Pitbull Mastiff Mix: Breed Facts & Temperament

Pitbull Mastiff Mix: Breed Facts & Temperament

Both the Pitbull and the Mastiff are dog breeds known for being protective. This protective nature is what a lot of dog owners look for when they have a vulnerable family – such as one that has young children in it. The crossbreed that is the Mastiff Pitbull dog may be able to play the part of intimidating guard dogs, but when it comes down to their love for your family, they’re just like any other affectionate dogs that you can find. However, like all dog breeds, the Mastiff Pitbull mix is unique and has its own care needs that dog owners should be aware of. To learn how to care for your Pitbull Mastiff mix puppy as they grow older, read on!

Breed Overview

Height:Weight:Life Expectancy:Personality Traits:
25 to 29 inches100 to 140 pounds8 to 12 yearsAffectionate, loyal, intelligent

A Short History of the Pitbull Mastiff Mix

Also called the Pit Mastiff or the American Masti-Bull, Pitbull Mastiffs have an interesting history. The public is often biased when it comes to large dogs like Pitbulls and Mastiffs, and it’s unfortunate that the stigma that this dog’s parent breeds carried has crossed generations.

But, speaking of generations, did you know that the history of Mastiff dogs has been traced back to ancient civilizations? Not our modern Mastiff breed, of course, but some far ancestor that relates to them in appearance and genetics. Mastiff-like dogs would have been around throughout the time of ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, and China. Mastiff breeds were also popular during England’s Medieval era, where the dogs became hunters and ran alongside humans in times of war. The Mastiff was also a valuable guard dog for a number of wealthy estates at the time. Today, the wealthy seem to prefer smaller breeds, such as those dubbed as “lapdogs”.

Having covered some brief history on the Mastiff side of the Pitbull Mastiff mix’s history, let’s flip the page and look at Pitbulls next.

The history of the Pitbull doesn’t go back anywhere near as far as Mastiff dogs. Pitbulls can be traced back to the 1800s when English breeders decided to cross Bulldogs and Terrier dogs to try and create a new breed. Pitbulls would be featured in abhorrent sports like bull-baiting and dogfighting for many years to come. It would take some time for these violent bloodsports to be made illegal and for Pitbulls to be given another way to live their lives. As time passed, the Pitbull would become a loyal and steadfast companion for any family.

So, how did the Pitbull and Mastiff become the Pitbull and Mastiff mix dog? Well, the answer to that lies much earlier in history than you’ll probably believe. Pitbull Mastiff dogs as they’re known today came into being in the latter half of the 20th century, thanks to a man named John Swinford. Swinford began breeding American Pitbull Terriers, Neapolitan Mastiffs, and English Mastiffs back in the 1960s, with a wish to create the most perfect guard dog. In his words, a dog that “feared nothing made of flesh”. A bit dramatic, but there you go.

Now, before Swinford began breeding these three dogs together to create the first Mastiff-Pitbull mixes, there were similar types of dogs used across Europe during the Middle Ages. These Mastiff-type dogs were often referred to as “Bandogge”, a term used for Mastiff-type dogs that were employed as guards, fighters, and hunters.

The reason there are so many variants of the dog bred from Pitbulls and Mastiffs is that, after Swinford died and his breeding program was halted, other breeders had different ideas of what the dog should look like.

Smiling Dog Dogo Argentino resting.

Breed Appearance

There’s no way to predict the appearance of Pitbull Mastiff puppies in advance unless you have a visual on both parents. Because there are so many variations of the Mastiff mix, there are no set breed standards to gain more information from. Essentially, your Pitbull Mastiff mix dog could grow up to be any of several colors, though you can be sure that an adult Pitbull Mastiff mix will always be stockily built dogs. They’re muscular, large, and have broad shoulders.

By examining the parents of the puppies before the little ones are born, you can give yourself a rough idea of what the other dogs may look like. It’s not an exact science at all, because you can’t take recessive genes into account when just looking at a dog. But it can be fun to guess the sex and colors of the puppies – this kind of guessing game might be something you can involve your kids in when they ask about the incoming pups.

Coat Colors and Patterns

The Mastiff mix usually has a fine coat. They’re short-haired dogs, with drooping ears placed on a large head.

In terms of common coat colors, the following are most often seen on Pitbull Mastiffs:

  • White
  • Black
  • Brindle
  • Brown

It’s not uncommon for Pitbull Mastiff mixes to have a combination of any of these colors on their coat, which may create a pattern. However, as we mentioned, there’s no breed standard set by the American Kennel Club for this crossbreed, so there aren’t really any rules about what your Mastiff mix needs to look like.

Interesting Facts About the Pitbull Mastiff Mix

  1. The Mastiff dog, which is part of the parentage for this breed, is one of the largest types of dog in the world. They’re sometimes considered giant dogs, and can weigh up to 230 pounds!
  2. Despite being big dogs, pups from the Pit Mastiff mix breed are actually very friendly and affectionate.
  3. This breed and its parent breeds (such as the English Mastiff) can make an excellent guard dog for your home.
  4. Both Pitbulls and Mastiffs have been used as fighting dogs and war dogs.
  5. Pit Mastiffs are known to get separation anxiety.

Reasons Why Pitbull Mastiff Mix Dogs Make Great Pets

1. They are Excellent Guard Dogs

You would think that a dog that doesn’t bark much isn’t suited for guard duty, but that’s actually what makes Mastiff Pitbull mixed breed dogs so effective. Because they aren’t barking 24/7, owners of this dog breed are more likely to pay attention to their pup when they do bark. It’s better to have a quiet dog who is trained to bark when they see or hear something out of the ordinary than a loud guard dog who barks at everything.

2. They’re Perfect for Active Dog Owners

Pitbull Mastiffs are highly intelligent and are considered to be high-energy dogs. Unlike other dogs who may enjoy sitting around the house, your Pitbull and Mastiff mix dog will prefer spending time outdoors and exercising. That makes them one of the more ideal dog breeds for dog owners who are always on the go.

If you happen to live near a dog park or lots of open fields, this descendent of a giant-sized breed will surely enjoy living with you.

3. They Require Minimal Grooming

Thanks to their short coat, the Bullmastiff Pitbull mix needs little grooming. Short-haired dog breeds have very manageable coats, and rarely require visits to a professional groomer. Instead, you can simply brush your pup once or twice a week to get rid of any of their loose hairs and bathe them as required.

4. They’re Easy to Train

Training and socialization is often the most worrying part of owning a new dog. Thankfully, the Mastiff Pitbull breed is very smart and enjoys learning new skills. They’re a bit of a gentle giant, really. Large breeds often get a bad reputation because people are scared that they’ll be attacked by an adult dog, but this hybrid dog is very affectionate and can be trained quickly through the use of positive reinforcement and proper training techniques. You’ll have your pup performing commands and dog tricks in no time!

Close English Mastiff dog in green summer grass

The Personality of the Pitbull Mastiff Mix

To understand what your new pet companion may be like, it’s a great idea to meet both parent dogs. We know that this isn’t always possible, but mixed breed dogs like the Mastiff crossed Pitbull mix can have surprising personality types. Without meeting the parents of the puppy that you want to adopt, there isn’t really any way to be sure that your new canine is going to be a pleasant dog. That said, the Mastiff Pit Mix is usually affectionate, friendly, and very sweet. They may be large dogs, but they act as energetic lap dogs.


Muscular dogs often scare off members of the public, which is a shame because the nature of many of these breeds is very sweet. You’re likely to find that your American Bully-Mastiff mix is a dog with a protective nature who craves love and affection from their owner. Once you have their loyalty, which you can earn through caring for them and using positive reinforcement when training them, your Mastiff mix will be a friend to you for life.


Due to their protective streak and use as guard dogs, Pitbull Mastiffs do very well around children. We wouldn’t ever advise leaving a small or young child alone without adult supervision, though, because your dog is still a dog and you don’t know how they or your child will react to a situation if it goes south.

We implore you not to concern yourself with stories of dog breeds like the Mastiff mix attacking children, though. These dogs are often mistreated. Dogs don’t attack without a reason, even if that reason is that they have been abused by their owner to the point where they have aggressive personalities. Aggressive dogs are trying to protect themselves.

You will find that Pitbull Mastiffs care very much for the people in your household. Socializing them properly will go a long way to ensuring that your dog becomes your child’s protector, as well as yours.

Other Pets

Again, socialization is the most important thing here. No dog, no matter how friendly the breed is supposed to be, will be happy around other people or animals until they have been socialized.

Luckily, socialization starts when dogs are still puppies. For the first few weeks of their tiny lives, their littermates and parents will largely be responsible for teaching them how to react to things. A reputable breeder will know how to help a puppy socialize, too, and they will be sure to ready every littermate to leave their home before it’s time for them to go.

To start socializing a new dog and introduce them to other pets in your home, always begin behind a closed door. You’ll want your existing pets to be able to smell your new dog’s scent before they start interacting with them. After letting them scent each other at a distance, you can switch their blankets or toys to further their socialization. They should be happily eating together in the same room before you allow your new male or female Pitbull Mastiff to have free roam of the house.

Energy Levels

Dog breeds with high energy levels can be troublesome for households that aren’t prepared to deal with them. Expect your pup to need long daily walks, mental stimulation, and plenty of exercises.

You should offer them different toys to curb their boredom and set aside time to play with them at least once a day.

Keeping Your Pitbull Mastiff Mix Entertained

Here is a list of ways that you can keep Pitbull mastiff Mix dogs entertained:

  • Play a game of fetch or tug of war
  • Teach them new dog tricks
  • Take them on a long walk or run
  • Build an obstacle course in your backyard that they can run
  • Turn training sessions into something fun by including their favorite dog food and toy
  • Go on a doggy playdate to the dog park
  • Take your dog on a day out to the beach
  • Visit an area with a good hiking trail that allows dogs to join you on your trip

Do Pitbull Mastiff Mixes Like Water?

Thinking about that beach trip we suggested? It’s not a bad idea, and as long as you take all of the necessary precautions, your Pitbull Mastiff Mix will have a grand time.

Unlike smaller dogs, it’s going to be very difficult to bodily pick your Pitbull Mastiff Mix up out of the water in an emergency. There are lifevests made for large dog breeds, but these rarely have a handle on the back because it’s more likely to break if you try and pick up a 100+ pound dog wearing one. Instead, buy a doggy lifevest suited for heavy and large breeds, and don’t let your dog swim too far out. If your pup is in the water, you should be, too.

You may also like our article on: Can Pit Bulls Swim? Helping Your Bully Breed Swim

Care and Health Issues

Every dog breed is unique and Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs are no exception to this rule. To properly care for your new canine, you need to be aware of their care needs and any potential common health problems that they breed could get.

Diet and Nutritional Needs

When considering the brand of dog food that your Pitbull Mastiff mix will need, be sure to choose high-quality dog food from a company that shows obvious care and thought for its customers. Large dog breeds need a dog food that is designed specifically for them because their dietary needs are different than more average-sized pups. This is particularly important while your Pitbull Mastiff Mix puppy is still growing.

Try to look for foods that have the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ statement on their food labels. AAFCO ensures that the food they inspect is complete and properly balanced.

Pit Mastiff dogs need around 4.5 to 6 cups of kibble a day to maintain their weight and be healthy. The exact amount will depend on their current weight, but dogs should always be fed according to the feeding guidelines on the back of the food packaging you’re using.

This breed is also prone to bloating, so you’ll need to be careful and avoid overfeeding them or giving them more food than they can handle.


The exercise requirements for this breed are 45 to 60 minutes of daily activity, plus playtime. A long walk is a good idea because it gives your pup the chance to use the bathroom and get used to new places outside of your home. Additionally, your dog will be able to socialize better away from home because they are introduced to more stimuli.

Training your Pitbull Mastiff Mix

When you start training your Pitbull Mastiff Mix, remember to stick with positive reinforcement. This can be in the form of verbal reinforcement, dog treats, their favorite kibble or breaks to play with toys. The more relaxed and happy your dog is, the more likely they are to retain what you’re teaching them. They’ll also enjoy training more if it’s fun!

Feeling out of your depth? Why not try reaching out to a local dog trainer or dog school to see if they can take on you and your pup. Professional dog trainers are great at passing on the correct training knowledge that you need.


To groom Pitbull Mastiffs and keep their coats in tip-top shape, you’ll just need to run a brush through their fur once a week. The beauty of dog breeds with short and fine coats is that they don’t shed much and require little maintenance.

Try to bathe them every four to six weeks, unless they get dirty. Then, bathe as needed. Always use pet shampoos, not human ones. Human shampoos have a lot of chemicals in them that can irritate a dog’s skin.

Common Health Conditions

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV)

More commonly referred to as “Bloat”, GBV is a condition where the stomach fills itself with gas and twists. When this happens, the stomach becomes is blocked and the blood supply to the organ is decreased.

GDV can be fatal if left untreated.

Hip Dysplasia

A common health condition among many dog breeds, Hip Dysplasia occurs when the hip socket does not develop properly. This causes pain, difficulty walking and usually leads to arthritis.


A condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones for the body. Your dog may suffer from a slower metabolism, lethargy, skin infections, and weight gain.


Pitbull Mastiff Mix dogs can be big eaters. Without proper diet restrictions, obesity in dogs can lead to other diseases, including heart problems.

new born puppy pitbull

Adopt (Don’t Shop)

Now that you know all about the Pitbull Mastiff Mix breed, you may be considering buying a Pitbull Mastiff Mix puppy. Puppies are great. They’re cute, you get to watch them grow up, and they can become excellent companions as they age.

But as adorable as they are, it’s unfortunate that backyard breeding is still so prevalent today. The best way to avoid a puppy mill situation is to adopt from a shelter or a doggy organization instead of finding a breeder online.

Where to Find Pitbull Mastiff Mix Puppies

If you have your heart set on a Pit Mastiff puppy, find a reputable Pitbull-Mastiff breeder who has a clear online presence with plenty of happy customers who have had good experiences with them. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or reach out on social media.

Unlike Pitbulls and Mastiffs, there are no organizations set up just for this crossbreed dog. The AKC doesn’t recognize them, either, which makes finding a good breeder that much more difficult.

When you find a breeder that looks good, remember not to give them any money before you have your puppy and you’re ready to take them home. Always visit the breeder with a friend, and ask to see the parent dogs if possible. When the breeder sends photos of the puppy, request a shot with the whole litter and the mother, too.


The Pitbull Mastiff price varies. For a puppy of this mixed-breed dog, you can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $2000. Older dogs cost less because they’re often considered less desirable than puppies.


  1. Mastiff, PetMD
  2. 9 Facts About Pit Bulls that Will Make You Go “Hmm.”, Found Animals


Despite their friendly nature and quiet disposition, The Mastiff Pitbull Mix does make a great guard dog. They only bark when they feel it's necessary - such as when they've been startled by a new sound or sight. If you're looking for an affectionate and loyal guard dog, you've found the perfect breed for it.

The major concern with owning a full-grown Pitbull Mastiff Mix is that they might be aggressive. This unfounded concern comes from media representation of bully breeds and other large dog breeds. A dog is only aggressive if they have been trained to be aggressive or they feel like they need to defend themselves. The Pitbull Mastiff Mix is a kind and well-behaved dog breed to own.

Leave a reply

Please enter your name here
Please enter your comment!