The English Bulldog Pitbull mix aims to be a laid back yet enthusiastic companion.
But does the reality fit the ideal?
What really happens when you cross the English Bulldog with his American cousin?
Well, you get what some people call the Olde Anglican Bulldogge: a goofy, sweet, entertainer of a dog with charm and intelligence to spare.
But this mix is far from old and established as the nickname suggests.
There are plenty of factors to consider before you jump on the English Bulldog Pitbull mix bandwagon.
We’ll go through everything you need to know below about this tale of two bullies.
Where Does the English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Come From?
It’s hard to say when the English Bulldog Pitbull mix first started to gain traction, but designer dog breeds have been around since at least the 1990s, and crossbred dogs only seem to be gaining in popularity.
More about Pitbulls:
There are plenty of reasons for this, but one of them has to do with health concerns in purebred dogs.
There’s some hope that carefully crossing breeds will reduce the chance of health issues in the offspring.
You can learn more about crossbreeding here.
As for the English Bulldog Pitbull mix?
While the mix itself is pretty new, its ancestors have a history spanning continents and centuries.
History of the English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is the older of the two breeds, with his roots in the blood sport of bull baiting.
His stocky build and wide jaws are the result of that unfortunate origin story.
Although English Bulldogs date all the way back to the 13th century, they didn’t start to develop into the mild-mannered dog we know today until bullbaiting was outlawed in 1835.
Bulldog enthusiasts began to shape these dogs into gentle companions instead of ferocious fighters, effectively saving the breed from extinction.
History of the Pitbull
The term “Pitbull” can be tricky, because it doesn’t refer to any specific breed of dog. In fact, a Pitbull is actually more of a type than a breed.
A “pitbull” can be any one of a number of different breeds.
These include the American Pitbull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier, or even a mix of those breeds.
Understandably, this has caused some confusion. A 2015 study found a significant lack of consistency among animal shelter workers when it came to identifying dogs as Pitbulls.
All of the “bully” breeds mentioned above, however, originated with the bulldog.
When bull baiting was outlawed, gamblers instead turned to underground “pit-dog” activities, in which dogs would either be turned against each other or against rats in a pit.
To get a spirited, tough, tenacious dog, those gamblers crossed bulldogs with terriers.
The American Pitbull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Staffordshire Terrier all come from that bloody history.
Over the next century, all three breeds followed a similar path: they were bred to become gentle, reliable family dogs capable of great athleticism and versatility.
Fun Facts About the English Bulldog Pitbull Mix
Bully breeds have long been stars in popular culture and history alike. Here are just a few examples of famous Pitbulls and Bulldogs:
Petey from the television series The Little Rascals was a Pitbull
A Pitbull was the mascot for the United States on World War I and World War II recruitment posters
The US Marines adopted the English Bulldog as their mascot after WWI
Sergeant Stubby was a pitbull who was credited with capturing a German spy in WWI
Famous Pitbull owners in history include Hellen Keller, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Edison
Tillman the English Bulldog holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest 100-meter on skateboard by a dog
English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Appearance
When it comes to appearance, English Bulldog Pitbull mixes can vary a great deal in size and color.
Pitbulls can range in height from 17-21 inches tall, and can weigh anywhere from 35 to 60 pounds.
They’re brawny, athletic dogs with large heads and wide jaws—giving them that contagious Pitbull smile.
Their shoulders are broad and their legs are strong and muscular.
Pitbulls come in virtually any color. Their coats are short and relatively low maintenance.
English Bulldogs range from 40-50 pounds and grow to anywhere from 14-15 inches tall.
They are heavy, sturdy looking dogs, with wrinkled skin, flat faces, and short coats.
They come in a range of colors, from fawn to brindle, with a variety of markings possible.
So your English Bulldog Pitbull mix has a lot of diversity to draw from when it comes to color, size, and shape.
But one thing’s for sure: this mix will be a stout, muscular, medium-sized dog.
English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Temperament
What kind of temperament do you get when you combine these two bullies?
To find our answer let’s take a look at each breed.
Although the English Bulldog might have a formidable expression, he isn’t nearly as tough as he looks—in a good way.
English Bulldogs tend to be pretty laid back. With a gentle nature but a strong will.
The Bulldog also tends to need less exercise than some other bully breeds. However, this is due largely to their poor general health.
Pitbulls are normally keen to please their owners and enthusiastic team players when it comes to their family.
These are typically friendly, happy-go-lucky, athletic animals who need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation.
Both breeds are known for being good with children. However, the Pitbull does have a tendency toward dog aggression, especially if he’s not socialized well.
They also have a bite type that involves holding on, which is more dangerous than the nipping style of many other breeds.
The hope is that by combining the high-energy Pitbull with the lackadaisical English Bulldog, the result will be a dog with a balanced temperament and a more manageable energy level.
Ideally, the English Bulldog Pitbull mix will have a moderate energy level and a friendly disposition. Once again, though, there are no guarantees.
It’s worth noting here that Pitbulls have gotten a bad reputation when it comes to aggression toward humans. Few dogs have been as seriously misunderstood over the years as the Pitbull.
However, it’s true that if a Pitbull does decide to bite, he has wide, powerful jaws capable of doing serious damage.
The Happy Cat Handbook - A unique guide to understanding and enjoying your cat!
So careful, consistent socialization is especially important with a Pitbull or Pitbull mix. A well-socialized dog can be less likely to develop aggressive tendencies, which can arise out of fear.
Training Your English Bulldog Pitbull Mix
The most important part of training this mix is early socialization.
From the day they arrive home at 8 weeks old, make sure you have lots of visitors to the house.
Let them meet people of a range of ages, in a variety of locations.
Otherwise, both English Bulldogs and Pitbulls are devoted dogs who want to please. They may benefit from group training classes to help with socialization.
Both breeds are heavy chewers and need tough, durable toys throughout their lives to keep them from gnawing on less desirable objects, like your favorite shoes or the dining room table.
You may need to provide lots of activity and mental stimulation for this mix, especially when he’s younger, to make sure he doesn’t resort to destructive behavior when he’s bored.
English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Health
Although it’s impossible to accurately predict exactly how healthy any individual English Bulldog Pitbull mix will be, we can take a look at the parent breeds to give us an idea.
When it comes to the English Bulldog, there are unfortunately quite a few health concerns.
Although his snorting may sound funny, those noises are the result of brachycephaly, which causes serious respiratory problems, dental problems, and severely limits activity levels.
The Bulldog’s bandy-legged walk might look charming, but his poor conformation makes him prone to joint problems and hip dysplasia.
And that’s not even scratching the surface.
Other health concerns the English Bulldog faces include overheating, skin issues ranging from eczema to severe allergies, screw tail, cherry eye, degenerative spine disease, arthritis, idiopathic head tremors, and a higher rate of cancer than any other breed of dog.
Even aside from those issues, the English Bulldog’s lifespan is only 6-8 years; short for a dog of his size. And not spent as comfortably as the average dog should.
Extensive health testing is essential. But tests don’t guarantee a healthy puppy, and there’s a long way to go for English Bulldogs to ever reach the “great stability, vigor, and strength” their breed standard demands.
The Pitbull is a healthier dog in comparison, but it’s hard to give an accurate lifespan estimate as this is not a specific registered breed
Pitbulls can, however, also suffer from skin problems like allergies, mange, and skin infections. Their short coats can even make them prone to sunburn.
Pitbulls also can develop thyroid issues. And like many medium- to large- sized dogs, they may be prone to hip dysplasia.
There’s a chance that crossing the English Bulldog with the healthier Pitbull will result in an overall healthier dog. But it can be a roll of the dice, especially with first-generation crosses.
Because of all the health risks associated with English Bulldogs, you should only consider this mix if you’re willing to pay heavy vet bills—not to mention the emotional costs involved.
Do English Bulldog Pitbull Mixes Make Good Family Dogs?
Both English Bulldogs and Pitbulls have a reputation for being patient and gentle with children. Any mix of these two breeds can probably be counted on to be a good family dog.
Whether or not this mix is right for your family, though, depends on whether or not you can meet his exercise requirements and deal with any future health concerns.
Also, in some areas Pitbulls and Pitbull-type dogs are banned, so you’ll need to make sure your community allows Pitbulls before bringing one home.
Rescuing an English Bulldog Pitbull Mix
Rescue dogs often already have some basic training and socialization. Rescue workers should be able to tell you all about the dog’s personality and needs, so you’ll know right away if he’s going to fit into your lifestyle.
There are no surprises in appearance, size, or temperament when it comes to getting an older dog from a rescue, and you’ll be giving a home to one of many dogs in need.
Finding an English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Puppy
If you’re set on finding an English Bulldog Pitbull mix from a breeder, make sure to do your homework first.
A reputable breeder will do health screening tests on their dogs and be able to give you detailed information on the parents and their backgrounds.
You should be able to meet the parents of your future puppy and ask any questions you might have about health, temperament, or training.
Because health is such a major concern in this mix, asking those questions and doing your research is vital if you want a healthy puppy with a good temperament.
Raising an English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Puppy
Since socialization and early training is crucial with this breed, it’s important to get a good start on your training. You can check out our training guides to help you get on the right track.
English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Products and Accessories
Pros and Cons of Getting an English Bulldog Pitbull Mix
- Potential for major health issues
- Potentially short lifespan
- Can be prone to aggression if not properly socialized
- Banned breed in some areas
- The best of both breeds means a dog with moderate energy levels and a sweet disposition
- Tend to be good with children
- Devoted and easy to train
- Loving and enthusiastic in temperament
Similar English Bulldog Pitbull Mixes and Breeds
If you’re interested in Pitbull mixes, there are plenty to choose from.
Because the English Bulldog carries severe health risks, you might want to look into a mix with a healthier background.
English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Rescues
If you know of a great English Bulldog or Pitbull rescue near you, let us know in the comments below!
Is an English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Right for Me?
The English Bulldog Pitbull mix is not for the faint-hearted.
You will need to put in a significant amount of time training and socializing your dog.
And even after this, your odds of raising a healthy pet are not great.
However, if you have found a rescue Pit Bulldog mix at an older age, so you can be fairly confident of their health requirements, then this could make a great pet for an adult home.
References and Resources
Koch, D., et al., “Brachycephalic Syndrome in Dogs,” Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practising Veterinarian –North American Edition, 2003.
Duffy, D., et al., “Breed differences in canine aggression,” Applied Animal Behavior Science, 2008.
Olson, K.R., et al., “Inconsistent identification of pit bull-type dogs by shelter staff,” The Veterinary Journal, 2015.
Haug, L., “Canine Aggression Toward Unfamiliar People and Dogs,” Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 2008.
Lockwood and Rindy, “Are “Pit Bulls” Different? An Analysis of the Pit Bull Terrier Controversy,” Anthrozoös, 1987.
United Kennel Club: American Pitbull Terrier Breed Standard
American Kennel Club: Bulldog Breed Standard
Adams et al. 2010. “Methods and mortality results of a health survey of purebred dogs in the UK,” Journal of Small Animal Practice.
O’Neill et al. 2013. “Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England,” The Veterinary Journal.