Most Pitbull lovers know about the different kinds of Pitbull-type dogs, but how many of them are aware of the various Pitbull colors and patterns?
Keep reading to learn more about Pitbull colors and patterns, including coat descriptions, color genetics, and so much more!
How Many Pitbull Colors Are There?
Before delving deeper, it is important to first clarify which of the four main kinds of Pitbull breeds this article will refer to, as these different Pitbull breeds have varying appearances.
The four types of Pitbulls are the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the American Bully.
For reference, the following colors and patterns refer to that of the American Pitbull Terrier (APBT), which is best known for its affectionate personality, devotion, and high energy levels.
Aside from these admirable traits, however, the Pitbull comes in a wide array of colors and coat patterns, each as unique and special as the next.
Here is a list of all known Pitbull colors and patterns:
- Black and White
- Black and Tan
- Black Brindle
- Fawn Sable
- Fawn Brindle
- Blue Fawn
- Blue Fawn Brindle
- Blue and White
- Blue Brindle
- Brown and Tan
- Brown Brindle
- Liver Brindle
- Champagne and White
- Champagne Brindle
- Red Brindle
- Reverse Brindle
Unfortunately, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier as a purebred dog due to the breed’s reputation as fighting dogs and bull-baiters.
According to them, all Pitbull colors and patterns are acceptable breed colors except for merle and albino.
30 Pitbull Colors
Here are 30 different Pitbull colors and patterns:
1. Black Pitbull
A black Pitbull has a solid black coat all over their body, from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail. The color black can vary in shade from a shiny, jet black to a duller, matte black.
The dominant black color is controlled by the dominant K gene, which codes for the production of eumelanin, a type of pigment that creates black or dark brown coloration in dogs.
A black Pitbull has a high concentration of this black pigment, giving color to its skin, hair, and eyes. Therefore, all the features of a black Pitbull will typically be all black, although it may have small spots of white.
Unfortunately, most solid black Pitbulls are deemed more aggressive than other Pitbull colors, which is why they might be less likely to be adopted from dog shelters.
However, this is simply a misconception, as the color of a dog does not affect its temperament and personality whatsoever.
2. Black and White Pitbull
A black and white Pitbull typically has a predominantly black coat with visible white markings typically seen on the chest, feet, face, or any combination of these areas.
Although the exact distribution and pattern of these white markings can vary, they are usually very defined and contrast well with the Pitbull’s black fur.
Along with the dominant black gene that gives a Pitbull its black pigment, these dogs possess the S gene, which controls the distribution of pigments and the presence of white markings on the coat.
If one or both of the Pitbull’s parents also have at least one copy of the S allele, the offspring may inherit those white markings; thus, resulting in a black and white coat.
This color combination occurs more frequently in the American Bully and the American Staffordshire Terrier; however, it is not an uncommon sight in American Pitbull Terriers.
3. Black and Tan Pitbull
A black and tan Pitbull is primarily black, with tan points on its face, chest, and legs. These markings may also appear above their eyes, on their eyebrows, and on their paws.
This color combination is endearingly similar to that of Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers, which is why some people may mistake black and tan Pit Bulls as crossbred dogs.
Black and tan Pitbulls are rare because the black gene (K) is a dominant allele that will typically override the presentation of the agouti (A) locus that controls the presentation of tan markings.
Thus, to produce a black and tan Pitbull, the dog must be heterozygous for tan and recessive black. This allows the expression of tan points across its black fur.
4. Black Brindle Pitbull
A black brindle Pitbull is predominantly black with brindle patterns, which is a color pattern that usually consists of dark stripes or patches on a lighter base color that often resembles tiger stripes.
However, in the case of a black brindle Pitbull, the base color is dark black, and the stripes or patches are usually brown or reddish-brown. Technically, this makes it a reverse brindle Pitbull.
Brindle is caused by the interaction of two genes, one responsible for the black coat color and the other responsible for the pattern itself.
The brindle gene is one of the alleles of the K locus. When a dog inherits two copies of the brindle gene, it will have a more pronounced pattern than a brindle dog that inherits only one copy.
The exact genetic mechanisms that control the distribution and intensity of these pigments are complex. However, it is clear that this coloration is the result of a combination of both dominant and recessive genes.
5. Fawn Pitbull
A fawn Pitbull typically has a coat whose color ranges from a light tan to a rich, red-brown color, resembling the color of a young deer – which is where the name “fawn” comes from.
Additionally, lighter variations of this color are often referred to as lilac in other dog breeds, but some Pitbull breeders may also use the term ‘lilac’ as a marketing strategy.
Some Pitbulls of this color may have white markings on their chest or feet. The shade of fawn can vary slightly between individual dogs, but it is generally a warm, earthy color that can be mistaken for tan or brown.
The coat of a Fawn Pitbull is caused by the agouti locus (A). Specifically, it is the Ay allele that produces Pitbulls dogs that are fawn with red or yellow undertones.
Aside from genetics, environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight and nutrition can also affect the intensity and shade of a fawn Pitbull.
6. Fawn Sable Pitbull
The color of a fawn sable Pitbull typically consists of a light-colored base coat – in this case, fawn – with black or dark brown hair tips, giving its coat the signature sable pattern.
The pattern and intensity of the black or dark brown hairs of fawn sable Pitbulls can vary from dog to dog and may appear in different areas of the coat, such as on the face, legs, or back.
Usually, the black overlay found in a fawn sable Pitbull also means that it has a dark nose, muzzle, tail, and even eye rims.
The color pattern of this Pit Bull is caused by the interactions of the agouti locus (A). Specifically, the sable pattern is caused by the recessive Ay allele.
7. Fawn Brindle Pitbull
A fawn brindle Pitbull typically sports a color that combines shades of fawn with darker stripes or patches of black, brown, or reddish-brown hairs, resulting in the distinctive appearance of the brindle pattern.
Generally, the fawn color is dominant, with the brindle pattern overlaid on top, but it varies from dog to dog.
Just like any other brindle Pitbull, each hair on a fawn brindle Pitbull has a different pattern of pigments, resulting in its unique look.
8. Blue Fawn Pitbull
Typically, a blue fawn Pitbull has a fawn-colored coat that appears to have a bluish-gray hue. The coat color may range from a light, almost silver, blue to a darker, more steel-like shade.
The coat of a blue fawn Pitbull comes from a fawn base color and the presence of the dilute locus (D), which affects the intensity of the coat color.
The dilution gene lightens the base color’s intensity, resulting in a bluish-gray tint to the coat. The combination of both genes creates the iconic blue fawn color.
Blue fawns are considered a somewhat uncommon Pitbull color, which is why some breeders may charge higher prices for a blue fawn Pit.
9. Blue Fawn Brindle Pitbull
A blue fawn brindle Pitbull is characterized by a combination of brindle and blue fawn color. In other words, the coat is fawn with blue-grey undertones and darker stripes and streaks.
For a blue fawn brindle Pitbull, a complex combination of different genes must be present in order to produce this pup’s coat color.
The blue color is caused by a dilution gene that affects the expression of black pigment, causing the coat to appear grayish-blue, while the fawn is caused by a different gene that produces a lighter, yellowish-tan color.
Lastly, brindle is caused by a gene that produces a striping or streaking effect, which can be various shades of black, gray, or brown.
A blue fawn brindle Pitbull is considered an uncommon Pit Bull color due to its genetic complexity, so expect higher costs from breeders.
10. Blue Pitbull
Blue Pitbulls are a popular color variation characterized by their distinctive “blue” color, which is a grey coat with blue undertones often most visible in direct light.
The coat color of a blue Pitbull is actually a dilution of the black, caused by a recessive gene that must be inherited from both parents in order for a puppy to be born with a blue coat.
Thus, a blue Pitbull is most likely to have a blue nose as well. In some cases, this Pitbull dog may also have blue eyes. This is why a blue Pitbull can sometimes be referred to as a blue nose Pitbull.
Because this color is caused by a recessive gene, blue Pitbulls are more difficult to produce. In other words, these Pit Bulls are somewhat rare compared to others.
11. Blue and White Pitbull
Blue and white Pitbulls have a distinctive, dual-colored coat that is highly sought after by dog enthusiasts. Similar to a blue Pitbull, its blue color appears mostly grey with a bluish hue as a result of a dilution gene.
However, it also has white markings on its coat, which can vary in size and location. Typically, these are found on the chest, face, and legs of the Pitbull dog.
Because of its similar genetic features to a blue Pitbull, these Pitbull dogs may also have other blue features such as a blue nose and blue eyes.
12. Blue Brindle Pitbull
Blue brindle Pitbulls typically have coats that appear bluish-gray with streaks of darker brindle stripes. The brindle stripes may be black or dark brown and are usually randomly distributed throughout the dog’s coat.
The overall appearance of a blue brindle Pitbull can vary depending on the individual dog’s genetics and the specific shades of blue and brindle present in their coat.
13. Brown Pitbull
The specific shade of a brown Pitbull can vary from dark to light brown and may also have hints of red undertones. Brown Pitbulls may have a solid color or may have white patches on their chest, paws, or face.
Brown Pitbulls get their color from eumelanin, known as the brown gene (B). There are two possible versions of this gene: “B” for black and “b” for brown.
To create a brown Pitbull, it must have two copies of the “b” gene (bb). This will result in other brown features such as brown eyes, noses, and paw pads.
14. Brown and Tan Pitbull
A brown and tan Pitbull typically has a predominantly brown coat with tan markings.
The brown coloration can vary in shade, from light to dark chocolate brown, and may appear in a solid color or with lighter or darker variations throughout the coat.
The tan markings are usually found on the muzzle, chest, and legs and can range in shade from a light beige to a rich mahogany color.
The tan markings in a Pitbull’s coat are caused by the agouti locus (A), which controls the red or yellow pigments that result in the tan color. Specifically, tan points are caused by the recessive At allele.
15. Brown Brindle Pitbull
Brown brindle Pitbulls typically feature a combination of a brown coat with black stripes or patches. However, sometimes it may appear similar to a black brindle Pitbull, which has a dark coat with lighter stripes.
Like any other brindle Pitbull, the overall appearance varies depending on the specific shades of brown and black present in the brindle pattern, as well as the distribution of the stripes or patches across the body.
16. Liver Pitbull
A liver-colored Pitbull has a coat color that is primarily a solid shade of dark brown. The liver coloration can vary in shade from a lighter caramel color to a darker, richer brown.
Due to its rich color, this Pit Bull variation is also referred to as ‘chocolate.’
This Pitbull coloration is caused by the recessive b gene, meaning both parents must carry this gene to produce liver-colored offspring. This also means liver Pitbulls have brown eye rims, noses, and paw pads.
17. Liver Brindle Pitbull
Liver brindle Pitbulls are a mixture of reddish-brown hairs and dark brown stripes. Some may also bear white patches or markings.
However, liver brindle Pitbulls may be difficult to notice due to the similar hues of its coat and its pattern.
This color occurs when a Pitbull inherits both the liver and brindle genes from its parents. Because it is an uncommon color combination, these Pit Bulls can be highly sought after by breeders and Pitbull lovers.
18. Champagne Pitbull
A champagne Pitbull has a coat characterized as a pale, golden tan, resembling the color of champagne. This color can vary in shade from a light cream to a slightly darker golden hue.
Typically, however, it is a uniform color across the entire body. Some champagne Pitbulls may have small patches of white on their chest, feet, or face, but the majority of their coat is typically the champagne color.
This color occurs when Pitbulls have two copies of a recessive gene known as the dilution gene (d), which dilutes red Pit Bulls into a lighter, ocher-toned color.
As such, these Pit Bulls cannot have black noses. These dogs are more likely to have blue features, specifically the nose, eyes, and paw pads.
19. Champagne and White Pitbull
A champagne and white Pitbull typically has a coat that is light tan or beige in color, often with a slightly metallic sheen that gives it a champagne-like appearance.
The white areas of the coat are usually found on the chest, paws, and face and may be solid or have a speckled or piebald pattern.
Similar to a champagne Pit Bull, it is likely for these dogs to have blue features such as blue eyes, noses, and paw pads.
20. Champagne Brindle Pitbull
A champagne brindle dog typically has a coat that is a combination of light beige or cream-colored fur with stripes of dark brown or black.
Because the base color of a champagne brindle Pitbull is light, it is easy to spot the dark stripes and patches scattered around the dog’s coat. Thus, the overall effect of this coat combination is striking and eye-catching.
21. Tan Pitbull
A tan Pitbull typically has a coat that is predominantly tan or brown in color. The specific shade of tan can vary, ranging from light beige to a deep mahogany color. Thus, it is easy to mistake this color for brown or fawn.
Some tan Pitbulls may have white patches on their chest or other areas of their body.
The tan coat is usually the result of a dominant Ay allele, which means that if one parent carries the gene for tan coat color, their offspring are likely to inherit that color.
22. Buckskin Pitbull
A buckskin Pitbull typically has a base coat color that ranges from a light tan to a dark golden brown, with a black “mask” around its muzzle and sometimes around their eyes.
Furthermore, a buckskin Pitbull may also have black or dark brown hairs intermixed with lighter hairs, giving the coat a slightly mottled appearance.
Buckskin is one of the many coat patterns common in many dog breeds, including the American Pit Bull Terrier.
In a buckskin Pitbull, the base coat color is determined by a combination of genes that control the production of eumelanin and pheomelanin. The buckskin color is produced by the dominant Ay allele.
There are instances where a buckskin Pitbull also has a red nose, which suggests interbreeding between Pitbull bloodlines.
23. Red Pitbull
A red Pitbull typically has a coat that ranges from a light, reddish-brown color to a deeper mahogany red shade. The coat is usually short, smooth, and glossy, with a sleek appearance.
Sometimes, a red Pitbull may have white markings on its chest, feet, or face, but these are not always present. A red Pitbull may also have a red nose, eyes, and toenails.
This is why this Pit Bull color variation can also be referred to as the red nose Pitbull.
The pheomelanin pigment is more dominant in a red Pitbull, giving the coat its reddish hue. Specifically, the dominant Ay allele is responsible for the iconic coat of the red Pitbull.
24. Red Brindle Pitbull
A red brindle Pitbull is characterized by a red coat with black or dark brown hairs that create stripes and patches on the coat. The red color is dominant, and the dark brown hairs are interspersed throughout the body.
Because a red brindle Pitbull is genetically similar to a red-nose Pitbull, it is also likely to have a red nose and other red features.
25. White Pitbull
White Pitbulls are typically completely white in color, typically with no visible patches of other colors or coat patterns.
Some of these Pitbulls may have small spots of color around their eyes, noses, or ears. These spots are often referred to as “freckles” and are considered to be normal variations for this dog breed.
It is important to note that white Pitbulls are different from albino Pitbulls. Albino dogs have a genetic condition that results in a lack of pigmentation in their skin, fur, and eyes due to the absence of melanin.
This means that albino dogs have pink or blue eyes, white fur, and a pink nose, lips, and paw pads. On the other hand, white Pitbulls have a white coat but still have pigmentation in their eyes, nose, and skin.
26. Piebald Pitbull
A piebald Pitbull has a coat pattern that is predominantly white with patches of black, brown, or other colors. The patches can vary in size and shape and are often irregular in shape, somewhat similar to a cow pattern.
Piebald is a pattern caused by a gene mutation where pigment-producing cells called melanocytes are reduced in certain areas, resulting in these patches or spots in varying intensities.
The piebald pattern can also be combined with other colors and patterns, such as black, brown, brindle, or merle.
27. Reverse Brindle Pitbull
As mentioned earlier, a reverse brindle is the opposite of a brindle Pitbull wherein the coat is darker in color with thin, light-colored stripes running along the coat.
The reverse brindle coat pattern in Pitbulls is caused by the interaction of two different coat color genes, the black gene and the brindle gene.
When a Pitbull inherits one copy of the dominant black gene and one copy of the dominant brindle gene, the result is a reverse brindle coat pattern.
The black gene creates the dark base color, while the brindle gene causes the light markings to appear over the black base. The contrast of the light stripes with the dark base color is known as the reverse brindle.
28. Tri-color Pitbull
Tricolor Pitbulls typically have a combination of three distinct colors, which are usually black, white, and brown. However, it can also be a combination of other Pitbull colors.
The black color is usually dominant, covering most of the dog’s body, while the white and brown colors appear as markings on specific areas, such as the chest, face, legs, or tail.
These Pits are a result of mixing dominant and recessive genes to express different colors in the Pitbull offspring. This needs a lot of dedication and research, which is why tri-color Pitbulls are somewhat uncommon.
29. Seal Pitbull
A seal Pitbull can often appear black or dark brown at first sight, but their looks can be deceiving. In reality, a seal Pitbull has a dark coat that exhibits a red or brown cast, especially in direct sunlight.
The exact genetics of a seal Pitbull are yet to be known, which is why this is a somewhat rare Pitbull color. Nonetheless, it is a stunning Pitbull color.
30. Merle Pitbull
The merle Pitbull is not a recognized breed by any major kennel club, as it is considered a controversial color no matter what dog breed.
Merle is a genetic pattern that can affect the coat of dogs and is characterized by patches of diluted color on a solid background. It is caused by the presence of the dominant allele of the merle locus (M).
When a merle gene is present, it can result in a variety of coat colors, including blue, black, chocolate, and red, with patches of diluted color throughout the coat.
The diluted patches can range from a light gray or silver to a blue or fawn color and can be either large or small in size.
Merle dogs are quite rare due to their association with certain illnesses like deafness and blindness. However, this is more common in double merle dogs, who possess two copies of the M locus.
Pitbull Breed Standards & Disqualifications
The term “Pitbull” can refer to several breeds that share similar physical characteristics, including the American Pitbull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the American Bully.
Each of these breeds has its own set of breed standards and disqualifications, which are guidelines used by dog show judges to evaluate the conformation of individual dogs.
The general breed standards and disqualifications for the coat colors of the American Pitbull Terrier are actually quite broad. Any color or color combination, such as fawn, blue, black, brindle, and red, is accepted.
According to the United Kennel Club (UKC), only albino and merle Pitbulls are disqualified from the breed standard.
However, other kennel clubs such as the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) state that there are other non-standard and faulty Pitbull colors, but these usually refer to other types of Pitbulls.
Some of these colors include black and tan, liver, liver brindle, white or albino, and Pitbulls who are 80% white.
Breed standards and disqualifications can vary slightly between different kennel clubs and organizations, so it’s always a good idea to check the specific guidelines before entering a dog in a show or competition.
What Is the Rarest Pitbull Color?
The rarest Pitbull variation is widely considered to be merle. However, other colors such as blue, white, seal, tan, and tri-color are also quite rare among the Pitbull community.
There are many different colors and color combinations that can occur in Pitbulls, but not all of them can be easily achieved. Thus, there are quite a few rare Pitbull colors.
Some of these rare Pitbull colors – particularly merle – can come with health risks such as deafness and blindness, so it’s important for breeders to prioritize the well-being of their dogs over breeding for rare colors.
What Is the Most Common Pitbull Color?
An American Pit Bull Terrier has a variety of common colors, most notably black, fawn, and all of these colors’ respective varieties. These include Pitbull patterns like buckskin and brindle.
Usually, these Pitbull colors are more common because these colors are easy to produce during breeding. Aside from that, these are also popular colors for Pitbull dogs.
Because these colors are commonly found among Pitbull breeders, they are often sold at lower prices compared to rarer color variants.
Do Pitbull Colors Affect Behavior and Health?
Most of the time, Pitbull colors do not have a direct impact on behavior or health. The color of a Pitbull is determined by its genetics, and it is not related to its temperament or physical health.
However, there are certain myths and misconceptions about the temperament of Pitbull dogs based on their coat colors.
For example, some believe that black Pitbulls are more aggressive or dangerous; thus, they are often disregarded at rescues or animal shelters. This phenomenon is referred to as the Black Dog Syndrome (BDS).
However, there is no concrete evidence to support this claim. It can mostly be chalked up to misinformation, outdated biases, and superstitions.
Similarly, some people associate blue or gray Pitbulls with certain health problems, but again, there is no scientific evidence to support this belief.
It is important to remember that a Pitbull’s behavior and health are influenced by many factors, such as their environment, socialization, training, and genetics.
Do Pitbull Puppies Change Colors as They Grow?
Yes, Pitbull puppies can change their coat color as they grow older. This is because its coat is determined by its genetics, and sometimes the expression of certain genes can change as the dog matures.
For example, a Pitbull puppy may be born with a mostly white coat and develop more dark patches as it grows older, or a brindle puppy may grow to develop a solid coat color as an adult.
It’s also worth noting that environmental factors can sometimes affect a dog’s coat color, although this is less common. For example, exposure to sunlight can sometimes cause a dog’s coat to lighten or darken.
Still, while a Pitbull puppy’s coat color may change as it grows older, it’s impossible to predict exactly how or when this will happen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Grey Pitbulls Rare?
The closest color to a grey Pitbull is technically the blue Pitbull, which can be somewhat rare. Needless to say, they are certainly less common than other coat colors like black, brindle, or fawn.
However, it is worth noting that some breeders may charge a premium for a blue nose Pitbull due to its perceived rarity or popularity and its challenging breeding process.
Are Blue Pitbulls Rare?
As mentioned earlier, blue or blue nose Pitbulls can be considered somewhat rare, but in reality, they are simply less common compared to other Pitbull colors.
This is because a blue-gray coat comes from a recessive gene, meaning that both parents must carry the gene for the blue color.
Are Fawn Pitbulls Rare?
Fawn is a common color in Pitbulls, so fawn Pitbulls are not considered rare. However, the popularity of coat colors can vary by area and demand, so it’s possible that fawn Pitbulls may be difficult to find in some areas.
How Rare Is a Fully Black Pitbull?
Black Pitbulls are not a rare color variation, but fully black Pitbulls with no other color markings may be less common. The rarity of a fully black Pitbull depends on geographical location, breeding practices, and genetic factors.
How Rare Is a Solid White Pitbull?
Solid white Pitbulls can be considered somewhat rare, as it is among the rarest Pitbull colors along with blue, tan, and tri-color. However, it is not as rare as the albino Pitbull, characterized by a complete lack of pigments.
Because of the misconception that American Pitbull Terriers are tough, aggressive dogs, many people tend to overlook the beauty of this breed.
As you have learned from this article, there is an entire spectrum of different Pitbull colors, each one of them bringing a unique charm and charisma to the Pitbulls dogs who bear them.
However, the colors of a Pitbull’s coat are just one of the many allures of Pitbull dogs, who are known for their intelligence, wit, obedience, loyalty, and affection.
Now that you know all of the possible Pitbull colors, which one caught your eye the most?