What Is It?
The Pitbull Lab Mix is a hybrid dog that is a cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Pitbull Terrier. They are known to be affectionate dogs that are smart, loyal, energetic and athletic. They are also referred to as a Bullador, a Labrabull and even Pitador!
It is not certain when these lovable dogs first appeared. Some people argue breeders attempted to combine the best qualities from parent dogs, Pitbull’s loyalty and Labrador Retriever’s temperament. To get a closer look, we can take a look at the history of both their parents.
The history of the Pitbull began in the 1800s from crossing Bulldogs with Terriers. Two common types of Pitbull breeds are the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. They have forever been associated with aggression and fighting, hence, this was the original motivation behind the Bulldog Terrier mix.
Labrador’s ancestors originated in Canada in the 18th Century. Being the traditional water dog of Newfoundland, they were admired for their work ethic. They were bred to provide support to fishermen who needed a reliable and trustworthy dog by retrieving the fish that came in off the trawl. That is why most of them love water! Today they, are more commonly used as guide dogs and are considered the ideal companion.
The Pitbull Labrador mix is a huge dog that weighs between 50 to 90 pounds when fully grown, and can reach up to two feet in height.
Just like their parents, they have a shorthaired coat that is easy to brush; the fur is smooth and shiny. It comes in a variety of colors from black, white and chocolate to golden, spotted, brindle and cream. They have long pointed ears, justlike the Labrador. However, they can be slightly unpredictable in appearance given that they are hybrids.
Contrary to popular belief, Pitbull Lab mix dogs are not naturally aggressive. They are very friendly dogs that are known for their loving and loyal nature. When it comes to kids, they can be fully trusted, and they get along well with other animals too.
A Pitbull Lab mix loves being the center of attention. They need constant love and praise from their owners.
Being energetic in nature, they love to play and explore the outdoors.
If they have gone more on the Pitbull parent then your dog may be more reserved and shy. However, if they inherit more Labrador genes then they will probably be social and high-spirited.
Not known barkers, they will only alert you if something is wrong, or to notify you that there are guests.
Both Labradors and Pitbulls are generally healthy dogs, hence the Pitbull Lab mix is usually healthy too, however they may have some genetic health concerns.
For starters, be sure to buy your dog from a reputable and certified breeder – health screening of both parents should be done. 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. The sellers 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.
Due to their large size, these dogs are more at risk to inherit joint problems from their parents, since larger dogs are generally more affected with hip dysplasia. This is when there is abnormal development in the hip joint. It causes pain, stiffness and can lead to early onset arthritis. Despite it being a hereditary condition, environmental and nutritional factors can affect its growth.
Moreover, epilepsy and hypothyroidism may be likely issues for your pup.
A Pitbull Lab mix should be given 2 ½ to 3 cups of dry dog food daily. In some cases, this crossbreed can be fed oily fish, which will help maintain the shine in their coats.
During the first six months, feed them milk four times a day as well as other soft foods. As they near the first year, the frequency of their mealtime is also reduced. As a puppy they will need 12g of protein per kg of bodyweight. They are known to grow quickly hence require adequate amounts of nutrients.
These hybrids can also feed on meat, broccoli, carrots and bananas and given some peanuts and cashews occasionally.
Feeding your Labrabull a diverse diet is beneficial for their overall growth and well-being.
How to Train Them
Pitbull Lab Mixes are generally easy to train, having inherited their intelligence from the Labrador parent.
It is best to start training them young, as early as 8 to 12 weeks old. The longer you wait the more strong-minded your dog may become.
Use reward-based methods with consistent and positive reinforcement instead of punishment based training as it can destroy the trust between dog and owner. In addition, it can lead to problems in the future with aggression.
Socialization has to be the number one priority and should begin as early as possible. Dogs become confident through early exposure to situations that have potential to worry them as adults.
From the start, make sure you have visitors at the house at least four times a week. Organize play dates or behavioral classes and take your pup to every type of location you think you might visit together. Supervised interaction with other dogs will teach your dog how to socialize, and respect their furry friends. A well-socialized dog is ideal for a family pet as they can be trusted in many settings.
These high-energy dogs need at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise along with 1-2 hours of daily activity. This includes lots of playtime and daily walks to keep them physically fit. Make sure you use a leash when you take them for a walk. They can be destructive if their energy isn’t channeled into the right activities and exercises.
Because of their large size, things like going to the dog park 2 times a day and playing fetch and tug-of-war are a must for a Pitbull Lab mix breed.
As a puppy, give them 5 minutes of exercise per month of age. Since they are part Labrador, they may be inclined to go for a swim, so look for opportunities in your area when you can do that.
Remember to invest in a life jacket for your puppy if you are going to be spending time by the water.
Make sure to feed them a well-balanced diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need. This is especially important because of all the exercise that they do.
Proper dental health care is crucial for Pitbull Lab mixes as well. Use a doggie toothbrush and toothpaste to keep their teeth clean. Brush them at the same time every day so they can get used to the routine.
Do not stay out for long periods frequently. Since they require constant attention, these dogs will not be pleased when they are left alone, and neither will they hesitate in making their displeasure obvious.
Grooming a Pitbull Lab mix is low maintenance since these dogs have a low-shedding coat. You can opt to have a good once-a-week brushing of their fur to keep it shiny and smooth. For Labrabulls with a thicker coat, you can also do the brushing daily, Pitbull Lab mixes are prone to allergies and skin conditions, and so a dry shampoo may help prevent stripping their coat of natural oils. Bathe only when necessary. During shedding season you might have to groom a little more than usual since Labradors are very high shedding dogs, and so your Pitbull Lab mix pup might be too.
Keep your dog neat and clean through regular attention to their nails and ears.
The average lifespan of a Labrador Retriever is 10 to 12 years and the Pitbull’s life expectancy ranges from 10 to 15 years. Thus, assuming that both parents have not passed on any health conditions to the puppy, a Lab Pit has a life span anywhere between 10 to 14 years.
The price of Pitbull Lab mix puppies could range from $500 to $1500. If you don’t want to buy one, you can adopt as well. The cost of adopting a Pitbull Lab mix is lower and is usually inclusive of spay and neuter services, adoption fees, food and shelter expenses, and a dog license fee.
- A cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Pitbull Terrier
- Big in size
- Also referred to as a Bullador, a Labrabull and Pitador
- Affectionate, loyal
- Athletic and energetic
- Generally healthy
- Should be fed a diverse diet
- Life expectancy is between 10-14 years
- High energy so need an adequate amount of exercise daily
- Low maintenance
- Great watchdogs
- Ideal family pet
- Love the outdoors
- Easy to train
- Need lots of attention and love
- Get separation anxiety if left alone for too long
- One of the most popular dogs in the US
- They are restricted in a number of states