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Comprehensive Pit bull History- Looking Back

Pit Bull history of service during World War 1

If you have been wondering about the pit bull history, this article will give you an idea how they came to be. “Pit bull” is actually a term used for describing dogs having somewhat the same physical characteristics.(image source)

There is, in fact, some confusion with the use of the term since it does not pertain to only one breed. It may refer to just two breeds or five at the most and even mixes of such breed.

Pit bulls breed may include the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier or a mix of these.When mixed with “bully breeds,” such dogs are also called pit bulls.

However, the two breeds that are the most accurate and most narrow fit for the definition of “pit bull” are the AmStaff or the American Staffordshire Terrier and the APBT or the American Pit Bull Terrier. A mixed breed may be referred to as a “pit bull” for its square-shaped head.

It is actually hard even for the experts to identify a “pit bull” and because of this many cannot easily distinguish a pit bull.

In the pit bull history, more often than not, multiple breeds such as the Olde English Bulldogge, the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, the Dogue de Bordeaux, the Bullmastiff,  the Tosa Inu, the Dogo Argentino, the Cane Corso, the Presa Canario and the Boxer are mistakenly identified with pit bulls.

Taking into consideration their history, they were brought into the United States and in the years 1986 to 1987 there were almost 1 to 2 million of them present in the country, comprising about 2 percent of the number of dogs found in the country. In 2004, their number increased to a minimum of 2 million in the United States.

Early days

Looking further into the pit bull history, their ancestors came from England and were believed to have been brought by the English immigrants to North America.

The descendants were believed to have been bred from the Bulldogs to serve as “gripping dogs” for large game hunters (The bulldog here, however, is not identified with the English Bulldog of the American Kennel Club.

The recent breed is considered as a companion instead of a working dog.).  Later, these Bulldogs were considered as a butcher’s dog and were raised to help in controlling large livestock.

Eventually, they were bred for “baiting,” which was an inhumane type of blood sport that was later banned. This was where dog fighting originated.

By taking into account the pit bull history, it is no wonder that they are all athletic and strong. Today, some pit bulls are still considered as hunting dogs. They excel in Schutzhund and weight-pulling contests and enjoy certain activities and competitions such as the fly ball.

History of Dog Fighting

People often claim that we have pit bulls because of dog fighting, and that pit bulls will not be the same without dogfighting. Many will say they would never, ever, want their *own* dog to get hurt, but they can see the historical point of dog fighting.

Can we really trust humanity and its history to make this decision for us? Perhaps if people knew some of the social histories of the era in which dog fighting was borne, they would understand it as a symptom of a social group of cruel and heartless men.

At the time dog fighting was legal in England, it was also legal to beat your wife and children, to hunt and kill any beast for the sake of sport, and also legal to import the decapitated heads of Pacific Islander peoples (Pacific Island natives slaughtered solely for their heads, not as a result of disease or war) for decoration.

In an era when all game and humans from distant lands can be slaughtered to decorate some noble Englishman’s country home, it’s hardly surprising that dog fighting would be legal.

However, even back then it was not considered a “gentleman’s sport” but rather the blood sport of the wharfies and uneducated farmers of the British Isles. It was a substitute for the fox hunting and big game hunting the rich could afford to do.

If a society has not tendered itself to the cruelty of blood sports and the rich participate in them, of course, those in a lower socio-economic group are going to imitate as best they can and that’s what they did with dogfighting.

It was also tolerated because it provided some financial income for those who had a low income or no other way to provide for themselves or their family.

Two years after importing human heads became illegal, dog fighting became illegal in England, and these changes in British law came about as a result of the first Reform Act of 1832, which William IV at first opposed.

Later, towards the end of his reign, he changed his stance and adopted several liberal laws which included banning importing human heads and dogfighting.

It was seen at the time as the reformation of a once well-traveled and worldly man and a pious outcry from that man repenting for a hard-lived life and the bloodshed in England. When Victoria, his niece, came to the throne in 1838, these laws were further enforced and have remained to this day.

Pit Bull History Video

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