Labrabull (Labrador Retriever & American Pitbull Mix)

Height: 20-24 inches
Weight: 45-95 pounds
Lifespan: 10-14 years
Colors: Black, gray, brown, cream, brindle, fawn, silver
Suitable for: Active families, experienced owners, those looking for a friendly guard dog
Temperament: Protective, loving, loyal, energetic, fun-loving, affectionate

Designer dog breeds are created for different reasons. Sometimes it’s to give allergy sufferers the opportunity to enjoy pet ownership, as with the Labradoodle, and sometimes it’s to alleviate health issues in the breed, as with the Old English Bulldog.

The Labrabull, on the other hand, was created to smooth over issues in both its parent breeds, the Labrador and the American Pit Bull. This is supposed to be a “best of both worlds” kind of dog, and they’re a great choice for owners who want a friendly dog who can nevertheless offer protection if things get hairy.

That’s not to say that they’re perfect or that everyone should own them. Given the fact that the breed is relatively new, there’s still a great deal of volatility in terms of which parent breed they’ll take after, and you may end up with a dog who’s most Pit Bull when you expected more Labrador (or vice versa).

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Labrabull Puppies — Before You Buy

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

If you’re not familiar with either breed, it may be difficult to imagine two dogs more dissimilar than the Labrador Retriever and the Pit Bull. After all, one has a reputation for being a loving pet, while the other is often demonized as a monster.

Of course, neither characterization is fair to the dog, and the two parent breeds actually have much in common. Both are active, and both love nothing more than to curl up next to you and soak up affection.

That doesn’t mean that you can skimp on socialization, however. You still need to introduce these dogs to as many new places and situations as you can, all while rewarding them for staying calm and friendly. When properly trained and socialized, these dogs can get along with just about anyone.

That doesn’t mean that the Labrabull will change the Pit Bull’s reputation, however, and you should know that adopting a Labrabull could leave you vulnerable to all the breed-specific discrimination that Pibbles face. You may have difficulty renting an apartment, finding homeowner’s insurance, or even convincing your HOA into letting you own one.

We’re not trying to talk you out of owning a Labrabull or a Pit Bull; they can both make incredible pets. We just want you to be prepared for any possible complications that could arise from bringing one home.

What’s the Price of Labrabull Puppies?

Both Pit Bulls and Labradors are among the most commonly-owned dogs in America, which drives the price of their puppies down. As a result, you should be able to find one for as little as $100, but we’ve also seen some go for as much as $1,000.

The sad fact is, though, that Pit Bulls are the most commonly-abused dogs in the country, and much of that comes from disreputable breeders. You don’t want to bring home a dog who’s been mistreated or abused, so research any prospective breeders to weed out the puppy mills.

You might want to consider checking your local shelter or contacting rescue groups in your area before you buy from a breeder, however. Pounds are full of Pit Bulls — along with Chihuahuas, they make over half of the pound population in America.

You may not be able to find a puppy who’s an even 50/50 mix of Labrador and Pit Bull, but there’s a good chance that you can find one who comes close. Also, most pounds perform temperament tests on their Pibbles, so you’ll be less likely to bring one an unstable one home.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Labrabulls

1. Their suitability as guard dogs varies wildly from pet to pet.

Given the Pit Bull’s ferocious reputation, many people naturally assume that they’ll rip apart any intruder who climbs through the window. However, many Pibbles are complete pacifists who’ll run from danger rather than charge headfirst into it.

That tendency can sometimes get worse if you mix in Labrador. Many Labrabulls are total sweethearts who wouldn’t dream of attacking anyone, even if they’re carrying off your brand-new flatscreen.

Then again, some Labrabulls make excellent watchdogs, and they’re all generally big enough to make any would-be criminals think twice. There’s not really an easy way to tell which is which when they’re puppies, so you’ll be taking your chances either way.

That said, virtually all Labrabulls will go to the mats if their families are threatened, especially if the children are in danger.

2. They come in a wide variety of colors, but most are black and white.

Labrabulls can be found in just about every color combination imaginable. That’s understandable, because the Pit Bull is kind of a mixed bag to begin with, and there are several different types of Lab (chocolate, yellow, and black).

It’s interesting, then, that Labrabulls tend to be overwhelmingly black and white. You can find other options if you look hard enough, of course, but expect the default dog to come to you wearing a tux.

3. They make great athletes.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that Pibbles are the bodybuilders of the dog world and Labs are the all-around athletes. When you mix the two, you get a dog who can do almost anything you ask of it.

They’re fantastic at agility drills and can even do well in strength competitions. You can also teach them to do high-flying tricks like jumping in the air to catch a Frisbee, and many of them love the water.

There’s not much these dogs can’t do, so you’re mostly going to only be limited by your imagination.

Parents of Labrabull
The parent breeds of the Labrabull. Left: Labrador Retriever, Right: American Pitbull Terrier

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Labrabull

Your perception of this dog’s temperament will depend in large part on your preconceived notions about Pit Bulls. Again, many people see them as out-of-control savages, but that’s far from accurate.

When raised properly, socialized early, and trained diligently, they make fantastic family pets and are especially good with children. This is true of Labs too, of course, which is why Labrabulls are great for families.

Don’t think that just because you sprinkle in a little Labrador DNA that you no longer need to socialize these dogs, however. They need as much as you can give them, but if at least taught how to behave at an early age, they should get along with just about everyone.

They’re smart as well, so training is usually a breeze. They love to please their owners and aren’t terribly stubborn.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Labrabulls love children, and they often have superhuman levels of patience with them. That said, you shouldn’t leave your kids alone unsupervised with any dog, and you need to train your children as much as the dog. They should be taught the proper way to greet and play with dogs so there’s less risk of an unfortunate incident.

However, there are two dangers you will need to be aware of, regardless of how well you socialize the dog.

One is their boundless enthusiasm; these are big dogs, and when they get excited, they turn into missiles that lack any sort of guidance system. A small child or an elderly relative can easily get knocked over or trampled, so you need to make sure the dogs have plenty of room to run.

The other issue is their tails. Labrabulls tend to have long, stiff tails that never stop wagging. It’s completely adorable — and the tails are usually right at toddler eye level. It can hurt to get whacked with one of those things, so keep your kids clear.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

This question is difficult to answer and depends almost entirely on which parent breed has the more dominant genes.

Unfortunately, Pit Bulls were bred to show aggression toward other dogs, and while there has been quite a bit of success in terms of breeding that tendency out of them, it’s still there. We generally recommend Pit Bull owners keep one-pet households for this reason.

Labs are more welcoming of other pets, although they do tend to have a strong prey drive (as do Pit Bulls). Thus, you should be wary of keeping a cat, gerbil, or other small animals in the house.

Some of this can be mitigated with proper training, and the dog must learn the “leave it” command. Still, it’s hard to overcome centuries of programming when they see a small creature make a run for it, so you might be better off not risking it.

Black Labrabull in grass
Black Labrabull in the grass. | Image credit: Stephanie Denise Powers, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Labrabull

The Labrabull is a relatively new breed, but we can draw quite a few conclusions about them based on all we know about their parents. Below, we’ll walk you through important things to consider before bringing one of these dogs home.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Since these dogs are extremely active, you should ensure they have all the fuel they need to run around all day. We think a high-protein diet is best for this, but you should also make sure it’s full of complex carbs, rather than the kind of empty calories you find in kibbles loaded with wheat and corn.

Despite being little balls of energy, these dogs are often prone to obesity, so be careful not to overfeed them. If you leave food out all day long, they’ll eat all day long, so we recommend picking up their bowls after every meal.

All their running and jumping can put a great deal of strain on their joints as well, so a glucosamine supplement isn’t a bad idea.

Exercise 🐕

Labrabulls need tons of exercise — at least an hour a day. They have energy that you need to burn off, or else you could come home to discover that they’ve redecorated your house by turning all your furniture inside-out.

However, these pups tend to be reflective of their owner’s lifestyle as well, so don’t be surprised if yours likes to spend time curled up next to you on the couch. If you find yours is getting lazy, you should step up the physical stimulation, because again, these dogs are prone to obesity.

Given their above-average intelligence, they also need brain work. Puzzle toys can be a good idea, but we prefer agility training and other active sports. Labrabulls love to compete, and it’s a great way to keep their entire body in fine working order.

Gold Labrabull Labrador Pitbull Mix
Image credit: Josh Chavez, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

Training is not optional with these dogs.

Socialization should start the day you bring them home, and it should never end. You should start teaching them basic commands as soon as possible as well, with an emphasis on “leave it” and other potentially life-saving orders.

Labrabulls often benefit greatly from group training classes, as it teaches them how to behave in social settings. That being said, if you’re having issues with your dog, don’t hesitate to set up one-on-one training.

Positive reinforcement is best with these dogs, as they’re sensitive to criticism. Just be careful rewarding them with treats. In fact, you can probably get away with just using praise and affection as rewards, as those are two of the Labrabull’s favorite things.

Grooming ✂️

The Labrabull’s coat tends to resemble the Pit Bull’s in that it’s full of short, wiry hair. As a result, many brushes won’t work on it, so you’ll likely need to invest in a good wire brush and maybe even a vacuum.

The good news is they don’t require much in the way of grooming, so you shouldn’t need to commit too much time to it.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Both parent breeds are healthy animals, so it’s no surprise that the Labrabull is too. There are a few conditions you should be aware of.

There’s nothing you can do that’s worse for these dogs than to let them become overweight. So many of the conditions below are either caused or exacerbated by obesity, so by keeping your dog lean and trim, you’ll likely also keep them healthy.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Dermatitis
  • Allergies

Serious Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • OCD
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism

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Male vs Female

There’s actually a fairly big difference between the genders in Labrabulls, physically speaking. Males tend to be significantly larger and can weigh up to 30 pounds more. Some males are truly massive, whereas most females stay in the medium-to-slightly-large range.

The ladies tend to be a tad bit more independent, so if you crave constant affection, a male is the way to go. The flip side of that is the girls mature faster, so training is easier with them. It ultimately depends on whether you prefer to have your dog Velcroed to your side or not.

Males are slightly more likely to have aggression issues, but that’s usually only directed at other dogs (and can be mitigated with proper training and socialization).

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Final Thoughts

If you want an all-around great dog who can do it all, consider adopting a Labrabull. These mutts are active but not overbearing, and they’re affectionate with their families while also serving as capable guard dogs.

However, if you’re not a fan of training your dog, the Labrabull might not be right for you. They require extensive socialization and do best with continual training, so you might want to find a dog who’s a little more hands-off if that doesn’t appeal to you.

If you’re willing to put in the work, though, you’re not likely to find a better dog anywhere. Just don’t be surprised if you find that they think they can do a better job of raising your kids than you.


Featured Image Credit: Josh Chavez, Shutterstock