Lab Pit Mixes Give The Best of Both Worlds
The Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular dog breed for three consecutive decades, and it comes as no surprise. Labradors are fun-loving balls of fire! Their high energy levels and outgoing nature made them ideal companions. The Labrador Retriever is also revered as an exemplary working dog capable of operating various tasks. They demonstrate exceptional intelligence, lack of fear, and obedience.
While Labs are showered with love, there is one dog breed that is often left in the lurch – the Pitbull Terrier. Pitbulls are often portrayed as ruthless dogs eager for the fray. This is mainly due to reported Pitbull attacks and their notoriety in dog fighting arenas. While part of this is true, Pits are a rough diamond. Underneath that fearsome facade is a fur-baby deserving of love and respect. So, what if these breeds with chalk and cheese reputations get mixed?
With this article, you will be able to unravel the mystery of the Pitbull Lab mix. We will provide detailed information about important issues such as its appearance, temperament, diet requirements, and health concerns among others. Most importantly, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of owning this special breed.
By the end of the article, you will be able to grasp a better understanding of the Lab Pit mix. So, in case you decide to welcome one into your family, you will be equipped with the knowledge to properly raise a happy, loving hybrid!
Lab Pit Mix Origins
The Pitbull Lab mix has a bevy of monikers such as Pitador, Labrabull, Labpitt, and Bullador. This breed, which is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Pitbull Terrier, seems to spark a good deal of debate and skepticism. For one reason, there isn’t much information about the origins of this particular crossbreed. On the bright side, you can learn about the history of its parent breeds.
The Labrador Retriever we know today was once referred to as St. John’s dog in Newfoundland, Canada in the 1550s. These dogs were later introduced to the Earl of Malmesbury in Poole, England in the early 1800s. The Earl learned of his dogs’ affinity with sports and made them his hunting companions. It was he who first called his dogs “Labrador,” a name that etched on his son’s mind who later decided to preserve the breed. By 1903, Labradors were officially recognized by the English Kennel Club. Meanwhile, the American Kennel Club registered its first Labrador Retriever in 1917.
The Pitbull, on the other hand, originated in the United Kingdom in the early 1800s. Old English Bulldogs and Terriers were crossed to produce the Pitbull, a breed capable of demonstrating incredible agility and tenacity in battle. The “pit” in Pitbull came from the fact that these dogs were thrown in pits for cruel blood sports such as bear baiting, rat killing, and dogfighting. Shortly before the English Civil War, immigrants came to the United States along with their Pitbulls. Although originally bred for fighting, these dogs also demonstrated work ethics and later became an invaluable fixture of the developing nation of America. By 1930, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed as the American Pitbull Terrier.
|Pitbull Lab Mix Fact Sheet|
|Average height||30 – 60 cm.|
|Average weight||60 – 90 lbs.|
|Coat type||short, dense|
|Health concerns||arthritis, hip dysplasia|
|Other concerns||skin allergies|
|Life span||10 – 14 years|
Pit Lab Mix Puppies
Each Pit Lab Mix pup is a box full of surprises! You will never know if your puppy is going to look more like a Lab or a Pit in the future. So, expect him to snooze in the grey area for a bit until he’s ready to show which genes he inherited the most.
The only sign that allows you to predict your pup’s appearance as an adult is his color. Pit Lab Mixes are black, brown, tan, white, and yellow. Some Pit Lab Mixes are solid in color, while others have distinctive white marks just like a Pitbull.
Lab Pitbull Mix Dominant Colors
Color inheritance usually depends whether you have a Black Lab Pitbull mix, a Choco Lab Pitbull mix, or a Yellow Lab Pitbull mix.
Black Lab Pitbull Mix
Black is the most dominant color in Labrador Retrievers. Originally, all Labradors were black. When a litter is influenced by the predominant features of the Black Lab, it is very likely for you to have a litter of jet black Lab Pitbull pups. A majority of Lab Pitbulls are actually black in color with distinctive white marks on the face, on the chest, at the tips of the paws and tail.
Chocolate Lab Pitbull Mix
The Chocolate Lab’s velvety coat ranges anywhere from a dark chocolate to a medium brown. Its spectrum of rich brown hues can be passed onto its offsprings. Brown Lab Pitbulls usually have markings, too.
Yellow Lab Pitbull Mix
Lab Pitbull Mixes that are golden, tan or fawn in color are usually influenced by the Yellow Lab. Labradors with orange hues to their coats are also classified by the American Kennel Club as a yellow Labrador.
Pitbull Lab Mix Looks
Generally speaking, Pitbull Lab Mixes have the following features:
- a broad head
- a pair of almond-shaped eyes
- small droopy ears
- an athletic stature
- a long tail
- a smooth, dense coat
But as with any crossbreed, there is no way you can accurately guess how your puppy is going to turn out. You will just have to wait until he is fully grown.
How Big Can Pitbull Labs Get?
The Pitbull Lab mix has a wide range of sizes, depending on your dog’s lineage. A Pitbull Lab can grow to a height between 30 cm. to 68 cm. at the shoulders. As always, this breed sits in the grey area between the Pitbull and the Labrador even in size.
Their weight also depends on how much Labrador or Pitbull genes they have in them. Pitbull Labs in general, weigh around 45 lbs. to 60 lbs. However, a Pitbull Lab with dominant Pitbull genes can weigh up to 95 lbs.
Pitbull Lab Mix Character Traits
We all know that the Labrador Retriever has a playful, friendly spirit while the Pitbull has a bold, courageous demeanor. So, what could be the personality of a Pitbull Lab mix? Read on to find out!
- Protective to a fault
Pitbulls won’t bite unless they have a good reason to. Pitbull Lab Mixes are family oriented and will protect their humans at all costs. These courageous canines will stand up to any threat! Pitbull Lab Mixes are highly protective of their pack, which is often displayed as an aggressive behavior. When given proper training, the Pitbull Lab mix can easily distinguish between threat and unusual stimuli, so he can exercise restraint.
- Quiet as a mouse
“Actions speak louder than words,” is a Pitbull Lab Mix’s motto. The Pitbull Lab mix is usually quiet, which makes them the ideal pet for apartment living or for close-knit subdivisions. Likewise, Pitbull Lab Mixes are great watch dogs as they always keep their eyes peeled. They can sense danger from afar, be it a wanted criminal or a teenager who is up to no good.
- A big softie
Another remarkable trait that Labrabulls have is their ability to connect with their owners. They can sense if you are sad, troubled, or in pain. These dogs will snuggle next to you and give you wet licks – the canine equivalent of hugs and kisses.
So, the next time you are about to cry, you can count on your tail-wagger to comfort you during hard times. This is certainly a trait that they have inherited from Labradors. After all, Labradors are notably known as therapy dogs.
- A goofball
Pitbull Lab Mixes are ever-ready to face any danger that represents itself. But these fearless dogs also melt easily into a jiggly pile of face-licking love around their beloved humans. As long as there’s no threat lurking in the shadows, a Pitbull Lab Mix’s childlike innocence and charm will shine through! Pitbull Lab Mixes love to run fast, tug hard, jump high, play games and solve doggie problems like the smart and creative creature that he is.
Although the Pitbull Lab mix is a big softie, this breed does have a tendency to develop a neurotic behavior if left alone for long periods. While it may sound nice to have a Pitbull Lab Mix always trailing beside you, make sure to take action, for your dog’s sake. Encourage him to be a little more independent by allowing him to explore the world a little further away from you.
Pitbull Lab Mixes are notable for their obedient demeanor towards their owners. They won’t snarl at you if you tell them to get off the couch. Since Pitbull Lab Mixes are also quite smart, training won’t prove to be that difficult, either.
Be sure to establish yourself as the Alpha of the pack, especially when your Pitbull Lab Mix is still a pup. This will prevent dominant tendencies in the future and hence, you won’t have to deal with a spoiled-rotten dog or damaged furniture.
Lab Pit Mix Temperament
A majority of dog owners are not yet convinced with the Lab Pit Mix temperament, which mainly harks back to the reputation of its parent breed, the Pitbull. So, why are these dogs depicted in a bad light?
The Truth Behind the “Locking Jaw”
Many anti-Pitbull groups claim that the Pitbull Terrier is the most lethal breed. Not to mention the media’s affinity for cooking up bone-chilling headlines. But truth be told, the tiny Chihuahua is actually more threatening than the hulking Pitbull.
Dr. James Serpell, a renowned professor from the University of Pennsylvania, conducted a series of tests to determine which canines are the most aggressive. He discovered that these are the Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and Jack Russell Terriers.
Furthermore, the American Temperament Test Society performed a study in 2016 to evaluate the temperament of the controversial breed. According to the results, the American Pitbull Terrier has a temperament passing rate of 87.4%, which is lower than Beagles, Border Collies, and Cocker Spaniels.
By now, perhaps you are dying to ask, “What about the reported fatalities and injuries caused by Pitbulls?” As for that matter, the Center for Disease Control admitted that the media often misidentify the breed. In other words, many canines that share Pitbull-like characteristics are quickly categorized as a Pitbull Terrier. Likewise, the CDC stated that there is no scientific proof that shows Pitbulls are more involved in fatal attacks compared to other breeds.
It is not within a Pitbull’s inherent nature to bite humans, says the American Veterinary Medical Association. But of course, any dog that was cultivated for aggression can terrorize a whole neighborhood. This applies to all dogs, not just for Pitbulls.
Last but not least, a Pitbull’s bite produces 320 pounds of pressure, which is only twice as much as a human bite. Therefore, an angry Pitbull is not the closest thing you will encounter next to a Great White Shark.
A Cult Favorite Among “Tough” Guys
The Pitbull Lab mix has no genetic tendency towards aggression. While its parent breed has proven itself a true fighter, a Pitbull can only be aggressive if the dog was bred for the wrong reasons.
Undesirable traits are rooted in improper training and lack of socialization, regardless of which breed you have. This means a Labrador, which is easygoing and gentle by nature, can get into a bevy of troubles if he has no concept of right and wrong.
Unfortunately, the Pitbull Terrier remains a cult favorite among irresponsible owners. To make matters worse, these dogs are dumped by their owners when they are no longer valuable or have become “too damaged to function” for their entertainment.
Therefore, it is imperative that you take the time to ensure your canine buddy gets properly trained and socialized. Despite their undeserved reputation, a Pitbull or a Pitbull Lab mix can respond well when training is done the right way, especially when you shower your pets with tender loving care!
Are Lab Pitbull Mixes Sociable?
Dogs are social creatures and are happiest when in contact with others, so yes, that includes the Pitbull Lab mix. But just like any other dog, your Lab Pit Mix must learn social skills at a tender age to keep fighting at a minimum. Socializing allows your tiny pup to get used to various settings and be comfortable towards meeting new people and animals.
Keep in mind that Lab Pit Mix sometimes love to play a little rough. However, this should not be mistaken as a high prey drive. As a fur-parent, you also have to be well-balanced as the dog you seek.
If you have a grumpy canine with a killer glint in the eye and a growl to match, step back and consider whether you are teaching your dog the right lessons. If not, get professional help!
Pit Lab Mix Training Guide
As with any breed, it is wise to have your Pit Lab Mixes get the hang of things while he is young. A lot of dog owners think that a Pitbull Lab mix is a challenge to train, so let’s prove them wrong!
- Establish yourself as the Alpha
First of all, you have to firmly establish yourself as the leader of the pack. Bear in mind: being Alpha doesn’t equate physical dominance. It means you have to set boundaries, stick with your own rules, and avoid doing things out on a whim!
For instance, if you don’t want your little Pitador sleeping on your bed, then don’t be a pussycat when he has taken over it! Otherwise, your growing pooch would think you are weak and inconsistent.
A successful relationship depends upon you being in control. If your little Pitador does what he wants in small, harmless ways, it is likely for him to do what he wants in big, annoying ways.
Nevertheless, be sure to be fair and calm when correcting your furry sidekick. Pitadors are among the most obedient dogs but they can also be very sensitive. They don’t respond well to physical punishment.
- Employ positive reinforcement
Pitadors care about praise… and yummy treats! So, be sure to hand out some tasty dog biscuits to your pup for his little accomplishments. You can also alternate it with praises and belly rubs.
Positive reinforcement is absolutely crucial, especially during the first weeks of potty training. When your Pitador goes potty outside instead of your hardwood floor, make a fuss and reward him.
Considering how the Pitbull Lab mix is extremely intelligent, your pup is quick to understand which of his actions are good and desirable to you. Thus, he will repeat the behavior as often as possible.
- Correct your dog the right way
Punishment is often associated with physical harm, such as hitting your dog with a stick. This method is not only harsh but also counterproductive. So, how do you correct your canine lout without making him anxious or wary of you?
Since it is no good trying to reason with your dog, the most efficient and humane way to teach him is through constructive punishment. You can confiscate his favorite toys or simply ignore your dog for a certain period of time.
Physical punishment only hampers the relationship between you and your beloved pet. You don’t want your dog to see you as a source of pain, but rather a source of love and security.
- Explore new grounds
Take your furry sidekick as many places as you can go. You can stuff him in a pet carrier while he is still a puppy and have him walk beside you when he is finally bulky.
Having your little Pitador tag along with you provides him with a spectrum of experiences with various people, animals, and objects.
This is the best way to shape his behavior towards boisterous children, unusual structures, and fast-moving vehicles among many others. The more exposure he has as a puppy, the calmer he becomes as an adult.
- Provide mental and physical stimulation
Both parent breeds of the Pitbull Lab mix requires tons of mental and physical exercise, so it is quite unsurprising for their offspring to have the same demands.
Regular exercise is paramount if you want to keep your furry sidekick fighting fit. Otherwise, your Pitador is bound to carry extra weight that can have a huge impact on his overall wellbeing.
Labrador Pitbull Mix Exercise Tips
The Pitbull Lab mix needs to engage in physical activities on a consistent basis for the following purposes:
- for mental clarity
- to strengthen the immune system
- to ease boredom and prevent destructive behavior
- prevent critical health issues in later years, such as arthritis and cardiovascular diseases
Lack of exercise is mainly the owner’s fault. Dogs are rarely lazy but if the exercise is boring, dogs are as likely as humans to refuse to do it. However, simply letting your dog chase squirrels out in the backyard is not going to cut it. So, what are your options?
- Walk your dog
Walking your canine buddy is the most commonly performed exercise. Ideally, active dogs such as the Pitbull Lab mix should be taken out for a long walk twice daily.
You don’t necessarily have to trek forests. To make this a viable solution for busy fur-parents, choose to walk around the neighborhood a couple of times or go to a park that has a decent distance from your home. Try to change the route of your walks from time to time, so your Pitador has a new battery of smells to get excited over.
Also, don’t let an inclement weather stop your dog from getting the exercise he requires. You can always count on the treadmill if it rains cats and dogs! A lot of dog owners living in big cities that don’t have ideal walking conditions use this approach.
- Play games
Playing fetch is an excellent form of exercise to keep your Pitador hale and hearty, especially when you cannot match your dog’s energy. It gives your dog the workout he requires in a playful manner, while you just sit and relax.
It would be wise to come equipped with a nifty device, such as a toughened tennis ball with a long-handled launcher that sends the ball flying into the far distance. Dog Frisbees also fly long distances to be retrieved by your pet.
- Go out for a swim
A lot of dogs are afraid of the water but once they get the hang of it, they will paddle like a wild duck! Swimming is also one of the most enjoyable activities you can do with your dog.
There is a plethora of toys from pet stores, such as a Kong floating toy to encourage your furry pal to swim. Your fun-loving Pitador will surely jump right in and retrieve the object for you.
Find out what reward motivates your canine buddy and include some of that reward for him in your exercise regime to encourage him to be more active.
- Stair climbing
You don’t necessarily have to create a grueling and difficult exercise routine for your dog. Even racing up the stairs with your dog can be a fun and effective exercise, as well. The simplest forms of exercise can deliver amazing results. In fact, running up and down the stairs is the quickest way for obese dogs to lose weight!
A Pitbull Lab Mix’s Dinner
Pitadors are ferocious eaters with discerning taste buds. They will chow down anything delicious! So, it is up to you to provide your canine buddy the balanced diet he needs to stay hale and hearty. Otherwise, the person to blame when he’s grown too fat… is you!
His choices are:
- dry dog food
- moist canned food
- home-cooked meals
What to Look For
- Whole meat as the no.1 ingredient
Meat should always comprise the largest quantity of the product. Pitadors are not obligatory carnivores but these lean, big doggie machines need all the protein they can get to perform their best.
Hence, choose a dog food with whole meat as its no.1 ingredient. Meat meals, which are more nutrient-dense compared to whole meat, should only be listed as a secondary ingredient.
Farm-raised livestock is the best source of meat.
- Complete nutrition
Protein is not the only essential nutrient that Pitadors need to thrive. So, make sure there are also fruit and vegetable components in your dog’s diet. Your canine buddy must receive the right balance of carbohydrates for energy, fiber for proper digestion, and antioxidants to strengthen his immune system.
Likewise, be sure it also supplies Omega-3 fatty acids to promote mobility, heart health, and a smooth, glossy coat. Good sources of fatty acids include salmon and flaxseed.
- Age-appropriate formula
Every life stage has different nutrient requirements and hence, don’t give a puppy Pitador a bowl of dog food that is formulated for the needs of a senior dog. Also, if you are willing to dig deeper into your pockets, opt for a certified organic dog food.
- Limited ingredients
Your dog is what you feed him. So, as much as possible, choose a dog food with limited ingredients to ensure you know what you are feeding your pet. If your Pitador is allergic to grains, it would opt for a grain-free formula. If he has stomach sensitivities, choose a dog food with live probiotics.
What to Avoid
- Bulking Agents
Even a strong and dashing Pitador can fall prey to a sensitive stomach. To prevent this, steer clear from cheap dog foods as these products contain a large amount of bulking agents such as peas and corn.
A high percentage of our canine companions don’t respond well to corn and pea protein. Bulking agents cause a medley of digestive problems such as indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting, and flatulence.
- Chemical additives
Always watch out for the fine print in each dog food. Shy away from dog foods that has a bewildering list of ingredients you don’t understand.
If you put down what is good for your buddy and he gobbles it up, he will look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. You can always tweak the ingredients a bit to satisfy his palate.
When it comes to chow time, it pays to remember who is Alpha Dog! Stick to his feeding schedule. Otherwise, your Pitador will always hover by the table during mealtimes.
8 to 12 weeks old – 4 meals per day
6 to 12 months – 2 meals per day
1 year onwards – 1 meal per day (plus snacks)
It is OK to spoil your Pitador from time to time. Occasional portions of venison or a slice of roast beef will be happily received!
Pitbull Lab Mix Grooming Techniques
Contrary to his activity requirements, the Pitador has low grooming needs. So, rejoice! You can put away your Dyson because the Pitbull Lab mix only sheds in meager quantities all year round.
Bathing and brushing
Pitadors need to be brushed at least once a week to eliminate dead hair in his coat.
Weekly baths is also beneficial for healthy Pitadors to help minimize bacterial load and eliminate dander and allergens that might cause skin problems.
However, the energetic and outdoorsy nature of Pitadors easily makes them a dirt magnet. Should your Pitador come home carrying a potpourri of smells, bathe him immediately.
Bath time is also a good opportunity to examine your pet’s overall health and check for signs of potential medical concerns.
Start gradually while your Pitador is still a pup. Dogs, in general, are drama queens so you may need to physically restrain your pet while you examine each foot in detail. If your baby Pitador won’t make a fuss, begin the clipping.
Do one or two sharp nails a day. Take the process a bit further each time. Don’t forget to reward him when he stays calm and relaxed.
Teeth and ear cleaning
Be sure to have your Pitador’s teeth brushed at least once a week from puppyhood onwards. Doing so will not only give your Pitador a Hollywood smile, but will also prevent halitosis and dental diseases in the future. You can ask your vet’s recommendation about the best toothbrush and toothpaste.
Lastly, don’t wait for your dog’s ears to smell like a bag of nachos. Clean your dog’s ears using wet wipes or a damp cloth in between baths.
Lab Pit Mix’s Common Health Issues
Despite its genetic makeup, the Pitbull Lab mix rarely encounters major health problems during the prime of his life. Skin allergies and stomach sensitivities are common issues in dogs, which can be be easily prevented. So, how your dog fares depends mostly on the efforts you entail.
Nevertheless, it is still inevitable for your furry sidekick to acquire mobility problems later in life. Unfortunately, Labrador Retrievers are highly at risk for arthritis and hip dysplasia. Canine hip dysplasia is genetic and can also be contributed to poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and obesity. Which means, your Pitbull Lab Mix could also be born with it and show signs of the disease during his senior years.
There isn’t much you can do to stop its occurence. But on the positive side, there are ways you can do to delay its onset and ease the pain of your senior dog.
Pit Lab Mix Lifespan
Provided that your Pitador is well-taken care of, you can look forward to at least a decade of canine shenanigans and fun-loving moments with your dog.
Pit Lab Mix FAQ
How Much Does a Pitador Pup Cost?
The Pitbull Lab mix is among the least expensive dog crossbreeds, mainly because people aren’t well-versed about the designer breed. You can get a puppy between $100 to $700.
When getting your first Pitbull Lab mix, be sure that its parents are indeed an American Pitbull Terrier and a Labrador Retriever. Otherwise, you are up to a gazillion more surprises!
Where Can I Get a Pitador Pup?
A good rule of thumb is to get your pup from an ethical and reputable breeder. Of course, you have to do your homework to find one.
Ask the breeder for detailed information regarding the puppy’s history. Likewise, be sure he has health clearances of the puppy’s parents to ensure your puppy has not inherited medical concerns from its parents.
Know that local breeders are not the only available resources. Many designer breeds including the Pitbull Lab mix end up in city shelters and rescue groups due to bad ownership. It would be very kind to rescue a Pitbull Lab mix and give it a second shot in life.
Lab Pit Mix – Are You Ready?
All too often people are too quick to judge a Pitbull Lab mix because of the negative connotations revolving around its parent breed, the Pitbull. If only they dig deeper and open their arms to a Pitador, they would surely be taken aback by its loving and loyal spirit!
Know that you don’t have to be a tough disciplinarian around your Pitador. There are times for spoiling your Pitador and of course, there are times to correct your dog for his canine crimes.
Once you bring a Pitador in your home, you will have a furry pal to guard your family and give you snuggles and wet licks on a bad day! It may entail a little more effort to raise a happy and healthy Pitbull Lab mix, but such devotion is awarded in ways aplenty!
Not Sure You Want A Pitbull Lab? You Need To Check Out Doggypedia Veterinarians Tell-All Breed Guides:
Check out our other popular breed guides:
- Foster, Ken. I’m a Good Boy: Pitbulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet. New Jersey: Viking Studio, 2012. Print
- Millan, Cesar. How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond. New York: Harmony Books, 2009. Print
- Wedderburn, Peter. My Dog Thinks He’s Human. London: Octopus Publishing Group, 2009. Print
- Millan, Cesar. Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Dog Problems. New York: Harmony Books, 2006. Print
- Coile, Caroline. Pitbulls for Dummies: Wiley Publishing, 2002. Print