The red nose Pitbull has a reputation for power, aggression and tenacity. Assumed to be bred from old family lines they are famed as guard dogs and adored for their protective natures. But the reality is that a lot of their traits line up perfectly with every other color of Pitbull. They are natural watchdogs with a bite method to be taken seriously, but with positive training and plenty of socialization they can still make great family pets.
What most people in the USA call a purebred Pitbull, can be registered under two separate names. The AKC (American Kennel Club) calls this breed the American Staffordshire terrier, and the UKC (United Kennel Club) calls it the American Pitbull Terrier.
Although they are two separate breed registrations, they both come from the same lines. So a dog could easily fit both breed standards. Both American Staffordshire terriers and American Pitbull terriers can be called Pitbulls.
Where Do They Come From?
‘Bully’ breeds often stem back to the days of bear baiting and other similar ‘sports’. While this tradition has almost completely died out, fights between dogs (though illegal) still continue underground.
This sturdy, powerful dog has a large chiseled head and a wide mouth. Pitbull noses come in a range of colors, most notably blue and red. The idea of the old family red nose Pitbull has had a large impact on the popularity of this particular variety. The theory goes that red nosed Pitbulls are more similar to the old family strain of the breed that was imported to the United States.
This old family strain originated in Ireland, where they were considered the best fighting dogs. This is used to justify the idea that American Pitbull terriers with red noses are closer to these origins, and somehow better. With this being said, red nose Pitbulls are not a breed in their own right. But are there any key differences between the red nose and blue nose varieties?
Old Family Pitbulls
The original old family Pitbull has reddish fur, but nowadays you can find a white red nosed Pitbull too. The reason for the old family red nose Pitbull strain’s popularity was its reported ‘gameness’, an attribute we’ll look at a bit later. The truth is that this red nose gene has been shown to occur in Pitbulls of all shapes and sizes. It’s been highlighted as a marker of genetics, but really doesn’t seem to have any effect. It’s likely that the red nose appears every so often because a dog may have a member of the old family red strain in it’s ancestry.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding old family red nose Pitbulls, perhaps deservedly. Unfortunately just because a Pitbull has a red nose does not make it necessarily any closer to this strain than another Pitbull.
Coat Color and Markings
Pitbulls come in quite a range of different colors, including black, white, brown and tri color. There are white red nosed pitbulls, but white pitbull terriers can also come with black or blue noses.
There are also various shades of brown Pitbull, including the commonly seen buckskin color, and various shades of fawn. Not every brown Pitbull puppy is a red nose pit. The American red nose Pitbull usually comes in a rich chestnut reddish brown color.
Pitbull coats can also have different markings. It can solid or self colored, or the color can be broken into patches, usually brown patches on a white background. Pitbull terriers also carry the gene for a brindle coat, where you have stripes of a darker color on a lighter background. The pitbull red nose is often accompanied by a solid red coat, but you can also get a red nose brindle Pitbull.
Are Red Nose Pitbulls Dangerous?
There is possibly no dog more controversial than the Pitbull Terrier. Responses to this dog range from admiration to outright fear! People may cross the street to avoid walking past one, or cross the street to ask if they can pet one.
Their use as fighting dogs and guard dogs has clearly colored the public view of all Pitbull Terriers, or dogs that look like them. But there are still many people that have a special place in their heart for this powerful companion. So how do we separate fact from myth? How can you be sure that the puppy you are about to bring into your home won’t become a danger to your family and friends? The fact is that many large dogs have the potential to be dangerous irrespective of breed.
Early experiences in puppy hood and adolescence have a profound influence on temperament. But it is also true that some breeds are more likely to react to provocation with aggression than others due to inherited temperament tendencies. And we need to consider that some dogs are more likely to cause harm if they do become aggressive due to the way that they bite, and the power of that bite.
Aggression vs Color
Pitbulls in general have taken a lot of flak from people for their temperament. It does seem though that this is not entirely well deserved. In a study on Pitbulls’ aggression toward people, they were far from the most likely breed to attack. They were however found to be much more likely than other breeds to attack other dogs.
This seems to make a lot of sense, as historically Pitbulls were bred to fight large animals and other dogs, not people. It’s important to point out in the face of widespread criticism that many Pitbulls live as family dogs with no issue. So what has got people so worried? And where did the reputation for danger come from? Well, it’s likely that the issue isn’t frequency of bites, but the nature of the bites that do occur. Not all dog bites are equal.
How a Pitbull Bites
Perhaps the most pertinent case against Pitbulls is not how often they bite, but the way that they bite. It’s not that red nose Pitbull dogs have the hardest bite of any canine. It’s that they exhibit a signature grip and shake style of biting, whereas most dogs’ instinct is to snap and retreat.
This tendency to grip hard and hang on, was bred into Pitbull Terriers to help them to take down animals larger than themselves in fighting pits. The end result of this biting style, coupled with the dog’s wide set mouth, is that the resulting injury is likely to be more serious than dogs with a nipping or snapping style of bite. A 2011 study of admissions to a level 1 trauma center as a result of dog attacks displayed this potential for harm very clearly.
Bite type vs bite frequency
The mortality rate for Pitbull attacks was 10%, where there was no mortality from attacks by other breeds. It’s very clear that, although Pitbulls relatively rarely attack people, when they do it can be a disaster.
The important thing to remember is that dogs become aggressive and ultimately bite because they are afraid. Raising a friendly confident dog helps to ensure that your pitbull is never put in a situation where he or she is afraid. The two keys are training and socialization
Modern Training Methods
Studies have shown that training and socialization help to reduce dogs’ fear of strangers. Training is important for any dog, but the way you train your Pitbull is important. Pitbulls are intelligent and capable dogs, but they are also tough.
The ability to shrug off intimidation and injury, known as gameness, is associated with their fighting past. And getting into a battle of wills with a Pitbull is a bad idea. It’s obvious why this attitude was encouraged in fighting dogs, but it may mean your work is cut out for you if you want to use punishment and discipline. Abandoned Pitbulls frequently end up in shelters simply because owners are not able to control them. And an old family red nose Pitbull may be a challenge for you if you use traditional training methods.
The secret is to use modern force free training methods that don’t put you and your dog into conflict. They use incentives and rewards, to help keep training something that the dog doesn’t just tolerate. He enjoys. It is a good idea to use these methods with a red nose Pitbull, if you want to get the best out of him. Engaging your dog in social situations from the start and training them with positive reinforcement methods only can help prevent aggression occurring.
The key to raising a happy, sociable red nose Pitbull puppy is extensive socialization. Help him to see the whole world as his best friend, by introducing him to a variety of experiences from the very day you bring your puppy home at 8 weeks. Make sure you have a range of visitors, of a range of backgrounds, both male and female. Every visitor should give the pup a treat, and some rewarding positive interaction.
Take your puppy to every possible location you might want to visit. Get strangers to pet your American red nose Pitbull and give him a treat if you can. Stand outside local school gates and get the kids to say hi your puppy. Carry him around busy stations and dog friendly shops, even before his second jabs and he is ready to be put on the ground. Make this your sole purpose until your pup is about 16 weeks old. Do something that involves strangers away from and inside your house every single day until this point. Then keep it up as a regular activity from then onwards. A confident dog is a safer dog.
Are Rose Nose Pitbulls Healthier?
Although clearly more physically sound than some other breeds, red nose Pitbulls are sadly not without their own health issues. Their signature stance may have an adverse effect on their joints. Coupled with their often heavy frames the actual positioning of their legs puts strain on their ligaments.
The cranial cruciate ligament is particularly affected, chronic damage to this ligament can cause hind leg lameness later in life. It is therefore important to make sure your red nose Pitbull does not become overweight, so as not to exacerbate this condition. Regular exercise and well balanced diet can both play a crucial role.
Pitbulls also seem to face issues with their eyes more than some other breeds. The likelihood that a Pitbull will suffer retinal degradation makes it seem likely that this is inherited from dog to dog. Issues with vision might make a dog more easily confused, and can certainly mess up a game of fetch.
Terriers in general are more likely to suffer from skin ailments. Pollen allergies in particular are a cause for concern. It doesn’t sound serious, but these allergies often present as dermatitis in dogs. Skin irritation can lead to secondary infections that if left untreated could have serious ramifications for your dogs health.
Diet can do a lot to minimize the harm caused by allergies. It doesn’t appear to be that there are any red nosed Pitbull specific ailments. But all of the conditions that affect Pitbulls in general may pose a risk to them.
Red Nose Pitbull Puppies
Most Pitbull breeders will occasionally have red nosed puppies, and some claim to be old family red nose Pitbull breeders. It’s important to restate that just because a Pitbull has a red nose does not mean it’s any more related to the old family strain than a Pitbull with a different color nose. For this reason red nose Pitbull price can be the same as any Pitbull.
Often the price of a red nose Pit depends on what they are intended for. Purpose bred protection dogs can sometimes reach six digits! There are some breeders who continue to breed dogs directly related to the old family strain and their credentials should be evaluated on a case by case basis. Due to the limited supply and rarity of these dogs they can be more expensive, but as with other Pitbull prices vary.
It’s really important to do some research into the reputation of the breeder you plan to use. Some Pitbulls are bred specifically for defense, and qualities like aggression may well be bred into them. Your best bet for a family pet may be with a dog bred for the show ring.
Breeding Healthy Dogs
Make sure you meet both parents and that they are both relaxed in your company. As with any closely bred pedigree dog, inherited diseases may be an issue.
Make sure your breeder will guarantee the health of your puppy, and take the puppy to your vet in the first day or two, for a clean bill of health. In the case of old family red nose Pitbulls this is even more pertinent.
Breeding from a smaller gene pool within a breed means inherited disease becomes all the more likely. Upstanding breeders will take measures against this and try and add some genetic variety to their dog’s lines. As with any sought after dog, there will always be breeders who sacrifice the health of their dogs for profit.