A fluffy Pit Bull? Are you referring to the singer-songwriter Pit Bull or some new plush toy?
No, I am referring to the rare gene some Pit Bulls can express, making their hair long and “fluffy.” Also known as the Hippie Pittie – for obvious reasons…
Keep reading to learn all about this rare Pit Bull.
What is a fluffy Pit Bull?
A fluffy Pit Bull is a standard Pit Bull carrying the Lh gene. The Lh gene is a mutation on the L Locus, responsible for a dog’s coat length. A fluffy Pit Bull expresses two copies of this mutation and has long hair (or ‘fluffy’).
Are fluffy Pit Bulls different than standard Pit Bulls?
Fluffy Pit Bulls are no different from their short-haired brothers and sisters. Long hair, or fluffy, is not typical amongst Bully breeds. However, if it happens to arise, it means that the dog will have a long and fluffy coat type.
The fluffy Pit Bull is a bit of an oxymoron. When you think of a fluffy dog, you may think of the Goldendoodle or Poodle. These dogs have the quintessential long, curly hair that has some volume to it.
I like to refer to this coat type as “floofy.” If you check Instagram, you will likely see a few captions that also use the term floofy.
However, you don’t think of a Pit Bull as floofy. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Pit Bull is the stocky, muscular breed bred for dog fighting.
Not that Pit Bulls are mean or aggressive, but their history tells us that, quite literally, they were bred for dog fighting. Today, 99% of Pits are not fighters. They have become a popular breed throughout many households worldwide.
All this to say that the fluffy Pit Bull is the same as the coarse, short-haired variety. They are medium-sized muscle heads that love to share affection with their family.
Where did fluffy Pit Bulls come from?
Fluffy Pit Bulls have likely been around since the breed began more than 150 years ago ukcdogs.com/american-pit-bull-terrier. The Lh mutation is rare, meaning long-haired pups probably went unnoticed or were treated as one-offs.
The fluffy Pit Bull wasn’t something most people knew of until a picture of a fluffy Pit surfaced on Reddit in 2022.
Meet Ruby the Fluffy Pit Bull
Ruby is a fluffy Pit Bull from North Carolina. Her owner, Greta Weber, shared a picture of her fluffy Pit on Reddit, and the post went viral.
The post got thousands of upvotes and received attention from major news outlets such as Newsweek. Greta, who goes by Pinkmoon92, included in the captions that her Pit Bull was DNA tested.
The results showed that Ruby the fluffy Pit Bull was 100% American Pit Bull Terrier. She has the rare recessive gene that gave her long, fluffy hair.
Not too soon afterward, more pictures of fluffy or long-haired Pit Bulls surfaced on Reddit, which proves my earlier point that fluffy Pit Bulls have likely been around longer than we think.
Ruby and Greta were the first to draw dog lovers’ attention to this rare gene.
Now, Google search tools estimate that nearly 2,000 people search for “fluffy Pit Bulls” monthly.
Let’s look closer at the gene that causes fluffiness in Pit Bulls.
Lh: The Long Hair Gene (Fluffy Gene)
The Lh mutation is what causes Pit Bulls to have long hair. The mutation occurs in the FGF5 gene, which is responsible for when hair will or will not stop growing.
More specifically, the L Locus region determines the dog’s hair length. The L Locus is like a tiny instruction manual that is part of a dog’s body.
It tells the dog’s body how to grow its fur. Depending on the instruction manual, the dog’s fur can be long and fluffy like a Bernese Mountain Dog or short and smooth like a Boxer.
Short Hair vs. Long Hair
Do you remember Biology 101 in high school? Me neither. So, I will describe how to determine if a Pit Bull will have short or long hair without going too in-depth on genetics.
As I said earlier, the Lh mutation means long hair or fluffy. In contrast, Sh means short hair. There is more science behind it than that, but I won’t claim to understand it, nor is it necessary for this article.
The Lh mutation is recessive. This means that a Pit Bull to have a fluffy coat will need two Lh copies or be double recessive pawprintgenetics.com.
The long hair expression would be Lh/Lh.
It is possible to be a fluffy carrier, which means the dog carries one expression of long hair (Lh). The other copy would be Sh.
Even if the dog has a copy of Lh, it will still be short-haired. It needs two Lh’s to fully express long hair.
This is why an Lh/Sh dog is called a fluffy carrier.
If a fluffy carrier is bred to another fluffy carrier, then their offspring could have fluffy coats.
How to breed fluffy Pit Bulls
The following scenarios show how a fluffy Pit Bull litter could be created. They rely on the basic principles of gene dominance and recessiveness, which don’t necessarily guarantee this is how things will shake out.
Scenario 1: Short-Haired Pit Bull (Sh/Sh) x Long-Haired Pit Bull (Lh/Lh)
All of the offspring would have the genotype Sh/Lh, which means they would all carry one copy of each gene.
However, because the Sh gene is dominant over the Lh gene, the offspring would all have short hair (Sh) because they have at least one copy of the Sh gene.
So, the probability of the offspring having short hair (Sh/Sh or Sh/Lh) would be 100%, and the likelihood of the offspring having long hair (Lh/Lh) would be 0%.
But, each Pit Bull puppy would be a fluffy carrier.
Scenario 2: Short-Haired Fluffy Carrier Pit Bull (Sh/Lh) x Short-Haired Pit Bull (Sh/Sh)
This cross would still result in a 0% chance of having fluffy Pit Bulls. But 50% of the offspring would carry the Lh gene, making them fluffy carriers.
The other 50% would have only the short hair genotype (Sh/Sh).
Scenario 3: Short-Haired Fluffy Carrier Pit Bull (Sh/Lh) x Short-Haired Fluffy Carrier Pit Bull (Sh/Lh)
This cross would result in the following:
- 25% of the offspring will be homozygous for the “Sh” allele (genotype Sh/Sh)
- 50% of the offspring will be fluffy carriers, carrying one copy of each allele (genotype Sh/Lh)
- 25% of the offspring will be fluffy or long-haired (genotype Lh/Lh)
Therefore, this cross should produce fluffy Pit Bulls.
Scenario 4: Long-Haired Pit Bull (Lh/Lh) x Long-Haired Pit Bull (Lh/Lh)
- 100% of the offspring will be fluffy (genotype Lh/Lh)
I am not an expert on dog breeding or genetics, so I don’t know how feasible it is to find two long-haired Pit Bulls, let alone breed them.
Where can I buy a fluffy Pit Bull?
There aren’t any dedicated fluffy Pit Bull breeders in the United States. This doesn’t mean you can’t find a fluffy Pit Bull puppy. It just makes things a little more complicated.
Designer breeds, such as Doodle dogs, usually attract many dedicated breeders. Once you have enough people breeding, you start getting niche breeders specializing in unique coats such as fluffy or merle.
Since Pit Bulls haven’t attracted a large crowd of breeders, there isn’t a specific breeder taking the time to breed fluffy Pit Bulls, let alone test for the fluffy gene.
If you want a fluffy Pit Bull, you will need to be on the lookout for litters with long-haired Pits. If you can find other fluffy Pit owners on Facebook or Instagram, you can ask them where they got their puppy.
How much do fluffy Pit Bulls cost?
Fluffy Pit Bulls likely cost more than $5,000. It is common to see other fluffy Bully breeds, such as the fluffy French Bulldogs, cost more than $10,000. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – $10,000!
If you happen by a fluffy Pit Bull at a dog shelter, you could luck out and take them home for next to nothing.
If you have a fluffy Pit Bull, let me know in the comments below!