Dog Breeds Dog Health

Do Pitbulls Shed? – The Owner’s Guide to Pit Bull Shedding

The Owner's guide to Pit Bull shedding.
Written by Tiffany Jeng

Pit Bulls have become increasingly popular dogs for families in America. The days of being mislabeled as a dangerous dog has quietly faded. Still, if you plan to bring these loving dogs into your home, shedding can potential be a problem for some owners.

So, do Pitbulls shed? Dogs from the Pit Bull group are single-coated breeds, so they’re never excessive shedders. However, they’ll likely be low to moderate shedders throughout the year, with a slight increase during spring and fall. Thanks to their short coats, the strands of hair aren’t long and can be barely noticeable.

When it comes to shedding, Pit Bulls are far from the heaviest shedders, such as Huskies, Samoyeds and the Chow Chows. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay attention to grooming and coat care.

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Which Pit Bulls Shed?

Before we continue with the article, we need to clarify what a “pit bull” actually is. Despite popular belief, they are not a single dog breed. On the contrary, the word is used to describe a group of dogs.

The term Pit Bulls actually refer to four pedigree pit-type breeds, including: the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Bulldog.

So while we may say “Pitbulls” in this article, we’re actually referring to all four breeds. These dogs are very similar to one another and as a result, have similar coat types.

Nearly all dog breeds shed (except for the rare hairless dog breeds). However, not all dog breeds shed the same amount. Fortunately, all types of Pit Bulls shed roughly the same amount.

Reasons Why Pit Bulls Shed

The most distinctive physical feature of the Blue Nose Pit Bull is the color of the nose.

Pit Bulls will shed. They are not low-shedding hypoallergenic dog breeds, such as the Maltese or Poodle. But sometimes they’ll shed more frequently than other times.

Let’s examine all the reasons that contribute to Pit Bull shedding and when excessive shedding can happen with your dog.

Pit Bull’s Single Coat

One of the main reasons why these dogs aren’t heavy shedders is because of the type of coat they have. All Pit Bull dogs have a single-coat, as opposed to the shed-heavy double coated dog breeds.

It’s exactly how it sounds. Pit Bulls have a single layer of fur on their coats. Hence, single coat. On the other hand, a double coat consists of two layers: the top coat and undercoat.

The main difference is that the Pit Bull’s single coat lacks the undercoat. And without an undercoat, the shedding can be significantly less than with one.

Like with most single coated dog breeds, the Pit Bulls will shed throughout the year with some consistency. When spring and fall rolls around, expect a slight increase in shedding, but nothing too drastic.

Shedding season for double coat dogs can be an owner’s worst nightmare. For those type of dogs, we call this period of time, “coat blow season.” After all, with double the fur means double the opportunity for shedding.

Fortunately for Pit Bull owners, you won’t have to deal with this hectic period.

Nutrition & Pit Shedding

Pit Bulls need enough nutrition in order to maintain a healthy life. Without the necessary nutrients, it could lead to health problems including excessive shedding.

The most important part of your Pit Bull’s diet is protein. Because Pit Bulls are relatively large dogs with a high amount of energy, protein is even more important.

And according to Pet Care RX, wheat, corn and potatoes are common allergens for dogs like Pit Bulls. In fact, these dogs are prone to certain skin and coat problems (shedding) that can be easily triggered by their diet.

People go to discount stores, by a 40-pound bag of cheap food, and then see their pets’ shedding increase…it may not have enough protein or nutrients for your pet.

– Roy Cruzen DVM

Roy Cruzen DVM believes the number one reason for excessive shedding in dogs is from poor nutrition. This means that you should always be buying high quality dog food without all the extra “filler” nutrients.

Cruzen continues to explain that you don’t have to necessarily buy “the very best” for your Pit Bull. He estimated that a reputable quality brand that costs $4 per pound is good enough.

That being said, the recommended feeding schedule for an adult Pit is once or twice per day. Always check instructions for the daily meal allowance. Feel free to give your Pit Bull some treats throughout the day.

Anxiety & Stress

Anxiety and stress can certainly lead to hair loss in humans. Unfortunately, the is also true for your Pit Bull.

For example, when a dog is taking a trip to the veterinarians, sometimes you’ll notice that they start to shed a lot more. This is not by coincidence. Rather, this is because your dog is stressed out and/or anxious.

When Pit Bulls are stressed, they’ll release an amount of epinephrine, often known as adrenaline, into the hair of their coat. It’s not potentially harmful, but it will cause their hair to fall quickly.

Don’t be fooled by their aggressive looks, Pitbulls are sensitive dogs and can get easily stressed or hurt by how you treat them.

– Joel L. (Pitbull Owner)

So if your Pit Bull has some kind of chronic issue at home that may be causing constant stress, expect them to experience excessive shedding. If the stress is temporary like a visit to the vet, then there’s not much to do.

However, if the extra shedding isn’t going away, then it’s possible that it’s chronic stress from situations causing fear and anxiety.

The external factor that’s causing stress for your Pit can be a lack of physical and/or mental stimulation, loud noises or drastic change in environment. You’ll need figure out the root cause of the stress.

How Much Do Pit Bulls Shed?

The Pit Bull is the second parent of the mysterious Pitsky dog.

All dogs shed differently – it depends on the reasons we explained above, genetics and more. Pit Bulls are generally low to moderate shedding dogs, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be exceptions.

To really gauge how much Pit Bulls really shed, we decided to survey real Pit owners from the Pitbull and various dog forums. Here’s what these owners had to say about the question:

Real Owner Answers

1. Cemoreno says Low: “I can’t find hair in the house from my two pit bulls that live indoors. But I only find little strands of hairs in their crates and in my car on the seats. It’s not much though.”

2. Twicebytwo says Low: “My pits hair is super short, but i’ll find some hairs every now and then. My visions not as great anymore so half the time I can’t even see it unless I put my reading glasses on.”

3. Bullheaded says Heavy: “My handsome pit has driven me up the walls with his shedding. I read in several places that most bully breeds are low maintenance. Well Jaxx sheds…a lot.”

4. Dahyoungeon says Low: “I have two pit bull terriers at home and both of them rarely shed until early summer or late fall. I’m guessing it’s seasonal, but not bad at all.”

5. Maxwinsitall says Moderate: “I’ve only owned the pit bull I have now and i’ve been told that they have super low maintenance coats. But Max sheds much more than I was imagining.”

6. Patch O Pits says Low: “My pit doesn’t shed much and neither do the others I’ve been around. So I’d say as compared to many other dogs, they definitely don’t shed as much.”

7. Avoidthe9to5 says Low: “Either pit bulls don’t shed much or their hair is so short that it’s barely noticeable. Either way, their coats are way easy to take care of.”

8. Bahamutt99 says Moderate: “My girl probably sheds more than I realize, but her hair is a great color so I don’t notice it. Loki will go through occasional periods of heavier shedding, but a bath and brushing takes care of that.”

9. Fancierdog says Low: “Shedding is never a big problem with my Pit. But maybe it’s because I owned a Labrador prior to my current Staffy.”

10. Malachi says Heavy: “My pit sheds a lot and will go through spurts. Sometimes he does not shed at all and other times it is everywhere.”

Dealing with Pitbull Shedding

Blue Nose Pit Bulls have fantastic temperaments and surprisingly get along well with children.

More likely than not, your Pit Bull will be a low to moderate shedder. But just because they don’t really shed doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to shedding.

In addition, you’ll still need to deal with grooming your Pit Bull. Fortunately, there’s not a whole ton of work to do. However, many owners with a “low-shedding” Pit Bull at least brush their dog.

Brushing a Pitbull

One of the basic grooming necessities is brushing. It helps get out the loose strands of hair so it doesn’t get all over your home.

Though it depends on your dog, we recommend starting off with brushing them 2 to 3 times a week. Feel free to increase the frequency, but only if necessary.

Again, Pit Bulls have sensitive skin and are prone to skin conditions. This means you’ll want to use a gentle slicker brush, such as the Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush.

Several thousands of happy customers on Amazon are raving about this brush, including plenty of Pit Bull owners. It’s super convenient and perfect for a single-coated dog breed like the Pit Bull.

When you start brushing your Pit Bull, make sure to be careful while brushing. Reckless brushing can potentially cut their skin. If pain persists, it can definitely lead to even more shedding.

In addition, you’ll want to make sure the bristles of the brush are clean before you start brushing. A dirty brush can possibly lead to rashes, which won’t be pleasant for your Pit.

Bathing Your Pitbull

Pit Bulls are energetic dogs that love playing in the outdoors. So, it’s expected for them to get dirty from time to time. With that said, bathing is a must when it comes to Pit Bull grooming.

However, there’s a fine line between too little and too many baths. Generally, a dog’s coat contains essential oils that help protect the skin of the dog. Too many baths will strip away these natural oils and the coat will lose its shine.

Over-washing is even worse for dogs with waterproof coats, such as Golden Retrievers.

But because Pit Bulls have a smooth single coat, they don’t need to be bathed as frequently as other dog breeds. But at the same time, if your Pit gets into mud, you don’t want to leave them that way!

General rule of thumb is that you should bathe your dog once a month, and Pit Bulls are no exception. It really depends on the activities that you bring your dog out to do.

Dog Shampoo for Pitbulls

As for shampoo, you want to go with something that’s all-natural and safe. Remember, the Pit’s skin is highly sensitive. Here are the shampoos that we currently recommend for your Pit Bull (yes, we’ve used these):

  1. Pro Pet Works Oatmeal Dog Shampoo – This is what we currently use with our Aussie and Corgi. It’s made from all natural oatmeal and smells fantastic! No complaints at all.
  2. Earthbath All Natural Dog Shampoo – This brand has been around for quite a while. It’s truly a time-tested product. We’ve used this in the past and it works excellent.
  3. Paws and Pals Dog Shampoo – Paws and Pals is a very reputable brand in the space. We’ve tried this out on our Corgi and her “chest fluff” was always super soft and smooth.

The most popular type of all natural dog shampoo are oatmeal-based shampoos. You’ll want to try these out on your Pit Bull, as they’re probably the least harsh shampoos for dogs.

You never want to use human shampoo with your Pit Bull. Some people says that the more gentle baby shampoo can work with dogs, but I wouldn’t recommend it considering the sensitivity of the Pit Bulls skin.

Is the Pit Bull For Me?

In all honesty, any of the four Pit Bull breeds can be perfect for anybody or any family. As relatively low shedders they’re low maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming.

This makes them ideal dogs for sensitive owners that may experience some allergic reactions to dogs. For those that are highly allergic, we suggest a hypoallergenic or hairless dog breed instead.

As long as you’re able to provide your Pit Bull with the love and attention they need, they’ll thrive in your home. The days of these dogs being feared is gradually coming to an end. If you get to know them, they’re some of the most affectionate dogs.

Bring home a Pit Bull today and you won’t regret it. Pit Bulls are truly special dogs, and without all the shedding, they’re a great fit for most owners.

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About the author

Tiffany Jeng

Tiffany is a product of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine (class of 2022). Combined with over 5 years of veterinary technician experience, she's dedicated her life and career to dogs. When she's not studying or working, she's taking care of her Mini Australian Shepherd - Olympus! Read More.

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