All about the Miniature Pitbull
What is a miniature pitbull? You might be imagining a tiny pitbull, and in your mind you are probably picturing a muscular Chihuahua sized dog, probably growling at you--as if someone stuck one of those fierce dogs in a shrinking machine. If you try to look up one of these little dogs, you find that the miniature pitbull is just about as real as the fantasy machine I just mentioned.
In fact, there is no such thing as “miniature pitbull.” Look it up with the American Kennel Club and you will find they recognize no such breed. If you dig a little deeper, you find that the dog we call the “pitbull” on this side of the Pond is what the Kennel Club calls the American Pitbull Terrier.
So what is a “miniature pitbull”? You can get a mini pitbull by either breeding a pitbull with a smaller breed or by selecting out the smaller examples of the Staffordshire—the English version of the pitbull. If you do the former, you will often get a dog that loses many of its pitbull traits and takes on the traits of the toy dog you used in the match. If you do the later, you get a dog that only really looks like a mini compared to the average pitbull.
Regardless of which you do, you will still get much of the temperament and health issues of the pitbull. Therefore, here is what you should know:
Pitbulls still bear the stigma of their origins as bear baiters. They have become far more domesticated over time, though you will still find many people who will look wearily at you and your pitbull, even in this smaller variety. Stories about pitbull aggression are widespread and with good reason. If you look at the statistics involving dog-related injuries and even deaths, the pitbull breed is usually at the top of the list. A pitbull is a very loyal dog and does wish to please its owner, however, and you can use this to your advantage in training him.
Pitbulls, however, can become very territorial if their owners do not properly raise them. Having a pitbull requires extra responsibility because of the breed’s aggressive tendencies. If you are looking for a low maintenance, medium sized breed of dog that you can take to the park every so often but not really worry about otherwise, you should get a lab. A pitbull requires a good deal of discipline and attention so that you can deal with their aggressive tendencies.
Neglected dogs may not only become a nuisance to you, but a danger to your local community and a possible avenue for lawsuits against you. For all these reasons many apartment buildings, parks, and communities have no-pitbull policies. Even in this smaller form, you should check with the management and with the local city hall to make sure your community is not one of those with an outright ban on pitbulls.
Pitbulls do have a tendency to see smaller animals as prey and to take very instinctually to prey behavior so it is probably not a good idea to have pitbulls with cats or smaller breeds of dogs. Children may also not mix so well with pitbulls for similar reasons.
Miniature pitbulls live for about a dozen years or so. They are prone, like many active and athletic breeds, to hip dysplasia. For the same reasons they will also develop knee problems at higher frequency than other dogs. In addition, they are more likely to have birth defects affecting the heart and hormonal problems.
They are a breed that requires a lot of activity or they will sometimes become overweight.
Despite these complicating factors, mini pitbulls are a great new type of dog with interesting prospects for the future that can make a great pet for the right kind of person.