Differences in Male & Female Pit Bull Terriers

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 females to consider.

White Pitbull Terrier running in the grass
x
credit: jbouma09/iStock/Getty Images

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 male pit bulls are aggressive, it is usually only toward other dog breeds, and can normally be fixed by neutering. 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.

Size

Female pit bulls are usually smaller in both height, weight and muscle mass than their male counterparts. However, females are often longer in the back than males. Males weigh between 35 and 60 lbs, whereas females tend weigh between 30 and 50 lbs. In both sexes, the height of the dog is not important, rather the proportion of weight to height. So, a heavier dog needs to be taller than a lighter one, otherwise it will look too chunky for its height, or it will not be considered a good specimen of the breed.

Bone Structure

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.

Estrus and Marking Behavior

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. 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.