Is The American Bandogge A Pitbull? 5 Bandog Facts

The history of the American Bandogge is fascinating. These dogs are believed to have origins as far back as 13th century England. The term Bandog comes from the Saxon word Banda which refers to a guard dog that is chained by day, and released to protect at night. These imposing looking dogs can often be referred to as Pitbulls, but are they?

Is the American Bandogge a Pitbull? As a whole the American Bandogge is not considered a Pitbull. Though the modern American Bandogge is believed to have been bred with Pitbulls and Mastiff dogs, there is no breed standard established to define the Bandog as a Pitbull. 

Though the American Bandogge does share similar physical characteristics as the American Pitbull Terrier, the two dogs are not the same breed. Bandogs have no concise breed standard and as a result have been mixed with a variety of Bully breed and Mastiff type dogs for decades, and even centuries.

In this post I will go over some of the most interesting facts we know about the American Bandogge. Their history, temperament, and general acceptance across the globe. Let’s dig in.

What Dog Breeds Make A Bandog?

The American Bandogge is not considered a purebred dog and over their history have been mixed with various breeds. The original roots of the Bandog consisted of half American Pitbull Terrier and half Neopolitan Mastiff. In some cases English Mastiffs are also used.

There is no general standard or “pure” blood line of the Bandog. Some breeders have been able to maintain homogenous lines of American Pitbull Terrier and Neopolitan Mastiff dogs without introducing other breeds into their lines. One thing that is consistent however is the use of the American Pitbull along with a large mastiff type dog.

Is The American Bandogge A Recognized Breed?

bandog puppy

The American Bandogge is not a recognized breed of dog among any of the kennel clubs today. Because the Bandog is not a purebred dog and has fairly loose standards when it comes to the breeds used to create these dogs, no kennel club has accepted them as a recognized breed.

Where Did Bandogs Come From? Who Created The Bandog?

The origins of the Bandog can be traced back to the 1200’s England. This is where the roots of the Bandog are believed to have begun. Different variations of bulldog type dogs were bred with other larger molosser type mastiff dogs to create fierce hunting, guarding, and protection dogs.

The working dogs were chained up during the day and only released at night to perform their jobs as guards and protectors of estates. Bandog comes from the saxon word Banda which describes this chain dog lifestyle and purpose.

1960’s Bandogs

The Bandogs of today were largely a result of a veterinarian named John Swinford in the 1960’s. Swinford’s goal was to take the game-ness of the American Pitbull Terrier and mix it with the large guard dog nature of the English Mastiff in order to create the ultimate protection dog.

Swinford’s aim to create a standard for his ultimate protection dog was cut short because of his early and sudden death in 1972. His purebred line of Bandog was never able to come together as a result. Various debates as to the exact breeds used in the Swinford Bandog remain a discussion to this day, and no recognized breed standard has come as a result.

How Big Do Bandogs Get?

When comparing the American Bandogge to the Pitbull size is one thing that sets these dogs far apart. How big do Bandogs get? Male American Bandogges can weigh upwards of 100 – 140lbs (45-65kg) and stand as tall as 20-30 inches (50cm-75cm). Females are slightly leaner but stand at a similar height.

Compare this to the American Pitbull Terrier that weighs between 45lbs-60lbs and stands 18-21 inches for Males, and slightly smaller for females. The notable difference in size between the Pitbull and the Bandog stems from the crossbreeding with the large Mastiff type dogs.

The size of the American Bandogge can vary from dog to dog as this breed is not purebred. Various mixes of Mastiffs, American Pitbulls, American Bulldogs, and other large bully breed dogs all make up the Bandog. They are however known to be large, imposing dogs as whole.

Is The Bandog Illegal?

bandog licking lips

The Bandog is illegal in certain countries, states and provinces across the world. Notably Switzerland and Romania have made ownership of the Bandog illegal. Most places where  breed specific legislation is in place, the Bandog will fall into that ban on ownership.

Breed specific legislation various in it’s application and enforcement in various parts of the United States, Canada, and the UK for example. These government regulations are used to make the ownership of “Pitbull type” dogs illegal or heavily restricted. 

The similarities in looks between the Bandog and many Pitbulls is all that is needed to lump the Bandog into such regulations. Before owning or travelling with an American Bandogge it is important you know the local rules and regulations surrounding breed specific legislations.

Living Situations

Bandogs may also be prohibited in certain living situations regardless of local legislation. Homeowners associations, stratas, and some landlords may have policies regarding certain types of pets. Pitbull type dogs, or large breed dogs are often on list for restrictions.

I have learned first hand as the owner of a “Pitbull type” dog that renting or condo living can be much harder. Many places have rules in place that ban the ownership of these dogs and finding suitable living arrangements can be limiting and oftentimes frustrating. Be prepared to be turned down from certain living situations when owning a Bandog.

Final Thoughts

Though the American Bandogge comes from the cross breeding of the American Pitbull Terrier they are not regarded to be a Pitbull. Some may label them as “Pitbull type” dogs due to their looks and build, but they are distinct from Pitbulls as a breed.

The Bandog is a much larger, work focused breed of dog that is different in personality and temperament than the American Pitbull Terrier, as well as other Pitbull type dogs like Staffies, American Bullies and AmStaff dogs.

Though there is no standard at the moment for these dogs, the general appearance and purpose of the Bandog is fairly consistent across lines. They are a hybrid breed of their own, and will continue to evolve as this type of dog becomes more and more popular for their protection abilities, sheer size, and temperament.


King Komb DeShedding ToolOne of the best dog brushes on the market. I use the King Komb each and every week with my Pibbles. Easy to use and even easier to clean.

Wahl Dry Skin Oatmeal Shampoo – Smells great, cleans great, and best of all keeps my dog’s skin and coat looking and feeling amazing. Wahl Dry Skin Oatmeal Shampoo keeps my Pibbles skin moisturized like no other.

Earth Rated Dog Wipes – Dog wipes are an essential to keep on hand, and nothing beats Earth Rated. Hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and durable. I keep these dog wipes in the house and the car for everyday use.

Kong Extreme – Kongs are one of my most used tools to give my dogs some mental stimulation and something tough to chew. Kong Extremes are as tough as they come and will give your Pibble the entertainment they crave.

Outward Hound Food Puzzle – Outward Hound food puzzles are the best in the industry. Available from beginner to advanced. These are an excellent way to challenge and mentally stimulate your dog.

BeneBone Dog Chew – The toughest dog chew around. My dogs absolutely love the bacon flavor and peanut butter flavor BeneBone. These will keep your toughest chewers busy for weeks, if not months and years.

BarkBox Super Chewer – Variety is the spice of life, and BarkBox Super Chewer is the perfect way to keep your dog engaged. New treats, toys, and chews each and every month that your super chewer will love.

iCrate Dog Crate – The iCrate is my absolute top recommendation for dog crates. I use this for both my dogs and love the sturdy, easy to store, and versatile adjustable panel. You need the iCrate in your life.

HiKiss Long Training Lead – Recall training and puppy training outdoors requires a long training lead. My favorite to use is the HiKiss long training lead. Available in a range of lengths to suit your long lead training needs.

Recent Posts