The Golden Retriever Pitbull mix is a newly created designer hybrid developed by crossbreeding two quite popular and powerful dogs, the Golden Retriever and Pitbull Terrier.
These are family-oriented dogs who are very friendly, playful, and protective in nature.
If you are thinking of adopting a Golden Retriever Pitbull mix, then read through the article to know everything about the breed, its origin and history, and what kind and amount of investment you need to do for its maintenance.
Golden Retriever Pitbull Mix:
Quick breed summary on Golden Retriever Pitbull Mix
|Height||17 to 24 inches|
|Weight||30 to 75 pounds|
|Lifespan||10 to15 years|
|Colors||Black, white, golden and brown|
|Breed type||Mixed breed|
|AKC Breed Popularity||Not recognized by AKC|
|Temperament||Athletic, friendly, social, loyal|
|Daily Food Consumption||1600 calories per day|
|Common Health Issues||Bloat, hip dysplasia, heart disease, tumors|
About Golden Retriever Pitbull Mix:
Golden Retriever Pitbull mixes are descendants of two highly energetic and athletic dogs.
Though because of Pitbull genes, they do have to carry a negative reputation. But, once you start knowing them and have them in your family, give them all your love, you will realize how this dog becomes your source of joy.
Being a mixed breed, you can not predict exactly what your dog will look like and how it will behave as an adult. But you can definitely make him grow into an obedient and disciplined dog by proper training.
These are large dogs for whom you need to take out at least an hour every day for some kind of physical activity. This will not only help them have a healthy body, but will also channelize their energy in a good direction and prevent them from indulging in destructive habits.
These dogs can be excellent watchdogs because of having a protective nature. They can protect you and your family from intruders and any other kind of danger. But you need to train your dog against excess barking without which you might have complaints of excessive barking of your dog at nights.
Facts about Golden Retriever Pitbull Mix:
This breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or any other organization.
The Golden Retriever was developed from water spaniels to be used for retrieving waterfowl.
There is no particular name of this breed. They are sometimes called Retriever Pits but this name has not been documented anywhere.
Being a lesser-known breed, without any recognition in any organization, it might be difficult to find one. If you do find one, then you might have to pay around $2500 for a pup or even more than that.
Appearance of Golden Retriever Pitbull Mix:
Looks of a Golden Retriever Pitbull mix, just like any other mixed breed dog, can be like any one of the parent breed or even a combination of their looks.
Its parents, the Golden Retriever and Pitbull have very different features.
Pitbulls have a muscular build and can grow up to a height of 21 inches. Being a mixed breed of Bulldogs and Terriers, Pitbulls have a wide range of coat colours. Their coat colours can be white, black, brown, brindle, etc and can have bi-colour or even tri-colour coats.
Golden retrievers are comparatively larger in size and have a height of 24 inches, weighing up to 75 pounds. They generally have thick, bushy coats with long wavy hair. Their coats occur in the shades of golden colour.
So, these dogs can result in inheriting any kind of looks from their parents making it difficult to predict. They may have a short muzzle like that of a Pitbull or a long muzzle like the Golden Retriever, a short whip-like tailor a long bushy tail, a short stocky build, or a wide muscular body hidden inside their bushy coat.
Proper selective breeding can make their appearance somewhat predictable.
Golden Retriever and Pitbull mixes are large dogs that can grow up to a size of 18 to 24 inches in males and 17 to 22 inches in females. Their weight can be anywhere between 30 to 75 pounds.
Golden Retriever and Pitbull mixes can be found in a wide variety of coat colours. While one can have a fine golden colour inherited from its the Golden Retriever genes or it can even have the colour varieties inherited from the Pitbull genes, like white, black, brown, brindle, etc.
They can have a solid colour coat, a bi-colour, or even a tri-colour coat.
About the coat type, these dogs can have any type of coat. It might have a single or a double coat, short or long hair, long and straight hair, or hair with soft curls. The actual length of the coat can actually be known only when the dog grows to be an adult.
History and Origins of the Golden Retriever Pitbull Mix
To know about something or someone properly, it is best to start from the past.
About Golden Retriever and Pitbull mixes, there is not much information about the history, the time, or reason for the emergence of the dog.
What can be known is the history and origins of the parent breeds.
Origin of Golden Retrievers dates back to the 19th century Scotland. An old legend said that these dogs were the descendants of Russian sheepdogs but actually, the breed emerged near Glen Affric, Scotland at the highland estate of Sir Dudley Majoribanks, also known as Lord Tweedmouth, a Scottish businessman.
Like other elite of his time, Tweedmouth too was breeding various animals to perfect their breeds.
The Scottish elite was involved in wildfowl hunting, for which, retrieving the downed game from both water and land was necessary. The existing retrievers used then, such as the setters and spaniels, lacked enough skills for retrieving.
For this purpose, Tweedmouth was aiming for a dog that is attentive to humans, can retrieve from both land and water, and has an even- temper at home.
The original cross that led to the emergence of the breed was between a yellow-coloured retriever “Nous” and a Tweed Water Spaniel (now extinct) “Belle”. Tweedmouth bred their descendants with various retrievers, sticking only to the yellow puppies in his breeding program.
His dog’s caught attention for the first time in the hunting field; one of the famous dogs being Don of Gerwyn that won the International Gundog League Triela in 1904.
The breed was recognized by the Kennel Club in England in 1911 when it was called “Retriever Yellow or golden”. Later in 1920, the name was changed to “Golden Retriever”, officially.
Pitbull is not a single breed, rather there are 2 major breeds that fall under this category- the American Pitbull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
In the 1800s, the United Kingdom people were interested in bloodsports like bull-baiting as a source of entertainment, in which Bulldogs were made to fight with Bulls. This continued till the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1835 got passed which banned baiting of animals like bulls and bears.
This led people to come up with a similar sport without involving bulls. They started another sport called “ratting” wherein the dogs competed to kill the maximum number of rats in the minimum amount of time.
With the increase in popularity of the sport, there increased the need for more skilled dogs who could have tougher competition. For this requirement, Bulldogs were bred with Terriers to produce dogs that would have the gaming skills of a Bulldog and inherit agility from Terriers.
Thus emerged, the Pitbull Terriers.
When the dogs went to America with their masters, it was then that their ability in hunting and guardian was recognized and people started using them for various kinds of jobs such as guarding livestock, protecting the families, etc.
As time passed, Pitbulls started being known as family dogs.
Is this dog good with children?
Golden Retrievers have been known as great family pets and so are the Pitbulls. So, their offspring are meant to be great family pets and also good with children. Pitbull mixes are, at times, misunderstood because of the history of Pitbulls as fighting dogs. Yet, if given proper training, they can be wonderful with kids, taking care of them, playing with them, and also protecting them.
Just proper training and socializing from a young age and some supervision will be enough to prove these dogs to be great with children.
Care of Golden Retriever Pitbull Mix:
Knowing the daily requirements of the dog is equally important as knowing about its origin and temperament. When you know what a certain breed needs for its care, it helps you in making a better decision about whether to bring the dog home or not.
The dietary needs depend upon various factors, two major factors being its age and weight.
Golden Retriever Pitbull mixes are energetic and active dogs who need plenty of nutritious food to keep their brains sharp and body in good health.
An adult healthy dog of this breed would need about 1600 calories daily. According to that, you can feed a Golden Retriever Pitbull mix dog with 4 cups of kibble daily.
These dogs do good with raw food. So, it would be a good option to replace a cup of kibble with raw meat.
For a muscular breed like Golden Retriever Pitbull mix, protein is one of the most important nutrients required, followed by healthy fats. Though good quality foods contain enough nutrients required for their growth, you can also feed them vegetables and fresh fruits to meet their nutritional needs.
The best way to feed your dog is to divide his daily food portion into 2-3 meals and saving some as treats that they can be given throughout the day while training or playing or when your pooch accomplishes a certain task.
These dogs, as mentioned earlier, are very energetic and active. So, to keep their energy channelized, they need a lot of physical activity and exercise, in the absence of which, they might get frustrated and can drain their energy in unexpected and destructive ways, such as excessive chewing or unnecessary barking.
These dogs need at least 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity every day. To keep them engaged and keep them from being bored, you can divide their daily exercise time into 2-3 half-an-hour sessions of walking and playing.
You can take them for morning or evening walks and play various dog games with them that involves a lot of jumping and running.
As they are the descendants of Retrievers, these dogs are wonderful in playing with Frisbee and playing fetching games. You can hide their favorite toys and play a game of Hide and Fetch.
They are excellent exercise and hike partners. So if you are willing to change yourself from being a couch potato to shifting into an active lifestyle or if you already are an active person, then Golden Retriever Pitbull mix can be the right choice for you.
The most important rule to follow while training a dog is that you should never involve in punishing your dog. Positive reinforcement is the best route to train your dog efficiently. Punishments will only lead your dog to become aggressive, which can hamper your dog’s training.
There are various aspects in which you need to train your dog. You need to train him to understand and respond to your commands, give him crate training, etc.
It would be best to start training him from a young age.
Training these dogs can be somewhat easy as they are quite intelligent and fast learners. So, if you have previous experience with dogs, then training Golden Retriever Pitbull mix would not be a difficult task but if you are a newbie, then it can be somewhat difficult in the beginning.
Do not stretch their training sessions for long, rather try to teach them little things throughout the day. This would help them be engaged all day long and you will be able to get their full attention.
The grooming needs of this dog will entirely depend upon the type of coat it has. Those with long hair or double coats require more attention and grooming than those having short hair or a single coat.
Dogs having short coats can do well with once or twice a week brushing of coat. Those having long coats will require daily brushing and special combs and brushes for the purpose.
They will also have more shedding, compared to the short-coated ones.
Brushing their coats is very important as it helps in distributing their body oils all over their skin, keeps their hair free of tangles, and also helps them in getting rid of fleas and ticks.
Bathing can be done only when required. You need to invest in good quality shampoo regardless of the length of the coat. Bad quality shampoo and excessive bathing can wash out their natural body oils
Remember to trim their nails timely. Untrimmed nails are not only favourite spots for germs and dirt but also can be dangerous for you and your children as your dog can accidentally scratch while being playful.
Common health issues:
Being a mixed breed dog, Golden Retriever pitbull mix is supposed to have better genes, and hence, healthy life. Yet, there are chances that a dog suffers from any unavoidable genetic problem, which you cannot do much to avoid. All you can do is take care of your dog’s nutrition, exercise, and grooming requirements to keep him away from diseases.
A healthy Golden Retriever Pitbull mix can live 10 to 15 years.
These dogs are susceptible to problems like bloating, heart disease, hip dysplasia, tumours, etc.
These dogs, just like other large dogs, are prone to joint problems like Hip Dysplasia. Some of the symptoms include the inability to jump, run, or even walk properly, and reduced physical activity.
This can be prevented by giving them enough exercise every day and fulfilling their daily nutrition requirements.
Another common health problem is that of bloating which has symptoms of hard swollen belly, restlessness, and signs of pain. It is very important to prevent your dog from being bloated or else it can even be fatal for your dog if not treated in time.
If you have an active family or are willing to change your lifestyle to being active, then bringing a Golden Retriever Pitbull mix would be a great choice. They are bound to fill your life with energy and joy.
If socialized from an early age, they can do great with other dogs or pets, if you have any. They are a sweet-natured dog who will never leave your side and will be an integral part of your family and life in no time.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.