Anonymous asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

I know dogfighting is wrong, but i want to know the history of pit bulls, can anyone tell me anything?

12 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Although the precise origin of the APBT is not known, its roots can be traced back at least one hundred and fifty years or so to England. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries the sport of bull-baiting was very much alive and dogs were bred to excel in this endeavor. The same type of dog was also used by hunters to catch game and by butchers and farmers to bring down unruly cattle. These dogs were called "bulldogs." When bull-baiting was outlawed in England in 1835 the sport of matching two dogs against one another in combat rose in popularity to fill the void.

    One point of contention about the history of the APBT is whether these pit fighting dogs were essentially a new breed of dog specifically created for this popular pastime. Some people have theorized that the APBT is essentially the same breed as the Renaissiance bull-baiting dogs, largely unmixed with any other kind of dog, specifically terriers. These people consider the present name, American Pit Bull Terrier, a double misnomer, since, in their view, the breed is not of American origin and is not a terrier. Other people who argue that the APBT is indeed the product of a cross between bull-baiting dogs and terriers and that the breed simply did not exist in its current form during the Renaissance. They would argue that when we think of the terriers in the APBT's ancestry, we should not envision modern-day show dogs like Yorkshire Terriers, but instead working terriers (probably now extinct) that were bred for great tenacity in hunting. The problem of proof is compounded in this case by the extreme secrecy of the breeders of pit dogs. The 19th century pedigrees, if committed to paper at all, were not divulged, since every breeder feared letting his rivals in on the secrets of his success and replicating it.

    In 1936, thanks to "Pete the Pup" in the "Lil Rascals" and "Our Gang" who familiarized a wider audience with the APBT, the AKC jumped on the bandwagon and registered the breed as the "Staffordshire Terrier". This name was changed to "American Staffordshire Terrier" (AST) in 1972 to distinguish it from its smaller, "froggier", English cousin the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. During this time period, and the years that preceded it, the APBT was a well-liked dog in America. At this time the APBT was considered an ideal family pet. Because of his fun-loving, forgiving temperament, the breed was rightly considered an excellent dog for families with small children. Even if most of them couldn't identify the breed by name, kids of the Lil Rascals generation wanted a companion just like "Pete the Pup". During the First World War, there was an American propaganda poster that represented the rival European nations with their national dogs dressed in military uniforms; and in the center representing the United States was an APBT declaring in a caption below: "I'm neutral, but not afraid of any of them."

    When APBTs became popular with the public around 1980, people with little or no knowledge of the breed started to own and breed them and problems started to crop up. Many of these newcomers did not adhere to the traditional breeding goals of the old-time APBT breeders. Some unscrupulous breeders during this time period started selecting dogs for exactly the opposite criteria that had prevailed up to then: they began selectively breeding dogs for the trait of human aggressiveness. This, coupled with massive media attention, gave rise to the anti-"Pit Bull" hysteria that continues to this day. It should go without saying that, especially with this breed, you should avoid backyard breeders.

    In spite of the introduction of some bad breeding practices in the last 15 years or so, the vast majority of APBTs remain very human-friendly. The American Canine Temperament Testing Association, which sponsors tests for temperament titles for dogs, reported that 95% of all APBTs that take the test pass, compared with a 77% passing rate for all breeds on average. The APBT's passing rate was the fourth highest of all the breeds tested.

    Some famous people who own or have owned an APBT: Hellen Keller, Fred Astaire, President Theodore Roosevelt, General George Patton, Michael J. Fox, Stephany Kramer, Jan Michael Vincent, and Jeremy Miller.

    The Basics

    Known for their intelligence and loyalty American Pit Bull Terriers make excellent, loving and protective companion despite the unfair press they receive. They range in height from 18 - 22 inches and in weight from 30 – 80 pounds. Their coat is thick, short, and shiny. They are courageous, loyal, and full of energy. They need a substantial amount of vigorous exercise, training and socialization. The two most common health issues in APBT are mange and heart murmurs. (2)

    APBTs are generally inclined to be extremely friendly and trusting around people. This is usually true even with dogs that have not been properly socialized around people. Still, you will want to take no chances. Socialization with people and with other dogs is key.

    With APBTs, a much more common problem than human-aggressiveness is dog-aggressiveness. Early socialization is not a guarantee against the eventual development of dog-aggressiveness, but it is often effective in countering the breed's aggressive tendency and permitting your APBT to enjoy the company of other dogs throughout its life. (3)

    In the past several years, an alarming number of local jurisdictions throughout the United States, and indeed the world, have passed "breed specific" laws pertaining to "Pit Bulls" or "Dogs that are found to be of Pit Bull type". These laws are written in vague language and range from requiring the dog to be muzzled in public and forcing owner to take out a special insurance policy, to the outright banning of "Pit Bulls". While these laws fail to address the real problems of truly vicious dogs of any breed and irresponsible owners, they are a reality. Any current or prospective APBT owner should be aware of any special breed related laws in his or her local jurisdiction. (3)

  • 4 years ago

    History Of Pit Bulls

    Information about pit bulls can sometimes be hard to uncover due to all of the myths that seem to float around them verses the actual facts. Sadly they are the number one dog breed in the world to be misunderstood. One thing about the breed that people do not know or often forget about, is that they are not a breed per say. Many people use the term to describe a bully breed, or they will use it as a synonym that’s short an American pit bull. Others might use the term in junction to the American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier or the American Pit bull Terrier. Even other dogs that resemble a bully breed.

    Pit Bulls History

    History Of Pit BullsBeing first breed in England and eventually brought over by settlers. The breed pre dates the United States, They used their loyalty, and strong bodies around the homestead to protect live stock.

    England breed them to fight off other animals, and dogs they were a mix of English Bulldogs and Terriers. The Bulldog DNA provided the raw strength combined with terrier’s agility and fearless nature along with being highly trainable.

    Loyalty and personality was so strong in them that they never tried to harm humans while being forced to fight in the ring. The dog fighting owners were always in the ring with the dogs.

    The Sport of Bear baiting was a harsh and bloody sport in the early days of England. This was for pure pleasure of the crowed while the poor animals were tortured by each other.

    Bear baiting was finally outlawed in England, while that sport died the raise of another was underway. They came up with a sport known as “Ratting” this was when a pit was filled with rats and the dogs were timed to see how many they could kill before time was up. This is where many think the term “Pit Bull” came from.

    During the work day, the breed was often used like a tool. They often came along for hunts, protecting livestock, or herding cattle and sheep.

    Our beloved breed blessed us with the grace of being mascots in the early 20th century in America. They often found themselves on the front of posters, and newspapers.

    Around this same time they became a popular companion for the family, they found their way in the homes of stay at home wives and eventually earned the name Nanny Dogs. For their kind temperament with children.

    The Pit bull Personality graced the cover of Life Magazine a total of three times! No other dog has yet to beat that record. Visit site for the full story

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Great site for learning about the history of the dogs, the difference between the different types of "pit bulls" (as this isn't a breed, just a term used to describe dogs of similar decent), and dispelling common myths about pit bulls. There is also a really cool quiz you can take to see if you can identify the true American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT). There are 25 dogs to choose from, and only one is a real APBT. It's not as easy as you think! is also a great site for information and dispelling myths.

    I'm glad you are taking an interest in learning the facts, and not just assuming that "pit bulls" are viscious animals like many people do. Pit bulls that are raised properly can make amazing and loyal pets, althoug they MUST have responsible owners that recognize that inherent traits of the breeds (such as natural dog aggression) and ensure that they avoid situations where their pet could get hurt or hurt another dog.

    Both of these sites helped me tremendously after I rescued an an American Bulldog/Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix puppy. I did a ton of research, but these sites stood out to me as being easy to relate to and up-front about the facts.

    I hope this helps!


    FUN FACT: According to the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS), American Pit Bull Terriers have a higher passing rate percentage than the Golden Retriever.


    FUN FACT: Although many people believe that pit bulls are aggressive toward humans, human aggression and animal or dog aggression serve very different purposes and stem from VERY different functions. In fact, "pit bulls" were chosen for bull baiting and eventually for dog fighting because in the pit, handlers needed a dog that would show aggression and tenacity toward the other dog in the pit, but would be obedient and easy to handle outside the pit. Pit bulls fit this description to a tee!

    FUN FACT: Pit bulls have a high rate of dogknapping because of their friendliness toward humans, even strangers!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The History of the Pit Bull - Pitt Bulls are known by many different names. Since the breed's conception, they have been known as: Bull and Terrier, Half-and-Half, Brindle Bull Dog, Pit Dog, Pit Bull, Yankee Terrier, American Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. These names illustrate the vast and colorful history that the Pit Bull breeds have.......... LOTS MORE INFO

    All of the members of this breed trace their roots back to the early 19th Century. It was the cross between the Bulldog and the terrier that resulted in the Staffordshire Terrier, which was originally called the Bull-and-Terrier Dog, Half and Half, and also the Pit Dog or Pit Bullterrier. Later, it became known in England as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and is the dog breed that ultimately started the American Staffordshire and American Pit Bull Terrier breeds.

    In the early part of the 19th century, the Bulldog was bred in England for the purpose of bull baiting. Bull baiting is a sport in which a tethered bull, brought to market for slaughter, would be attacked by bulldogs. The supposed purpose of the bull baiting was to help tenderize the meet of the bull prior to slaughter. It was thought that the dog attacks would help to tenderize the meat. While there was no scientific proof that the bull baiting actually tenderized the meat, its purpose was most likely to profit those who trained dogs.

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  • kuo
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Regardless of general notion, a pit bull bites just like any other canine. They're headstrong, territorial, protecting dogs. Mostly when they chew any person, they don't let go since they experience a threat to you or your household... My private experience has proven me that a canine is extra prone to chunk and preserve onto a different canine, instead than one more human. Your baby is equally prone to be bitten by way of a chihuahua or a lab as they are a pit bull. Pit bulls had been originally bred for loved ones puppies. Fighting used to be not their intended motive. Simply on account that he is a pit bull does not imply something. I have a pit bull that will get alongside splendidly with my 3 yr old niece and my 9 month old nephew. As you stated, ANY canine can bite. However any good father or mother knows they need to supervise their youngsters with ANY family pet. You're judging him by way of his breed, no longer his disposition, now not by the way he interacts or reacts to your daughter... Provide the dog a risk.

  • 1 decade ago

    Why don't you maybe look on the UKC website at and look under I think Registration and there is a listing of Groups. Pick Terrier, then pick APBTs. The breed standard will come up. It may have some of the history you are looking for. You might also ask on UKC's Message Board for Dog Events if there is a Yahoo group for APBT fanciers you could join and find out more info. They are great people, those UKC APBT folks!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The pit bull or bull terrier was cross bred to make this strong dominant breed. It was not intended to fight as ignorant people do today.As like the mastif they were used to move large stock etc.Once this breed was bought to the states people decided to one of the dumbest things with this dog.This is why this breed is outlawed in most cities etc.They are deprived of so much and tortured and are used to make massive amounts of illegal money.You cannot socialize nor reprogram this breed they will almost always turn on the owner.If you have this breed do not do this they are a gentle dominant and very protective of the owner that is their thanks to you for loving and protecting them.That web site is a good one there are alot of books etc. for the owners of this breed.For the sake of God do not attempt to fight this dog.

  • 1 decade ago

    Actually pit bulls started as baiting dogs (like bull and bear baiting). You can find more about their history on Helen Keller used pit bulls for her assistance dogs.

  • deb
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Go to website....I hope you are not planning to fight a pit bull....I have one and he is the best dog ever.

  • 1 decade ago

    Try this link , if its american pit bulls you are interested in. nice pics too!

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