The Labrabull, also commonly known as Pitador or Pit-Lab, is a cross-breed of the famous American Pitbull Terrier and the Labrador Retriever. Their inherited genes from the parent breeds make them a favorite among dog lovers. Pit-Labs are generally intelligent, energetic, loyal, friendly, and also healthy.
The Labrador Retriever, originally from Newfoundland, is a well-loved and popular dog all over the world. Their affectionate and playful nature has them ranked as one of the most preferred family dogs in the US. They are also highly trainable and are used as disability assistants to blind and deaf people, as well as in search & rescue missions.
Despite the Pit-Lab’s popularity in the US, controversy and speculation have often circulated about their temperament. This speculation is due to the American Pitbull Terrier’s history of participating in fights for sport in Britain. Some countries like New Zealand, France, Denmark, among others, have even gone as far as banning Pitbulls because of this reputation. However, if socialized and trained early enough, the Pitbull is a very calm, loving, and affectionate dog.
What You Need To Know About Labrabulls
As with other mixed breeds, each dog differs from the next. However, we are going to get into some of the standard character traits that Labrabulls have.
Although the adult Pitbull and Labrador differ significantly in appearance and size, their puppies tend to have some similarities, which are evident in the Labrabull. The puppies are medium-sized and have athletic frames. Their heads are broad,with long and pointy ears, and their eyes are almond-shaped.
Adult Pit-Labs weigh between 45 and 90 lbs (20 – 40 kg) and can get as tall as 24 inches (61 cm), ranging within their parent breed’s weight and height limits. They have short, silky coats that come in brindle, brown, white, black, and yellow colors, although grey coloring should occur with age.
- Personality and Temperament
Seeing as Labrabulls borrow significantly from Labrador Retrievers, they are very playful and affectionate. They enjoy a good cuddle and are eager to please, love to play, and appreciate positive reinforcement. They enjoy companionship and prefer not to be left alone. Otherwise, they become destructive in retaliation.
Despite their tough demeanor, Pit-Labs are warm at heart and scare quite easily. However, they are very loyal to their owners, and should their territory be under any threat, they will not hesitate to display aggression against their enemy. This aggressive trait can be attributed to the American Pitbull.
If you are a new fur parent, however, it is advisable not to get a Labrabull. They can be quite overbearing, and you will need a steady hand to show them that you’re in charge. You will also need to socialize them in their early life to encourage friendliness and familiarity with other humans, as well as pets.
- Lifespan and Health
Labrabull puppies take between 18 to 21 months after birth to fully mature. A typically healthy breed, they can live for up to 15 years depending on the physical and nutritional care you provide. However, as with other dogs, they are also susceptible to various diseases, including bloat, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, skin allergies, and ear infections. Honoring your Pit-Lab’s veterinary appointments will go a long way in ensuring any diseases are caught and treated in advance.
As a potential Labrabull parent, you should be keen to screen your fur baby’s parents before adoption. You will need evidence from the breeder confirming the health of the parent dogs. Given that Labradors are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, the breeder should also be willing to provide you with evidence of the parent dogs’ hip and elbow scores.
- Food and Nutrition
Pit-Labs need a well-balanced diet to ensure they stay healthy and live up to their reasonably high life expectancy. Depending on their size, they can typically consume 1.5 to 3.0 cups of food per day. Most fur parents agree that the best food for their Pit-Labs is premium dry food. You should ensure to give them a diet comprising of animal proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids.
Given that the Pit-Lab is somewhat at risk of getting fat, and eventually sick, you should limit the treats you award them as much as possible.
Despite their intelligence and obedience, Labrabulls will require you to be patient with them during training. You will also need to portray yourself as the alpha to command respect and attention from them. You should ensure you use consistent commands and set firm rules from the beginning to guarantee long-term dominance over them. However, sternness should not be confused with punishments as Labrabulls don’t take well to it.
Putting them on a leash when training in public is also necessary to keep them from getting distracted and running off. In the right hands, you can train your Pitador to unexpectedly high standards. They are partly Labradors, after all.
Pit-Labs enjoy playing games and should be encouraged to exercise frequently. This playfulness comes at no surprise since both parent breeds are outdoor lovers. The Labrador Retriever has a history in fishing and hunting activities while the American Pitbull was once a fighting dog. As a result, the Pit-Lab requires to dispense his high energy, not only by walking and running, but also swimming and playing puzzles. They also enjoy a good hike where possible.
Much like the Labrador Retriever, Pit-Labs don’t fare well in apartments. They prefer to run around to burn off energy. Living in a house with a compound will do both you and them good to avoid any mishaps in the home. Failing to engage your furry friend in physical and mental activities will lead to boredom and eventual destructive behavior, including barking incessantly, excessive scratching on furniture, and even chewing on shoes.
- Grooming and Maintenance
Owing to their short coats, Pit-Labs need fairly minimal grooming. As a furry parent, you will need to brush his coat only twice a week with a bristle brush to minimize his shedding. You should bathe your Labrabull once a month on average using a dry shampoo in case of body odor. You should trim their nails and clean the ears every two weeks with a damp cotton cloth while checking for odor and redness.
You also shouldn’t be too worried about cleaning up after drools. Labrabull’s drooling is triggered mostly by their anticipation of food or when they are really excited or nervous. However, should you notice that your Labrabull is drooling excessively, you should contact your vet as this can be a sign of an underlying health issue.
Before getting yourself a Pit-Lab, it is essential to know that the temperament of your dog may vary from another depending on the dominant parent breed genes. It will be up to you to train and expose your Pit-Lab to social interactions, and they will surely surprise you.
Do not be dissuaded by the rumors surrounding their American Pitbull parent. Remember that your furry companion also possesses the Labrador Retriever’s intelligence and calm temperament. Showering your puppy with love and affection from family and friends will also go a long way in solidifying your bond.