Pitbull Colors

Pit bulls are difficult to describe: they are absolute champions of external diversity. Such complexity is the result of the existence of hundreds of club standards. In addition, there are many breeders involved in Pitbull breeding. But there is one thing that all Pit bulls have in common: a short, glossy, hard coat, without undercoat.

As far as its colors, it is the same variety. The Pit bull breeds actually allow any color: from simple monochrome to complex “artistic”. There are colors that are forbidden for breeding, but popular with dog breeders. But there are also such, which can be distinguished only by specialists.

Types of Pitbull Colors

Types of pitbull colors is a fascinating topic, full of contradictions and unexpected discoveries.

The Pitbull is the owner of a short coat with a stiff, elastic, close-fitting hair. The pitbull has no hair in the belly area. The muzzle, paws and ears are covered with velours hairs, which are shorter than the main coat. The pigmentation of the pit bull’s nose, lips varies, as does the color palette of the coat. A dog’s coat can be almost anything: the breed even allows chaotic inclusions of white and colored spots.

Attention! People who want to buy an unusual-looking pit bull are not fully aware of the problems they may encounter in the future. There are colors (for example, merle) that are artificial for pit bulls and lead to congenital diseases and serious mental disorders.

Before buying a cute pit bull puppy, one should know not only the breed’s origin, its biometric characteristics, but also understand why, for example, buying a luxury blue-eyed albino pitbull puppy involves a lot of problems and complications.

Pit Bull Breed Color Patterns

The pitbull, as well as the other representatives of the canine world, has the same number of color loci, twelve in total. There is no breed of dog that has all twelve loci present at the same time.

Color is the most important criterion when choosing a pit bull breed dog. The coat of pit bulls is characterized by heterogeneity, it consists of different types of hair.

Important! The color of the dog is rendered through the hair, and the shade is controlled by the pigment. If there is a lack/absence of pigment – the coat looks colorless. Pit bulls have three basic colors of pigment: black, brown, yellow.

Pit bull fans should know that there is a special red-nosed line of dogs. Cynologists refer it to the so-called “old family” red nose. All red-nosed pit bulls have a reddish color, copper-colored nose, lips, paw pads and deep brown eyes.

The coloring of skin and coat is formed by a special pigment, melanin. There are two varieties of it:

  • Eumelanin (which is black and brown in color);
  • Pheomelanin (a yellow and orange color).
    The genotype of colored individuals is formed through a variety of “gene sets”. The following genes are responsible for a pit bull’s coat color:
  • “C” – creates pigmentation of any color;
  • “A” – spreads pigmentation throughout the coat;
  • “B” – creates black color;
  • “c” – partial albinism;
  • “b” – creates brown pigment.

The eyes of this breed can be any color: it is not uncommon for a pit bull to have yellow, green, or even blue eyes.

Pitbull Color Options

Any color of eyes, iris, nose and ears is possible for the pit bull breed. But at shows, experts take into account the harmony of the color of dogs in general.

Types of Pitbull Pigmentation:

  • solid
  • brindle
  • spotted
    The standards of the breeds assume the following variants of coat color:
  • Tan
  • Brindle
  • Liver
  • White
  • Black
  • Fawn
  • Tricolor
  • Merle

Despite the fact that American Pitbull Terriers are the direct ancestors of American Staffordshire Terriers, AKC does not recognise them as a separate breed. Therefore, there are no clear-cut color standards for these dogs.

But here we are talking about colors of pitbulls in general for American Pitbull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier.

Officially we can speak about acknowledged color patterns for Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier, as stated by AKC.

Staffordshire Bull TerrierAmerican Staffordshire Terrier
Black & TanBlue Fawn
Black & WhiteBlue
BlueBlue Brindle
Blue & WhiteBrown
BrindleBrown Brindle
Brindle & WhiteFawn
FawnFawn Brindle
Fawn & WhiteLiver
RedRed Brindle
Red & WhiteRed Sable
White & BrindleBlack Brindle
White & FawnLiver Brindle
White & RedFawn Sable
Seal Brown
Blue Fawn Brindle

Markings Allowed

White Markings
Spotted Or Patched
Tan Points
Black Mask
Blue Mask
Brindle Points
White Mask


The Merle coloration appeared not so long ago, provoking controversy and criticism from Pit Bull fans, being officially forbidden for Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers.

Good to know! Merle is a dilution gene. By diluting the color genes, it contributes to the synthesis of uncharacteristic pit bull colors. The main danger is that the pigment cells are formed together with the same set of cells that form the pit bull’s nervous system.

Merle carries the following health hazards for pit bull breed dogs:

  • eye disease
  • hearing loss
  • infertility
  • congenital deformities
  • irreversible immune
  • mental illness

It is forbidden to mate pit bulls – carriers of such a gene. In natural environment individuals of such a rare gorgeous color cannot be born.


Black as the night, as graceful as a panther, as beautiful as the devil – all this directly applies to a black pit bull. This dog has an incredibly mystical appearance. Coal-colored pit bulls with turquoise eyes look especially appealing. Pit bulls of the black color cause a feeling of fear in people. There is a controversy between experts: some claim the black color is standard for the breed, while others claim the black color tends to cause aggression and inadequate behavior.

You should know! The black color has no effect on the aggressiveness of the animal. It only makes the appearance of this powerful dog more intimidating, but nothing more. Black pit bulls are especially popular in the United States.

Black can come in a number of basic shades:

  1. Deep Black. This color may be combined with white ัhest; small white “tie” or white tips on the toes are possible.
  2. Black and White. Assumes the presence of white marks. Their volume should not occupy more than 50% of the dog’s body surface.
  3. Tan and Black. On the background of a black coat there are marks in the form of spots of reddish, or light brown color. The patches are located above the eyes, on the muzzle, on the chest, as well as below the paws and under the tail.
  4. Tricolor. This shade is similar to the Black and Tan, but the dog also has white color patches.
  5. Dark Gray. This color is similar to black, but differs from it by more or less pronounced blue tint


The brindle coat color (like a tiger) is the most common natural color of pit bulls. This coloration implies the presence of stripes abundantly covering the dog’s body. Also, it may not be stripes, but spots. Many Pitbull owners prefer it, as this natural color guarantees the health of the dog.


The coat of tan (beige) color looks spectacular on strong Pit Bulls. This color is recognized by breeders around the world. This pit bull color can be both one color and with patches.


Albinos are not uncommon among white individuals. The concept of albinism implies lack of color pigment. Such dogs of the Pitbull breed have two characteristic features: these dogs are blue-eyed and with light-colored noses. Despite their unique appearance, they are not recognized by breeders, so they are not allowed for breeding.

There are different color variations: from absolutely snow-white to grayish. The presence of a third color – in the form of spots – is possible.


We can speak about color shades from pure chocolate, dark brown chocolate, milk chocolate, to chocolate-white or chocolate patched.


The active demand for pit bull puppies of a beautiful blue color has led to a situation where dishonest breeders, understanding the ignorance of their buyers, sell them black-colored puppies (dark grey) under the guise of blue.


Tricolor Pit bulls are considered rare. The tri-color combination gives a lot of different color variations. The classic tricolor combination is black-white-red, and also the blue tricolor, and liver tricolor. All of these color combinations are allowed for the breed, they are recognized by breeders all over the world.


The current breeders get Pitbulls of various colors, with interesting patterns on the coat. Any color is allowed, except merle. The coat of a pit bull should be smooth, without undercoat.