Black Lab Pitbull Mix – What To Expect From This Unique Combination

black lab pitbull mix

A black Lab Pitbull mix is simply a cross between a black Labrador Retriever and one of the 5 common pitbull breeds. The most common pitbull breed used in this mix is the American Pitbull Terrier. The traits a black Lab Pitbull mix will inherit depends on the pitbull parent. The black Lab Pitbull is generally intelligent, people-oriented, and loyal. They most often have a black coat, but other colors are possible. Let’s find out more.

Black Lab Pitbull Mix Quick Links

A black Lab Pitbull mix is becoming quite popular, as both parent breeds are well loved. But, how suitable is it as a family pet? Before we tackle that, let’s take a look at the history of the black Lab and Pitbull mix.

Black Lab Pitbull Mix History

Purposefully mixing two dog breeds together is a relatively new phenomenon that started with the creation of the Labradoodle in the 1980s. A black Labrador mixed with an American Pitbull Terrier, an American Staffordshire Terrier, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Bull Terrier, or a Miniature Bull Terrier will make a black Lab Pitbull mix. As this is a pretty new hybrid, take a look at the history of the specific parent breeds being used to find out more about where your dog comes from.

black lab pitbull mix

Labrador ancestors originally worked alongside fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada. Black Labs are the most common color. In fact, until the 1990s, other shades of Labrador were not desirable at all.

Pitbull breeds have a sad history being used in blood sports like bull baiting, ratting, and dog fighting. Luckily, these sports were banned in the past. Pitbull breeds have been lovable, affectionate companions to people and families for many generations now.

Is the Black Coat Color Guaranteed?

If you’re looking to get a black Lab Pitbull mix, you may be hoping that your puppy will have the coat color of its black Lab parent. The black coat color in Labs comes from the pigment eumelanin. Labs with more pigment have black coats, and those with less have chocolate coats. Black is the dominant color in Labradors, which is why black Labs are more common than other shades.

Labradors come in three main colors. But, pitbull breeds can have a lot more variation. There is a chance that a black Lab Pitbull mix puppy will not have a black or a fully black coat. It will depend entirely on the genes it inherits from its two parents. The best chance you have at getting a black puppy is to find a breeder who is mixing a black Lab with a black Pitbull. But, remember, ultimately a puppy’s health is more important than their coat color.

What Other Colors Do They Come In?

A mixed breed puppy can inherit any blend of traits from its two parent breeds. So, a Labrador Pitbull mix puppy could really be any shade that you will find in the parent breeds.

Labradors come in the standard black, yellow, and chocolate. But, it’s also possible to get Labs with diluted coat colors – charcoal, champagne, and silver. You can even find black Labs with white markings. Pitbulls come in a huge range of shades. We’ve included some of them in a list below:

  • Brindle
  • Black
  • White
  • Brown
  • Tan
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Bi or tri colored

So, really, Lab Pitbull mix puppies can be quite varied from one another.

Black Lab Pitbull Mix Temperament

We mentioned earlier that mixed breed puppies can inherit any blend of traits from their parent breeds. This extends to their temperaments!

Labradors are known for being friendly, affectionate, and social dogs. Their temperament differs slightly based on the type of Labrador you choose – English or American. American Labs are generally more high energy, excitable, and headstrong. But, English Labs are often more laid back and less excitable. Again, temperament will vary a little depending on which pitbull breed you use. But as a general idea, most pitbull breeds are affectionate, intelligent, and known for being great with kids. Pit breeds are also very energetic, as are Labradors. So, a mix between the two will need plenty of exercise.


It’s important that a black Lab and Pitbull mix is socialized well as a puppy. Particularly to other people and animals. Puppies who are properly socialized are less likely to act aggressively or fearfully as adult dogs. Before puppies are 12 weeks old they should be introduced to as many new experiences, things, and people as possible.

If you have young children at home or other pets, make sure to socialize your puppy well with children and other animals. Particularly other dogs. Many pitbull breeds were bred to be aggressive to other dogs and animals when they were first used as fighting animals. A well socialized black Lab Pitbull mix will be friendly, confident, and outgoing in all situations.

Black Lab Pitbull Mix General Appearance

Just like temperament, appearance can vary between individual black Lab Pitbull mix puppies. We’ve already seen that color can be unpredictable. But, the same is true of the rest of their appearance! Some puppies will be more like their Lab parent. Whilst others are more like the pitbull breed used.

Labradors are medium sized dogs that have well proportioned bodies and faces. There are some slight differences between the American and English Lab, but you can read about these more in this guide. The appearance traits from the pitbull parent will depend entirely on the type of pitbull breed you use.

Some Examples

For instance, a Miniature Bull Terrier is the smallest pitbull breed. This breed, and the standard Bull Terrier have an egg shaped head. But, the American Pitbull Terrier has a popular wedge shaped head. The American Pitbull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier look very similar to one another. To find out more about the differences between the most common pitbull breeds, take a look at this guide.

Black Lab Pitbull Mix Health

Luckily, the black coat color itself doesn’t link to any specific health problems. But, a black Lab and Pitbull puppy is still prone to the health issues affecting its parent breeds. Let’s take a brief look at the health issues that affect the parent breeds.

Labrador Health Issues

Labs are generally quite healthy. But, here are some problems that owners should watch out for.

Pitbull Breeds Health Issues

As we already know, there are 5 different pitbull breeds that you can use to create a black Lab pitbull mix. Their health issues vary slightly. So, you should take a closer look at the specific breed being used for more information. But here are some common health issues to pitbull breeds.

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart disease

Healthiest Puppies

Many of these health problems can be tested for in the parent breeds. So, the best breeders will be able to show you clean health certificates. If a breeder hasn’t health tested the parent dogs, or refuses to show you the results, you should find another breeder. Choosing a responsible black Lab Pitbull mix breeder will ensure that you have the healthiest pup possible. It will increase your chances of avoiding these problems when your dog is older.

Finding a Black Lab Pitbull Mix

If you’re looking to get a black Pitbull mix puppy, you should search for a reputable breeder. Don’t buy puppies from puppy farms or pet stores. These dogs are often poorly treated and less healthy.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

You may want to decide what pitbull breed you are hoping for before starting your search, to help narrow things down. Or, you could choose to bring home a rescue dog. You may find a black Lab Pitbull mix in general dog rescues, or in breed specific rescues for the parent breeds. Rescue dogs usually have basic training, so can be a better option for some people. Staff will be able to inform you about a dog’s temperament and any known aggression or health issues, too.

Mixed breed dogs are getting more popular, so it is slowly becoming easier to find the mix you are looking for – both in rescue centers and through specific breeders. Just make sure the people you are getting your dog from have the puppy’s best interests at heart. Some poor breeders jump on trends to make a profit, and these people rarely care about the health of the dog. Choosing a healthy puppy is always the priority.

Black Lab Pitbull Mix Summary

Do you have a black Labrador and Pitbull mix at home? We would love to hear what traits they’ve inherited from their parents! Where did you find your pup? Let us know the best things about this mix in the comments.

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References and Resources

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website


  1. I have a 4 month old Lab/Pit mix, her name is Lola. Lola came from Bully4You Rescue, with half a back left foot. Lola gets around great, sometimes on 3 legs, she sometimes limps & sometimes run like a bat out of hell on all four legs. She is a sweet, energetic, affectionate, just a delightful love. She plays wildly with my 7 yr old Staffy, also a rescue, and is sweet & gentle with my 12 yr old poodle, also a rescue. I love being her forever Mom💗🐾

  2. I had a pitbull/labradoodle mix. Name was Baxter (Bax). He looked JUST like the pic. He was absolutely the sweetest, kindest dog I have ever had, and I have had many! He did suffer from some serious separation anxiety which ultimately required medication, but he did very well once he was on it. He was very kind, loyal, protective and playful. Was wonderful with all other animals and children. Also very obedient! He, unfortunately, passed away at the age of almost 7 due to a congenitally bad liver. He’s missed every day.

  3. My MO is going to be 2 years on 12/19 and I have the biggest crush on my baby! We have had him since he was about 8-9 weeks old , so you can imagine our bond with him. I am definitely his mama and he protects like his mama. He is so loving to me and my immediate family and the humans he met when he was a puppy. Although , he is loving to us , he is very protective around strangers, I don’t blame him. He is so smart, still has a lot of energy but, it has calm down as he has gotten older. I have noticed that he tends to talk to me more as he has gotten older too and follow direction well. Whenever I talk to him his head tilts from side to side acknowledging or trying to understand what it is that I am saying to him. Overall, his health has been good except for Kennel cough 2x’s . He can get overweight if we do not give him enough exercise but loses it right away after a week of long walks everyday, helping me keep fit too. I love my dog, he is the best gift ever!!

  4. My dog is being accused of biting a neighbor he is pitbull and black lab mix he has never shown any signs of aggression any comments would be appreciated

  5. We recently adopted a 1 year old lab mix (pit bull and/or pointer?) who was surrendered bc she was killing chickens and chasing cars. She is black with a tiny white patch on her upper chest. Her face has brown undertones. She is the sweetest, most loving and smartest dog, even with our 6 year old. She comes when called and she’s a bit tentative around new dogs and strangers, but she is never aggressive. She is very, very strong and is learning how to walk on a leash – a harness helps when walking. When she sees a squirrel or bunny she stands very still, watching and waiting – we’ve noticed her doing the pointer raised paw, which is why we believe she may be a bit pointer. She’s relatively mellow and likes her 1-2 daily walks. She thinks she’s a lap dog and wants to be with us. No slobber, a bit of a shedder. Beautiful!

  6. I have a black lab pit mix. Looks exactly like the picture of this piece. We adopted him from a shady situation because he wasn’t being cared for properly by a friend of my young son at the time. He was approximately 10 weeks old and instantly came down with Parvo. Thank God, the particular vet we took him to was a Parvo specialist and he survived. I brought him home after two weeks and by feeding him human baby food and rice to bind the diarrhea, he flourished and doubled his emancipated weight in two weeks. He became very healthy and hyper and demanded a lot of attention. Not being an experienced dog owner, he wasn’t trained from various things like jumping our walls and being a runner. We literally had to install 8’ ft fencing to keep him in. As a puppy he was very social with other dogs, but as he grew older he became more aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs. He’s big and strong with huge paws. As a puppy you could definitely tell he was a pit mixed but as he got older he primarily looks more like a lab with pit paws. He’s black with white chest and white paws. He’s never been aggressive to any human. He loves people but has definitely mellowed in his old age which is now 11 yrs old. He’s never had any other health issues since the Parvo, but recently has obtained some skin issues along with my other dog, female, pit rot mix. She is young and as a puppy my pit lab has always endured her extreme playfulness like an older brother would. My only issue with our beautiful Brody has been that he still to this day tries to escape the front door so he can run wild and free. We take them both on long hikes and run him out but he’s just this wanderlust type of dog. It makes me insane because he doesn’t come to me easily. Plays hard to get, literally!! He’s almost 12 yrs old and I don’t see him slowing down any time soon. My last mutt (don’t even know what his mix was) lived until he was almost 17. I feed them well.

  7. I adopted an approximately1 year old dog from the local pound. She was listed as a Lab Mix. She looks like a small Border Collie. She is very loving to me. But, now that she apparently recognizes this area as her territory and my senior apt., she is now aggressive. I got her to train her as a service dog for me as well as a loving companion. I cannot have an aggressive dog in a Senior Apartment Complex. I also cannot use an aggressive dog as a service dog. And, I do not have the skills to train an aggressive dog. What do I do? I live in North Carolina.

  8. Mine looks like a Lab for the most part. Ears definitely pit, and head wider, nose shorter but mostly looks lab. Has stouter build and shorter legs. Is way more laid back than our other Lab and super easy to train and high intelligence. Shyer around strangers than the Lab, but with a little time warms up. Way more mellow than my Lab. Overall health has been amazing.

  9. I have a black lab/Pitbull mix she was born on 4/29/2020, her mother is my black lab and her father is my red nose pit bull, Bella is the sweetest puppy i have ever had, a little hard to house break but other then that she is a lot of fun,