20 Little-Known (and Surprising) Blue Nose Pitbull Facts

Blue Nose Pitbull running in a field

Sporting an almost mystical appearance, a Blue Nose Pitbull is a gorgeous, intelligent, affectionate companion dog. Often misunderstood by those who don’t take the time to learn about them, they’ve undeservedly gotten a bad rap over the years.

Blue Nose Highlights…

  • Their blueish-gray color comes from a recessive gene (not common). Achieving this color takes very intentional breeding.
  • Blue Nose Pitbulls are not a separate breed, rather a version of the American Pitbull Terrier that’s been bred to have blueish nose pigment.
  • They were Intentionally bred to gentle, people-loving dogs. They fit well into families and have a special place for little ones; often to be found playing, snuggling, and protecting them if needed.
  • Some question the health of dogs with colors from recessive genes like the Blue Nose. Working with a responsible breeder who can provide health screenings is recommended to reduce potential health issues.

20 Surprisingly Cool Blue Nose Pitbull Facts

#1 The Blue Nose Pitbull Is Not a Dog Breed

That’s right, they are simply a rather difficult-to-achieve color variety of a Pit Bull type dog, not a separate breed. Breeds categorized as Pit Bulls include the American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, and American Bullies. Any of these breeds, or a crossbreed of them, can produce a Blue Nose Pit Bull, though the majority of Blue Noses are American Pit Bull Terriers.

#2 Blue Nose Pitbull Aren’t Good Guard Dogs

Most Blue Nose Pitbulls are so friendly that they would be more likely to warmly welcome an intruder into your home than to harm him. They won’t hesitate to protect family members from danger, but they were just not bred to function in a guarding capacity.

Some people, of course, have intentionally trained their Pit Bull to be aggressive toward people, but that kind of behavior is not natural for a Pit Bull and has indeed contributed to the bad reputation that has stigmatized the breed for so long.

#3 Blue Nose Pitbull Are Not Very Common

The popular blue coloration is a recessive trait. In order for a puppy to be born with a blue coat and nose, both of his parents must carry the blue gene (but not necessarily display it outwardly). 

When two Pits that carry the recessive blue gene but sport dominant black noses get together, there is only a 25% chance that a resulting puppy will have a blue nose and coat. There is a 25% chance that a pup won’t receive a blue gene at all and a 50% chance that a pup will be a carrier for the blue but will have the regular black nose.

#4 Their Nose and Coat Color Are Not Truly Blue

Many people are surprised to learn that the “blue” nose is in actuality more gray than blue. You see, what is referred to as “blue” is technically a dilution of the color black. The trait that produces the blue coat and nose causes the pigmentation to group along the middle of the hair shaft leaving the tips without color. This makes the coat appear to have blue undertones and results in a dusky gray nose. No true “blue” coloring is actually present. It’s really only a trick our eyes play on us.

Blue Gray Pitbull Lounging on Floor
Credit: Mikorad

#5 Pitbulls Were Once Known as the All-American Dog

As hard as it may be to believe, Americans once valued Pit Bulls so much that they were known as the All-American Dog. The breed was treasured for its loyalty, friendliness, ability to protect the homestead and children from predators, and faithful companionship. Pit Bulls were featured in numerous commercials, advertisements, and television shows such as The Little Rascals.

#6 Blue Nose Pitbull Have Excellent Temperaments

Pit Bulls are some of the friendliest, most loving dogs you’ll ever meet. They are fun-loving dogs with loads of energy and sweet dispositions. Many owners would agree that Pit Bulls seem to have a knack for reading your emotions and responding accordingly. They are also great with children, especially if they’ve been raised together.

#7 Blue Nose Love To Play

Having a nice variety of toys on hand is a good idea for these playful, energetic dogs. Those large jaws need a solid workout now and then, so make sure to provide a couple of chew toys and tasty bones to satisfy their need to chew (and spare your furniture).

#8 They Are Highly Trainable

Blue Nose Pit Bulls (like other Pitbulls) are quite smart and capable of learning not only basic commands but also more complex tricks. Teaching them early on to be aware of and control their strength is wise to prevent accidents (like pulling down a child during tug-of-war) from occurring later on.

#9 Socialization is Critical For Blue Nose Pitbull

Although socialization is important for all dogs, it’s perhaps even more critical for breeds like Pit Bulls with a high prey drive. The earlier the process is begun, the better. The more people, animals, and situations that the dog is exposed to, the more comfortable he’ll be when he encounters similar experiences and will be more likely to respond in an acceptable manner.

#10 They Are Natural Athletes

Pit Bulls enjoy putting all that muscle to good use and often excel in activities such as flyball, agility, obedience trials, weight pulling, and vertical wall climbing. Did that last one catch your attention? Check out this video about Antara, an American Pit Bull Terrier who can reach astounding vertical heights of over 13 feet!

#11 They Are Very Tolerant

According to the American Temperament Test Society, of breeds tested with more than 400 subjects, American Pit Bull Terriers are the second most tolerant breed, ranking only slightly behind Labradors.

It’s this trait that makes them such wonderful companions for children, remaining calm and patient even when harassed by overeager little fingers and hands. Supervision is always recommended though, even with the gentlest of dogs.

#12 They Are Products of a Small Gene Pool

When breeders discover a pair of Pit Bulls who consistently produce beautifully colored puppies, they tend to use the pair over and over or use other relatives of the two to bring out the recessive blue coloring more often. 

While repeated breedings and inbreeding are somewhat effective in producing the desired results, these methods do not introduce fresh, new genes into the mix and can lead to genetic health issues down the road.

Only buy from responsible breeders who don’t make focus on producing only Blue Noses, but rather strive to produce a puppy with good conformation, even temperament, and clean bill of health.

#13 Pitbulls Were Featured in Many Advertisements During World Wars I and II

Not only were Pit Bulls used to symbolize fearlessness, strength, protection, and neutrality in many advertisements during World Wars I and II, but they also often served in the wars themselves.

The most famous example was a Pit named Stubby who rose to the rank of Sergeant after serving in 17 battles during the First World War. His many talents included being able to differentiate between American and German soldiers, alerting soldiers to the presence of toxic gas and incoming artillery shells, and locating wounded soldiers. A hero indeed.

#14 Blue Nose Pitbull Do Best in Warm Climates

The impressive sleek, muscular body does come with a disadvantage. Without a thick, fluffy coat and layers of insulating body fat, Blue Nose Pitbull don’t tolerate extremely cold temperatures well. A dog coat may be necessary in colder weather.

#15 “Blue Lust” Describes the Demand For These Dogs

The demand for the blue coloration has increased so dramatically in recent years that breeders and fanciers have coined the term, “blue lust” to describe the surge of skyrocketing interest.

Pitbull Playing in the Water
Credit: Matthias Zomer

#16 They May Not Get Along Well With Other Animals

Because Pit Bulls were once bred to attack small animals and were unfortunately used to fight other dogs, some Pit Bulls may do best in homes where they are the only pet. This is certainly not true of all Pit Bulls, but potential owners should be aware that these dogs sometimes possess a high prey drive and may delight in chasing (or worse) other animals.

#17 Many Famous People Owned a Pitbull

Helen Keller, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Fred Astaire, Jennifer Aniston, and Rachel Ray, to name a few, all owned a Pit Bull at one time or another. Dog trainer Cesar Milan routinely used Pit Bulls to demonstrate training techniques and good behavior.

#18 They Require Little Grooming

The short, sleek coat is easy to care for compared to that of heavier coated breeds. They are not hypoallergenic and will certainly shed. A weekly brushing and an occasional bath are all it takes to keep the coat healthy, glossy, and manage shedding. Like other dogs, Blue Noses should have their teeth and ears cleaned regularly and their nails trimmed when necessary.

#19 Pitbulls Work in Many Service Roles

A Pit Bull’s superb intellect, stable temperament, and willing nature makes him particularly well suited for a variety of service roles including search and rescue, service dogs for the disabled, tracking and trailing work, emotional therapy jobs, and medical alert jobs.

#20 Pitbulls Can Not Lock Their Jaws

Contrary to popular belief, no Pitbull can lock their jaws closed. Though they do have powerful jaws and excellent holding power, the jaws never “lock” into a fixed position. Myth busted!

Blue Nose Pit puppy looking up
Credit: Zachary Casler

History of the Pitbull Breed

Today’s Pit Bull-type dogs, including the Blue Nose Pitbull, can trace their roots back to the British Isles in the 1800s when bull baiting was a popular “sport” that drew large crowds of spectators and gamblers. Old English bulldogs were the original breed of choice for bull baiting, though breeders soon learned that the addition of terriers to the gene pool increased the dogs’ speed, agility, and courage.

The Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835 put an end to events such as bull and bear-baiting, so enthusiasts soon turned their attention to rat baiting instead. At a rat baiting event, a certain number of rats were released into a pit for each competing dog. The dog who killed the most rats in one minute was declared the winner. It is this “sport” in which the Pit in Pit Bull originated.

The rat baiting record is said to be held by a dog named Jacko who, in 1862, dispatched of 60 rats in 2 minutes and 42 seconds, averaging 2.7 seconds per rat. He was a Bull and Terrier, the now-extinct precursor to the dogs we refer to as Pit Bulls.

Sadly, the rat baiting pits were also used as arenas for dogfighting. The Bulldog and Terrier mixes soon began to emerge as a breed of their own as specific traits and temperament became standardized. 

Surprisingly, the same dogs who were bred to annihilate rats and who were forced to fight one another were also intentionally bred to be gentle and friendly toward people. Because of their sweet dispositions, they soon became favorite family pets and came to be known as Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Immigrants to America brought their “Staffies” with them, and these companion dogs soon grew in popularity in the New World. Americans, however, wished for a larger, heavier version, and breeders soon created what would come to be known as American Staffordshire Terriers (or Amstaffs for short).

To add confusion to the already lengthy list of names, in 1898 Chauncy Z. Bennet founded the United Kennel Club (UKC) and registered these dogs as American Pit Bull Terriers. The reason behind his actions was that, at the time, the American Kennel Club (AKC) would not recognize the American Staffordshire Terriers as a breed.

In fact, it wasn’t until many years later that the AKC recognized Amstaffs (1936 – though under the name Staffordshire Terriers) and Staffordshire Bull Terriers (1974). Even today, American Pit Bull Terriers are not recognized by the AKC. 

See what we mean about confusing?

Introducing the Blue Nose Pitbull

So, how did the Blue Nose Pitbull come about? Well, it was somewhat accidental. You see, certain breeders were attempting to produce a new blue-gray coat color in their dogs, which can be tricky as it’s a recessive trait. When the color was achieved, it was accompanied by the “blue” nose as well, hence the name, Blue Nose Pit Bull. 

Fun fact: It’s genetically impossible for a blue-coated dog to have a brown or deeply black nose.

 

Now that we’ve looked at the general history of the Blue Nose Pit Bull, we should discuss what exactly the term Pit Bull means today. Brace yourself for more confusion.

There is only one breed that includes the words Pit Bull in the name, the American Pit Bull Terrier. However, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Bullies are also considered Pit Bulls. 

Many people classify all the “Bully” breeds which resulted from the breeding of Old English Bulldogs and Terriers as being Pit Bulls or mislabel any dog with a square-shaped head and compact, muscular body as a Pit.

That being said, the majority of Blue Nose Pitbulls are American Pit Bull Terriers, though the beautiful coloration can also occur in other “Bully” breeds.

Pitbull with Blue Eyes and Nose
Credit: Mladen Scekic

What Do Blue Nose Pitbulls Look Like?

Blue Nose Pit Bulls, regardless of which breed they hail from, are very muscular dogs with little body fat. The head should be square-shaped and blocky with a broad skull, round eyes, well-defined cheeks, high set ears, and a broad jaw. 

The body should be stocky with a thick neck, widely set forelegs, deep and broad chest, and a strong back which gently slopes toward the straight, low set tail.

The coat of a Blue Nose Pit Bull is short, sleek and stiff to the touch. The color can range from a light, dusky gray to dark charcoal and may show a hint of blue in certain lighting. 

The nose leather should be similar to that of the body (not a bright blue as some might expect). White chest and facial markings are also common.

The height and weight of a Blue Nose Pit Bull vary greatly depending on lineage, but most male dogs will be between 18 – 21 inches at the withers and weigh between 35 – 60 pounds. Females will be slightly shorter and lighter. Dogs with a heavy concentration of Amstaff in their line will be slightly larger.

What Kind of Temperament Do They Have?

Despite an unwarranted bad reputation of being dangerous (which is beginning to fade away slowly), Pit Bulls, including the Blue Nose variety, are very friendly, loving dogs. Remember, they were bred to be gentle with people, a trait that still remains strong today in well-bred dogs. They are loyal to those they love and will form a strong bond with every member of the family.

Rumor has it that at one time Pit Bulls were used as “nanny dogs,” keeping an eye on the children while the parents were busy working around the farm. While there isn’t much proof to back these claims up, numerous vintage photographs portray a child posing with the family Pit Bull. 

Pit Bull Terrier Laying Outside on Patio
Credit: Christopher Ayme

What is known for sure is that Pit Bulls get along famously with little ones, playing, snuggling, and protecting if need be.

These intelligent dogs are always alert to their surroundings, and while they’re usually too affectionate to function as guard dogs, they won’t hesitate to alert their family of danger and defend their loved ones at all costs. 

It’s this courageousness that led them to be featured as national mascots symbolizing bravery and strength during the First and Second World Wars.

One thing to bear in mind with this breed is that they were once bred to chase after (and kill) small critters and to fight other dogs. While reputable breeders today diligently try to eliminate any trace of aggression, be aware that not every breeder has high standards, and some dogs may not do well with other animals. It is for this reason that keeping a Blue Nose Pitbull on a leash for walks is recommended.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation Requirements

A Blue Nose Pitbull is athletic and energetic. A minimum of 30 – 45 minutes of vigorous exercise per day is recommended, though this high stamina dog won’t mind more if your schedule allows.

Although most dogs appreciate a daily routine and look forward to activities they’ve come to expect at certain times of the day (like supper time), try not to limit his exercise routine to the same predictable walk day after day. Take different routes and be sure to cover varying terrain to liven up a dull routine.

Periodically skipping the daily walk in lieu of outside playtime can be a lot of fun for you and your dog. Pit Bulls are typically very willing participants in any sort of game that you can come up with. Their superb jumping ability takes a game like Frisbee to a whole new level. Most Pits love to run, so an intense session of fetch is usually met with enthusiasm too.

A Blue Nose Pit Bull running in snow

Like other members of the Terrier group, Blue Nose Pitbulls are intelligent and excel at independent thinking. Ensuring that they’re frequently given opportunities to problem solve and learn new skills is important to their overall well being and shouldn’t be neglected. To do so would be similar to denying a gifted child stimulating books to read.

One of the easiest ways to keep a dog challenged mentally is to routinely teach him new tricks. Not only is this a great way to bond with the dog, but it can be a ton of fun too.

After he has all of the basic commands down pat, try teaching him to turn light switches on and off or to bring you a cold beverage from the refrigerator. Learning the names of every family member or of all of his favorite toys (ball, rope, Kong, etc.) will also help give his brain a workout.

Dog sports like agility and flyball will satisfy his need for a physical and a mental workout simultaneously. Pitbulls are naturals at these sports due to their intelligence, speed, obedience, and a deep desire to please their owners. Just be sure that your dog gets along nicely with other dogs before entering any competitions.

Common Health Issues

Blue Nose Pitbulls are generally healthy dogs. They can, however, suffer from the same genetic conditions that other Pitbull face such as:

  • Hip Dysplasia.
  • Cataracts.
  • Heart disease.
  • Congenital heart defects.
  • Allergies.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Skin Issues.
  • Patellar luxation.

The Encyclopedia of the American Pit Bull Terrier suggests that dogs with recessive coloration, like Blue Nose Pitbull, are more at risk for developing nervous and immune system disorders due to the way that pigmentation cells influence these two systems. 

Purchasing a Blue Nose from a reputable breeder who is willing to show you health screening tests performed on the puppy’s parents and grandparents will vastly decrease the odds that your dog will develop issues later on.

Bully Dog in Field of Flowers
Credit: susanne906

Are They Easy to Train?

The high intelligence and eager-to-please attitude of Blue Nose Pit Bulls makes them relatively easy to train. As is true of any dog breed, some tend to be a bit more stubborn than others, but with time and patience, even the most “free-thinking” dogs can be trained to be reliably obedient.

Positive reinforcement and lots of it is the right approach when training these dogs. Harsh training methods and severe discipline will only produce an unstable, unhappy, and untrustworthy dog. Every time your dog responds correctly to a command, give him lots of enthusiastic praise and a tasty training treat.

Your dedication to training is critical for raising a dog who will consistently look to you for direction instead of following his own whims. Dogs are inherently packed animals who instinctively take cues from their leader. Be that leader!

Remember, your dog’s obedience could one day save his life, so resist laziness and train your dog correctly from the beginning.

Proper Socialization from the Start

Socializing a puppy or a newly adopted older dog is unfortunately often neglected, though it’s key to raising a well-adjusted dog. Socialization is simply introducing your dog to as many new experiences, people, and animals as soon as possible with the goal of raising a dog who is not only comfortable and confident in any situation but can be trusted to respond appropriately and reliably every time.

Because of the high prey drive common to most Pitbulls, socialization is especially important with this breed, even those with a blue nose. Though the instinct to chase other animals is strong and primal, it can be overcome as the dog learns to control his urges and to value your wishes above his own.

Many Pitbulls live peaceably in multi-animal homes, so don’t lose hope. Just remain dedicated to properly training and socializing your dog and always be ready to intervene should trouble arise.

Blue Nose or Not…Consider Adopting

Now that you know what incredible dogs Blue Nose Pit Bulls actually are, consider saving the life of one of these amazingly perfect companions by adopting. 

Remember, the Blue Nose Pitbull is a people-oriented, people-loving, people-serving dog who bonds closely with every member of the family and wants to engage in every aspect of family life. With a strong desire to please, and the intelligence to perform a wide variety of roles, a Blue Nose is an all-around great companion.

Because of the unfair reputation that this breed has endured for the past 40 years or so, sadly, Pitbulls are typically the most common breed found in animal shelters across the country, accounting for more than 20% of the total shelter dog population in many cities.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in a nearby shelter, try Pit Bull Rescue Central for a vast listing of shelters and rescue groups or Adopt-A-Pet.com for Pitbull needing a home in your area. Please also consider donating to a local Pitbull rescue organization to help them continue to save lives.

Image Credit: susanne906