When we talk about the American pit bull, or simply pit bull, the typical idea of the aggressive and fierce dog always comes to mind. Undoubtedly, this is due to its reputation as a fighting dog, a characteristic for which in the past this breed was valued.
But, did you know that most people who know the pit bull today, and understand its temperament, describe it as a natural fool or clown?
What is the origin of the Pit bull?
Although it is true that its origin was linked to the world of fights and clandestine betting, little by little the breed evolved to become a farm dog, and later, a pet or companion dog.
How and where was the pit bull breed born?
To begin with, “pit bull” is not the name of a particular breed, but the term used to encompass a group of breeds with similar characteristics. This usually includes dogs such as the American pitbull terrier, the American staffordshire terrier (amstaff), the staffordshire bull terrier, and sometimes the bull terrier, the American bully and the American bulldog.
The origin of pit bulls dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and is located in different regions of England, Ireland and Scotland. These dogs were bred from the old English bulldog, a breed that at the time had gained popularity in a blood sport known as “bull baiting”.
Bull baiting, which consisted of tying up a bull for 1 or 2 bulldogs to harass him for hours until he collapsed, was banned in 1835. This led to the emergence of other illegal sports that were easier to hide, such as rat hunting and dog fighting.
These activities required more agility and dexterity from the dog, hence breeders began to cross breed bulldogs and terriers. This is how the first pit bull was born, a perfect combination of agility, speed, tenacity and strength.
These same traits made it the perfect dog for clandestine blood competitions, where they had to face other dogs and show all their power.