Understand the APBT
To be an APBT advocate, you may be asking why I would even want to discuss dog fighting and dog fighters... Well, I think that the truths should be known and the APBT history fully understood. In all seriousness, I do not condone dog fighting or what is done to pit dogs, but the background of the American Pit Bull Terrier, involves pit fighting.
To best understand the breed, is to best understand their ancestry and heritage.
First off, it is very important that everyone understand that that those who initially starteddog fighting did not search for a certain breed. They found, fought, and bred whatever dog was the best in the pit, and breeding of whatever breed or mix is what created various dog breeds with more distinct characteristics, such as the American Pit Bull.
History Behind Dog Fighting
Dog fighting has been a part of different cultures for a very long time, but what brought dog fighting to the United States was the migration of the inhabitants from the British Isle.
The people of the British Isle had a hard life. They worked very hard to no end, and yet, still had a deprived lifestyle.
They needed something get their minds off their meager lifestyles and began cock fighting, gambling, and dog fighting.
When the people migrated to the United States, they brought their pit dogs and pit traditions with them, as well as cock fighting, horse races, and gambling. Needless to say, the fighting continued.
Rules and Regulations of the Fight
Surprisingly enough, traditional fighting had rules and regulations to the fight.
Dogs could not show any human aggression. This was tested by having the fighters and their owners enter the ring. The owners would switch dogs, and wash the opponent. By washing the opponent, a referee could monitor human aggression levels in the dog. If the dog showed any signs of aggression towards to other owner, he/she was immediately disqualified. (Also, by washing the opponent, the other owner could make sure that now deterrent was put on the dog, making his dog not want to bite.)
Calling a fight. If a fight is going badly, where Dog A is visibly winning, yet Dog B is still fighting his hardest, the ref or owners can call the fight. If a dog shows his will to fight, he will be removed from the fighting pit, and used solely as a breeder, as a dog with a strong will could produce pups with better fight initiative. (Not all losers are disposed of in a traditional fight.)
Dogs are given breaks in the middle of a fight. Time will be called where the owners can assess their dog. The owners give their dog water, and check their dog over for any serious injuries.
Types of Dog Fighters
One would first think, 'there's only one type of dog fighter... a criminal.' Which I believe is true. A heartless, poor example of a human being, but there are actually two different types of fighters.
Type one is the traditional fighter, who cares for his dogs. He makes sure that the dogs have shelter, food, and water. These traditional fighters make sure that their dogs are cared for. Sometimes the traditional fighters will keep his fighting dogs once they have surpassed breeding age, making them house pets.
Type two is the thug, or punk, who cares more for his ego and making money than the dog. This person is more in tuned to himself than caring for his dog. For these people, if the dog is not of any use, cannot fight or breed any longer, he is disposed of in various ways.
A good comparison between the two type of fighters is simple... A baseball player and a mugger. Yes, they both use bats, but they use them differently.
What Makes a Pit Dog
Traditional breeders of pit dogs (not American Pit Bull Terriers but pit dogs) did not take in account color or size of the dog, but his/her wins and gameness.
When breeding for fighters, the breeders bred top fighting dogs to produce puppies with the will and gameness of a winning fighter.
Breeding pit dogs are not always the top winning dog in multiple fights; sometimes, even losing dogs were used as breeding dogs. These particular breeders, were chosen because they had game. Game is will, strength, and never quit attitude, not viciousness.
Pit dogs, both top winners and strong willed dogs, all must share ONE quality. This quality is bred for. This quality is one that breeders strive to obtain in their dogs. Dogs without this quality were put down. Breeders of pit dogs strove breed dogs who were dog aggressive, not human aggressive, and any sign of human aggression, was quickly removed from the group.
Over time, having bred for the purpose of fighting and game, the various pit breeds have evolved into dogs of varying colors and size with short hair, muscular builds, high intelligence, and stubborn personalities. Other qualities that have encompassed these dogs include loyalty, protectiveness, and strength.
Pit Dogs and Pit Bulls
Pit bulls and pit dogs are just what their name suggests. Dogs from, for, and of, the pit. Dogs bred and raised for the pits.
These dogs are different than the well bred and raised American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The pit dogs are poorly bred, sometimes, many times, inbred dogs.
Traditional breeders did take care into the breeding of their pit dogs, but in no way does it make the products well bred dogs.
"Pit bulls" is more a category than a breed. It includes many broad, short hair mongrels from the streets. "Pit bull" is a phrase that has come to lead fear into many men and women today. They are the dogs are poorly bred, aggressive dogs. This category can include any mix of APBT, AmStafs, Bull Terriers, and other bully dogs, whereas these dogs alone (APBT, Amstafs, Bull Terriers, etc.) are considered breeds, not classifications (and that's the difference).
In many cases, the purebreed APBTs, AmStaffs, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, were bred with pit dogs, but that does not mean that these well bred dogs, should be grouped with "pit bulls."
American Pit Bull Terriers were once the sign of dignity and strength. Today, they are a sign of thugs and criminals. Criminals, thugs, and punks, saw the pit bull as the same sign of strength as the United States did, and used that to their advantage. They turned the positive image of the APBT into a negative vision that should be feared. Mother's shield their children from the breed, whereas they were once known as 'nanny dogs.'
Dog fighting is cruel and is worth the felony charge that is behind it. Many people compare dog fighting to that of boxers, but boxers know what they are going into, and have a choice as to whether he will fight. Dogs have no choice. They have no choice as to their breeding pairs, owners, or jobs.
Breed specific legislation will not stop or even halter the dog fighting world. They will do nothing more than find another breed besides the current classification of pit bull. Banning the APBT, will not stop the fighting; it will hurt good owners and good dogs.
Fight for this breed. Fight for the loyal, protective, and loving breed.
- Pit Bulls are Good Dogs
Despite their breeding for dog aggression, the breed has always been bred to be good with humans.