Dogs classified as Pitbulls are some of the most adopted pups both at rescue shelters and from breeders alike. But some owners are surprised to find out once they get their dog home, that yes, Pitbulls shed. And some owners are surprised at just how much fur they leave behind.
While Pitbulls might be single-coated dogs, they actually shed more frequently than other single-coated breeds. The good news is that while they do shed, their coats are short, they don’t need haircuts, and are quite easy to maintain. Pitbulls have dog fur, not dog hair (yes, there’s a difference). Lower shedding dogs like a Yorkie or a Maltese have dog hair, which has a longer growth cycle and sheds less frequently.
Pitbulls are not recognized necessarily for the length of their fur, and most people seeking a low shedding dog due to an allergy may do better with a lower shedding dog breed. Their fur is shorter and coarse, but they don’t have as much fur per square inch compared to other single-coated dog breeds, and will shed less as a result.
Some Pitbulls genetically just have very short and fine fur. This means leftover fur will be slightly less noticeable. The good news is that Pitbull coats are relatively easy to care for, regardless of how much fur they leave behind.
Pitbull Coat Colors
Pitbulls can come in a variety of colors. The most common colors you’ll see are Pitbulls with Red Coats, Blue Nose Pitbulls, Brindle Coats, Merle Coats, Black, Chocolate, and White Coats.
It’s also possible that your Pitbull can be what they call a “Moo Moo” pattern, which basically means it’s a spotted coat that looks almost like a cow. Since the Pitbull is not an actual AKC recognized breed, there is no true “breed standard” color that the AKC recognizes. The most popular colors come from Blue Nose and Red-Nosed Pitbulls.
Pitbulls shed consistently and shed year-round. As mentioned, they are single-coated breeds and won’t have the “blown-coat” event that double-coated dogs experience. They don’t have an undercoat to shed, so you’ll be dealing with the same amount of fur all year.
So really, it’s not a matter of “if” they shed, only a matter of “how much.” Some Pitbulls may appear to shed more than others. That variance is usually just due to the color of their coats. White Pitbull dog fur typically appears more against darker colors.
This means it’s quite easy to spot compared to darker fur unless you have light furniture, tile, or carpets. If your Pitbull sheds excessively, then you’ll want to check into other reasons that could be causing this.
Other Reasons Pitbulls Shed
Feeling like your Pitbull is just shedding way too much? Dogs are sensitive creatures, Pitbulls included. While Pitbulls aren’t likely to shed more or less due to seasonality, there are plenty of other things that can happen that might impact the frequency you see fur around your home. Some issues may also need to be looked at by a veterinarian. Let’s look at what those are.
- Stress: Stress from separation anxiety or other reasons can cause excess shedding.
- Routine Change: Changes in your dog’s routine may increase their stress levels.
- Nutrition: Changes in diet can cause food reactions, including allergies.
- Allergies: Being allergic to grass, or certain nutrition products may cause fur loss.
- Bathing: Some dogs don’t do well with certain shampoos and may shed more.
- Skin Conditions: Pitbulls have sensitive skin and skin problems may cause fur loss.
- Mites: Mites or other parasites can cause fur loss.
If you’ve recently changed your pup’s routine, or there’s been some stress in your house, usually, some extra fur laying around will be fairly common. However, if you think your Pitbull is shedding more than normal, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian.
It’s always good to be safe and have a proper diagnosis if routine shedding frequency suddenly increases. Your vet will be able to rule out any serious medical issues and put your mind at ease if it’s nothing serious.
Managing Your Pitbull’s Shedding
So we’ve established that Pitties are shedders. But now what? Actually, managing your Pitbull’s shedding is pretty easy. Most single-coated breeds just need regular grooming and upkeep. Pitbulls do have sensitive skin, so you’ll need to be aware of that when picking shampoo or any topical skin products for your pup. There are several ways to minimize the amount of fur you’ll see laying around your house, all covered below.
Brushing is the lowest hanging fruit that most dog owners neglect. Pitbulls are even easier here because of the length of their coat. It’s not like a Siberian Husky who sheds excessively and has long, visible hair. Pitbulls only need to be brushed a few times per week.
There’s no real reason to consider buying a de-shedding tool for your Pitbull, as most fur should be easily managed by a high-quality pin brush. Every dog is different, so if you find your pup shedding more than normal, a de-shedding tool (they aren’t expensive) may be useful if your veterinarian has ruled out medical issues and your Pitbull just sheds more than others.
As mentioned, Pitbulls have sensitive skin. This means that using a harsher shampoo is not recommended. Even an “average” commercially graded shampoo should be avoided. We recommend sticking to an Oatmeal shampoo or a shampoo that’s been handpicked for Pitbulls. If you start off bathing your pup with the right shampoo, you can at least rule it out as a possibility of a cause for additional fur loss.
Bathing frequency also matters and every dog is going to have a different tolerance here. Some Pitbulls can handle regular bathing. Others won’t handle it as well when their natural oils are stripped from their coats.
We recommend at least a once per month bathing of your pup, and some dogs will do just fine with twice per month. This frequency will likely also depend on if your Pitbull spends a considerable amount of time outdoors vs. being a mostly indoor pup.
Diet matters. Pitbulls should eat a high-quality dog food that supports their coat. If you go the budget route on your dog’s food, it can cause nutritional deficiencies. This can impact your dog’s coat, and their shedding frequency. We recommend feeding your Pitbull a high-quality dry kibble, but also include other ingredients like oats or sweet potatoes which are both high in nutrient value.
Supplements can be a great addition to your Pitbull’s diet. There are several different options here, but using a fish oil supplement is usually the first step. Omega fatty acids are normally included in a high-quality dry dog food, but can be used in supplement form in addition to a regular diet.
You can find coat and skin supplements, or even fish oil by itself in both chewable and liquid format. Putting some fish oil on your Pitbull’s food can also be a great way to make mealtime more enticing if you have a picky eater.
Pitbulls shed. There’s no way around that. But successful canine care will help ensure that your pup’s coat will appear less on the clothing of your guests or on the floor of your home. If you stick to a regular brushing routine, bathe your pup regularly and entrust their health to a high-quality food, a Pitbull’s shedding is quite easy to manage.
If their shedding habits are a cause for concern, put your mind at ease. While some people may insist in other reasons not to adopt a Pitbull, their coats are certainly not one of them.