Dog Fighting- The Dogs Used
People who fight dogs for sport have stuck with the traditional Pit Bull Terrier. Pit Bulls are known to have high pain tolerance, willingness to perform and the muscle structure to back it all up. The use of Pit Bulls dates back to the mid 1830's when "bull baiting" was outlawed in England. This is were they would use Bulldogs as bait for bears, bulls and other large animals. Once bull baiting was deemed illegal, people were still looking for ways to be entertained by blood sports. The shear size and muscle of the Bulldog wasn't enough, they wanted to be able to pit two dogs against either while people watched. They figured that by cross breeding the Bulldog with Terrier breeds would make for some scrappy fighters. This is when the Bull Terrier emerged and dominated the blood sport. Today people still use American Pit Bull Terriers and other Pit Bull type dogs in the sport.
When fighting dogs are selected they are picked for their size and for their dog-aggression. If a dog shows aggression towards people it generally gets destroyed because people who own the dogs want to be able to safely handle their dogs.
The more fights a dog wins the more value that dog is.The more valuable the dog is the valuable the puppies are from that dog. Dogs that are trained to fight other dogs come from blood lines that specifically exhibit higher aggressive behavior then other dogs. Dogs that don't perform to a standard are either destroyed, sold, or used as bait for other dogs. A large factor in breeding fight dogs is their muscle mass. Some blood lines have a higher muscle mass then others, those dogs are more sought after then weaker ones.
Training The Dogs
Training fight dogs is rough and some dogs never make it to the fight pit. To train these dogs, owners will sometime beat the dogs to "toughen" them. And unlike family dogs that get punished for bad or aggressive behavior, fight dogs are rewarded for it. Trainers use treadmills to increase a dog's stamina during a fight and build up muscles. Steroids are also used to increase a dog's performance.
Pain is a natural by-product of dog fights even for the winners so trainers use pain killers to numb the dogs and get them to fight longer. The longer the fight goes on the higher the bets generally get. Also, because of Pit Bulls high pain tolerance, when pain killers are needed the dogs are usually in very bad condition. Even if the dog shows no outward injuries, internal injuries may be severe enough to kill the dog. By dulling, numbing or masking the pain that the dogs feel they are also increasing the dog's drive to kill, the more pain a dog feels the less it wants to go on.
The dogs that fail to perform at a set standard or that become too injured to continue are usually destroyed. Those that aren't killed are used as bait for dogs that are in training and some are simply left without treatment and eventually will die due to the extent of their injuries. For dogs that never make it to the fighting pit their life paths vary. People aggressive dogs tend to be sold to gang members who want dogs that are aggressive. While dogs that don't show enough aggression get used to bait fighting dogs or get destroyed.
No dog wins in dog fighting, they all have to suffer regardless of how well they perform. Dogs who are bred to fight spend most of their lives chained up and get beaten regularly. They get punished for not fighting and pumped full of drugs. All of this is done for human entertainment and gambling. Dogs that fight don't do it by choice, they are forced into their roles.