Pitbull Lab mix dogs are an energetic, loyal and active hybrid designer dog, with one American Pitbull Terrier parent and one Labrador parent. Known as the Bullador, Labrabull or Pitador, their ancestors were cooperative hunting partners, service animals, hard working guardians and even fighting dogs. Pitbull Lab mixes are smart, alert dogs that make great companions and faithful, protective watchdogs. These high shedding, short coated medium sized pups weighing around 70lbs when full grown. Pitbull Lab mix puppies are unlikely to be aggressive when well socialized, positively trained and exercised. Today we’ll share how to channel their strong, confident, bold personalities into an obedient, kid friendly pet. And give you tips for adopting, buying, raising and caring for a Pitbull Lab mix puppy.
- What is a Bullador?
- Pitbull Lab mix size
- Do Pitbull Lab mixes shed?
- Are Pitbull Lab mixes aggressive?
- Training a Pitbull Lab mix
- Pitbull Lab mix lifespan
- Are Pitbull Lab mixes good family dogs?
- Pitbull Lab mix adoption, puppies and breeders
Protective yet friendly, the Pitbull Lab mix has a range of reputations to live up to. We’ll dig into the myths around Pitbull mix aggression, and look at whether this traditional nanny dog really is good with kids or strangers. And we’ll help you to predict your puppy’s size, coat colors, pattern and grooming needs too.
What is a Pitbull Lab Mix?
Pitbull Lab mixes, also known as Labrabulls or Pitadors, are the offspring of two hugely popular breeds. The amiable Labrador Retriever and the American Pitbull Terrier. The Labrabull is a firm favorite of many dog lovers who say they are playful, active and affectionate companions.
It’s impossible to predict exactly how this cross will turn out. But generally, the Pitbull Lab mix is intelligent, people-oriented, and energetic. They are a relatively healthy breed. But they need proper training and socialization from a very early age to minimize aggression. Want a dog that’s smart, loyal, full of energy and eager to please? Then a Pitbull and Lab mix might well be on your short-list.
- Popularity: Labs are the most popular breed in America according to the AKC. Pitbulls are in the top three according to the Animal Foundation.
- Purpose: Companion
- Weight: 50-90 pounds
- Temperament: Intelligent, loyal, and friendly with proper socialization and training
Pitbull Lab Mix History
The American Pitbull can trace its ancestry back to Britain. Their breeders combined Old English Terriers with Old English Bulldogs. 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 seeing eye dogs for the blind. When you make a Pitbull and Lab mix, any of the qualities of the parent breeds can be passed on, in any combination.
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 Pitbulls 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.
Fun Facts About The Pitbull Lab Mix
- The Pitbull Lab mix has a plethora of portmanteau names! From Bullador to Labrabull, Pitador to Lab-Pit or Pit-Lab, everyone has their personal preference.
- Both Pitbulls and Labs are popular among star-studded sectors. Actresses like Jennifer Aniston loving their Pitbulls, and Drew Barrymore and Minnie Driver showering affection on their Labradors.
Pitbull Lab Mix 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. But, Labrador and Pitbull breeds do have some similarities that are likely to appear in your Pitador puppy.
Pitbull Lab Mix Size
Both have medium-sized, athletic frames. Pitbulls are quite muscular, with wide chests and broad, flat heads. But, Labs are taller, with a slimmer shape and a longer nose. So, Labrabulls will range from 50 to 90 pounds.
Labrabull Coats and Colors
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.
Pitbull Lab Mix Grooming and Shedding
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. But, during shedding season you might find you are grooming a lot.
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 molt!
Pitbull Lab Mix Temperament
Both Labradors and Pitbulls are clever and loyal dogs. So you can expect your Pitbull Lab mix to be the same. 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. So, a Pitbull and Lab mix is likely to be a people-pleaser when it comes to his family. This super-smart mutt will do anything for praise and attention.
But, 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 who 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. This can also result in barking.
Are Pitbull Lab Mixes Aggressive?
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 center, 30 injuries were by Pitbulls. The level of injury caused by them was far greater.
If you are bitten by a Pitbull 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.
Pitbull Lab Mix Biting Risks
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 percent pass rate. So, this makes 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 Chihuahuas and Bulldogs. However, the CDC itself admits that these numbers are culled from media headlines that could potentially misidentify the 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.
Cautions For Pitbull Owners
Pitbulls 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, too. Being a responsible owner means giving your dog the tools to curb his anxiety. This involves training, socialization, and lots of praise and support.
Pitbull Lab Mix Training
Training your Lab Pit 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 Pitbull 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.
This makes 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.
Your Labrabull will definitely need regular exercise. As it will be on the larger side and quite active. An hour’s worth of exercise per day is recommended, as well as play time in a fenced-in yard.
Importance Of Socialization For a Pitbull and Lab Mix
While Pitbulls 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. Plus, 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 a Pitbull Lab mix puppy as early and often as possible.
Pitbull Lab Mix Health And Care
Both Labradors and Pitbulls 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.
How Long Do Pitbull Lab Mix Dogs Live?
Labradors live on average 12.5 years. Pitbull 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.
You need to feed your Bullador a well-balanced diet to ensure he gets all the nutrients he needs. Especially because these dogs require so much exercise! On top of this, make sure you regularly check your Labrador Pitbull mix’s teeth and ears.
Do Pitbull Lab Mixes Make Good Family Pets?
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 they 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 Pitbull parent is essential. Both Labs and Pitbulls are large, lively breeds. So, they are best suited to homes with older families.
Are Pitbull Lab Mix Dogs Good With Kids?
Although Pitbull 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.
Pros And Cons of Getting A Pitbull Lab Mix
- Pitbull mixes need caution and care as far as temperament
- Cannot be left alone with younger children
- Needs lots of exercise and training
- A loyal pet for the right family
- Does well with adults and older children
- Smart and takes well to training
Rescuing A Pitbull Lab Mix
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.
Finding A Pitbull Lab Mix Puppy
Mixed dogs like the Labrabull do not have breed standards as such. This means breeders do not have to follow a certain type. So, it’s a good idea to thoroughly investigate before buying your puppy.
Ask about its parentage, inspect the kennels, and request the proper documentation. Make sure to avoid puppy mills and pet stores. 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 demeanor.
Pitbull Lab Mix Puppy
Being a hybrid, Labrador Pitbull mix puppies can vary. Some may inherit more Lab genes, others will favor 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. But, there may be additional costs for health check-ups and official documentation.
How to Socialize a Puppy
From day one make sure you have visitors to the house at least four times a week. Make sure there is 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. Again, if possible, they can 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 behaviorial classes can help your puppy learn to be a calm and happy part of a pack.
Raising A Pitbull Lab Mix Puppy
Caring for a vulnerable Pitbull Lab mix puppy is a big responsibility.
There are some great guides to help you with all aspects of puppy care and training.
You’ll find them listed on our Pitbull Lab mix puppy page.
Pitbull Lab Mix Products And Accessories
Comparing The Bullador With Other Breeds
Interested in comparing the Pitador with some other crossbreeds, to see what they do and don’t have in common? Take a look at these mix-breed-specific articles.
If you’re not entirely sold on the Pitbull Lab mix, take a look at these different-yet-similar mixes to get some other possibilities.
Bullador Breed Rescues
There aren’t a lot of rescue organizations out there specifically for a Pitbull Lab mix. But that doesn’t mean that your ideal pup can’t be found!
Here is a list of some rescues for the parent breeds. They range all over the world. So you can look within your local area.
Do you know of other rescue organizations for Labrador Pitbull mixes? Please let us know in the comments!
References And Resources
- Gough A, Thomas A, O’Neill D. 2018 Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats. Wiley Blackwell
- O’Neill et al. 2013. Longevity and Mortality of Dogs Owned In England. The Veterinary Journal
- Schalamon et al. 2006. Analysis of Dog Bites In Children Who Are Younger Than 17 Years. Pediatrics
- Duffy D et al. Breed differences in canine aggression. Applied Animal Behavior Science 2008
- Strain G. Deafness prevalence and pigmentation and gender associations in dog breeds at risk. The Veterinary Journal 2004
- Packer et al. 2015. Impact of Facial Conformation On Canine Health. PlosOne
- 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