Pit Bull Mix

Shadow, owned by Michael Marenghi is an example of a typical Pit Bull mix.

High percentage (50% or more) Pit Bull mixes tend to exhibit decidedly "Pit Bull-like" behavioral tendencies. They can exhibit dog-aggression, although the intensity of the aggression may not be as high as in purebred Pit Bulls. A good rule of thumb is to treat your high-percentage Pit Bull mix as if it were a purebred. And let's not forget that to the public and news media, a Pit Bull mix is practically the same thing as a purebred Pit Bull. Any problems your mix causes will be attributed to the Pit Bull breed as a whole.

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Genetically, a dog is made up of 50% of its father's genes and 50% of its mother's. That means that if your dog is 50% Pit Bull and 50% German Shepherd, technically it should exhibit an equal tendency towards Pit Bull-type behavior and German Shepherd-type behavior. The dog's temperament would be equally Pit Bull and Shepherd. Studying the breed(s) your dog is mixed with will give you a better understanding of your dog and therefore enable you to care for it properly.

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Pit Bulls in a nutshell are a breed that is overly friendly with people, never prone to human-aggression or guarding-type behavior, and prone to inter-dog aggression. Sometimes, when the breed is crossed with breeds that were bred for protection or guarding, or breeds prone to wariness of humans, problems can arise due to merging of temperamental opposites. A Pit Bull mixed with mastiff breeds, German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, and similar breeds can be a dog that poses a real problem. Such a dog could exhibit the Pit Bull's tenacity, strength, and smarts while also inheriting the human-wariness and guarding instincts of the other breed(s).

This can be a dangerous combo, and such dogs may very well be best off with only the most experienced of owners. The PBOA Pit Bull Rescuers Code of Ethics states, " Extra caution and care should be taken [with] those dogs that are mixed with guard dog breeds including but not limited to Neapolitan Mastiffs, Dogue de Bourdeaux, Fila Brasileiro, Presa Canario, Cane Corso, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and others. Since the temperament of the Pit Bull is very different than the temperament of breeds in the guardian category, such mixes can create unique handling and placement challenges, and should be considered candidates for experienced homes only."

Pit Bull mixes should be held to the same behavioral/temperamental standards as purebred Pit Bulls--human aggression should not be tolerated. Your Pit Bull mix should always be represented to the public as a MIXED BREED, not as a Pit Bull. It is unfair to the Pit Bull breed as a whole to label dogs of mixed heritage as "Pit Bulls". Only purebred American Pit Bull Terriers can rightly be called "Pit Bulls". If your Pit Bull mix is crossed with a Lab, or a Beagle, or a Shepherd, or any other breed, it is just as much a Lab or Beagle or Shepherd mix as it is a Pit Bull mix.

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