Many new dog owners are often unsure what to expect when adopting a dog of a mixed heritage, especially when part of the dog’s lineage is that of a Pit Bull. Fear not, Pit Bulls rank among the most loyal, affectionate, human-oriented, intelligent, and well tempered dogs on the planet. A good rule of thumb for all owners is to treat your Pit Bull mix as if it were a “purebred”, always remembering that in the eyes of the public and media a Pit Bull mix is practically the same thing as a purebred Pit Bull. Any problems your Pitty mix causes will be attributed to the Pit Bull breed as a whole.
A majority of Pit Bull mixes will tend to exhibit decidedly “Pit Bull-like” behavioral tendencies like dog-aggression, although the intensity of the aggression may not be as high as in purebred Pit Bulls. Genetically speaking, 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% Akita, technically it should exhibit an equal tendency towards Pit Bull-type behavior and Akita-type behavior. The dog’s temperament would be equally Pit Bull and Akita. 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.
Pit Bulls, in a nutshell, are a breed that is overly friendly with people, never prone to human-aggression or guarding, and known for 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.
Pit Bull mixes should be held to the same behavioral and temperamental standards as purebred Pit Bulls, and as such, 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, and should be identified as such.