“Pit Bull” is NOT a breed!

  Everyone that knows me knows that I will voice my opinion.  I am not concerned about being politically correct and I certainly welcome anyone to a good debate.  That being said, this post is strictly written because of all the ridiculous hype recently about the breeds I love the most; the bully breeds.  I too have in the past called them “pit bulls”, but I vow to take a stand and no longer do this.

   That’s right, I will no longer call them “pit bulls”. Why? Because my friends, unless a dog has been put in a fight ring, they are NOT “pit dogs”!!! Any dog can be classified as a “pit dog” if has been in a fight ring.  Today so many people misidentify a bull breed; thousands of dogs are killed because they LOOK like a bull breed in some states.  The bull breeds I am discussing here: American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, Bull terriers, American Bulldogs.  I strongly think if we the bull breed lovers truly want to help the breed we need to STOP calling them “pit bulls”.  To the breeders out there that breed what they call APBT’s you truly need to take a stand and call them American Staffordshire terriers. I know it is a pride thing but really, are you putting your dog in a fighting ring??  If you are you should be arrested period.  If you stand behind people that fight their bullies, again you should be arrested. Period.

  I have seen more TV shows pop up lately about bully breeds, “Pit boss”, “Pit bulls and Parolees”, etc.  I love that they are helping the bull breeds and my hat is off to them, but seriously stop calling them “pit” dogs.  It only strengthens the fear people have.

      The term “pit dog” has been around for thousands of years and if you dive into history archives, “pit dogs” were mainly Molosser breeds, not just one type of dog.  You can find more information about these dogs here: http://www.bulldoginformation.com/molossers-mastiff-type-dogs.html .

  Even the Humane Society refers to the label “pit bull” as just that, a label.  Many people misidentify dogs; they see a short, stocky, bigheaded, muscular dog and call it a “pit bull”.  Unless they have been in a pit ring fighting this is an inaccurate name.

   Tremendous amounts of people out there think ALL bull breeds are dog-dog aggressive. This is also not true. Do they have the tendency to be dog-dog aggressive, of course; but so do other breeds. Any dog can be dog-dog aggressive, it depends on how they are handled and trained.  I have hundreds of cases of herding breeds and small breed dogs that are highly dog-dog aggressive.  I am called for more Australian cattle dogs (heelers) and Great Pyrenees, with dog-dog aggression then any bull breed.  These breeds are tenacious when it comes to their attacks.  These are also the two breeds of highest percentages for resource guarding issues. 

  So why are so many bullies in the news and not other breeds?  Many owners that have contacted me for their herding dogs killing or attacking their pack members make it a point to keep their dogs away from other dogs.  Unfortunately irresponsible owners own the bullies you read about.  The majority of bully attacks on humans and dogs happen because they are taught how to be persistent and are “resident” dogs, not pets.  What’s the difference? Karen Delise, founder of The National Canine Research Council has the facts on her site: http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/resident-dog-vs-family-dog/  I suggest anyone interested in bully breeds take the time to read her site.

  I urge all the bully breed owners, rescuers and lovers to STOP calling their dogs “pit bulls”. Lets see if we can truly make a difference for the breeds we love so much!!

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2 thoughts on ““Pit Bull” is NOT a breed!

  1. I understand what you are saying, but the UKC recognises a registered breed call the American Pit Bull Terrier. Although I understand the AKC does not. It is hard to know how to catagorize the breed of your dog when you know it is mixed and one parent is supposedly full blood “bull”?. (rescue)
    Would you recommend calling it a bull terrier cross? bully cross?

    1. Pat
      The origin of the original “APBT” was mastiff type dogs used for “bull-baiting”. It was not truly a breed, but what they called the dogs who did well baiting bulls. They started calling them “pitbulls” in the early 19th century because they used them in the “sport” of dog fighting when they outlawed bull baiting. Because dog fighting was such a secret society, no one truly knows what the true ancestors of the original “bull baiters” and “pit dogs” were. They started calling them American Staffordshire Terriers in the AKC because they did not agree with dog fighting, nor do I. In 1898, Chauncy Bennett formed the UKC for the sole purpose of registering “Pit Bull Terriers”. The term simply means a dog used for “fighting in a pit”, they are the same breed, just used for different reasons. Todays dogs are breed and raised to be family dogs and I believe should be called American Staffordshire Terriers or Staffordshire Terriers. So I agree it is tough to catagorize a mixed breed, but as history shows us if the dog is used for “fighting” they are called “pit bulls” if not, they are called Staffordshire Bull Terriers. I call them Staffie mixes. 🙂

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