What could be better than a mix of loving kindness and undying loyalty? The Pitbull Lab mix, also known as the Pitador and the Labrabull is just that! With all the best traits of both the Pitbull and the Labrador Retriever, this package deal includes much more than just a cute face.
Like all dogs, the best thing you can do before adopting is to learn as much as you can about both breeds. The more prepared you are, the better you can take care of your newest family member. A happy dog is the best kind of dog!
We’re going to spend some time going over the basics of this wonderful mixed breed as well as a little bit of information about the two parent breeds. Let’s jump in.
As mentioned, the Pitbull Lab mix is a cross between the American Pitbull Terrier and the Labrador Retriever. Both of these purebreds make great dogs, but they also have a variety of traits that differ from one another.
Because of that fact, this mix has a little bit of both to create its unique look and personality. Some other names for the Pitbull Lab mix include the Pitador and the Labrabull. In our case, we’re going to be referring to them as Labrabulls.
This mid-sized pup houses traits of energy, intelligence, and affection along with strong loyalty and boldness. To get a better idea on what you Labrabull might be like, we’re going to take a closer look at the two breeds that make it possible.
American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier is a direct descendant of the English Pitbull Terrier, which obviously originated in England. During the 19th century, the Pitbull was most often used in dogfighting. A Pitbull is not a single type of dog. In fact, it is used to refer to several breeds of dogs that are descended from Bulldogs and terriers. These include the American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Perhaps its origin is what gives the Pitbull a bad reputation today, but the fact of the matter is that this breed is very loyal and protective. Later in their history, they were used as farm guard dogs as well as big game hunting dogs. These pups are very strong and muscular, which is why they are reliable as guarders and protectors. While they tend to have a more dominant attitude, they respond very well to proper training and take commands positively.
You may hear of Pitbulls referred to as “nanny dogs.” This is because they are excellent around children. Despite their strength, courage, and bravery, they are extremely gentle with young kids and employ a sense of protectiveness around them.
There is a significant fluctuation in the exact appearance and coat color of the Pitbull because they are often mixed with other dogs while still keeping their “Pitbull” title. Dogs who don’t even have a relationship at all to a Pitbull breed are often improperly labeled as Pitbulls as well. Pitbulls are extremely common parent breeds of many mixes, mostly because of how many there are and how frequently they pair up with other dogs unintentionally.
Pitbulls are usually just 17 to 19 inches tall, but they can weigh anywhere from 30 to 85 pounds due to their large amounts of muscle. They come in a wide array of colors like red, blue, brown, grey, black, and white. Though their colors range of extensive, they require very little grooming. Their coats are short and low-maintenance.
The Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular dog breed. If you have ever interacted with this happy-faced pup, you can probably understand why. Labrador Retrievers are not only super friendly companions, but they are intelligent working dogs, too. Labradors are also popular mixes, and they are usually more intentionally paired with other purebred dogs because of their friendliness and even temper.
Friendliness is the Lab’s most well-known trait. When you couple that with their intelligence, you get a very useful breed. Not only are Labs great family pets, but they are frequently trained as service dogs, emotional support animals, competitors, and search and rescue dogs. Because of their temperament, they are often picked as the other half of many different mixed breeds, like the borador and the mastador for example.
This breed can be anywhere from 21 to 25 inches tall and weighs 55 to 70 pounds. Though their two-layered coat is fairly easy to care for, these pups do shed quite a bit. Their colors of yellow, chocolate and black give them great variety. Their double coat allows them to stay warm and dry through all of their outdoor activities.
As with many breeds, the “show line” and “working line” have developed to look quite different. In general, show Labs tend to be smaller with stockier build and fuller faces. They are also slightly calmer than their working counterparts. A Lab is very active and athletic, so they need a lot of entertainment and exercise. Don’t be fooled by their innate friendliness; a bored, lonely, and pent-up Lab can quickly turn destructive and disobedient.
The Pitbull Lab mix will usually inherit a mix of traits between the two parent breeds. Most Labrabull owners will vouch that their pup is an extremely loyal dog, inheriting the dedication and devotion of the APBT. They will also usually say that their pup has the friendliness of the labrador and has a little bit more of a laid-back attitude around other dogs. This mix tends to form a very strong bond with its master and family. Their outgoing personality allows them to freely learn, grow, and play within a family setting. They love attention, and lots of praise will get you far.
However, because Pitadors have such a strong ability to form bonds and they love attention, they don’t do well in busy families who are gone often. They don’t like to be left alone and need frequent company. While Labrabulls aren’t always perfect with other dogs, they are typically better apt to socialize than purebred APBTs.
Despite the Pitbull’s bad reputation stemming from its years in the dog-fighting business, Pit’s are actually very even-tempered. Their aggression issues purely come from bad owners, not a bad breed.
Because of these facts, and the added traits from a Lab’s friendly nature, your Pitador will likely have a very even and loving temperament. But, it’s your training that will seal the deal on your dog’s ability to maintain kindness and gentleness. Let’s look at this breed a little deeper and find out if it’s the right breed for your family.
You can expect the Pitbull Lab mix to be friendly and love people. When socialized, they will likely get along with everyone they meet. Generally, these dogs are good with people and other pets. Sometimes their prey drive can be relatively high, so they might have some difficulty getting along with cats and other small animals.
However, an early introduction can prevent this from happening. If you teach them that cats aren’t prey animals, they won’t treat them as such. They are often intelligent and people-pleasing. Easy to train, the Pitbull Labrador Retriever mix will often do what you want them to do quite easily.
The most significant behavioral problem with Pitadors is that they can be hyper. Without proper exercise, their excitability might cause them to accidentally injure someone. They do best in an active family that will tire them out or with a big, fenced-in backyard that can run in.
Size & Appearance
After hearing a bit about the Pitbull and the Labrador Retriever, you’re ready to dive into the personality and physical traits of this beautiful and strong mix. Let’s learn a little about the Labrabull.
Pitbull Lab mixes are very strong, solid dogs. When you take the athletic ability of a Labrador and combine it with the muscular frame of a Pitbull, you end up with an agile, tough, and energetic animal.
Like all mixed breeds, it can be hard to nail down the exact physical traits of a pitbull lab mix. You can expect your mixed breed to be anywhere between 17 and 25 inches tall. While Labs are on the taller side, Pitbulls are a little shorter, so you never quite know which genes will take precedence. In the same way, your Labrabull could be anywhere from 45 to 90 pounds heavy.
The best way to get a better idea of your Labrabull’s adult size is to take a close look at their parents’ measurements.
Most Pitbull Lab mixes have a head that is broader than a Labs, but smaller than a Pit’s. They tend to have long muzzles and long pointed ears. Both the Labrador and the Pitbull have short-haired coats, so a Labrabull will follow suit in a wide variety of colors.
Coat & Colors
The Pitador can be virtually any color that the parent breeds can. For Pitbulls and Labs, that pretty much opens up every color in the breed spectrum minus merle. You are likely to see a Black Labrabull as the most common, followed by yellow, shades of red, and definitely some varied length or texture of white coat.
Most of the time Pitadors will have medium to short hair. If they take after their lab parent more, they will likely have the same medium-length coat. If they take more after their Pitbull parent, it’s more than likely they will have shorter coats. Either way, the Pitador shouldn’t require more than a once-a-week brushing, which we cover in the next section.
Pitbull lab mixes are very low-maintenance pups in terms of grooming. Their short-haired coat is fairly low-shedding, but brushing it once a week will help keep their fur shiny and smooth. If your Labrabull winds up with a denser coat due to its Lab background, once daily brushing might work better.
Labrabulls have sensitive skin, so they’re susceptible to allergies and other skin conditions. Dog dry shampoo can help preserve their natural oils between bath days. The Pitador has also been known to have sensitive skin on occasion, so bathing them with a shampoo made for sensitive skin preemptively can be a good idea. Other than that, these mixes require the same, if not lower, maintenance than the average pup.
Exercise & Living Conditions
Athletic and muscular should be two clear signs that the Labrabull needs a lot of exercise. Since both its parents are active breeds, the Pitador requires access to a large yard. They also need active interaction with people, other dogs, and plenty of playtime.
It’s never good for a dog to have pent-up energy with no way to release it. Busy individuals who don’t have access to space or time to walk their pet should consider a less active breed than the Labrabull. Otherwise, neither of you will be happy, and your personal items and home will certainly suffer—as will your dog.
Pitadors also like to chew, so chew toys will need to be provided. All your other toys should be tough, durable and able to withstand chewing as well. These dogs love to fetch but tend to destroy their balls.
When training a Pitbull Lab mix, consider yourself lucky. Both the Pitbull and the Labrador are highly trainable and very intelligent animals who do very well with positive reinforcement. Therefore, the Pit Lab mix will be equally as rewarding to train.
As with all breeds, you should start training your Labrabull puppy as soon as you get him. This mix takes instruction very well, and they are super willing to please their masters.
To avoid issues of aggression later in their life, it’s important that you do not use harsh punishment during your training sessions. When you get angry or overly frustrated during training with this breed, it can lead to issues of distrust. Your pup won’t show signs of unhappiness out of fear, and that can lead to aggressive behavior and biting in the future.
If you plan to crate train, make sure you get a crate that’s the right size, and start early in puppyhood so that your new furry friend gets used to the crate early and often, decreasing the amount of protesting you’ll endure.
Although mixed breeds are less likely to deal with genetic issues than purebreds, they are still at risk for health issues from either parent. To properly assess your Labrabulls health risks, you have to look into the parents.
Labradors are known to contract hip and elbow dysplasia, which can lead to significant pain and immobility. They are also at high risk for gastric dilation, which can be very dangerous and even life-threatening. Other health risks Labs are prone to are eye disease, blindness, and exercise-induced collapse.
Pitbulls are generally pretty healthy animals. However, because they have such short hair, they are more likely than other dogs to have skin issues and allergens like demodectic mange. Other possible issues for Pits are hypothyroidism and hip dysplasia.
The above issues are all ones to look out for with your mixed breed. It can be very helpful to have an accurate record of your pup’s parents’ health. You should also test your dog for these issues.
This is probably not the OCD you are thinking about. When used to refer to dogs, OCD is an acronym for Osteochondritis Dissecans. This disorder is characterized by the bone development process being disrupted during a fetus’s development. Usually, a developing dog will grow cartilage, which is then turned into bone.
However, sometimes the process gets a little messed up. This results in an unusually thick piece of cartilage where bone should be. Large breeds, including retrievers and Pitbulls, are prone to this. Therefore, this mixed breed can develop it, as well. However, environmental factors play a large role in the development of this disorder.
Bloat, which is also known as GDV, is a condition that is common amongst larger dogs with deep chests. It is a condition in which the stomach twists and then fills with gas. Vets are not sure why this happens, but it seems to be linked to large meals followed by intense physical activity.
Outwardly, bloat can look unserious. However, this is a life-threatening disease that requires emergency medical help. As the stomach fills with gas, it will begin to expand. This can stretch the stomach, cut off blood flow, and even disrupt breathing. Symptoms include uneasiness, panting, drooling, and a slightly swollen stomach. This is something you’ll need to look for with your Pitbull Lab mix.
Labrabulls are fast-growing pup who need plenty of fuel and nutrients to develop properly. As puppies, it’s important to have a well-planned feeding schedule that delivers all the ingredients they need to sustain their muscular development.
Since the Pitbull Labrador Retriever mix is very active, strong, and athletic, they need at least three cups of food per day. This amount of sustenance gives them the fuel they need to match their energy levels. However, since Labs are prone to obesity, it’s important that you don’t overfeed your mix to maintain healthy weight levels.
Because Labrador Retrievers and Pitbulls usually end up weighing about the same weight, you can usually use any dog foods suited for a Pitbull or any specifically formulated for a Labrador. It’s likely you can use either interchangeably depending on which parent breed they take after.
Puppy prices for the Pitbull Lab mix will vary greatly depending on which direction you decide to go in order to find and adopt your pup. If you are adopting directly from a Breeder, expect to pay about $800 and up if the Labrador parent is papered. Pitbull Terriers won’t be papered since they are not an official breed recognized by the AKC. Instead, they will refer to them as American Staffordshire Terriers, which does fall under the “Pitbull Dog Type” classification, but in reality, is not an actual American Pitbull Terrier.
Rescues vs. Breeders
As mentioned, Breeders will end up costing a lot more than looking for your Pitbull Labrador Retriever mix at a rescue. Because both Pitbulls and Labradors are so popular, it’s not uncommon at all to find very well balanced Pitbull lab mixes at a rescue. Usually, you can visit a rescue and bring home a Labrabull forever at a price tag that’s well under $500 if you visit a rescue. You won’t have the same experience at a breeder.
With all that being said, it’s not to persuade you from buying a Pitador puppy. Some people prefer to have a puppy and raise them from 8 weeks old as to not inherit any bad habits that a rescue pup may bring along. Rescuing can save lives though, on top of being easier on your wallet.
Frequently Asked Questions
In today’s society, the name Pitbull tends to raise a few eyebrows along with questions of safety. However, several myths concerning their levels of aggression and tendency towards biting and harming people have been debunked. The truth of the matter is that with the Pitbull Lab mix, you have an excellent mixed breed.
Pitador qualities of loyalty, courage, intelligence, friendliness, and love shine through this adorable animal every day. Great around small children, adults, and other dogs, a Pitbull Labrador Retriever Mix may be the perfect choice for you. Just remember that it is extremely important that you train them without aggression and give them plenty of time to release their high levels of energy!