Feared by people who have never known one, adored and admired by those who have.
Pit bulls are not thoroughbreds, but instead used in reference to multiple breeds of dogs. These breeds are: American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire and Staffordshire Terrier, as well as any crosses between these 3 breeds.
The pit bull breed dates back to the early 11th century, where “Bull-Baiting” was a popular pastime in London, England. Bull-Baiting involved having a bull tied down to an iron stake, generally in a pit/hole and had an audience surrounding it. Dogs were then released to immobilize the bull. Bets were made on whether the bull would survive this ordeal or not. This is where this particular breed of dog comes in, hence the name – Pit Bull. Dog breeders were looking for the ultimate fighting machine.
When I say a pit bull is the “ultimate fighting machine”, I mean they are extremely powerful. A very muscular dog that has horse-like hind legs, with a broad chest and bulging shoulders. These dogs have deceiving pace with finely tuned reflexes and quite a spring in their step. They are athletic and agile, with high energy levels.
Pit bulls need to exercise regularly in order to maintain their athletic bodies. It is also important for them to burn up energy, otherwise the can become hyperactive. This perfectly explains why these dogs are abused, being used for dog fighting – for people to bet and make money off them, and also explains why these dogs have developed the terrible reputation they have.
Dog fighting is still very active in society, and pit bulls are the most popular breed to use for fighting because they learn quickly, are eager to please, are easy to handle and are very confident dogs.
It is because of this that pit bulls are misidentified and misunderstood. The truth is that these dogs are loyal, lovable companions that have respect for their owners. Like any other breed of dog, it is the manner in which you bring the dog up.
I am speaking from experience because I own a pit bull. His name is Mack. I named him after the make of truck – big, strong and powerful. We got Mack on 1 December 2011, which makes him 8 months old now.
Mack is one of the most lovable dogs I have ever come across. The way he greets me when I come home, they way he sleeps next to me, shows me what a great dog he really is. He doesn’t know how to be aggressive, all he wants to do is play with his ball, rope or bone all the time. He is great with children and friendly towards other dogs. Yes, I said FRIENDLY, we as a family made sure that Mack had interaction with other dogs since the day we got him. He is now one of the more popular dogs at our local sports field – where owners bring their dogs for social interaction and exercise.
Above is a more recent photo of Mack. He is a Pit Bull Terrier, so he will not be as big as the American Pit Bulls. However, he is still a big dog. He now weighs 20 kilograms and is still growing. He has been a blessing to my family, and I strongly believe that pit bulls are unique, special and a phenomenal breed of dog.