Differences in Male & Female Pit Bull Terriers

Cuteness may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Pit bulls, also known as American pit bull terriers, are known to be loyal, enthusiastic, and eager to please. They are loving and intelligent companions for the family, but do require an owner who is willing to put in the time to properly train and socialize them, to avoid any aggression issues. When choosing a pit bull, there are some differences between males and female American pit bull terriers to consider.


Differences between male and female pit bulls generally concerns size and head shape.
Image Credit: jbouma09/iStock/Getty Images

Male pit bull temperament

Both male and female pit bulls are usually friendly and good with children. However, males — especially un-neutered males — are more likely to be aggressive toward other dogs than their female counterpart. If a male pit bull is aggressive, it is usually only toward other dog breeds. This behavior can normally be fixed by neutering and correct socialization. Male pit bulls rarely instigate a confrontation with another dog, but might react. Of course, sensitivity to other animals varies from dog to dog.


Video of the Day

The breed is rarely aggressive to people, but in cases of human aggression, the dog in question has most often been an un-neutered male. Neither female nor male pit bulls are aggressive by nature, and actually make poor guard dogs for this reason.

Neither female nor male pit bulls are aggressive by nature.
Image Credit: Mary Swift/iStock/GettyImages

Female American pit bull terrier size

Female pit bulls are usually smaller in both height, weight, and muscle mass than their male pit bull counterparts. However, females are often longer in the back than males. Males weigh between 35 and 60 pounds, whereas females weigh between 30 and 50 pounds.


In both sexes, the height of the dog is not important, rather pay attention to the proportion of weight to height. For instance, a heavier dog needs to be taller than a lighter one, otherwise it will look too chunky for its height, and it will not be considered a good specimen of the breed. However, if the breed standards of an American Staffordshire terrier aren't a concern, then height and weight of a pit bull become health issues only.


Male and female pit bull heads

The heads of male and female pit bulls differ from each other. In the show ring, a female with a male-looking head, or vice-versa, would not be considered a proper representation of the breed. The heads of females should be narrower, their eyes should be slightly further apart and the skin around their lips should be tighter than that of male pit bulls.


Although pit bulls have large heads, neither the male nor female should have an overly big head, in proportion to its body. Note that according to the American Kennel Club, in a show ring, a pure breed pit bull is called the American Staffordshire terrier.


Female pit bull behavior

The heads of females should be narrower.
Image Credit: Mary Swift/iStock/GettyImages

All female pit bulls included go into estrus — or heat — once every six months, which is when a female dog is able to breed. During estrus, your dog will be restless, urinate more frequently, and have red discharge coming from her vulva. However, if you have your female dog spayed, she will not go through this cycle. This female pit bull behavior is true of spayed and intact female dogs of any breed.


Female pit bull behavior is advantageous when it comes to training. They are generally easier to house train because they mature faster. A female pit bull matures by the age of two, but a male pit bull can take up to four years.

Male pit bulls have a tendency to "mark" in the home. This means they urinate on walls or furniture to establish their territory. If you neuter a dog, he will normally stop his marking behavior. Again, marking behavior is not exclusive to the pit bull breed.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...