The Bull Dog and Pitbull Mix is a canine combination that’s difficult to miss. This massive hybrid is a mash up of two very popular bully breeds, which means this dog is surrounded by both controversy and a fierce fanbase.
Are you curious about the Bull Dog and Pitbull Mix? Then you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are going to learn more about this adorable crossbreed, talk a bit about the crossbreed controversy, and discover if the Bull Dog and Pitbull Mix is right for you.
Let’s get started.
What Is A Crossbreed Dog?
The Bull Dog Pitbull Mix is a crossbreed combination of the English Bulldog, left and the American Pitbull Terrier, right.
There are three types of dogs in the canine kingdom:
- Purebred Dogs
- And Crossbreed Dogs
A purebred dog is a dog with a perfected pedigree and breed standard. This is a dog that has been bred and refined throughout generations to ensure it has predictable qualities when it comes to appearance, temperament, and health.
Most dogs that are considered purebreds are recognized by a variety of major breed clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC). This means that they should also be eligible for competing in shows so long as they meet their breed standard.
There are pros and cons to purebred dogs. While these canines are often more predictable for owners in a number of ways, they can also be more prone to suffering from serious health issues due to generations of overbreeding.
Mutts are dogs with a variety of different breed DNA in their bloodline. These dogs are often “accidentally” introduced into the world without breeder help. While Mutts may be less predictable than their pubred counterparts, they are also generally healthier, as they have a much wider gene pool.
Mutts are not recognized by major breed clubs, nor are they eligible for competitions.
Crossbreed dogs, like the Bull Dog and Pitbull mix, are sometimes referred to as designer dogs, hybrid dogs, or mixed breeds. They fall somewhere between Purebreds and Mutts, as they do not have a specific pedigree yet they were not accidentally produced.
Like mutts, designer dogs are typically not recognized by most major breed clubs, nor are they eligible for show.
Designer dogs are called such because they were specifically “designed” by breeders who chose two specific purebred parents to breed.
Cross breeding is an age-old practice that has been ongoing since the beginning of the dog/human relationship. However, it only recently exploded in popularity over the past two decades thanks to dogs like the Labradoodle and smaller hybrids like Yorki-Poos and Malshis.
And this is where the controversy comes in.
The Crossbreed Controversy
In the beginning, crossbreeding was a practice primarily utilized by breeders working to perfect certain dogs that would one day be considered purebreds. First, second and third generation crossbreed dogs were rarely sold for top dollar as if they were purebreds.
All of that has changed, thanks to the designer dog hype over the past 20 years. These days, it’s quite common to find mixed breeds selling for just as much if not more than their purebred counterparts.
This has led to some debate regarding breeding ethics and what truly distinguishes a crossbreed from a mutt.
There is also controversy surrounding the idea of hybrid vigor.
What Is Hybrid Vigor?
Hybrid vigor is the idea that mixed breed dogs like the Bull Dog and Pitbull mix may actually be healthier than their purebred counterparts.
Like mutts, hybrid dogs have a wider genepool than their purebred cousins, which reduces the chances of them potentially inheriting serious genetic diseases.
However, those who are interested in hybrid dogs should also note that while these dogs may be less inclined to inherit specific diseases from one parent, they now have an even longer list of health issues they can be predisposed to.
Of course, all dogs can be prone to suffering from genetic health issues, and there are ways of combating health issues in your crossbreed if you truly have your heart set on one.
And with that in mind, it’s time to move on and talk in more detail about the crossbreed that brought us here – The Bull Dog and Pitbull Mix.
The Bull Dog And Pitbull Mix – A Breed Overview
The Bull Dog and Pitbull Mix is a stocky, muscular dog with a short, smooth coat.
- The English Bulldog Pitbull Mix
- The Bullypit
- The Pitbull Bulldog Mix
Average Height: 12 to 20 Inches
Average Weight: 40 to 65 Pounds
Temperament: Friendly, Stubborn, Courageous, Comedic, Intelligent, Affectionate, Devoted
Ideal For: Experienced Dog Owners, Families
Lifespan: 8 to 15 Years
Health Issues: Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, Hip Dysplasia, Knee Issues, Allergies, Skin Issues, Thyroid Disease, Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV or Bloat), Cataracts, Ichthyosis, Digestive Issues,Cerebellar Ataxia, Heart Disease, Heat Intolerance, Degenerative Spine Disease, Cherry Eye, Arthritis, Idiopathic Head Tremors, Vomiting and Regurgitation,Fold Dermatitis, and Cancer
Where Did The Bull Dog And Pitbull Mix Come From?
Bulldogs and bully breeds get their name from their days as bull baiting and fighting dogs.
When you’re considering investing in a dog, it helps to do some research into that dog’s origin so you can better understand his temperament and unique lifestyle needs.
That said, the Bull Dog and Pitbull mix is a newer crossbreed, which means his story is still being written. The best way to understand his history is to look into the history of his parent breeds.
Let’s start with the English Bulldog.
Origin Of The English Bulldog:
The Bulldog of old was designed and named for his sole purpose in bull baiting in England. This occurred in the 13th-century, during a time when blood sports were a legal and popular pastime.
The original Bulldog was bred larger and more aggressive than today’s docile and more compact English Bulldog. However, once bull baiting and blood sports were outlawed in England in 1835, those types of Bulldogs found themselves obsolete.
Near extinction, Bulldog enthusiasts took it upon themselves to continue breeding Bulldogs for companionship. They worked to refine the breed into a smaller, more laid-back companion that was affectionate and gentle with children.
The resulting English Bulldog was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886 and has gone on to become England’s national symbol.
Origin Of The American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier is a breed hailing from the United Kingdom. He is a likely descendant of Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogs, which were bred to produce a formidable fighting dog known as the Bull Terrier.
Bull Terriers were bred specifically for blood sports including dog fighting, bull baiting and bear baiting both in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It is believed that the American Pitbull Terrier is the direct descendant of these dogs.
American Pitbull Terriers were bred for their jaw strength, devotion and tenacity, though they were found to make wonderful and gentle companions in spite of this.
When blood sports were finally outlawed in 1835, American Pitbull Terriers went on to play other roles including farm dogs, guard dogs and even service dogs.
Today, they are recognized as an official breed by the United Kennel Club but have yet to be recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The Bull Dog Pitbull Mix Temperament
Bull Dog Pitbull Mixes are gentle, affectionate and people-oriented.
Both the American Pitbull Terrier and the English Bulldog are family-friendly and known to do well with children. As a result, their Bull Dog Pitbull Mix offspring is likely just as family-oriented.
With their goofy personalities and fun-loving dispositions, the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix makes a great addition to active families and experienced dog owners who have the time to commit to this unique pup.
However, Bull Dog Pitbull Mixes are known to have a stubborn streak. They can bore easily and will not tolerate being forced to do things they don’t deem as fun.
The good news is that these dogs are highly agreeable, and they will find most things fun and entertaining so long as their owner is enthusiastic and consistent.
And while the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix is a good family dog, he could have some dog aggression if he is not properly trained and socialized.
It’s also important to monitor young children around your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix. While these dogs are not inherently known to be aggressive, all dogs have the potential to bite. Bull Dog Pitbull Mixes especially are known to have very powerful jaws.
Hailing from guard dogs, the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix may also be prone to guardian behaviors if not raised properly. It’s important to nip undesirable behaviors in the bud early on and to ensure you properly train and socialize your Bull Dog Pit Bull Mix at an early age.
How To Train A Bull Dog Pitbull Mix
Though they can be stubborn, Bull Dog Pitbull Mixes do best with positive reinforcement training.
Training and socialization are important for all dogs, and it’s imperative that the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix undergoes training and socialization at an early age.
Training Your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix:
It’s never too early to begin training your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix. In fact, experts suggest that the earlier you begin working with your dog, the easier training will be in the long run. It’s important to build a rapport with your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix, especially seeing as these dogs can be quite willful.
They do not respond well to harsh punishments or scolding, and will instead do best with positive reinforcement techniques. Utilize treats and praise, and avoid making training sessions too long.
Keeping sessions short and gamelike will help you hold your Bull Dog Pitbull mix’s attention and will decrease frustration for you both.
We recommend beginning with the basic cues like sit, stay, leave it, and come. Then move on to other types of training as your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix ages. Remember, training should be consistent and should continue on throughout your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix’s lifetime.
Socializing Your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix
Just like training, socialization is an important part of being a responsible dog parent. When it comes to the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix, socialization should begin as early as you bring your puppy home.
Try to ensure that first impressions are positive and refrain from forcing your Bull Dob Pitbull Mix into situations that are clearly stressful or frightening for him.
These dogs are naturally friendly and gentle, but if they are not socialized they can grow up to be fearful and wary of strangers. This can lead to behavioral issues and fear-based aggression.
Just like with training, ensuring that you continue to work with your Bull Dog Pitbull mix throughout his life to keep him socialized is key to keeping him happy, healthy and confident.
Bull Dog Pitbull Mix Exercise And Mental Stimulation Needs
These hybrid dogs are a mix between a docile pup and an energetic athlete.
The Bull Dog Pitbull Mix is a unique combination when it comes to energy level. The American Pitbull Terrier, for example, is highly energetic. The English Bulldog is not.
These two breeds combined could have different levels of energy depending on their age, weight, and which parent breed they take after most. If your Bull Dog Pitbull mix is more like his Bulldog parent, he’ll probably be a bit more laid back.
If he takes after his Pitbull parent, he’ll need a lot more routine exercise.
Either way, remember that the Bull Dog Pitbull mix can be prone to some exercise intolerance due to being a brachycephalic breed (more on this further down). For this reason, exercise should be done carefully and in small bursts as opposed to extensive, long excursions.
How Much Physical Exercise Does A Bull Dog Pitbull MIx Need?
When it comes to the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix, a good 30 to 40 minutes of exercise should suffice. However, if your dog is more like his English Bulldog parent than his Pitbull parent, it’s best to keep exercise routines shorter and more relaxed.
These dogs do well in apartment settings so long as their exercise needs are met. They’ll enjoy a backyard, though they don’t necessarily need one.
And since the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix is a brachycephalic breed that can be prone to a number of respiratory issues, it’s best to stay away from equipment like prong collars or choke chains. It’s also best to avoid walking your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix on a leash and harness alone.
Instead, we recommend no-pull harnesses, like the one listed below.
TIANYAO No-Pull Dog Harness
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The above no pull dog harness is designed to fit like a vest and is ideal for large, deeper chested dogs like the Bull Dog Pitbull mix. The harness also allows you to clip your leash either in the front or the back to make walking more comfortable.
Not only does this type of harness reduce pulling during walks, it also refrains from putting pressure on your dog’s already sensitive throat and trachea.
Mental exercise is just important for your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix as physical exercise is. American Pitbull Terriers are especially intelligent, and if your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix is more like his Pitty parent, you can expect him to be just as brainy.
Intelligent dogs can be more prone to stress, anxiety, depression and destructive behaviors if they are not kept mentally stimulated.
You can help ensure your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix has all his mental stimulation needs met by ensuring he as plenty of interactive toys around the house. Toys like KONGS and puzzle toys are great additions to homes with these types of dogs.
We also recommend working with your dog everyday to keep him mentally engaged. Teaching him new cues and tricks is a great way to not only nurture your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix’s mind, but it also helps strengthen your bond.
Grooming Your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix
This is a breed that is relatively easy to groom, although care should be taken to ensure he is still kept clean and healthy.
All dogs require some routine upkeep when it comes to grooming, and this is especially true for the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix. While this hybrid does have a short, moderately-shedding coat, he is a sensitive breed that can be prone to multiple skin issues.
Without routine grooming and upkeep, his coat can become patchy and his skin can become itchy. He can also be prone to hotspots and skin dermatitis caused by bacteria buildup in his skin folds.
Proper grooming should include occasional brushing with quality deshedding tools at least once a week. Your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix will also need an occasional bath using a quality shampoo and products designed specifically for dogs with sensitivities.
ResQ Organics Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo
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Both Bulldogs and Pitbulls can be prone to serious skin issues and allergies. These issues can be exasperated by shampoos and conditioners that are not conducive to your dog’s unique needs. For this reason, we recommend an organic, hypoallergenic dog shampoo for bath times like the shampoo above by ResQ Organics.
This dog shampoo is made with quality, gentle ingredients that are designed to soothe and reduce potential allergies and itchy skin in your sensitive dog. The ingredients are also dog-friendly, so they won’t strip your Bull Dog Pitbull mix of the natural oils his skin produces that help to keep his coat healthy.
Along with occasional bathing and routine brushing, the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix will also need his ears checked and cleaned regularly. His teeth should be brushed daily using a dog-safe toothpaste and toothbrush, and his nails should be trimmed down every few weeks using a grinder or nail clipper.
Bull Dog Pit Bull Mix – Common Health Issues And Lifespan
Like all dogs, the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix can suffer from some serious genetic health issues.
All dogs can suffer from genetic health issues. That said, some canine health issues can be compounded by a variety of factors that depend on the breed or mix of dog you have, the source from which you obtain your dog, and your dog’s lifestyle.
When it comes to the Bull Dog Pitbull mix, there are a number of serious health complications you might contend with. Sadly, evidence shows that this is not the healthiest of hybrid dogs out there, and they may be costlier to care for due to some of these health issues.
With that being said, it’s important a potential owner considers any health issues this mix is susceptible to before deciding to commit.
The Bull Dog and Pitbull Mix Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 Years
Bull Dog and Pitbull Mix Common Health Issues:
- Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
- Hip Dysplasia
- Knee Issues
- Thyroid Disease
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV or Bloat)
- Digestive Issues
- Cerebellar Ataxia
- Heart Disease
- Heat Intolerance
- Degenerative Spine Disease
- Cherry Eye, Arthritis
- Idiopathic Head Tremors
- Vomiting and Regurgitation
- Fold Dermatitis
- And Cancer
What You Should Know About Cancer In Your Bull Dog And Pitbull Mix
The American Pitbull Terrier is not a particularly high risk dog when it comes to diseases like cancer, but the same cannot be said for the English Bulldog.
Bulldogs in general are more prone to suffering from Lymphoma and mast cell tumors.
In fact, some findings suggest the English Bulldog may have the highest rate of cancer complications out of all breeds, though this is still an ongoing study.
Still, it’s important to know the risks when it comes to your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix, and to ensure you keep up with routine vet visits and wellness exams.
Understanding Brachycephalic Breeds
The English Bulldog in particular is what is known as a Brachycephalic breed. That said, the American Pitbull Terrier is also considered at risk for Brachycephalic complications, which puts your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix at a high risk of these complications as well.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome is the result of a dog’s skull shape being so flat that it hinders breathing and panting. This not only causes respiratory issues in breeds like the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix, but it also leads to exercise intolerance and heat intolerance.
Keep this in mind if you have a Bull Dog Pitbull Mix, especially if you live in a warmer climate. These dogs can be prone to suffering more severely from heatstroke and other issues, and should never be left outside alone without a cool, shady place to rest and fresh water.
What You Should Know About Bloat In Your Bull Dog and Pitbull Mix
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, also known as GDV or Bloat, is a serious and often life threatening complication that is common in large, deep chested dogs like the Bull Dog and Pitbull Mix.
It occurs when gas or air fills the stomach, causing the intestines and other organs to flip. When this happens, blood flow is stopped to the lower part of the dog’s body, causing the dog to go into shock.
Some common symptoms of bloat include excessive panting, excessive drooling, pacing, obvious pain, extended abdomen, unproductive vomiting, and eventual collapse.
While Bloat can come on suddenly, it is also often triggered by over excitement, eating or drinking too much or too quickly, or eating or drinking too much directly after extensive exercise or playtime.
You can help prevent Bloat in your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix by ensuring your dog is on a quality diet specified for his age, weight and activity level. You might also want to consider investing in a slow feeder for at risk dogs.
Outward Hound Puzzle Feeder
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A puzzle feeder like the above feeder by Outward Hound can help reduce the chances of Bloat in high risk dogs. Not only that, but these feeders can also aid in mental stimulation. They turn meal time into a fun and challenging game for your dog, encouraging him to slow down while he eats.
These bowls build good eating habits as well and can even reduce the chances of obesity and digestive issues.
You And The Bull Dog Pitbull Mix – Is This A Good Match For You?
There are plenty of organizations and shelters that specialize in bully breeds, so finding one for adoption or sale shouldn’t be a problem.
Bull Dog Pitbull mixes can make wonderful companions to the right home or family. Of course, that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone.
These dogs do shed mildly and may not be ideal for those with allergies. They can also be prone to a long list of health issues that require constant maintenance and care. For this reason, the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix is best suited for experienced dog owners who have plenty of time to commit to care, training, exercise and socialization.
Due to the numerous health issues Bull Dog Pitbull Mixes are susceptible to, it’s especially important to make sure you obtain your dog through a reputable source. Be careful when choosing to go through a breeder and avoid breeders who cannot provide certificates of health.
If you wish to rescue your Bull Dog Pitbull Mix, that’s great. There are several programs throughout the United States dedicated to Bully breeds in need. With time and research, we are certain you should be able to find the Bull Dog Pitbull mix of your dreams.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on this one-of-a-kind crossbreed! Now we want to hear from you.
Have you fallen for the Bull Dog Pitbull Mix? Tell us what you think by dropping us a comment below.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.