Are you considering getting a pit bull dog or puppy? One of the first things you might be wondering is how much they cost. The pit bull dog price can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the dog’s lineage, age and location. In this article, we will explore the average cost of a pit bull, as well as some of the other factors (including some surprising ones you may not have considered) that can affect the price.
On average, a pit bull puppy can cost anywhere between $500 and $5,000. However, some premium lineage pit bulls can reach prices of up to $55,000. Let’s look at the wide range of pit bull prices including why there is such a range of prices!
Which Breeds are Pit Bulls?
If you’d like a pit bull, first decide which of the breeds most often considered “pit bulls” you prefer or if you’d like a mix that might be labeled as a pit bull due to appearance.
“Pitbull” is not a specific breed of dog but rather a term used to describe a group of breeds with similar physical characteristics and historical purposes.
Here are the breeds most commonly referred to as pitbulls or that are often associated with the pitbull category. As you can see, the average price varies by breed:
American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT)
This is perhaps the breed most often associated with the term “pitbull.” The APBT is recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) but not by the American Kennel Club (AKC). They’re known for their strength, intelligence, and loyalty.
- Typical Price Range: $800 – $2,000 for standard puppies.
- For those with top breed lines and superior pedigree, prices can go as high as $5,000 or more.
American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff)
This breed is very similar in appearance to the APBT and is recognized by the AKC. Some people believe that the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are the same breed, but they have been bred separately for many years and have diverged slightly.
- Typical Price Range: $800 – $1,500 for standard puppies.
- For dogs with champion lines or special considerations, prices might go up to $3,000 or more.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
This is a smaller breed compared to the APBT and the AmStaff. Recognized by the AKC.
- Typical Price Range: $1,500 – $2,500 for standard puppies.
- For exceptional breed lines, you might see prices upwards of $4,500 or more.
This breed is relatively new, developed in the 1980s and 1990s by crossing the American Pit Bull Terrier with other breeds, like the American Staffordshire Terrier, English Bulldog and more. American Bully dogs have a distinct appearance with a wider stance and more muscular build.
- This breed has a vast range because of the different “classes” within the breed (Micro Bully, Pocket Bully, Standard, Classic, XL, Extreme).
- Typical Price Range: $2,000 – $5,000 for most categories.
- Rare varieties or those with outstanding pedigrees can be priced at $10,000 or even higher; we’ve got more below on two of the most famous American Bully dogs and their prices.
Factors Influencing Pit Bull Dog Price
When it comes to buying a Pit Bull from a breeder, the price can vary greatly. Here are some factors that can influence the price of a Pit Bull dog.
Breed Lines and Pedigree
The breed line and pedigree of a Pit Bull can greatly influence its price. Pit Bulls with a well-known and respected pedigree can cost significantly more than those without. For example, a Pit Bull puppy from a premium lineage of famous Pit Bulls may ask as much as $55,000 a puppy.
Age of the Dog
Puppies, whether at breeders, rescues or shelters, are always more expensive than adult dogs. However, older dogs may be more trained and socialized, which can be a plus for some potential pet parents.
Health and Medical History
The health and medical history of a Pit Bull can also affect its price. Some breeders may offer health guarantees that can impact the price of the dog.
Below we’ll look at the health screenings that reputable breeders may perform on the dame and sire of a litter.
Location and Breeder Reputation
The location of the breeder and their reputation can also impact the price of a Pit Bull. Regions with a high cost of living, such as major metropolitan areas in California (San Francisco, Los Angeles), New York City, and parts of the Northeast, tend to have higher prices for all dog breeds, including pit bull breeds.
The costs associated with breeding, veterinary care and maintaining facilities in these areas are higher, and breeders often pass these costs onto buyers.
Tips for Buying a Pit Bull Dog at a Reputable Dog Breeder
When buying a pit bull dog from a breeder, it is important to find a reputable breeder to ensure that you are getting a healthy and well-tempered dog. Here are some tips to help you find a reputable dog breeder–and distinguish a reputable breeder from a backyard breeder:
Research the Breeder
Before making a purchase, it is important to do your research on the breeder. Look for a breeder who is knowledgeable about the breed and who can answer any questions you may have. Sadly, there have been many backyard breeders of pit bull type dogs; these dogs may or may not have received health checks and have the temperament you are looking for in a pet.
Check for scams. Do an online search for complaints about the breeder. Search for “BREEDER NAME complaints” or “BREEDER NAME scam.” Also, are there Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints?
Ask for references. A reputable breeder will be happy to provide you with references and answer any questions you may have.
Ask how often the dogs are bred. Puppies shouldn’t be available at all times.
Ask to tour the kennels. Are they well maintained? Do the dogs look healthy? Beware of operations that will not let you tour the kennels and breeders that want to meet you in a parking lot to hand over the puppy. That’s a red flag!
Be prepared for questions. The breeder should ask YOU questions as well; be suspicious if the breeder has no questions about your past history with pets, if you have experience with pit bull type dogs, your living situation, the name and number of your veterinarian, etc.
Ask if the breeder will take the Pit Bull back if necessary. Reputable breeders should not only agree to accept the dog if it doesn’t work out or even upon your death—but require that the dog be returned to them for rehoming.
Which health checks should breeders have done on the dame and sire of a pit bull puppy?
A reputable breeder will have had health checks done on both the dame and sire of the pit bull puppy. Here are the health checks that should have been done:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia: This is a common condition in pit bulls and can cause pain and mobility issues.
- Eye exams: Pit bulls are prone to eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma.
- Heart exams: Pit bulls can develop heart problems such as mitral valve disease.
- Genetic testing: A reputable breeder will have had genetic testing done on the dame and sire to ensure that the puppies are not at risk for any genetic diseases.
Each of the pit bull type breeds will have its own specific health tests that reputable breeders will perform. For example, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America (the AKC parent club) lists all these recommended health screenings to ensure the breeder has worked to create a strong lineage:
- L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria
- Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts
- Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous
- Hip Dysplasia (HD)
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Patella Luxation
- BAER Testing (Congenital Deafness)
- Cardiac (Heart Testing and disease)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
Pros of Purchasing from a Reputable Pit Bull Breeder
- You may be able to select a puppy—including a choice of color and gender.
- You may obtain health screenings for the puppy’s parents.
- A reputable breeder will be passionate about pit bulls and will be a resource for years to come.
Cons of Purchasing from a Pit Bull Breeder
- You will pay far more for a pit bull from a breeder than a rescue or shelter. If you find a breeder who has pit bull puppies for sale at prices much lower than you are seeing from other breeders, you must suspect you are dealing with a backyard breeder who has not done health screening, with an online seller who is operating a puppy mill or with someone who is running a scam. Beware.
- You will need to wait until puppies are available.
- You will need to do your own due diligence to select a reputable breeder.
What’s the Price of Pit Bull at a Pit Bull Rescue?
You’ll find many pit bulls available at breed specific rescues. These are rescues that–you guessed it–focus on a specific breed or, as in the case of pit bulls, a group of breeds and mixed breed dogs with the appearance of pit bulls.
Generally the price of a Pit Bull at a breed-specific rescue will range from $150-$500, depending on the location and the age of the dog. Puppies are on the higher end of the scale.
At Love-a-Bull, a pit bull rescue in the Austin, Texas area near us, puppies under six months old are $300 to adopt; over six months they are $250. Seniors and dogs with medical issues are $100.
Dogs at breed-specific rescues will generally have received a long list of veterinary services including:
- Spay/neuter, in most cases
- Age appropriate shots
- Heartworm screening and monthly preventative
- Wellness visit
- Any veterinary care the dog may have required while waiting for adoption
As you can see, the savings are huge when adopting from a rescue. Also, most rescues work with a fostering model so, rather than the dogs being in shelters, they live with a foster family until an adoption is made. This means that the foster family usually will be able to tell you if the pit bull is good with children, other dogs, cats, and more.
Pros of Adopting from a Pit Bull Rescue
- You will be saving a life. Most dogs at purebred rescues are pulled from shelters, often open-intake shelters that may not be no-kill shelters.
- You will be able to adopt a pit bull for far less money than purchasing a dog from a breeder.
- You will be able to talk with people who are passionate about pit bull type dogs about the individual dog you are interested in adopting.
Cons of Adopting from a Pit Bull Rescue
- You may not be able to find a puppy. Unlike some breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs, however, we generally see Pit Bull puppies at rescues.
- You most likely won’t know if the dog’s parents had the health screenings we discussed above.
- Your dog may or may not be an American Pit Bull Terrier, an AmStaff, a Staffordshire Terrier or an American Bully; he may be a mix of these dogs, a mix of one of these breeds with another non-pit bull dog–or he may just have a pit bull appearance which has caused him to be classified as a “pit bull.”
What’s the Price of Adopting a Pit Bull at a Shelter?
Another cost-saving option is an animal shelter. Typically animal shelters are FILLED with pit bull type dogs.
The cost of adopting a Pit Bull from a city animal shelter can vary depending on the location, but generally, you can expect to pay between $50 to $300. This fee usually includes the cost of spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and a microchip.
A good resource (and one we’ve used to find and adopt all our pets) is Petfinder. They have a pit bull page with more information; scroll down to the bottom to see pitbulls near you and a total of how many pit bulls are listed as available for adoption. Currently they list over 168,000! This will include both rescues and shelters. If you don’t see your local shelter listed, just call the shelter; they are always looking for adopters.
Pros of Adopting a Pit Bull from a Shelter
- You are saving a life, not only of the dog you adopt but of the next dog who will be rescued due to the kennel that is now clear.
- Your new dog will have received a long list of veterinary services.
- You will have the love of a dog whose price was far less than that of a dog from a breeder.
- Because of the stigma associated with pit bulls, many larger shelters take special care to learn more about the temperament of pit bull-type dogs they intake and may be able to give you insight into the behavior of the dog you are considering adopting.
The Cons of Adopting a Pit Bull from a Shelter
- Your dog may or may not be one of the pit bull breeds listed above.
- You most likely won’t know if the dog’s parents had the health screenings we discussed above.
- You may not know the history of the dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the average cost of a Mini Pit Bull?
The average cost of a Mini Pit Bull–usually called a Pocket Pit–can vary depending on the breeder, bloodline, and location. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 for a Mini Pit Bull puppy from a reputable breeder. Keep in mind that Mini Pit Bulls are not a recognized breed, so be cautious of breeders selling them as such.
Where can I find Pitbull puppies for sale at $250 or less?
It is unlikely that you will find Pitbull puppies for sale at $250 or less from a reputable breeder. Puppies from reputable breeders typically start at around $500 and can go up to several thousand dollars. Be cautious of breeders selling puppies for significantly less, as they may not be reputable and may not have properly cared for the puppies.
You will, however, find pitbull puppies at rescues and shelters at $250 or less.
What is the average price of Tri color Pitbull puppies?
The average price of Tri color Pitbull puppies can vary depending on the breeder, bloodline, and location. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 for a Tri color Pitbull puppy from a reputable breeder. Keep in mind that Tri color Pitbulls are not a recognized breed, so be cautious of breeders selling them as such.
How much does a Black Pitbull dog typically cost?
The cost of a Black Pitbull dog can vary depending on the breeder, bloodline, and location. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 for a Black Pitbull dog from a reputable breeder. However, be wary of breeders selling Black Pitbulls for significantly less, as they may not be reputable.
More Dog Breed Price Ranges You May Be Interested In
Compare the price of pit bulls to these breeds: