Since our ancestors domesticated wolves over 15 000 years ago, humans and dogs have formed an inseparable bond. We use dogs for many tasks; some breeds show a penchant for particular working environments. But what happens when we mix breeds from different “working groups?” Often it works well, and other times, it works less well. But what about a pit bull bloodhound mix?
A pit bull bloodhound mix is a relatively new cross/hybrid of dog breeds. Originating in the US, this mix breed is slowly gaining popularity as it produces dogs with good temperaments that are loyal, intelligent, and versatile. They make excellent family and working dogs with few health issues.
Mixing dog breeds has significant advantages but also notable disadvantages. When crossing a pit bull and bloodhound, the puppies retain various traits from both parents. Below we’ll examine some of these traits, what the parents may contribute, care requirements, and the pros and cons of a pit bull bloodhound mix.
An Overview Of Pit Bull Bloodhound Mixes
Dogs are incredible creatures and well deserving of their prodigious title as “man’s best friend.” There are roughly 360 recognized dog breeds worldwide, with around 190 in the US.
The fascinating part about dogs is that with all the diversity in appearance (size, shape, fur type, and color), dogs are all one species, “Canis familiaris,” and are genetically almost identical. The reason for the varying appearances is thanks to humans selectively breeding certain desirable traits.
Some prompt aesthetics, while others influence the dog’s ability to perform a certain task. Governing bodies worldwide for breeders place breeds into certain categories depending on their function.
- Working dogs
There is a slight degree of confusion regarding the Pit bull. The term ”pit bull” refers to the official American pit bull terrier breed. However, it also acts as a collective name for the American bully, American bulldog, American Staffordshire terrier, and Staffordshire bull terrier.
While the American Kennel Club does not recognize the American pit bull breed, it’s recognized by United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeders Association and belongs to the terrier group.
Bloodhounds belong to the hound category.
Where A Pit Bull Bloodhound Mix Fits Into the Picture
Regarding mixing pit bulls and bloodhounds, any of the five “pit bull-type” dogs produce the same/similar outcomes (i.e., it does not need to be an American pit bull terrier and a bloodhound).
Breeders and associations refer to the hybrid offspring as “designer dogs.” It is important that the parents are purebred of their relative breeds to produce a designer dog and not a “mixed breed” (you may know them as a pavement special/mongrel).
The significant difference between a designer dog and a mixed breed is that designer dogs are purposely bred to combine the parents’ traits. In contrast, a mixed breed is a “chaotic” breeding that mixes various wanted and unwanted traits.
Pit Bull Bloodhound Breed Physical Traits
The bloodhound and pit bull are distinct dog breeds in appearance, temperament, and purpose.
Due to the distinct differences between the parents, it is almost impossible to predict what the puppies may look like. Depending on which parent the puppy receives certain traits from will determine its eventual appearance.
When breeders mix these dogs, they mash up various characteristics, and no two litters will always turn out the same way (often, puppies in the same litter might deviate from one another).
However, some common physical characteristics that the offspring inherit include:
- Size: 18 to 24 inches
- Weight: 45 to 95 pounds
- Colors: Various colors, including black, brindle, brown, champagne, fawn, red,
tan, white, and mixtures, including black and tan and liver and tan.
- Life Expectancy: 11 to 15 years
When breeders cross/mix a pit bull and bloodhound, the result is usually a medium to large dog. Although they are around the height of a medium-sized dog, they are in the large dog weight class.
Pit bull bloodhound hybrids usually have a short coat, and, depending on whether more pit bull or bloodhound traits come through, the offspring might have loose skin around their heads and necks or even in other regions of their bodies (if more bloodhound). Or firm skin with a soft coat if more Pit bull.
Hybrids have slightly longer faces than pit bulls, while shorter and less prominent joules than a bloodhound.
The ears are at the median of a pit bull and bloodhound regarding their length and shape (they have significantly more “droop” than a pit bull, but less than a bloodhound). Ears often look more like a pit bull’s or bloodhound‘s than the other.
Pit Bull Bloodhound Breed Behavioral Traits
Much like how physical appearance is unpredictable in pit bull bloodhound crosses, their behavior traits are also subject to a random combination of their parents.
- Activity levels: High energy. These dogs need frequent exercise; otherwise, they may develop undesirable habits.
- Aggression: Although they are not always aggressive, socialization is critical to prevent issues later with other dogs and people. Pit bull bloodhound mixes are often affectionate, playful, and friendly. However, in some cases, they may develop aggressive behavior.
- Trainability: These dogs are highly trainable and need stimulation and engagement to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive.
- Skill level required to manage this breed: Moderate. These dogs are not suitable for beginner/new dog owners. These dogs need significant attention from their owners. Failure to provide this attention could lead to problematic behavior and aggression.
What They Inherit From Each Parent
If you’re considering a litter of pit bull bloodhound puppies and wonder what they might look like or their temperament, the best way to find a “ballpark” estimation is to evaluate the parents.
Although dogs are individuals with differing personalities and occasionally physical appearances, the breeds are usually renowned for certain behaviors and characteristics. Understanding these troupes helps predict how the offspring might turn out.
A Brief Look At Pit Bulls
Pit bulls (not limited to American pit bull terriers) differ in features and characteristics. However, these breeds share some similar physical characteristics, including:
- Muscular and stocky, these dogs are strong for their size.
- A deep chest.
- Large, square heads.
- Medium to large size ranging from 13 to 28 inches, weighing between 24 and 120 pounds.
- Most of these dogs have short, smooth coats.
- They have a wide color range, including black, blue, brindle, brown, fawn, gray, liver, red, tan, white, and various patterns and spots of different colors.
Some shared behavior traits include:
- Strong-willed (stubborn).
- Attention seeking and want to play with their owners/other dogs.
- Some Pit bulls are prone to separation anxiety.
- They need training and adequate socialization.
- They are also athletic and require a positive outlet for their energy.
- While most are affectionate towards their owners and loyal, they have a high prey drive, and some (like the American pit bull terrier) may show aggression toward other dogs/people.
A Brief Look At Bloodhounds
While there is a significant amount of diversity on the pit bull side, the bloodhound is a well-defined and established breed. Their characteristics include the following:
- Size: 23 to 27 inches.
- Weight: 80 to 110 pounds.
- Coloration: black and tan, liver and tan, or red.
Bloodhounds are one of the most easily recognized dog breeds. They have droopy eyes, long, drooly joules, and copious amounts of skin on their head and neck. Their long snout and hanging ears are particularly diagnostic.
Bloodhounds are friendly, independent, intelligent, and curious dogs. Bloodhounds are relatively docile between periods of activity; however, they require sufficient exercise because they are working dogs.
They require socializing and at least basic obedience training (which might be challenging as they are independent thinkers).
Pit Bull Bloodhound Breed Popularity
Tracing the origins of the Pit bull bloodhound mix is nearly impossible as it was not documented.
Although the mix’s popularity is growing, these designer dogs are rare. A significant contributing factor is that there are relatively few bloodhounds (outside of service dogs) for breeding (in the Kennel Club of the UK, there were only 32 registered bloodhounds in 2020).
However, the hybrid continues to gain popularity, with owners lucky enough to find them, particularly in the US.
Is It An Officially Recognized Breed?
If you’re looking for a registered dog breed, unfortunately, the American Kennel Club does not recognize them as an official breed. In the short term, there appears to be no intention of registering this hybrid as an officially recognized breed.
When purchasing a pit bull bloodhound cross, avoid “backyard breeders,” as these dogs tend to have behavioral and health problems.
Rather try one of the many established pit bull or bloodhound breeders who might advertise on their websites when they have a mix.
Pit Bull Bloodhound Mix Husbandry And Training
While appearance and temperament are one consideration, understanding the cross breed’s feeding, grooming, and activity requirements are essential before you opt into this type of designer dog.
While this breed is relatively new and produces a wide array of traits in the offspring, we glean a great deal of information from the parents. Overall, these mixed offspring require a medium amount of “upkeep.”
Feeding A Pit Bull Bloodhound Mix
Fortunately, pit bull bloodhound mixes don’t have special dietary requirements. However, they are considered “high energy,” so their diet should reflect this.
Pit bull bloodhound mixes need a healthy balanced diet comprising of the following:
- Protein – all dogs need a protein-centric diet for healthy muscle, sinew, and other development. Proteins are the “building blocks” in the dog’s body for various processes. Growing dogs need roughly 18 to 22% protein, while adults need around 8 to 18%.
- Essential fats – like omega 3 and 6 fatty acids from (e.g.) fish and pork. These fats are essential for energy (almost twice as much as carbohydrates and proteins) and neural, cellular, and other body functions. Roughly 1 to 2% fat is ideal.
- Carbohydrates – carbs are a fundamental source of energy. They also help the dog to produce heat (metabolic processes) and are a source of fiber (critical for gut health). Growing and high-energy dogs need roughly 20% carbs in their diet.
- Minerals – are essential for bone, skin, blood, fur, and other development and maintenance. Prominent minerals include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and chloride.
- Vitamins – are involved in most processes and are essential for healthy development and functioning. Vitamins are either fat or water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. Water-soluble vitamins are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7 (H), B9, B12, and Choline.
- Water – without water, there can be no life. All dogs require unlimited access to clean water. Water allows dogs’ bodies to process the nutrients from food, regulates temperature, keeps joints lubricated, helps with eyesight, and supports the nervous system.
Nutrition Changes During The Dogs Life
During the dog’s life, its nutritional requirements change, and its food needs to reflect this change. Certain events and process influence their nutritional requirements, including:
- Growth rate (puppies have a high rate while adults don’t).
- Age (aside from growing, the digestive system processes nutrients differently in older dogs).
- Breed (some breeds have a higher metabolism and require specific nutrients).
- Reproductive status (are they intact or sterilized).
- Activity levels (active dogs require more energy to sustain them).
- Behavioral and medical conditions (dogs with sensitive stomachs or other allergies require specialized food).
It’s best practice to consult a vet to help optimize your dog’s diet, particularly if you have uncertainties.
Grooming A Pit Bull Bloodhound Mix
Fortunately, neither a pit bull nor a bloodhound requires laborious amounts of grooming, so it’s safe to assume that their offspring will also fall into the “medium” input level of grooming.
A weekly brush down and the occasional bath should keep your dog’s coat healthy (once a month if their skin is more “pit bullesque,” while every two weeks if they have a bloodhound’s loose skin).
Pit bulls and bloodhounds are shedders, with an increase during the Spring, so stay on top of grooming to save yourself a headache.
Tick and flea prevention, nail clipping, deworming, and cleaning your dog’s teeth are important consistent habits to practice.
Pit Bull -Bloodhound Mix: Exercising, Socializing, And Training
Exercising, socializing, and training your hybrid is almost more important than grooming. These intelligent, high-energy dogs require daily runs.
Although quick learners, these dogs are strong-willed and may resist. It is essential that they are well socialized (introduced to new dogs, people, and other animals) from an early age in many different environments.
This socializing prevents aggression from developing later on.
If your dog is not going to work toward a specific purpose, basic obedience, behavioral, and house training is essential. This hybrid is a strong dog, and it is not recommended that they learn to “boss” you around.
They respond well to positive reinforcement but require a firm trainer.
The Benefits And Drawbacks Of A Pit Bull Bloodhound Mix
The Advantages Of A Pit Bull Bloodhound Mix
- You potentially “fix” temperament issues. The docile and calm nature of the bloodhound balances out the aggression in some pit bulls.
- They make great guard dogs.
- They are intelligent and quick learners.
- When properly socialized, these dogs make great family dogs (even with small children and other pets).
Concerns And Issues With A Pit Bull Bloodhound
- Not a recognized breed and, therefore, no “Breed standard.” This lack of a breed standard allows backyard breeders to produce dogs that may not be the best stock, reducing the likelihood of the breed establishing.
- Thanks to the bloodhound, they could be very “drooly.”
- They are high-energy dogs that need lots of attention. They could become problematic if you’re not physically active/don’t exercise and train them. They may also suffer from separation anxiety.
- They might have a high prey drive and tend to play rough. If you have small children/other dogs, you should supervise play.
- They may show aggression to other dogs or people even if you socialize them from puppies (a necessity).
- They are noisy from both sides of the gene pool.
Diseases And Health Concerns
When breeding designer dogs, most breeders/enthusiasts try to remedy an issue in either one or both parents. However, crossing breeds often opens the offspring to diseases and genetic conditions which afflict both parents.
Some of these afflictions include:
- Canine hip dysplasia
- Congenital heart defects
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Elbow dysplasia
- Gastric torsion
- Kneecap dislocation
- Otitis externa
- Skin allergies
- Skin-fold dermatitis
- Thyroid defects
A Pit bull bloodhound cross might be the dog for you if you’re an experienced dog owner looking for an interesting and relatively rare designer dog breed. Ensure that you get your hybrid through a reputable breeder, get them onto a suitable feeding plan (ideally with a vet’s consultation), and socialize and train them from an early age.