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Black Pitbull: Your Complete Guide

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

black pitbull

Black Pitbulls come from a breed of sweet-hearted yet misunderstood dogs with the highest rate of relinquishing and rehoming. They are also one of the most abused dogs in the world with the highest rates of euthanasia.  Despite black being one of the most common Pitbull colors, most potential owners prefer other colors like brown, red, or gray (blue).

 Most black Pitties have markings, and those with white chests have been dubbed Tuxedo Pitbulls. All-black Pitbulls are much rarer and spot a gorgeous hue of solid black from head to paw. This breed has been subjected to countless misconceptions and speculations, leading to unfair biases and stereotypes.

Despite a wrongly assumed ferocity on most fronts, some things about Black Pitties hold a bit of truth to them. Factors such as sociability with kids and animals must be examined closely before getting a pitbull. These are powerful dogs, and while we love Pitbulls, these dogs are not for everyone. We must always encourage responsible ownership of this breed. Also, if you’re looking to buy a Pitbull, see our article on PItbull costs;

History & Origins of the Black Pitbull 

The Black Pitbull is a normal Pittie but in all black. Pitbull is an umbrella term for 

  • The American Pitbull Terrier (APBT); 
  • Staffordshire Terrier; 
  • American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff); and 
  • The American Bully. 

The APBT is what most people call “Pitbull” and is the breed we will focus on most in this article. 

All Pitbull Breeds originated from the Old English Bulldog, a powerful, ferocious dog used in bull-baiting in the 1800s. This dog was later bred with the black and tan terrier to the first Bull-and-Terrier dog for more agility and speed in blood sports. 

Even after the abolition of dog-fighting in 1976 in the states, the Pittie’s bloody history haunts them to date. Today, many know Pitbulls as aggressive, blood-thirsty child eaters despite this not being true for most PIts. While Pits can be aggressive toward other dogs, aggression toward people is relatively rare. 

What we need to remember is that these dogs are more abused than other breeds and they are the least understood. A responsible Pit Bull owner understands that these are often high-drive dogs. Despite their reputation of being good with children, we should never leave them alone with a child. They are not “nanny dogs” (no dog is a nanny).  Since Pits can have extreme personalities, they need experienced, competent, and extremely responsible owners.

Pit owners also experience pitbull shaming, where they’re denied access to some housing and commodities. Black Pitbulls have the added disadvantage of “black dog syndrome.” On top of being discriminated against because of being Pitbulls, they’re also less wanted because of their color.

Black Pitbulls and Black Dog Syndrome

This phenomenon is where dark-colored canines are favored less during adoption than their lighter companions. This is due to black dogs being portrayed as intimidating and aggressive and partially due to racism. A report by ASPCA stated that 27% of all dog adopters go for looks, and 26 % do in cats. 

Some also believe the syndrome exists because dark dog features appear less clearly in pictures, making them less appealing to adopters. Dark symbolizes evil and bad luck, while white represents purity and goodness according to most superstitions. All these factors contribute to black cats and dogs remaining much longer in shelters, increasing their chances of euthanization.

All-Black Pitbull Genetics 

Several misconceptions emanate from this dog’s looks, one being that all-black Pitties are another breed. Some even go as far as stating they’re another species! All-black Pitbulls are simply American Pitbull Terriers with stunning, fully black coats. In fact, some dogs like Prague, a Black Panther XXL Pitbull, is famous are famous for their stunning but intimidating looks:

So let’s head on to genetics for a minute. Dogs have two pigments accounting for their color: pheomelanin (red pigment) and eumelanin (black pigment). The dominant black gene in canines is known as the K locus, which plays a major role in plentiful eumelanin and therefore black color. 

The K locus contains three black genes, which are:

  • The dominant black gene (KB);
  • The recessive black (kY); and
  • The brindle (kbr).

A dog with an all-black color has either KBKor KBkgenes. Blue Pitbulls are also a product of genetics, where two recessive diluting genes cause a gray color with a hint of blue. So gray or blue Pitties are really Black faded black Pitbulls. 

The black brindle pitbull is the black dog dog with the brindle pattern. This is equally beautiful:

However, diluted genes can never bring about certain colors like red Pitties or Merle Pitbulls. These colors come from totally different pigments: the pheomelanin and merle gene.

What Are the Physical Features of a Black Pitbull?

  • Height: 18 to 22 inches (45 to 56 cm) 
  • Weight: 35 to 80 pounds (15 to 27 kg)
  • Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
  • Color: Black
  • Eyes & nose: brown, green, blue, or hazel and a black nose

You will quickly get enamored by Black Pitties as their flawless coat shines in the sun. Black Pitbulls maintain typical breed physical features and structure because they’re normal, purebred Pitties, but in black.

They are stocky and incredibly muscular, with a broad, wedge-shaped head on a thick neck.  Black Pitbulls boast of a short, dense black or black coat with white markings on paws or the chest. 

Pitbulls have naturally floppy ears, but we only know them with erect ears due to cropping. Their muzzle is long, and the fleshy nose sits beneath their square-shaped head. Everything about them speaks of athleticism and agility, with black APBTs being the tallest and leanest of all the Black Pitbull types.

 General Care of the Black Pitbull

  • Hypoallergenic: Not hypoallergenic due to daily shedding
  • Shedding: Single coat experiences moderate shedding without heavier shedding seasons
  • Exercise: Anywhere from 1 to 2 hours of daily exercise
  • Housing: Adaptable to apartment living
  • Temperament: playful, highly affectionate, obedient, patient, and courageous
  • Trainability: Highly trainable due to intelligence and obedience


These high-energy goofballs only seem to calm down after a proper workout. Bottled-up energy leads to a hyperactive dog that can be dangerous due to their strength. 


They’ll do well with about 1 to 2 hours of daily walks, broken down into 30 to 45-minute segments. Black Pitties are known to be fun-loving, so you have a hiking and running partner and sometimes an avid swimmer.


Pitties aren’t noisy and shed relatively little, so they can do well in apartments if given adequate energy. However, many apartment complexes have outright bans on these misunderstood canines, so it might be challenging to own one. If you have a yard, make sure it is well fenced. 

Food & Diet Requirements 

Pitbulls need a balanced diet with appropriate protein, vitamins, carbs, fiber, and mineral levels. These dogs are extremely muscular and would benefit from a higher lean-protein diet (about 30%) than most breeds. Some owners get food up to 40% because those impressive muscles require maintenance.

Your vet will advise you on the diet if your Pittie has health conditions like thyroid or renal issues that demand diet change. Similarly, if you choose to take the raw food route, ensure you consult an animal nutritionist to provide a balanced diet. 

Pits are known to rack up those pounds. So watch their weight carefully to avoid obesity and keep treats below 10% of the total calories.


The short, single Pitbull coats have minimal shedding and make grooming this dog pretty easy. A quick brush-through with a pin or rubber brush and monthly washes with a gentle dog shampoo will keep the coat clean and healthy. 

Brush your Black Pittie’s teeth at least twice a week to avoid dental issues like periodontitis due to plaque buildup. Monthly nail trims prevent nail injuries, and using dog ear wipes to clean the ears prevents infections.

Black Pitbull Health 

Thankfully, Pitbulls are hardy dogs thanks to their athleticism and genetic diversity during breeding. However, they’re prone to bone and joint issues like hip dysplasia and skin problems due to their short coats. 

These are the general conditions to be on the lookout for if you want a Black Pittie:

Severe Health Problems 

  • Hip dysplasia;
  • Knee dislocation;
  • Degenerative myelopathy;
  • Aortic Stenosis; and
  • Mast Cell tumors and Melanoma.

Mild to Moderate

  • Allergies;
  • Contact dermatitis; and
  • Dental issues.


  • Congenital heart defects;
  • Obesity; and
  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV). 

Black Pittie Lifespan

Black Pitbulls are tough dogs, living for 12 to 14 years, which is highly impressive for dogs of their size. Regular vet checkups and proper breeding improve a Pittie’s chance at a long and happy life.

Trainability & Temperament of the Black Pitbull

The intimidating Pitbull is unimaginably playful and arguably one of the goofiest dogs. The Black Pittie is friendly, highly affectionate, obedient, acutely intelligent, and courageous. These social butterflies will struggle not to fall deeply in love with everyone they meet.

Unfortunately, many Pitbulls in shelters have been trained to be aggressive and are traumatized. Many can be rehabilitated into excellent home pets, but others can be dangerous to you and your family. Their dog fighting days also leave remnants of animal aggression, especially toward smaller animals. 

Despite their sweet and friendly nature, many Pitbull attack statistics suggest otherwise. Reports show that Pitbulls alone are responsible for about 60% of all dog bites, with their bites having a high mortality rate. However, these statistics may be bogus because these “Pitbulls” are really mixed breeds.

This can be credited to nurture more than nature, where many Pittie owners train their dogs to be aggressive, a recipe for disaster. The truth is that not many people are suited to owning a Pit because they can snap and harm, especially with insufficient training.

Nonetheless, Pits are highly trainable and catch cues quickly due to their high drive to please. They’re food-motivated, so treats should keep them focused during training. Early training and socialization ensure a well-adjusted dog.

Sociability with Children and Other Pets

Pits are good with children, explaining why they were dubbed the name nanny dog. However, you shouldn’t leave them unsupervised around small children. Pitties have unusually high attacks on other animals because of their fighting instincts. They generally do better around different-sex dogs.

Suitable Home for a Black Pitbull

  • Experienced owners who can train and socialize their Pitbulls from puppyhood;
  • Homes with an active lifestyle to meet their exercise needs;
  • Non-allergic households because they’re not hypoallergenic;
  • Apartments and states that allow Pitbull breeds; and
  • Home with large pets instead of small animals.

How Much A Black Pitbull Costs

Black Pitties typically cost about $500 to $1500, with breeders selling premium line pitties charging for more. Shelters have a serious Pitbull overpopulation crisis, so consider adopting for $50 to $300. Black XXL Designer Pitbulls like Prague can have puppies prices starting at $4000 and upward.

Final Thoughts

Black Pitbulls are normal Pitbulls with an all-black or black-with-white markings color. They need intensive early training and socialization to avoid causing danger. Bad owners that encourage aggression contribute to the unfair bias against Pitbulls.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.