Male vs. Female Pitbull Differences

Eduarda Piamore
By Eduarda Piamore, Expert in canine and feline psychology, education and training.. April 16, 2024
Male vs. Female Pitbull Differences

The American Pit Bull Terrier is perhaps the most vilified dog in the world. While there is a reasonable conversation to be had about attacks by this dog and other issues, it is not a naturally dangerous dog. Improper care and education can lead to issues, but providing the right care for any dog is vital in preventing behavioral problems. For this reason, adopting a Pitbull is not for everybody. If you do decide to adopt, knowing the difference between a male and female American Pit Bull Terrier might influence your decision.

For this reason, AnimalWised explains the male vs. female Pitbull differences. By looking at factors such as size, character, behaviors and reproduction, we can make a more informed decision.

You may also be interested in: Siberian Husky Male vs. Female Differences
  1. Male vs. female Pitbull size
  2. Male vs. female Pitbull character
  3. Other differences between male vs. female Pitbull
  4. Should I adopt a male or female Pitbull?

Male vs. female Pitbull size

The American Pit Bull Terrier is an officially recognized breed, meaning there are breed standardization organizations which provide information about their physicality, behaviors and other factors. These organizations include the United Kennel Club (UKC), the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA), World Canine Federation (FCI) and others have established these guidelines, although there may be minor variations between them.

Some controversy exists with these breed standards since some organizations such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) no longer accept them as a breed. While many believe this to be due to their perceived reputation as a dangerous dog, the policies which determine acceptance of a breed are specific to each organization.

Determining the right male vs. female Pitbull size is more difficult than most other breeds. Breed standard organizations tend to prioritize harmony in body composition rather than simply providing exact measurement ranges. For this reason, the UKC suggests the length of the front leg (measured from the tip of the elbow to the ground) be almost equal to half the height of the dog at the withers.

In general, females tend to be somewhat longer and lighter than males. Males are taller and heavier than females. Disparity in size is one of the most obvious differences between male and female pitbulls.

The Argentine Canine Association does propose more exact measurements. They suggest the desirable body weight for an American Pit Bull Terrier is between 35.3 lb- 59.5 lb (16-27 kg) for males and between 28.7-50.7 lb (13-23 kg) for females. This does not mean that other measurements should be excluded or penalized, as long as the body weight is in proportion to the dog's height.

Common features of male vs. female Pitbulls

Except for proportionate size, other physical differences are not particularly helpful in differentiating between male and female Pitbulls. They both have a slightly elongated body, strong musculature, wide skull, broad snout, prominent cheeks, powerful bite and short fur that is close to the skin. Generally speaking, both male and female Pitbulls are athletic and powerful, but should not be exaggeratedly robust or bulky. The weight of the individual should not compromise its agility or dexterity of movements.

Regarding the Pitbull coat, almost all shades and color patterns are accepted , except merle and albino dogs. The reason for this is to discourage the perpetuation of genetically inherited health problems.

The American Pit Bull Terrier can often be confused with similar breeds. learn how to distinguish between them with out article on the different Pit Bull breeds and types.

Male vs. Female Pitbull Differences - Male vs. female Pitbull size

Male vs. female Pitbull character

The United Kennel Club (UKC) describes the temperament of the American Pit Bull Terrier as having ‘strength, confidence and the will to live’. These are appropriate words for a dog that has boundless energy, making them predisposed to physical exercise and training. One of the most loyal breeds to their guardians, they live to be part of a family and are capable of learning almost anything to please their guardians.

It is vital to note that any dog's behavior will have very strong individual components, regardless of breed. They are more strongly influenced by factors in their upbringing compared than genetics. While genetic components such as breed and specific genetic lineage have an important bearing on their predisposition toward certain behaviors, the way a dog acts on a daily basis will depend on their experiences. In fact, recent studies suggest less than 10% of behavioral variations in individual dogs can be attributed to genetics.

Ensuring we provide the right care and education so the dog can relate to other individuals, various environments and other stimuli will best ensure a dog is even tempered. Any differences between male and female Pitbulls in terms of character and personality will be based on their education, socialization and lived experiences.

Aggressiveness in male and female Pitbulls

With the above information in mind, it is not possible to say that male Pitbulls are definitively more aggressive than females or vice versa. Regardless of breed, whether purebred of mixed-breed, aggression is not an inherent trait. There are no naturally aggressive dogs.

Aggression in dogs is a complex behavioral problem that is related to multiple factors. Some of the most impactful are stress, a sedentary lifestyle, low mental stimulation, inadequate socialization and even diseases that cause a lot of pain or neurological symptoms. If you perceive aggression in a Pitbull, the first and most important thing is to go to a veterinarian to evaluate their health status and to then speak to an ethologist for behavioral therapy.

The alleged violent Pitbull instinct is a myth:

  • There is no scientific evidence that the pit bull is more dangerous or has a greater tendency to be aggressive than other dogs.
  • Behavioral tests carried out with several dog breeds show that the Pitbull is among the most tolerant dogs, having reached the astonishing figure of 87.6% in the positive temperament test. The fact that this breed has been used in fights ultimately speaks more about humans, than about this dog breed.

With this in mind, it is not possible to categorically say that a female or male Pitbull will be more or less aggressive than the other. Aggression tends to stem from issues with their care, but it can also be engendered by negative experiences, especially if they are trained improperly, have traumatic experiences or are incorrectly socialized.

Education of male vs. female Pitbull

Being male or female does not influence the learning capacity of the American Pit Bull Terrier. Both sexes respond very well to positive reinforcement and have a high drive for training. They are capable of assimilating a large number of commands, tricks and tasks. They also tend to perform very well in dog sports, mainly in which they demand agility.

Regardless of whether you choose to have a male or female Pitbull, the most important thing will be to start their educational process from the moment they arrive in the home. Preferably, this should occur during the first months of life and take into account the following guidelines:

  • Socialization: socializing the Pitbull puppy is essential to fully develop their confidence and provide the opportunity to assimilate a the resources they need to respond appropriately to various stimuli. This is particularly important to live harmoniously with dogs, cats or other pets. Socialization is the key to the Pitbull's happy coexistence with others.
  • Training: teaching your dog basic obedience commands will facilitate healthy communication on a daily basis, making walks and interactions with other individuals safer. Training is one of the most complete influences for the dog's body and mind, providing optimal physical, sensitive and cognitive stimulation. Learn more with our guide explaining how to train a Pit Bull puppy.
  • Exercise: establishing a suitable physical exercise routine is also essential for both male and female Pitbulls. A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for the development of boredom and stress which can result in behavioral disorders such as aggression or destructiveness. Since they have high energy levels, we should provide other exercise opportunities in addition to walking. Ideally, they should be involved in some type pf canine sport.

Learn more about how to deal with destructive behaviors in dogs with our related guide.

Other differences between male vs. female Pitbull

While differentiating between male vs. female Pitbulls can be difficult in terms of general behaviors, we can see some specific differences in terms of reproductive behaviors. Female dog reproduction is part of their estrus cycle, known as going into ‘heat’. During this time their body will become ready for copulation and possible fertilization of their eggs. This leads to various behaviors typical of the heat cycle in dogs.

Once sexually mature, male pit bull dogs will be willing to mate throughout the year and almost their entire life. In turn, a female dog experiences two heats a year, each divided into four phases. These have a total duration of 15 to 21 days.

Each dog will experience respond to reproductive changes in their body differently. However, we can say that males and females are more prone to certain specific symptoms and behaviors:

  • Females: they will have inflammation and bloody vaginal discharge typical of the heat cycle, although this can vary in intensity according to the individual. They tend to be more demanding of attention and will carry out behaviors such as howling and presenting their rear. These are related to a desire to find a mate fueled by hormonal changes.
  • Males: will be very anxious or nervous whenever they sense female dogs in heat nearby, feeling an intense need to mate with them. This can lead to issues with escapism and they can become more easily frustrated. male puppies tend to reach sexual maturity later than females.

These behaviors can cause difficulty in controlling any dog if they are not spayed or neutered. Learn more about how to deal with this situation as we explain how to control a male dog around a female in heat.

Marking behaviors in Pitbulls

Marking in dogs is not only associated with the reproductive instinct or the need to mark territory. Both sexes mark to communicate with their peers, generate a common scent or in response to certain emotions. They do not only mark with urine, although it is often the most problematic. This is because they can do it in areas which cause hygiene issues such as inside the home.

Urine marking is much more common in non-neutered dogs, whether male or female. Even so, it is most prevalent in non-neutered males. It is very easy to identify this behavior and differentiate it from the physiological need to urinate, since we see the dog raise their leg or squat and only emit a small amount of liquid. Males tend to mark more on vertical surfaces such as walls or the sides of furniture.

Female dogs also mark with urine and tend to do so more frequently when they are in heat. This is because it allows them to release pheromones that indicate their availability for mating, arousing the attention and sexual interest of male dogs.

Male vs. Female Pitbull Differences - Other differences between male vs. female Pitbull

Should I adopt a male or female Pitbull?

Due to their natural heterogeneity, the Pitbull's character will depend on the individual. Their sex will be much less of a determinant of their ultimate personality than their education and lived experiences. One of the most significant reasons why we may choose a male or female will depend on the other animals we have in the home. If we adopt a Pitbull into a home where there are already other dogs, we need to be considerate of whether these dogs will have an issue with their sex.

Whether male or female, there are certain diseases which are more prevalent in the Pitbull. These include hip dysplasia, patella luxation, atopic allergies and other skin pathologies. This will require paying extra attention to their diet, since they tend to have certain food sensitivities or intolerances. Preventive medical interventions are necessary, meaning we need to stick closely to appropriate vaccination and deworming schedules.

Neither a male nor a female Pitbull will be a lapdog. As we have already established, they are active dogs which need plenty of physical and mental stimulation to ensure health and well-being. They will also need space to themselves, so we should provide them with a place to rest and feel peaceful when necessary.

Earning any dog's trust requires patience and dedication. Some breeds need more than others, meaning some are not the best for first-time owners. The Pitbull needs time, dedication and well-informed training which uses positive reinforcement for their education. If we cannot provide our dog with time, training and anything else they need, we should not adopt an American Pit Bull Terrier, regardless if they are male or female.

Neutering male and female Pitbulls

Reproduction is one of the most significant factors in deciding whether to adopt a male or female Pitbull. This is partly due to financial reasons. The spaying procedure for females is more invasive than castration in males, resulting in it being more expensive. Similarly, non-neutered females are particularly prone to various diseases which can incur high treatment costs. These include uterine infections such as pyometra in dogs.

The benefits of neutering your dog are numerous for both males and females. Since many are concerned about aggression in Pitbulls, neutering can reduce the likelihood of certain problems such as aggression toward other dogs, especially in males. However, as we have explained, this is determined by many other factors. It can reduce or eliminate other problematic behaviors such as mounting, marking and escapism, as long as it is done early.

If you are considering adoption of this dog, you may want to compare it to a breed with which it is often confused. You can do so with our article on the differences between a Pitbull and Rottweiler.

If you want to read similar articles to Male vs. Female Pitbull Differences, we recommend you visit our Comparisons category.

  • American Temperamental Test Society. (2023). ATTS Breed Statistics. Retrieved from:
  • Canine Association of Argentina. Breed Standards: American Pit Bull Terrier. Retrieved from:
  • Morrill, K. et al. (2022). Ancestry-inclusive dog genomics challenges popular breed stereotypes. Retrieved from:
  • United Kennel Club. Breed Standard: American Pit Bull Terrier. Retrieved from:
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Male vs. Female Pitbull Differences