The Pitbull Mastiff may look intimidating, but in reality this gentle giant is an affectionate, loyal and people-oriented puppy dog. When raised by the right owner, these crossbreeds have the ability to make fabulous companions to families, and they are excellent to any home looking to add a bit of extra security to their environment.
Of course, as with all dogs, there are pros and cons that come with owning a Pitbull Mastiff Mix. So, before you bring one of these colossal canines into your life, it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into.
But before we get into the meat of this hybrid, let’s first take a quick look at his standard. Keep reading.
The Pitbull Mastiff Mix – A Brief Overview
Pitbull Mastiffs are not purebreds. They are considered designer dogs and are not recognized by most major breed clubs.
Height: 25 to 29 Inches
Weight: 100 to 140 Pounds
Temperament: Devoted, Protective, Gentle, Affectionate
Lifespan: 8 and 12 Years
Health Issues: Bloat, Hypothyroidism, Skin Disease, Allergies, Obesity, hip Dysplasia, Cancer, and Cardiovascular Disease
The Pitbull Mastiff mix is a very large dog known as a crossbreed, hybrid, mixed breed or designer dog. While they’re not as popular as many other crossbreeds in the canine kingdom, Pitbull Mastiffs are steadily building an enthusiastic fanbase.
Known as gentle giants, Pitbull Mastiffs are fiercely loyal to their family and can do well with children when properly raised and socialized. However, they can be prone to a number of serious health issues a potential owner should be aware of. These are also dogs that require plenty of time and commitment.
With that in mind, here are 12 things you should know about the Pitbull Mastiff Mix before deciding if this is the right dog for you.
1. The Pitbull Mastiff Mix Goes By Different Names And Comes In Different Varieties
Pitbulls and Mastiffs are terms used to describe a group of dogs as opposed to a specific breed.
Have you ever heard of a Pitbull Mastiff? If not, perhaps you’ve heard of a Bullmastiff or an American Bandogge?
Those names are just a few in a list of several names that this unique and muscular hybrid goes by. The Mastiff Pitbull Mix may also be known as:
- The Bullmastiff Pitbull Mix
- The Pit Mastiff
- The Pitbull Mastiff Mix
- The American Masti-Bull
- The American Bandogge
So, why so many monikers? It could have something to do with the fact that this crossbreed isn’t as defined as many others.
This is because Pitbulls and Mastiffs are terms used to describe a group of different types of dog breeds as opposed to simply two different breeds in particular. In other words, there is a wide variety of combinations of breeds that can make up a Pitbull Mastiff Mix.
Pitbulls have a long and controversial past, but in recent years they have redeemed themselves by proving what devoted, affectionate and highly trainable companions they can be.
In fact, along with being some of the world’s most beloved family dogs, Pitbull Terriers have also found work as service dogs, police dogs, and search and rescue dogs.
There are several types of Pitbulls available, including the American Pitbull Terrier, the American Bulldog, The Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. Out of these four breeds, only the American Pitbull Terrier is recognized by the American Kennel Club.
As a group, Pitbulls are generally known for their incredible loyalty. They are high energy dogs who do well with active, devoted owners who have time to commit to training, socialization and exercise. And while many Pitbulls get along well with children and pets they are raised with, some have been found to harbor dog aggression due to their high prey drive.
Mastiff Type Dogs
While the Pitbull umbrella only covers a few specific breeds, the Mastiff group is much larger. With fourteen Mastiff types available, your choices of Pitbull Mastiff Mix variations just skyrocketed.
Like Pitbulls, Mastiffs are also known for their sincere loyalty to their family. Bred primarily as ancient guard dogs, they also performed as fighting dogs before bloodsports were outlawed.
Today, most Mastiff type dogs are beloved companions to families. Many also find work as service dogs, search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs, and protection dogs.
2. Pitbull Mastiff Mixes Make Great Guard Dogs
Mastiffs were bred as ancient guard dogs and war dogs, so it’s no surprise that the sight of a Pitbull Mastiff Mix would help scare off any would-be bad guys.
Because both Pitbulls and Mastiff types were bred protection dogs, it’s no surprise that their Pitbull Mastiff Mix offspring is going to make an excellent guard dog.
These dogs are known for their incredible loyalty, courage and protective instincts. While these are lovely traits for families looking to add a bit of extra security to their surroundings, it can also be problematic for owners who aren’t prepared for what these behaviors could entail.
Without proper training and socialization, dogs with protective and guarding instincts could become dominant and even aggressive. Luckily, the Pitbull Mastiff Mix is a trainable dog who is eager to please his owners.
And, due to his very large size and intimidating appearance, you really don’t need to train any guarding into the breed. Anyone with nefarious intentions will likely avoid going near the dog based solely on his size.
So focus on training your Pitbull Mastiff Mix to be sweet and obedient as opposed to protective and territorial and trust that his protective traits will show themselves naturally if the time comes.
3. These Dogs Are Best Suited For Experienced And Committed Dog Owners
Pitbull Mastiff mix dogs come with some unique needs and are best suited for dog owners who understand them.
If you love dogs, and especially if you love big dogs, it may be tempting to want to commit to a Pitbull Mastiff Mix. However, this is a crossbreed that is best suited for experienced dog owners who understand working dogs and dogs with guarding instincts.
The Pitbull Mastiff Mix requires more maintenance than many other breeds or mixes, and their needs can quickly become overwhelming for the unprepared or novice dog owner.
Training, exercise, socialization, medical care, grooming and affection are just a few of the time consuming tasks you’ll need to undertake as a Pitbull Mastiff mix parent. If you are a novice dog owner but have your heart set on one of these mixes, you can always work to prepare yourself to be the best dog parent posible.
Research can go a long way, as can spending time with these dogs or mixes like them to get a better idea of their temperament, qualities, and what having one of these dogs might look like for you in the long run.
4. Pitbull Mastiff Mix Dogs May Not Get Along Well With Other Dogs
Pitbull Mastiff Mixes have a very high prey drive, and they may not get along well with other dogs.
We did touch on this briefly above, but this is a very important trait to consider when considering investing in a Pitbull Mastiff Mix. While these hybrids are known to do wonderfully with people and even children, many different Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs may struggle to get along with other dogs.
Pitbulls are terriers, and they were bred fighting dogs. For this reason, they have an incredibly high prey drive. Similarly, Mastiff types were bred fighting and guard dogs, so they can be rather territorial.
This combination can make for a crossbreed that is not friendly to other dogs in the neighborhood, which can lead to issues for anyone who wants to commit to Pitbull Mastiff Mix but is also looking for a social dog.
Of course, not all Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs are going to be dog aggressive. Many owners have had pleasant experiences with well-socialized Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs getting along swimmingly with other canines.
Unfortunately, you can’t always trust this, so it’s important not to leave a Pitbull Mastiff Mix unattended with another dog, even if he and that other dog were raised together.
Instead, most experts recommend you work to train your Pitbull Mastiff Mix and leave him in his crate while you are away to reduce potential fights amongst dogs in the home.
Crate training is not only beneficial for keeping your Pitbull mastiff Mix and other dogs safe, but it can also help reduce anxiety and stress in your dog when implemented properly.
5. Pitbull Mastiff Mix Dogs Are Pretty Simple To Groom
While these dogs’ coats can vary in type and color, their grooming requirements are generally simple.
Yes, Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs require a lot of work and care, but when it comes to grooming, these dogs are pretty low maintenance. This is due to their shorter, smooth coats which require very little brushing and don’t need routine trims.
However, Pitbull Mastiff Mixes are shedding dogs, which could be problematic for dog owners with allergies. Luckily, they only shed moderately year-round, though they do shed more heavily twice a year during shedding season.
Shedding season occurs during spring and fall, and during this time you might need to brush your Pitbull Mastiff Mix more routinely to reduce loose fur. Otherwise, these dogs only require brushing once in a while and the occasional bath.
Because Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs can be prone to skin issues, it’s important to avoid overbathing this dog. On average, the Pitbull Mastiff Mix only requires a bath once every every six weeks or so.
When you do bathe your Pitbull Mastiff Mix, be sure to use a hypoallergenic dog shampoo that is free of dyes or parabens and that will not strip your dog’s coat of the natural oils it produces.
Some Pitbull Mastiff Mixes have hanging jowls or folds of skin on their faces. If this is the case with your dog, you should also take time to care for the skin beneath these folds to reduce potential infections or buildup of bacteria and yeast.
And, like all dogs, the Pitbull Mastiff Mix will need his ears checked and cleaned regularly to keep them free of waxy buildup, moisture or debris. His nails should also be trimmed often to keep them from cracking or splitting.
We suggest you invest in a canine tooth brushing kit or dental care kit to help keep dental disease at bay, seeing as dental disease is one of the most common ailments dogs of all breeds and mixes face. You can help reduce these problems in your Pitbull Mastiff Mix by ensuring you care for his teeth and brush them at least once a day with a dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste.
6. Pitbull Mastiff Mix Dogs Are – No Surprise – BIG
These big dogs require a big space. They are best suited for homes with the space to accommodate them.
Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs are huge.
This may be an obvious statement, but it doesn’t matter how many times we warn you about how big these dogs are – you’re still going to be surprised when that little puppy you brought home sprouts into a massive, muscular dog.
On average, Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs can range from between 25 to 29 Inches in height and are often between 100 to 140 pounds. Some Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs can grow even larger, depending on the type of Mastiff dog your Pitbull Mastiff Mix is a combination of.
Big dogs require a big commitment. This commitment ranges from space to supplies to food to financial. Let’s learn more.
Because these dogs are so large, they don’t make the best apartment dogs. Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs do best in homes with enough space for them to move about both inside and out. They also will do well with a securely fenced in backyard where they can run and play freely.
Everything is going to be a little bigger when it comes to the Pitbull Mastiff Mix, including his supplies. Items like a dog crate, food bowls, leashes, bedding and toys are going to take up a lot of space in your home, so it’s important to consider this before investing in one of these dogs.
It takes a lot of food to keep the Pitbull Mastiff Mix happy and healthy, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly this big boy goes through his meals. It’s important to buy quality dog food specified for your Pitbull Mastiff Mix’s age and weight, so don’t skimp on diet to save money. This could wind up costing you more in the long run when it comes to health.
Larger dogs can be more prone to some serious health complications, which we’ll cover in more detail further down. For this reason, it’s important to consider investing in pet insurance or at least keeping a pet emergency fund on hand for a rainy day.
Big dog, big money. The Pitbull Mastiff Mix is not often costly upfront to buy, but he can be costly in the long run. Keep this in mind when considering investing in this one of a kind dog.
7. Pitbull Mastiff Mix Dogs Are Not Inherently Aggressive, Though They Do Get A Bad Rep
In spite of their bad rep, Pitbulls and Pitty mixes are actually known for their goofy personalities and loyal nature.
Sadly, both Pitbulls and Mastiffs were once upon bred as fighting dogs. Their forced participation in blood sports has led to an influx in breed discrimination over the years, which has come with a wide range of regional breed bans, fear-based misconceptions, and legal issues for dog owners.
However, recent studies have shown that Pitbulls and Mastiffs are actually not inherently aggressive at all. In fact, they are some of the lowest down on the list of dogs who are unpredictable and aggressive.
That said, it is important to note that the Pitbull Mastiff Mix does have a powerful jaw. Pitbulls in particular are considered to have the deadliest jaws out of all the dogs in the canine kingdom. So, while they may not bite the most often, when they do bite their bite can be deadly.
It’s important to understand this when committing to a dog like the Pitbull Mastiff Mix and to approach training and socialization seriously. We also recommend sitting down with your family and age appropriate children and taking the time to learn basic canine body language.
Learning how your dog communicates will not only give you better insight into his emotional needs, but it can also help you to defuse stressful situations and lower the risk of a potential bite.
8. Socialization And Training Are Key To Raising A Happy and Well-Rounded Pitbull Mastiff Mix
Socialization should include taking your Pitbull Mastiff Mix with you as often as possible while he is young.
It’s incredibly important to begin socializing and training your Pitbull Mastiff Mix from the moment you get him. Whether you get a puppy or rescue an adult dog, it’s never too early or too late to begin working with your dog on appropriate behaviors.
While Pitbull Mastiff Mixes are intelligent dogs and enjoy learning from their owners, they can also have a tendency to become bored and stubborn. You can help keep your Pitbull Mastiff Mix engaged during training sessions by keeping the sessions short, fun and gamelike. Utilize high value treats and lots of praise to encourage him, and avoid punishment or scolding.
Negative reinforcement techniques have actually been found to hinder your dog’s ability to learn and may even harm the bond you have built with your dog. Instead, stick with positive reinforcement methods, consistency, repetition and patience. These tactics will help you and your dog get the most out of training.
Along with training, it’s also vital that you don’t slack on socialization. Socializing your dog will help reduce anxiety, aggression, and other fear-based behavioral issues.
To properly socialize your Pitbull Mastiff Mix, try introducing him to as many experiences and people as you can as early as you can, and try and ensure these introductions are positive for him.
And remember, training and socialization will be an ongoing thing for you and your dog throughout your dog’s life. The more often and consistently you work with your dog, the better off and more well-rounded he will be in the long run.
9. Pitbull Mastiff Mix Dogs Can Come With A Number Of Serious Health Issues
Due to their larger size, Pitbull Mastiff mix dogs can be prone to bone and joint issues.
If you’ve ever heard of hybrid vigor, then you already know that many people consider crossbreed dogs like the Pitbull Mastiff mix to be healthier than purebred dogs. This theory does have a valid argument, considering purebred dogs have been overbred for generations in an effort to keep their breed standard intact. This has led to a very small gene pool in certain breeds, which in turn leads to a higher risk of these breeds suffering from genetic health issues.
When it comes to crossbreeds and mutts, however, their gene pool is much wider and therefore their risk of suffering from certain health issues should drop.
That said, genetics are still genetics and they can’t be predicted. Just because your Pitbull Mastiff Mix is a crossbreed does not mean he is out of the woods when it comes to genetic health concerns.
For this reason, it’s important you know that he could be susceptible to any of the same health issues that are common in his purebred parent breeds.
Furthermore, as a larger dog, the Pitbull Mastiff Mix may also be prone to suffering from many of the common ailments that plague large breeds like bone and joint issues, gastric dilatation volvulus, and more.
A list of common health issues for the Pitbull Mastiff Mix includes:
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (AKA Bloat)
- Skin Disease
- Hip Dysplasia
- And Cardiovascular Disease
Some of the above health issues cannot be foreseen. Bloat, for example, can come on suddenly and is common in large, deep chested dog breeds like Pitbull Mastiff Mixes. Other ailments, however, can be caught early and even treated or prevented with lifestyle choices or medical intervention.
Early health screening and keeping up with routine vet visits can help ensure your Pitbull Mastiff Mix lives his longest, healthiest life, as can ensuring you get your Pitbull Mastiff Mix from a reputable source.
It’s also important to keep your Pitbull Mastiff Mix on a quality dog food free of additives, fillers, by products, corn, wheat, soy or gluten. Instead, feed him a healthy dog food that is rich in real animal protein, carbs, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
10. The Pitbull Mastiff Mix Is A High Energy Dog That Requires Plenty Of Exercise And Mental Stimulation
As larger dogs, Pitbull Mastiff Mixes require routine exercise each day to prevent health issues and keep them happy.
Your dog’s energy level will depend on the two parent breeds that are in his bloodline. That said, most experts agree that Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs are relatively high energy dogs in spite of their very large size.
They require plenty of routine exercise each and every day in order to stay happy and healthy. Routine exercise will not only reduce potential behavioral issues in the mix, but it can also help combat health problems, increase heart health and muscle development, and promote a healthy immune system.
The best exercise for a Pitbull Mastiff Mix will be a good long walk twice a day and some free playtime in a securely fenced backyard. These dogs will enjoy going on moderate hikes as well, but owners should note that they can tire easily and may not always tolerate extreme weather conditions well, especially if the weather is particularly warm.
When walking your Pitbull Mastiff Mix, avoid investing in prong collars or choke chains to keep them under control. Although the Pitbull Mastiff Mix is a large and powerful dog, he can be easily managed on walks with proper training and the right equipment.
We recommend no pull dog harnesses or head harnesses, as these harnesses are much safer for dogs and work much more effectively in teaching them proper walking manners.
When it comes to exercise, don’t forget about exercising your dog’s mind. The Pitbull Mastiff Mix is an intelligent dog who enjoys being challenged, and he’ll like puzzle toys and games that help keep him engaged. You can also help keep your dog mentally stimulated by offering him jobs to do around the house.
11. Pitbull Mastiff Mix Dogs Can Be Costly To Maintain
These dogs require a lot in the way of food, exercise, training and housing.
As we mentioned above, the Pitbull Mastiff Mix comes with a big financial responsibility. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, giant breed dogs are the most expensive to maintain throughout their lives.
This is due in great part to how much the dog eats and what he requires when it comes to medical care and upkeep.
The Pitbull Mastiff Mix can also run you upwards of $2,000 off the top when you go through a breeder. However, that’s on the high end. Most Pitbull Mastiff Mix puppies start off at around $350 and the price can go up from there.
12. Pitbull Mastiff Mixes Are Very People Oriented
Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs become very bonded to their owners.
Your Pitbull Mastiff Mix may look big and bad, but beneath that rough and tough exterior is a little softie just dying for your attention. These dogs become incredibly bonded to their families and would be willing to do anything to make them happy.
For this reason, the Pitbull Mastiff Mix can be prone to suffering from separation anxiety or depression if he is left on his own for too long. This is a dog who is best suited for dog owners who have a flexible schedule and can be around often.
Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs are also sensitive, and they will shut down if they think you’re unhappy with them. Try communicating on your Pitbull Mastiff Mix dog’s level early and work with him to establish a close and trusting bond.
Doing this will help reduce behavioral issues, increase the effectiveness of training, and enrich both you and your dog’s lives in so many other countless ways.
Has this been a helpful guide on the Pitbull Mastiff Mix? We hope so, and we hope you now have a better idea as to whether or not this is the best dog for you and your lifestyle.
So, what do you think about the Pitbull Mastiff Mix? Leave us your thoughts below in the comment section.
Thanks for reading!
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.