Breeds Category IconBreeds

Red Nose Pitbull: Facts, Puppy Prices & Temperament

Thinking of welcoming a Red Nose Pitbull into your home? Read on to find out what you can expect when it comes to temperament, nutrition, puppy prices & more!

Last Updated: July 20, 2020 | 14 min read

Red Nose Pit Bull Terrier

The Red Nose Pitbull is sometimes referred to as a breed in its own right. But, it’s actually just a red-coated, red nose variety of the American Pitbull Terrier (APBT).   American Pitbull Terriers come in a range of different colors. Those with a blue or a red nose are often specifically referred to as such.

The Red Nose Pitbull is often one of the more sought after coloring of the breed. This is due to their beautiful coloring.  Their prices can typically be a little higher as a result. This is especially true for dogs coming from champion lines that have been bred for many years.

First, we will take a look at some facts and history about the APBT. Next, we will examine specifics around the Red Nose, including the most commonly asked questions about the breed color variant.

APBT History

Red Nose Pitbull Standing on Rocks
The APBT (and the red nose pitbull) have an interesting breed history.

The American Pitbull Terrier has its roots in 19th century England.  Here the powerful, muscular bully breeds were often developed to keep unruly bull and livestock under control.  In those days, bull baiting was a cruel bloodsport that these dogs were often bred to take part in.

Bull baiting was banned by the middle of the 19th century. Unfortunately, dog fighting then became a popular, albeit, illegal betting sport, and because the law was more difficult to enforce it flourished.  The bully breeds continued to be developed to harness their fighting strength and aggressive nature towards other dogs.

It is believed that during this time the American Pitbull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier were considered the same breed.

In the 1930s, it is said that the American Kennel Club wanted to distance the dogs from their fighting reputation. They wanted to develop their strengths as a companion animal.  At this point, the Staffordshire Terrier was given official AKC status, but the American Pitbull Terrier was not.  The ‘Staffie’ then became known as the American Staffordshire Terrier by the AKC in 1972. At that time, the breed standard became much more specific.

The American Pitbull Terrier has never been recognized as an official breed by the AKC. It is, however, recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the Continental Kennel Club (CKC).

Red Nose History

The Red Nose Pitbull is sometimes referred to as the ‘Old Family Red Nose’ variety of the APBT.  This relates to a particular line that came from Ireland in the late 19th century. They are known for their unique color and also their game and eager spirit.

Because of this line’s popularity and their breeding with other lines, it does mean that not all Red Nose Pitbulls are part of this strain now. But there are still breeding enthusiasts that work to preserve this specific line.

ABPT Reputation

Red Nose Pitbull Reputation
The Pitbull Terrier (including the red nose Pitbull) have gotten a bad reputation over the years.

Many people think that a Pitbull is a specific breed all of its own. It’s actually a term that is often used for several different types of bull breeds.  The American Pitbull Terrier (APBT) and sometimes even the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier are often all lumped into the same category. In reality, they are all entirely separate breeds of dogs.  They are sometimes also referred to as ‘Bully’ breeds and can include Bulldogs and English Bull Terriers.

The term ‘Pitbull’ is one that, in recent decades, has begun to conjure up images of vicious, aggressive dogs. Because of this fear, many people believe do not deserve a loving family home. This is a tragedy given that much of the reputation they have garnered is unfair.  

Because the American Pitbull Terrier, due to its powerful physique, historical breeding and jaws, has been favored by those that encourage dogfighting and those that want to own a powerful status symbol dog, they often end up in the wrong hands with irresponsible owners that have helped to give the breed a bad name.

Red Nose Reputation

The Red Nose Pitbull is the second most rare color combination available. The only more rare colors are white and merle Pitbulls.  They were originally bred specifically due to their feisty attitudes. This means that they were commonly bred as fighting dogs when they were originally created. Typically blue Pitbulls are extremely well sought after, as are the red nose.

Because this recessive gene persists, they are also more expensive than other color variants. This is especially true if they are from a reputable breeder.  There are many other different types of Pitbulls, with many different color variations, and those are usually viewed in the pitbull community as being more docile.

Identifying a Red Nose

Red Nose Pitbull Looking At Surroundings
Red nose Pitbulls can be identified by their red coat and copper nose.

A true red nose pitbull will have a full-on red coat, with a matching coppery colored nose.  They will also have red or amber eyes, making a striking color combination. This makes them easily identifiable from other color variants.

Some white is permissible in the red coat, but usually speaking the less white, the better.  They are distinctly different from the blue nose pitbull in appearance. Comparisons are often made between the two. APBTs can get mistaken for other breeds, but usually not so much with the red nose.

Red Nose Size, Weight & Color

The Red Nose Pitbull, like other APBTs, can vary a fair bit in size. This depends on their breeding lines and sex.  They are typically classed as a medium-sized dog, usually weighing anything from around 30 to 60 pounds. But these pups are also are densely muscular.  They don’t tend to grow much over 20 inches to the withers.

They always have a red nose, red (rather than black) nails, and a red coat too (although they may sometimes have flashes of white on their big or socks).  While the white color is permissible, more often than not, people buying red nose pitbull puppies usually want pups that have less traces of white.

Personality

Personality Traits and Temperment
The Red Nose Pitbull has plenty of personality.

It is always important to recognize that every dog is an individual.   Of course, the early and ongoing socialization and training that the dog receives are also vitally important in helping to shape their temperament.  That being said, there can be certain traits that are commonly seen across a particular breed.

The traits detailed below relate to all APBTs; the Red Nose variety does not have any specific characteristics all of their own. The breed is often associated with being extremely devoted to their family.  They are known for being very loving and sociable with their people, and they enjoy being showered with affection and attention.

They are also a very energetic breed that loves to play and be active. Their natural curiosity can mean they are very adaptable, enjoying to go on adventures with their family. Because of their breeding history, they can have a high prey drive. This means that they can tend to chase small furries.

Depending on their upbringing and their genetic lines, some Red Nose Pitbulls may be reactive towards other dogs. Sometimes they may be better suited to being an only dog. Or, they will need very careful introductions living with well-suited other doggy family members.

If you are expecting a guard dog, given their reputation, you may be in for a surprise.  They are a very alert and courageous breed. They will likely defend their family ferociously if they felt they were under threat.  That being said, their general love for humans means that they often are more likely to greet approaching visitors to your home with a waggy tail and a lick of the face!

As Family Pets

Great Family Pets
Red Nose Pitbulls can make great family pets!

The Red Nose Pitbull, and any other APBT for that matter, can make a wonderful family pet. They usually adore their families, including children.  They are not always the right dog for a novice dog owner though.  Their sheer strength is something that you need to consider.  If you are managing problem or unwanted behaviors, then having the skills to implement training plans with confidence will be important.

It is also important to consider the potential that any pup can be dog aggressive. This can be more common with Pitbulls in general as how they were bred over time.  As mentioned before, many APBTs are very placid and sociable with other dogs. But they do have more of a likelihood of having dog reactivity than many other breeds.  Care would need to be taken if trying to introduce them to other dogs in the family. When you are out, they may need to stay leashed, and possibly muzzled.  You would need to consider your lifestyle and your levels of responsibility too.

Most APBTs are often extraordinarily affectionate and tolerant towards children. It’s important to note, that if you have kids, you ensure they are respectful and know how to interact appropriately.  This goes for their interactions with any breed. But, because of the sheer strength of these dogs, they could do more harm than a little toy breed dog would if they decide they have had enough.

Exercise Requirements

Exercise Requirements Pitbull Red Nose
The Red Nose Pitbull should have plenty of outdoor exercise opportunities.

Red Nose Pitbulls tend to be high energy dogs. They have more significant exercise requirements than some breeds.  If they do not get sufficient exercise and stimulation, they can be prone to making their own entertainment. This usually equates to them becoming destructive in the home.  Given the strength of their jaws, this could result in some serious damage to your home furnishings!  These dogs are working dogs. You’ll want to keep them busy and also well fueled to take on the challenges of walks or jogs at least once (if not twice) per day.

Like with any breed, if they are understimulated, other problem behaviors are more likely to manifest. Pitbulls in general can become hyperactive, stressed and mischievous.

A Red Nose Pitbull should live in an active home where they would benefit from at least two decent walks per day.  They have a lot of stamina. They love to hike or take part in other high energy activities.

It’s also important to ensure that they have plenty of things to keep them mentally enriched around the home too.  They are dogs that have a natural desire to chew. Providing a selection of extremely tough toys can be beneficial. 

Health & Nutrition

Health and Nutrition For Reds
Most Red Nose Pitbulls are generally healthy pups.

The Red nose Pitbull generally speaking has few health issues for a purebred pup.  The APBT, in general, is a healthy dog.  You’ll want to watch for basic health issues as they get older, but this is the same for most breeds.  Red nose Pitbulls are not more or less apt to encounter any health problems compared to any other coloring of the breed. They are sometimes recognized as having sensitive skin, but getting a shampoo specifically formulated for their coat will help. 

Nutritionally, the Red Nose Pitbull does not need have additional nutritional requirements compared to any other purebred Pitbull. You’ll want to make sure you have the right food for a Pitbull, especially as your pup advances in age.  As dogs age, they have different nutritional requirements. It’s important to make sure you are meeting their needs at different stages in life.  This will help ensure your red nose Pitbull stays healthy and maximizes its lifespan.

Training

Training a Red
Training a Red Nose from a very young age is extremely important.

Socialization and training are crucial for any dog.  The same goes for The Red Nose Pitbull and other APBTs, and perhaps more so than some other breeds given their stronger genetic propensity towards dog aggression and their sheer strength.  Crate training is recommended for this breed, but make sure you look at crates that are Pitbull sized dog crates if you intend to incorporate crate training into your routine.

Early and ongoing appropriate socialization is of great importance.  While you should not overwhelm your dog, careful and positive exposure to new people, dogs and environments can have a considerable influence on shaping your dog’s personality going forward. They are a very intelligent breed that is generally eager to please, and this means that with patience, consistency and the use of positive, reward-based training, you can see great results.

Be careful of using aversives with this breed.  Force-free methods have been scientifically proven to be more effective (and they are gentler too).  Forcing your dog to do something through pain or fear can mess with the bond of trust you have developed, and if the dog becomes fearful or grows short on patience, they could react negatively towards this type of training and to the handler. A bite from a breed with such a powerful jaw can be devastating.

Because of Breed Specific Legislation, in some States, your dog may be required to be kept on a leash and wear a muzzle at all times in public spaces.  Teaching your dog to be comfortable wearing a well-fitting muzzle could save a lot of stress for you and your dog.

It would also be sensible to make sure that you have mastered good loose leash walking skills.  If they always have to be kept on a leash or harness, your walks will not be as enjoyable if they constantly pull and, given their strength, they could end up even tugging you over.

Red Nose Pitbull Puppy Prices

American Red Nosed Pit Bull Puppy
Red nosed pups typically fetch a higher price tag than others.

With any breed, it is crucial that you do your research and make sure that, if you are buying a puppy, you go to a responsible breeder.  You want to look for someone that does all the appropriate health screening of parents, allows you to visit mum and her pups in a nurturing home environment, does not separate mum and pups until after they are eight weeks old and fully weaned, and has had all the puppies vet checked.

A typical red nose from a reputable breeder will not cost any less than $1,000. If your pup is advertised at a price that’s less than this, make sure you do your research.

The breeder should be one that focuses on temperament.  Given that the breed is often promoted as a fighting dog, good breeders will look for dogs that have a less dog reactive personality to breed from. Don’t forget that early socialization and training is also important, by the breeders, and then when you get your puppy home too.

Rescues & Shelters

Shelter Pitbull Adtoption Red Nose
We always recommend you adopt before you shop at a breeder. Check your local shelters for Red Nose pups.

Given their reputation, these dogs are, unfortunately, often taken on by the wrong types of owners.  If they are not cutting the mustard as a fighting dog, or they are taken on as a status symbol without thought for their care, they often end up being abandoned or cruelly treated.  This means that there can be an abundance of this breed in rescue shelters across the country.

Because of the restrictions with Breed Specific Legislation and the unfair reputation the breed has developed, this can mean that they can languish in shelters longer than many other breeds do.  It is all the more tragic given that they so often make wonderful family pets.

Adopting a dog can be such a rewarding and worthwhile experience.  As well as there being lots of APBT’s (including the Red Nose variety) in shelters across the country, there are also lots in foster homes through rescues that do not keep dogs in a kennel environment.  This can be a good route to consider if you would like to find a dog that has already been assessed in a home environment.

Breed Specific Legislation

Breed Legislation for Reds
Make sure to check breed legislation in your geographic area before adopting a pup.

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) relates to the laws around dogs that have been ‘labelled’ as being dangerous and more of a risk to the general public.  These legislations vary across countries and also across the different States in the US.  In some States, the American Pitbull Terrier is a banned breed; in others, the dogs are not allowed to be out in public spaces unless they are on a leash and wearing a muzzle.

Many animal welfare advocates and campaigners see the legislation as being woefully inappropriate.  It is recognized by many dog behavior experts that targeting irresponsible owners, rather than punishing particular breeds overall, would be a much more effective way to tackle the problem of dog attacks.

This statement from the ASPCA about Pitbulls and BSL sums up the argument very well and in great detail.  We would urge you to read it to gain a more balanced understanding of the issue.


Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of questions that seem to pop up with this breed. We’ve done our best to compile them and answer them.  As always, continue to do your own independent research. Make sure to contact a good breeder if you plan to buy a puppy.

With a rescue pup, there are always unknowns and baggage that come with that particular dog. Always do your due diligence before adopting.

Q: What is a red nose pitbull?
A: A red nose pitbull is simply a color variation of the breed.  There are many different color variants of the APBT, but this is the second rarest color.

Q: Are they a separate breed?
A: They are not a separate breed, but e a color variant of the breed. Red nosed pitbulls are often viewed as a separate breed by those that don’t understand the recessive traits of the red nose.

Q: Where do red nose Pitbulls originate from?
A: Originally they are thought to have been bred in Ireland, and are known as “old family reds.”

Q: When do they stop growing?
A: APBTs and Red Nose Pitbulls will typically stop growing between 18 and 24 months.  They can continue to add weight through 36 months as they develop and mature.

Q: How big does the red nose pitbull get?
A: These pups can get as big as 70 pounds if they are male (some larger dogs do exist, but this isn’t the norm) and females generally get no bigger than 60 pounds.

Q: What color is the red nose pitbull?
A: A true red nose pitbull is completely red.  It’s acceptable to have some small patches of white, but that is considered a flaw by many breeders.

Q: Is the red nose Pitbull a good pets?
A: Any dog can make an excellent pet.  It wholly depends on the training and nature of the dog, and this responsibility falls directly on the owner of the dog.

Q: Are red nose pitbulls aggressive?
A: While these dogs carry a reputation, Reds are no more or less aggressive than any other APBT.  At one point they would have been considered more aggressive when they were originally bred. This is due to the fighting lines they were part of.

Q: Is the red nose Pitbull more aggressive than other APBTs?
A: They are not more aggressive than other APBTs.  In fact, many of the APBTs that are documented as aggressive, are some type of “mixed breed” with pitbull included in that genetic makeup.  This falls down to the nature vs nurture debate that unfairly haunts this breed.

Q: Is the red nose Pitbull dangerous?
A: They are no more dangerous than any other untrained dog.  This responsibility falls upon the owner.

Q: Are red nose pitbulls illegal?
A: There are breed restrictions in certain states and countries.  Certain breeds are viewed as more aggressive or dangerous. Because of this, insurance companies are less likely to insure homes that have restricted breeds.  This is true of all pitbull breeds, and not restricted to the red nose pitbull.


Final Thoughts

If you have been someone that has always thought of the Red Nose Pitbull, and American Pitbull Terriers in general, as being dogs that are known for being aggressive and dangerous, we hope this article has helped to dispel some of the unfair myths.  The red nose Pitbull can be an amazing and loving family companion if they are raised with a firm yet loving hand.

Red Nose Pitbulls are not recommended for first-time dog owners. They should be only adopted into homes where they will get enough exercise, stimulation. They should also receive consistent positive reinforcement training. If these are all implemented, they can thrive and make both loving and loyal family pets.  It’s worth remembering that the red nose pitbull is a powerful breed. You’ll need to be ready to put in the time required to properly train your pup.

Leave a Comment

2 Comments

Shawn Grooms

November 2, 2020 at 8:30 am

Diesel is a one-year-old red nose Pit. Just got all shots and weighed in at 77lbs the other day. I was very leery about taking this dog after my son had to make adjustments after he moved. But I will say I have always been a black lab guy. I absolutely love this always licking, snoring, farting, always right at your side ready to go 24/7.

Clothes are not safe on the clothesline, toilet paper and we had major issues with my boots. But we're all good now, absolutely love this dog and he's the ability to alert us when someone is at the door before they even knock. Love ya Diesel!

Kelly Wilson

November 2, 2020 at 8:15 pm

Sounds like an awesome dog Shawn! Thanks for writing in and sharing your experience with the breed!