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White Pitbulls: Genetics, Controversy, Pictures & Puppy Prices

Looking to adopt a white Pitbull but aren't sure why they cost so much? Learn all about the white Pitbull, including genetics, puppy costs, and more.

Emma Braby

Last Updated: October 13, 2020 | 9 min read

White Pitbull with different colored eyes

Is the white Pitbull a rare color, or are they just as common as the rest? Some breeders will charge more for a Pitbull with a white coat, but what’s the reasoning behind that? Pitbulls with white coats inherit that color from birth, and are often bred by breeders specifically for this reason. Just make sure that your pup is actually a white pitbull, and not a Dogo Argentino that looks very similar!

The American Pitbull Terrier actually has a wide variety of coat colors to choose from. From silver, fawn, brindle or reverse brindle, red, or blue, he pretty much has a choice of the whole doggy rainbow spectrum. And one of the most beautiful and popular colors of them all is brilliant white.

Here in this guide, we will look at this snow king in all his glory. From his looks to his temperament, and what makes him different from any other American Pitbull Terrier. We’ll also take a closer look at the genetics behind his beautiful jacket. And the difference between him and Pitbulls that suffer from albinism and leucism (don’t worry, we’ll explain it all). Want to find out more? Let’s jump straight into the world of beautiful white Pitbulls.

History

Pitbull Puppy Dogs Together
Pitbulls can come in a number of different colors.

To understand what to expect from a white Pitbull, you need to know a little about the Pitbull’s history. In the 19th Century, the British favored dogfighting. They crossed Terriers and Bulldogs for their incredible strength and fighting ability. And it is these guys that were the Pitbull’s ancestors. The sport was banned, but their humans sailed them to America to continue the sport.

There, the biggest and most powerful dogs were bred to create bigger dogs, and it was these larger dogs that became known as the American Pitbull Terrier. His dogfighting and rat pitting history has led to his unfair reputation today. But thankfully, he is becoming more popular and recognized as a family favorite. White Pitbulls have always been around, as they are just the same as any other color Pittie. They are just rarer than other colored Pitbulls.

White Pitbull Color Genetics Explained

White Pitbull in Grass
White Pitbulls have a unique genetic combination.

The white-colored Pitbull is rarer than, say, a pure black or a pure brown colored Pitbull. But why is he? Well, it’s all to do with the genetics behind his coloring. Genetics is a complicated subject, so here we will break it down for you as simply as possible so that we don’t bore you. But to understand his white color, you need a little science lesson, so here goes…

All animals, including the beautiful Pibble, are born from two parents. For a particular characteristic, each parent contributes one half of a gene, and together they make a whole gene. Each aspect of his body is determined by the makeup of each gene, including his coat color. There are dominant genes and recessive genes, and a dominant gene will always prevail over a recessive.

All colored Pitbulls have two base coat colors determined by the locus ‘A’ allele, also known as the agouti gene. The two colors are black and red, and although this color can be affected by other genes, all dog’s coats are one of these colors. The ‘S’ allele determines the white-colored coat.

There are four types of the ‘S’ allele:

  • S – Solid color
  • si – Irish spotting
  • sp – Piebald spotting
  • sw – Extreme piebald spotting

The Pitbull is a carrier of all four ‘S’ alleles. Essentially, a white Pitbull has either a black or red base, but the ‘S’ allele covers his entire coat color with the color white. His other features, such as skin, nose, lips, and eyes, are the same as any other Pitbull, which can be blue, brown, black, etc. And it is the color of his features that will allow you to identify between a true white Pitbull or a Pitbull suffering from albinism or leucism.

Albinism vs. Leucism

Albino Pitbull Terrier
Pitbulls that carry an Albino gene are genetically different than a Pitbull with a white coat.

When it comes to white Pitbulls, you also need to understand what albinism and leucism are. That beautiful white Pitbull that you have your eyes on could be an albino Pittie, rather than a true white Pitbull. Albinism comes with a variety of health problems, so you need to know how to identify them.

Albinism is a very rare genetic mutation, and it affects all living things, including plants and humans. An albino Pitbull will have a complete lack of pigmentation in their hair, skin, eyes, and blood vessels. For a Pitbull to be an albino, both parents have to pass on the mutated gene. By inheriting two mutated genes, his body is unable to produce melanin.

Leucistic Pitbulls find themselves between albino Pitbulls and true whites. And because not many people are aware of leucism, leucistic Pitbulls are commonly mistaken for albino Pitbulls. They have no melanin in their fur, but they have very low levels of pigmentation in all of their other features.

Albino Pitbulls are unfortunately susceptible to many health concerns because melanin doesn’t just control the pigmentation of the features. They are also less likely to survive without intense help because of these health concerns. Thankfully, there isn’t a significant link between leucism and additional health concerns.

But how do you tell if a Pitbull is albino or leucistic? Because the blood vessels of an albino Pitbull are translucent, their eyes will be translucent or very light blue. Leucistic Pitbulls will have deeper pink features and ever so slightly bluer eyes. Unfortunately, even the experts get it wrong sometimes, so it’s unlikely that you can distinguish between the two without medical testing.

Appearance

White Pitbull with Cropped Ears
White Pitbulls look similar to every other Pitbull minus their coat color.

The white-colored Pitbull is essentially the same as any other Pitbull when it comes to his appearance. His nose, lips, and other features will typically be black or dark brown. His eyes will usually be either brown or blue. Remember, though, that this will all be dependent on the other genes that he inherited from his parents. 

A white Pitbull is a medium to large-sized dog, who is muscular and stocky. He will measure between 17 and 21 inches tall, and he will weigh between 50 and 65 pounds. His white coat is double-layered, and it is short and sleek. Because it is very tight to his body, his jacket requires minimal grooming. His tail is long and thin, and his grin is wide and cheeky.

Temperament

White Pitbull Outside with Cropped Ears
White Pitbulls do not have a difference in temperament from other colors.

Just like all Pitbulls, the white Pitbull has a vicious reputation. But for those that have been educated on Pitbulls will know they are one of the sweetest dogs around. To put his fierce reputation to rest, the American Temperament Test Society tested all dog breeds. They tested nearly 1,000 Pitbulls, and almost 90% of Pitbulls passed the personality test. This is a very high score, and much better than many other family favorite canines out there. 

He is loving and sweet with his family and loves nothing more than to spend every minute with them. He is always ready for a game, snooze time, or adventure, whatever you want to do. He is lots of fun and a great source of entertainment for the whole family. He is eager to please his master, and as such, he is very trainable.

The white Pitbull is so friendly that he makes a terrible guard dog! His reality is worlds apart from his unjust reputation. He is also great with other dogs if he is socialized well as a pup. If not, he does struggle to trust other dogs and can display fear aggression (but this is the same as any dog). He does not, however, like rodents and smaller animals considering his ratting history. 

Exercise and Training

Pitbull with White Coat Exercising
The White Pitbull needs at least 60 minutes of exercise each day.

The white Pitbull is an energetic ball of fun. He needs at least 60 minutes of exercise every day, come rain or shine. Whatever you like to do, he will like it too, making him a great exercise partner. Because he is very intelligent and lively, he will appreciate it if you can mix up his exercise sessions, including visits to the local doggy park, if it is permitted.

He also needs plenty of stimulation throughout the day, be that solo play with indestructible toys, interactive games with his family, or training sessions with his master. Without an outlet, he can become problematic and destructive. So, please don’t take him on unless you can commit to his exercise needs.

He is loyal, eager to please, and intelligent, which means that he is a trainable dog who will pick up commands quickly. Using the positive reward training method, he’ll become your favorite pet in no time. It’s also essential to socialize the white Pitbull with other dogs from an early age. And mixing him regularly with dogs will keep his polite pooch manners topped up. If you plan to have a walking or running partner, make sure that you train your Pitbull with a proper harness so you don’t run into any issues.

Health

Healthy White Pitbull on Couch
White Pitbulls are generally very healthy dogs.

The white Pitbull is almost the same as all other Pitbulls when it comes to his health. He is a very healthy dog breed who will enjoy a lifespan of 12 to 16 years. The two most common health concerns are hip dysplasia and skin conditions. There is a line of thought that white dogs are more prone to deafness, but there is no conclusive evidence for this.

The only extra definite concern that the white Pitbull has is that because of his lack of pigmentation, he is more at risk of UV rays. You need to take precautions and keep him out of the sun. If this is not possible, he will need doggy sunscreen on the areas with less hair, such as his ears and muzzle.

His health is a significant factor for why you should work with a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder would never sell an albino dog as a real white Pitbull, whereas puppy mills will. Albino Pitbulls are at higher risk of many additional health concerns, such as skin conditions, eye conditions, deafness, cancer, and more.

Nutrition

Pitbull with White Coat Outdoors Exercising
Pitbulls need a high-quality dry kibble in order to match their energy levels.

A white Pitbull needs a high-quality kibble that will provide him with a well-balanced diet and keep his energy levels up throughout the day. Because he is an energetic dog, we would advise feeding him a kibble with at least 25% protein. It should also be rich in omega fats to keep his beautiful coat healthy and gleaming. He will consume around 2 ½ cups of food every day.

Grooming

Well Groomed Pitbull with White Coat
You’ll want to stay on top of regular grooming as the white Pitbull’s coat is quite visible.

A white colored Pitbull only needs a minimal amount of grooming. He will only need a brush once a week. During the shedding seasons, or if you have dark-colored décor, you may want to brush him twice a week to keep his shedding manageable.

Look to wash him once every 8 to 12 weeks to keep him smelling and looking fresh. Most Pitbulls have sensitive skin, so it’s a wise choice to invest in a gentle doggy shampoo. Alternatively, many white dog owners choose a whitening shampoo to keep their fur babies gleaming. If you choose to do this, select a high-quality whitening shampoo made with gentle or natural ingredients.

Breeders and Puppy Price

White Pitbull Puppy Dog
Expect to pay upwards of $1,000 for a White Pitbull puppy.

The white Pitbull is a rarer color than other Pitbulls, so you can expect to pay a little more for him. The average price of a white Pitbull, from a reputable breeder, is between $1,000 and $3,000. Always look for a breeder who can show you the puppies and their parents in person. As well as showing you health clearances, and have a professional website or verified reviews from previous customers.

Avoid puppy mills, because not only are their pups much less healthy, they will likely sell you an albino pup disguised as a true white. Or, they will inbreed their white Pitbulls, which increases the chances of unhealthy dogs. So, please avoid puppy mills at all costs if you want a healthy white Pittie.

If you are set on a white Pitbull, the only way to determine if you have a healthy pup, and a non-albino, is to meet the puppies and their parents in person before you commit financially. Alternatively, considering how many Pitbulls there are in rescue centers across the country, you could also consider rescuing one. A great place to start is the Pitbull Rescue website.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the difference between a true white Pitbull and Pitbulls suffering from albinism or leucism. Although it’s tough to tell the difference between the two conditions, it’s easier to identify a true white if you know what you’re looking for. But thanks to this white Pitbull crash course, you can go hunting for a true white with all the knowledge you need.

Steer clear of puppy mills and dodgy breeders because they do not care for the health of their dogs. And there is a chance you could buy an albino pup instead of a true white. Overall, we advise sticking to a true white Pitbull. But if you do find yourself with an albino Pitbull on your hands, they are just as loving and sweet. But please don’t breed them for the sake of their pups.

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