While there are several breeds that may be called pit bulls, there is only one American pit bull terrier. These dogs are sometimes referred to as red nose or blue nose pit bulls, but these are descriptions, not separate breeds. Compare your puppy to the breed standard and check the color of her nose to determine what type of pit bull you have.
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American pit bull terrier
Recognized by the United Kennel Club, the American pit bull terrier is a strong and powerful breed. A male pit bull will grow 18 to 21 inches tall and weigh 35 and 60 pounds. Females grow 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh 30 and 50 pounds.
Pit bull puppies have a square-shaped head. The head and muzzle are broad, and the dogs have a flat skull with ears set high on the head. The puppies have a low-set tail that tapers from a wide base. Pit bulls have a smooth, glossy coat that feels a bit stiff. Puppies may be any color except for merle and albino.
Some traits are disqualifying under the breed standard. Some of these include an overly big head, a short and blunt muzzle, bulging eyes, blue eyes, a thin or overly thick neck, and a long coat. Behavioral problems, such as extreme shyness or aggressiveness, are also disqualifying.
Blue nose vs. red nose pit bull
Red nose and black nose pit bull are terms that refer to the coloring of the dog. This is not a separate breed nor is it a rare trait within the breed. Examine your puppy's nose to determine what color it is. A blue, gray, or light black color indicates that you have a blue nose pit bull. Typically, these dogs will also have a blue-gray coat as well.
If your puppy has a red or reddish-brown nose, she is a red nose pit bull. These dogs typically have a red coat as well. There is a breeding line of pit bulls called Old Family Reds to which many red nose pit bulls can trace their ancestry. The red color is a recessive trait, so to get a red nose puppy, both parents must either be reds or carry a red gene to pass on to the pup.
Different pit bull breeds
American pit bull terriers are unfortunately one of the banned dog breeds, and there are some other breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club that may fall under this category as well. Regardless of color, these pit bull breeds are not referred to as red nose or blue nose pit bulls.
The American Staffordshire terrier has a similar appearance and size, but adults grow into heavier dogs. Male dogs grow 18 to 19 inches tall and weigh 55 and 70 pounds, and females grow 17 to 18 inches and weigh 40 and 55 pounds. They have a short, stiff coat that comes in any color except white. Liver and black and tan coloring is not preferred. This breed has a black nose.
The Staffordshire bull terrier grows into a smaller dog, measuring just 14 to 16 inches tall. Males weigh 28 to 38 pounds, and females weigh 24 to 34 pounds. They have a short, smooth coat that is black, blue, fawn, red, or white. White markings are accepted. These dogs have a black nose. A pink nose is considered a fault.