The Pitbull Lab Mix Is An Increasingly Popular Cross Bred Dog. Let’s Find Out All About Them!
Will This Clever, Active Mix Be The Right Pet For Your Family Home?
Want a dog that’s smart, loyal, full of energy and eager to please?
Then a Pitbull Lab mix might well be on your short-list.
Read on to find out what this popular mixed breed can bring to a family.
And how you can help yours live a long, happy and healthy life.
From tips on care and training, to information on its origins, temperament and needs, this guide contains everything you need to know about the Labrador Pitbull mix.
Pitbull Lab Mix Origins
Pit bull Lab mixes, also known as Labrabulls or Pitadors, are the offspring of Labrador Retrievers and the American Pitbull Terrier.
The Labrabull is recognised by the Designer Breed Registry and is a firm favorite of many dog lovers who say they are playful, active and affectionate companions.
Growing controversy over American Pitbulls in recent years has led to a lot of misinformation about the breed.
Pitbulls are banned in several countries because of their reputation as a fighting dog.
A big concern is that when Pit bulls bite, they don’t let go. And it’s a reasonable worry.
However, if properly bred, socialized and trained, these are wonderful dogs with a warm, loving and affectionate temperament.
We’ll look at how you can increase your chances of having a confident, friendly Pitbull cross later on.
The American Pitbull can trace its ancestry back to Britain where breeders combined Old English Terriers with Old English Bull dogs.
These breeds were used in bloodsports until the practice was banned. Sadly the stigma attached to being used as fighting dogs has stuck with Pitbull-type breeds through the years.
Labrador Retrievers were originally bred as hunting dogs. Consistently ranked as America’s most popular dog breed, they are popular family pets.
They are also commonly used as therapy dogs, in search and rescue missions and as guide dogs for the blind.
When you make a Pitbull Lab mix, any of the qualities of the parent breeds can be passed on. In any combination.
So let’s look at what we can expect.
Pitbull Lab Mix Personality
Both Labradors and Pitbulls are clever and loyal dogs.
Many Pitbull advocates praise their intelligence, willingness to learn and love for their families.
Labrador Retrievers are known as excellent family pets. They are friendly and outgoing and play well with other dogs.
A Pitbull and Lab mix therefore is likely to be a people-pleaser when it comes to his family. This super smart mutt will do anything for praise and attention.
They will need company for much of the day, due to their strong bonds. They are therefore not an ideal pet for anyone who works away from home, or cannot bring their dog along with them during the day.
Intelligent dogs can become bored and destructive if left to their own devices too often.
Pitbull Lab Mix Temperament
A genuine concern about Pitbulls is their bite reflex. Compared with bites from other dogs, the damage that they can do is much more severe.
In a study of over 200 bites over a period of 15 years at one trauma centre, 30 injuries were by Pitbulls. The level of injury caused by them was far greater.
If you are bitten by a Pit bull you are more likely to have a worse injury, and more likely to die from it.
It’s a chilling fact, but we can put another spin on it.
The American Temperament Test Society runs a temperament test to evaluate breed behavior.
According to its 2016 results, the American Pitbull passed the test with a 87.4 per cent pass rate, making it more even-tempered than Cocker Spaniels and Beagles!
Many anti-Pitbull advocates point to the Center for Disease Control’s claim that Pitbulls are within the top three biting breeds, behind Chihuchuas and Bulldogs.
However the CDC itself admits that these numbers are culled from media headlines that could potentially misidentify breed.
A more recent study by Dr James Serpell at the University of Pennsylvania ran different breeds through a series of tests and found that the top three most aggressive were Dachshunds, Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers.
So, what can we take from this?
Pitbull’s might not be the most likely dog to bite you. But if they do, it is much more likely to lead to severe injury or death.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t own a Pitbull, but you need to throw yourself into socialization and definitely meet the Pitbull parent to assess their temperament.
Although genetics play a role in aggression, a dog’s upbringing can have an impact to.
Being a responsible owner means giving your dog the tools to curb his anxiety. This involves training, socialization and lots of praise and support.
Labrador Pit Bull Mix Socialization
While Pitbull’s have a bad reputation that is not entirely fair, there is some truth to it.
The risks of biting is higher than with some breeds, the severity of bites is far worse, and Pitties can be territorial and display some guarding characteristics.
So, when you buy a puppy with a Pit parent you need to commit to socialization as a number one priority.
A confident dog is a safer, happier dog. And dogs become confident through early exposure to the situations which have potential to worry them as adults.
It is very important to socialize Pitbull Lab puppies as early and often as possible.
From day one make sure you have visitors to the house at least four times a week. Make sure there are a range of adults and children, and that each new person gives the puppy praise and treats upon arrival.
Take your pup to every type of location you think you might visit together, and make sure lots of people say hello to her and again if possible give her treats to reward her and help build a positive association.
Supervised interaction with other dogs will teach your dog how to play properly, and respect his furry friends.
Organised play dates or behavorial classes can help your puppy learn to be a calm and happy part of a pack.
Pitbull Lab Training
Training your Labrador and Pitbull mix is a very rewarding experience – for both dogs and owners.
Given its extremely intelligent parentage, this hybrid responds very well to instructions and can master the basics in no time.
Both Pit bull and Lab breeds work best with positive reinforcement. They love to please their owners and are extremely willing.
Using punishment to train your puppy is not advised. This can destroy the trust between dog and owner. In addition, it can lead to problems in the future with aggression.
Punishing a dog causes them to hide the warning signals that they are unhappy. Making biting more likely in future, because they don’t know how to tell you they are uncomfortable in a situation.
Use reward-based methods and train together every day to build an even stronger bond between you.
Pitbull Labrador Appearance
When buying a cross-breed there are no guarantees.
Puppies can resemble either parent, or a combination of both. There can even be big differences within the same litter.
However Labrador and Pitbull breeds do have some similarities that are likely to appear in your Pitador puppy.
Both have medium-sized, athletic frames. Pit bulls are quite muscular with wide chests and broad, flat heads.
Labs are taller, with a slimmer shape and a longer nose.
Labrabulls range from 50 to 90 lbs. They have a short and silky coat and come in a variety of colors.
Coat colors include brindle, brown, black and white and tan. You may also find a black Lab and Pitbull mix or a chocolate lab pitbull mix.
Another popular variety is the yellow Lab Pitbull mix.
A dog’s coat can change with age. For example, your glossy black lab Pitbull mix puppy will likely get some grey around his muzzle and eyes as he gets older.
Pitbull Lab Mix Grooming
Thanks to its parents short-haired genes, the Labrador Pitbull mix is fairly low-maintenance when it comes to grooming.
His smooth, dense coat doesn’t require much attention so you can relax – just bathe when necessary and brush as needed.
However, during shedding season you might find you are grooming a lot.
Pitbull Lab Mix Shedding
Labradors are very high shedding dogs, and as such your puppy could be too.
Make sure to get him used to being groomed regularly . This will make your job easier when he starts to moult!
Labrador Retriever Pitbull Mix Health
Both Labradors and Pit bulls are generally healthy dogs.
But there are some serious genetic health conditions that your puppy could inherit. So health screening of both parents is essential.
The breeder should provide you with evidence of good hip and elbow scores for both the Labrador and Pitbull parent.
They should also show you an eye test for each of them, carried out less than a year ago. And a clear DNA test for PRA blindness.
The Labrador parent should have no family history of exercise induced collapse or cruciate ligament problems.
The Pitbull parent should have no history of skin problems.
Do not go to a breeder who is unwilling to provide evidence of the parent dogs’ health.
Pitbull x Labrador Life Expectancy
Labradors live on average 12.5 years. Pit bull lifespan is around the same.
This is therefore a fair guess for your puppy’s life expectancy.
This is about the average lifespan for medium-sized to large breeds.
Pitbull Lab Cross Breeders
Mixed dogs like the Labrabull do not have breed standards as such.
This means breeders do not have to follow a certain type therefore it’s a good idea to thoroughly investigate before buying your puppy.
Ask about its parentage, inspect the kennels and request the proper documentation.
A good breeder should be happy to answer all your questions!
They must let you meet both parents. Meeting the Pitbull parent is essential. They should be at ease in your company, happy for you to come into their home and have a wagging tail.
The breeder should provide evidence of all the heath tests mentioned above, and have a clear bond with the mother of the puppies. She should know her name, have at least some basic training and be relaxed in demeanour.
Pitbull Lab Mix Puppy
Being a hybrid, Labrador Pitbull mix puppies can vary.
Some may inherit more Lab genes, others will favour Pitbulls.
The only way to know what you are getting is to meet your puppy first, and talk to the breeder.
Most breeders charge around $400 for a Labrabull puppy, there may be additional costs for health check-ups and official documentation.
Pitbull Cross Labrador Rescue
Adopting dogs is always a risk as you won’t know their parentage or health history.
But giving a rescue Pitbull Lab mix can be very rewarding – for both pup and owner.
Check with your local shelters to see if they have any mixed breeds. Alternatively, go online and browse sites like Petfinder.com and adoptapet.com
These sites have a huge database of rescue and shelter dogs, allowing you to browse according to breed and location.
Is a Pitbull Lab Mix Right For Me?
Easily trained and steadfastly loyal, Labrabulls make good pets for the right people.
They will bond well and be loyal to their family.
However they are high-energy so are best suited to homes where they can play and exercise on a daily basis.
They will thrive in a home where there is someone around during the day, who gives them regular exercise and training.
A commitment to thorough socialization in puppyhood, checking health tests of parents and meeting and assessing the temperament of the Pit bull parent is essential.
Both Labs and Pitbulls are large lively breeds, therefore they are best suited to homes with older familes.
Although Pit bull dogs are often great with the kids in their families, the nature of their bite and severity of the injuries they cause is something you need to seriously consider before you bring one into a home with children.
Never leave a Pit mix alone and unsupervised with kids, and make sure that they treat him with respect.
Well bred, well socialized Labrador and Pitbull mixes are a breed that give as much as they get.
Putting lots of love, time and attention into your dog when it’s a puppy will reap rich rewards in the future.
- American Temperament Test Society Breed Statistics
- The Centers for Disease Control report, “Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998,”
- Serpell, J, Duffy, D, Hsu, Y, “Breed Differences in Canine Aggression,”, Applied Animal Behavior Science, 2008.
- O’Neill, D G et al. 2013 Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England. The Veterinary Journal.
- Bini, JK et al 2011 Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs. Annals of Surgery.
- Pinto, FGC et al 2008 Craniocerebral injuries from dog bites. Scielo