket Pitbulls.
The search for a responsible breeder, where the health and welfare of the animals is the main focus, is not always easy due to the immense number of offers, as with any other popular dog breed.
Furthermore there are unfortunately also many dubious breeders.
In social networks and on various “animal fairs” in the Internet daily new Pocket Pitbulls litters are advertised or announced.
The “breeding” or partly simply the reproduction of these dogs enjoys a growing popularity in this country.
This is probably influenced by the prices, which can be called for the animals.
The price range is normally between 2.000$ and 15.000$ depending on the mating / pedigree and color of the puppy.
However, especially internationally this price range is only roughly defined and completely open.
When visiting a European-wide very popular breeder in the Netherlands, for example, two males from the same litter were still available.
A black male with white markings which should cost 1.500$ and a completely blue male, which was declared with 10.000$ because of his coat color.
Somewhat crazy in this context seems the newest “fashion color” Merle in some Pocket Pitbulls.
Especially since this coloring is clearly declared as false color according to the guidelines of the A.B.K.C.
Often a lot of importance is attached to the presence of known “breed representatives” in the pedigree of a puppy.
Names such as BGK
s (Big Gemini Kennels) Cujo or DDK9
s (Dark Dynasty K9s) Hulk etc. in the “pedigree” apparently enhance the value of a puppy not insignificantly.
It is not uncommon that the Pocket Pitbulls is not on the “breed list” in any federal state and therefore is not an “attack dog”.
This is otherwise partly confirmed on explicit inquiry on the telephone or in written form likewise.
Whether one would like to consciously address and deceive lovers in some federal states of indexed breeds, is of course not to be assumed.
It is also noticeable that many “breeders” do not seem to attach great importance to health evaluations (e.g. HD-, ED-evaluation) of their breeding animals.
In a breed that is deliberately bred for a bulky and heavy appearance, this seems questionable.
Especially if you advertise with parent animals beyond the 60 kg body weight.
Interview with Nicole Dubiel from Alphadogs.eu: Alphadogs.eu
While writing this article, some questions came up, which we will answer to an experienced
Pocket Pitbulls breeders.
Mrs. Nicole Dubiel from Alphadogs.eu was kind enough to answer.
Mrs. Dubiel, in of the A.B.K.C and A.B.K.C are named only the American Staffordshire Terrier and/or the American Pit Bull Terrier as breeds involved in the origin of the Pocket Pitbulls. Which breeds were still involved to your knowledge?
Nicole Dubiel: The Pocket Pitbulls originated between the 80s and 90s in the USA, like many other dog breeds through crossbreeding.
Bulldog-like and other molossoid breeds were involved in its development.
The goal was and is a calm, balanced character packed in a healthy & imposing appearance. Mrs. Dubiel explains that this is only a sketch, because this topic is very complex and will be discussed in detail.
Frequently it is advertised with the fact that the Pocket Pitbulls is not included in any breed list and thus not affected by the regulations.
Which problems do you see with the keeping of an Pocket Pitbulls in federal states where the keeping of the above mentioned breeds and their crossbreeds is subject to authorization or even prohibited?
Nicole Dubiel: I see a problem in the fact that many Pocket Pitbulls owners in affected states are in conflict with the current legal situation and accept the threatening consequences, to the chagrin of the animals. Because already often it was to be read that Pocket Pitbulls were drawn in according to phenotypic estimation by the appropriate authority and then had to eke out their existence in the shelter.
Whether this phenotyping, which is often done by official veterinarians, makes sense or whether it would be better to have it done by a state-approved breed expert, for example, is something that needs to be reconsidered in my opinion for the sake of fairness.
Because as far as I know, veterinarians deal with physiology and diseases of animals. I would rather assign breed questions to members in breed dog breeding associations and recognized breed and achievement judges.
The fact that the Pocket Pitbulls is not covered by any breed list and thus is not affected by the regulations to that effect is a statement by which the ”seriousness” of a breeder can easily be recognized, if such a breeder advertises with it. Because no puppy house, no matter what breed, should not care about the future of their protégés.
The offer of Pocket Pitbulls or alleged Pocket Pitbulls puppies is increasing extremely. Which dangers result from it from your view?
Nicole Dubiel: The Pocket Pitbulls enjoys at the moment an enormous ”Hype” and not only in the positive sense. The high offer complicates also for prospective customers the search for a respectable kennel.
We find it important that potential puppy buyers obtain a personal impression, of the parents, if necessary further dogs and their behavior/ temperament, the dog attitude and nutrition locally.
Through an extensive examination of the subject of dogs, the future puppy/ dog owner should be able to ask the breeder concrete questions, which in turn provide information about the competence of the breeder.
I cannot reinvent the wheel, in this sense the art of a good breeder is to maintain the quality of the breed and to strengthen desired characteristics by selective breeding according to Mendel’s rules.
One of the dangers of the excessive supply of bullies is that this breed is brought into disrepute, by
- uncontrolled reproduction (disease, character/aggression, etc.)
- improper education of potential interested parties (character, attitude, etc.)
- misjudgment of the interested party regarding his expertise, the keeping of such a dog, because for some “breeders” the profit making has the highest priority
What is a Pocket Pitbulls? The differences of Pocket Pitbulls
American Staffordshire Terrier – Staffordshire Bullterrier – American Pitbull Terrier – Bullterrier
The term “Pitbull
The term “Pitbull” originates from the time when dog fights were fought with the Bull & Terrier of that time in the so-called “Pits”.
As pits were considered the then quite small cramping rings, in which dog fought against each other.
If you are interested in history, you can read up on the breed portraits of the American Staffordshire Terrier and American Pitbull Terrier.
At that time there was no clear distinction between the breeds: American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bullterrier and Bullterrier.
But all these breeds originated from the different crossbreeds of the Bull & Terrier of that time.
Meanwhile the term is used mainly in the USA and describes not a breed but a phenotype.
So in the USA all dogs are summarized, that is a kind of dog that is descended from Bulldogs and Terriers They are muscularly built and have a broad skull with pronounced jaw muscles.
And this is where the problem starts, because quite a lot of breeds are muscularly built and have a broad skull with pronounced jaw muscles.
Spontaneously you can think of quite a lot of breeds, independent of the four mentioned above.
Pocket Pitbulls, Dogo Argentino, American Bulldog, Rottweiler and and and.
The list is long, but for the Americans these are all pitbulls.
The term was taken over in the other-speaking countries with the time and so many breeds are considered as “Pitbulls” today.
The confusion is big
The term “Pitbull” now only describes a phenotype or a type of dog.
Since almost all dog owners hold in their opinion a “Pitbull”, it comes more and more to the confusion and thus nobody knows anymore what a “Pitbull” is, what an “American Pitbull Terrier” is or what an “XL Pitbull” should be.
It becomes completely confusing when the BILD newspaper posts an article about a Rottweiler and writes “Pitbull bites child” on the front page.
So in the media every possible breed is pushed under “Pitbull”. Every dangerous dog is a “Pitbull” according to the media.
The term has been used very often and yet we do not know what a “Pitbull” is.
Especially difficult is the fact that most people in the US do not know exactly what a real American Pitbull Terrier looks like.
Why? Because the American Pitbull Terrier is not allowed to be imported to the USA and so only about 5% of real American Pitbull Terriers walk around.
Everything else are mixes, American Staffordshire Terrier or other breeds.
Why this is a problem
Basically it is not bad, if dog breeds are summarized under one species or a collective term.
It is similar for example with the shepherd dogs. There are umpteen different shepherd dogs: the German shepherd dog, the Swiss shepherd dog, the Belgian shepherd dog etc.
It becomes problematic, however, if the term “Pitbull” is associated with negative headlines.
The media report about it again and again and there the term “Pitbull” simply sells much better than if one would call the right breed.
For example, since many readers do not know what a Staffordshire Bullterrier is or what it looks like, a headline with “Staffordshire Bullterrier bites child” sounds less memorable and interesting than “Pitbull bites child”.
Every reader immediately has a picture of a beast in his head.
So the collective term “Pitbull” essentially contributes to the fact that the American Pitbull Terrier and the other similar breeds are very much discredited.
This stigmatization makes it more and more difficult for dog owners of the breeds that fall under the collective term “Pitbull” to fight against the prejudices.
In this case, a collective term is therefore rather harmful for the reputation of these breeds, than really helpful or giving sense.
Every serious lover of these breeds and everyone who wants to fight for a better reputation of these dogs should urgently learn the exact differences.
This way we can prevent that all these breeds are thrown into one pot and thus continue to be dragged through the mud.
One should always remember that if the breeds are listed separately under bite statistics, incidents and other reports, the numbers of such negative incidents would be much lower.
The bull-like terriers and bullys
We would now like to shed some light on this and show you the differences between the breeds, which are usually grouped together as “Pitbull”.
On the one hand we distinguish between the bull-like terriers, which originate from the Bull & Terrier like: American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bullterrier and Bullterrier.
But all these breeds originate from the different crossbreeds of the Bull & Terrier of that time.
The four breeds were mixed out of the old type Bulldog with some Terriers and so after careful selection the breeds as we know them today were born.
The Bull Terrier
The bull terrier is the easiest to distinguish from the bull-like terriers.
Surprisingly, most non-specialists think that the Bullterrier is a “Pitbull”.
If we say, for example, that we have a Pitbull, the objection comes directly: “The white ones with this funny nose? But optically it looks least like the American Pitbull Terrier.
The rounded snout is particularly striking for him and they are therefore often affectionately called “banana nose”. Meanwhile there is a miniature form of the Bullterrier, the Miniature Bullterrier.
In contrast to the Bullterrier, the Miniature Bullterrier is not on a discriminating breed list as long as the height at the withers does not exceed 35,5 cm.
The Staffordshire Bullterrier
The Staffordshire Bullterrier is relatively small with maximum 40,5 cm of withers-height.
To learn more about the Staffordshire Bullterrier, read our breed portrait.
He has a round-square skull (almost heart-shaped), which makes her head look very sweet.
In contrast to the other three bull-like terriers his muzzle is shorter.
The American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier is the largest of the four bull-like terriers.
He has a broad skull and is the heaviest. The build is stable, broad and solid, yet sporty.
He looks most similar to the American Pitbull Terrier.
However, the American Staffordshire Terrier is wider, larger and less agile than the American Pitbull Terrier.
This is quite logical, because the American Staffordshire Terrier have exactly the same origin and were one and the same breed for a long time.
Only around 1900 the desire for a showline grew. The breeders did not agree and so it came with a part of the breeders to the today’s American Staffordshire Terrier.
He was first registered by the AKC in 1936. Visually, the American Staffordshire Terrier became bigger and sturdier than its counterpart – the American Pitbull Terrier.
Until today they can not be distinguished genotypically.
Even phenotypically it takes some practice to recognize the difference directly.
Once you get the hang of it, you won’t mix it up again.
The American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier is the real “Pitbull”. In contrast to the three breeds mentioned above, he is a very agile, wiry and dainty dog.
With an American Pitbull Terrier, the brawny one comes out only very little.
American Pitbull Terriers from the breeding association UKC look very similar to the American Staffordhsire Terrier.
In the breeding history many American Staffordshire Terriers were bred in.
But if you look at the American Pitbull Terrier from the ADBA, you can see the clear difference between the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier.
He is a real Terrier through and through and therefore as an athlete he is much narrower than the American Staffordshire Terrier.
The American Bully
As an extension of the American Pitbull Terrier, the American Bully was recognized as a separate breed at the UKC in 2013.
Nowadays there is still a dispute about whether the American Bully is a real breed or not.
However, it is a fact that it has little in common with its origin, the American Pitbull Terrier.
Some Molossians were crossed with the American Pitbull Terrier.
The result is a breed that is brawny and does not resemble the character of the American Pitbull Terrier any more.
The American Bully exists in all possible forms and standards.
This makes this breed very confusing. The American Bully (no matter in which form) is very conspicuous especially because of its mass.
Most American Bullys start at a weight of 30kg.
There is no terrier in him in terms of character. In his character he is therefore much slower compared to the bull-like terriers.
Attention! The confusion of names with the American Bulldog is very big here, but they are two very different breeds.
Once learned, never forgotten
If you take a close look at the breeds and deal with them, you will quickly recognize the differences.
So as soon as you get the hang of it, you will recognize it immediately in the future.
By the way: Don’t be influenced by the Google pictures, they often show a lot, but not the right breed.
If you want to be sure, check out the breed standards of the respective associations.