What breeds make up an American pit bull
"Pit Bull": Breed or American Staffordshire Variant?
Although most dog lovers are familiar with the term "pit bull", it is often not always clear which dog is meant by it. This is also due to the fact that the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale), the largest international umbrella organization for dog breeding, has not yet recognized the breed as an independent one. To understand this, let's look into the past of the Pit Bull, about which his name already tells us a lot: The origin of the breeding efforts lies in the USA, where the breed emerged from crosses between British Bulldogs and Terriers. The American Staffordshire Terrier, or “Am Staff” for short, emerged from these crosses. The goal of selective breeding was above all a good four-legged fighter who should prove himself in the so-called “pit”, the arena for animal fights. Here, for example, “pit bulls” were set on rats in order to kill as many rats as possible in a given time. Fights against other dogs were also on the agenda for a long time.
After all, the American Staffordshire Terriers that were used in fights, in other words: the “working dogs”, were referred to as “pit bulls”. With them it was more about the character, which is dubious from today's point of view: Other dogs were preferred to aggressive animals with a low stimulus threshold, the appearance was irrelevant. That is why the majority of the American Pit Bull Terriers are very similar to the American Staffordshire Terriers, but there may also be visual deviations. In 1898 the newly founded United Kennel Club (UKC), which to this day does not cooperate with the FCI, recognized the American Pit Bull Terrier as an independent breed. For a long time there were also crosses between Am Staffs and Pit Bulls. In the rest of the world as well as colloquially in the USA, "Pit Bull" developed as a generic term for attack dogs in general. Unfortunately, there are still dog fights in numerous countries and despite bans, and accordingly there are still animals that are specially "bred" to take part in such cruel spectacles.
Also read our articles on Understanding and Educating Aggressive Dogs.
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