Everything You Need to Know About The Tricolored American Bully | Uncover the Fascinating Facts

American Bullies come in a vibrant array of colors and color combinations, but one that stands out is the rarely-seen tricolor! While its rarity can make it hard to learn about this special look for Bully Dogs, we’re here to explore all there is to know. From strict criteria required for recognition as an official Tricolored American Bully breed to controversial opinions on their eligibility – get ready for a fascinating insight into these unique pooches!

Tricolored American Bullies are true American Bullies. They have a rare coat color which includes three colors, white, tan, and a base color. The gene that creates Tricolored American Bullies is recessive, contributing to their rarity. Tricolored American Bullies are highly desirable now.  

As a veterinarian and animal lover, I have found my match in the American Bully Dog. These lovable pups are special to me – not just for their unique personalities but also because many of them come from rescue backgrounds. Their resilience is an inspiration!

What is a Tricolored American Bully?

A Tricolored American Bully has three colors in its coat. They are:

  1. A base color which may be black, blue, liver, brindle, merle, or Isabella
  2. White
  3. Tan Points

Dogs with only two colors are called Bicolored or Piebald Bullies. It is critical for a Tricolored Bully to have all three colors to be classified and registered as a Tricolored dog.

Not much attention was paid to coat color when American Bullies were being developed. The main focus was achieving a muscular build, large head size, and impressive chest.

Breeding dogs were chosen for their friendliness to people and general sociability as breeders were trying to lessen the aggression seen in Pitbulls. Once again, the coat color was not highlighted.

As the American Bully breed has become more established, breeders have begun to consider coat color. Throughout history, people have been attracted to anything considered rare, and American Bully owners are no exception.

One of the rarest colors in American Bully Dogs is the tricolor coat. Tricolored American Bullies are true American Bullies.

The tricolor can be seen in all four sizes or types of the American Pitbull:

1.     Pocket Bullies

2.     Standard Bullies

3.     Classic Bullies

4.     XL Bullies

How Do Tricolored Bullies Differ From Standard Bullies?

Some people think that Tricolored Bullies are different from Standard American Bullies. They think that there may be another dog breed thrown into the mix.

Tricolored Bullies are the same as Standard Bullies. The only difference is the color of their coat and the genes that regulate coat color.

Apart from a color difference, Tricolored Bullies are the same as Standard Bullies in conformation, breeding, and temperament.

Tricolor is an accepted color for American Bullies in both the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).

What Are The Origins Of Tricolored American Bullies?

American Bullies were developed by breeding several different dogs. The main dogs that formed the foundation for American Bullies were American Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers.

Pitbulls were initially developed in England by mixing English Bulldogs and English Terriers. Sometimes other terriers were included in the breeding of Pitbull Terriers. one of these was the Smooth Fox Terrier.

Smooth Fox Terriers often have tricolored coats, which include tan points on white and black or brown coats. This color patterning was passed on to the Pitbulls which first arrived in America with the British settlers.

The original Pitbulls were used to develop the American Pitbull and the American Staffordshire Terrier. These two breeds, therefore, carried the tricolor coat pattern. As they were the foundation breeds for American Bullies, the color genetics for a tricolored coat were passed on.  

Genetics Of Tri-coloration On An American Bully Coat

Tricolored American bullies inherit a base color from their parents. The intensity of the base color may differ depending on the dog’s genotype (genetic makeup). The base color may be black, grey, brown, blue, liver, brindle, merle, or Isabella.

White patches are common in American Bullies, and they occur because their genotype prevents pigmentation in areas. The chest, paws, and face are common body regions where unpigmented or white hair may be found. The white spots or patches may also be seen in other areas of the body.

Tan points are governed by the Agouti gene, which occurs at the A locus. There are different kinds of Agouti genes or alleles.

The Agouti gene may also be known as the ASIP gene or Agouti Signalling Protein. Brown or black colors in dogs are caused by eumelanin pigment.

The ASIP gene tells the body to activate the pheomelanin pigment at certain points. Pheomelanin produces red (tan) or yellow-colored fur.

The one that creates a Tricolored American Bully is the tan point Agouti allele. It is written as at. Tan points refer to specific regions of the body where the hair is tan and may be called traditional tan points. These are typically:

1.     Spots above the eyes, known as eye pips.

2.     The sides of the muzzle or cheeks.

3.     There may also be small tan spots on the cheeks, known as cheek pips.

4.     Two patches on the chest, which are vaguely triangular in shape.

5.     The dog’s feet and legs.

6.     A patch under the tail, usually around the anus.

The Tricolored American Bully may not have all the tan points as it is possible for the points to be masked by other colors or for the genotype to only cause tan in some of the points.

Tan points are a recessive gene. This means that American Bully must inherit the gene from both parents to have tan points.

The color of the tan points is influenced by the Intensity (I) gene. This gene can dilute or increase the intensity of a color.

The points may be a rich tan or a light lemony color.

Other genes may modify the tan points to occur at additional places in the body, such as the dog’s back. This pigment distribution is known as saddle tan or sometimes creeping tan.

Can Non-Tricolored Bullies Produce Tricolored Puppies?

It is possible for Non-Tricolored American Bullies to produce Tricolored offspring because the gene for tan points is recessive.

In genetics, the puppy receives a gene from the mother and the father for one trait – another way of saying this is that genes occur in pairs.

The gene may be dominant (written as a capital letter) or recessive (written in lowercase). For example, brown eyes (B) are dominant and blue eyes (b) are recessive. A dominant gene will always mask a recessive gene.

In our example, we may have the following genotypes:

BB – two brown genes which produce brown eyes.

Bb – one brown gene and one blue gene. The brown gene masks the blue gene, and the individual’s eyes are brown, but they carry a blue gene that can be passed onto future offspring.

Bb – two blue genes, which means the individual has blue eyes.

If a Non-Tricoloured Bully carrying a tan point gene is mated with another Non-Tricolored Bully carrying a tan point gene, then a Tricolored puppy may be produced.

Why is the Tricolor American Bully Rare? 

When breeders first began breeding American Bullies, they were not enthusiastic about Tricolored Bully Dogs. The public shared their sentiments.

There was a perception that another dog breed had influenced the American Bully, and the evidence showed up in the coat. In effect, tricolored Bullies were regarded as mixed breeds.

Since the parents did not have tan points, the breeders assumed that another male dog had gained access to the female. Some breeders believed there was some odd genetics indicating the influence of another breed.

These dogs were excluded from breeding lines as breeders did not understand the genetics that produced the coat color. Excluding them meant that the genes that make a dog tricolored did not occur commonly in American Bullies as the breed developed. 

Another factor making Tricolored Bullies rare is that the gene for tan points is recessive, meaning both parents must contribute an Agouti gene to their offspring.

What Colors Can A Tricolor Bully Have?

 A Tricolored Bully must show all three colors, tan, white, and a base color. Some genotypes mean that the tan markings are masked completely. Even though these dogs may be genotypically Tricolored, they are not classified or registered as Tricolored Bullies.

What Are The Base Coat Colours In Tricolor Bullies?

The base coat colors vary and may include the following:

·       Black

·       Grey

·       Chocolate or liver

·       Brown

·       Brindle (often known as Trindle)

·       Blue

·       Lilac

·       Isabella

What Is A Ghost, Tricolored Pitbull?

A Ghost Tricolor is a dog with very faint or diluted tan points. Sometimes the tan points become more apparent as the dog matures.

A Ghost Tricolored Pitbull results from breeding a Pitbull and an American Bully that produces a dog with specific colors or markings.

American Bullies can also be Ghost Tricolored. 

What Is The Rarest Tricolor Bully?

The rarest Tricolored Bullies are merle Tricolored Bullies, but these are not accepted in most kennel clubs. Blue Tricolored Bullies are rare and are accepted in the ABKC and UKC. 

Breeding Tricolor American Bullies 

American Bully breeders have gone from eliminating tricolored dogs to actively trying to breed them.

This trend is mostly due to the popularity of Tricolored Bullies because people like unusual colors. Where there is a demand, breeders will try to supply the dogs. 

Understanding the genetics governing color inheritance in American Bully Dogs is critical for breeders trying to breed Tricolored Bullies.

Fortunately, some companies specialize in genetic testing, allowing breeders to determine if their dog is carrying the tan point gene.

Genetic testing usually involves sending a blood sample to the laboratory for testing. Some laboratories accept hair samples instead of blood samples, but the results are often not as accurate.

Genetic inheritance is a cruel mistress, and although the likelihood of producing a Tricolored Bully puppy can be predicted, it does not mean that a Tricolored puppy will definitely be produced.

The only way to ensure that Tricolored American Bully offspring occur is by using two tricolored parents. Tricolored coats do not carry any health risks, so using two Tricolored American Bully parents is safe.

If a Non-Tricolored Bully parent carries the tan point gene, it can be mated with another American Bully carrying a tan point gene. This mating has a 25% chance of producing Tricolored Bully puppies.

How Much Does A Tricolor Bully Cost?

Tricolored American Bullies are rare, and as a result, the cost is generally higher than regular-colored Bullies. You can expect to pay $5000 to $35 000 for a Tricolored American Bully puppy.

My Final Thoughts

Tricolored American Bullies are no different from other American Bullies; they just have a coat that includes three colors. You may have a preference for a dog of a specific coat color, but health and good temperament are ultimately the most important elements in an American Bully.

If you have found this article on Tricolored American Bully Dogs helpful, please feel free to share it.  

Emily Andrews