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Pitbull Mastiff Mix

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
Pitbull Mastiff - American Bulldog and Mastiff Mix
The parents of Pitbull Mastiff. Left: American Bulldog, Right: Mastiff

The Pitbull Mastiff Mix is a giant mixed breed being a cross between a Pit Bull and a Mastiff dog. You may come across some people and sites calling them an American Bandogge but in fact, that is technically not true as that dog is an American Bulldog/Mastiff mix. The Pitbull Mastiff Mix has a life span of 8 to 12 years and has talents in obedience and guarding. He has very strong protective instincts and is a confident and bold dog.

In general, if you are looking for a guard dog, or you are a single or couple with experience in dog training this makes a great dog. He can be welcomed into a family with children but early socialization and training are key and he needs attention and exercise every day. His temperament and looks can vary a lot depending on the type of pits or mastiffs used. You need to be prepared for a lot of time to be dedicated to this dog. But the work is rewarding, he will be loyal and affectionate and protective of you in return.

Here is the Pitbull Mastiff Mix at a Glance
Average height 25 to 29 inches
Average weight 100 to 150 pounds
Coat type Fine, short
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Moderate gets worse during seasonal shedding
Brushing Daily during seasonal shedding, otherwise a couple of times a week
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low
Barking Rare
Tolerance to Heat Moderate
Tolerance to Cold Moderate to good
Good Family Pet? Good to very good
Good with Children? Good with training but better with a single or couple owner
Good with other Dogs? Low to moderate – needs socialization and training
Good with other Pets? Moderate – as above, can see them as prey
A roamer or Wanderer? Varies from low to high!
A Good Apartment Dweller? Due to size no
Good Pet for new Owner? Moderate – best with experienced dog owners who know how to train
Trainability Moderately difficult
Exercise Needs Quite active
Tendency to get Fat Above average
Major Health Concerns Eye problems, seizures, kidney problems, bloat, cancer, hypothyroidism, heart disease trachea
Other Health Concerns Hip dysplasia, overheating
Life Span 8 to 12 years
Average new Puppy Price $350 to $2000
Average Annual Medical Expense $485 to $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $510 to $650

Where does the Pitbull Mastiff Mix come from?

The Pitbull Mastiff is not a typical designer dog in that it does not have one set of purebred parents like most. Any Pit Bull can be used and any Mastiff can be used which means there can be several results when it comes to looks and temperament. However, there are a few qualities that they tend to have in common which is what we will look at in this article. If you are looking at getting a Pit Bull Mastiff Mix dog a good idea would be to ask the breeder if you can, what dogs were crossed, and then do some more specific research on those. Most Pits though were originally bred for bull-baiting and most Mastiffs were bred to be a working dog, to guard the home, protect livestock, and so on.

The Mastiff

The Mastiff comes from an ancient breed of dog called the Molosser. Mastiff-type dogs can be found across the globe through the years. They were used as war dogs, guard dogs, hunting, and for entertainment in fights against other fierce animals. In 1835 the breed almost disappeared when sports like bull-baiting, bear-baiting, and dog fighting were outlawed but the increase in popularity and occurrence of dog shows in the mid-1800s helped save them. They then almost disappeared again in England due to the two World Wars but breeders used puppies brought from Canada to revive them.

Today the Mastiff is still courageous and protective but not vicious or aggressive. In fact, he is quite docile and kind. He will be aloof with strangers and is a good watchdog and guard dog. He can be shy and fearful if not properly socialized and trained from a young age.

The Pitbull

In England, up until 1835, a popular spectator sport was bear and bull baiting. Dogs were bred and used to bait these animals and then later became dog fighters when that was banned. This meant they were bred to be aggressive, courageous, tenacious. But they were also bred to never bite their handlers so that the humans involved did not have to worry about being attacked. When they were brought to America they were used on farms to hunt game and to guard the property. They were bred to be larger too. Breeders also focused on developing a dog who remained strong and courageous but was also family-friendly and gentle.

Today we see their success. The dog when he comes from a good breeder is confident, alert, friendly, courageous, and very loyal and affectionate. This dog too would happily try to be a lap dog despite his size. He will protect you and his family if something is putting them at risk.


The Pitbull Mastiff Mix with training is an obedient dog who is loyal and makes a good guard dog. He does not like strangers and will act to protect you. He has a strong personality and needs a strong owner with experience who can set themselves as a pack leader. Intelligence is there as are high levels of energy so he is best suited to very active owners. He can be a very good family dog with the right kind of family, loving and seeking your attention and approval. He does not do well when left alone for alone periods and can suffer from separation anxiety. He is at his best when getting lots of attention and having someone always around to be with. When properly trained and socialized he is not aggressive but in fact, can be docile.

What does the Pitbull Mastiff Mix look like

As mentioned this could vary but in general, they are giant dogs weighing 100 to 150 pounds and measuring 25 to 29 inches tall. Females tend to be a little lighter and smaller but they are still built heavily and muscular. He has a stout and strong body that is very athletic and powerful. Coats can vary depending on parents, usually, they are short and fine. There are no standard colors, white, red, black, brown combinations of colors, anything could happen.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Pitbull Mastiff Mix need to be?

He is quite an active dog, just for his size, he needs a certain amount of activity to keep him well behaved, happy, and in good health. He also needs mental challenges to avoid getting bored. He should be taken outside twice a day for a long walk, jog, or run. He would also enjoy visits to the dog park though make sure he is well socialized in being able to handle other dogs. You also need to play with him each day, fetch, and so on. Be careful not to over-exercise him though as he can suffer from hip problems.

Does he train quickly?

Training and socialization are very important for the Pitbull Mastiff Mix. You need to be ready to dedicate time every day not just to giving him attention and exercise but also to socializing and training him. He will need a very firm owner who can clearly and consistently establishes themselves as the leader. He is a dominant dog and any hesitation or weakness will be seen by him and he will try to take control. Some people get worried about having a dog like this, the Mastiff is such a large powerful dog and the Pit has a reputation for aggression. So a combination of those two breeds may be a concern. There is no doubt there are some Pitbull Mastiff Mixes that come from more aggressive lines. And some are with owners that do not train sufficiently and are not strong or dominant enough. But there are dogs like this who are safe and are great dogs. Be honest with what you can accomplish and commit to and what your experience and skills really are.

Living with a Pitbull Mastiff Mix

How much grooming is needed?

In general, they are low to moderate when it comes to maintenance. His coat is short so it is easy to brush and will need brushing at least a couple of times a week. These dogs do shed though again how much can vary from low to moderate and then more during seasonal shedding times. At that point, you should be brushing daily. Bathing a dog this size is not a simple task. If you have a yard you can hose him with or a sprinkler on that might work, or a walk-in shower. Otherwise, you should check out the groomers in your area, some have bathing stations for all sizes of dogs that people can use when they do not want the mess in their own home! He should just be bathed when he is getting really dirty, too frequent bathing can dry out his skin.

Other regular grooming needs include brushing his teeth at least two to three times a week. He will need his ears checked and wiped clean once a week and he should have his nails clipped when they get too long. The nails need to be done with care, learn about them and get the right clippers. Dogs have blood vessels and nerves in the lower half of the nail so clipping through that will hurt and cause a lot of bleeding.

What is he like with children and other animals?

While he is better with children when socialized and trained he is large so smaller ones can get knocked over very easily. Supervision is therefore required. With other animals and pets, he can see them as prey and chase them. He is also not naturally good with other dogs, he needs socialization and a lot of it, and training that is really effective so that you can trust him to obey a command instantly.

General information

Interestingly while he is good as a guard dog he is not good as a watchdog! He will not bark to alert you to an intruder but if the family including you need protection he will act. He will need at least 4 1/2 to 6 cups of good quality dry dog food a day. That should be spread out into at least two or three meals. He rarely barks and is best in moderate climates.

Health Concerns

Hereditary conditions to watch for in the Pitbull Mastiff Mix include Eye problems, seizures, kidney problems, bloat, cancer, hypothyroidism, heart disease, Hip dysplasia, and overheating. To avoid these watch him in hot weather and talk to the breeder about his parent’s health. Ask to see their health clearances and visit the puppy before buying.

Costs involved in owning a Pitbull Mastiff Mix

A puppy will cost between $350 to $2000. Quite a range! Other costs include a crate, collar and leash, bowls, neutering, blood tests, chipping, deworming, and shots. These come from $450 to $500. Medical annuals costs for insurance or savings for medical emergencies, shots, check-ups, and flea prevention coming to between $485 to $600. Non-medical annual costs for basics like toys, food, treats, license, and training come to between $510 to $650.


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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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