A lot of people fear the name American Pit Bull Terrier because they tend to picture aggressive and vicious human attacks by a 60 pound dog. However, these degrading presumptions are just misleading misconceptions that tarnish the reputation of this lovable and protective pet. The truth is, American Pit Bull Terriers are intelligent, loyal, and fun loving dogs that got a bad reputation because of uncaring owners.
It all goes back to the year 1835 England when royals and commoners alike enjoy the sadistic and bloody game of bull baiting. Because of this, some breeders had the idea of breeding bulldogs to use in dog fighting. They mixed the tenacity and fierceness of this dog with Terrier and the result was the Bull Terrier.
The Bull Terrier became what the dog breeders wanted them to be; aggressive to its enemies, tenacious and brave, have a high pain threshold, fights till the end, and at the same time affectionate and sociable to people. These traits made the Bull Terrier a fierce warrior in dog fights. But although originally bred for a violent purpose, it had a natural ability to be caring and loyal to humans, which made all the difference.
In the middle of 1800’s, immigrants introduced the Bull Terrier to the United States although not for dog fighting anymore. Bull baiting was banned in England and so people stopped breeding them for fighting. In the United States, the Bull Terrier acted as an all- around farm dog and frontier guardians.
In 1898, the United Kennel Club officially renamed the Bull Terrier to American Pit Bull Terrier. By this time, too, the breed became famous among different kinds of people. It was so popular that even companies such as Buster Brown Shoe Company, RCA phonographs, and Levi’s used APBT as mascots to represent dependability, loyalty, toughness, and bravery.
Not only did companies sported APBTs but famous individuals alike. Theodore Roosevelt, Hellen Keller, and Little House books’ Laura Ingals Wider were all known to own APBTs as pets. But the most impressive of them all, Stubby- a Pit Bull- became a decorated war hero during World War I.
The American Pit Bull Terrier, however, did not always have good fortune and high praises. This breed went through many controversies, like dog fighting and fatal human aggression, that kennel clubs changed its name and standards a few times in many years. From the Bull Terrier to American Pit Bull Terrier, from American Pit Bull Terrier to Staffordshire Terrier, and finally to its present name and current standard- the American Pit Bull Terrier.
There are still many people who breed and raise APBT for dog fighting and aggressiveness. Because of this bad training, indeed some APBT lost their human affection. In view of this, it is not the poor dog that’s to be blamed for their misled behaviors but those heartless individuals who only wish to satisfy their violent cravings and selfish, and often, criminal acts.
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