< We’ve all heard about Pitbull fights. In fact, although dog fighting is illegal, it still goes on even today. Are Pitbulls destined for Pitbull fights, though? Are all Pitbulls just mean by nature? Well, to understand that, we need to take a look at the breed’s history and temperament.
First of all, yes it’s true that Pitbulls as a breed are no stranger to fights of one sort or another. Sometimes it’s Pitbull fights where two or more dogs are pitted against each other. Throughout history, though, Pitbulls have also been used to fight bulls and bears. In fact, most historians believe that dogs very similar to the modern Pitbull were originally bread for bull baiting.
Bull baiting was a practice where a dog was put in with a bull and expected to attack it. The excuse for that was that the biting of the bulls made the meat more tender. However, the real excuse was that many people made a fast and good living by accepting bets on bull baiting events.
Other Animal Fights:
Of course, aside from Pitbull fights and bull baiting events, Pitbulls have also been used throughout history to fight various other animals. They’ve been known to fight everything from donkeys to tigers and lions. They’ve also been used to hunt wild boar and kill other animals that their owners considered to be pests, like badgers, possums and raccoons.
Why Pitbull Fights Took Hold:
Why did Pitbull fights originally take hold? Well, there are a few reasons. One is that the poor people at the time didn’t have the resources to run big events like bull baiting. Allowing their dogs to fight other dogs provided a cheaper way to get entertainment and, much more importantly, to make a profit.
Pitbull Fights and Bans Today:
Unfortunately, Pitbull fights still go on even today, even though they’re very much illegal and immoral. In fact, dog fighting rings are broken up by authorities much more often than you might think and even more fights aren’t discovered in time to be broken up. Why do they still go on? It’s simple. There are still people around who have no morals and are looking to turn a fast profit.
What many people don’t realize about Pitbulls is that they’ve had a good reputation as family protectors for many years. In fact, they’ve also had a reputation as war heroes for getting messages passed between the troops on the front lines.
You see, Pitbulls are strong dogs. Breeders in the old days leading right up to just a few years back were smart enough to know that. They may have had no morals, but they had enough intelligence to know that their dogs could kill them, too, if not controlled. So, Pitbulls were intentionally bread to be extremely smart, quick to learn and fiercely loyal to their human companions. Those are traits that still show up in properly bred dogs today.
The Recent Hype About Pitbulls and Violence:
Why, then, have Pitbulls gotten such a bad reputation just in recent years? Well, most of it is because of irresponsible breeding. A few bad breeders/owners have bred their dogs not only for fighting, but to be as violent as possible. Those people haven’t thought ahead about how to control their dogs, not just during Pitbull fights, but out in the real world. Many such dogs turn on their owners or their neighbors. Then, those few reported attacks are covered by the media and a fear frenzy begins and continues on.
The Good Side of Pitbulls:
What the media doesn’t usually talk about is the good side of Pitbulls. Not all Pitbulls are bred for Pitbull fighting. In fact, there are many many more responsible breeders and owners than there are irresponsible ones. Pitbulls can be very loyal companions and they’re highly intelligent, so they can learn lots of commands and even fun tricks.
That ability to learn and need to please their owners makes Pitbulls ideal pets for some people. It also means that Pitbulls that are properly trained are great candidates for certain activities, like agility or Frisbee competitions. Those are much more rewarding than Pitbull fights, which are both cruel and illegal.
While Pitbull fights should definitely be banned, there’s a great debate on whether or not to ban the whole breed. In fact, in some areas, it’s already illegal to own Pitbulls. In others, they’re highly regulated and special permits are required to own them.
Unfortunately, because of the stigma surrounding Pitbulls, many animal shelters immediately put any Pitbull that comes through their doors to sleep. That’s not at all fair to the breed as a whole. An entire breed shouldn’t suffer because of a few bad owners.
An Important Fact About Pitbull Aggression:
Although some Pitbulls are aggressive, they are really the only breed that gets lumped together as “bad dogs”. People tend to disregard the fact that any dog can be aggressive or angelic, regardless of breed. It all has to do with ownership and responsibility.
For example, the Disney film, 100 Dalmatians, spawned a Dalmatian craze several years back, but many of those dogs were actually aggressive or difficult to train and had to be returned. Also, lots of people carry their Chihuahuas around like babies these days. They probably don’t even know that Chihuahuas used to be notorious for killing chickens.
So, all breeds have their issues, but many of those can be controlled through owner responsibility. Are Pitbulls destined for Pitbull fights? Certainly not! Many of them can be excellent companions, if they’re given a fair chance and the right leadership. All it takes is a little time, patience and education to give the breed the reputation it really deserves.