The English Bulldog Pitbull Mix: An Overview Of The English Pit
Appearance & Grooming
Health and Life Expectancy
Are you considering an English Bulldog Pitbull mix for your next dog? In this article we will explore this popular cross breed dog.
Learn if this is a good choice for your next furry companion, what kinds of training issues to expect, and where to responsibly find Pit Bulldog puppies for adoption.
Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa | Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine
Sara is Wileypup’s Veterinarian Adviser and helped compose this article to ensure the information is up to date and accurate. For more information on Sara click here
Check out our article Pitbull vs Bulldog for an in-depth look at the similarities and differences of these two powerful dog breeds.
The English Pitbull Cross Parent Breed Preview
In order to best understand the half Pitbull half English Bulldog hybrid dog, it helps to have a quick look at the characteristics of the parent breeds.
Keep in mind that all dogs are individuals. Although certain types of temperament are typical for these breeds, their life history, training, and early experiences as puppies can make a big difference in their overall behavior and personality.
That being said, the English Bulldog and the Pitbull breeds really do combine some excellent breed characteristics for a mixed breed dog with a ton of positive traits and lots of potential for outstanding family pets.
The English Bulldog
The somewhat murky history of the English Bulldog dates as far back as the 13th century. The predecessors of the breed we know today were used in the brutal blood sport of bull baiting. The dogs prized most for early breeding programs were ferociously brave, had gigantic skull and jaw structures, and often fought to their own deaths.
However, more modern breeding programs have focused more on breeding for a calm and friendly temperament. The Bulldog we know today is well known for a cheerful, playful, and quite loyal family pet.
One of the big health concerns with English Bulldogs is that they are a Brachycephalic breed. This means they have been bred to have very flat faces which can overcrowd the area where the soft tissue in the skull lives.
As a result, they are prone to some breathing issues, sometimes requiring expensive surgery to address. In addition, we recommend walking them with a Bulldog harness rather than a collar to help with breathing. Mixing these flat face dogs with the Pitbull usually addresses this concern, producing a puppy with a more functional form and more athletic potential than a purebred English Bulldog.
Although Bulldogs generally respond well to positive reinforcement training, they are known for being a bit independently minded. They are not always as driven to please, and instead will tend towards doing behaviors that are self-rewarding but maybe not always appropriate. They need consistent leadership to thrive as a family dog.
In the United States, dogs referred to as Pitbulls are in practice less of a single purebred and more of a collection of closely related breeds and crosses from the bully breeds including the American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pitbull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and others.
Unfortunately, dogs of this breed group are generally overbred, often irresponsibly, and Pitbull mixes of various types are among the most common found in our overcrowded animal shelters. And, quite sadly, many Pitbulls are also specifically bred for illegal and brutal fighting rings in cities and towns across the nation.
That being said, lovers of this breed point to their deep loyalty and affection that they show their families when they are raised in supportive loving environments, well socialized, and offered positive reinforcement training which builds trust and confidence.
Other Pitbull Mix Dogs:
We have a few other Pitbull Mix guides you may be interested in:
Characteristics of the Pitbull Bulldog Mix
Let’s turn now to what you might expect from a Bulldog Pit mix puppy:
Size and Appearance
One of the big selling points of this hybrid breed is good looks. Available in just about any color imaginable, and with a strong muscular build and extremely expressive face, these dogs score big in the charm and looks department.
A medium to large dog, anywhere between 40-60 pounds is typical, with a short coat is to be expected. However, the best way to know for sure the size your puppy will grow is to meet the parents if possible.
Extremely easy to groom, a mix of this type will only require the occasional bath to keep looking their best. However, unless you plan to be sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, be sure to monitor their food intake as both breeds are prone to becoming overweight if they have a couch potato lifestyle.
The English Bulldog Pitbull mix temperament is really one of the big selling points for this cross…as long as they have not been exposed to abuse or neglect and have had proper socialization as puppies. Both dogs are known for being loyal, playful, and quite sociable when they are raised in a stable environment with lots of positive reinforcement training.
However, be very careful if you decide to adopt an adult dog of this cross. Make sure you have the truth about their upbringing and temperament to make sure they will be safe around children, other pets, and even other people.
You can pretty much bank on a serious chewer and mouthy puppy. Be sure you have some well made dog toys for serious chewers to help your puppy have appropriate ways to exercise their deep need to chew, especially during the teething phase.
Typically up for adventure, these dogs are a great choice for people and families with an active lifestyle looking for a charming and good looking dog up for new experiences, enjoying the outdoors, and bringing a great attitude to the table.
While regular exercise is required for any healthy canine, the needs for this mix tend to be on the moderate side. Although they will certainly keep up with a very active family, they usually adjust well to a more laid back routine thanks to the Bulldog’s calm demeanor.
Children & Other Pets
English Bulldogs have a reputation for being especially fond of children, sometimes to the point of being overprotective. Pitbulls are often great with children as well, however, due to the powerful nature of this breed, supervision with children is highly recommended.
One potential downside is that both of the parent breeds can have a strong prey drive. It is a gamble to bring an adult home to a household with other small pets. However, when raised as puppies around other pets, they tend to adjust well and often befriend other smaller critters.
Health & Life Expectancy
Bulldogs unfortunately have a shorter lifespan than many other dogs in their size range. At only 6-10 years, the breed is plagued with health problems, including:
The good news is, thanks to the Pitbull’s mixed heritage and large breeding pool, they tend to be healthier and suffer fewer health problems. Mixing a Pitbull and an English Bulldog tends to produce offspring that are more athletic, have less chronic breathing and heart problems, and with an overall lifespan several years longer, as much as 11-15 years.
Where to Find English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Puppies
This is a critical place to do your research. Unfortunately, crossing these breeds is not uncommon in the dog fighting world as these unscrupulous breeders look for ways to build the ultimate killing machine who will live a life of neglect and abuse for the entertainment of criminal onlookers and gambling rings.
In fact, many of the puppies of this mix you may see in your local paper could be runts of the litter being sold off to fund such terrible enterprises. Chances are, you don’t want to be helping to fund these dog fighting rings. So, how can you make sure your Pitty Bulldog cross puppy is safe?
One great place to start your search is at your local animal shelter. Talk with the staff and let them know you are looking for dogs of this mix for a family pet and see if they have any eligible for adoptions. You may also find local rescue groups with a dog of the breed you are looking for waiting for a forever home in a foster family’s care.
Another great place to learn more about puppies available in your area are breed rescue clubs from both breeds who work hard to identify and find forever homes for these dogs. The advantage of going through such an organization is that they have had time to evaluate eligible dogs for temperament issues so you can adopt with confidence.
Finally, if buying a mix breed of this type from well bred parents is your goal, look for people that are involved in the responsible breeding programs for both parent breeds. They will be able to show you documentation of confirmation competitions, have registration papers for the parents, and will allow you to inspect their kennel and breeding facility.
Don’t be surprised when a responsible breeder of English Bulldog and Pitbull puppies requires that you open your home to allow them to inspect, asks you questions about your experience with dogs, and requires you to sign a form promising to return the puppy if you need to rehome them for any reason. These are signs of responsible breeders everywhere who are truly invested in the lifetime safety and wellbeing of their puppies.
Training Tips for Pitbull & English Bulldog Crosses
Make sure they are well socialized. Exposure to other pets, dogs, children, and new environments as early and often as possible helps these dogs feel confident. A confident dog is a much safer dog, and this is really important with such powerful canines.
Consider crate training. It can be very important to use crate training early on with dogs of this mix breed because they are very prone to problem chewing which can be dangerous when they are left unsupervised. Be sure to get a solid crate for Pitbulls to keep them safe, and a comfortable Pitbull dog bed.
Maintain control with a harness rather than a collar. Because they can have a very high prey drive and are such powerful dogs, we recommend you use a very sturdy walking harness for Pitbulls right from the start.
Use positive reinforcement training. Because both of the parent breeds have a breeding history that includes fighting, aggression can be an issue. Overly using punishment rather than using rewards based training methods can make aggression issues much worse.
Teach bite inhibition. It is a myth that never allowing a puppy to bite is the way to go. In fact, puppies taught how to bite softly and release quickly if they bite too hard will grow up to be much safer dogs. In fact, even gentle play biting, when invited by a human, can be a way to make sure these powerful dogs understand their strength and actually prevent more severe damage from a defensive bite in what the dog perceives to be an emergency situation down the road.
Is the English Bulldog Pitbull Mix Right for you?
We hope this guide has given you the information you need to decide if this is a good mix for you and, if so, how to responsibly find a Pitbull and English Bulldog mix puppy in your area.
If you have experience with owning a dog of this mix, we would love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Vedrana Nikolić (B.A. in Cultural Anthropology) - Professional Writer.
Vedrana is a writer, anthropologist & dog lover. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying, among other things, the communication between animals and humans.
For more info on Vedrana click here