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Pit Bull Costs: A Complete Guide To Owning And Buying A Pitbull In 2023 - PawSafe

Pit Bull Costs: A Complete Guide To Owning And Buying A Pitbull In 2023

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

pit bull costs

If you’re looking to buy or adopt a Pitbull puppy, you need to be prepared for the steep Pit bull costs and what kind of price you can expect.

We always avoid backyard breeders or suspiciously cheap puppies as these Pitbulls are more likely to carry genetic health issues, temperament problems, or contribute to the shelter population. So let’s look at what you can expect to pay for the different types and bloodlines of a good Pitbull line, to adopt one, and the cost to keep a Pitbull, including equipment like a no-pull dog harness.

What is the price of a Pitbull Puppy?

Pitbull puppies from reputable breeders with good bloodlines currently cost an average of $1500 – $4500. More questionable breeders may offer puppies for less than $1000, and breeders of famous Pit Bulls, like Hulk, may ask as much as $55 000 a puppy.

Be extremely cautious about buying or paying for cheaper Pit Bulls. Puppy scammers are a real problem, often accepting money and promising to ship puppies that never arrive. The other issue with cheaper Pitbull puppies is that it usually indicates a backyard breeder or puppy mill.

These puppies sadly often come from bad breeding practices, where the parents are not health tested and more likely to carry genetic issues, including bad temperaments or joint issues like dysplasia. If you are buying a puppy, invest in a reputable breeder, or adopt one of the many fantastic Pitbulls in shelters that need a home.

Of course, up to 1 million Pitbulls are euthanized yearly, so we always encourage adopting rather than googling “Pitbull Puppies for sale near me.” That said, some may want to invest extra money in a Pitbull from a reputable breeder to help ensure a good temperament, health or for specific genetics. 

Factors that affect the price of a Pitbull Puppy

Of course, Pitbull prices can vary drastically, depending on a number of factors. Let’s look at what may influence the price of the pitbull puppy.

1. Pitbull breed

Pitbull is a broad term for several different breeds. These are:

  • American Bulldog
  • American Bully
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Pit Bull Terrier

The breed of Pitbull is a major factor in the price. Typically, often, the designer American Bullies are the most expensive, with a Bully called White Rhino being sold for a colossal $250 000.

2. Registration

Having papers for your Pitbull puppy will significantly affect the price, especially when puppies come from rare bloodlines, like the Gator-mouth Pitbulls. In these cases, getting a verified bloodline certification is crucial to avoid a scam. Registration does not make a good breeder, but it does help confirm your dog’s ancestry.

Not all Pitbull breeds are recognized by the AKC or UKC. American Bullies are Registered with the American Bully Registry.

The AKC recognizes the American Bulldog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Meanwhile, the American Pit Bull is only recognized by the UKC, American Breeders Association, and the American Pit Bull Terrier Association.

3. Bloodline & Type

Another major factor that will affect a Pitbull’s cost is the bloodline or the subtype. American Pit Bull Terriers that come from very old bloodlines like Jeep, Boudreaus, Carver, or Eli will be more expensive. 

Likewise, the Johnson type of American Bulldog is usually more expensive than the Scott. Bullies come in several sizes, and the dogs bred to more extreme sizes and proportions, like the Pocket Bully or the XL Bully, typically fetch a hefty price tag.

4. Breeder reputation

The breeder’s reputation is one of the most deciding factors regarding price. Well-known and established breeders with a good track record of healthy, well-performing dogs can often start their prices for puppies between $3000 and $10 000. If they have an extremely well-known dog, the price may go higher. 

The advantage of these breeders is that the dog’s quality, health, and temperament are usually assured. Most will have a health guarantee that lasts up to the first two years of the dog’s life, and they will have a waiting list of approved owners to ensure the welfare of their puppies.

Backyard or unknown breeders (and puppy mills) may ask between $500 and $1000. Aside from the welfare issues that arise with this kind of breeding, there may be a greater health and behavioral problems risk. Proper breeding means extensively testing parent dogs for a range of health issues and temperament problems. This is expensive but worth paying for.

4. Colors

Color tends to affect the price of many Pitbulls. Rare colors like Merle Pitbulls or the famous blue or Red nose Pitbulls, (not to be confused with the Old Family Red Nose Bloodline) can fetch a higher price than more common colors.

5. “Pick” of the litter

Something that can affect the cost of the puppy is the “pick” This means people who pay for the “first pick” pay more to select the first )and hopefully best puppy in the litter. Prices may then decrease for “second pick,” “third pick,” and so forth.

Average cost of the different Pitbull types

Below are the typical prices you can expect to pay for well-bred Pitbull breeds, as well as some of the variations in the price you can expect for different types and bloodlines you may find in the breed. 

Keep in mind these prices are only an average. Prices may fall below or be higher, depending on factors like famous parents, colors, the breeder’s reputation and more.

Pitbull breedNotable bloodlines or sub-typesAverage cost
American Bulldog$1000–3500
Johnson’s American Bulldog$1500 – $3500
Scott’s American Bulldog$1200 – $3500
American Bully
Pocket Bully$3000 – $10000
Standard Bully$2000 – $5000
Classic Bully$2000 – $ 5000
XL Bully$ 5000 – $10000
XXL Designer Pitbulls (such as those from Prague Or “Black Panther” bloodlines$4000 and upwards
Staffordshire Bull Terrier$1000 – $3000
American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (AmStaff)$1500 – $3000
Tacoma bloodline$1000 or more
X-pert Bloodline$1000 or more
Ruffian Bloodline$1000 – $3500
Crusader Bloodline$1000 or more
California Bloodline$1000 or more
American Pitbull Terrier (AMPT)$800 – $10000
Colby$800 – $3000
Old Family Red Nose$1500 or more
Jeep$500 – $2500
Carver$1000 or more
Tab$1000 or more
Eli$1000 or more
Bordeaux$1000 or more
Gator$2000 or more

A word of warning about buying Pitbull Terriers

When paying for a quality American Pitbull Terrier puppy, it’s vital to research and visit the kennels yourself. Most, if not all, of the famous American Pitbull Terrier bloodlines are traditionally “game bred,” meaning they come from dogfighting lines. Many Amstaff lines are rooted in old gamebred lines, too, and are also high-energy and driven dogs that need committed owners.

While reputable breeders have channeled these bloodlines into sports like weight pulling, disreputable breeders still sell their dogs for illegal dog fighting. A good Pitbull breeder will be honest about whether these dogs make good pets or the likelihood that they may develop issues like aggression toward other dogs. Many Pitbulls are specifically bred to be ideal companions and have a better tolerance of other animals. 

However, getting a Pitbull from “game-bred” lines often means getting an extremely dominant dog that thrives on a challenge. These dogs are usually not suited for the average owner or household. Instead, they need someone who can handle the extra responsibility and productively channel these more extreme personalities.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the most family-friendly and easy Pit Bull breeds known for being great with kids and having a better track record of getting along with other animals. 

The Bully breeds also tend to be more laid-back with a lower prey drive than the Amstaff or APBT. They are crossed out with other breeds, like the English Bulldog or the French Bulldog, so their temperaments can vary from extremely sweet to more assertive.

Cost of special Pitbull colors

Color is another factor that can affect the price of a Pitbull, regardless of breed. While there are limits on some colors allowed in the different breeds, demand for rare colors means that many breeders will ask more for rare colors. 

Here are some of the rarer Pitbull colors and the estimated cost.

Pitbull colorPrice
Blue fawn brindle$2000 or more
Red nose pitbull (red or champagne)$1000 – $3000
Blue nose pitbull (blue, gray)$1000 – $3000
Merle pitbull$1300 – $30000
Tricolor pitbull$ 2000 – $7500
Lilac Pitbull $5000 or more
White or albino pitbull$1000 – $300-

Cost of adopting a Pitbull

If you find some of the prices for owning a Pitbull eye-watering, don’t worry. Depending on where you live, a shelter or rescue usually charges between $300 and $800 in adoption fees for pitbull. It’s always worth investing in a rescue Pitbull as these are often wonderful companions in desperate need of a good home.

Cost of owning a Pitbull

The cost of owning a Pitbull can vary considerably, depending on the type of Pitbull, where you live, and what you’re willing to invest in your dog. Pitbulls bred to greater extremes, like the Pocket Bully, tend to have far more health issues and can cost thousands if they need surgeries to correct deformities that affect their eyes, breathing, or joints.

Likewise, extremely large Pitbulls, like the XL or XXL Bullies, will be far more expensive regarding both vet’s bill and the amount of food they consume. Dogs that are bred for specific colors may also have more health issues. On the other hand, a healthy, medium-sized Pitbull mix from a shelter may have minimal costs over its lifetime.

Items like food costs can also vary considerably depending on whether you are opting for prescription or premium diets, raw food, cheaper dry foods, or wet foods. However, arguably, feeding your dog a more expensive diet will hopefully mean fewer vet bills. 

So with this in mind, here is an estimate of expenses that you will need to budget for. These are initial, once-off, or occasional recurring costs such as annual vet visits or toys that may need to be replaced from time to time.

Initial and occasional expensesCost
Dog bed$15 – $80
Dog Bowls and Feeders$6 – $15
Dog food containers$20 – $50
Dog harness & Leash$15 – $50
Dog Seatbelt$6 – $25
Dog crate$40 – $250
Toys$20 – $50
Dog training (individual)$ 1500 – $ 2000
Dog training (group)$150 – $200
Stay-and-train$2000 – $4000
Puppy socialization classes$30 to $80 per class, or $200 to $300 for a full course
Grooming items (including dental care, brushes, shampoo, nail clippers, and ear cleaners)$40 – $150
Miscellaneous items ( supplements, pet stain removers, anti-chew sprays, etc.)$20 – $150
Parasite treatments (ticks, fleas, and dewormers)$50 – $200
Vaccinations$75 – $200
Neutering/Spaying$200 – $250
Dog license$10 –$20
Microchip$ 40 – $60
Veterinary check up (annual)$50 – $250
Veterinary teeth cleaning (annual)$250 – $900

Thereafter, one also needs to budget for what your PItbull will typically cost per month. Today’s Pitbulls vary dramatically in size and shape, and this can affect how much it costs to keep them. So we will focus on Pitbull that weighs roughly 60 lbs.

Expense for Pitbull (average weight 60 lbs or 27 kg)Typical cost per month
Food and treats$50 – $120
Pet insurance$30 – $100

Of course, unforeseen vet bills can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, so investing in monthly medical insurance for your Pitbull is essential in case of emergency. 

All in all, you can expect your Pitbull to cost $1500 to $3000 per year. Some Pitbull owners with extra food or veterinary bills may spend up to $500) a year. The average monthly cost is usually $50 to $150 per dog.

Tips to reduce the cost of owning a Pitbull

If you want to reduce the overall cost of owning a Pitbull, you can take the following steps:

  1. Choose a well-bred, medium-sized athletic dog from a breeder who tests vigorously for health. This may be expensive initially, but it will typically save money in vet bills in the long run. Avoid backyard breeders, pet shops, or dogs bred to extreme proportions (short noses, small or very large sizes) as these dogs may have more health issues as they grow older. Also, dogs bred for specific rare colors sometimes have more genetic issues due to inbreeding. 
  2. Invest in a good diet. While good dog food may be more expensive, providing a Pitbull with its essential nutrients from quality nutrition offsets many health issues.
  3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and playtime to promote your dog’s physical health and overall well-being. Obese and sedentary dogs will suffer more chronic health issues.
  4. Invest in pet insurance to cover any emergency vet bills.
  5. Invest in preventative care, such as daily dental care. Chronic inflammation in the teeth leads to various severe health issues, such as heart and kidney problems.
  6. Make sure to train and socialize your dog. Pitbulls are powerful dogs with reputation for aggression. While most Pitbulls are not aggressive, extensively training and socializing your dog is the best way to avoid hefty legal or medical fees from bites or other dangerous behaviors. 

Final Thoughts

It is possible to find Pitbulls for sale on sites like Craigslist for $300 to $800, but we strongly advise against this as unethical Pitbull breeding practices are largely to blame for the breed’s bad reputation and for the amount of Pitbulls in shelters. Therefore, it’s better to rescue a Pitbull already in a shelter for a minimal adoption fee.

However, if you do want to buy a Pitbull, you can expect to easily pay between $1000 and $1000, depending on the Pitbull Breed, and other factors like type, bloodline, and the reputation of the breeder.

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.