Skip to Content

Gator Pitbull – All You Need To Know

Gator pitbulls are highly desired among pitbull lovers. They have legendary ancestors, and are well known for their tenaciousness and affection. 

They began as fighters, but now this fierceness translates to love for their families.  

Gator Pitbull Facts

Photo of a Gator Pitbull
Photo of a Gator Pitbull

The term pitbull actually encompasses a few different breeds. The breed for the gator pitbull is the American Pitbull Terrier. The name gator comes from their lineage. 

History of the Gator Pitbull 

They descended from two pitbulls, known as Plumbers’ Alligator and Rodriguez’s Gator Rom. These pities conformed to the breed standard, but that’s not where they got their fame. 

They were known to be incredible fighters. Unfortunately, fighting pitbulls used to be common and popular. It still continues underground today, even though it’s illegal. 

The pitbull itself was originally bred for fighting. English bulldogs were crossed with terriers to produce a compact yet strong dog. They were used for ratting, which involved the dogs killing rats. They were also used for dog fighting, which is self-explanatory. 

These two “gator” pitbulls had characteristics which made them champion fighters. They would keep fighting despite injuries, seeming not to even notice the pain. They seemed to win against any dog they were pitted against. 

The owners of these champs bred them to many other pitbulls, to create dogs who were excellent fighting. 

Eventually, dog fighting popularity waned, and breeders began focusing on pitbulls as pets, rather than fighters. The gator pitbull line remained popular, but now breeders focused on breeding friendly, affectionate Gators, rather than honing fighting abilities. 

Gator Controversy 

Today, many argue that the gator bloodline is dead. When the gator line started, there was little concern for documentation or registration. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for an owner to prove that their pitbull has the gator bloodline. 

Others believe that the gator line remains, but the original genes have been so diluted through multiple generations of breeding that it’s of little actual importance. 

There are also many breeders who have questionable ethics. These breeders are happy to use the term gator as a marketing tactic, selling their dogs for more money simply because of their label. 

What Makes a Gator Pitbull? 

Technically, a gator pitbull should have the gator bloodline. However, in reality, the term gator often means a pitbull that has the gator look, rather than the gator bloodline. Gators are heavier than most pitbulls, and have a slim and short tail that is never docked. 

Gator Pitbull Price

Gator pitbulls typically cost significantly more than your average pitbull. This is due to their popularity, and the prestige that the name suggests.

After all, all breeds have certain bloodlines that are highly desired and more costly than average. It’s also standard for dogs with certain desirable characteristics to cost more than most. 

Generally, you can expect to pay $2,000-$10,000 for a gator pitbull from a reputable breeder. The average pitbull costs $1,600-$3,000, so Gators do come at a premium. 

Gator Pitbull Rarity

It’s hard to say for sure how rare the gator pitbull is, because it’s difficult to determine what qualifies as a gator. If you consider any pitbull marketed as a gator, or with gator characteristics, as a gator, the gator pitbull is relatively rare. 

If you define it as pitbulls with the gator bloodline, they are even more rare. 

Gator Pitbull Life expectancy

Gator pitbulls typically live from 12-14 years. This is in line with other types of pitbull. Their lives can be longer or shorter, depending on their genetics, health, and living conditions. 

The longest lived pitbull is Bluey, who lived for 29 years. Before Bluey, the record was held by Max, who was 26. 

Gator Pitbull Size and weight

Gator pitbulls are typically larger, or at least heavier, than other types. Most pitbulls weigh 30-65 pounds, while gator pitbulls weigh 60-80 pounds. 

They are also shorter than average. Most pitties are 17-21 inches long. Gator pits, on the other hand, grow to 15-20 inches tall.  

Gator Pitbull Health

Gator pitbulls are a healthy breed, but there are some potential health problems you should be aware of. There aren’t any health conditions specific to the gator pitbull, but there are some health issues common to pitbulls, including gators. 

Hip Dysplasia 

Hip dysplasia is a common problem in large or medium sized breeds. It occurs when the hip joint isn’t formed properly, or the ligaments around the hip are too loose. 

This causes the hip to move out of place. This leads to pain and mobility issues. 

Skin Issues 

Skin issues are common for pitbulls, probably due to their short hair. These can be caused by allergies, or chemical sensitivities. They can cause hair loss, scratching, licking, and skin lesions. 


Allergies often cause skin problems in pitbulls. However, they can also cause rashes, sneezing, and ear infections. Fleas, grass, and corn are a few common dog allergens. 

There are many potential allergens, so allergies must be diagnosed by your vet. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy, also known as PRA, is a condition that causes the dog to go blind. It’s more common in pitbulls than other breeds. 

The condition isn’t painful. The eyes are simply programmed to go blind at a certain age, usually 2 to 3 years old. 

Gator Pitbull Behavior/Characteristics

The gator pitbull may have begun as a fighter, but today they are much more suited to companionship. Like all pitbulls, they have an over the top affectionate personality. 

They love human interaction, and will come up with interesting ways to get your attention. They are very curious, and will excitedly explore anything that seems new or exciting. 

They are energetic, but they have a laid back side as well. They will happily play until you drop. However, they are also content to curl up and nap for most of the day. 

They  are tenacious, and highly protective of their family. The gator pit will fight to the death to protect those they love. It’s important to note that protectiveness is different than aggression, at least in a well trained pooch. 

Are Gator Pitbulls Aggressive? 

Given their history, it may be hard to believe gator pitbulls aren’t aggressive.

Even though they were bred for fighting, they were also bred to be docile towards their owners. This is common sense. Dog fighters wanted the dogs to fight each other, but they wanted to be safe around them. 

There’s also been generations of gator pits being bred as pets, instead of fighters. This has helped ensure that they are not overly aggressive. 

The American Temperament Test also gives an indication of their personality. 

The test measures several aspects of temperament, including aggression and friendliness. 86% of pitbulls pass this test. Only 85% of German Shepards, which aren’t considered an aggressive breed, pass. Some breeds, like chihuhauas, only pass 70% of the time. 

How to care for a Gator Pitbull

Gator pitbulls are considered low maintenance, but they do require care, like any breed. They need plenty of training and exercise. 


Gator pitbulls require daily exercise. They’ll need at least 1 hour of exercise each day, and some do well with 2 hours of activity. Walking, running, and swimming are good forms of exercise. 

They also need plenty of mental exercise. They are intelligent, and need their mind stimulated to prevent boredom. You can teach them tricks and commands and play games with them. 

When you aren’t available, puzzle toys and doggie tv can keep them entertained. However, these aren’t a replacement for you interacting with them. 

A combination of mental and physical exercise will keep your gator pit well behaved. Without it, they will get bored and have excess energy. This can lead to behavioral issues, like chewing items or digging. 


Their high energy levels and large muscle mass make a proper diet very important for gator pits. You should feed them a high quality food based on their age and weight. 

Puppies should eat puppy food 3 times a day. Once they are 9-12 months old, you can transition them to an adult dog food twice a day. 

A high protein food is ideal for them, because it helps them maintain their muscle mass and energy. 

Free feeding isn’t recommended, because they love to eat. Feed them based on the weight guidelines listed on the dog food package. 


Gator pitbulls have a wonderful temperament, but they do require plenty of training and socialization. Pitbulls can be naturally aggressive towards other animals, including other dogs, and strangers without socialization. 

They are a powerful breed, which means controlling them physically is difficult. Training ensures that you can remain in control, without resorting to physical force. 

They are driven to please their owner, which makes training them easy. However, they do require a strong owner. You should be confident and calm, and only use positive reinforcement during training.  

They do have a stubborn streak, and negative training can trigger this. If they love and respect you, they will do anything to please you. 


Pitbulls need lots of love and attention. If you want to get a pitbull, you’ll need to be prepared for lots of interaction. They don’t do well if they are left alone for long periods of time, because they tend to develop separation anxiety. 

If you want a dog to be a true companion, a gator pitbull is a great choice. If you have a busy lifestyle and want a dog who is more independent, you should consider other breeds. 


When it comes to grooming, gator pitbulls are easy. A weekly brushing is enough to care for their short coat. They do shed year round, but they only shed a small amount of hair. 

They will need bathing, usually about once a month. Be sure to use products designed for dogs with sensitive skin. Frequent tooth brushing and nail trimming once every six weeks complete their grooming routine. 

How do you buy a Gator Pitbull?

There are two ways to buy a gator pitbull. You can adopt one from a shelter, or purchase one from a breeder. 

It’s important to note that no matter which route you choose, there’s a lot of what may be considered false advertising when it comes to gator pits. 

Shelters often take the word of the previous owner, or determine their breed based solely on looks.

Labeling a dog a gator pitbull can make them more desirable. For shelters, this means a greater chance of someone wanting the dog. For breeders, it results in a faster sell and higher profits. 

When purchasing a gator pitbull, you should be aware that few gator pits actually have the gator bloodline. 

 Adopting a Gator Pitbull 

Pitbulls are very common in shelters, so they are easy to find. You can also check organizations like Pitbull Rescue Central. 

You may find pooches labeled as gator pits, but there’s no guarantee they have gator blood. 

However, if you simply want a faithful companion that looks like a gator, this doesn’t really matter. You’ll also pay much less for the pooch if you adopt, rather than purchasing from a breeder. 

Purchasing a Gator Pitbull from a Breeder 

If you want to purchase a gator pitbull from a breeder, you should focus on finding a reputable breeder. Organizations that register pitbulls have breeder lists. These breeders have been vetted by the organization, with means they are more likely to be ethical. 

The American Pitbull Registry, and the American Dog Breeders Association American Pit Bull Terrier, also known as ADBA. 

You should be very cautious about any breeder who is claiming they have gator pitbulls, particularly if they say their dogs have the gator bloodline. It’s possible, but the majority fo these claims come from breeders focused on profits, rather than honesty. 

It’s a great idea to ask some questions to any potential breeder. Do they do genetic health testing? Are their dogs registered? Have the puppies had health exams? 

You should also be prepared for any reputable breeder to ask you questions as well. They will want to know their puppy is going to a good home.