White Pitbulls are striking and controversial. Some consider them undesirable, while many Pitbull fans love them thanks to their unique appearance.
White Pitbull Facts
White Pitbulls have been around for many years, but this longevity hasn’t calmed the controversy. This stems from concerns about health problems due to their genetics. However, the matter isn’t as simple as it appears.
What is a Pitbull?
First, let’s take a look at what a Pitbull is. Technically, Pitbull is a type of dog, rather than a specific breed. These dogs were bred from English Bulldogs and Terriers.
Pitbull type dogs include the American Bulldog, the American Bully, the Staffrodshire Terrier, and the American Pitbull Terrier.
Generally, Pitbull refers to the American Pitbull Terrier, so that’s what we will focus on here. It’s interesting to note that the Staffordshire Terrier was originally an American Pitbull Terrier.
The AKC used the name Staffordshire Terrier to distance themselves from dog fighting, which Pitbulls were well known for. Today, there are some differences in Stafffordshrie Terriers and American Pitbull Terriers due to breeding. They are generally considered separate, but very closely related, breeds for this reason.
What Does a White Pitbull Look Like?
When you think of a white Pitbull, you probably envision a smooth completely white coat. This is rare in Pitbulls. More often, a white Pitbull will have white as the dominant color, with one or two secondary colors.
The secondary color can be any color that Pitbulls come in, including red, black, and brown.
Is White a Breed Fault?
You may think a breed fault isn’t something you should be concerned about, unless you plan to show your White Pitbull. The truth is that breed standards exist for a reason. The reason certain characteristics are excluded is often because it’s associated with health issues.
Most registries that register Pitbulls allow any color except for merle, which means that white is allowed. The AKC doesn’t recognize the American Pitbull Terrier, but does recognize the Staffordshire Terrier. They consider a dog with a coat that’s more than 80% white a breed fault, which disqualifies them from competition.
All registries do consider albinism a breed fault.
Albinism vs Leucism vs White Pitbulls
These three pooches can appear very similar, but their genetic differences are very important. A true white Pitbull inherits a white coat from its parents, just as a black Pitbull inherits its black coat.
This is very different from Albinism. Albinism affects all mammals, including humans. It’s a very rare genetic condition. Albino dogs produce no pigment anywhere on their body.
This happens because they inherit the albino gene. The gene is recessive, so two parents who appear normal can pass the albino gene to their offspring, if they inherit a copy of the gene from both parents. This gene prevents their body from producing any melanin, which is responsible for skin and hair color.
Albino Pitbulls will have a light pink nose and paw pads, and very light blue eyes. Their skin under their coat doesn’t have any color, which makes it very pale.
Albinism is associated with several health conditions, which we’ll learn more about in an upcoming section.
The easiest way to understand Leucism is to think of it as, pardon the pun, albinism lite. Instead of producing no melanin at all, these Pitbulls produce very little melanin. Their noses will be a deeper pink. Their eyes are typically blue, but a darker blue than those of an albino Pitbull.
However, it can be very difficult to distinguish between albinism and leucism. In fact, the only way to know for sure is with genetic testing. The good news is that leucism isn’t associated with the health conditions linked with albinism.
White Pitbull Price
White Pitbulls are rarer than most colors, so you can expect to pay more for them. Registered Pitbulls typically cost $1,000 to $3,000. You can expect pure white Pitbulls to be closer to $3,000, or even higher.
Pitbulls from prestigious bloodlines are more expensive, and can range from $10,000-$30,000, depending on the bloodline and their color.
On the other hand, you can find unregistered White Pitbull puppies for a lower price, often $200-$800. Keep in mind that you won’t know their ancestry, which increases the risk of unknown health conditions.
White Pitbull Rarity
White Pitbulls are considered rare. Pitbulls with a predominantly white coat and one or two secondary colors are more common.
White Pitbull Life expectancy
White Pitbulls have the same life expectancy of other colors, which is 10 to 16 years. The average Pitbull will live from 12-14 years. Rarely, they can live for 20 years or more.
The oldest Pitbull documented was Max, who lived to be 26 years old.
Albino Pitbulls, on the other hand, have a shorter lifespan. Because albinism is so uncommon and the associated health conditions vary from dog to dog, it’s unclear how much albinism affects the expected lifespan.
White Pitbull Size and weight
White Pitbulls are medium sized dogs. Females are a little smaller than males, and grow to 17-20 inches tall. Males range from 18-21 inches tall. Females weigh 30-50 pounds, while males typically weigh 35-60 pounds.
White Pitbull Health
White Pitbulls have a few health issues you should be aware of, in addition to those that are common to Pitbulls. However, they are considered a healthy dog breed.
Allergies and Skin Issues
Allergies, particularly skin allergies, are a common issue for Pitbulls. These are typically caused by environmental allergens, like grass or dust, or food allergies, which include corn or wheat.
These allergies can cause itching, which leads the dog to scratch or lick frequently. They can also cause rashes, skin lesions, and hair loss. Ear infections can also be caused by allergies.
Another skin issue that is common in Pitbulls is Demodex Mange. This is caused by mites, and can affect any dog. This typically causes red scaly skin and hair loss in patches on the body.
Pitbulls can have a more severe reaction to the mites, which leads to scaly skin and hair loss over their entire body.
Hip dysplasia is a common issue for medium and large dogs. It occurs when the hip joint doesn’t form correctly. The condition is genetic, but lifestyle can increase or decrease the risk of the condition.
Hip dysplasia can cause pain and loss of mobility, depending on the severity. A healthy exercise regimen and weight can decrease the risk or severity of the condition.
White Pitbulls are at a higher risk of deafness. There’s a genetic connection between the lack of melanacytes, which leads to a white coat, and congenital deafness. Not all white Pitbulls are deaf, but it does increase the risk of deafness.
White dogs are more sensitive to the sun because they have lower melanin levels. You may need to limit their sun exposure or apply sunscreen before allowing them outside.
Albino Pitbull Health Issues
Melanin plays a role in eye development, so albino Pitbulls are at a high risk of eye problems, including blindness. They are also more prone to deafness. These problems can be present at birth, or develop throughout the dogs life.
They also have a higher degree of sun sensitivity. Their sun exposure should be carefully limited to avoid issues caused by sun exposure.
White Pitbull Behavior/Characteristics
White Pitbulls are very gentle and loving. They form very close bonds with their owners, and any other members of their family. In fact, they do not do well if they are left alone for long periods. They require lots of attention.
They are great dogs for children. They have an incredible amount of patience, particularly with kids. You won’t have to worry about them snapping if they are laid on or their tail is pulled.
They also love to play, and are protective. These aspects earn them their nickname, “nanny dogs”.
Pitbulls have a love for life. They seem to be in a good mood all of the time, and have a childlike excitement.
Are White Pitbulls Aggressive?
Pitbulls have an undeserved reputation for aggression. According to the American Temperament Test, Pitbulls pass the test 86% of the time.
This is better than that of many breeds, including German Shepherds and Beagles. They will defend themselves or their loved ones with their lives, but unwarranted aggression is rare in the breed.
How to care for a White Pitbull
Caring for a White Pitbull is similar to caring for any pooch. However, there are some specific requirements you should be aware of before you bring home a new canine companion.
Pitbulls are energetic and muscular. This means they do best on a high protein diet. Feed them a high quality food, preferably 30% protein or better.
Puppies should be fed a puppy food 3 times a day. Once they are 6 months old, you can transition them to eating twice a day. At 1 year old, you can transition them to adult dog food.
It’s best to feed them twice a day throughout their life.
Pitbulls need about 1 hour of exercise each day. Depending on your pooch’s endurance, you may want to split this into a few shorter sessions.
Walking, jogging, fetch, and tug of war are excellent ways to give them physical activity.
They also need plenty of mental exercise. They are an intelligent breed, and get bored if they don’t get enough mental stimulation. Teaching them tricks or commands, puzzle toys, and games are great ways of keeping their mind active.
You should use caution when exercising a white Pitbull outdoors. Remember to limit their sun exposure to avoid sunburn.
Training and Socialization
Training and socialization are essential for Pitbulls. Pitbulls aren’t aggressive as long as they are properly trained and socialized.
They are easy to train, because they love pleasing their owners. They require a strong, confident owner. However, you should only use positive reinforcement. Never punish your pooch as a method of training.
They should be socialized with humans as well as other animals. They were originally bred to fight other dogs. Dogs who showed aggression towards people, particularly their owners, were undesirable and often killed.
This means that it’s very rare for a Pitbull to be aggressive towards their family. However, they can be protective, so you’ll need to introduce them to strangers early on in their life.
They must be socialized with other dogs and other animals they are likely to encounter to prevent aggression.
How do you buy a White Pitbull?
Buying a white Pitbull requires a little research. You’ll need to be sure to get your Pitbull from a reputable breeder.
Adopting a White Pitbull
Pitbulls are, unfortunately, common in shelters. White Pitbulls are rare. However, they are sometimes surrendered due to concerns about potential health conditions, so it is possible to find them for adoption.
In addition to checking your local shelter, you can check Pitbull rescues in your area. Pitbull Rescue Central is a nationwide Pitbull rescue that is worth a look as well.
Finding a Reputable Breeder
The simplest way to find a reputable breeder is through a breeder registry. Registries have standards which typically weed out unethical breeders.
If you can’t find a breeder through these registries, you can do an internet search. It’s best to find a breeder who registers their puppies.
They must meet the standards required by the registry, which makes them more likely to be ethical. It also allows you to know the ancestry of the puppies.
When purchasing a white Pitbull, you should be sure that they are white, and not albino. Albino Pitbulls are wonderful dogs as well. However, if you aren’t prepared for their potential health conditions, you should avoid them.
Genetic testing is the best way to know if your Pitbull is truly white. It can also reveal health conditions that you should be aware of.