If you thought Rudolph the Reindeer was the only animal boasting a glowing red nose, you are wrong. Red-nosed pit bulls also have a red sniffer, but unlike Rudolph, they don't use their noses to illuminate the road. Rather, unethical breeders use the red nose to magically bring big profits.
Pit Bull Nose Standard
If you are looking for an American pit bull terrier puppy, your best bet is to find one from an ethical breeder. Reputable American pit bull terrier breeders adhere to the breed standard, which calls for puppies with a large nose boasting wide, open nostrils. When it comes to color, the nose may be of any color, according to the United Kennel Club standard. Good breeders will not give much importance to nose color; rather, they will care more about the health and temperament of the breed.
Red-nosed pit bulls and blue-nosed pit bulls have a history of being considered rare. Unfortunately, unscrupulous breeders are selectively breeding pit bulls for the red or blue nose trait in hopes of cashing in on the current fad, according to The Real Pit Bull website. Because their biggest selling point is nose color, these breeders mate poor quality specimens with little or no regard for health or temperament. The moral of the story is that you may end up with a puppy with a beautiful red nose, but also health issues or an awful temperament, or in dire cases, both.
The red-nose pit bull fad has likely originated from a line of pit bulls from Ireland called the Old Family Red Nose. This strain of pit bulls boasted copper-red noses, red lips, red toe nails, red coats and red, amber eyes, according to Richard F. Stratton, author of the book "This is The American Pit Bull Terrier." This bloodline was mainly used to fight, but was virtually eradicated when, in an effort to stop dog fights, the American Kennel Club banned any red-nosed American Staffordshire Terrier from being registered. The bottom line is that modern red-nose pit bulls do not descend from this line and are more likely simply normal pit bulls with red noses.
So are red-nosed pit bull puppies really rare? The answer is no. There are many pit bulls with red noses, just as there are many with black noses or blue noses along with different coat colors. Unscrupulous breeders with a nose for money are to blame for making false claims about nose color so they could jack up the prices of their specimens. These breeders are also to blame for passing red-nosed pit bulls for a special "type" of Pit Bull when they are not.
If you really want a red-nosed pit bull puppy, turn your nose up at breeders asking a premium for rare specimens. Rather, consider the fact that you can find red-nose specimens from ethical pit bull breeders who care about the breed and breed for much more than just nose color. If you are willing to adopt, you may be happy to learn that there are many red-nosed pit bull puppies in shelters and rescue centers just waiting for a loving home. These pups may not illuminate the road with their glowing red nose, but they will certainly brighten your day.
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.