Tri-Color Pitbull – Breed Info, Pictures, Genetics & Facts

Tri color Pitbull puppy standing on a grass field

If you’re already engrossed by the gorgeous looks of Bully dog breeds, wait until you see a tri-colored Pitbull! As its name suggests, this confident canine exhibits three colors that can easily attract attention.

Such a combination of coat colors isn’t an everyday sight for Pitbull fanciers. This is because Pitbulls usually come in solid or bi-color coats. Hence, it’s your lucky day if you come across a tri-color variety.

Learning how the tri Pitbull came about requires diving into deeper details about this amazing dog. This guide provides all the facts you need regarding its various types and appearance, personality, and more. So, read on!

What Is a Tri-Color Pitbull?

Tri color Pitbull standing outdoors
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A tri-color Pitbull refers to all Pitbull breeds expressing three colors on their coats. Commonly, the base of a tri-color Pitbull ranges from lilac and black to blue combined with two other colors, like brown and white. Despite the distinct coat color, this variety is similar in traits to other Pitbulls.

This tri-color variant of the Pitbull breed became a craze right after it was introduced.

Some breeders were encouraged to produce Pitbulls with three color combinations to accommodate the public’s high demand for this unique dog.

It’s also important to note that Pitbull is an umbrella term for certain dog breeds. It includes the American Pitbull Terrier, American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bulldog.

However, out of all these five canines, only the American Bully and the American Pitbull Terrier can come in tricolor coats.

Are Tri-Color Pitbulls Rare?

Tri-color Pitbulls are certainly rare dogs since the appearance of their coats was due to the unusual occurrence of a genetic combination. That said, breeding these dogs is more complex than producing regular Pitbulls.

Establishing a breeding program to churn out more tri-colored Pitbull puppies is deemed risky. They’re prone to developing diseases or undesirable traits due to the recessive alleles they carry.

Another reason they’re rare is that they’re not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Most, if not all, breeders aren’t encouraged to provide the community with dogs of these kinds that are non-standard.

Additionally, people who prefer showing their Pitbulls are less likely to purchase a tri-colored variety since the hue alone is a basis for disqualification for conformation events.

Considering factors such as complex genetics, risks, and preferences, tri-colored Pitbulls will remain a rare sight indefinitely.

6 Different Types of Tri-Color Pitbulls

Pitbulls enjoy several coat colors, but if that’s not fascinating enough, a few exhibit at least three hues simultaneously. This makes them stand out from those that only sport one or two colors!

Knowing the possible color combinations for the Pitbull breed will help you decide which variety to choose.

Here are the different types of tricolor Pitbulls:

1. Black Tri-Color Pitbull

Black tri color Pitbull
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Black tri Pitbull is characterized by its predominantly black short coat with tan markings scattered throughout its body. A white patch of fur is also exhibited across the chest and paws.

2. Chocolate Tri-Color Pitbull

Chocolate tri color Pitbull
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The chocolate tri-color Pitbull, also called liver, red, or brown tri Pitbull, mainly sports a chocolate-shaded coat. This is matched by tan facial markings and underparts and a white-patched chest.

3. Lilac Tri-Color Pitbull

Lilac tri color Pitbull
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The rare lilac tri-color Pitbull displays a pale violet shade that covers most of its body. There will be tan markings on the face, legs, and underparts, with a big white area blotched across the chest.

4. Blue Tri-Color Pitbull

Blue tri Pitbull
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Showing its silvery-grey coat is the blue tri-colored Pitbull. It’s not necessarily a blue-tinted dog but rather a canine exhibiting a cool tone of color with apparent tan markings and a white chest and paws.

5. Purple Tri-Color Pitbull

Purple tri color Pitbull
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A purple tri-color Pitbull is much darker in its shade than the lilac variety. It’s described as having a smoky lavender hue, which perfectly complements the other colors present in its body, which are tan and white.

6. Red Merle Tri-Color Pitbull

Red merle tri color Pitbull
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A red merle tri-color Pitbull has mottled layers of red, tan, and white markings. Its body is mostly covered in a red merle coat, and the edges transition to a tan shade. Also, the forechest reveals a patch of white fur.

Tri-Color Pitbull Appearance

Tri color Pitbull with pink bandana
Image credit: shelby.thepittie / Instagram

The appearance of a tri-color Pitbull depends on whether it’s an American Pitbull Terrier or an American Bully. Regardless, these Pitbulls often share similar characteristics, although not as much regarding their build.

The Bully is short with a wide stance, while the Pitbull Terrier stands tall with a less chunky face.

Proportion-wise, these medium-to-large dogs weigh around 60 to 85 pounds, with heights ranging from 16 to 21 inches.

Further, noticeable features, like the square-shaped, blocky head, semi-upright ears with tips folding sideward, and almond eyes, are shown in the appearance of a tri-color Pitbull.

Aside from these traits, the thing that makes the tricolor Pitbull stick out from the crowd is its coat color. It has three contrasting shades, one is considered a base color, and the other two are called markings.

The base color can appear in any color that’s virtually possible for a Pitbull to exhibit. This covers the head, ears, and the majority of its body.

Meanwhile, tan markings appear as dots on the eyebrows and patches of the same hue on the cheeks, sides of the chest, underbelly, and legs.

A tricolor Pitbull will also bear a white fur area on its chest. It has no consistent size, but it normally only covers the middle area. Small white blotches of fur may also appear on the dog’s toes.

Tri-Color Pitbull Color Genetics

Producing tri-color Pitbulls start by selectively breeding two parents likely to have the needed genes to produce three-colored puppies.

This requires extensive genetic testing of dams and sires to learn about all possible genes they carry, which may or may not hinder the desired looks of the litter.

Understanding how a Pitbull gets three colors in its coat starts by knowing that this trait is recessive. Any dominant alleles present can override a color, so breeders always find it challenging to produce such a dog.

In a practical sense, a Pitbull’s tri-colored coat is caused by the at allele, which is responsible for the appearance of tan points.

The canine has to have two copies of the at allele or one copy of it matched with the ‘a’ allele (recessive black). It’s also important that the Pitbull be n/n (recessive) for the dominant black gene in the K locus.

Further, the Pitbull must also be n/n on the Ay (agouti) and aw (sable) alleles for the tri-colored coat to manifest. These alleles will dominate the at if either of the two is present.

With this pattern of genes, Pitbull puppies will likely inherit three color combinations. Some of them will also only come in black and tan.

Do Tri-Color Pitbull Puppies Change Color as They Grow?

Tri color Pitbull sitting outdoors
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Tri-colored Pitbull puppies change color as they grow. The once soft and light-shaded fur they have in their first year is eventually discarded and replaced by a coarser, darker coat.

Other factors, such as sunlight, medication, health, and diet, can also impact a tri Pitbull’s coat color. If a black tri-colored Pitbull loves to bask in the sun, the ultraviolet rays can bleach and make the fur rusty.

As for medications, some examples of medicines administered to dogs who exhibited color changes are cabergoline and bromocriptine. These have turned fawn dogs yellow, while some have developed black spots.

Health and diet also influence how vibrant a tri-color Pitbull’s coat is. Poor diet and nutrition can cause several medical conditions, like thyroid disorders. If a Pitbull suffers from hypothyroidism, its coat will look dull.

Tri-Color Pitbull Temperament and Personality

The temperament of a tri-color Pitbull is similar to that of solid and bi-colored varieties. This fun-loving animal companion is noted for its gentleness and patience.

It’s highly tolerant of kids, too, due to its friendly nature. Still, monitoring their interaction is important to avoid accidents.

Children should also be taught how to handle the dog properly to avoid bad reactions from the canine.

A tri-color Pitbull is also noted for its bravery. It makes a great protective dog. However, training is essential for it to become an effective guardian.

When it feels no danger surrounds its loved ones, this Pitbull can be seen playing around in the yard or being sweet towards people.

Despite the misconception that dogs of this kind are dangerous, tri Pitbulls and other varieties are some of the most big-hearted pets you can find.

How they turn out largely depends on how they were raised. If a tri-colored Pitbull is well-trained and socialized, it will grow up with good behaviors and dispositions.

Tri-Color Pitbull Lifespan and Health Issues

Tri color Pitbull lying on the grass
Image credit: shelby.thepittie / Instagram

The tri-color Pitbull is a generally healthy dog with an average lifespan of 8 to 15 years. With a superb lifestyle, good diet, and nutrition, this dog can live longer than expected.

While it’s a vigorous canine, the tri-color Pitbull isn’t immune to certain health problems.

Below is a list of the common health issues a tri Pitbull may develop at any point in its life:

  • Obesity: Tri-color Pitbulls that suffer from obesity are usually 20 percent above their ideal weight. This medical condition is caused mainly by a lack of exercise and overeating. The more severe the case of obesity in a dog is, the shorter its lifespan may get.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia occurs in a tri-colored Pitbull if its hip joint develops abnormally. When this happens, the ball and the socket aren’t properly fitted together, which may cause instability. Since the ball could move in and out of its place improperly, this can lead to severe cartilage damage or arthritis.
  • Aortic Stenosis: Aortic stenosis is a common valvular disease where the aortic valve of a tri-colored Pitbull narrows. This forces the dog’s heart to work harder to pump blood through the valve and maintain a normal system in the dog’s body. Unfortunately, this could result in heart failure and other complications.

These notable health issues do not affect all tri-color Pitbulls. Those purchased from reputable breeders are also at low risk of acquiring genetic conditions.

Still, since any of these medical conditions can occur at any stage, it’s best that you invest in pet insurance. This will help you get financially prepared for any vet bills.

How Much Does a Tri-Color Pitbull Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

Since the tri-colored Pitbull is rare, the cost can be between $1,750 and $2,500. This dog can get even more expensive if it comes from a champion bloodline.

The breeder’s experience, demand, age, sex, and location also affect the price. Other than this one-time payment, owning this fantastic canine comes with other expenses.

The table below shows the initial costs of owning a tri-colored Pitbull puppy:

Type of ExpenseCost 
Food and Treats$70 – $150
Bowls$10 – $40
Toys$30 – $1000
Beds$40 – $300
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$50 – $500
Grooming Essentials$50 – $250
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$20 – $80
Total Initial Cost$505 – $3,150

First-time owners must be prepared to buy and provide their tri-colored Pitbulls with all the items listed on the table. Meanwhile, experienced dog owners will only have to buy some of them if they already have the essential items.

Places to Find Tri-Color Pitbull Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Tri color Pitbull playing with a ball
Image credit: shelby.thepittie / Instagram

Given that tri-color Pitbulls are out of the ordinary, looking for sources where puppies of this kind are available is challenging.

There may be several breeders producing Pitbulls in the United States. Still, it isn’t easy to find one with a tri-colored variety.

To help you search, you can check out some of the trusted sources in the country where tri-colored Pitbull puppies could be available:

  • AKC Marketplace – Several healthy puppies are advertised in the AKC Marketplace. With its extensive network of legitimate breeders, countless dogs are advertised on the website daily. You might chance upon a breeder who breeds tri-colored Pitbulls on this platform.
  • Monster Bully Kennels – Monster Bully Kennels is dedicated to producing physically, medically, and behaviorally sound Pitbulls. They have some of the best bloodlines, some of which have produced tri-colored Pitbull puppies. Every puppy has complete registration papers, a health certificate and guarantee, a contract, and more.
  • Manmade Kennels – Manmade Kennels breeds some of the best Bully puppies, which are hand-delivered wherever you are in the United States. Their dogs, tri-colored Pitbulls included, are registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC) and American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC). They’re also dewormed, vaccinated, and vet-checked before bringing them to their new home.

Meanwhile, if adoption is your preferred option in acquiring a tri-colored Pitbull, consider visiting animal adoption centers specializing in the Pitbull breed.

Here are some non-profit organizations where you may find an adoptable tri-colored Pit Bull.

  • Alamo City Pit Bull Rescue – Alamo City Pit Bull Rescue saves abandoned, neglected, homeless, and abused Pitbulls. They’re 100 percent foster-based, meaning their dogs are cared for in homes instead of shelters. Meet their adoptable puppies, and you might see a tri-colored Pitbull that ticks all the boxes.
  • Biggies Bullies – Biggies Bullies is a Pennsylvania-based small rescue home for Pitbulls. Their goal is to rehome the dogs they save while advocating for responsible pet ownership, the importance of spaying and neutering pets, and more. With many dogs arriving under their care, there could be a tri-colored Pit Bull waiting for you.
  • Born Again Pit Bull Rescue – Born Again Pit Bull Rescue aims to improve the lives of helpless Pitbulls. They have rehomed 639 dogs since 2012, and the statistics keep increasing. If you find tri-color Pitbulls in their gallery, consider adopting one. This is one way of supporting them in their advocacies, such as lowering euthanasia rates and pet overpopulation.

Adopting a tri-colored Pitbull in any of these organizations or from your local dog shelter gives it a second chance to live. At the same time, this frees up a room for a new rescue.

If these sources don’t have any tri-colored Pitbull puppies, you can ask for referrals from breeders, vets, and Pitbull owners.

Best Dog Names for Your Tri-Color Pitbull Puppy

Giving your tri-color Pitbull a name is more challenging than it seems. The family could have various name ideas, and each member may clash about which name best suits the dog.

If none of the proposed dog names represent the beauty of the tri-color Pitbull puppy you just got, consider getting inspiration from things you like. You can also name it after the most popular dog names worldwide.

Meanwhile, here are some of the favorite names people give to their male tri-color Pitbulls:

  • Tank 
  • Zeus
  • Duke
  • Bruno 
  • Rocky
  • Diesel
  • Apollo
  • Buster
  • Gunner
  • Shadow 

Here are the favorite names people give to their female tri-color Pitbulls:

  • Ava 
  • Mila
  • Xena 
  • Nova
  • Luna
  • Bella
  • Layla
  • Aspen
  • Dakota
  • Athena 

Aside from these names, you can also name your tri Pit Bull after colors, artists, or food. You can also name it Barkly if your dog is a barker, or think of other creative names that best describe your canine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tri color Pitbull smiling while sitting outdoors
Image credit: shelby.thepittie / Instagram

How Many Pitbull Colors Are There?

There are about 23 coat colors for the Pitbull breed. The most common are black, red, and brown.

Other possible hues for this dog include blue, tan, fawn, fawn sable, seal, buckskin, and blue fawn. This list also includes black brindle, red brindle, blue brindle, blue fawn brindle, and fawn brindle.

Reverse brindle, tricolor, and white can also be sported by a Pitbull. It’s also unsurprising if a Pitbull comes in brown and tan, blue and white, black and white, merle, and spotted, as these are natural to the breed.

What Is the Rarest Pitbull Color?

Merle is the rarest Pitbull color, despite the controversy surrounding this unusual hue.

Breeders are often discouraged from breeding merle Pitbulls not only because major kennel clubs don’t recognize these but also due to the health risk that can occur out of a careless breeding program.

If someone with little knowledge of dog genetics breeds two merle Pitbulls together, some puppies in the litter will be susceptible to eye and ear problems.

This is referred to as double-merle breeding. Certain areas of the Pitbull’s body will lack pigmentation when such a case happens. This makes the dog prone to hearing loss and congenital eye defects.

Final Thoughts

Many dog lovers have fallen under the charm of the unique and beautiful tri-colored Pitbull. The striking combination of colors that contrast well on its coat is certainly a feast for the eyes.

While this Pitbull variety is appealing, prospective owners should look beyond the appearance of this canine. Taking note of its temperament, needs, and the kind of lifestyle it requires is important.

Doing so will enable this amazing dog to develop and show the best of its qualities. You may be unable to show it in certain contests, but it remains a family companion worth boasting about.

Hopefully, this comprehensive article has helped you learn about this majestic variety of Pitbull. Share your thoughts about the tri-colored Pitbull by leaving a comment below!

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