The Red Nose Pitbull Explained (10 Crucial Facts)

Close up head shot of the Red nose Pitbull dog smiling face with people background

The mention of Red Nose Pitbulls conjure images of a muscular, violent, and peevish dog breed that terrorizes humans and other animals. This reputation is a common misconception that overshadows a Red Nose Pitbull’s true characteristics and positive traits, making it so that people cannot see past their beefy build.

Contrary to popular opinion, the Red Nose Pitbull is an intelligent, affectionate, and active dog. While they may have their negative sides, especially when not properly trained, they are an excellent dog breed that are an excellent addition to any family.

Although Red Nose Pitbulls are quite popular, many people are not familiar with their unique traits, characteristics, and personalities.are you considering adopting a Red Nose Pitbull? Here are ten crucial facts you need to know about this incredibly handsome breed.

new born puppy red nose pitbull

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History of Red Nose Pitbulls

‘The Red Nose Pitbull is a dog breed, right?’


Many people consider Red Nose Pitbulls to be a breed of their own and separate from other breeds. In reality, Red Nose Pitbulls are not a standalone breed but a variation of the American Pitbull Terrier. This confusion might stem from the fact that people consider Pitbull dogs to be a breed of their own.

However, the term ‘Pitbull’ is an umbrella term used to describe a certain group of dogs. This is why you might come across dog types of Pitbulls like the American Pitbull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull terriers, and, of course, the Red Nose Pitbulls. These dogs look like Pitbulls but are not considered one.

To trace the history of Red Nose Pitbulls, you would have to go as far back as the 19th century in the United Kingdom, particularly Ireland where they originate from. In the 1800s, the now extinct Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogs were bred together to produce a type of dog that combined the strength of the bulldog and the aggressiveness of the terrier. 

This dog was an old family dog and bully breed with an intimidating and muscular build. Its sole purpose in that time was to be a working dog that would guard and control bulls and livestock. Not long after this breed was produced, it was used as a participant in cruel and bloody sports like bull and bear baiting.

Although this practice was illegal, the Bulldog-terrier mix soon became a popular participant in these activities due to their ferocity and strength. The bloodsports went on for some time, but became illegal in 1835 thanks to the introduction of British animal welfare.

Soon after the elimination of the bloodsports, dog fighting was introduced as another activity that the bull-dog terrier mix were once again thrown into. These dogs were pitted against other dog breeds in illegal dog fights in a bloody rumble that the audience placed bets on.

As with bull baiting, the bulldog-terrier mix breed flourished in this illegal sport thanks to its aggressive fighting strength that outmatched other dog breeds. Thanks to their strength, which breeders soon recognized to be an advantage, this breed was further developed to create what will be a line of feisty ihting dogs.

To protect their bloodline and thus their fighting strength, the Old Family pit dogs were bred amongst themselves. This in-breeding caused the recessive gene in the breed to be come dominant in some litters, leading to a strain of dogs with a gorgeous unique coppery-red appearance, which is exactly how they got their name. 

The Red Nose Pitbull thrived in the dog pit. They fierce in the pit and shown a keen trait for gameness and aggressiveness towards other dog breeds. Recognizing this, breeders begun to in-breed these red-nosed dogs to ensure the red strain of dogs remained pure.

Some time in the late nineteenth century, the Red Nose mix and other strains like the Blue Nose Pitbull were immigrated into the United States and soon became referred to as the American Pitbull Terriers. The American Pitbull Terriers became the direct ancestors of the now popular Red Nose Pitbulls.

In America, the American Pitbull Terrier Dog fighting careers continued but soon, the doog breed began to diversify to fill in other roles like companion dogs, police dogs, and working dogs on farms. 

The Old Family Red Nose Strain

Although American Pitbull Terriers are the direct ancestors of the Red Nose Pitbull, not all Red Nose Pitbulls count as an Old Family Red Nose strain. Red Nose Pitbulls originate from a strain of dogs named the Old Family Red Nose (OFRN). This strain of old family dogs are a variety of the APBT and are simply a line in the breed of old family APBTs that came from Ireland down to America in the 19th century.

This strain of old family dogs were known for their unique red or copper-colored coat coloring, red nose, and red or amber eyes. They were also quite popular for their strength but their copper-colored bodies were the origin of their name. While these features are characteristics to both the OFRN strain and the Red Nose Pitbulls, not every American Pitbull Terrier with these features is an OFRN.

This is because the OFRN was bred with other lines so much that for a Red Nose Pitbull to be considered an OFRN, it must have a high percentage of the recognized OFRN bloodlines in its pedigree. Essentially, although you might come across a red-colored Pitbull, there is a high probability that it has been crossed with several strains and is not a true OFRN.

However, OFRNs remain sought after not just for their true pedigree but their gamerness. The true OFRN Pittie remains so rare with many breeders trying the protect the pureness of this strain of Red Nose Pitbulls.

How Did The Red Nose Pitbull Get Its Color?

At the time American Pitbull Terriers were popular in Ireland in the 19th century, they were constantly in-bred to protect the dogs’ bloodlines.

Although the APBT came in several colors, all colors except white bore a recessive red gene. The more in-bred each APBT family clans were, the more dominating the red gene became. Soon, there were many amber-eyed, red-nosed Pitbulls of different strains.

Characteristics of Red Nose Pitbulls

  • A Red Nose Pitbull’s most evident characteristic is its unique red physical features which makes them distincts from other Pitbull terriers. In fact, Red Nose Pitbulls have the second rarest American Pitbull Terrier color, coming in second place right behind the Blue Nose Pitt Bull.
  • Red Nose Pitbulls have a red coat, red lips, red noses, red toenails, and even red or amber-colored eyes. They often do not have any other colors on their body other than a reddish-brown or copper-red shade, but sometimes you might come across a Red Nose Pitbull with white patterns on their body, particularly in the chest and toe areas.
  • Red Nose Pitbulls are medium-sized Pitbull Terriers but they are significantly bigger than regular Pitbulls. Regardless of this size difference, RNPBs usually vary in size with their size usually depending on their sex and breeding lines. On average, a Red Nose Pitbull can weigh anything from 30 to 65 pounds- weighing lesser than bulldogs- and grow between 18 and 22 inches.
  • Red Nose Bitbulls are densely muscular with a muscular broad chest and equally muscular shoulders and neck. They have a broad, flat, brick-shaped skull with wide powerful jaws supported by broad cheeks. They have medium-sized ears which are usually erect or cropped in some cases. Their tails are whip-like, long and straight.

Red Nose Pitbull Personality

Red Nose Pitbulls are usually misjudged and branded with a stigma as aggressive dogs thanks to their long history as fighting dogs. However, since they have been raised away from that activity, the active, affectionate, and eager-to-please side of their personality have become more pronounced.

Red Nose Pitbulls are intelligent, friendly, and loyal dogs. They are protective of their humans so you better treat a Red Nose Pitbull’s family with caution or they can become aggressive. While they are generally friendly and tolerant of strangers, they can be wary and aloof.

If you need a good-natured pup who is terribly protective of you, will keep your family active,and shower you with affectionate kisses, you should consider getting a Red Nose Pitbull.


Although they are deeply rooted in dog fighting, Red Nose Pitbulls are surprisingly not as aggressive as many people think they are. While they were deadly in the dog pit, they were surprisingly gentler with their handlers and breeders. This is precisely why they became quite popular in the first place.

Red Nose Pitbulls are notably gentler with humans. However, proper training and socialization is necessary to ensure they are not a potential danger to strangers and other animals. 

red nose pitbull dog smiling

10 Crucial Facts

How well do you know Red Nose Pitbulls? There are many misinformations and misconceptions surrounding the RNPB that it has become almost impossible for people to know where the myths end and the truth begin. To truly understand these Pitties, you need to know what information is true about them. Some crucial facts about the Red Nose Pitbulls include:

1. Red Nose Pitbulls will often pick fights with other dogs: perhaps the decades of being participants have annihilated their tolerance for other other dogs or maybe they are just being dogs. Regardless of what it is, RNPBs can be notoriously mischievous with other dogs and are known to constantly pick fights with other pups. This can make visiting dog parks a tad more challenging than it should be. To beat this,it is important to begin training and socializing your red-nosed fur-baby as soon as you can.

2. They are kind dogs: Do you know RNPBs are probably one of the kindest dogs you will ever come across? In fact, they are one of the least aggressive dog types, rendering the common misconception of them being one of the most aggressive dogs moot! According to the American Temperament Testing Society temperament test, Pitbulls pass their temperament test 87 percent of the time.

3. They suffer from separation anxiety: The RNPB may look like big, bad, independent boys, but they do not fare well without their humans. They suffer from seperation anxiety and can get destructive when left alone for three or four hours. You better not leave your canine alone at home for too long or you will come back to a huge mess and a stressed pup.

4. They are outlawed in many countries: Due to their infamous history and dangerous reputation, Red Nose Pitbulls are banned in:

  • Brazil
  • Belgium
  • New Zealand
  • Canada (some provinces)
  • France
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Poland Sweden

They are also banned in several states in the United States like Washington, Oregon, and Montana, and the list is pretty long.

5. They are nick-named Nanny Dogs: RNPBs are nicknamed Nanny Dogs in the United Kingdom because of their friendly disposition towards and their tendency to protect children. However, it is advisable to not leave them around children they are not familiar with.

6. They are the same breed as the Blue Nose Pitbulls: Red Nose Pitbulls and Blue Nose Pitbulls may look like they belong on different spectrums because of their different colors. However, they are simply just different colors and are a variety of the American Pitbull Terrier.

7. They can scale fences: If you think a fence will keep your RNPB at home, you may be wrong. These dogs are so strong and agile that they can scale fences. This is no surprise as Pitbulls are one of the strongest dogs in the world.

8. They do feel pain: A myth has convinced many people that Red Nose Pitbulls are immune to pain. This is not true! Like humans and other dogs, RNPBs can have a functional nervous system and are wired to feel pain. Don’t let their strong build fool you.

9. They have a rich history: Red Nose Pitbulls are one of the few dogs with a deeply-rooted history.

10. The biting and chewing myth is NOT true: There is a confusing myth that states the Pitbulls can lock their front teeth on a prey and continue chewing with their back teeth. Whatever this is, it is simply not possible for the RNPB or any kind of Pitbull at all!

All You Need To Know About Caring For A Pitbull

1. Exercise Needs: If you cannot tell from their muscles, Red Nose Pitbulls are extremely fit dogs that require lots of exercises to burn out their high energy levels. They are very playful and make awesome partners for activities like camping, hiking, or even long runs.their adventurous spirits ensure they do not run out of enthusiasm and are always ready to take on the world. Red Nose Pitbulls require at least an hour of walking everyday. Remember to keep your pooch on a leash as Red Nose Pitbulls can get feisty around animals they consider prey.

2. Health Concerns: Although they are often physically fit, like many other breeds,Red Nose Pitbulls are susceptible to certain diseases and health concerns. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not a healthy dog breed. Some common health a Red Nose Pitbull may face include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Joint dysplasia
  • Luxating patella (which can cause limping and mobility)
  • Eye problems like hereditary cataracts
  • Parvovirus
  • Heart virus

To ensure your dog lives a long and healthy life, ensure you get it from a reputable breeder and provide essential exercise and proper diet.

3. Life Span: Red Nose Pitbulls have a relatively long life span of about 12 to 14 years

4. Training: Red Nose Pitbulls are quite stubborn but they are easy to train if they consider you the alpha. Other than that, you may need to add a bit of effort in your training sessions. RNPBs are pretty active, so make sure you provide enough mental stimulation.

5. Grooming: RNPBs do not require extensive grooming thanks to their short and thick coat. They should be bathed once a month because their skin is sensitive and prone to diseases when stripped of natural oils. You should brush their coats once a week and more often in the fall.

Big Dog, Big Heart

When you get over judging a Red Nose Pitbull at first sight, you will see that getting to own and love one of these dogs is one of the best feelings ever. Red Nose Pitbulls are affectionate, obedient, and faithful dogs perfect for active owners. These intelligent and energetic dogs make excellent watchdogs and have no trouble fitting into families.

Although they can be strong-willed and aggressive towards unfamiliar people and animals, with proper training and socialization, you can teach Red Nose Pitbulls to be more social. Essentially, if you need a large dog breed with loads of energy, Red Nose Pitbulls are the best option for you.

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.