Pitbulls and Mastiffs are often misunderstood. One is feared because of its size, while the other is often stereotyped as aggressive. But the truth is they are some of the most loving canines out there!
So what happens when you combine the two? You get one strong but affectionate giant companion, the Pitbull Mastiff.
If this is the first time you’ve heard of a Pitbull Mastiff mix, you’re in luck. In this guide, I will share all you need to know about Pitbull Mastiff mixes. Hopefully, this article can help you decide if these canines are right for you.
What Is a Pitbull Mastiff Mix?
As the name implies, a Pit Mastiff is a combination of a Pitbull and a Mastiff. This mix results in a large to giant-sized dog with a strong and muscular physique. Pit Mastiffs combine the loyalty and strength of their parent breeds, making them the perfect protection dogs.
Pitbull Mastiffs are not your typical designer dog. They do not come from two specific purebred parents.
Instead, Pit Mastiffs are dogs that are a mix of any Pitbull-type breed and any Mastiff breed, so there are actually several breed combinations possible.
Pitbull is used as a term for dogs that are descended from bulldogs and terriers. Pitbull-type breeds include the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT), American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully.
On the other hand, Mastiff breeds include the English Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Bullmastiff, and the American Mastiff.
A common mix for Pit Mastiffs breed is the APBT and the Neapolitan Mastiff. Although there can be different combinations, the resulting pups share many similarities, which we’ll discuss in this article.
Other Names of Pitbull Mastiff Mix
Since Pitbull Mastiff mixes can be different combinations of multiple breeds, they go by many names.
They are also known as Pit Mastiff, American Masti-Bull, American Bandogge/Bandog, American Bandogge Mastiff, and the Swinford Bandog.
As mixed breeds, they are not recognized by major kennel clubs. However, a few specific combinations are recognized by mixed breed registries under various names.
For example, the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR) recognizes the Mastiff and APBT combination as the American Bandogge Mastiff.
However, in the Designer Breed Registry (DBR), an American Bandogge is a mix of an American Bulldog and a Mastiff.
The DBR also recognizes other mixes. The American Staffordshire Terrier and Mastiff mix is called the Amstiff or Staffordshire Mastiff. The APBT and Bullmastiff mix is called the Pit Bullmastiff.
Since there are different breeds and organizations involved, there can be some confusion as to what to call them. But whatever they are named, these canines can still be categorized as Pitbull Mastiff mixes.
3 Awesome and Little-Known Facts About Pitbull Mastiff Mixes
Mixed breed dogs are very fascinating, and Pitbull Mastiffs are no exception. There is a lot to learn about them!
Here are some interesting facts about these giant canines:
1. Pitbull Mastiffs come from ancient breeds
Both Pitbulls and Mastiffs have a rich history dating back centuries ago. Mastiff-like dogs are said to have been found in civilizations such as ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China.
Mastiffs also became popular in medieval England, where they served as hunters, war dogs, and guardians of estates.
On the other hand, Pitbulls trace their origins in 19th century England, where dog fanciers started to cross bulldogs and terriers. Unfortunately, they were used in blood sports like dogfighting or bull-baiting.
Thankfully, such violent practices were eventually outlawed, and the different Pitbull breeds continued as great family companions.
2. Their Mastiff parents are some of the world’s largest dogs
English Mastiffs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, and Bullmastiffs are all on the list of the world’s largest dogs. These breeds weigh anywhere from 100 to 230 pounds, easily outweighing a lot of adult humans!
In fact, an English Mastiff named Zorba weighed in at a whopping 149.7 kilograms or 343 pounds.
3. Mastiff Pitbull mixes don’t usually bark a lot
Despite their intimidating size and appearance, the Mastiff Pitbull mix is said to be a gentle giant! They tend to be less vocal than other dogs and will only bark when something is amiss.
This is not surprising since the parent breeds are also known to bark less than other dogs. If you have a Mastiff Pitbull mix, you can expect that they are calm and quiet protectors.
Pitbull Mastiff Mix History and Origin: Where Does the Pit Mastiff Come From?
The exact beginnings of Pit Mastiffs are unknown, but it is said that similar canines existed as early as the middle ages in Europe. As I mentioned before, Pit Mastiffs are also called American Bandogge.
“Bandogge” or Bandog was a term used for Mastiff-type dogs that commonly served as hunters, fighters, and protection dogs. They were usually tied down with a chain and released at night to protect their properties.
Centuries later, in the 1960s, an American veterinarian named John Swinford began breeding APBTs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, and English Mastiffs.
He wanted to create the perfect guard dog, “an extremely athletic dog that feared nothing made of flesh.”
His dogs were eventually known as Swinford Bandogs. Swinford’s goal in breeding them was to add the gameness and athleticism of a Pitbull to Mastiffs.
After the death of Swinford in 1972, his breeding program stopped. It soon inspired other Bandog breeders.
However, different breeders had various ideas of what a so-called “Bandog” should be, hence the variety of breed combinations and names.
Pitbull Mastiff Mix Appearance: What Does a Pit Mastiff Look Like?
The looks of Pit Mastiffs may vary greatly, mainly because there are many breed combinations possible. There are no standards for this crossbreed, so the best way to predict a pup’s appearance would be to look at its parents.
However, common among all Pit Mastiffs is their physique. Generally, you can expect them to be large and muscular dogs. Their bodies are usually longer than their height, and they have broad shoulders and thick necks.
Mastiff Pit mixes would typically have a broad skull, droopy ears, and a short muzzle. Overall, they would look like very strong but sweet dogs.
The coats of Pit Mastiffs may vary, but most tend to be short and fine. These mixes typically come in brindle, white, brown, black, or they can be a mix of a few of these colors.
Pitbull Mastiff Mix Size and Weight: How Big Will a Pit Mastiff Get When Fully Grown?
The size of a Pitbull Mastiff is somewhere in between the size of the two parent breeds. They can be a little smaller than Mastiffs but larger than Pitbulls. It all depends on which breeds are combined.
Typically, a fully grown Pitbull Mastiff mix will be 25 to 29 inches tall and weigh 100 to 140 pounds. Like most dog breeds, females can be a bit smaller and lighter than males.
Since they are large to giant dogs, they take more time to grow. Pit Mastiffs can continue growing until they are 12 to 18 months old. In some cases, it may even take 24 months for them to reach their full-grown size.
Pitbull Mastiff Mix Temperament: Do Pit Mastiffs Make Good Family Dogs?
Let me say outright that Pitbull Mastiffs are not for everyone. They can be great family dogs, but only for people who can handle them well.
These mixes are intelligent and domineering canines so they need someone who can be a leader, firm but loving “alpha.” Because of this, it is said that they are better off with experienced owners.
Pit Mastiffs also love spending time with their humans. They are considered gentle giant companions who would enjoy doing activities or just hanging out with their families.
But unfortunately, this trait also makes them prone to separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods.
These canines are considered gentle giants, but they need intensive training and socialization from puppyhood. This is essential especially if you have children and other pets in the house.
Pit Mastiffs can be great for families with older children, but not so much with toddlers or babies. They are playful and protective, but if they get too excited, their size can cause them to unintentionally hurt small children.
With the history of its parent breeds, Pitbull Mastiffs may also have a high prey drive.
They wouldn’t be naturally good with dogs and other animals. You would have to put in more effort to train and socialize them if you have other dogs or pets.
Similarly, they can be a bit aloof with strangers. This is because of their nature as guard dogs.
You have to introduce and socialize them with neighbors or friends so they know how to interact with people outside the family.
READ NEXT: Male vs. Female Mastiff: Which Is Better?
Pitbull Mastiff Mix Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Pit Mastiffs Healthy Dogs?
In general, larger dogs have shorter lifespans. A Pitbull Mastiff mix has an average lifespan of 8 to 12 years, which is common for large dog breeds.
Even though they are strong and muscular dogs, their size can make them prone to certain health problems.
You should be aware of the diseases each parent is prone to so that you can prepare and take measures to prevent them.
Here are some health problems Pitbull Mastiff mixes are susceptible to:
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat: GDV, more commonly known as Bloat, is a condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself. When this happens, the stomach is blocked, and blood supply is decreased. Bloat is an urgent emergency, as it can be fatal within a few hours if left untreated.
- Obesity: Pit Mastiffs can be big eaters, so you should always keep their diets and exercise in check. Obesity can lead to other diseases such as heart and joint problems.
- Hypothyroidism: This is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones for the body. It can lead to a slower metabolism, lethargy, skin infections, and weight gain.
- Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is common among large to giant dogs. It is a condition wherein the hip socket does not develop properly, causing pain, difficulty walking, and eventual arthritis.
Since there are no standards for mixed breeds, be extra careful when buying Pit Mastiff puppies.
If you can, take the time to visit and see the dogs and puppies personally. Also, do not hesitate to ask the breeder for health certificates and screenings they do for their puppies.
Aside from a healthy lifestyle, preventive care is very important for the health of a Pitbull Mastiff mix.
Large dogs are prone to some serious diseases simply because of their size. Your vet can help you ensure that they are developing normally at every life stage.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Breeding Pitbulls and Mastiffs Together
Designer breeds are still a subject of debate among many dog lovers. To be honest, there are both advantages and disadvantages to mixed breeding. If you are looking to own a mixed breed, it will help to understand both sides.
One great thing about designer dogs is that desirable traits from two breeds can be combined. In the case of Pit Mastiff mixes, their combined traits and size make them superior protection dogs.
For people who want a unique pet, mixed breeds like Pit Mastiffs are also a great option. Since they can be any combination of Pitbull and Mastiff breeds, it’s unlikely that you will find one that looks the same as your pup.
Mixed breeds also benefit from hybrid vigor. Since there is more genetic diversity, there is less chance for recessive diseases to come up.
On the other hand, one significant disadvantage of mixed breeding is unpredictability. Unlike purebreds, you can’t predict how your dog will look or how big it will be. For some people, size can be a deal-breaker.
This unpredictability also extends to temperament and health. Because there are no breeding and health standards, it can be more challenging to predict what diseases they may have.
Since temperament can also be inherited, there’s also a chance for pups to get undesirable traits.
This can be a problem especially if the breeder is irresponsible, producing puppies just for profit. Make sure to avoid buying from backyard breeders and puppy mills.
All in all, if you want to be completely certain about your dog’s looks and personality, think twice about getting a mixed breed. Pit Mastiff mix dogs can surprise you in a good or bad way, depending on how you handle it.
How to Take Care of Your Mastiff Pitbull Mix?
If you have your heart set on these gentle giants, then you should do all you can to raise them well. Knowledge and preparation are essential to living with a Pitbull Mastiff mix dog comfortably.
To help you out, here are some basic tips on how to take care of a Pit Mastiff:
Feeding and Diet
As large to giant dogs, a Pitbull Mastiff mix should be fed high-quality dog food meant for large dog breeds. This is crucial because different sizes have different dietary needs, especially during their growth stage.
When buying dog foods, look for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement on food labels. This organization ensures that the food is “complete and balanced” for each life stage.
Typically, Pit Mastiff mixes would need to be fed 4.5 to 6 cups of dog food per day. This should be divided into two to three meals.
Remember that they are prone to bloat, so you should avoid giving large amounts of food all at once.
If you’re unsure about how and what to feed your Pitbull Mastiff, don’t hesitate to ask your vet. Nutrition is one of the key foundations of a dog’s health, so it’s important to get it right.
Cleaning and Grooming
The good news is that grooming a Pit Mastiff is not very challenging. Since they have short fine coats, brushing them once a week would be enough.
However, note that Mastiff Pit mixes would still experience low to moderate shedding. During shedding seasons, you can brush them more frequently to help remove loose hair.
These mixed dogs are also quite easy to bathe, as long as you have space. Since Pit Mastiffs are large dogs, it might be easier for you to hose them down in your yard or garage.
Bathing them once a month or every six weeks would be more than enough. When bathing, be sure to use pet shampoos only. Chemicals found in human shampoos are generally not suitable for dogs.
Like every other dog, you need to include brushing their teeth, ear cleaning, and nail trimming in your regular grooming routine. These practices will ensure that your Pitbull Mastiff mix dog is at its best health.
Training and Exercise
Coming from working breeds, you will find that these mixes are highly trainable. They are very intelligent and eager to please. However, this same intelligence can make them quite strong-willed.
To successfully raise a well-trained Mastiff Pit mix, my advice is to use lots of positive reinforcement and begin training in their puppyhood. It’s also recommended that you enroll them in formal obedience classes.
You can see how a Pitbull Mastiff mix puppy is trained in this video:
Pit Mastiffs would need moderate exercise every day to maintain a healthy weight. They are large, intelligent dogs that would need physical and mental stimulation.
For exercise requirements, aim for 45 minutes to an hour of physical activity every day with your Pitbull Mastiff mix.
They would enjoy a simple walk in the park or games like fetch out in the yard to boost their energy levels.
Taking them out for walks is not only good exercise, but it’s also a great opportunity for socialization. As you walk, introduce and allow your Pit Mastiff to interact with neighbors and other pets.
Pitbull Mastiff Mix Puppy Prices & Expenses: How Much Does a Pitbull Mastiff Cost?
A Pitbull Mastiff puppy can cost anywhere from $350 to $2,000. This is a wide price range, but you can expect that puppies from reputable breeders will be more expensive.
In comparison, adopting a Pit Mastiff from rescue organizations or shelters would typically cost you less than $500.
The adoption fee is usually dependent on the dog’s age. It typically covers all medical expenses, spaying/neutering, and preventive treatments.
But whether you purchase or adopt, you will also have to spend on the supplies for your new Pitbull Mastiff.
Here are some things you need to prepare before taking your Pit Mastiff home:
|Type of Expense||Average Cost|
|High-Quality Dog Food||$25 – $55|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10 – $40|
|Dog Bed||$30 – $110|
|Dog Crate||$50 – $165|
|Grooming Tools||$20 – $110|
|Toys||$50 – $155|
|Dog Collars||$10 – $40|
|Leash with ID Tag||$15 – $50|
|Total Initial Cost||$210 – $875|
Of course, the price would vary greatly depending on the brands you choose. Other optional expenses may include a fence for your yard, doggy gates, and a dog harness.
Pit Mastiffs can be a bit more expensive to maintain. Large dogs consume more food, and bigger supplies are generally a bit more costly. Consider your monthly budget before adopting or purchasing one!
Places to Find Pitbull Mastiff Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Pitbull Mastiff mix dogs may be a bit challenging to find, especially if you have specific breed combinations in mind.
Your options would be to look for reputable breeders that are associated with the American Kennel Club or adopt one through a rescue organization.
You can check out these breeders/sites for a Pitbull Mastiff pup for sale:
- Monsters of Molosser Kennels – This breeder is based in Ohio, and they produce American Bulldogs and American Bandogge Mastiffs. They aim to produce dogs with a stable temperament which allows them to live in a family environment.
- Boxford Bandogges – Boxford Bandogges is a North Carolina-based breeder of American Bandogges. They aim to produce healthy working Mastiffs that “rival the great working Mastiffs of the past.”
- Lancaster Puppies – Lancaster Puppies lists both purebred and mixed-breed puppies for sale. There are a lot of Pitbull mixes on their site, so it’s possible to find a Pit Mastiff pup for sale.
Alternatively, you can look for a Pit Mastiff mix in these rescues below:
- Mastiff to Mutts Rescue – This rescue organization helps Mastiffs and other giant dog breeds and mixes. They mainly operate and allow the adoption of their rescue dogs in the Mid-Atlantic states.
- Bobbie’s Pit Bull Rescue & Sanctuary (BPRS) – BPRS focuses on rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming all Pitbull-type breeds and their mixes. They also work with local animal shelters to help these breeds.
- Petfinder – Petfinder is one of the largest online platforms for family pets in need of new homes. They have listings for both Mastiff mixes and Pitbull mixes, so you may find a Pit Mastiff mix for adoption on their website.
Remember that purchasing or adopting a Pit Mastiff is not a decision you can make lightly. Before talking to any breeder or rescue organization, you should be 100% sure you’ll be able to take care of the dog properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pitbull Mastiff Mixes Dangerous?
It’s no secret that Pitbull Mastiff mixes come from parents with a fighting history.
However, like any other dog, they would only be dangerous if not raised and trained correctly. When raised properly, Pit Mastiffs will be loyal, loving, and protective companion dogs.
Are Pitbull Mastiff Mixes Intelligent?
Pit Mastiffs are intelligent. These mixes come from working dog breeds, so they are innately smart and highly trainable dogs. However, it doesn’t mean that training them would be very easy.
Their intelligence can also make them strong-willed and stubborn. Positive reinforcement and consistency are essential to training Pitbull Mastiff mixes.
Are Pitbull Mastiff Mixes High Maintenance Dogs?
Pitbull Mastiffs can be considered high maintenance mainly because of their size. As large dogs, expect to spend more on their food and supplies.
They would take up more space, and transporting them would take more effort. Everything is larger and thus a bit more expensive.
An unprepared or a novice dog owner might be overwhelmed with the responsibility of having a Pitbull Mastiff dog.
However, in terms of exercise and grooming, Pit Mastiffs are not that difficult to maintain. They are easily groomed and would only need regular moderate exercise.
Final Thoughts: Is the Pitbull Mastiff Mix the Right Dog for You?
Contrary to the reputation and history of their parent breeds, Pitbull Mastiff mixes were not bred to fight but to be guardians and protectors.
Not only are they large and muscular, but they are also affectionate, loyal, and protective of their human families.
However, raising them to be great companions or guard dogs would entail intensive training and socialization. Therefore, they are ideal for experienced dog owners who have a lot of time and know-how.
Pit Mastiffs also require a lot of space to live and move around, so it would be better for them to live in houses with a fenced yard or garden.
With the right owners and living conditions, the Pitbull Mastiff mix can be the ideal family pet companion or protection dog.