Crossbreeds are quickly rising in popularity, and while most of us are familiar with doodle hybrids like Labradoodles and Maltipoos, not all of us have heard of another adorable Lab mix hitting the scene.
The Labrabull, a Labrador Retriever and Pitbull mix, is another hybrid dog making waves in the canine kingdom. And while this dog is playful, affectionate and intelligent to boot, he’s also raising a lot of eyebrows.
Do Pitbull Lab Mix dogs make good pets, and how do you ensure you raise the happiest, healthiest Pitbull Lab Mix possible?
You have questions and we have answers. Read on to learn all about the Labrabull.
The Labrabull – A Complete Breed Overview
The Labrabull is a crossbreed so there is no official breed standard.
The Pitbull Lab mix is not a purebred, and as such there is no set breed overview we can give you. That said, there is an average overview we can go off of based on what most of these dogs grow up to look like.
See for yourself below.
Average Height – 20 – 24 Inches
Average Weight – 45 – 90 Pounds
Average Coat Type – Short, Smooth, Shedding
Hypoallergenic – No
Average Coat Colors – Black, Grey, White, Yellow, Silver, Brown, and A Combination
Average Life Expectancy – 10 – 14 Years
Average Health Issues – Bloat, Hypothyroidism, Epilepsy, OCD, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Heart Issues, Myopathy, Eye Issues, Acute Moist Dermatitis, Ear Infections, Allergies, Cold Tail, and Heat Intolerance.
Average Temperament – Happy, Playful, Intelligent, Devoted, Athletic, Energetic
The Labrabull – What to Know About The Crossbreed Controversy
The Labrador is a purebred recognized by most major breed clubs. A Pitbull, on the other hand, is not a purebred and is a term used to describe several breeds.
The Pitbull Lab Mix is a crossbreed, which means he is the offspring of two purebred parents. While some may speculate that crossbreed dogs are nothing but glorified mutts, there is a difference.
According to experts, crossbreed dogs are designed dogs with two specific parent breeds. Mutts, on the other hand, have several different dog breeds in their DNA.
Also known as hybrid dogs or designer dogs, crossbreed dogs are becoming incredibly popular. Dogs like Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, for example, are being bred and sold for top dollar by breeders worldwide.
However, lesser known hybrids like the Labrabull are not currently in such high demand, meaning they are less pricey to obtain but may be more difficult to find.
We should also discuss the crossbreed controversy. There is some debate regarding the predictability of crossbreed dogs. This includes temperament and health, which many feel could be left up to chance when it comes to hybrids.
On the other hand, some people speculate that hybrid dogs are actually healthier than purebred dogs due to what is known as hybrid vigor. Of course, hybrid vigor is up for debate with some insisting that genetics are genetics and will always be left up to chance.
There is some truth to this, and in order to understand more about the Pitbull Lab Mix, it’s important to understand more about his purebred parent breeds.
The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular family companion, according to the American Kennel Club. Hailing from Newfoundland, Canada, the Labrador was bred specifically for water retrieving and is a born swimmer.
He is affectionate, playful, and incredibly intelligent, making him the ideal companion for families and those with small children and other pets.
The American Pitbull Terrier
“Pitbull” is a broad term used to describe at least four specific bully breeds, but in the case of the Labrabull, the Pitbull parent is usually an American Pitbull Terrier.
Despite years of breed descrimination, the American Pitbull Terrier has been found to be incredibly loyal, devoted, and family friendly when properly socialized and trained.
Sadly, his history is riddled with controversy, as this breed was designed for blood sports including dog fighting and bull baiting. Even though these blood sports have been outlawed, many underground and illegal rings still exist today.
That said, the American Pitbull Terrier has found an incredible support system, with fans and enthusiasts worldwide who promote the breed as sweet, gentle-natured, and affectionate.
Pitbulls and Aggression – What You Should Know
Pitbulls have long been considered dangerous and feared breeds by many, though there is more to them than their history.
Due to the history of Pitbulls and blood sports, the Pitbull breed has been long considered to be aggressive, temperamental and unpredictable. This has led to Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes becoming banned in certain regions throughout the United States.
However, the more we learn about Pitbulls, the more studies confirm that these dogs are actually highly trainable, affectionate, gentle and docile.
Still, there are components to Pitbulls that potential owners should be aware of, especially when considering raising Pitbulls around children and other pets.
Although Pitbulls are not considered the most aggressive of breeds, the danger associated with them does come down to their jaw strength and the fact that their bite is much more powerful than most other breeds.
So, what does this mean? It means that while all dogs are capable of biting, the Pitbull’s bite is exponentially more dangerous than other breeds due to the pressure their bites inflict.
Sadly, Pitbull bites do carry a significantly higher mortality rate than the bites of many other breeds, and this is something worth considering.
The good news is that, when properly trained and socialized, Pitbulls have been found to make good if not excellent family companions. This is especially true when a Pitbull is mixed with another family-friendly breed like the Labrador Retriever.
And with that in mind, let’s learn more about the Pitbull Lab Mix temperament.
Raising A Pitbull Lab Mix With Children and Other Pets – Let’s Talk Temperament
Labrabulls have the potential to make wonderful family dogs for those with children and other pets.
If you’re looking for a great family dog, you’ll find a true winner when it comes to the Pitbull Lab mix. This hybrid has plenty of family-friendly qualities that make him an excellent companion for families of all ages, singles, active couples and those with other household pets.
Historically, Pitbull breeds have been known to be gentle and affectionate with children so much so that they were often referred to as nanny dogs. Labrador Retrievers, in the same sense, make excellent playmates for youngsters and are highly social, befriending most everyone they meet.
When raising a Pitbull Lab Mix around children, or when raising any dog around children, for that matter, it’s important to monitor youngsters around the family dog. This is especially important when children are at the toddler stage and are incapable of understanding boundaries.
As children get older, we encourage parents to work with them and teach them basic canine body language. Teach children how to respectfully and safely interact with the family dog to ensure everyone is getting along safely and happily.
It’s also important to look out for potential red flags in your Pitbull Lab Mix early on like resource guarding and overly rough play. Nip these behaviors in the bud quickly to ensure your Pitbull Lab Mix grows up well-mannered.
While the Pitbull Lab Mix does have the potential to make a wonderful family dog, it’s important to note that this is also an energetic, athletic dog who requires plenty of discipline, training and socialization in order to grow up happy and healthy.
Without these essential needs being met, the Pitbull Lab Mix is much more likely to grow up with anxiety leading to destructive and even aggressive behaviors.
How To Properly Socialize and Train A Pitbull Lab Mix
Socializing includes introducing your Labrador Pitbull mix to as many new experiences as possible.
Like all dogs, training and socialization at an early age are imperative to raising a happy, healthy and well-rounded family dog.
When it comes to the Pitbull Lab Mix, training is generally easy and enjoyable, especially when proper techniques and consistency are used. Although the Pitbull Lab Mix does have a tendency to be stubborn, he is a devoted and intelligent dog who will enjoy learning new tricks and cues.
Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise during training sessions and refrain from punishments and scolding. The Labrabull is a notoriously sensitive dog who will shut down if he feels he has upset you, and this can hinder the relationship between the two of you, making future training sessions less effective.
Training can never start too early with the Pitbull Lab Mix, and it should be consistent throughout your Labrabull dog’s lifetime.
This is also true for socialization. Socializing your dog at an early age is imperative to him growing up happy and well-rounded, and can help reduce anxious behaviors, destructive behaviors, and even fear-based aggression.
When socializing your Pitbull Lab Mix, try and ensure he is introduced to as many new people, places, sights, sounds and experiences as possible during puppyhood. The more positive these experiences are for your Labrabull, the better off he will be in the long-run.
That said, it’s important not to try and force your Pitbull Lab Mix into a situation that is clearly frightneting for him. This could exasperate fears and lead to problems for you and your Pitbull Lab Mix down the road.
So long as you keep up with consistent training and socialization beginning early on with your Labrabull, these dogs are sure to make loving and devoted family companions.
The Importance Of Routine Exercise and Mental Stimulation For A Pitbull Lab Mix
Labrador Pitbull mixes are athletic cross breeds who need plenty of exercise.
Both the purebred Labrador Retriever and the American Pitbull Terrier are athletic breeds who require daily exercise and mental stimulation in order to stay healthy, and this is also true for their Pitbull Lab Mix offspring.
If these daily needs are neglected, your Pitbull Lab Mix is likely to become bored, anxious and even destructive.
Let’s learn more.
Exercising a Labrabull
When it comes to exercise, most experts agree that a good 45 to 60 minutes of exercise a day should suffice. Labrabull dogs can have their exercise needs met in a number of ways, from routine walks through the neighborhood, to hikes, to swimming, to jogging.
However, due to their large size and muscular build, it’s not uncommon for the Pitbull Lab Mix to get ahead of himself on walks and to pull on leash. To reduce pulling and make walking more comfortable and safe for you and your Labrabull, it’s best to invest in the right equipment.
PetSafe Easy Walk Front Clip Dog Harness
One of our favorite dog harnesses for energetic dogs is the front clip dog harness above by PetSafe. This dog harness reduces pulling by eliminating pressure put on your dog’s chest and back. Instead, the leash clips to the front, which redirects your dog if he pulls ahead and brings him back to you without causing pain or pressure.
This not only makes walking safer for the both of you, but it makes the experience more enjoyable and comfortable for your dog. When you use a front clip harness, you’re also eliminating any reason for needing other types of walking equipment to control pulling like choke chains or prong collars.
How to Implement Mental Stimulation
Along with routine exercise, it’s also important to ensure your Labrabull is kept mentally stimulated. As we mentioned, without proper exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis, a Pitbull Lab Mix can become bored and potentially destructive.
These highly intelligent dogs will enjoy playing with puzzle toys that use treats and challenging puzzles to keep them engaged. You can also invest in a KONG toy, which is a staple for any doggy toy box, as well as other challenging and fun toys to keep your Pitbull Lab Mix happy and content while you’re away.
Large KONG Chew Toy
While puzzle toys and other interactive treat toys are great for clever dogs with lots of patience, your Pitbull Lab Mix could have the propensity to behave in a puppy-like manner for his first three years. This could lead to him becoming impatient and bored more easily, which is why a KONG like the one listed above is ideal.
This KONG is designed for strong jaws and heavy chewing, and is made to be filled with tasty treats like peanut butter, kibble, or other dog-safe treasures to hold your pup’s interest.
Living With A Pitbull Lab Mix – Daily Care Requirements
Labrabull dogs will do best in homes with active owners who are able to commit time and attention to their dog.
Understanding Your Labrabull’s Basic Needs
Since Labrabull dogs require routine exercise and mental stimulation every day, it’s safe to say that the ideal home type for these pups is going to be an active home with outgoing owners.
They will do well in larger spaces with room for them to stretch out and play, and they will enjoy having a securely fenced backyard to run and play freely.
Pitbull Lab Mix dogs are athletic and are known to jump and dig, so backyards should have tall fences that are over six feet in height, and the ground should be secured to reduce the chances of your dog potentially digging his way underneath the fence.
While the Labrabull does do best in homes with yards, he can do well in larger apartments so long as you keep up with his routine exercise and mental stimulation needs every day. With plenty of exercise, Labarbull dogs tend to make quiet apartment dogs who are relatively low maintenance, easy going and gentle-natured.
Your Pitbull Lab Mix Dog’s Grooming Needs
Labrabull dogs are shedding dogs who shed year-round and require routine grooming in order to reduce doggy odor and loose hair. Owners should prepare to brush their Pitbull Lab Mix at least once a week with a quality deshedding comb and slicker brush.
Pitbull Lab Mix dogs will also need their ears cleaned often to keep ear infections at bay and their nails trimmed routinely to keep them from cracking or splitting during play.
Luckily, Labrabull’s have weather resistant coats that are relatively easy to care for and keep clean. Still, they do need occasional bathing using a dog-friendly shampoo and conditioner. Since Labrabulls can be prone to skin allergies, we suggest using a hypoallergenic shampoo that will not strip your dog of his skin’s natural oils.
It’s also important not to overbathe your Labrabull dog, as this could lead to more exasperated skin issues. Most experts agree that the Pitbull Lab Mix does best when bathed once every few weeks or so.
Like all dogs, your Pitbull Lab Mix can be prone to dental disease. For this reason, it’s important to also brush his teeth at least once a day using a dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste.
You and Your Labrabull
The Pitbull Lab Mix is not an outdoor only dog. This is a very family-oriented hybrid who does best living right alongside his human family members in the home. If left alone for too long throughout the day, the Pitbull Lab Mix can become stressed, depressed, bored and destructive.
To ensure your Pitbull Lab Mix is getting the time and attention he needs in order to thrive, be sure to designate time for him throughout the day and consider hiring a professional pet care expert, dog walker, or family friend to stop by and spend time with your dog if you are especially busy.
Feeding Your Pitbull Lab Mix
The Lab Pitbull mix needs to eat high-quality dog food specified for their age and weight.
The Pitbull Lab Mix is a muscular dog built for work, and as such he will require a dog food specified for large breed dogs that is rich in real animal protein, fatty acids, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and is a good source of water. Avoid dog foods that contain additives like soy, wheat, corn, gluton, fillers and byproducts, as these ingredients can increase health issues in your Pitbull Lab Mix.
There are plenty of foods on the market specifically geared towards Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes, but there is still some debate surrounding whether or not dry food, wet food or raw dog food is best.
We should also note that Pitbull Lab Mix dogs are prone to gastrointestinal issues, food allergies, and a serious and sometimes deadly condition known as Bloat.
Bloat, as we will discuss in more detail below, can be caused by an improper diet or may even be caused when your dog eats or drinks too quickly. You can work to prevent Bloat by investing in a quality dog food and by providing your dog with a slow feeder which encourages him to eat more slowly.
Outward Hound Fun Feeder
The above slow feeder by Outward Hound is a common puzzle feeder we recommend for large breed dogs like the Labrabull. This slow feeder helps reduce the chances of Bloat by stopping the amount of air swallowed when eating.
It also makes meal time more fun for your dog and helps encourage healthy digestion and eating habits.
And speaking of healthy eating habits and Bloat in Pitbull Lab Mix dogs, let’s talk more about potential health issues you should be aware of.
Labrabull Health Issues And Lifespan – What You Should Know
There is some speculation that cross breeds are healthier than purebreds, but a Labrabull can still be susceptible to serious health issues.
Pitbull Lab Mix dogs are relatively healthy and long-lived, with a lifespan of between 12 and 14 years. However, like all dogs, they can be prone to serious health issues that potential owners should be aware of.
As we touched on briefly above, both the Labrador Retriever and the Pitbull are prone to a serious gastrointestinal issue known as Bloat. Bloat is a potentially deadly illness that comes on suddenly and is caused when air or gas fills the stomach and intestines, causing these organs to flip.
Bloat can be triggered by a number of things, including eating too quickly, eating too much, or eating something the dog shouldn’t. However, Bloat can also come on suddenly.
Since both the Lab and the Pitbull can be prone to Bloat, it is especially important for owners of a Pitbull Lab Mix to be mindful of their dog’s diet and eating habits, and to watch out for potential symptoms of Bloat to ensure they get their dog treated as soon as possible should the condition occur.
Symptoms of bloat include panting, pacing, excessive drooling, unproductive vomiting, extended abdomen, obvious pain, lethargy and eventual collapse.
If you notice symptoms of Bloat in your Pitbull Lab Mix, get him emergency care as soon as possible.
Along with Bloat, a Pitbull Lab Mix can also be prone to suffering from:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Heart Issues
- Eye Issues
- Acute Moist Dermatitis
- Ear Infections, Allergies
- Cold Tail
- And Heat Intolerance.
Keeping your Labrabull on a quality diet, ensuring he is properly exercised every day, and keeping up with routine vet visits and wellness checks will help keep him feeling his best.
You can also help reduce the above potential health issues in your Pitbull Lab Mix by ensuring you get him from a reputable breeder or shelter, and by having your dog health screened at an early age for any potential issues.
To Buy Or Rescue – Tips On Picking A Healthy Labrabull Dog
Sadly, shelters are full of pitbull mix dogs, meaning some would speculate that rescuing these dogs is best.
The Pitbull Lab Mix may not be as popular as some of his doodle hybrid counterparts or other crossbreeds, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less lovable. However, this can mean that he may be more difficult to find through reputable sources.
If you’re looking to find a Pitbull Lab Mix to call your own, we recommend you consider checking out local shelters before opting to go through a breeder. Sadly, Pitbulls and Pitbull mix dogs are some of the most common breeds and crossbreeds to be surrendered, and they are often the first to be put down.
There is a great chance that your local shelter can provide you with the Pitbull Lab Mix of your dreams if you’re willing to look.
On the other hand, if you do wish to go through a breeder to obtain a Pitbull Lab Mix puppy, be sure and go through sources you trust. Look for qualified breeders who understand the importance of responsible breeding practices and who have a history with the breed.
Responsible breeders will be able to provide you with health certificates proving their puppies have been screened and cleared of any serious health issues. They may also be able to guide you towards resources to help you be the best Pitbull Lab Mix parent possible.
And remember, no matter where you go to obtain your Pitbull Lab Mix puppy or rescue dog, the most important aspect of being a good pet parent is to ensure you keep up with training, socializaint, exercise and affection.
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.