🦴 Updated on July 20th, 2023
One of my favorite breeds of dogs is the strong-willed, tenacious Pitbull. At first, I was skeptical about this sub-class of canines given those uncouth rumors of Pitbulls being “child-hungry brutes,” but I have grown to adore them over time.
So why would you want one of these hulking pooches in the first place?
Well, Pitbulls are large, bruting dogs with lean builds and superb agility. Despite their unfair reputation and turbulent history, Pitbulls are actually friendly, loving, and incredibly loyal. Contrary to popular belief, they make excellent family dogs and handle children with great care.
If you’re wondering how much a Pitbull costs, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, I’ll lay out everything you can expect when adopting a Pitbull, including initial price, maintenance fees, lifetime costs, and much more, so keep reading.
How Much Does an American Pitbull Terrier Cost?
There are many different types of Pitbulls with drastically different price ranges; however, you can expect to pay between $500 and $5,000 on average as a standard American Pit Bull Terrier price.
Of course, some sub-breeds can reach upwards of $55,000, but I’ll go into more detail on the price of different types in the segment below.
Average Pitbull Cost by Type
As mentioned in the previous section, Pitbulls can range anywhere from $500 to $55,000. While this difference may seem extreme, it’s because there are so many different types of Pitbulls.
Let’s look at the breed’s history. The Pitbull, sometimes referred to as the American Pitbull Terrier, is a cross between a Bulldog and a Terrier.
Combining a Bulldog’s strength and a Terrier’s speed resulted in a dog suited for combat. Unfortunately, underground ring leaders used Pitbulls in dog fights during the first half of the 20th century. This was a cruel and unethical sport that many countries have now outlawed.
Thankfully, while these combative dogs were bred to be battle-fit, they retained the courage and dependability of their predecessors. This is why these fine specimens have persisted through the decades and become one of the most expensive Pitbulls in the world.
The myth of Pitbulls being dangerous has been debunked by various studies, one of which found the level of aggression in Pitbulls equal to a control group of Golden Retrievers.
The primary basis for cost with the Pitbulls breaks down into two main components: appearance and lineage. There are a plethora of Pitbulls to choose from, so here’s the breakdown of some of the most popular ones:
Pitbull Purebred Price
The price for a purebred Pitbull will fall between $800 and $2,500. There’s no guarantee that a Pitbull will be purebred without full registration, but if they are fully registered, they’re likely purebred.
Purebreds with complete registration typically fall on the $2,500 side of the scale. In the end, you’ll have to consult your local breeder for the exact lineage.
Blue Nose Pitbull Price
The Blue Nose Pitbull is identical to your everyday Pitbull except for one distinguishable feature: its blue-tinted nose.
Other than this slightly rare attribute, there isn’t anything else that sets this breed apart from all the rest. Still, the Blue Nose Pitbull’s rarity does bring up its price, and you can expect to pay about $3,000 for one of these puppies.
Red Nose Pitbull Price
Red Nose Pitbulls are the same deal as blue-nosed ones, except that they’re slightly more common and less expensive. Red Nose Pitbulls usually cost around $2,000 and have reddish/golden coats to compliment their nose color.
Black Panther Pitbull Price
Black Panther Pitbulls are one of the more expensive Pitbull breeds. They’re categorized by their uniform black coat and light eye color. This unique set of genes makes them among the rarest of combinations.
Given their sparsity and particular traits, the lowest you’ll ever find a Black Panther Pitbull for is $5,000. Of course, you’ll probably have to pay more, seeing as how this type occasionally exceeds $20,000, though this is the high end of the spectrum.
Just expect to pay somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000.
Blue Fawn Pitbull Price
Blue Fawn Pitbulls are rare breeds admired for their bluish-gray fur and red noses. They have exceptional temperaments (generally the best when it comes to Pitbulls) and are relatively hard to breed.
As a result of rarity and difficulty in breeding, Blue Fawn Pitbulls often cost about $5,000.
Gotti Pitbull Price
Gotti Pitbulls are part of the American Bully lineage and are widely sought-after on the market. They’re a bit leaner and more muscular than your average Pitbull, but they’re just huge sweetie-pies and one of the most gentle breeds you can find.
Gotti Pitbulls generally cost between $2,000 and $4,000, depending on whether they’re purebred or not.
Merle Pitbull Price
Merle Pitbulls are the rarest of the rare. You can distinguish a Merle Pit by its bluish-gray coats, which are blotched with blacks, browns, and whites.
Additionally, they have an interesting set of heterochromatic blue eyes, which is rare for their kind. The distinctive patterns of these breeds come from the merle gene and can cost anywhere between $10,000 and a whopping $30,000.
Part of the Merle Pitbulls’ rarity results from their numerous health risks, which makes it unethical for breeders to inbreed with this species. Still, it is a highly prized Pitbull type and is adorable all the same.
The Tri-Color Pitbull is a moderately rare breed that falls between the exclusivity of the Blue Nosed Pitbull and the Merle Pitbull. As such, the price drops in the $2,000 – $5,000 range.
Tri-Colored Pitbulls are precisely what you’d expect: Pitbulls with three different shades of fur. Other than their unique patterns, they are virtually the same as a regular Pitbull. The combination of colors doesn’t impact the price unless they are rare shades.
Hulk Pitbull Price
The Hulk Pitbull lineage stems from Hulk, a massive Pitbull clocking in at roughly 168 pounds. His litter and descendants of his litter sell for at least $30,000 a pup but can go up to $55,000 when they receive elite guard dog training.
Hulk’s original litter of 8 puppies was estimated to have a market value of $500,000. Subsequent litters with their genes have the potential to grow to Hulk’s astounding size, and while that is an impressive feat, it’s not recommended for your everyday household family.
Initial Cost of Adopting a Pitbull
In addition to the base price of your newfound friend, there are many other startup costs you’ll have to consider to adequately care for your pup. In total, you’re looking at about.
How Much Does a Pitbull Cost?
Here’s a quick rundown of all the essentials:
The first and foremost necessity of your Pitbull is food. Since they have a broader and more muscular stature than most other dogs, they’ll need to consume a lot of food daily. A large bag of food can cost between $40 and $120.
How much food you’ll need to start with is contingent upon the dog’s age, weight, activity levels, and dietary needs. For exact measurements, it’s recommended to consult your local vet or pet dietician.
Some basic needs and their prices include the following:
Toys are imperative to every dog’s growth and development. Studies show interactive toys stimulate the brain and keep your dog mentally healthy. They are the Pitbulls’ primary sources of entertainment and make for a fun playtime.
Pitbulls have strong jaws and love chewing on things. While puppies may enjoy those cheap little toys, they’ll quickly destroy them as they age. For this breed, you’re going to need some heavy-duty toys. In total, you’ll likely spend within the range of $30 and $60.
Initial Veterinary Needs
Pitbulls have several veterinary needs when you first get them, in addition to regular visits. The following costs are the health care protocols you’ll potentially have to spend on when you first adopt your pet:
Initial Vet Visit
It would be best if you always had your pet vetted when you first get them to ensure there are no underlying health issues or risks. The cost ranges between $75 and $300, depending on your location.
Breeders will often claim they have already vetted the pup, but it’s still in your best interest to take them to a veterinarian.
If you get your pup straight from a reputable breeder, they’re already up to date on their vaccines. If this hasn’t already been done, you’ll have to take it upon yourself to take your Pitbull to the vet and get these shots ($75 – $200).
Neutering and spaying are healthy practices for dogs you don’t want to reproduce and are effective at reducing aggression levels later in life. If your Pitbull didn’t come fixed, you’d have to shell out between $200 and $250 for the procedure.
Your initial grooming needs may include brushes, dog shampoo, toothbrushes for dogs, toothpaste for dogs, and nail clippers. Many owners opt to have their pet cleaned and groomed at a local groomer; however, if you’re up to the task, these costs will fall between $40 and $180.
Pitbull Cost Breakdown Throughout Life
To give you a more comprehensive picture of ALL the expenses you might face during your Pitbull’s lifetime, I’ve broken down the average cost of living into three groups: monthly cost, annual cost, and lifetime cost.
Monthly Pitbull Cost
Pitbulls are big dogs, and they aren’t cheap. These are the main things you’ll be paying for per month when it comes to your oversized puppy:
- Food – As I mentioned before, a large bag of food will cost between $40 and $120, or an average of $80. One pack will last you roughly 30 days or one month.
- Treats – a bag of treats or bones will cost you about $15 a month, give or take.
- Poop bags – poop bags for dogs cost around $15 for a pack, but they usually last longer than a month.
Overall, your Pitbull will cost an average of $110 per month. That’s not including less frequent needs such as vet trips or grooming, which will be covered in the annual costs below.
Annual Pitbull Cost
There are a lot more costs involved per year in addition to the monthly expenses.
- Food and treats – Roughly $1,140 a year
- Groomer – if you choose to take your Pitbull to the groomer, it’s recommended you bring them every three months. A trip to the groomer costs about $75, or $300 a year.
- Vet trips – You should take your pet to the vet at least once a year, which costs an average of $100 a trip. Once your dog reaches age 7, experts say you should take them twice a year.
- Medications – Pitbulls are prone to ailments and often require medications at some point in their life. Over-the-counter drugs can run anywhere between $50 and $200 to run their course.
It’s estimated that a Pitbull will cost you about $1,665 per year.
Lifetime Pitbull Cost
Despite larger dogs typically having shorter lifespans, the Pitbull can live upwards of 16 years! That said, the average life expectancy is roughly 12 years. Using this number, we can determine an estimate for a Pitbull’s lifetime cost:
By adding the average yearly cost to the startup costs and adoption price (I’m using $2,750 for this number), you’re looking at $13,590 for the first six years of life.
At age seven is when it’s recommended you start visiting the vet twice a year, which brings the yearly cost to $1,765 a year.
If your Pitbull lives to be 12 years old, you’re looking at a lifetime cost of roughly $24,180.
I’d like to make clear that this is an estimate based on averages, but you can end up paying much more or less based on your circumstances and needs. This is just a general guideline for those who want to get an idea of how much a Pitbull costs.
Other Expenses To Watch Out For
I’ve explained the standard costs of a Pitbull, but there are a few other situational expenses you’ll want to be on the lookout for. Some of these are brought upon by circumstance, while others are a choice you may make as a pet owner.
While not essential, pet insurance is pretty handy, especially if your beloved pet needs urgent care. It’s a plus if your job offers pet insurance as part of a benefits bundle, but this is quite rare.
Otherwise, pet insurance will run you between $500 and $1,500 per year.
Some states and municipalities require you to have a pet license for your dog. Luckily, it’s pretty cheap and only costs $10 – $20 a year. Un-fixed animals usually have a higher rate, sometimes double the regular.
Some people decide to have a microchip implanted in their dog. This unobtrusive procedure will help others identify your dog if it ever gets lost, as animal shelters can scan the chip.
The microchip is extremely tiny and goes into your dog’s shoulder. It has a one-time cost that’ll run you between $40 and $60.
There are a few convenience services that aren’t necessary for your Pitbull but may pique your interest. Examples of these services might be a daycare service or a dog walker. Each of these will likely run you about $15 a day.
Not everyone has the know-how to properly and effectively train their dogs. Without suitable training from an early age, your Pitbull may develop behavioral issues as it grows up. Examples of this may include excessive barking, peeing inside the house, jumping on guests, and not listening to commands.
There are training classes available for dogs that teach your pet to be more obedient as well as a few tricks like sit and stay. Individual sessions can be pretty pricey as they can cost upwards of $800 for 3 to 5 sessions.
If you’re looking to have your dog trained professionally without breaking the bank, go for the group sessions. Group training only costs between $100 and $150 for one course.
The Cost of a Rescue Pitbull
The cost of adopting a Pitbull rescue is only between $100 and $500. That’s not including any potential vaccines, spaying/neutering procedures, or other veterinary needs.
While this option is significantly cheaper than adopting straight from a breeder, there are a few downsides to keep in mind.
First of all, you’ll rarely adopt a Pitbull as a puppy when it’s a rescue. As with most rescue dogs, they are often in their later years.
Secondly, you don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing what kind of Pitbull you want. This is great for people who aren’t picky, but those with a preference will have a more challenging time finding a rescue that meets their wants.
One final note is to understand that rescues can be pretty risky. Rescue shelters frequently lie about aspects of the animal, and the dog may have had a traumatic experience that causes higher levels of aggression. Thus, it is not recommended to pair a rescue with children unless you’re sure they are safe.
Tips for Saving Money When Adopting a Pitbull
As you may have gathered, Pitbulls are pretty expensive creatures. They’re lovely family pets and excellent all-around dogs, so it’s no surprise that so many people want them.
If you’re looking to affordably bring a Pitbull into your home while saving some extra cash, then here are some practical money-saving tips that cut costs without sacrificing any of your cherished pet’s quality of life.
Buy High-Quality Essentials
You need to spend more on higher-quality essentials to save money in the long run. Sure, getting a cheaply made brush or dollar-store dog toys won’t cost much initially, but they’re bound to break pretty quickly.
Assuming you have your Pitbull for years on end, the cost of these necessities begins to rack up and will eventually far surpass an expensive piece of equipment that persists through your dog’s entire life.
Sure, groomers, dog walkers, and trainers are convenient, but they’re also pretty expensive. You may be at a loss for what to do for certain tasks, but that’s what the internet is for! Instead of relying on others to train your dog and cut their nails, learn to do it yourself.
Once you learn how to take care of your dog properly, you’ll save a fortune.
Keep Your Dog Healthy
Keeping your dog healthy means three things: exercise, diet, and trips to the vet.
Take the time out of your day to play with your Pitbull and ensure it gets plenty of exercise. Not only will this reduce health risks for your pup, but they’ll also be a whole lot happier.
Also, be certain they’re eating well and give them plenty of snacks (but not too many). If you want to save even more money on treats, try giving them some food you have in the fridge.
Sometimes, a piece of cheese or some chicken goes a long way. Just be sure to check what foods are safe for your dog first, and don’t feed them human food too frequently.
Additionally, bring your dog to the vet at least once a year. If they show any irregularities that concern you, take them right away. The sooner you tackle a problem, the less severe it will get and the more money you’ll save.
There are things you don’t want to make yourself, but you can always save some money on the more versatile accessories.
For instance, making your dog bed out of old pillows and blankets might be an option if you know how to sow, or turning a rope into a toy makes for an inexpensive yet durable plaything for your dog. Let your creative side show and see what amenities you can craft for your dog.
Do you still have questions about the associated costs of a Pitbull adoption? Here are a few answers to the most commonly asked questions.
What’s the average price of Pitbull puppies?
The average price of a Pitbull puppy is around $1,500. However, Pitbull puppies can range in price, anywhere from $800 to $2,500, depending on factors such as bloodline, health history, lineage, and breeder reputation.
How much do Pitbulls cost without papers?
On average, Pitbulls without papers can cost between $500 and $1,500. Without papers, there is no sure way to determine the dog’s bloodline. Therefore, factors like health and breeder reputation all help determine the final cost, ultimately making each individual Pitbull sale unique.
Is a Pitbull a good dog?
Yes, Pitbulls are good dogs. Not only are they friendly, gentle, and good with kids, but they are also a healthy breed that generally has a long lifespan. The only real downside to adopting a Pitbull is its relatively high price point.
Can you trust a Pitbull?
Despite initially being a dog bred to fight other dogs, Pitbulls are some of the most trustworthy dogs at their core. The only reason you shouldn’t trust a Pitbull is if there’s an adequate reason not to (such as if they were abused).
Do Pitbulls suddenly snap?
The Pitbull is as likely to suddenly snap as a Golden Retriever. They don’t spontaneously become cold-blooded killers, and the reason that they have a reputation for aggression is that they’re the most abused dog breed in the US.
The Bottom Line: How Much Does a Pitbull Cost?
When all is said and done, you can expect your Pitbull cost to come to around $500 – $5,000. Of course, this is just the adoption fee, and you’ll likely have an annual expense of $1,665.
Like I said before, these are just rough numbers, and it’s hard to pinpoint an exact number, given how many breeds there are.
Still, even though the Pitbull is a little more expensive than most people want, it’s 100% worth it in the end.
If anything, you’ll have a long-lasting, loyal companion who sticks by your side through thick and thin and will guard your family with gusto throughout its life. All that the humble Pitbull asks in return is that you shower it with tons of love and affection.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and adopt your big furry friend today!