What is a Game Pit Bull?
The most confused terms in relation to Pit Bulls is probably "gameness." Most people misconstrue the term as representing the dog's courage, fight ability, or endurance in the pit, but it is the never quit attitude and fight-to-the-death personality. ("Fight-to-the-death" does not necessarily mean in the pit, either.)
Game bred dogs were not necessarily the beest in the pit, but they were the ones with the most fight in them. Gameness makes a small dog able to take on a much alrger dog and ultimately win.
Gameness is the willingness to continue and persevere in any activity, whether fighting, hunting, herding, pulling a cart, or defending its owner, while being put through great stress and/or intense pain until he has won or until death.
Gameness has nothing to do with ability or bravery; it has to do with heart.
Game Bred Dogs
I'm not saying that game-bred dogs are for everyone because it's an all-around great trait... Because that's not what I'm saying at all. A person with little to no experience with the breed or any bully breed should not have a game-bred dog by any means what-so-ever.
Gameness is a very extreme trait... A trait that is the primary characteristic in bully breed dogs, especially that of the American Pit Bull Terrier; although, throughout the years, it has been deemphasized. Yes, other dog breeds can be very determined to complete their job or skill, but gameness is not necessary for them to survive retrieving the duck or pulling the sled. Gameness is the trait that is basically the determination to complete a task through pain and stress even if it means death.
Game-bred dogs do not submit. These dogs are dominant (not necessarily aggressive). Game-bred dogs never give up.
Joseph Colby and Pit Dog Gameness
According to Joseph Colby, the son of the man who started the Colby bloodline, speaks about gameness and the Pit Dog in "The American Pit Bull Terrier," a book he wrote in 1936.
Colby says in his book that Pit Dogs of the day are not as game as traditional dogs "because most of the present day dog-men who breed and fight dogs, do not give them a hard test to prove the gameness of the dog. Most of the present day dogs are bred too loosely and if a man does have a proven game dog or bitch, he doesn't retrain the blood for many generations, because he breeds out, therefore losing the gameness."
I took that statement as if in the 1930s, the American Pit Bull was losing his gameness, in today's world the general trait has dissipated in the average Pit Bull that you see walked in the park.
Colby references two game dogs.
- "One of the gamest dogs that ever crossed a pit, roamed the streets until he was three years old and until that time never had a fight. This dog fought in the hands of three different prominent dogmen and never lost a fight. He proved himself game and beat the best dogs in the country at that time."
- "Another example of a game dog is the one that the dog was old, weak and ready to die. His collar and chain were unattached so that he might die. As soon as the old dog knew he was loose he crawled over to a young promising pit prospect and it took twenty minutes to separate them."
Please remember that the dogs that Colby speaks of were pit fighting dogs. Generally, the trait of gameness is not the aggression but the will to fight and the determination to win under stress and pain. Gameness can describe the willingness and determination to protect his owner when in danger of another person or dog.
Pit Bull References
- Dog Fighting
You hear the nasty events and stories about busted fighting rings, but do you know the truths about dog fighting, in terms of tradition?
- Pit Bull Rehabilitation
Should dogs rescued from dog fighting scenes be rehabilitated or just put down?
- Severe Dog Attacks and Pit Bull- Type Dogs
You hear about dog attacks and "pit bulls" all the time, but do you know the dirty truths about these reports?
- Books for a Pit Bull Lover
These are my favorite books about the American Pit Bull Terrier.
- Pit Bull Videos
My favorite movies and documentaries about the American Pit Bull.
- Good Dog - American Pit Bull
Pit Bulls have been bred to be friendly towards humans, despite their breeding for dog aggression.
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