Pitbulls all over the world are known for their courageous, loyal and lovable personalities.
Yet, have you ever wondered how many Pitbull colors there are?
Each coat color is uniquely beautiful and adds to a Pitbull’s appeal.
Some colors are even associated with famous dogs! For example, have you ever heard of the black brindle Pitbull who became the first dog to travel across the US in a car? How about the beloved Pittie sidekick from the Little Rascals movie?
Let’s take a look at 28 colors of Pitbulls as well as some interesting facts associated with each coat color.
How Many Pitbull Colors Are There?
The fact that these dogs tend to be mixed with each other and other similar looking breeds has led to such a large number of coat colors. In total there are now 28 different Pitbull coat colors and patterns!
Some colors of Pitbulls are considered standard or common. The most common Pitbull colors include black, chocolate, red, black and white or tan and white. These colors have been associated with Pitbull breeds as a whole and are normally accepted by most kennel clubs.
However, there are also rare Pitbull colors such as blue, buckskin, fawn, brindle and sable. Some of these colors are not accepted by kennel clubs. Patterns such as sable, brindle, and merle also add unique patterns and overlays to already rare coats.
Since four different breeds are considered Pitbulls it depends on the type of Pitbull and its coat color for which are seen as acceptable or unacceptable. To make it easier below is a Pitbull color chart which lists each coat color, pattern, breed and if it is seen as acceptable.
|Pitbull Breed||American Kennel Club Recognized Colors||United Kennel Club Recognized Colors|
|American Bully||(Not Recognized)||Any color, pattern, or combination of colors is acceptable, except merle and albino.|
|American Pitbull Terrier||(Not Recognized)||Any color, pattern, or combination of colors is acceptable, except merle and albino.|
|American Staffordshire Terrier||Any color, parti, patched, or solid is acceptable. All white, more than 80% white, black and tan, and liver are not encouraged.||(Not Recognized)|
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier||Red, fawn, white, black or blue, any shade of brindle, or any of those colors with white are acceptable. Black and tan or liver are to be disqualified.||Red, fawn, white, black, any shade of brindle, and blue, with or without white, are acceptable. Black and tan or liver are faulty. Albinos are to be disqualified.|
Coat color has no effect on behavior. A dog’s environment and training have the largest effect on its overall behavior.
In some cases health issues can arise because of coat colors. For example, the dilution gene resulting in blue nose Pitbulls is associated with color dilution alopecia which can cause hair loss and flaky/itchy skin. Merle Pitbulls have also been linked to visual and auditory health problems.
Now, let’s look at the complete list of the different coat colors and patterns seen in these dogs…
1. Black Pitbull
Black Pitbulls are one of the most common Pitbull colors out there. An all-black coat with a black nose and paw pads makes these pitties look like the color of midnight. Black is an extremely common coat color that is recognized in all four of the breeds. No health issues are associated with this coat. Overall, this is a classic coat color for any Pitbull. Looking into their loving, brown eyes and at their black coat it’s easy to see why this color is so popular.
2. Blue Pitbull
Blue Pitbulls are simply a beautifully rare sight to see. Affectionately called blue noses these pitties are a silverish-gray color all over, including their cute blue noses and paw pads. When bred responsibly they typically don’t have any health problems. However, some vets will claim that they are more prone to health issues such as color dilution alopecia due to the recessive dilution gene that causes their blue color. There have also been issues with breeders inbreeding blue pups, which due to their extremely small gene pool can result in health problems.
3. Merle Pitbull
Merle Pitbulls can come in various colors and patterns such as white, blue, tri-colored and leopard. All of these dogs are described as having unique blotches and swirls of color on various parts of their bodies. For example, blue merles have a blue base color with blotches of light and dark blue coloring randomly placed all over their coats. On the other hand, Leopard merles have a tan base color with light and dark brown spots randomly all over. While most merles are typically healthy, pups with two parents with the merle trait can have serious health issues. Merle is not acceptable in the American bully or American Pitbull Terrier breeds.
4. Brindle Pitbull
Brindle Pitbulls have a fawn or beige base color with black tiger-like stripes on top. These tiger-like stripes can appear all over their body or in specific patches in specific places. These elegant-looking dogs are a rare Pitbull color, yet rarer brindle variants such as blue brindles also exist. The most famous brindle is probably Sergeant Stubby, who became the unofficial-official 102nd Infantry Regiment mascot during World War II. This coat pattern is kennel club approved and there are no health issues associated with it.
5. White Pitbull
White Pitbulls are white all over! These white dogs are often confused with dogs who suffer from albinism. However, Pitbulls who suffer from albinism have pink noses due to their lack of pigmentation. These dogs have black, blue, or red noses. Another difference between white Pitties and albinos is their health. Pitbulls with albinism typically suffer from poor eyesight, weak immune systems and deafness. White coats are just as healthy as any other color. White is accepted in all types of Pitbulls apart from the American Staffordshire Terrier.
6. Blue Fawn Pitbull
The blue fawn is a stunning silver-blue or silver-brown color with a very unique red nose to complete their look. This pup combines blue and fawn coat colors which means it must inherit dilution genes from both of its parents. These dilution genes will cause the original black coat to fade to a silverish-blue or brown. Most blue fawns are just as healthy as other Pitbulls, but some are susceptible to color dilution alopecia which can cause their skin to be itchy and can result in hair loss.
7. Brown Pitbull
Brown Pitbulls are also known as chocolate Pitbulls due to their Hershey chocolate coloring. They are typically a rich mid to dark brown color and look like walking chocolate bars! This Pitbull color is sometimes confused for liver. However, chocolates will typically have black noses as opposed to liver-colored noses. They are also seen as an acceptable coat color in all of the Pitbull breeds.
8. Black and White Pitbull
Black and white Pitbulls have a black base color with large white patches over their coat. It is a very common color in American Staffordshire terriers and American Bullies that is recognized as standard for all four Pittie breeds. These dogs are lovingly referred to as “Moo Moo” Pitbulls because they resemble cows due to their coat color. They have the potential to dress up as a cow on Halloween! One popular black and white was Pal the Wonderdog who appeared in the Little Rascals franchise.
9. Blue Brindle Pitbull
Blue brindle Pitbulls are another variation of the brindle coat pattern. They have a light-colored coat with stripes that can range from light blue to charcoal gray. Blue brindles are the rarest of the Pitbull colors because it is very difficult to breed them. You will only get this bindle coat if you combine a black gene with a brindle and a dilute gene. Even though these dogs are rare they are still seen as acceptable and they have no health issues associated with their coloring except for the potential for developing color dilution alopecia.
10. Fawn Pitbull
Fawn Pitbulls are gorgeous dogs to own with their alluring amber eyes and adorable beige noses which match their coat. Most fawns have white markings, however some pups are solid fawn. Whether solid or not, this coat color is accepted in all four breeds. If you are looking for a beautiful, dark beige companion the fawn is the color for you.
11. Red Pitbull
Chestnut or copper-colored Pitbulls are a sight to see with their matching red noses and beautiful amber eyes. In American Staffordshire Terriers red noses are one of the oldest bloodlines, originating from Ireland in the 1800s. This bloodline came over to the US with Irish immigrants and became known as the Irish Old Family Reds. They were later bred with other American Staffordshires and American Pitbulls. Reds are no different from other Pitbull colors, however they tend to have a more muscular build. Their coat color is rare so they are typically expensive to buy.
12. Reverse Brindle Pitbull
The reverse brindle is any brindle Pitbull whose base color is darker than its stripes. Their nose and paw pad colors will match the color of their stripes. For example, reverse brindles with light blue stripes will typically have blue noses. Those with red stripes will have red noses. Most of these dogs will appear almost fully black because of how muted the lighter stripes appear.
13. Buckskin Pitbull
Buckskin Pitbulls are famous due to their association with the Crenshaw Jeep bloodline. This respected bloodline originated from American Pitbull Terriers in the 1970s. These dogs are described as being a “tan color with yellowish undertones.” They will typically come with white markings, a black mask and red noses. The red-nosed buckskins are thought to come from breeding the Crenshaw Jeep and Old Family Red bloodlines together. Buckskins are seen as healthy, strong Pitbulls and are a standard color.
14. Black Brindle Pitbull
Black brindle Pitbulls are described as having a black base color with almost hidden streaks of red in their coat. These red stripes are sometimes so well hidden that in Staffordshire Bull Terriers it is common for them to be mistaken for solid black. One Pitbull by the name of Bud made history for black brindle Pitbulls when he completed the first-ever journey crossing the US in a car with his owner. From these fantastic achievements, it’s no wonder why black brindles are as popular as they are.
15. Spotted Pitbull
Spotted Pitbulls are known for their randomly placed and sized spots that are all over their white bodies. These spots have been attributed to a spotting gene which can be in black and white, brown and white, or tan and white Pitbulls. They are sometimes confused with merle; however, merles tend to have more irregular spots that appear on different body parts. This Pitbull color is standard and has no health problems associated with it.
16. Tricolor Pitbull
Tricolor Pitbulls can come in 6 different colors: black, chocolate, merle, lilac, blue and purple. All of these colors will also have white and tan markings on their coats. These dogs have adorable tan markings over their eyes in the shape of oval eyebrows. Interestingly this coat is the rarest pitbull color out there. Over the past couple of decades high demand for tri-colors has led to more breeders selectively breeding for them, but they are still hard to breed for. While the breed standard does not disqualify tri-color Pitties, it also doesn’t say if they are accepted.
17. Blue and White Pitbull
Blue and white Pitbulls have a blue or silverish-gray base color with patches of white on their coat. Typically this patch of white will present itself as a large patch that stretches from their neck to their chest in the shape of a star. They can also have patches of white on their muzzle and feet. To accompany their blue base color they have an adorable blue nose to match. Blue and whites are accepted by both major kennel clubs and are typically healthy dogs.
18. Red Brindle Pitbull
Red brindles are described as being the reverse of black brindles. They have a light rusty red base color with deeper red, almost black-looking tiger stripes all over their body. This gives them a brindled pattern that is easier to see than in black brindles. These stripes can either appear all over their body or in random patches throughout the coat. Red brindles don’t have as many famous stories to their names as black brindles do, however they are just as loved by the public.
19. Black Mask Pitbull
Black mask Pitbulls can have a variety of different base colors such as tan, brown, white, blue, fawn and red. However they must all have one thing in common, a black mask. These dogs will have a black mask on their faces which typically covers their nose and mouth. They are accepted as standard in all four breeds and are a great choice for someone who wants their dog to be constantly prepared with their own masks!
20. Black and Tan Pitbull
Black and tan Pitbulls are described as having a mostly black coat color with tan markings above their eyes, on the lower half of their legs and on their chests. The tan markings above their eyes look like mini eyebrows that give their face a lot of unique expressions. It is very rare to find a black and tan without white markings on its coat. Because of this they are just as rare, if not rarer, than tri-colors. Only black and tan American Bully and American Pitbull Terriers are accepted by the United Kennel Club. The American Kennel Club says all black and tan Pitbulls are faulty.
21. Seal Pitbull
Most of the time the name “seal Pitbull” is used to describe the fact that these dogs are often thought to look like seals due to their eyes and face. However, that’s not what we mean here. Seal is actually a very rare Pitbull color. These Pitties appear black at first glance, but one quick trip in the sun and you will see that they actually have a hidden brown or red hue to their coat. One distinguishing feature is a consistent black strip that goes down their spine from head to tail. Seals have no health issues caused by their color and are an acceptable coat.
22. Fawn Sable Pitbull
These beautiful fawn Pitbulls have the same dark beige base color, nose and paws pads as their fawn siblings. However, they also have a black overlay on their backs that gives them an even darker sable look. Fawn sables are very rare and are the result of a dog having the dilution gene as well as the Agouti gene.
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23. Brown and Tan Pitbull
Brown and tan Pitbulls have a brown or chocolate base color with tan points. These tan points are present above their eyes, on their chest and on their lower legs. Similar to black and tan, their tan markings above their eyes make it look like they have adorable little eyebrows on their face. Because black and tan Pitbulls are seen as faulty, it is likely that brown and tans are also seen as faulty.
24. Liver Pitbull
The liver coat color is a grayish-dark brown that is sometimes mistaken for chocolate. However, the easiest way to tell the difference is by looking at their nose. A liver dog will always have a liver-colored nose. Liver Pitbulls are not accepted by any breed associations as they are faulty, however they are still very beautiful dogs that will put a smile on your face.
25. Tan Pitbull
Tan Pitbulls are a lot less common than you would expect considering tan is a popular coat color in other breeds. Most Pitbulls will typically have a fawn coat instead of tan. Tan coats are described as being a light beige color. Tan is typically an accepted color when it involves a solid coat. The American Kennel Club doesn’t encourage black and tan in the American Staffordshire Terrier breed. The United Kennel Club disqualifies tan Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
26. White Mask Pitbull
White masks are any Pitbull that has a white patch around their nose and mouth. This means that a blue, black, tan, chocolate, or any color could have a white mask. Even though the area around their nose is white, their noses will be whatever color their base color is. So they will typically have black, blue, red, brown or liver noses. This color is acceptable in all breeds and is caused by the white spotting gene.
27. Blue Mask Pitbull
Blue masks are similar to white masks and look like they have their own personal mask ready at all times. Except in this case it is blue! These Pitbulls have a blue mask around their mouth and nose. This is one of the rarer colors of the mask pattern, but they are accepted by all breed associations and typically have no health issues.
28. Red Sable Pitbull
Red sables typically have the reddish-chestnut-colored coat of red Pitbulls with a black overlay. This gives them a darker sable look than their traditional, all-red rusty siblings. This coat is the result of the agouti gene and is accepted by the breed standard.
Regardless of what color or pattern your Pitbull is they are all lovable, goofy, intelligent, and loyal dogs who deserve all the love in the world!